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He likes to watch

[ 65 ] April 13, 2017 |

Tremble in shock and awe as our neo-isolationist white America first policy unfolds:

McMaster wants 10,000-50,000 U.S. boots on ground in – a “surge” of sorts. Others aren’t so sure. = Debate

Donald Trump is a confused sub-literate old man, who gets all his information about the world from watching TV.  His “policies” consist of whatever he feels like doing today, based on what somebody just said on (at best) Fox & Friends, but more likely whatever is being channeled from the Breitbart and Infowars sewers.

Chauncey Gardiner is president, but he’s jacked up on Viagra and Megalomanian(tm), and he has thousands of nuclear weapons at his increasingly fickle command.

 

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  1. Murc says:

    What worries me is… hmm.

    Anyone remember that gross war porn from about a year and a half ago, by some asshole named Kurt Schlichter?

    I worry that if Trump does decide he wants a shiny new war, that that’s the kind of war it’ll be. For all the murderous incompetence of the Bush Administration, they did have a belief that they should at least try to nation-build. Dubya and Cheney in particular seem like they really did think we could build America Junior on the banks of the Euphrates.

    Trump won’t have the inclination or the patience to even pretend to believe that. If and when he sends the army somewhere, it will be with either explicit or implied orders to simply make a desert and call it peace. If we go into Syria, it’s going to involve leveling Damascus, parading al-Assad’s body around for the cameras, and then going home and letting the chaos work itself out.

    It’s going to be the Ledeen Doctrine, but without the sense of humility, forethought, and restraint.

  2. Warren Terra says:

    How is 10-50,000 troops a “surge” rather than an “invasion”?

    And I assume this is going to Congress, right? Because the idea the 2001 AUMF covers invading Syria with full divisions is insane, and the Iraq resolutions were more specific.

    • Murc says:

      How is 10-50,000 troops a “surge” rather than an “invasion”?

      We invaded Syria a long-ass time ago; we’ve had guys tooling around the country for years and years.

      And I assume this is going to Congress, right?

      Why? Trump doesn’t like Congress and they might say no. Better to just send the troops and basically dare them to object, which they almost certainly will not.

      • Warren Terra says:

        We’ve bombed Syria for years. We’ve had special forces operating there for months and possibly years (though I never heard of it before Trump, except perhaps a hostage rescue mission or two). We’ve never occupied Syrian territory so far as I know.

        • Q.E.Dumbass says:

          I recall much being made of the 300 advisors in 2014 myself.

        • Davis X. Machina says:

          Syria always featured on the lists of the 19 or whatever it was countries that Obama invaded, along with Jordan, Mali, and Chad.

          • Q.E.Dumbass says:

            Don’t know about operations in Jordan or Tchad, but I thought that Mali was a primarily French action done with American support.

            • Davis X. Machina says:

              Still counts as an invasion. Like the US invasion of Libya.

              • tsam says:

                We call those NEOLIBERAL invasions, k?

                • Q.E.Dumbass says:

                  NEOCONSERVATIVE is the correct terminology.

                  And you’d think that criticisms of the Libyan operation could stand well enough on there own without the (usually) implicit assumption of UNILATERAL DECIDERER GO BOOM BOOM.

                • Davis X. Machina says:

                  Is there oil there? Yes.
                  So there had to be US troops there.
                  Is the oil still there? Yes.
                  Then the troops are still there. Tens of thousands of them. Like in Iraq. Right now.
                  Because oil.

                  It’s not like I learned nothing over the last 40 years.

                • tsam says:

                  NEOCONSERVATIVE is the correct terminology.

                  Nuh uh, because both parties are the same but the Democrat party is the worst.

    • tsam says:

      Assad regime+Russia, FSA, ISIS…

      Which one are we going to fight? How do we actually know who is who besides current held/contested territory maps (that change on a near daily basis)…

      Fuck. This is going to to get NASTY.

      • John Revolta says:

        We’ll make ’em all wear different colored hats! I’m sure Trump knows somebody in PRC who could hook us up………………..

      • efgoldman says:

        This is going to to get NASTY.

        It’s been about as nasty as it can get for quite a few years.
        What it’s gonna’ do is increase sales of trump-branded body bags.

      • e.a.foster says:

        of course it will be nasty because Trump doesn’t under stand the middle east and neither does his gang. They couldn’t even read the score card to keep up.

        Then Americans will complain if some of the “enemy” decides to bring the war home to the Americans. its just so much more fun to have a war at some one else’s house than your own. However, with some of those ISIS people, they like to bring the war up close and personal right to your door step.

    • bender says:

      10,000-50,000 boots on the ground would top out at 25,000 troops unless they are one-legged.

    • Pete says:

      I think it would have to go to Congress for approval to be remotely legal. The 2001 AUMF arguably covers fighting ISIS, maybe, but not fighting them in Syria against the will of the Syrian government.

      • Davis X. Machina says:

        I think it would have to go to Congress for approval to be remotely legal

        Why? Who decides what the old AUMF covers? Congress.

        Trump’s party has a majority in both houses.

      • wengler says:

        The 2001 AUMF arguably covers fighting ISIS

        That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

        The connection of ISIS to the September 11, 2001, attacks is non-existent. We’re quite far down the rabbit hole of forever war against everybody.

  3. rk says:

    In fairness, Jill Stein warned me that something like this would happen if I voted for Clinton.

  4. M. Bouffant says:

    Trump may not have been watching:

    At a White House Daily Briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred all questions to the Department of Defense, which is normal for operational matters, but he was unwilling to answer questions about Donald Trump’s direct involvement in the strike — specifically, whether the president was in the Situation Room for the strike, or even whether he authorized it.

  5. sibusisodan says:

    “Did you like Iraq, but were frustrated by all the years of tedious messing around before the bloody sectarian civil war got going? Have we got the invasion for you…”

  6. howard says:

    i’m willing to wait for further verification on the idea of the troops per se, but i’m not willing to wait any longer on mcmaster: he may well have been a swell thinker somewhere along the way like his admirers claim, but he’s clearly not a swell thinker now.

    the fact that he didn’t quit over cohen-watnick was a pretty good indicator.

    • Pete says:

      You’re jumping to a few too many conclusions there.

      We don’t know what McMaster has been asked to do, but the US Syrian policy for the past five(?) years has been mostly pathetic dithering and (FFS the worst thing of all) drawing “red lines” but then whimpering quietly when Assad ignored them time and again. Not to mention playacting for domestic purposes and to save face — helping Assad and Russia promote the fiction that Syria had given up its chemical weapon stockpiles when the US damn near KNEW there was more out there.

      If McMaster has been tasked with figuring out — what can the US actually DO in 2017 to (a) try to improve conditions in Syria, ameliorating the ongoing refugee crisis; and (b) hasten the defeat of ISIS in Syria; (c) check somewhat the growing power and influence of Iran, and (d) potentially shorten the ongoing brutal Syrian civil war — there is a pretty damn short list of options. None are good.

      None were very good under Obama, which is a big reason the US didn’t do sh*t for years — and why the half-measures we attempted were mostly terribly ineffective until we found an effective ally in some of the Kurdish groups — who our other ally, the soft authoritarian Turkey would like to obliterate.

      That list of options necessarily includes as one option a substantial US military presence in a sector of that country (and not a whole lot else at this point). Yes – IF that happens, Americans will fight and die. Americans will kill some Syrians and some non-Syrians. It will suck. It will be very dangerous. It might make things worse than they would have been otherwise — or, it might save some lives and make matters better than they would have been otherwise.

      But it would be malpractice for any administration not to consider such troop involvement. Your statement about McMaster is not a statement of someone trying to seriously wrestle with the role the US should play in trying to ameliorate the negative security and humanitarian effects of a crisis the US has at least helped perpetuate.

      • howard says:

        because i am pressed for time, i will respond in short: the idea that an administration headed by donald trump is capable of intelligently deploying troops is ridiculous.

        more broadly, the idea that us military intervention in the middle east is likely to go well is equally ridiculous, and we have lots of evidence to support that.

        and most broadly, the idea that every problem in the world has a us-led solution is the most ridiculous of all. yes, things are terrible in syria as they are in lots of places: that doesn’t make us obliged to intrude and pretend we can solve them.

        so my attitude towards mcmaster remains unchanged: he had a reputation coming in as a sharp guy, but no one works for trump and emerges untainted.

      • Yankee says:

        What he was asked to do would have been blow up something decisively, make a great beautiful statement of resolve. So far McMaster has found a way to do that without actually wrecking anything important. So long may he wave.

      • efgoldman says:

        what can the US actually DO in 2017 to (a) try to improve conditions in Syria, ameliorating the ongoing refugee crisis

        President Fuckface does not give a flying fuck about refugees.

        (d) potentially shorten the ongoing brutal Syrian civil war

        Other than wiping what’s left of Syria from the face of the earth, there’s not a fucking thing we can do.

  7. patrick II says:

    Instead of position papers, buy some ads on FOX while they are cheap.

  8. daves09 says:

    Russia, Iran, every wigged out Islamic extremist in the world(those who aren’t there already will come running).
    What could go wrong?
    And where exactly are we going to use as a staging point-do the Sauds want to get involved in this?
    Iraq you say? They’ll welcome us back with open arms, just like last time.
    Americans in general have about a 3 min. historical memory, but isn’t this guy supposed to be our top intelligence dude? sheesh

  9. Pete says:

    But on the upside, many LGM readers may rejoice in considering that if the Trump administration actually sends a substantial number of troops to Syria it will gut a significant fraction of his support from the far right, and further energize the left.

    I’d be surprised if it happened for that reason, if no other.

  10. Alex.S says:

    It’s gotten to the point where a tweet about a “preemptive strike” made me scramble for the googles to identify the country.

    Turns out it was North Korea. – http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-may-launch-strike-if-north-korea-reaches-nuclear-n746366

    Bonus Trump quote! – https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/politics/trump-im-very-very-proud-of-the-militarys-successful-job-dropping-mother-of-all-bombs-on-isis/ar-BBzOUlu

    “I don’t know if this sends a message, it doesn’t make any difference if it does or not,” Trump said. “North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of. I will say this: I think China has really been working very hard. I have really gotten to like and respect, as you know, President Xi, he’s a terrific person, we spent a lot of time together in Florida, and he’s a very special man. I think he’s going to try very hard.”

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      Escalation. Tomahawks didn’t do the trick. The ordnance gets heavier and heavier until the polls move. That’s how you know you’ve destroyed your enemy’s will to resist.

    • e.a.foster says:

      heard Trump say it on T.V. and he sounded like a 9 year old. Now I see it in writing and it is as bad as I thought. Wonder what President Xi promised the Trump corporation?

  11. Origami Isopod says:

    I saw the post title in the sidebar and I was seriously wondering for a second if you’d posted the notorious 9/11 video by the Church of Euthanasia.

    (Note to the unfamiliar: It is highly offensive. Not to mention NSFW.)

  12. jim, some guy in iowa says:

    someone may have already mentioned this, it came out the other day: http://www.berkeleybreathed.com/signed-strips-store/401-gun-stuff

  13. Shakezula says:

    July 2016

    So even though [Trump] is a clown and an idiot and mentally unstable, there is this coherent philosophy that is noninterventionist, isolationist, and uber-nationalistic.

    • efgoldman says:

      there is this coherent philosophy that is noninterventionist, isolationist, and uber-nationalistic.

      Until they showed him the toys he gets to play with.

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      (sigh) it’s just sad to see someone turn himself into that much of a tool- for Donald goddamn trump of all people. what a waste

      • Cheap Wino says:

        Says something that a self-important narcissist like GG didn’t recognize the same in Trump. I completely blew it thinking Trump had zero chance to win the GOP nomination, much less the presidency, but at least never had any illusions that he was in any way coherent and predictable. Greenwald is so committed to his particular brand of anti-establishment pablum that he can’t even use his intelligence to see through the most obvious of frauds.

  14. e.a.foster says:

    well there is nothing like a war to keep people’s minds off of the real issues in their own country. whip up a lot more hysteria about Muslims, People of Colour, etc. Perhaps Trump had a look at the American experience documentary on PBS and saw al the restrictions the President Wilson was able to impose on American society. Ah, a nice war would work for Trump also.

    On the other hand, Trump and his freeze on hiring hasn’t exactly helped the Veterans. veterans haven’t been well treated of late and benefits and health care seem a tad lacking. Why would anyone join the military to go get them selves maimed or killed by a guy who doesn’t like them any how. if you’re female joining the military, there is a good chance you’ll get raped or sexually assaulted and no one is going to do anything about it. Get hurt, won’t get the care you’re entitled to. get killed you family may not have a bread winner. There was something on t.v. recently about how Congress wasn’t so fast off the mark to ensure widows/widowers got their pensions. Hell why would you go get killed for Trump and his 1%ers. He didnt’ fight. His kids never joined the military, so why would you and your kid? Stay home, stay health, stay whole. if McMaster wants to have thousands of americans maimed and/or killed let him and the rest of the generals do some fighting like they did in days of old, well at least in WW I they still were in the field.

  15. wengler says:

    This is what the US foreign policy looks like when you have the military running it. Who knew Mattis and McMaster would use military assets to try and do everything? Next thing you know the State Department might try to use diplomacy…well maybe not in this administration.

  16. Harkov311 says:

    One thing I find a bit funny is the idea that the president, even one as dumb and distracted as this one, is relying on cable news to tell him what’s important. I just wanna shake him and say “dude, there’s a whole government with multiple intelligence groups, all reporting to you. You don’t need to watch these gasbags to know what’s going on.”

    Or maybe he actually likes watching cable news. Ick.

  17. e.a.foster says:

    I would suggest Trump watches the cable shows for information because that is what he understands. Intelligence reports, etc. are given by people who use more than one syllable words and given Trump’s intellect he may not be able to understand what experts are saying to him. We have only to watch him speak in public. His grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary is lower than any number of 12 year old I know.

    If the government experts came in and present the information in simply language that could be understood by a grade 4, I’m sure the president might pay attention.

    That show, “are you smarter than a 5th grader?” My conclusion the President isn’t smarter than a 5th grader and hence his watching “dumbing down” t.v. for information.

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