Friday, April 7, 2017

Trump Just Doubled Our Risk of Immediate Nuclear War

NOTE: This sentence from today's Washington Post confirms my conclusion that bombing Assad's airport was a nothing in terms of inconvenience to Assad:  "Residents of the Syrian town devastated by a chemical-weapons attack last week said that warplanes had returned to bomb them Saturday as Turkey described a retaliatory U.S. assault as 'cosmetic' unless it removed President Bashar al-Assad from power."Warplanes return to Syrian town devastated by chemical attack

Trump's bombing in Syria this week was likely no more than an attempt to distract the media and public attention from his failing administration and from the multiple investigations of his possible collusion with Russians to interfere with our election. As a distraction, the ploy is succesful. Nothing succeeds as a rallying cry like, "Let's bomb the bastards!" 

But Trump is playing with fire. Nuclear fire!

With North Korea kicking up a predictable tantrum to impress our new sort-of-president and Trump unwilling or unable to coordinate with China on restraining North Korea's growing nuclear weaponry, we were already at risk of nuclear war.

Now Trump has doubled the risk that we shall all perish in a nuclear holocaust.

He did this by bombing that Syrian air base in retaliation for Syria's Assad attacking babies and other innocents with poison gas.

Gosh, didn't Mr. Trump ever hear that "war is hell"? Why is a man of 70 surprised that babies and children suffer in war. Doesn't he remember the little girl running down the road in Vietnam, screaming because her clothes are aflame?

In January he unreasonably barred all Syrian refugees from fleeing to the safety of America. But now he's all weepy about "the little babies". Yet he bragged during the campaign about how he would kill the families of terrorists and "carpet-bomb" Syria. Has he really changed his tune? Some commentator suggested that this horrible incident may have "sincerely touched Trump and changed him."


Trump is a phony and grossly incompetent. He has a memory as long as a shoelace. If he has been touched, it won't last. He is a rudderless boat. He remains extremely dangerous and ignorant. Dangerous because of his stubborn ignorance. I'll bet the farm he wasn't awakened at all to the truth that ALL war is bad for babies and children and everybody.

But let's suppose he's genuinely shocked by the pictures of the dying children. There was another approach to the problem of Assad using chemical weapons. It's one that worked when he did this before. President Obama and Secretary of State cleverly maneuvered Russia into taking charge of Syria's chemical weapons, even to transporting them out of Syria.

What Trump doesn't see now is that Syria is doing exactly what North Korea is doing: testing America under its new "leadership".

Bombing the Syria air base was a stupid response, one that is painless for Assad and the Russians. A couple of bulldozers and some asphalt will put the airport to rights for Assad. And what do the Russians care about Assad's airport?

Nothing! Russia cares nothing about Assad's airport.

Russia cares about economic sanctions on Russia!

Get it through your head, Trump! Russia's economy is in desperate trouble, threatening the chances of Putin surviving in power.

You want to control Putin so that he controls Assad? To grab him by the you-know-whatzis, grab him by Russia's wallet. Squeeze his already pathetic trade with more American sanctions.

Instead of doing something smart like this, you have stepped in the doo-doo. I shouldn't use that kind of language; this is deeply serious stuff.  You have raised the risk of one of our pilots shooting down a Russian pilot over Syria. Or vice-versa.

Then what?

Russia has now announced it is abandoning the air-space agreement we had to keep such a confrontation from happening and escalating. Are we now headed into a sequel:  "Dr. Strangelove, Part 2: Our President Went a Little Funny in His Head"?

I am not alone in my assessment of the risk that Trump has now imposed:

"In response to the U.S. strike, the Kremlin announced that it was suspending a military agreement meant to 'deconflict' Russian and U.S. warplanes in the skies above Syria. That portends making a catastrophic accident more likely: the collision of U.S. and Russian planes in Syrian airspace would do far more to damage relations and incite tensions than Thursday’s action." The U.S. Air Strike in Syria: First Thoughts - The New Yorker

Mr. Trump, you sneered at Obama because he adopted a restrained stance regarding Syria. Obama was intelligent. You are not. Obama understood that there are five or more factions at war in Syria: Issis, al Queda, non-crazy Syrians, Assad, and the Russians. Back of these are Iran and Turkey. To actively fight the terrorist factions, logically we would have to ally ourselves with non-crazy Syrians. But do they even exist any more as a viable force? And you certainlydon't want to ally with the MUslim terrorist forces, right? If not, that leaves only Assad and Russia as an option for alliance. Is that what you want to do? If so, how can you ally with someone who is so wicked as to gas babies? .... Hey, isn't that where we just came in!

Syria's a mess, Mr. Trump. There's no easy answers. You have to accept that fact. Syria's even harder to do than health care insurance! Of that legislative challenge, you said "Nobody knew it was so complicated." Not true. Everybody but you and your cheerleaders knew that the health care issue is very complicated, and everybody but you and your bunch knows that about Syria.

Life is complicated, Mr. Trump. It takes grown-ups to help us thread our way through these big problems. Find some grown-ups, Mr. Trump. You are not a grown-up,  so get some! Dump that baby brat, Steve Bannon and his pal Steve, Jr.

And please, please, don't solve the problems by simply calling in just military guys to advise you. They are grown-ups in some ways and probably nice guys, but they always have only one solution: Kill 'em! President George W listened to them with regret and went all the way on Iraq. His father stopped listening when he'd done the limited thing of driving Iraq out of Kuwait. President Johnson listened to the military and got us into Vietnam big time and then more and then more....  JFK enraged the military and the CIA by rejecting their urging that he bomb Cuba when we discovered the missiles there. Harry Truman fired the adored WWII hero General Douglas MacArthur when MacArthur insisted he was going to invade China in order to crush the North Koreans. HST didn't want a war with China. He was also upholding civilian control of the military.

Well, now we've come full circle — back to North Korea. You'd better get busy on the phone, Trump, calling President Obama and asking him what to do now with Syria and North Korea. After all he kept us out of war with each of them but also managed to restrain them.

You better learn how to do the same.

And do it damn quick!

Call him!

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