Never betray your friends to court the favor of your enemies. If you betray your friends, the most principled and perceptive among them will drop you, leaving only the delusional and venal. That is not a good trade, given that the approval you gain is bound to be fleeting and contingent, whereas the contempt and distrust you create will be permanent. The people you betrayed may come back to you out of sentimentality or self-interest, but their trust and respect will never return. They will always regard you as a traitor.
Why is such a simple lesson so hard for politicians to understand?
Donald Trump’s dizzying about-face on Syria has won the temporary applause of his enemies, but he has forever lost the respect of his most ardent supporters on the Alt Right, the people who actually believe in and defend his nationalist-populist message, including his America First foreign policy.
I thought Trump’s willingness to fight a two-front war against the Democrats and his own party was sufficient proof that he was sincere about his America First foreign policy. But he ditched it at its first real test.
I no longer trust Donald Trump.
But it is worse than that. I no longer like or respect Trump either. Trump didn’t just betray us. He betrayed us over something utterly stupid. We’ve seen this all before. We’ve seen pictures of dead or injured Syrian children on CNN (although not the victims of US-backed forces). We’ve heard stories of Assad “gassing his own people.” We’ve seen the same vulgar emotional manipulation and ginned-up storms of social signaling. We’ve been asked to start wars based on what some little Syrian Anne Frank allegedly says on Twitter. We know that the press, politicians, and intelligence agencies behind this are trying to topple Assad. We know that they are liars, because they are the same people who lied to get us into the Iraq War. And Trump has seen it all too. He knew better. We know he knew better, because of a long history of Tweets about Syria, which now make him look like a feckless hypocrite. So for him to fall for the warmongers this time frankly makes me question his intelligence, his character, even his sanity.
Beyond that, attacking Assad exacerbates our problems. We want Assad to win this war. We want him to destroy ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups. We want peace and stability in Syria, so we can send millions of refugees back home, whether they want to go or not. And we certainly do not want heightened tensions with Russia.
Furthermore, Trump’s intervention in Syria is now being used as an argument to admit more Syrian refugees.
Then, there’s the little problem that Trump’s strike was unconstitutional. Wouldn’t it be poetic if Trump gave the establishment the Syrian war they have been trying to start for years — as well as grounds for impeaching him before he manages to slip up and do something good for America?
Finally, why are we even debating retaliations for atrocities committed by Syrians in Syria? Obviously, because no matter what side you come down on, Jews and Israel benefit. They benefit when we actually promote chaos and regime change in Syria. And they benefit even if we end up doing nothing, simply because we not debating, say, retaliating for atrocities committed against whites by Muslims all over Europe, or against whites by blacks in South Africa, or against whites by mestizo invaders in America. Let’s debate regime change in South Africa or Germany or Sweden or Mexico, shall we?
Or better yet, why not focus on America First? Trump has his work cut out for him effecting regime change in Washington, DC.
Some have suggested that Trump changed his Syrian policy out of Machiavellian calculations:
- To impress/intimidate the President of China, who was dining with him in Florida
- To impress/intimidate Putin, to make him more tractable in future negotiations
- To undermine the “Trump is beholden to Putin/the Russians ‘hacked’ the election” narrative that Democrats have been pushing because they are incapable of taking responsibility for Hillary Clinton’s disastrous candidacy
- To placate Jewish warmongers and their lapdogs like McCain, Rubio, and Graham, as well as their chorus of media shills
- To get his faltering Presidency back on track by doing something popular with the establishment that opposes him
- To convince the world that he is a dangerous madman, to make other powers more tractable to US designs
We are also told that the ineffectual nature of the strike was actually part of the plan. The Syrians and Russians were forewarned, expensive equipment was removed, etc. Missiles were allegedly deactivated in flight. (Certainly more comforting than believing that Russian technology shot a lot of them down.) Trump does not want to actually harm Assad. There was no risk of escalation with Russia or Iran. Trump just wants to do one or all of the above.
Frankly, I’m not buying it. None of these theories are half as clever as purported.
- Russia and China would not be impressed or intimidated by a mere expensive fireworks display that risked nothing. But if Trump tried to hurt Assad and failed, that is hardly impressive or intimidating either, and saving face would require escalation, perhaps into outright war.
- If Trump warned the Russians and Syrians and did nothing to hurt Assad, it would support, not undermine, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. It is a meme that the Democrats would rather court nuclear war than take responsibility for their own failure. If Trump actually tried to hurt Assad and risked real escalation with Russia, one has to ask: Is it worth a nuclear war to shut these people’s lying mouths? Trump would have to be mad to think so.
- If the establishment can get Trump to do its bidding by blocking his policies, it will only continue to stymie Trump until more Danegeld is extorted. Trump surely knows better. It is far too early to declare Trump’s administration a failure. Realistically, I expected him to be stymied by liberals and cucks for a full two years, until the 2018 elections. Trump was never deterred by bad press. How many times was he declared finished in the primaries and election? He didn’t listen before, so why would he start now?
- Trump has already convinced a significant percentage of the world that he is a dangerous madman. But the Syria pivot does not support that perception. It supports the conclusion that he is a mercurial, hypocritical buffoon who cannot be trusted to maintain his most basic promises. How, exactly, does that make him a more formidable negotiator?
The most plausible explanation for the Syria pivot comes from Seventh Son at The Daily Shoah (Episode #145). When Trump was asked about the gas attack by a reporter at the news conference with King Abdullah of Jordan, he saw it as an opportunity for abusing Obama as a weak little girl for declaring a red line in Syria and then backing down when Assad crossed it rather than acting decisively. When asked if this attack crossed any red lines for him, Trump of course had to agree and amplify, lest he too be a weak little girl like Obama.