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Trump Surrenders to the Foreign Policy Blob

Syria’s Assad government allegedly used chemical weapons, and the usual suspects—the ever-egregious Lindsey Graham and John McCain, of course, along with many others—are urging President Donald Trump to wage war on Damascus. Yet even if Syria is responsible for such an attack, in practice there is little that Washington can and should do.

Chemical weapons have not been Bashar al-Assad’s biggest killer: explosives and bullets are responsible for most of the deaths in Syria. Absent initiating full-scale war, Washington is likely to do little other than inconveniencing Assad while escalating against Russia, risking American lives, and wasting more of the nation’s wealth—all while making the U.S. less secure.

President Trump recently spoke an essential truth on foreign policy when he stated that American troops should come home from Syria. The Islamic State has been defeated and Washington has no business trying to overthrow Assad, dismember Syria, get between the Turks and Kurds, confront Russia and Iran, and whatever other inane quests the neocon think tanks have come up with.

However, the Blob—as the foreign policy establishment and its extensive network of analysts, pundits, and officials is known—also dominates the president’s staff. Indeed, it is not clear he has anyone working for him, at least at the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council, who is not a card-carrying member of the Blob. That means his foreign policy aides spend most of their time trying to talk him out of his most sensible ideas.

So now it’s decision time. Will Trump resist pressure to launch large-scale attacks to punish Syria for its apparent use of chemical weapons? If so, it could be the moment when “Let Trump be Trump” finally occurs.

For instance, during the campaign, candidate Trump shocked the Blob by saying that he would be happy to talk to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. It seemed like a radical idea at the time, given the potential for the planned summit to collapse ingloriously. Nevertheless, such an opening also offered the best chance of a diplomatic breakthrough with Pyongyang. The president deserves kudos for backing what no one else imagined was possible.

Whether the now-agreed-to summit will survive the rise of uber-hawks Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, who back war and regime change whenever possible, remains to be seen. But at the moment, at least, the meeting remains planned if not guaranteed.

Almost everywhere else, however, the president has surrendered to the Blob.

change_me

There were his appointments of H.R. McMaster, Pompeo, and Bolton, all hawks and all an indication that President Trump didn’t intend to follow through on candidate Trump’s broad rejection of those who had backed the Iraq war (like Bolton) and favored military intervention as a first resort. Back then, Trump even denounced “aggression” and criticized Hillary Clinton for essentially being a warmonger.

Among the president’s most consistent and long-lived positions was his criticism of allies leeching off the United States, which turned the Pentagon into an international welfare agency. During the campaign he was an equal opportunity critic. The Europeans, South Koreans, Japanese, and Saudis all came in for sharp and well-deserved barbs.

South Korea has 45 times the GDP and twice the population of the North. So why does the U.S. still garrison the peninsula? Japan has the world’s third-largest economy. If Tokyo is worked up about an aggressive North Korea and China, then why doesn’t it spend more than an anemic one percent of GDP on its military, er, “Self-Defense Force”?

The Europeans spent the entire Cold War promising to do more and then falling short. Today they have 12 times Russia’s GDP and three times Russia’s population. America should do more than pressure European nations to meet their own requirement of two percent GDP spent on defense. It should bring its own forces home and allow the Europeans to make their own decisions without interference.

The Saudis, on the other hand, spend wildly on their military, but without ever building a state that its citizens are interested in defending. Rather than helping to kill off ISIS, Riyadh launched a foolish, counterproductive, and murderous war against Yemen. Yet today it presses the U.S. to stay in Syria, threaten Iran, and protect its royal family as it revels in the abundant wealth it stole from the Saudi people.

In all these cases the president has been ill-served. His own appointees (and relatives, most notably son-in-law Jared Kushner) have consistently undermined his efforts. His complaints still occasionally receive airtime—most recently he griped about continued free-riding by South Korea and Saudi Arabia. But he never does anything in response. And Bolton and Pompeo, who never met an alliance they did not want Americans to underwrite, will do their best to further stifle the president’s best judgments.

Afghanistan was another example where the president understood the basic issue far better than did the Blob. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington was right to strike al-Qaeda and defenestrate the Taliban government. But the ensuing 16-plus years of nation-building, the bizarre attempt to build a liberal, democratic, centralized state in Central Asia, was a fantasy not worth a single American’s life. Without earning a Ph.D., President Trump understood this essential truth, and the Blob beat him to a pulp. In the end he agreed to a minimal “surge” sufficient to prevent obvious defeat on his watch but not to change the ultimate outcome. That means more Americans will die for nothing.

The same situation is playing out in Syria. A second American has died and for no reason. Even the Pentagon believes the Islamic State is 98 percent defeated. But the president’s aides would have him believe that the Assad government, Turkey, Jordan, the Gulf States, Iran, and Russia are incapable of eliminating the remaining ISIS fighters. (Alas, those forces have no incentive to do so as long as Washington is willing to do it for them.)

Trump recently went as far as to assert that America’s forces in Afghanistan will be returning home very soon. But then his aides, who obviously serve the Blob first and him second, if that, pummeled him on the importance of combatting all manner of dire threats, from Assad to Turkey, Iran, Russia, and maybe even the zombie apocalypse. Now the Greek chorus of war is demanding retaliation for Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons, which would be merely another step towards further entanglement.

Syria doesn’t matter much to the U.S. The other parties will inevitably commit more and risk more because Syria is important to them. The use of chemical weapons is atrocious, but so is the use of bullets and explosives against civilians. The Assad regime is criminal, but so are many other governments around the globe, including U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, which is prodigiously killing civilians in Yemen. Washington cannot fix Syria at any reasonable cost, if at all. The president has no plausible, let alone convincing, justification for sacrificing more American lives and wealth there.

Letting Trump be Trump was never a panacea. He is wrong on the nuclear agreement with Iran, for instance, and his musings about military action against Venezuela were bizarre at best. But the more fundamental problem is that no one is letting him be himself when he demonstrates good sense. And so he’s giving in to the Blob—perhaps his attention span lagged, he didn’t care enough to fight, or he feared overriding people in uniforms with stars on their shoulders.

Whatever the reason, for many Americans, the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has turned out to be no choice at all. A few of us harbored hopes that he at least might confront the Blob and begin to reorient U.S. foreign policy. But that was not to be.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

37 Comments (Open | Close)

37 Comments To "Trump Surrenders to the Foreign Policy Blob"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On April 11, 2018 @ 10:39 pm

Sad.

#2 Comment By Cratylus On April 12, 2018 @ 1:06 am

As usual both in the MSM and the quasi-MSM as in this piece, the economic strength of the various countries is not stated accurately. For example, Japan does not have the world’s third largest economy, as stated; it is number 5 and well behind the top four.
For this year the GDP by the PPP metric, which is the best for measurement of gross GDP internationally, is as follows beginning at the top (Drum roll here?): China (Yes, China is now number one), EU, US, India, Japan, Russia, Germany.
See: [1]
The economic world order has changed, gentlemen of TAC, and with it the hegemonic reign of the US Empire which you properly rail against without pity – or maybe used to do – has ended.
These facts are worth reiterating. Those who talk about the US as the world’s number one economy are living in the past; it is number three. China’s GDP is now number one, 125% of the US GDP and growing substantially faster.
Barring a nuclear war, it is difficult to see how these trends can be reversed – slowed perhaps, but not reversed.
Welcome, gentlemen of TAC. The new multipolar world order has arrived already. Give it a hearty hello, maybe even a polite bow.

#3 Comment By Emil Bogdan On April 12, 2018 @ 1:13 am

You don’t need the Blob, Trump sees videos of crying children and he takes action. You don’t believe this?

There’s no one more pro-Putin than Trump in Washington’s power corridors, but he just threatened Putin. This is Trump being Trump.

Even without any Blob in the room, only the military commanders, you would still have a very hard time convincing Trump to be the president who pulls out of Afghanistan and bears “obvious defeat on his watch but not to change the ultimate outcome. That means more Americans will die for nothing.”

Trump, like many others, is perfectly happy having a few Americans die for nothing except his reputation.

The Blob is real but you’re not attributing enough agency to Trump. This error leads you to believe he’s the same as Hillary Clinton.

In the sense that Hillary Clinton may not be a demon walking the Earth but a pretty average American, patriotic and nationalistic, who wants to employ and expand American power and prestige, as well as personal power and prestige–who’s immune from that?–Trump is indeed a lot like her, he’s a minimally qualified American holding the reins of power. But this isn’t news.

#4 Comment By Realist On April 12, 2018 @ 3:29 am

“The choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has turned out to be no choice at all.”

So sad and true.

#5 Comment By polistra On April 12, 2018 @ 3:45 am

Surrender? Nah. If he actually wanted a more peaceful world, he could fire all of these people in an instant and appoint sane adults. Instead, he has fired the few remaining adults and brought in more psychopaths. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

#6 Comment By Phil On April 12, 2018 @ 6:10 am

“After the 9/11 attacks, Washington was right to strike al-Qaeda and defenestrate the Taliban government.”

WRONG. America had no moral or legal right to attack and invade Afghanistan. Zero. Zip. Nada. None. The official 9-11 story is horsesh*t. Israel’s Mossad did 9-11. The Zionist madmen who rule that country and commit false-flag acts of terror (to advance their “greater Israel” agenda) against their number one benefactor and supporter needed to be defenstrated!

#7 Comment By Dieter Heymann On April 12, 2018 @ 7:13 am

Why are you always constructing excuses for a man who has declared to always hit back twice as hard when hit?

#8 Comment By Fred On April 12, 2018 @ 7:21 am

So the president cannot stand up to his minions on this issue. Whose fault is that?

#9 Comment By Saul Goodman On April 12, 2018 @ 9:03 am

Yes. “Turned out.”

It’s not like people, including writers for this very publication, were able to identify very early on by observing both Trump’s personality and statements that there was a 100 percent chance of he was going to have a hawkish foreign policy.

But Trump, a known serial liar and salesman, said some stuff during an election to exploit his opponent’s record and a bunch of really stupid believed him.

So yeah. Weird how it “turned out” that he was always the thing that people who paid attention knew he was.

The propensity for people to think that, of all people, Donald Trump had studied history, international relations and diplomacy enough to have a genuine original thought on U.S. foreign policy or to fight “the Blob” says so much about their willingness to be deceived.

#10 Comment By Mark Thomason On April 12, 2018 @ 9:03 am

“criticized Hillary Clinton for essentially being a warmonger”

She was and is. The Blob was hers. Republicans from the Bush Admin had gone over to her. That is not so shocking, because many started out as Democrats, of the Scoop Jackson variety.

What was surprising was first that Obama handed over wars to Her, and then that Trump handed over wars to Hers, despite all that he said about them. It is a measure of the grip of The Blob that Presidents don’t matter, Obama nor Trump.

#11 Comment By ep On April 12, 2018 @ 9:13 am

Germany’s GDP bigger than Russia, but not by much – $4.15 trillion vs $4.0 trillion. (CIA Fact Book)

#12 Comment By pohzzer On April 12, 2018 @ 9:39 am

“Among the president’s most consistent and long-lived positions was his criticism of allies leeching off the United States, which turned the Pentagon into an international welfare agency. ”

What a steaming pile of self serving weasel spit.

The only ‘international welfare agency’ at work is the WAR enforced petro-dollar/reserve currency forcing the rest of the world into financing the U.S. war machine.

And of course NO mention of the utter criminal mass murdering illegality of U.S. CIA/military actions across the world over the last 40 years and more including what it’s done andis doing in Syria – like the Russian exposed U.S. bombing of the desert while 1000 tanker ISIS convoys transported Syrian oil into Turkey.

The CATO institute is a globalist owned and operated institution.

#13 Comment By bozhidar balkas On April 12, 2018 @ 9:40 am

Many, most, or all of the CW attacks in Syria came after US promises the rebels it will punish only one side for all of them.
Most or all of these CW attacks came after severe losses by the rebels.

#14 Comment By KD On April 12, 2018 @ 9:55 am

To paraphrase another, I’d rather have foreign policy made by the first 10 people in the Manhattan phone book than our Washington foreign policy “experts”.

#15 Comment By Jon in Maine On April 12, 2018 @ 11:08 am

The alleged gas attack is puzzling given that Trump had talked about pulling out. Why then would Assad commit the one thing that would give the US the excuse to stay? Given that Syria is basically a proxy war between Israel and Iran with Russia supporting Iran in order to gain influence in the region, it makes me wonder if Israel really conducted this attack (either on its own or at the urging of the Blob) in order to keep the US in the conflict.

#16 Comment By b. On April 12, 2018 @ 11:35 am

“South Korea has 45 times the GDP and twice the population of the North. So why does the U.S. still garrison the peninsula? If Tokyo is worked up about an aggressive North Korea and China, then why doesn’t it spend more than an anemic one percent of GDP on its military, er, ‘Self-Defense Force’?”

Please.

We would have to be as gullible as Trump to believe for a second that the US would let go of bases in South Korea and Okinawa – and Germany, and Afghanistan, and Iraq. The US remains in those nation, and in the case of more recent acquisition, invaded in the first place as part of its global campaign to retain and extend control over China and Russia.

“[T]he president’s aides would have him believe that the Assad government, Turkey, Jordan, the Gulf States, Iran, and Russia are incapable of eliminating the remaining ISIS fighters. Alas, those forces have no incentive to do so as long as Washington is willing to do it for them.”

It would be fair so say that the US military presence in Syria was singularly ineffective in its “fight against ISIS” until Assad’s allies began to fight whichever rebels threaten the Assad government the most. The “allies”, Turkey and Sunni Arab states, were more likely to support ISIS than fight it. At this point, a US withdrawal would probably necessary for Syrian government forces and their Russian private military contractors to regain control of the remaining ISIS-held territories – which are of much less importance than the areas held by other rebel, including those backed by military units from Turkey and fought by Kurds and Syrian government forces alike.

The US is spending and borrowing itself to defeat and decline by choice, a war profiteering blood mill running on automatic while careerists inside the think “tank” and out are following their solemn commitment to protect and uphold the “liberal war order”. Just like Trump could fire his personal coterie of warmongers tomorrow, the US could withdraw from its overseas bases and no longer deal with “inconvenient” allies. But that is not what this is about.

Regime change begins at home.

#17 Comment By Kurt Gayle On April 12, 2018 @ 11:57 am

Doug Bandow correctly states that the “Blob…dominates the president’s staff. Indeed, it is not clear he has anyone working for him, at least at the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council, who is not a card-carrying member of the Blob. That means his foreign policy aides spend most of their time trying to talk him out of his most sensible ideas.”

A version of this same Blob-dominated situation existed a year ago when — in response to allegations that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons — the President’s inner national security circle argued in favour of a US military response against Syria.

At the mid-morning, April 4, 2017, full briefing at the White House to decide what (if any) action to take, “[Steve Bannon] was the only voice arguing against a military response…”

At that meeting Trump was “drawn to Bannon’s strategic view: Why do anything, if you don’t have to? Or, why would you do something that doesn’t actually get you anything?” (“Fire and Fury – Inside the White House,” Michael Wolff, p-190)

Of course, regrettably, President Trump was eventually persuaded to launch a limited, one-off, Cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base.

However, here we are, a year later and – even with war-mongers Bolton and Pompeo advising him – President Trump has thus far resisted another foolish military attack on Syria.

#18 Comment By PAX On April 12, 2018 @ 12:11 pm

[2]
Try Phil on for size? He is the best and greatly missed.

#19 Comment By Don Wiley On April 12, 2018 @ 12:28 pm

Given the choice between Clinton and Trump today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, every day, I vote for Trump. SCOTUS was in the balance and that made the pain of holding the nose bearable for many.

#20 Comment By EarlyBird On April 12, 2018 @ 2:04 pm

Great analysis of the Blob, but the analysis of Trump’s policy and vision fails as does any other such analysis, given that Trump has neither policy or vision. He only says or does what he needs to do in the moment to feel like the Big Man on Campus. He said the right things about staying out of stupid wars during the campaign because it served that immediate need and nothing more. He’d bomb Connecticut if it filled the hole in his soul.

His advisors from the Blob, and every other member of the Washington Swamp, not to mention Putin, can see right through this sad, insecure fool, and uses his ego to manipulate him. They flatter him and tell him he’ll look weak if he does or fails to do X, and that’s what he does or doesn’t do, on that basis.

#21 Comment By jk On April 12, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

“Glad our arrogant Pres. is enjoying his taxpayer funded golf outing after announcing the US should take military action against Syria”

-Sean Hannity

There is a twist to this though, it was published 3 Sep 2013.

[3]

A few more hours until waking up to tweets from Trump contradicting his current opinions two to five years ago.

#22 Comment By Oleg Gark On April 12, 2018 @ 3:30 pm

So what did we learn this week? Israeli influence on American politics will inevitably lead to WW3. And there’s nothing American voters can do about it.

#23 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On April 12, 2018 @ 4:03 pm

For the first time since he came down the escalator to announce his campaign, I’m seriously p-ssed off at Trump. Does he really the 2020 primary nomination is in the bag? If Rand Paul can bring himself to question PC on immigration, he can make a real run for it.

#24 Comment By Rossbach On April 12, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

Trump’s re-election campaign should be simple. He can just focus on the 1 or 2 campaign promises that he actually kept, if there are any by that time.

#25 Comment By Daniel On April 12, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

Trump only has himself to blame for hiring such dreadful people. As for Assad, why must everyone pretend he is a bad guy? What would Trump do if he was on Assad’s shoes? If he had to fight Islamic “rebels” who were powerful enough to threaten DC? We all know he would make Assad look like Richard Simmons upset w someone for failing to eat right

#26 Comment By EliteCommInc. On April 12, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

Of course, this is an unfortunate turn of events. But when there was a chance for more prudent adviser in Sec. Tillerson, he was castigated from day one relentlessly.

Before he even had time to settle in the would be experts piled on . . . they didn’t challenge policy they challenged the man. And they did so without a pause.

So now the stage is set for a more robust team. And by all accounts far less prudent. Two apparently already priming for a Presidential bid. I would have liked to see what a settled in Sec. Tillerson could do.

Well many clamored for a change and they got it.

Hmmmm . . . no, we don’t have Sec Clinton in male form. I joke about that but in all seriousness we would have been in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Yemen, more in Afghanistan . . . and who knows maybe Great Britain a year and a half ago.

As it is all of the hoopla and caterwauling actually pushed things back and that as it turns out is a positive.

#27 Comment By Ray Joseph Cormier On April 12, 2018 @ 5:20 pm

Whether it’s called the Blob, Deep State, Republican, Democrat or Trumpian, it is still pulling the strings behind the
Republican/Democrat/Trumpian facade.

We know this from US General Wesley Clark blowing the whistle in 2007 on US WAR PLANS brought out in 2001, just WEEKS after 9/11/ to change the regimes of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and at THE END, Iran.

Republican Bush did Iraq in 2003. Democrat Obama did Libya and started the regime change in Syria in 2011, The US WAR PLAN was winning until the Russians entered the Syrian WORLD WAR 4 years later in 2011, stopping the 2001 US WAR PLAN from proceeding.
With the Trump/Bolton/Pompeo AXIS OF WAR now in place, be aware the US is still prosecuting that 2001 US WAR PLAN to THE END, making it known Iran is now in the cross-hairs.

Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger
By Ashton B. Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow

IMAGINING THE TRANSFORMING EVENT

In December 1998, Former US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, US Undersecretary of Defence John Deutch and Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, colluded to write this in Foreign Affairs Journal,

A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either further terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks.

I find it curious it happened just like that 3 years later, and one of the Authors was able to control what information the 9/11 Commission was able to see?

#28 Comment By Ray Joseph Cormier On April 12, 2018 @ 5:25 pm

Whether it’s called the Blob, Deep State, Republican, Democrat or Trumpian, it is still pulling the strings behind the
Republican/Democrat/Trumpian facade.

We know this from US General Wesley Clark blowing the whistle in 2007, on US WAR PLANS brought out in 2001, just WEEKS after 9/11, to change the regimes of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and at THE END, Iran.

Republican Bush did Iraq in 2003. Democrat Obama did Libya and started the regime change in Syria in 2011. The US WAR PLAN was winning until the Russians entered the Syrian WORLD WAR 4 years later in 2015, stopping the 2001 US WAR PLAN from proceeding.
With the Trump/Bolton/Pompeo AXIS OF WAR now in place, be aware the US is still prosecuting that 2001 US WAR PLAN to THE END, making it known Iran is now in the cross-hairs.

Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger
By Ashton B. Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow

IMAGINING THE TRANSFORMING EVENT

In December 1998, Former US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, US Undersecretary of Defence John Deutch and Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, colluded to write this in Foreign Affairs Journal,

A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either further terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks.

I find it curious it happened just like that 3 years later, and one of the Authors was able to control what information the 9/11 Commission was able to see?

#29 Comment By Moone Boy On April 12, 2018 @ 6:01 pm

It’s flippant of course, but looking at that line-up in the illustration, all I can think of is:
What’s Yosemite Sam, Cruella deVille, and Alex Jones doing here?

#30 Comment By Dave Sullivan On April 12, 2018 @ 6:25 pm

Trump apologist columns come in two types…trump as victim…..and, but, Hillary,….good job, got em both.

#31 Comment By Emil Bogdan On April 12, 2018 @ 6:34 pm

I hope Trump isn’t impeached. The man is a national treasure by now, but it looks like he might be impeached.

I prefer Trump, as long as he keeps staying mostly harmless, to President Pence, the spider in waiting. He might end up looking like the smartest man in Washington, and many Democrats are trying to make it happen. I rarely tell them anymore, I’ve given up, it’s embarrassing. Let Pence be president, then.

Right now, Donald Trump is the president, and as long as that’s the case, I can only wish him good health and a reasonably adequate, non-devastating, half-decent presidency, for the good of the country.

Pence’s best friends are a slew of people frothing about Donald Trump. But his true best friend is Donald Trump.

If Trump is impeached or resigns, President Pence will make a speech to pacify us all. Liberal impeachers will stare blankly at the new President, having just ended their supposedly worst nightmare, sitting there, left with no room to be disloyal, no cause to be immediately unhappy. There will be a swift return to good order, until that undermines itself again and makes new Trumps.

But who knows when that will be? We’re kind of lucky to have this one, right now, he’s not so bad.

One big problem is Trump’s sordid past behavior and illegal deeds. Personally, I don’t obsess over it because apparently it doesn’t matter to most other people, either, but he’s done some nasty stuff.

People can be extraordinarily merciful and forgiving, we overlook a lot, as long as we mostly agree on core issues. Then we have extraordinary mercy. Being so forgiving, is it wrong? I don’t think so.

But if Trump doesn’t deliver, then the mercifulness is a lot less generous. And he is finding less and less mercy.

That too seems fairly reasonable, or at least there’s clean logic to it. No more extraordinary mercy, not when you don’t deliver for me.

It’s totally selfish, but it’s what we tend to do, on all sides. That’s why I don’t mind supporting Trump regardless of what he delivers–almost. I try to have a lot of extra-mercy, which probably stems from the humility his victory created. I learned to grant him mercy on credit.

I might as well work on developing it. Every American president WILL kill lots of people, so there’s a lot more forgiveness to come. Bernie will too, he’ll kill them. You have to kill them, sometimes, don’t you?

The killing, the incompetence, the betrayal of declared principles, it never ends. Mercy is a good response.

#32 Comment By jk On April 12, 2018 @ 6:55 pm

Isn’t the Blob another name for the MIC?

#33 Comment By Some Wag On April 12, 2018 @ 7:44 pm

Trump is completely different from Hillary Clinton, it’s quite obvious how; and there’s no danger whatsoever of an expanded US ground war in Syria against Russian interests. We’ve already had US troops and Russian troops in direct conflict there and the result was not a wider war. It was merely an experiment, the results were observed and noted, the bodies and machines cleaned up and the reporting obfuscated.

#34 Comment By SteveK9 On April 12, 2018 @ 8:41 pm

‘Even if Syria is responsible for this attack’. I’m sorry but one has to have lost the ability for rational thought to believe that for a minute. Just how ‘fake’ does it have to get??

One of the more amusing (if anything about this can be amusing) I’ve read is this paraphrase of Sun Tzu in the Art of War.

‘When your enemy is nearly defeated, and final victory is at hand, gas you own people so that nations greater than yours will intervene and destroy you’.

#35 Comment By blackhorse On April 12, 2018 @ 9:00 pm

Surprise, surprise. The one salient difference being that Trump is totally impulsive.

#36 Comment By balconesfault On April 13, 2018 @ 1:01 am

@Realist
>>>“The choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has turned out to be no choice at all.”<<<

“So sad and true.”

No, not true. Hillary is flawed, but she’s a multi-lateralist. She wouldn’t be conducting foreign policy by Twitter, and she wouldn’t be conducting military operations without having a big huddle with a group of allies first.

Trump requires one persons opinion before he authorizes military strikes. His own.

@Dave Sullivan Trump apologist columns come in two types…trump as victim…..and, but, Hillary,….good job, got em both.

Yep.

#37 Comment By gus On April 13, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

“China (Yes, China is now number one), EU, US, India, Japan, Russia, Germany.”

This makes me curious how they decided this. Is Germany not part of the EU?