Crisis Averted

Two weeks ago, President Trump lobbed 50 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airstrip. The strike came out of nowhere. Literally. It was so shocking that nobody expected it.

Here was the president and First Lady at Mar-a-Lago, hosting the Chinese premier and his lovely wife and then *BAM!* it’s raining missiles in the Middle East. Everybody was caught unawares, myself included.

My first thought was “wow! this guy means business”. My second thought was that he’s unpredictable. From a Macchiavellian view, both are tremendously useful. With one fell swoop, Trump erased eight years of Obama’s dithering and put the fear of God into America’s enemies. There’s no doubt that the main audience for this demonstration of force was China. Since then, that country has mobilized its forces –to the tune of 175,000 men–on the North Korean border. A pretty good return on investment if you ask me.

My third thought was more troubling however: was the Trump Train being retrofitted into the Baghdad Express? Didn’t we learn the lesson of further destabilizing the Middle East as we did in Iraq and Libya? Equally worrisome was the fear that the nationalist/populist Steve Bannon being replaced by the internationalist/New Yorker Jared Kushner.

If so, not a good sign. You could say that that would be the opposite of any silver lining to this action.

It was especially worrisome because news stories had been leaking out that Bannon was on his way out and Kushner’s star was rising. Worse, Goldman-Sachs types like “Globalist” Gary Cohn were making themselves known. KT McFarland was being eased out of the NSC and given a nothingburger job as Ambassador to Singapore. And then there was the curious case of Lt Gen (ret) H R McMaster. Surely a competent guy but he removed Bannon from the inner workings of the NSC. Worse, he was roundly endorsed by Bill Kristol, one of the evil Neocon masterminds behinds the Iraq war.

Not good. For me, Kristol’s only purpose in life is to serve as a bell-weather as to what is wrong. If Kristol tells you “X” is a good idea, immediately, without thinking, do “Y”. That’s how incredibly bad his judgment is. His only purpose in life is to make sure American soldiers die in the sands of Araby for the furtherance of the Likud Party. At least, it bloody well looks that way.

So yeah, I was worried. But I made myself a promise to withhold any further commentary until a week had passed. Certainly I didn’t think that Holy Week would be the occasion for political commentary and/or strategic infighting. I’m rather glad I did.

The night of the strike, I was on the phone with a couple of my correspondents and their concerns were mine. Assad’s a brutal thug, of this there can be no doubt, but brutal as he is, he was the only thing standing between ISIS and Christian genocide. Trump knows that. So do the Neocons, but they don’t care. For them a dead Arab is a dead Arab and the destruction of Syria is a net good.

So why did he do it? Trump is certainly no Neocon.

As I told my friends, it was a “one-off”. That’s what my gut told me. Was there an element of wishful thinking involved in making this assessment? Yes, probably. But I also “know” Trump. He took incredible risks during the primaries castigating George W Bush. He knew the risks of pulling his train into Beghazi Station. And he knew that the AltRight would start calling him George W Trump. As a meme that would destroy his presidency.

If we know anything about Trump, it’s that he takes risks. As a master strategist, he’s not averse to high risks, if they pay off, it’s high reward; if they fail, they blow up in your face. He knows that.

So far, the rewards have far outweighed the risks. For one thing, it destroyed the false Russian Hacking Narrative. There’s no way that anybody could now say that Trump was Putin’s puppet. In less than 15 minutes, the entire anti-Trump scenario collapsed faster than you can say “Jackie Robinson”. That alone was worth it. Now the Democrats have nothing –absolutely nothing–to use against Trump. Oh sure, the strike was illegal and unconstitutional but since when does the globalist left care about trivialities like this? They folded like a prom dress in no time flat. That very night the Establishment wing of the Democratic Party (the only part that matters) started singing praises and so far, they haven’t let up.