Special Opinion to the Mirror by Paul Plante
Those who don’t know history are fools and those who make them their leaders and then follow them are even bigger fools, and we are privileged to be living in a time when that story is playing out all around us on the world stage, where the con-man, that being United States President and seemingly World-Class moron Donald J. Trump, the “Let’s Do A Deal Dude” who is running this country like it was a shady bidness in some third-world ****hole, has inflicted FIRE AND FURY (a very tired and hackneyed phrase these days) on Bashar Assad of Syria.
Except he didn’t, and the only ones who believe that crap spew that he did are the incurably incredulous in this country who watched the fireworks on TV and said to themselves “WOW, HOLEY MOLEY, ZOUNDS, LOOK AT THAT TRUMP PUTTING A REAL GOOD ***-WHUPPING ON THAT BASHER DUDE IN SYRIA WHO IS KILLING THE MERCENARIES WE HAVE OVER THERE TRYING TO OVERTHROW HIM!”
Except he didn’t.
Look at what Kenneth M. Pollack, a former CIA analyst and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute has to say about it in the Washington Post article “Trump’s strikes on Syria risk retaliation, escalation in a war he wants to avoid” by Paul Sonne on 14 April 2018, as follows:
The allure of such strikes, Pollack said, is that they are “feel-good military operations,” which make the American public think they have done something to help Syrians.
“No we didn’t,” Pollack said.
There is where the appellation of the “Con-Man” comes in here, because people, this whole “FIRE AND FURY” charade is a SCAM, on us.
Those were empty building that Trump and his buddies “Terrible Theresa” May of England, and Macron over in France inflicted all that “FIRE AND FURY” on.
According to news reports, the French got on the telly with “Pooty” over in Russia days before the “FIRE AND FURY” actually came to work out what targets it was okay to hit, to make Trump look tough to the gullible Americans, who will believe anything, and usually do, while not upsetting the Russians.
Consider the Reuters article “US, British, French air strikes target Syrian chemical capabilities” by Steve Holland and Phil Stewart on 14 April 2018, where U.S. President Donald Trump told the universe that the three allies had “marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality” (what a great TWEET that made for), on that subject, as follows:
The sites that were targeted had been evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russia, the official said.
French Defence Minister Florence Parly said the Russians “were warned beforehand” to avoid inadvertant escalation.
We just bombed the **** out of a bunch of empty buildings, people!
That wasn’t “FIRE AND FURY!”
It was an empty spectacle.
So much for the Three Stooges “marshaling their righteous power against barbarism and brutality,”
In the meantime, as has been pointed out to those of us in this country who still possess working memories that can assimilate far more than 180-character at a time by retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War in the Washington Post article “Trump’s strikes on Syria risk retaliation, escalation in a war he wants to avoid” by Paul Sonne on 14 April 2018, the Con-Man has put himself, and this nation, and all of us in it, into a new game that he is entering into completely blind:
“Given the linkage between Russia, Iran and Assad, an attack that we would consider limited and precise might be misconstrued by one or more of those three parties and justify from their perspective a retaliatory strike,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War.
“Then what do we do?”
And the answer is, Trump don’t know, and Trump doesn’t have a clue, because Trump thinks he is in control here, when he doesn’t even have a clue as to what is really going on, anywhere, starting in his own Oval Office.
He does control “FIRE AND FURY,” afterall, at least in his own mind, and with Trump, that is all that matters to him – that he know he is the righteous one here, not Bashar Assad.
So what is this about the Con-Man’s “comeuppance,” then?
Well, let’s go back to the Reuters article “US, British, French air strikes target Syrian chemical capabilities” by Steve Holland and Phil Stewart on 14 April 2018, where we find as follows:
Syria released video of President Bashar al-Assad, whose Russian- and Iranian-backed forces have already driven his enemies from Syria’s major towns and cities, arriving at work as usual, with the caption “morning of resilience.”
“HO ******* HUM,” says Bashar as he makes his way to work as usual after the terrible ***-whupping the gullible people in this country think Trump inflicted on him.
And here, people, is where the lessons of history come in – specifically, our own, first with respect to Korea in 1950, where we totally miscalculated what the Chinese and Mao Tse Tung would do if MacArthur drove his American forces to the Yalu, and then again in Viet Nam, where we totally miscalculated what Ho Chi Minh (“He Who Enlightens,” for those who are interested in history) and Giap would do if we started bombing the north.
By going to work as usual after Trump crowing about marshaling his “righteous power against barbarism and brutality,” Assad has stolen a march on Trump with a goodly part of the world that really doesn’t like to be pushed around by ignorant bullies in Washington, D.C.
Some time back, when Trump was trying to bully “The Penguin” over in North Korea, Trump’s COMMISSAR OF FIRE AND FURY James “Mad Dawg” Mattis went to Fort Bragg, home of the 82d Airborne Division, and he recommended that the troops read T.R. Fehrenbach’s military classic “This Kind of War: A Study in Unpreparedness,” first published in 1963, telling them, “Knowing what went wrong the last time around is as important as knowing your own testing, so that you’re forewarned – you know what I’m driving at here,” as soldiers listened in silence.
When I read of “Mad Dawg” Mattis, a famed Marine general, making that recommendation to the troops, I immediately got a copy for myself and read it from cover to cover, absorbing it in the detail Trump so obviously has missed.
The other key history that is relevant right now is David Halberstam’s “The Best and the Brightest,” a story of how a series of miscalculations by the fools in Washington, D.C., including FDR and Harry S. Truman and JFK and LBJ starting during WWII when FDR handed Korea to the Russians, then mired us first in a conflict in Korea with Communist China, a conflict which served to make Communist China a military world-power shown to the world as being capable of beating the vaunted United States to a standstill in Korea, despite all of our bombs, and missiles and planes and air power and industrial capacity that the Chinese did not have, and then again in Viet Nam.
And now, Trump is doing the same thing in the Middle East.
Going back to the Washington Post article “Trump’s strikes on Syria risk retaliation, escalation in a war he wants to avoid” by Paul Sonne on 14 April 2018, we find that statement confirmed by Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and fellow at the Middle East Institute and Yale University, as follows:
“I don’t think, in order to make the deterrent stick, that this can be the last attack,” Ford said.
But the military intervention also comes as Washington has all but given up on seeking the removal of Assad more than seven years into Syria’s civil war.
Trump wants the Pentagon to withdraw U.S. troops after the Kurdish-led militia Washington is backing in Syria finishes off the remnants of the Islamic State terror group.
The departure of U.S. troops, military strategists say, will probably pave the way for Assad’s consolidation of control in the country, backed by Russia, Iran and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
The result is what Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described in congressional testimony on Thursday as “contrary impulses.”
On the one hand, Trump wants the United States to have nothing to do with Syria.
On the other, he wants to dictate norms of behavior on Syria’s battlefield that upset him when violated.
But for Washington to stop Assad from killing his own citizens more broadly, “we’re getting closer to a regime-change scenario because he’s bombing almost every day,” said Ford, the former U.S. ambassador.
“To me, that’s drawing us in.”
“I have zero confidence that we could control where that goes then.”
That is the Korea and Viet Nam scenario all over again, folks.
Another ignorant weak man in the Washington White House trying to look like a strong man on the world stage gets WE, THE PEOPLE further embroiled in another war that he doesn’t know how to fight or win, like Barack Obama before him, who started the mess in Syria in the first place, along with Hillary Clinton, who started the regime train in Syria rolling back in 2011, and in the meantime, Trump is being compared by the Russians to another military loser in history in a FOX NEWS article entitled “Russian officials warn of ‘consequences’ after US-led airstrikes on Syria” by Stephen Sorace on 14 April 2018, as follows:
Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee, likened Trump to Adolf Hitler, and considered the strikes to be a move against Russia.
Trump “can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time — because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union,” state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted Sherin as saying.
And on Friday, in a Marketwatch article by Myra P. Saefong and Sara Sjolin published April 13 2018, we were informed that crude-oil prices rose for a fifth straight session Friday, with U.S. benchmark crude tallying a gain of nearly 9% for the week, driven by fears of a U.S.-led military conflict in Syria.
Now that Trump has released his “FIRE AND FURY,” and vows even more, what is known in the oil trade as “geopolitical tensions” will likely have the price of a barrel of oil skyrocketing on Monday, to the detriment of Joe American Citizen already struggling to make ends meet in this country as the price of goods and services keeps escalating.
And in the Marketwatch Bond Report by Mark DeCambre and Sunny Oh on April 10, 2018, we were told as follows:
Looking ahead, bond buyers are bracing for some $34 billion of notes and bonds due to be auctioned by the government later this week, which could push yields higher and prices lower.
An auction Tuesday for $30 billion of three-year notes drew lackluster appetite after foreign investors cut back their buying.
The Congressional Budget Office on Monday said that the U.S. budget deficit will rise to $804 billion in 2018, and exceed $1 trillion a year starting in 2020.
“Waning Treasury demand is especially worrisome with the deficit-boosting plans of the current administration (the CBO said that the deficit will top a trillion by 2020).”
“These plans may require even more aggressive Treasury auctions than Mnuchin has already planned,” said Max Gokhman, head of asset allocation at Pacific Life Fund Advisors.
Waning demand from foreign investors, people!
Trump wants to fight a war, he has to borrow money to do so, because we don’t have it, being some twenty trillion in debt as we now are, and to do that, he has to sell debt in the form of bonds.
If nobody buys those bonds, Trump has no money for his war.
And that takes us to another Marketwatch article by Robert Schroeder published April 9, 2018, where we were given this news:
The Congressional Budget Office on Monday forecast a rising tide of red ink in the coming years, saying that trillion-dollar deficits will return in 2020 in its first report since President Donald Trump signed last year’s tax cut and this year’s big spending bill.
The CBO said the budget deficit would be $804 billion for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, well above the $665 billion shortfall the government notched at the end of fiscal 2017.
The coming shortfalls will follow the $1.5 trillion tax cut Trump signed in late December, as well as the $1.3 trillion spending bill he enacted in March.
The CBO’s report came with a warning about the rising debt that would result from accumulating deficits.
Debt held by the public will rise from 78% of the economy at the end of 2018 to 96% by 2028, the report estimated, and said that would increase the likelihood of a fiscal crisis.
There is our future staring us right in the face, people.
Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them all over again, and people, that is us.
Reminds me of a song from the days of my childhood:
Driving that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better watch your speed
Trouble ahead, trouble behind
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.
Hence this essay!