The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Trump Fires Missiles on Syrian Airbase

Sigh. This is not smart. Let us hope it does not escalate. The administration has said it is a “one-off,” but if any allegation of chemical attacks can cause the US to strike, there will be more chemical attacks.

Of course, many people usually critical of Trump are now “rallying around.” Nothing like blood to get Americans to support a President.

Syria is not a good place to be playing games, given that Russia is already there. (An agreement on coordinating flights between the US and Russia has been cancelled by the Russians.)

That Trump is getting really good media on this, especially on TV, is particularly bad. Trump craves approval, and he is being trained, right now, to be violent. The consequences of this are potentially catastrophic.

Update: No, this is not about Trump being worse than Clinton on this issue.

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Does Everyone Always Act in Their Self-Interest?


Syria and the Cult of the Tough Decision


  1. Max Osman

    Remember, Hillary is the warhawk. Donald is the dove of peace. When our children are dying in the streets of some foreign shithole we can all be very thankful that Trump was made president.

  2. Ian Welsh

    Hillary agrees with this. She wanted a no-fly zone over Syria after Russia was there, and argued that Obama should have bombed Syria over the last chemical attack.

    Trump was repeatedly on the record that the US should not attack Syria.

  3. markfromireland

    Cue the usual war mongering shite from war loving American “liberals” and “progressives”.

  4. markfromireland

    And if Russia and Iran manage to contain the situation it’ll be in the teeth of what is already a massive American provocation.

  5. Tom

    A long overdue message to Assad that gassing children has consequences.

    70 missiles fired, 59 hits, the rest shot down.

    If Putin wants a Syrian Puppet, he best find a more sane and less criminal one to replace Assad and soon, or he won’t have the opportunity anymore as the Khan Sheikoun Massacre has united the rebels like never before.

    Then again Putin should have never backed Assad, that just made him complicit in war crimes which he added onto. Far better to have told the Regime to replace Assad with someone who isn’t batshit. But that would have been the smart thing.

    Fuck it, the Rebels are going to win and deal with Assad, loss of Shayrat is a blow he can’t recover from. He now only has five airbases left that can support fixed wing operations.

  6. V. Arnold

    Apparently its become a right of passage for U.S. Presidents to get blooded, much and early,
    It started with Clinton (in earnest) and hasn’t moderated since.
    Party affiliation has nothing to do with it; one just needs to be willing to be a murderer…
    The Rubicon was crossed decades ago; and Usians are complicit; every one!
    Usian’s are bat shit insane!

  7. jump

    This is a mad and dangerous move. I suspect that Syria and Russia will close Syria’s air space (cooperation/coordination already being cancelled) and that any US jets will be escorted out or downed. There is great potential for escalation and I do not think that chest ‘trumping’ will be of any particular productive use.
    Syria and Russia have denied the use of chemical weapons. There is a lot of speculation but I am not aware of any proof of blame yet. As an aside, is bombing civilians with conventional weapons by either side morally better?
    The spin machines will be in full gear drowning out any considered thought.

  8. MojaveWolf

    Giving the first comment more attention than it deserves:

    Good grief. The Hillbot EstablishmentDem cheerleaders are omnipresent, even here, and must make it all about them, even now. Or, to quote a twitter argument I had earlier tonight (names of others deleted out of basic courtesy):

    (Original tweet from journalist): It should scare the shit out of you that within about 20 minutes the Trump administration’s entire Syria policy shifted 180

    (Name deleted): “But Hillary would’ve done the same!” Is the new “but her emails!”

    MojaveWolf‏ @ThisWickedWorld 7h7 hours ago:
    Hillary actually vocally urged US to do exactly this earlier in the day. There’s no argument. They are ALL evil, stupid & insane

    Replying to @ThisWickedWorld

    The issue is Trump’s hypocrisy. Nothing more, nothing less.

    7:06 PM – 6 Apr 2017
    2 replies 0 retweets 1 like

    MojaveWolf‏ @ThisWickedWorld 7h7 hours ago:

    If more worried about snark points than destroying countries/risking war w/Russia, maybe so.

    MojaveWolf‏ @ThisWickedWorld 7h7 hours ago:

    To sane people, saying “Trump=asswipe” relatively unimportant compared to “Iraq Pt Deux w/added nuclear conflict risk”

    Ian didn’t vote for Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump. I had a slightly preference for him in large part because Hillary clearly was absolutely desperate to go into Syria and either play chicken with or start a contained war w/Russia, and with him there was a hope he would do what he said. I admit, he was easier to roll or manipulate than I thought, but given her (and nearly every other establishment politician on both sides of the aisle) reaction to earlier tonight (all those people you want us to trust to be “more sane” than Trump, who no one liked, do you really not get that it was a case of the devil we knew being so awful we were willing to throw the dice with a different, more unpredictable devil on the off chance he’d be better on key issues like this, because nothing much to lose, long term? Or as case may be, short term), it’s certain she/they would have been much more eager to go in harder and faster. So please don’t act like Ian or most of us here were Trump cheerleaders just because we didn’t like your preferred brand of insanity.

    Sorry for the rant, but I have, tonight, seen people on both sides of the aisle and nearly all the MSM cheer on this idiocy, whilst some of those not-cheering have been claiming that it is a plot between Putin and Trump to fool people into thinking Trump was not Putin’s puppet, or, alternately, that Syria needs to be bombed but we must still say Trump is bad because he didn’t follow proper procedures in launching the attack.

    The cheerleaders for toppling a secular government and replacing him w/either a state of constant warfare or Taliban-West and the “Hillary wouldn’t have done it even tho she just said earlier tonight she’s been wanting to do it for years and we need to do it now” are all just completely insane.

  9. MojaveWolf

    Heh, sorry Ian, had not seen your update when I started that. I go back and forth between different things while I’m writing comments sometimes.

  10. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    For shame, Max! How dare you bring your nihilistic cynicism into Saint Mahatma Ian’s Holy Virtual Temple of Incorruptible Pure Pureness!

    Seriously, Max…

  11. Can we please have a peace loving pres? Go after a large warmongers, not small ones. so what do we do? We go after small ones. As the recent Sherlock says “Your brain must be so small in there”

  12. MojaveWolf

    We are all so screwed. And you are right, this was so incredibly stupid from any and every possible perspective.

    First, there is no good reason to think Assad even did this. It makes no sense. The war wasn’t over yet but the end was certain, barring US intervention. Trump had just said a couple of days ago we were staying out of it. Peace talks were on the way. So why would Assad, who resisted using chemical weapons throughout a multi-year war, including when the IS were making huge gains, suddenly use them now, when there was no point to it whatsoever, it aided him not in the slightest from any conceivable angle, but it was just about the only thing he could do (if he even could, the only chemical weapons actually known to be in Iraq were in the hands of jihadi rebels) that could turn the tide against him? This makes no sense. Assad has shown no signs of severe dementia or having a death wish previously, and that’s what it would take to do this, from his point of view.

    On top of that, the prime sources blaming Assad are all people who hate Assad and prefer the jihadis, or in some cases ARE the jihadi rebels. NBC is interviewing a doctor who seems likely to have been involved in kidnapping journalists for the Daesh to kill.

    And the entire pattern of the story, right down to invoking murdered children and “chemical weapons” is strikingly reminiscent of the crap Bush I and later Bush II used to push the two Iraq invasions. Trump has made fun of this himself in the past. What gives?

    Assad doesn’t benefit from doing what he supposedly did. Who does benefit from the gas attack? Anyone who wants to prolong the war and/or topple Assad. The Daesh and other jihadi rebels benefit. Turkey benefits (or thinks they do, at least)(the government, not all the people). Israel (the government, not all the people) thinks it benefits (the government is wrong, but the current leadership do seem to prefer that all around them is in a constant state of chaos). And the neocon/neolib war profiteers benefit, or, rather, think they do. These are the people for whom staging a gas attack in an effort to provoke an outside intervention would make sense. At least, in the “our short term gain trumps the death of hundreds of thousands plus the possibility of a nuclear war tween the US and Russia,” and assuming the person that makes this calculation is a sociopath who lacks the imagination and intelligence to see just how easily a “contained” confrontation between the US and Russia could escalate.

    Second, ok, let’s say Assad used chemical weapons (I’m near certain he didn’t, to the point where I almost hesitate to make this argument, but it is important, so…) and there were civilian casualties, some of them children. Personally speaking, I’m missing why killing 70 people with chemical weapons is vastly worse than the THOUSANDS that get killed every year by, say, bombs and missiles, including our bombs and missiles. The US is one of the only countries that refuses to sign the treaty banning landmines. Kids wander into fields containing mines and get their limbs blown off and blinded. I’m not seeing the giant moral superiority of this to gassing someone.

    But, whatever, let’s say Assad just killed 70 civilians by non-approved methods, and some were kids. We are going to make this situtation by going in and doing what we did in Iraq and Libya? I don’t see it. The parts of the country controlled by Assad are the only parts where things are still okay (the Kurdish controlled parts are quickly improving, as well, impressively so given that they were bombed into rubble and there are practically no resources for rebuilding, but, well, bombed into rubble and no resources for rebuiliding, so good government but not a great place to be yet). Is our goal to make ALL of Syria like the parts controlled by the Daesh? Or do we just want a permanent state of war so we’ll always have a scapegoat for any given issue and so various corporations can keep making weapons and getting paid to employ mercenaries? (yes, to that last, that’s exactly what the people in power pushing for war want, but they’re not likely to say it in public).

    There is no good outcome here, unless you think they figure practice makes perfect and after horrifically screwing up our previous “humanitarian interventions” and making everything much worse for the people living in those countries, we finally figured out how to get it right. Even if Assad did it and even if you aren’t worried about the US and Russia taking shots at each other (in which case you are either delusional or insane), the most likely outcome of US intervention in Syria is to make things much worse.

    Meanwhile, the same MSM and establishment pols who’ve been calling Trump an incompetent nutjob are suddenly mostly praising him (while saying or implying that they would have been the better party to handle the situation, at least they are now on board with him policy-wise). One almost wonders if their prime motivation behind going after him so much in the first place was because of his reluctance to start a war with Russia in Syria. That would explain why the policy critiques always took a distant second to McCarthyesque “Agent of Putin” claims when they went after him.

    (for the mentally challenged–this is not a defense of Trump. His action earlier tonight was stupid and evil, as are a lot of his actions. I didn’t vote for him and didn’t want him)

  13. Hugh

    Off topic, but to lighten the mood. Hillary came out, I suppose after much wandering around in the woods, with the four reasons she lost the election: Russia, Comey, misogyny, and wikileaks. Make up your own jokes.

  14. tony

    This was not a real attack. Russia was warned and there are reports of Syrian troops getting out of the way of the attack. The airfield only suffered minor damage, and the attack resulted in just a few dead bodies.

    It’s all optics. Fake chemical weapons attack, fake response. Russian story is that they hit a rebel chemical storage which seems a lot more plausible than Assad trying to commit suicide by Trump.

  15. V. Arnold

    At this time; nothing is certain re: U.S. missile attack on Syria.
    Many conflicting reports.
    So, keep your powder dry until the facts are known.
    Anybody stating with certainty is an idiot; cha cha…
    Possibly, only 1/3 of the missiles fired made it to their targets; what happened to the other 36?
    Time will out the facts…

  16. The Stephen Miller Band

    Tony, does that mean the ensuing nuclear armageddon will be optics as well? My skin melting will just be an illusion so Trump can distract from, and dispel the myth of, his Quislingness? If what you say is true, then war is no longer war (it hasn’t been for a while now), it’s stage-crafted blood sacrifice (it must be innocent blood, mind you) in service to Moloch, and that’s even more disturbing than randomness, imo.

    We differ from The Aztecs how? Oh, that’s right, The Aztecs didn’t have Smart Phones. Silly me. Thanks Steve Jobs for foisting that delineation.

  17. Ché Pasa

    Woodrow Wilson (racist would-be autocrat that he was) was re-elected in 1916 on the slogan that “he kept us out of the war.”

    Came April 6, 1917, and the US entered said war on the side of the Allies, as US pride and patriotism reached fever pitch. My father signed up while his German-American mother and his German grandmother were being denounced in the streets. American pride and exceptionalism knew no bounds.

    We would go “over there” and teach the Hun a lesson he would never soon forget.

    Ultimately, it didn’t end well, did it?

    Of course, things are different now.

    Aren’t they.

  18. ks

    Ivory Bill Woodpecker,

    Heh. Well, whataboutism (in this case Hillary) is all they have left now so expect more of it. The humiliation that Trump has been dealing them must be excruciating especially since their main point of pride is being cleared eyed observers of events and being right about such events. In less than 100 days in many way and on many issues Trump has rubbed their noses in the reality that they weren’t right but they can’t yet admit they were taken in by an obvious con and conman.

  19. V. Arnold

    Ché Pasa
    April 7, 2017
    Of course, things are different now.
    Aren’t they.

    Ya sure, you betcha…

    Nice post…

  20. Its fine, Matt Tabbi explained it to me, small tangent griftopia is my basis for understanding the mechanics the financial meltdown, and he just finished insane clown president, Trump only got elected speaking at 6th grade level, he isn’t actually quite that stupid this falls under normal horrific status quo war racket- par for the course

    big fan and actually you’re reciprocating; you saw and liked my work, even had a disinformation futurist novel spawned from a deadspin humor writer, my project is an attempt to expose what is going to define this century, and this century could determine the ultimate fate of our species- thats not hyperbole real actual permanent world domination is now up for grabs because DARPA built a preliminary version of the fountain of youth.

  21. Rkka

    Tom, the one thing we can be certain of is that the Syrian gvt did not make the chemical weapons attack.

    You can see this by looking at how the White Helmet responders are equipped. They have particle masks that are useless against chemical agents & no other chemical protection. They are handling victims with their bare hands. If this was really a nerve agent attack, they would be lying on the ground having convulsions, because nerve agents are persistent unless the area has been decontaminated.

    So you pole-vaulting to the conclusion that ‘Assad done it’ is totally unwarranted.

  22. The Stephen Miller Band

    Actually, Hillary would have been better than Trump in one regard. She’s predictable. She never gave the impression she was Putin’s Bitch, quite the contrary, in fact. Trump, on the other hand, did give that impression and if someone thinks you’re their Bitch and you turn out not to be, well, the implication and repercussion could be, and most likely will be, equally unpredictable.

    Putin knows Hillary and knows how to deal with her. He may not like her, and in fact probably hates her, but for him, she’s predictable — an Open Book that’s easy to read. Trump is proving the opposite and that’s many more times as dangerous, hence the Doomsday Clock being set closer to midnight than any time since the 1950’s.

    Making America Great Again by destroying the world. I mean, why not? What do we have to lose?

    I swear, some days I feel like I’m caught in a bad acid trip from which there is no escape. Today is one of those days.

    realitychecker, please advise us of your most recently adjusted risk assessments. I, for one, am genuinely interested in what your actuarial charts, much like Tarot Cards, have to say.

  23. The Stephen Miller Band

    Keep in mind, Assad is really not in control. Syria is a military dictatorship much like Egypt. The military, the generals, are in charge and Assad is merely a symbolic token figurehead.

    All this talk of ousting Assad doesn’t address the root of it, and that would be deposing the entire Syrian military apparatus much like what was done in Iraq. And we all know how that turned out. Iraq is now tied at the hip with Iran and will forever be vulnerable. It’s “Government” will always be feckless and untenable thus always requiring outside intervention to prop it up, despite who intervenes.

    So, if we don’t get nuclear armageddon, we get that which is great if you’re a military commander (wanting to make a name for yourself) or a defense contractor, but not so great for anyone else.

    THEY know this and they do it anyway, therefore, they are evil sadists who require blood sacrifices to feel good about themselves.

    I’d do something about it, but I don’t want to be accused of being self-interested, so I will selflessly sit at home and observe as others pursue their self-actualizing self-interests.

  24. The U.S. is always portrayed as being “the good guys”, the “guardians of the world”, when, in fact, they’re often just as guilty of killing a lot of their own citizens in cold blood.

    It’s all about image and stereotype, not substance.
    All governments are hypocritical
    …and, essentially, all governments are pretty much the same. Always have been, always will be.
    Been that way for thousands of years, and there’s still no sign of that phenomenon deviating anytime soon.

  25. StewartM

    2 things from my take:

    1) our clueless and barbaric ME policy continues, no matter who is in office. We’re apparently intent on making all sides in the ME our enemies and bombing all of them (save “our friends” the Saudis and Israelis, whose leaders could care less the US’s best interests). Sadly, the one humane and effective thing we could (i.e., offer Syrian refugees asylum) is the one thing we steadfastly refuse.

    2) Midway through the 1st quarter, the score is now Deep State 24, Team Trump 0, with Deep State scoring after every Trump amateurish miscue. All that talk of any fundamental realignment in US foreign policy goes out the window, we’re not that far from the course Clinton would have brung us.

  26. Ché Pasa

    Wilson was inaugurated March 5, 1917. He went before congress on April 2, demanding a declaration of war against Germany. Congress complied on April 6, 1917.

    A month from the inauguration was all it took.

    The excuse? “Things change.”


  27. James Wheeler

    Scott Adams has a different take on this.

    Trump is playing the Deep State in a clever way and its overall a win win for President Trump.

  28. S Brennan

    I would defer and give preference to MojaveWolf & Ian’s words above.

    I think this missile attack is incredibly stupid from every angle…but one thing that strikes me odd. Having Hillary literally broadcasting an attack on airfields..purposefully queuing Assad & the Ruskies…what was that all about?

    If Trump thinks he’s being clever here, he’s not, the National Security State; Corpocrats; MediaCorp will never be sated.

    …although, as a friend in the market notes, there are a lot of people who made book on oil & gold positions.

  29. Funny thing happened on the way to the airstrike: Putin’s Poodle gave the Russians a call, told ’em we were coming. We just burned up fifty-nine million dollars worth of Tomahawk cruise missles bombing the shit out of an empty parking lot.

    And the liberals are loving it.

  30. S Brennan

    To James Wheeler’s link

    “our intelligence services traced the plane that allegedly dropped the gas back to a specific air base…I didn’t realize that our military knows what every aircraft in Syria is doing at all times. That’s impressive, bordering on hard-to-believe.” – Scott Adams

    Oh, let’s set the WABAC machine to the MH-17 shootdown

    “Rosaviatsia’s deputy head stressed that the Russian radar data was the only such data available to the Dutch investigators, as it appeared that Ukraine’s radar stations “for unknown reasons” were not functioning on July 17… US-NATO forces happened to be conducting an electronic warfare exercise in the Black Sea on July 17th (see ‘SEA BREEZE 2014’, below).

  31. Duder

    With Flynn and Bannon out, the signs are clear that the DC Consensus has won. Clinton’s war party is back in control after a short lived “rightwing revolution”.

  32. NR

    @James Wheeler

    Fun thought experiment: Try to imagine exactly what Trump would have to do to lose Scott Adams’s support.

  33. The Stephen Miller Band

    Clinton’s war party is back in control after a short lived “rightwing revolution”.

    Ummm….it’s not Clinton’s War Party behind Trump’s latest 180. It’s the National Security State — the gathering Beast Eisenhower warned us about as he hypocritically used it himself during his presidency.

    Please stop it with the Hillary/Clinton nonsense. Are you telling me John McCain and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who all support Trump in his Baptism in Blood, are members of Clinton’s War Party? Yeah, I don’t think so.

    Stop. Just stop. You placed your hope & dreams in a loser. You lose. We all lose, unless you’re one of The Rich, and if you are, F*** You and damn you to hell if only there was one!!!

    My suggestion is that you learn to be flexible like Trump, and maybe then you’ll understand more clearly.

  34. James Wheeler

    Scott Adams is right.

    It doesn’t make much rational sense why Assad will use chemical weapons when he is winning the civil war. The rebels are infested with extreme Islamist factions who are perfectly capable of gassing their own people if it means America militarily intervenes against the Assad regime (which they are losing to).

    Lets say that Trump refused to attack Assad. The media would have gone ballistic and the Deep State factions would have exploded with the line that Trump is a secret Russian agent not prepared to go against Russian interests.

    By blowing up an airfield (and ensure that the Russians got out hours before) Trump proves that he is not some kind of Manchurian candidate, builds his credibility with the military (a key power base as he knows he can’t trust the intelligence services) and the inevitable reaction by the Russians destroys the media driven narrative that President Trump is a Russian poodle.

    President Trump appears to have ruled out any further action and has made it clear (it appears) that he has no interest in regime change, not drawing a red line on chemical weapons attacks. Whether Assad did it or not is not actually that important in political terms, because the media have created the overwhelming perception (and therefore political reality) that the Assad regime did it.

    As Scott Adams says, its a win win for Trump.

    I also think that by doing this, showing that he is his own man to the generals, Trump is building his credibility as a hawk which he needs if he does a grand strategic bargain with the President Putin down the line.

    Trump CAN’T do a deal with Putin when the media are calling him Putin’s best mate/agent. What we are seeing is a long-term game.

    Now, there is a small risk that Trump will go down the path of further attacks/regime change which would be a total disaster. But everything I have read indicates that Trump has no fundamental problem with secular dictators, has not interest in the nation-building/democracy promotion business in the middle east and realizes that ground wars are a political non-starter with the American public.

  35. Duder

    @Stephen Miller Band

    Clinton’s war party is the party of consensus that unites DC across party affiliation. Call it the Establishment, the Military Industrial Complex, or what you want. It is the same thing. I am drawing attention to Clinton’s leadership in this political class to highlight how the foreign policy championed by Trump has effectively been reversed by unelected officials and political insiders. That is what happened. Clinton is in the leadership of this group. Deal with it.

    I did not nor do I support Trump. But is was clear that Trump enunciated a foreign policy contrary to the DC consensus and has been put on the defensive for his heresy. Please understand that people are not of a piece. No one is all good or all bad. Stop thinking like a child.

  36. James Wheeler

    NR, I read Scott Adams for over a year and there were a number of times when he criticized Trump as a candidate for policies he advocated or statements he made/tweeted.

    Adams was one of the few people who predicted Trump’s victory back in 2015(!) and was one of the most accurate in forecasting his rise to power.

    Regarding Bannon, I again would not agree that he is out. The media are reporting that he has been sidelined but I would take these reports with a pinch of salt. President Trump likes to see a vigorous power contest (its how he ran his business) and a degree of Game of Thrones power struggle within the Trump administration should be taken for granted.

    I suspect that Bannon is still very much part of the game. There are differences between Bannon, who leads the populist nationalists and the establishment Republicans, but my own reading is that Trump likes to keep both sides around while he straddles the divide and makes the ultimate decision.

    President Trump is still settling in and understands that he needs to play the Washington D.C. power game. His enemies are the liberal media, powerful factions within the intelligence services and much of the federal bureaucracy.

    For Trump to win, he needs to keep the military close, maintain cordial relations with the secret police (FBI) and ensure his populist base remains content. Starving the beast will sort out the federal bureaucracy and the Donald will take his revenge on the CIA/NSA and other agencies in due course once he has secured his grip on power.

    Whilst the refugee ban, the border wall and the Supreme Court appointment has pleased his base, he also needs to work on the “economic” side as Ian points out. The healthcare was a bit of a disaster and the tax reform needs to benefit the middle classes rather then the 1%. Plus, Trump needs to get going on the infrastructure package and his protectionist trade reforms – this very much remains a big question mark. If Trump makes progress on these issues he will probably end up winning in 2020.

  37. ks

    Oh boy, now we have moved on from whataboutHillaryisms to Trump is playing “11 dimensional chess” against the Deep State. Yeah….

  38. StewartM


    Your thoughts coincide with mine. I doubt Assad authorized or even committed the chemical attack either. What “evidence” I’ve seen is not convincing:

    Also, while I agree that nerve agents more likely to be in the arsenals of governments, it is easily conceivable that a state (Israel? Mossad?) could easily give such weapons to rebels who have every incentive to keep the fighting going.

    Ron Paul:

    “Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions,” said Paul. “Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run.”

    “It looks like, maybe, somebody didn’t like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can’t let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad,” he said.

    “It’s not so easy though is it? What happened four years ago in 2013, you know, this whole thing about crossing the red line?” Paul continued. “Ever since then, the neocons have been yelling and screaming, a part of the administration has been yelling and screaming about Assad using poison gas.”

    (And no, this is not a defense of Assad. Being evil does not necessarily make one stupid).

  39. Billikin

    This kind of thing was likely, given the “rally round the commander in chief” phenomenon, and Trump’s desire for approval and adulation as the alpha male. The timing, soon after a public legislative setback, is probably not accidental. I do not mean that it is a sham, but Trump operates by instinct and impulse. Also, he is a bullshitter, whose words cannot be trusted.

    And yes, I think that Trump as commander in chief is much worse than Clinton would have been. Not that she would not have done the same thing, but it would have been through deliberation, not impulse and machismo.

  40. StewartM

    @James Wheeler

    Heh. Scott Adams thinks that pissing off your most fervent and loyal supporters is “smart politics”?

    Throughout the campaign and the early days of his presidency, President Trump garnered near lockstep support from a number of alt-right leaders and conservative media members. While there were moments of wavering — such as when Trump muddled his positions on immigration and Obamacare — they mostly remained on his side.

    After Trump approved missile strikes in Syria on Thursday night, that opinion changed. In sharp contrast to a majority of Republican politicians and many media pundits, the group of alt-right figures criticized Trump after supporting him over Hillary Clinton, who they saw as the more interventionist candidate. (Clinton also supported the strikes.)

    Well, I guess it’s in keeping with his all his other betrayals so far. Like Obama engaged in vaguely liberal speechifying yet governed as a neoliberal, Trump too is showing his governance is not terribly different than what Jeb!’s would have been. The swamp drains him.

    Moreover, Adams misses the fact that if we are seeking a genuine realignment in the ME, we’d want to be seeking a rapprochement with Iran, not using Syria to hint that’d we bomb them too. His other points struck me as specious. Distraction with the ME might encourage North Korea, not discourage it (though really, I think that if Kim Jong-un decided to push the button their military might oust him, because just because he would be nuts doesn’t mean they are too).

  41. Mallam

    Chemical weapons truthers among us. Joy. You know you didn’t have to deny Saddam gassing the Kurds to be opposed to bombing Iraq.

    With regard to Dear Leader bombing escapade, the truth is Trump has no strategic vision, no end game, no policy at all. He just reacts to what’s happening “in the now” on television. Completely predictable. Yet the marks here keep making excuses lol.

  42. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Is “James Wheeler” really the vastly over-rated Scott Adams, using an alias?

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate…


  43. Gaianne


    Assad and Saddam are different people, of different countries–not the same!

    The chemical attack story is bogus from many directions–technical, logistical, political, military, and media:

    1) The effects of the “attack” do not match the use of Sarin. Whatever it was, the key claim of the western media is bogus.

    2) Syria got rid of its chemical weapons–under UN supervision, mind you–after the last “chemical attack”. So Syria, unlike other parties in the war, does not have the means to do it. Your insinuation amounts to asserting that the UN is an accomplice covering up Syrian chemical weapons–which is a bit unlikely.

    3) Syria has no upside–receives no benefit–for committing such an act–it is a political no-no.

    4) Chemical weapons are not much good in combat. That is not what they are for. Syria is fighting a war using weapons that it has that are militarily effective–that is, weapons that win battles. Using chemical weapons against jihadi terrorists makes no military sense.

    5) The media was ready to run with this straight out the gate. That meant they were prepared before the “event” occurred. This does not happen with real events which cause surprise. With fake events this is done to suck oxygen out of the room and pre-empt sensible thought about the story.

    “Truther” like “conspiracy theory” is a CIA locution constructed to create distraction. If enough noise can be created, the truth gets buried in the noise. The CIA uses these terms as a deliberate tactic of confusion. Why are you using it?


  44. different clue


    You are correct. I was taken in by Trump’s con. It turns out that Trump was just a Clintonite piece -of-shit Clintonite from the start.

    And all the Clintonite filth in Washington are gathering around in support of Their President.
    Mommy Wokest is proud and happy. Pelosi supports supports supports the attack.

    It turns out Hugh was righter than anyone. Trump and Clinton were two turds in a toilet. At least on issues of War and Peace.

    Ah well . . . at least Trump announced the rejection of TPP. So he isn’t the anti-American Free Trade Traitor that Clinton is. Unless he has conned us all about that too.

  45. Mallam

    I have no time to debate Assad apologists on a site which attracts white supremacists who defend Putin; people who will not be swayed by facts. After all, so many of you assholes voted for Trump and still defend him. I wasn’t supportive of bombing in 2013 and I’m not supportive of bombing now. Your ridiculous defense of genocide and gassing of civilians is what you’ll have to live with.


  46. different clue


    The tragedy is not in your leaving. The tragedy is in your ever having been here. I hope you mean it when you say . . .”cheers”.

  47. anonymous coward

    Can someone PLEASE explain to us what possible military advantage B. Assad would have been seeking in dropping (alleged) nerve agents on civilians in the ninth inning of a game he is winning?

    Trump is being duped and rolled, and so are the rest of P.T. Barnum’s clientele. Of course many of the worst blood thirsty goons are happy to lap up and regurgitate the faked news, even though they should know better (Hey Democrats, remember those “slam dunk” reasons to go to war against Iraq that Bush claimed to have? They were bullshit fabrications supplied by corrupted intelligence services, just like this one is. You understood that back then, or else you said you figured the deception out eventually if you hadn’t known about it all along. But now it seems you swallow CIA bullshit by the gallon – and you call it ice cream, too?) Whose word does the President have to rely on that there -in fact- was a plane which took off from an airbase around Homs and which -in fact- dropped something on a civilian population in Idlib, something which can be verified (but so far hasn’t been) as Sarin nerve agent? Probably the same people who have been pushing for a war on every Russian ally in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and a war on Russia itself. The same people who would happily push Donald Trump out a window to have Hillary Clinton in the White House to carry out their agenda. And let’s not kid ourselves: Hillary would already be balls deep in a war with Russia by now if she -and her backers- only had the power to start one. So don’t anybody say if only Hillary were here to keep the peace! They are trying desperately to start one right now, and if we are not very careful or lucky they may succeed. Bear in mind that the UN has already determined that the “Syrian” rebels who mostly aren’t from Syria, but never mind that, can produce Sarin agent. Bear in mind also that they have demonstrated zero hesitancy over killing women and children along with other civilians in areas they occupy.

    Please tell me how Assad was supposed to benefit from suddenly gassing 100 civilians in a civil war that he is on the verge of winning? Until someone has a GOOD, non-bullshit answer for that, I am forced to assume that this just nasty psy-ops carried out by the losing side, attempting to draw the all too willing US + NATO into the conflict directly in support of their cause. You know, guys, Turkey has airplanes too. So do Saudi Arabia and each of their Sunni allies in all the other inbred gulf despotisms. I’m inclined to believe some actor like Erdogan ordered this kind of thing in support of his Jihadi puppets before I’d believe Assad did it. Erdogan has abundant reason to do it, and he clearly doesn’t count shooting down Russia airplanes as reckless behavior, even though Russia can vaporize him and his country. Killing a few hundred foreign civilians wouldn’t make a psycho like Erdogan so much as blink. He does this, and like a marionette without will of its own the US fires missiles at the Syrian airforce and maybe gets involved in a way it finds it can’t back out of. Advantage Turkey. On the other hand, Assad has no reason to do this, no matter how bad a scumbag you may think he is. He might not care anymore about the lives lost than Erdogan, but he has nothing to gain by doing this, and everything, potentially including his own scummy life, to lose.

    What was the reason? Please? And while you’re at it, what reason would anyone have to shoot down a Malaysian airliner full of innocent civilians over Ukrainian airspace? Just look to how each atrocity gets used. These are PURE PROPAGANDA plays, with zero military motivation or value for the side that invariably gets blamed for them. Propaganda and nothing but. Yes, Dr. Goebbels would be smiling today, if he could only see how well his students have learned.

    Oh but our side would NEVER do that! Yeah, right.

  48. Mallam

    Was I talking to you? No, I was not. At least you’ve finally woken up to the fact that you fell for a conman. The rest of your fellow travelers have not.

  49. Webstir

    Gee, different clue, wtf finally clued you in?
    How long have I been saying to ’never trust an Ivy Leaguer’ on here now?
    Anybody that voted for an oligarch, to solve the problems created by oligarchs, is a fucking rube.

  50. BlizzardOfOz

    Would love to see one of Ian’s classic takes on the latest imbroglio. It’s hard to fathom what Trump thinks he’s doing. Pushing Bannon out in favor of his shit-tier feminist daughter and her globalist Jew husband. Edging towards a neocon foreign policy. Was he really that cornered? Oh well … let it burn.

  51. StewartM


    Chemical weapons truthers among us. Joy. You know you didn’t have to deny Saddam gassing the Kurds to be opposed to bombing Iraq.

    I think your comparison is very apt, but not for the reasons you cite. Recall it is the very same people who are now telling it’s a slam-dunk case that ‘Assad did it, no doubt about it’ who also told us that it was also a slam-dunk case that Saddam had WMD and allied with Al-Qaeda. Even the intelligence expert interviewed on Chris Hayes’s show also couldn’t fathom why Assad would do such a thing and expressed doubts! It is not conspiracy-mongering to want to see the evidence of means, opportunity, and motive.

  52. Bruce

    Here are some pertinent observations about the air strike:


    The air strikes were limited to an airfield, yet the runway was unharmed, meaning the air base is still operational. Six MiG-23s were destroyed along with a storage depot, a training building, a canteen and a radar station. Six people were killed and several others wounded.

    The Syrian government called the strike “blatant aggression,” but stopped short of calling it an act of war.

    Russia was warned about the strike beforehand… and Russian officials likely warned Syria as well. “Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line,” said Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis. “U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.”

    The strike was the “most limited” military option presented to Trump, according to the New York Times.

    If this strike didn’t happen, and Trump went to Russia to forge an coalition to fight ISIS, the neo-cons in Congress and his administration would undermine him while claiming publicly he’s a “Russian puppet.” But now, with the strike, he can “deescalate” tensions with Russia into a coalition to fight ISIS under the guise of stopping bloodshed in Syria… which is really targeting ISIS, not Assad.

  53. VietnamVet

    Donald Trump was elected by the Deplorables to be an anti-war pro-jobs President. This week, Steve Bannon, the architect of his victory, was sidelined. The forever war ratcheted up a notch. The establishment’s soft coup succeeded. The President was brought to heel. The Empire wins again. But, the failure cracks are no longer hidden by fake propaganda.

  54. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I have no time to debate Assad apologists on a site which attracts white supremacists who defend Putin; people who will not be swayed by facts. After all, so many of you assholes voted for Trump and still defend him. I wasn’t supportive of bombing in 2013 and I’m not supportive of bombing now. Your ridiculous defense of genocide and gassing of civilians is what you’ll have to live with.


    Apparently, Mallam lacks my taste for virtual slumming. 😛

  55. different clue


    wtf finally clued me in? Why, Trump’s purely Clintonistic attack on Syria, of course. However, I am not entirely sure how strong your analysis is as against you got “lucky”. Trump is not one of the Stylish Insider Oligarchs that Mommy Dearest liked to give speeches to in return for taking disguised bribes from. They always considered him a gauche outsider and a grubby hustler. But you were right, even if by luck. And sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

    Oh well . . . at least he announced his government’s rejection of TPP. So that is One out of the Three Big Things for which I voted for him for that he has still kept and done. Unless he pulls a “slick willy” and doublecrosses us on that, too.


    If you want to read a blog full of people booing this attack ( and the “Assad diddit” propaganda-milling leading up to it), read Sic Semper Tyrannis by Pat Lang and/or Naked Capitalism by Yves Smith and Lambert Strether and whole bunches of guest posters. I am reading on these two blogs that early indications are that The Deplorables are a bunch of not-happy-campers right now. But the Clintonite Scum Shitocrats like Trump just fine now . . . now that he has stepped up and Done the Clinton Thing on Syria. There is no chance of Trump being impeached now . . . not with Clintonite Shitocrat scumbag cup’o’ pus Pelosi approving of Trump’s action the way she does.

    Sorry about the immature verbiage, Webstir. I guess I can’t help myself and I guess I won’t even try. Unless Ian Welsh tells me to clean up my language or get myself banned. That would clean up my language right quick-like.

  56. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Sorry about the immature verbiage, Webstir. I guess I can’t help myself and I guess I won’t even try. Unless Ian Welsh tells me to clean up my language or get myself banned. That would clean up my language right quick-like.

    DC, you’re joking, right?

    If the Mahatma sees fit to allow white supremacists, Jew-haters, and other assorted deodorant cakes in the urinal of Evolution to post on his site, why do you think he’d ban a mere potty-mouth?

  57. Peter

    The Assad Appreciation Society was caught off guard by Trump’s rapid response and were left to peddle their apologia and questions after the smoke clears. Trump was pushed into action by the UN’s inaction and any delay would lead to him appearing to look like an Obama which he is not. This could have been a bloody reprisal attack but it was limited to structures, equipment and materials. The folks at SST and MOA are having an especially distraught reaction and are now sounding like mad snowflakes screaming treason and calling for the impeachment of Trump.

    Trump may be getting smiles from some of his enemies because of this action but I doubt he will trust these Clintonites because he didn’t do this in support of their agenda. Many people may continue their pearl-clutching over this attack but it is over and done and hopefully Putin will tighten Assad’s leash so that Russia can continue to be the power broker and peace maker in Syria.

  58. Lisa

    The Stephen Miller Band “Actually, Hillary would have been better than Trump in one regard. She’s predictable. ”

    Nailed it…..

    Q: Did Assad really use Sarin on his own people?

    Nope not chance, we will wait for the Seymour Hersh expose (or someone else’s) that will prove that, like after 2013.

    Note: Am I the only person with a memory?

    Minor little details, Syria gave up all its chemical weapons a couple of years ago…. And why would they want to use them? They are winning against the Al Qaeda led Sunni Wahabbi jihadists (that everyone seems to love so much) …plus there is NO way Russia would let them….especially given that there is a coordinated joint command structure there where all attacks (ground or air) are carefully controlled.

    And all those people running around after the attack..without hazmat suits…sarin persists for a long time and it will kill you through skin contact.

    Seymour Hersh prove last time it was the Jihadists that did the attack in 2013….and Obama didn’t back off from attacking Syria then because of politics…it was because he got incontrovertible proof it was not the Syrian Govt….via the US military no less.

    From yet another brilliant investigative journalist Robert Parry (not many left now) .
    “Even as The New York Times leads the charge against the Syrian government for this week’s alleged chemical attack, it is quietly retreating on its earlier certainty about the 2013 Syria-sarin case, reports Robert Parry.”

    “Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh further demolished the Assad-sarin myth in an article that traced the chemicals back to Turkish intelligence, but the mainstream U.S. media was so hostile to any dissenting view on the Assad-did-it groupthink that Hersh had to publish his findings in the London Review of Books.

    Later, Turkish police and opposition officials corroborated much of Hersh’s findings – and I’ve been told that U.S. intelligence analysts now agree, at least generally, with Hersh’s conclusions.”

    The best available evidence at this moment was that an airstrike hit a chemical dump owned by the Jihadists.

    One pretty knowledgeable US military commentator put up this scenario:
    “Here is what happened:
    -The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
    -The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
    -The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site.
    -It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
    -There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.

    -We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through “Live Agent” training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.

    -There are members of the U.S. military who were aware this strike would occur and it was recorded. There is a film record. At least the Defense Intelligence Agency knows that this was not a chemical weapon attack. In fact, Syrian military chemical weapons were destroyed with the help of Russia.”

    It will take a few days to confirm what actually happened, maybe even through video evidence.

    Note that the jihadists might not have been storing their own chemical weapons, a lot of the stuff often used to make explosives are very toxic.

    Sarcasm: On the plus side a 30,000+ megaton nuclear exchange between the US and Russia will fix global warming ..permanently no less since it will end the human race. And wasn’t Armageddon supposed to be in Syria so all the ‘christian’ extremists will be happy…for a short, a very short time.

  59. Lisa

    All the Trump lovers arguing he was not as ‘militaristic’ as Clinton going all quiet..

    But I repeat (endlessly) once he signed up with the religious right the game was over…not only right wing socially, but very right wing economically …and just as right wing in foreign affairs and using the military….especially against Islamic people.

    I still stand amazed all the time at how people ignore their influence and political power. It is such a blank spot on traditional ‘left wing’ and ‘conservative’ US (etc) people. Despite all the evidence they cannot see their massive (now) influence on what happens. And how traditional conservatives have been neutered by them.

    In fact only two groups really get it and do anything about it: LGBTI people of course …and those ‘horrible’ corporations. Target, after proclaiming its trans friendly toilets just announced that the religious right ‘boycott’ of them was insignificant. They get it.

    While virtually not a single commentator here does….heads so deep in the sand it is not funny.

    Until you do your analysis (and some here are very smart) will always be incomplete.
    Some of course, MarkfromIreland is classic example, are deliberately blind because they agree with their social objectives … but in this case that blinds such a smart (and seemingly pretty good) person to all their other objectives that they totally oppose.

  60. MojaveWolf

    Great News, Folks!

    From CNN Breaking News:

    Russian warship armed with cruise missiles heads to area of Mediterranean from which US launched missiles at Syria

    Looks like the DNC/RNC GOP/Dem Neolib/Neocon political establishment might finally get the war they so desperately wanted.


    I had other things I was going to say, but saw this on my twitter feed, and, well, most of it pales into insignificance. Maybe tomorrow. Except I owe several of you thanks for the kind words and for generally writing comments that are informative and/or thought-provoking and/or interesting to read.

    This is why I wrote in Bernie/Tulsi.

    Hoping & praying the (entirely predictable and predicted) situation breaks the right way instead of the wrong way . . .

  61. Tom

    @ Lisa

    Assad did use chemical weapons on his people. This is a confirmed fact. Sarin is a fucking binary agent with two flammable mixtures that burn when exposed to excessive heat and are harmless when separate. So Russia saying it hit a chemical depot in rebel territory is bullshit. The Sarin would have rapidly degraded if that was the case, never mind the fact the attack was seen on US Surveillance Flights and on the ground and the munitions were clearly seen to be of the type for dispersing chemical munitions with the pieces collected and turned over to the UN.

    And Seymour Hersh is a loon who has lost all credibility years ago.

    Assad used Sarin, it was confirmed he used it, and post strike footage and photos of Shayrat show Soviet Sarin Containers on the base some clearly having been opened. So its clear Assad violated the protocols he agreed to and Putin abetted him in doing so. Pralidoxime and Atrophine was given to all the victims and they immediately responded to it confirming nerve agents were used. In addition UN, Medines Sans Frontiers, Turkish Health Ministry, et al confirmed it as well upon testing the victims and the site of the bombings.

    As for the white helmets handling victims without gloves claims:

    You’re a fucking moron who doesn’t have a brain. Only one responder out of dozens didn’t have gloves, which isn’t really a defense, as the White Helmets lacked NBC gear you nitwit. They had to act with what they had and spray the Sarin off quickly with water and remove the contaminated clothing and give Atrophine first to themselves and then the victims. This is how I was trained to act in case of a Nerve Agent attack because Medic 1 doesn’t have NBC gear and I’m right between two fucking nuclear reactors. Do you know how much Atrophine is needed to treat a Nerve Gas victim? On our rigs we got half the dose necessary for one person affected by Sarin, we have to call from a strategic stockpile in the Sault for the quantities we need. Pralidoxime isn’t even carried on our rigs.

    So a Sarin attack in my neighborhood would quickly eat through our supply as first I have to have it injected into me so I can help the victims, then whats left given to the victims in enough amounts to hold them till either more comes or we can get them on advanced life support.

    You’re a bitch who needs to just shut the fuck up on something you don’t have a fucking clue on.

    Also Khan Sheikoun was held by the FSA, not HTS or Ahrar, you dumbshit.

    Now does the US have absolute moral high ground on this? No. But relatively to the Assad Regime and its backers, yes Trump has the Moral High Ground here.

    Assad is a rabid dog who needs to be put down, and if Putin is too fucking stupid to see that, then he can go to hell. Same for you if you want to defend Assad.

  62. realitychecker

    Very entertaining to see so much energy put into raging on about a situation where nobody knows yet what the essential facts actually are.

  63. Sure they do – Mr Trump wants to get his big gonads off – and to prove he is a warmonger. last version of Salim, a parable about Gödel’s proof, and Mr. Welsh’s idea.

  64. Peter


    I think Trump produced the critical fact that Assad will pay a price now for his actions that were differed or even condoned in the past. I think Trump still wants Putin to deal with Assad and handle the civil part of the Syria conflict. The Russian’s imperial designs for Syria shouldn’t conflict with US plans for the IS so long as Assad is eased out somehow in the future.

    The growing détente between Trump and Putin may have been what triggered Assad’s actions, driving a wedge between them being seen as a protection from being an expendable pawn in the Great Game. The other power that no one seems to mention, Iran, has deeply penetrated Assad’s Syria especially the military so they are definitely influencing events.

  65. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    There are too many plausible theories to commit to any one of them. We may not ever know exactly who did what to whom. Those are the essential facts, and we have no way of knowing the truth at this time.

  66. paintedjaguar

    Congratulations, Ian. Seems your site has become notable enough to warrant infestation with Clintonite trolls. Perhaps if they don’t get overmuch attention, they’ll trundle back to riverdaughter’s site or similar environs where they can happily rub bullshit in each other’s hair. Unless of course they’re still on payroll and gearing up for the next round in 2020.

  67. Peter


    You can play the Sgt. Schultz ‘I know nothing’ part but I’m enjoying the reactionary and ridiculous responses to Trump’s stealing the wind from so many sails. Most of those people who thought they could drag this out for months in their quests for truth or attempts at diversion have been left behind in the dust from this prompt action. MOA is sliding further into madness claiming that this is a Trump created illusion that didn’t really happen, a staged production.

    Some people will never be convinced that Assad is anything but the Good Syrian so it’s a waste of time to try. Verified facts such as that Assad was the only one proven to have, have used and be able to manufacture Sarin are discarded for rumors or tales of bathtub Sarin that try to support someone’s self-interest.

    The Clintonites riding on Trump’s coat tails to promote their agenda will soon be back in the dust hissing and spitting at the guy they cheer today.

  68. Anybody see any dead animals at the attack site or even an attack site?

  69. ProNewerDeal

    If anyone deserves to be banned, it should be this H3llaryBot, substance-free, fact-free, ad-hominem attacker of other commenters here, Deplorable, hypocrite, moron, troll Ivory Bill Woodpecker.

    I skimmed & commented on a H3llaryB0t blog occasionally during the 2016, to get a sense if of what the center-right Corp Dem H1llary “grass roots”, if it actually existed, was stating. I cited facts & logic, not stooping to the gutter IBW level of ad hominem attacks. Yet IBW stayed crying like a schoolgirl that I should be banned, which his Dear Leader blog author, who in turn follows Dear Leader H3llary in cult-like fashion, eventually did ban me. IBW, the lackey of a lackey, or actually a 3rd level lackey if one considers that H3llary herself is just a paid hack lackey of Wall $treet, the MIC, etc.

    IBW keeps stating that Sanders social democratic positions, ala Canada-style MedicareForAll having 55% USians support, are “far-left” & equivalent to far-right fascists because “Horseshoe Theory”. Apparently to IBW the majority of USians are “far-left”, yet this these policies are unelectable.

    Yes, I stooped to IBW’s level, in engaged in ad hominem attacks in this comment. I did it 1 time, IBW has done it 4,080+ times & counting.

  70. V. Arnold

    April 8, 2017

    IBW is a barking asshole and a blatant troll; has been for years under many different nom de plume’s.
    He openly insults the host, who, politely asked him to stop posting here.
    There is something seriously wrong, psychologically, with that guy. He has his own site, but is driven to infect other sites with his venom.
    I find it curious Ian does not outright ban him.
    A part of me feels very sorry for IBW; it must be a living hell to be him…

  71. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    If getting the facts straight before I pontificate with certainty makes me a “Sgt. Schultz” in your eyes, I guess I’ll have to live with that.

    Waiting for clarity does not at all impede my ability to appreciate the ridiculous contortions of those who rage on without knowing the facts, or having any general comprehension about the situations they love to carry on about. And, lest you have any doubts, my enjoyment in this area exceeds any I might ever hope to get from the purchase of a movie ticket lol.

    Not regretting my vote for Trump yet. I never expected him to be infallible, but I am getting a lot of what I hoped for. So far. 🙂

  72. realitychecker

    @ ProNewerDeal

    Relax, amigo, nobody here takes him seriously lol.

  73. Peter


    We will probably never have clarity about much of what happens in these war zones but the probability of who’s responsible can be increased or decreased with new evidence. The report of the drone surveillance of the gas attack scene and the following bombing attack on the hospital treating the victims kicks the probability meter into the red. I appreciate why you take a cautious approach but others especially politicians would have used this for their own hawkish agenda while other people tried to drag out the deliberations for their own self-interest.

    Trump had to either act or submit there really wasn’t another option. This cruise missile attack was more than an attack it was a demonstration to show Assad he is personally vulnerable even with Russian air defenses. The fact that the air strip was untouched was another message that Trump and the US military want Assad and the Russians to continue their air war against the extremist groups that we have also bombed.

    I’m impressed by Trump’s progress on his agendas so far, he seem to be a couple steps ahead of the resistance and not getting distracted. The media and the pundits only seem to have palace intrigues to carp about and I am prone to think they are their own creations or they are being fed a storyline by Trump’s people to keep them distracted.

  74. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    @PND & VArn:

    I figure that as long as urinal cakes of evolution such as Blizzy the neo-Ratzi drop in at The Confluence occasionally, it’s fair enough for me to go slumming here when the whimsy strikes me.

    BTW, VA, I do not own The Confluence, or any other site.

    I can’t help but notice that you two get more upset over my presence here, than over the more frequent presence of neo-Ratzis, and other Jew-haters and white supremacists–I don’t see either of you calling for IW to ban them.

    Neo-Ratzis good, snarky centrists bad. Gotcha. 😛

    It does reinforce an extrapolation of the Horseshoe Theory: Far-rightists and far-leftists, despite their ideological differences, tend to like each other better than members of either extreme like centrists.

  75. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    I don’t mind waiting for more clarity re the essential Syria facts, or at least not as much as I would mind declaring an opinion and then learning I was wrong lol.

    I am getting to where I am comfortable declaring my opinion that Trump is at least twice as smart as any of those who are putting all their energies into trying to trump up faux outrage against him vis a vis every single news items that comes along.

    I keep seeing examples where he magically gets a resolution that suits his purpose and interest. Not that that means his purpose and interest always line up with my own–e.g. Witness how he just got the idiot Dems to ‘throw him into the briar patch’ where he can now appoint any caveman Supreme Court judge he chooses with a simple majority.

    But I also see where he seems to move the big picture in good and necessary ways, e.g. political correctness continues to be discredited, gun control advocacy continues to be discredited, American over-passivity in foreign affairs continues to be discredited, the Democratic Party continues to be discredited.

    ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no good, and, I guess, a good wind that blows no ill lol. A concept which seems to be too difficult to grasp for those who refuse to rise above their accustomed binary thought framing.

  76. StewartM


    Witness how he just got the idiot Dems to ‘throw him into the briar patch’ where he can now appoint any caveman Supreme Court judge he chooses with a simple majority.

    I consider nuking the filibuster a good thing over the long haul, and history backs me up. The filibuster has served conservative/Republicans far better than it has progressives or Democrats. The idiots in this case were the Republicans, who for the quick fix forgot the long game.

    As for Trump, Gorsuch was never Trump guy to begin with, but judge the Kochs wanted. Trump could have afforded to watch him go down to defeat, and then appointed someone else.

  77. ProNewerDeal

    IBW “logic”, not reading ALL comments, & thus not replying to a comment by a person IBW states is “Naz1″s, IBW states is supporting “Naz1s”.

    I do not read ALL comments, I have no idea who you are referring to.

    If anyone clearly does support “Naz1s”, it is IBW’s Cultist Dear Leader H3llary, whose supported, via her statements & her incompetent & warmongering appointments such as Victoria Nuland during H3llary’s failed incompetent role as Sec of State, the 2014 Ukraine Coup of the elected Ukraine government. The Ukraine Coup group had a strong faction which was Naz1, & paid homage to H1tl3r.

    IBW, you could read award winning investigative journalist Robert Parry of ConstortiumNews for the details, if i am not overestimating your literacy level & you can read at a high school level.

    As far IBW’s laughable statement that social democratic policy advocates being “far left” & equivalent to Naz1s, this puts the majority of USians, Sanders, FD Roosevelt, current Nordic nations which DOMINATE in the Top10 nations of all the global socioeconomic & social justice indicators like low poverty, life expectancy, etc, as “far left”.

    ML King Jr, perhaps the best moral leader in USian history, a self-described democratic socialist, was more left than social democrats. Would IBW then state ML King Jr is even worse than Naz1s?

    IBW, H3llaryB0t “logic”, perhaps even more moronic than C0nManD0n & his fans’ statements.

  78. realitychecker

    @ StewartM

    The ghost of James Stewart would like to have a word with you. 🙂

  79. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Actually, PND, I respect the Nordic social democracies, and I think I would like Scandinavian-style social democracy just fine.

    However, I complete my 54th solar orbit in May, and I have seen my fellow non-elite white Murkans brainwashed, through skillful manipulation of their vacuum-skulled bigotries, into choosing plutocracy over and over again. They have repeatedly sacrificed their own self-interest to make sure those “unworthy” people don’t get any scraps of taxpayer-subsidized necessities, of life and of civilized life.

    My Volk consists, by and large, of morons, or should I say “morans”? 😉

    I suspect they will continue cutting off their noses to spite their faces, and so the only thing that will ever bring social democracy to the USA is a thumping majority of non-white voters.

    You believe otherwise, because you have *POLLS* that say so.

    I lack your faith in the reliability of *POLLS*–to name one of many reasons, did not *POLLS* tell us that Hillary would be Preznit now?

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