Last night the US Navy responded to the atrocities committed by the Syrian government and it’s leader, Bashar Assad, by bombing a Syrian air base. The reaction from around the country and around the world has been highly varied, as you might expect.
Our two most senior foreign affairs officials – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley – are probably visiting their chiropractors today, after having their heads spun around in the last week. On Thursday March 30, she said “Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out”. On the same day, Tillerson added “I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people”. We can’t be sure what they meant, and there was no confirmation from anyone in the government that the policy towards Assad and Syria had or hadn’t changed. But this retoric certainly made the point that the US was not looking to take actions against the Assad regime. And this comes against the backdrop of years of tweets and (actual) statements by our fearless leader that the US had no business being engaged in any way, shape or form in the Syrian conflict.
Today’s a new day, I guess.
Actually, this highlights an issue that has been on my mind since Drump first rode down the gilded elevator to launch his assault on democracy in the United States: anyone who votes for him because they think they agree with his position on any issue is letting themselves be conned. Drump doesn’t have any positions; or more to the point, he is at various times in every side of every issue. Planned Parenthood? Support and then not. Medical coverage for everyone? Support and then not. Stay out of Syria? Support and then not. If you believe any given thing that comes out of his mouth (or across his Twitter feed), you are the sucker born today.
In the meantime, the Alt-Right goons who have been having fainting spells from being so excited that they have a nutcase of their own in the White House are up in arms over Drump’s Syrian Adventure. Mike Chernovich, an alt-right blogger who was recommended for a Pulitzer Price by Beevis, went on a livestream last night. According to Politico, “Cernovich also expressed his belief that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad had been framed for the chemical attack, though he had not decided by whom. “It was probably ISIS did it to themselves,” he said on the livestream, while also tweeting, “Did McCain give ‘moderate rebels’ (ISIS) in Syria poison gas and Hollywood style film equipment?”
Which brings us to the question of what happens next. CNN was reporting earlier today that Pentagon briefers were suggesting that, although they didn’t have all the facts yet, Russia may have been actively involved in the barbaric chemical attack – not just a background supporter and defender of Assad. If this is true, it would be shocking and disheartening and scary, all at the same time. So let’s play a mind game: imagine that Sean Spicer announces at his next briefing that he has evidence that the Russians were involved. Or, that he announces they’ve looked carefully at the evidence and determined that the Russians weren’t involved.
Can we believe him?