On Friday night, I thought Trump’s Syria attack would turn out to be one of two things.
Either a devastating blitz that would take out Bashar al-Assad, his government and military, and leave the Syrian people in the same condition as the Iraqis after Bush’s invasion, or it would be al-Shayrat 2.0, basically a lightshow and a few broken things that on a grand scale are basically insignificant.
It turned out to be number two.
Mad Dog Mattis won the day. It looks like he talked sense into Trump at the last minute, that is if you consider violating international law and bombing a country that has not threatened you making sense.
I bet John Bolton is pissed. He’s been pushing to take out Arab countries one after the other for almost two decades. I’m not sure where he will go from here. Mad Dog has him boxed in—and after only a couple days on the job.
In a perverse way, we can be thankful Trump is president and not Hillary Clinton. She would have never handed foreign policy over to the generals. She would have bombed Syria back to the Stone Age and chortled upon the murder and dismemberment of al-Assad the same way she did after the brutal rape and murder of Gaddafi in Libya.
Hillary is a seasoned war criminal while Trump is an amateur.
Mad Dog doesn’t want to start World War Three. He wants to maintain the status quo—an ever expanding careerist Pentagon that feeds the military industrial complex. It’s safe to say Mattis doesn’t want a big war with big surprises and big attendant costs and losses.
Let’s face it.
After the Democrats take back the House in November, there will probably be enough votes to impeach him. If Trump has any dignity, he’ll resign. Most of the charges leveled against him—colluding with Russians, cavorting with whores and porn stars, urinating on hotel beds—are bullshit. But that doesn’t matter. He will be impeached. The political class want to get rid of him. He’s an embarrassment. He’s not part of the club.
Pence will take over. No more tweets, no more pejoratives, no more binge watching of Fox News. Mike’s your typical vanilla faux Christian conservative. It will be blasé all the way up the 2020 election when some groomed Democrat—someone along the lines of Kamala Harris, maybe even Bernie Sanders, if he lives that long—will be elected and the humanitarian interventionists will be back in the saddle.
Trump is impulsive and unpredictable, though. He might eventually be wooed over into the neocon corner, stop listening to Mad Dog and the Pentagon careerists, and do something truly dangerous. The next staged chlorine gas attack may result in disaster for the Syrian people.
Let’s hope not.
Let’s hope Bolton finds the exit like Mike Flynn.