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Friday, April 7, 2017
“Nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war” by Glenn Greenwald
"...Trump is going to see – and feel – the establishment and media respect he craves, the sensations of strength he most lacks, by dropping bombs. Every person, let alone Trump, would be tempted to keep pursuing war as a result of this warped incentive framework. Indeed, Trump himself has long been aware of this motivation as he accused Obama in 2012 of preparing to start a new war in response to falling poll numbers...
"Indeed, Democratic Party leaders have explicitly praised Trump’s bombing. They will have to continue to do so even if Trump expands this war. That’s what the Democratic Party has turned itself into to; indeed, it’s what it has been for a long time...
"As it always does, the U.S. media last night was an almost equal mix of excitement and reverence as the bombs fell. People who dissent from this bombing campaign – who opposed it on the merits – were almost entirely disappeared, as they always are in such moments of high patriotism...
"It should be startling and infuriating that Trump is able to order a new attack on the Syrian Government without any democratic debate, let alone Congressional approval...
"What happened to all the warnings about Trump’s towering incompetence and core evil? Where are all the grave predictions that he’s leading the world on a path of authoritarianism, fascism and blood and soil nationalism? They all gave way to War Fever...
"[H]ere is Trump – less than three months after being inaugurated – bombing one of the Kremlin’s closest allies, in a country where Russia has spent more than a year fighting to preserve his government. Will any of this undermine or dilute the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin controls the White House? Of course not. Warped conspiracy theorists are not only immune to evidence that disproves their theories but, worse, find ways to convert such evidence into further proof of their conspiracies...
"If humanitarianism is what motivated the U.S. in Syria, it would take in massive numbers of refugees, but it hasn’t. If humanitarianism is what motivated the U.S. bombing of Libya, it would have given large amounts of aid to that country in the aftermath to help it deal with the ensuing anarchy and misery, but it didn’t. That’s because humanitarianism is the pretext for U.S. wars, not the actual motive...
"Those who oppose Trump’s new bombing campaign – or any U.S. bombing campaign – are instantly met with the predictable objection: we must 'Do Something' about Syria. This mentality is predicated on a terribly false, and terribly dangerous, premise: that the U.S. military can and should solve every world evil...
"[T]hose who insist that the U.S. has a moral obligation to remove Assad or at least bomb him become tongue-tied when it comes to assessing Obama. If, as many claim, Assad is our generation’s Hitlerian figure – and recall how many recent foreign leaders were depicted as The New Hitler when some wanted them attacked – does that make Obama this generation’s Neville Chamberlain for his refusal to attack Assad? And does it mean that Trump has acted more morally than Obama by doing what Obama refused to do?...
"Ultimately, what is perhaps most depressing about all of this is how, yet again, we see the paucity of choice offered by American democracy. The leadership of both parties can barely contain themselves joining together to cheer the latest war. One candidate – the losing one – ran on a platform of launching this new war, while the other – the victor – repeatedly vowed to avoid it, only to launch it after being in office less than 100 days.
"The one constant of American political life is that the U.S. loves war. Martin Luther King’s 1967 denunciation of the U.S. as 'the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today' is more accurate than ever."
For the complete article, "The Spoils of War..." by Glenn Greenwald, click here.