Americans bombing Syria. Wow, that escalated quickly.
It all started earlier in the week with Trump scapegoating Obama for the chemical attacks in Syria:
President Trump on Tuesday blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons in an attack that left dozens, including women and children, dead this week.
In a written statement, Trump called the attack “heinous” but blamed it on the Obama administration’s failure to impose consequences on Assad for his past use of chemical weapons.
“Today’s chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,” Trump said Tuesday. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution.
“President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing,” he added. “The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack.”
While the statement declared that the attack “cannot be ignored,” it offered no path forward.
Then I sat down at work yesterday morning. Once I had some free time around lunch I started reading a piece about the banning of Bannon from the NSC entitled, Steve Bannon is Losing to the Globalists:
To most members of the Washington foreign-policy establishment, regardless of party affiliation, that will come as an immense relief. It suggests that business as usual—Atlanticism, free trade, American economic and military engagement across the globe—will ultimately prevail. Bannon has embraced an alternative vision, which he calls “economic nationalism.” Many of his critics have identified it as a desire to upend the international order that was established after the Second World War, and to replace it with a protectionist, ethnocentric model—one in which the United States, Russia, and nationalist-led European countries join together to fight Islam and confront a rising China. During the campaign, and even during the transition, Trump sometimes seemed to be leaning in Bannon’s direction. But since he has taken office, the actions of his Administration have indicated otherwise.
This summary had me wondering, as weird as Bannon might be, whether his demise signals a turn for the worse.
Hillary Clinton, oddly enough, was the messenger of the turn for the worse once the afternoon rolled around here on the West Coast:
In her first interview since her stunning presidential election defeat by Republican rival Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton on Thursday called for the United States to bomb Syrian air fields.Clinton, in an interview at the Women in the World Summit in New York, also called Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election a theft more damaging than Watergate.
Asked whether she now believes that failing to take a tougher stand against Syria was her worst foreign policy mistake as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, Clinton said she favored more aggressive action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“I think we should have been more willing to confront Assad,” Clinton said in the interview, conducted by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
“I really believe we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.”
Lo and behold, as I was driving home in the evening, a dear friend sent me a text saying we’re going to war with Syria. I did a double take and confirmed it was true by turning to NPR, which by then was beating the war drums.
Late in the evening, at home, the hashtag #WW3 was trending among alt-right and conspiracy types. They were speculating whether this isn’t just the establishment doing what it always does when there’s a divided country: rashly going to war.
But what if the nutters are not so far off the mark? . . .