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The Death Of Truth And Love Of War

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59 Tomahawk missiles rained down on a obscure Syrian air-base ordered by an American president that just 30 days ago told the world that helping Syrian refugees fleeing a deadly civil war and a ruthless butcher names Assad, were of very little consequence to him. Then the man had a change of heart after he saw photos of some dead children. Bombs away! And Senator John McCain reflex war drooling went into overdrive. While President Trump could not muster the crocodile tears thing, perfected by Bill Clinton, he did say, in a kind of Trumpian gibberish that he was sorry for the children. Me? I don't believe that one whit.

You see the first casualty of the Trump Administration is truth. Today, there are "alternative facts," "fake news" and other Orwellian doublespeak all designed and purposely crafted to stab truth in the gut. Lies are the new truths, delivered glibly, easily and often to a populace so manipulated that controlled as to be mindless zombies. Welcome to Trump's World 2017.

Its not that the United States President on down continue to have an adversarial relationship with truth and facts, but it is the nonchalance and uncaring way that they cavalierly just toss around easily discerned falsehoods. Today, I'm convinced that the fetid smell of truth's rigor mortis in Washington seeps across the city until it has now poisoned the political climate and what's left of anyone's reputation. From supine and sycophantic congressional leaders, administration yes-men (and women), ethics lawyers and America's hitherto moral leadership, Trump has taken less than three months to infect them all.

Trump's Syrian escapade is a study in falsehoods, political conmanism and how this administration continues to "play the American people." Listen to the United States' erstwhile commander-in-chief: [I authorized] "a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched". Good so far. No political fandango here. Ok, so why the attack in the first place? Because the president said he saw photos of dead children? Well, not really.

Trump's military people then explained the president's action by incredulously stating that the Tomahawk barrage was "to send a message." Why am I surrounded by nuts, dolts and dunderheads? What unadulterated nonsense this is? Earth to Donald Bashar al-Assad will not cease his alleged murderous actions against his people because you just delivered "a message" via Tomahawk mail. How are sane people the world over supposed to believe there is any lucid strategy to Trump's actions? Here's where if gets really confusing. Only the week before the strike Trump's zany UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, said this of Assad: "Do we think he's a hindrance? Yes. Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No." Was she lying? What's the policy here?

In the aftermath of the much media promoted "message strike," the evidence is clear" apart from the $60 million price for the missile blitz that the American people will pick up, nothing much was accomplished. That's because the Russians moved their assets from the base after being warned of the attack by the United States and you could bet your bottom dollar that they in turn tipped off the Syrians. The attack did not target Syria's air defenses meaning that this public relations stunt carried out for political reasons and to portray Trump as tough left the Syrian war machine in tact and did not degrade in any impactful degree Assad's ability to continue to prosecute this nasty little war.

Then when people started to question President Trump's reasons for this grandiose but nil effectiveness in the scheme of things Syrian, the man then went off on blaming former President Barack Obama for the war with some very confusing, even for Trump, rhetoric. You see, Trump now fins himself in a real bind due to the cumulative effect of lying and spin. For American presidents it used to be that telling the truth (or versions of it) was easy and expected. It was what American power and influence was built on -- the word of the president of the United States. It was on this truth-telling that the world's greatest armed forces and richest economy was built.

So in the case of Syria and throughout history, when a foreign tyrant engaged in mass murder using any kind of means, including those that threatened global security, it used to be a simple thing for any United States presidential staff: tell the truth, with moral clarity.

Not so today. What we now have a Trump White House that witnesses the horror of a chemical attack on Syrian civilians and without taking action dishonestly issues a scurrilous meme attacking a former United States president. On the heads of over 100 dead and the smell of putrid chemical gas lingering in the air of northern Syria, Trump and his White House created a confuffle to lay the blame on Barack Obama. Hear Trump in his first statement about the latest Syrian tragedy.

"These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution," Trump declared in the second sentence of a brief written statement.

Lord, deliver us from the clutches of nincompoops. No, dear Donald. The heinous actions are the consequence and results of a brutal and ruthless leader. Period. And yes, this dictator is supported and coddled by you supposed friend Vladimir Putin. Ah, what are friends for if we can't lie for them, eh? Implicit in Trump's statement is the fact that he really, I mean really, still dislike Barack Obama.

Here he is again:

"I think the Obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis a long time ago when he said the red line in the sand. And when he didn't cross that line after making the threat, I think that set us back a long ways, not only in Syria, but in many other parts of the world, because it was a blank threat. I think it was something that was not one of our better days as a country."

Come again? WTF! I'm just Lol! Dear, dear Donald, you ARE the President of the United States, the commander-in-chief Dude! All this blaming Obama at every turn reeks of obsession and quite plainly suggests a kind of paranoia. Keep this up and that is also going to infect Washington. That and the constant erratic and jerky flip-floppery that now passed for diplomacy and foreign policy. Pardon me, but your foreign policy seems to rest on the notion that to end war the United States must make more war.

You see, an emotional response to anything is NOT A STRATEGY. The missile attack though drawing huge publicity and initial euphoria has now left the world with this question: why did the US bomb an empty airbase and expend so much armaments without a clear sense of purpose? If it was to "send a message," what message it that? The way the attack was carried out also leaves me with a sense of impending dread that President Trump can be egged on and manipulated into military adventures easily and with little efforts. His decision to send a US battleship near the North Korean border is another reckless and clearly not thought out move. These are troubling signs that the commander-in-chief believes that he can act with authoritarian impunity when any nation or anyone for that matter does something that he personally do not like.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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