Friday, April 07, 2017


President Trump ordered an airstrike on Syria last night. If you listen to mainstream pundits, you probably assume that this could be unsettling to Trump's most passionate supporters, who thought he was an "America First" isolationist.

But the pro-Trump media doesn't think this is going to be poorly received by the fans. Here are the headlines at Breitbart:

Here's Fox:

Here's the U.K.'s Daily Mail:

There won't be any cognitive dissonance for Trump fans. Sure, he criticized the Iraq War and expressed skepticism about certain kinds of intervention, but he also invoked Patton at every opportunity and talked about taking Iraqi oil and bombing the shit out of ISIS. The fans didn't hear a critique of interventionism -- what they heard was: Let's do military stuff that kicks ass and not do military stuff that doesn't kick ass.

If that seems like an unsophisticated, Beavis-and-Butthead-esque geostrategic taxonomy, well, there you are. The guideline at the Obama White House was Don't do stupid stuff; the Trump message, both during the campaign and now, is Don't do stuff unless it provides gratification. I'm sure this did, so Trump voters will be delighted with it. The necessary steps to accomplish any real objective with regard to Syria? Those would be frustratingly difficult, so it's hard to imagine this administration following through in any intelligent manner. But this was satisfying, to both Trump voters and the short-attention-span, stimulus-junkie president, so it's no surprise that it happened.


CLARIFICATION: When I talk about Trump's fans, I'm talking about the ordinary-schmuck deplorables, not the college-boy alt-rightists. I see that they're not happy. I hope to have more to say about that this afternoon.

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