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Taibbi writes: "They have an excuse - they're stupid and crazy. What's ours?"

President Trump has threatened military action against Syria, leaving the world on edge. (photo: Xinhua News)
President Trump has threatened military action against Syria, leaving the world on edge. (photo: Xinhua News)

If We're on the Brink of War, the Fault Is Ours, Not Trump's or Bolton's

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

13 April 18

They have an excuse – they’re stupid and crazy. What’s ours?

o here we are, on the brink. Here’s Donald Trump’s tough-ass tweet about how he’s about to mix it up with both Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s Vladimir Putin:

The fate of humanity now rests in the hands of this Twitter-obsessed dingbat executive and his new national security adviser, John Bolton – one of the most deranged people to have ever served in the United States government, a man who makes Jeane Kirkpatrick look like Florence Nightingale.

With these two at the helm, we are now facing the imminent possibility of direct military conflict with a nuclear enemy. No one in the popular press is saying it, but there could easily be Russian casualties in Trump’s inevitable bombing campaign. Which will then put the onus on a third lunatic, Vladimir Putin, to respond with appropriate restraint.

Ironically, pretty much the only places where you will read today about the frightening possibility of Russian casualties are in military journals, in the nervous musings of Pentagon officials. Here and there you will see reports of concern about what might happen if we kill the wrong Russians, or the wrong quantity of Russians. One outlet calmly suggested the Russians might step up "harassment" of U.S. warplanes and outposts if we kill too many of theirs, as if this would not cause the whole world to soil itself in terror.

So to recap: the most terminally insecure president ever sits in the White House, advised by one of the most war-crazy hacks in the history of federal service, at the outset of a fully avoidable proxy war with an enemy that possesses thousands of lethal thermonuclear warheads aimed directly at us.

Bear in mind that virtually any exchange of nuclear missiles between these two countries would mean the absolute end of civilization. We could all, right now, be minutes away from the end of everything, especially given who holds the respective buttons.

At the beginning of the Trump presidency the sole goal of all thinking people ought to have been: survive. Bad as the possibilities of a Trump presidency were, we could live through almost all of them, except one: Trump trying to conduct a war with a nuclear adversary.

He is the first president we’ve ever had who combines the two deadly qualities of a) being stupid enough to think nuclear war is survivable and b) lacking the counsel of sensible persons to steer him away from impulsive, civilization-imperiling moves. JFK, desperate for career-defining war and perpetually cranked on his morning Dr. Feelgood injections, was the last executive who came close to being this scary – and he wasn’t remotely as bad.

But we had a head start in dodging the bullet with Trump, as one of the few not-terrifying qualities he demonstrated as a candidate was his seeming reluctance to get into unnecessary wars. Trump was specifically on record as wanting to "stay out of Syria." 

Trump’s isolationism was of course at least partly insincere, as the Orange One has stepped up drone attacks, and both he and his Large Adult Son have gushed over events like the dropping of the cretinous MOAB weapon in Afghanistan. ("Another promise kept #moab #maga," moron-tweeted Don, Jr.) Trump even reportedly bragged that he dropped the "Mother Of All Bombs" after eating a "terrific, moist lemon bundt cake." (He later bragged he was eating a "beautiful piece of chocolate cake" when he bombed Syria.)

But, unlike his racism and xenophobia and lack of sympathy for the poor – issues where there are obvious currents visible in what passes for his mind – Trump is highly suggestible in matters military.

He played isolationist as a candidate because he sensed that was what his voters wanted (and he was right about this, as studies later showed that communities hit hardest by our Middle Eastern wars responded to Trump’s isolationist message).

As president, however, the one time he received praise from the Washington consensus was when he bombed Assad last year. You might remember that as the time when Fareed Zakaria gushed on CNN, "Donald Trump became president tonight," and a tumescent Brian Williams countered by calling the bombs "beautiful" 8 times in 30 seconds, quoting Leonard Cohen as he said, "I am guided by the beauty of our weapons."

That remains the best night of press Donald Trump has ever gotten on MSNBC.

That was last year. This year, it’s worse. Virtually the entire intellectual consensus within Washington – with a few exceptions among progressives and Republican outcasts like like Rand Paul – has been pushing the president in the direction of conflict. 

Predictably, the instant Trump actually began to threaten military action against Assad and Putin, the pundit-o-sphere began to embrace a new line: They had been against military action all along!

Why, some Media Matters types, academics like UMass professor Paul Musgrave, and think-tankers like Brookings Institution fellow Tom Wright even began suggesting that it had not been they themselves, but evil foreigners, in conjunction with Fox News, who drove Trump to his "reckless" behavior.

"If the president’s reckless Russia tweets were driven by Fox and Friends segments today, as [Media Matters analyst] @MattGertz suggests," wrote Musgrave, "perhaps we should make the show’s producer a Senate-confirmable post."

"There is a real question as to whether foreign intelligence agencies have tried to penetrate Fox News, especially Fox and Friends," added Wright.

The unbelievable hypocrisy of all of this is belied by the actions of, well, just about all of Washington.

It started two weeks ago, when Trump announced he was pulling out of Syria.

"We're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now," he said, reverting to his campaign persona in Ohio.

The D.C. intelligentsia wasted no time in hammering this decision.

"Trump’s Syria Policy Isn’t Retrenchement, It’s Pandering," sneered Foreign Policy.

"Chaos reigns with his president," said Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono, calling the withdrawal plan "incoherent."

Howard Dean, a man I once voted for because he at least tepidly opposed a pointless Middle Eastern war, decided to use this occasion to taunt Trump in schoolyard fashion.

"Why are you such a wimp for Assad and Putin?" Dean tweeted.

Subsequently, news emerged of a chemical gas attack on citizens in a town near Damascus. The Assad regime was blamed, but denied responsibility.

Washington’s smart set instantly concluded (despite some at least faintly legitimate concern about the intelligence linking Assad to the attack) that Trump not only could not leave Syria, but also had to retaliate militarily.

Moreover, some insisted, the gas attack was actually Trump’s fault.

"@POTUS's pledge to withdraw from #Syria has only emboldened Assad," tweeted John McCain.

"Clearly there needs to be a response. It needs to be an international response," said Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, underscoring the bipartisan agreement.

"I would destroy Assad’s Air Force," said Lindsey Graham.

"Some kind of military response ought to be considered," said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. "It has to be robust and unmistakable."

The notion that Trump needed to do more than lob a few wimpy little missiles was a popular theme.

In some cases, there was a caveat to "bomb immediately" – Trump should do it, but only after asking for congressional support, which he would of course get.

Tim Kaine said, "I think there's a good argument to be made that there should be a military tough response," then said Trump should ask congress first, then said he would vote yes if asked.

In Britain, a nation whose foreign policy moves have become unpleasantly intertwined with our own in a way eerily reminiscent of the Iraq war era, Theresa May said the use of chemical weapons "cannot go unchallenged."

In the press, this is what the New York Times had to say in its house editorial (emphasis mine): "Tough talk without a coherent strategy or follow-through is dangerous."

"Morning" Joe Scarborough offered this armchair-tough tweet, aping the McCain take: "Trump announced plans this week to surrender Syria to Putin, Assad, ISIS and Iran. Putin’s puppet responded to Trump’s weakness with war crimes."

Among think-tankers, Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute penned the non-sensational editorial, "It’s time to assassinate Assad."

"Chemical Attack in Syria Demands Stiff Response from U.S., Allies," wrote Luke Coffey of the Heritage Foundation.

So pols, press, and talking heads were virtually all been in agreement. Attack!

One could maybe understand this attitude from millennials, who weren’t raised amid The Day After or "99 Luftballoons" or "1999" or Failsafe or Dr. Strangelove even, and have never experienced even fake angst about growing up under the specter of nuclear war. But all the preceding generations should know better. We all grew up aware it could all be over in a heartbeat.

This is probably the most serious showdown between nuclear powers since the Cuban missile crisis, or at the very least, the shooting down of Korean Airlines flight 007 in 1983.

The oft-derided Doomsday Clock, kept by the Union of Atomic Scientists, describes us as closer to nuclear war than at any time since 1953, when both the U.S. and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear weapons for the first time. "The continued existence of urban, technological civilization will soon hang in a precarious balance," the Scientists predicted then.

They were right. It’s no mystery that most of the permanent jobholder types who occupy Washington have since shown they will reflexively endorse pretty much any military action in any situation. There’s never been any real institutional pull toward peace and sanity in our politics, just the occasional quixotic straggler.

But in the pre-Trump years, this Beltway reflex mostly supported a predictable – if bloodthirsty – form of global interventionism. It was never so suicidal, never so maniacal. Whether Trump has brought out the worst in us, or we’ve just lost our minds, we’ve become a danger to the world and to ourselves, holding John Bolton to our heads as a suicide weapon.

That Trump might forget the awesome danger of nuclear war is a given. The man is a fool. But what’s our excuse? your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+40 # sashapyle 2018-04-13 13:39
My heart breaks for the people of Syria trying to survive first their horrible government and then ours.
+19 # yolo 2018-04-13 13:52
While you denigrate Trump, you seem to forget the people's other choice for president. Hillary who has been an advocate for regime change everywhere, while attacking Putin and calling for a no fly zone in Syria while the Russian's where operating there, basically asking for war. So while Trump may be regrettable the alternative is/was worse, not to mention Pence. What worries me is if Trump doesn't obey his handlers I mean advisors, will he be removed so Pence can start WWIII. Why do all these people have a death wish? The only thing I can conclude is that as the ancient Athenian leader Pericles once said, "Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go" Trump threatens those in power and they are not going to let it go and will risk everything to keep it.
+5 # coexist 2018-04-14 13:56
Pence has a Messianic complex and feels that all of this is in direct agreement with Biblical prophesies=scar y! I agree about Hilary, with her no-fly zone over Syria, it was a given that we'd have war with Russia. I guess they think they can all duck into their bomb shelters, but do they think past that?
+4 # laborequalswealth 2018-04-15 12:44
Yolo - I had to check the name of the poster to be sure this wasn't something I'd posted earlier, Absolutely on target. Hillary would feel compelled to show her "balls" and gods help us after that. And Dominionist Pence? Jesus H. Christ.

I find it astounding that the so-called Democrats are practically begging to start World War III, while Tucker Carlson (!) and a General nicknamed "Mad Dog" are counselling common sense, rationality and restraint.

Talk about an upsidedown world.
+3 # ljslotnick 2018-04-16 05:23
Recommend to all to view a recent Jimmy Dorr episode in which he turns over almost all of the airtime to playing Tucker Carlson's Fox News analysis of the Syria situation. Honestly, I thought I was listening to Keith Olberman and not Carlson. Carlson essentially called the recent chemical attack a false flag operation designed to keep US troops in Syria indefinitely. The logic was undeniable. As Dorr reminds us...the US military doesn't "do withdrawal" well at all. Understand this: Assad's regime is a secular regime (as was Saddam Hussein's) and with Russia's support has essentially overcome ideological rebel forces and declared victory. Why would Assad provoke an attack from the West at this point! Sixty persons died in this attack. The US kills probably 60 people a day in drone strikes. The Saudis are creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen with US support. Yes, somehow, our Congress is supporting intervention in Syria in retaliation for a chemical attack that has not yet been proven to be Assad's . And by the way, the Defense Dept has acknowledged that there is still no proof that Assad was behind last year's chemical attack, either.
+12 # gentry cooper 2018-04-13 14:25
I agree with what u write for the most part Matt. But in this case I stoppedreading ur article after u called Vladimir Putin a 3rd lunatic. As if he is on the same level as Trump and the vile Bolton
+3 # itchyvet 2018-04-13 23:00
Thank you Gentry, you took the words right out of my mouth.
I wonder what the authors actions would be if he were in Putin's shoes surrounded by nations that have vowed to end Russia's independence, and installed missiles surrounding them, constantly waging war on them and introducing sanctions trying to force them to bend the knee to American demands. Because this site supports crap like that, I'll never ever be making any financial support for it.
+42 # Adoregon 2018-04-13 14:32
As Bayer prepares to buy Monsanto, you might want to chew on this:


Not as immediately fatal as nuclear detonations, but equally disruptive to life on earth over the longer term.
+12 # economagic 2018-04-13 19:29
A good many of them developed from German chemical warfare technology.
0 # Yadayada 2018-04-14 16:03
Actually yes - look up the breakup of IG Farben after the war and the separate companies that were created from that break-up. You might be surprised at all the names you recognize.
+2 # Benign Observer 2018-04-15 00:47
Quoting Yadayada:
You might be surprised at all the names you recognize.
Especially if you told us a few! Are you some kind of news tease!?
+4 # Porfiry 2018-04-13 14:37
+25 # engelbach 2018-04-13 14:38
"But what’s our excuse?"
Our excuse is that we did not vote for him, or any other GOP candidate for office.

What's with this "we" every time the ruling class makes a move that hurts working people?

The Democratic Party dissed its progressive base and lost the support of progressive-min ded independents. What's their excuse?

Don't blame millions of voters who were unconvinced by the Democrats to vote for them.

If you think it's so easy to oust a ruling class from power, look at England. France. Virtually any other country with an oligarchic government.

Collective guilt will not win elections, much less make a revolution.
+19 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-04-13 14:45
"He is the first president we’ve ever had who combines the two deadly qualities of a) being stupid enough to think nuclear war is survivable and b) lacking the counsel of sensible persons to steer him away from impulsive, civilization-im periling moves."

Sorry, Matt. Reagan was the first on both of these. Reagan's people even speculated in public about whether 80 million dead Amerians would be an acceptable loss if Russia could be totally destroyed. The Reagan people said it would be worth it.

Matt cites the real crazies like Graham. The major media is beating the drums of war just like they did in 2003.

But there are many stories of back channel communications between the US military and the Russian military to make sure no Russians are killed in a bombing. From what I read, the Pentagon seems to be looking for some sympolic targets they can blow up just to show the American people how beautiful their weapons are -- to refer to the odious Brian Williams.

The other problem is that inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons are set to arrive and begin their analysis on Saturday. It is not likely that the Pentagon will bomb while they are there. It may take a few weeks for their analysis. It is likely they will produce a report that no attack took place.

I'm beginning to think this is another media hype-storm. Trump's twitters are, as usual, responses to idiocies in the media.
+11 # Texas Aggie 2018-04-13 21:04
a) being stupid enough to think nuclear war is survivable

Reagan was the first on both of these.

One word: SALT
0 # elkingo 2018-04-13 21:37
Maybe 80 mil American dead was acceptable to Ronnie and even Kennedy, but that figure might have included ME: STEVE GOLDMAN!!!!!! This is surely why Ronnie and JFK averted nukewar at the last moment. Please use whatever strong personal influence you have with Trumpie, and save my ass!!!!!
+23 # CEB 2018-04-13 14:58
How come everything these days with Russia is a pissing contest from the Steele dossier alleged activities to this latest extreme example of insanity coupled with stupidity. Doesn't anyone know any history? No excuse for millenials. Didn't they read about Hiroshima and Nagasaki in their history lessons? Let's bring back the Tom Lehrer song which said it best: "Oh, we'll all go together when we go" Look it up on YouTube if you don't know it." Besides,'s catchy. And God knows it's relevant....
+7 # economagic 2018-04-13 19:40
And Lehrer is still alive, just turned 90.
0 # jazzman633 2018-04-24 17:16
Lived to see his parodies become reality. Remember "First we got the bomb, and that ws good, 'cause we love peace and motherhood...Wh o's next?"
+10 # ChrisII 2018-04-13 15:03
I agree with most of what Matt says, except for calling the only adult in the room, Putin, a lunatic. We had better hope that he's not, and that he instead exercises a superhuman restraint.
+15 # wrknight 2018-04-13 15:13
Sorry, Matt. Putin isn't a lunatic. He may be an oppressive ruler, but unlike our own president, he is neither insane, stupid or irrational. How Putin responds will depend entirely on Trump's actions.
+1 # randrjwr 2018-04-13 23:04
Quoting wrknight:
Sorry, Matt. Putin isn't a lunatic. He may be an oppressive ruler, but unlike our own president, he is neither insane, stupid or irrational. How Putin responds will depend entirely on Trump's actions.

Right. I would much rather play poker against Trump than against Putin--and if Trump and Putin ever play poker, I will dig out my old Russian texts and refresh my memory.
0 # Benign Observer 2018-04-15 00:49
I would much rather play roller derby against Trump. I think I could take him!

Putin could probably take both of us :-
+7 # tedrey 2018-04-13 15:23
Just say NO! Washington and the media are insane. We've left deadly weapons in the hands of infant intellects, There may be some hope in some foreign countries, but for us here, we can onl y say NO! and hope for sanity that has yet to appear.
+31 # tedrey 2018-04-13 15:28
[I posted this yesterday. Worth repeating.]

American thought is so enmeshed in a web of American exceptionalism that even Bernie Sanders can't go further than say "ask Congress first"!

We should *ask* our legislature if we should proactively invade, bomb, and seek regime change on foreign countries who do not threaten us, against the Geneva Conventions, ignoring the UN and the advice of allies, in a most precarious situation involving lives all over the world -- and if that rightly despised legislature says "Yes,' . . . then DO IT!

Are we insane? The people of the world think we are and only fear to say so out loud *because* they know we are. They fear they're next. Russia has 9 military bases outside of its country; China has none; America has 800! We have more military force than all the rest of the world combined, and counting! And we use it to enrich our upperclass and destroy the lives and property of the subjects of any two-bit dictator or idealist statesman who doesn't kowtow to us.

Any sane legislator . . . or lawyer or officer or commentator, or reader of RSN for that matter for that matter ... should say NO! --

Or all the heroes and saints of history died in vain. Gandhi inspire us; Buddha guide us; Jesus save us. And all of you ... say NO!

Of course, if you think I am irrational, and that the course that you are being urged to accept by our leaders, is sane, then shut your eyes.
+1 # sashapyle 2018-04-14 13:09
Actually we use our force or implied force to control and co-opt some of those two-bit dictators since they apparently are to be admired and emulated and serve as tools later. The whole thing= Yuck. We also inevitably go to war with everyone we have sold weapons to. Think about that list of future adversaries! How is anyone to survive?
+20 # wrknight 2018-04-13 15:55
Unfortunately, Washington is full of chicken-hawks who would never dirty their hands putting on a uniform, picking up a gun and facing a real, live, armed enemy. The chicken-hawks will gladly encourage the President to spend other people's money on war and send other people's children to be killed in battle for the glory (and profit) of the empire.

So long as we have a purely volunteer (mercenary) military force that involves less than 5% of Americans, and so long as the chicken-hawks continue to produce and control the great war machine, they will continue to advocate for war. For them, war is a no risk spectacle that is both entertaining and profitable.

I will never forget the look of pure ecstasy on Cheney's face during the bombing of Damascus.
0 # elkingo 2018-04-13 21:31
Yeah but wrk -nuke war is dangerous even to the assholes who perpetrate it, nicht war?
+4 # wrknight 2018-04-14 08:22
Das ist sehr war. Unfortunately, there's a new breed that actually believes they can survive a nuclear war. They actually believe their star wars anti-missile defense system will shoot down Russia's ICBMs in space. I don't buy that BS, but they do.
+19 # economagic 2018-04-13 16:26
"But what’s our excuse?"

Depends on what you mean by "our." Some people have been fighting or at least protesting this crap continually forgoing on 70 years, and hordes of others have been pretty actively in opposition for the past 50, even though we never pulled many more that 100,000 in one place at the same time in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, although there were a couple of much larger crowds in Europe.

What appalls me, though it doesn't surprise me, is the number of sanctimonious fools commenting on some web sites that they would protest war against Syria but not firing of Mueller or Rosenstein. It is the Constitution itself, flawed as it was and has become, that we are defending, not any particular Bush (sic) league despot. If the Supreme Law of the Land is not the law in too many situations, it becomes null and void in all situations.

I still recommend Yale Historian Timothy Snyder’s little book, On Tyranny, published last year to remind us how tyrants seize power. In most cases we cede it to them little by little.
+8 # LionMousePudding 2018-04-13 16:44
Yes, it is the failure of there media which does by far the worst harm. I know well that we people can protest war by the hundreds of thousands and have no one know because the media does not cover it. The media covers what the war hungry politicians want (kinda like Iraq). There are certainly many politicians who do not want war. Is Bernie being quoted?

Point being, Matt, you are talking to by far the wrong people. How do you plan to change the minds of the bad actors in the media? Figure it out. Writing to us is like pissing into the wind.
-1 # EternalTruth 2018-04-15 22:21
“Writing to us is like pissing into the wind.”

I hardly think that writing in Rolling Stone is writing to “us”. I think he’s doing the best he can to “change the minds of the bad actors in the media.” You can’t change the minds of people who don’t give a damn. You have to change the minds of the people who consume their product . Matt has a large readership and generally speaks truths that the article rest of the msm are too timid to broach or too stupid to understand . I consider Matt Taibbi to be one of the most courageous and important voices in the media today. Figure it out? What the hell do you think he could do beyond what he’s doing?
0 # LionMousePudding 2018-04-17 04:41
True about his audience. I was not paying attention to who the author was.

However, nowhere in here does he say the role his intended audience should pay is as consumers changing the product second hand with their pocketbooks. So I disagree with that. He is blaming people for what the media could but does not do.
+6 # dascher 2018-04-13 17:38
until now, it has not been entirely clear (to me at least) where Matt stands on the issues of war and peace. military foolishness that can only invoke memories of the stupidity that brought us "The Great War", and the end of civilization. In this piece, he makes it clear that he is much more than a cynical smart-ass who can turn a sharp phrase while stripping the veneer off the freedom and liberty loving corporate wolves and their academic enablers as he did so well when writing about Russia during the Great Dismantling of state owned enterprises for the benefit of the oligarchs who appeared out of the fog.
+5 # gentry cooper 2018-04-13 18:02
I have throughout the years agreed with most of what you have written in your articles, Matt. But with this article I stopped reading when you said that Vladimir Putin is a third lunatic, suggesting that he is on the same level in foreign policy or world affairs as Trump and the vile Bolton. This is the kind of writing by so called progressives that just get us in trouble with the public in general. Even other progressives. Just tell the truth. Equating Vladimir Putin with Trump and Bolton is not telling the truth.

lunatic the same level as anthe
0 # elkingo 2018-04-13 21:28
gc: It IS the truth in the significant basic dimensions. Trump, Putin, Assad, Jing Pau Ping (sp? Kim Jong Un and the rest are all the heads of capitalist warfare states with nukes. The nation-state is an outmoded insanity. And nuke exchange is planetcide. Want that? None of these assholes should be in power. You gotta ask yourself what are the primary considerations. You don't gas children, and you don't destroy the world.
-3 # Robbee 2018-04-13 18:22
If We're on the Brink of War, the Fault Is Ours, Not Trump's or Bolton's, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 13 April 18

They have an excuse – they’re stupid and crazy. What’s ours?

- well, it's like this? lib tole us that hillary would war with putin, so we all fled to dickhead? to save our very lives? better a crazy dictator than dead?

and besides, everyone but robbee swore that hillary would win? so we may as well throw away our vote on anyone but hillary? or, on the other hand? if only we beat dead-horse jillie long and hard enough, she could whip dickhead and hillary, both, and win a majority of electoral college votes too?

moreover we are pure spirits beyond compromise? we simply are too pure to vote lote? "never hillary?"

wow the crap was flying very heavy here on rsn in 2016!

some may say we were played? one insipid citizen with a following boasting thousands? blackmailed superdelegates to vote bernie or bust? so they even pledged to elect dickhead?

“we have seen the enemy! and they are us!” - pogo

"Next time, we must resolve to MAKE OUR VOTE COUNT!" - (caps in original) - bernie

here on rsn, you may get very few comments in answer to your question, matt? rsn is full of buyers' remorse?

don’t it always seem to go?
that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? - j. mitchell
+2 # lfeuille 2018-04-13 20:19
Taibbi is right about what Trump is, but this "We" he is blaming doesn't exist. The country is sharply divided. There are multiple "We's". And Trump is a minority president. I'm sure he knows how we really got here. Trump didn't win, Hillary lost by ignoring large swaths of the population for whom things had gotten so bad that anything seemed better that another neoliberal democrat to take them for granted and ignore their real problems. Trump IS to blame. His stupidity does not excuse his meanness. He gets a kick out of being able to legally kill people. He's not just stupid. He's a sadist. And this talk about getting out of Syria was not aversion to illegal war, it was all about money. He was trying to get Saudi Arabia to pay for it.

And Hillary and the establishment Dems. are also to blame for not providing a meaningful alternative for people in a desperate situation.
+6 # wrknight 2018-04-14 09:18
Don't forget, the Democrats' record on war is as bad as the Republicans. Both parties are under control of the military-indust rial complex and the corporations that profit from war.
0 # lfeuille 2018-04-15 00:17
Trump is not your typical Republican. He is worse than even W. This is more about Trumps impulsiveness and ego than anything else.
+3 # tedrey 2018-04-13 20:24
And now the report is in. The US, UK, and France are now bombing in and around Damascus. (They seem to have gotten there just before the independant inspectors.) The NYT has't reported it yet. Trump' specifically asked Russia and Iran why they want to associate with “the mass murder of innocent men, women and children.”"
One might ask why anyone would now want to associate with Trump!
+4 # elkingo 2018-04-13 21:22
Trump, Putin, Assad et al, all world leaders of the capitalist psychotic global suicide culture must be arrested immediately. The cops can bag you for a 72-hour hold if you are dangerous to yourself or others. What if you are dangerous to yourself, others, and the life on the entire planet?
+7 # librarian1984 2018-04-14 07:13
My stomach sank when I saw we'd launched a strike Friday night. The US and UK have been provoking Russia for years now. We've killed hundreds of Russian citizens. It's only because Putin has shown restraint that we're not already in WW3 so, like many commenters here, I disagree that Putin is a lunatic.

I've been watching a CSPAN call in show this morning. So far I've heard 23 calls. 22 --Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- have been against this military strike, are upset about it. Most believe this is a false flag operation, including two ex-military, and wanted any response to wait for an investigation.

Americans are sick of war and don't trust the generals. Many believe the Pentagon is running the show and wants war.

Past gas attacks were found not to be launched by Assad. The Russian spy, supposedly the victim of an only-Russians-h ave-this-deadly gas, is still alive. It's obvious these are maneuvers by US and our allies to foment endless war. WE are the warmongers. OUR generals are determined to launch a nuclear war.

"Trump has been led by the nose by neocons," said one. Several said they voted for Trump because he said he would END the wars.
+4 # Ralph 2018-04-14 08:30
A couple of things I find odd about this latest bombing:

1. An investigation into the chemical attack at Douma is to be conducted today by an independent watchdog organization called OPCW. Why choose to bomb prior to the investigation?
2. We are shooting missiles at purported stockpiles of chemical weapons. This seems a bit foolhardy. One of two things, we are stupid beyond belief or we damn well know that no stockpiles exist. I would choose the latter.

Of course there are no casualties. I'm fairly certain that all parties knew well in advance the who, what, when and where.

I'm surprised by all the defense of Putin. The guy is nothing more than a criminal oligarch. This good and bad guy stuff is passe. It is beyond a doubt that the criminals who run this global economy are ALL bad actors. The sooner the working class citizenry wake up to this ugly reality, the better.
+1 # librarian1984 2018-04-15 22:47
With Trump and our generals provoking Russia mercilessly, as we have for years now, he is all that stands between us and a nuclear exchange. So far he's shown a lot of restraint.
+4 # tedrey 2018-04-14 08:32
If the US actually already knew the location of Syrian poison gas production as just claimed, why, instead of mmediately revealing that fact to the UN and independent inspectors, did they first bomb all possible evidence for that claim out of existence?
0 # tedrey 2018-04-14 09:19
Videos purporting to show children in Douma being coached in playing gas victims have been circulating for days ... but not in the US media.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-04-14 14:29
ted -- yes, i've seen those. and the current videos really do look faked. If you look at the people in the back of the room or way off to the side, they are just looking on at the action in the center of the frame. They are not panicked, they have no symptons, they are just looking. Not a likely scenario.
+4 # tedrey 2018-04-14 09:35
What a 48 hours!

The UN Secretary General says not to start hostilities before inspectors confirm poison gas claims.

The Britsh Parliament demands to be involved before any hostilities.

Even the US Congress is willing to be informed!

The Defense Secretary personally ask Trump to wait for confirmation from Douma.

Numerous countries and American citizens point out that there is no reason to hurry miliary action before confirmation of the claims.

The UN inspectors are about to arrive at Douma.

Trump orders midnight attacks in Syria.

The U.S. now informs us that the targeted places were known sites of Syrian poison gas production, any evidence for which new claim has now been totally destroyed.

Why didn't Bush think of that!
0 # rogerhgreen 2018-04-15 19:25
Do Trump tweets "You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" Trump knows no history, which scares me more than gas in warfare. Civil wars are like that. The same thing could have been (and probably was) said of Lincoln, Grant and Sherman during America's Civil War. OK, no gas warfare, but during the Civil War a New York school teacher first proposed the offensive use of chlorine gas.
0 # twestheimer 2018-04-18 11:28
Quoting sashapyle:
We also inevitably go to war with everyone we have sold weapons to. Think about that list of future adversaries! How is anyone to survive?
Even more sadly, many teenagers today think our "non-war" wars are the norm .... what's a few more missiles lobbed half way around the world? :-(
0 # jazzman633 2018-04-24 17:30
OK, everybody. Time to vote Libertarian - the only political organization committed to ending this madness.

I worry because there's nothing standing in the way of disaster. All-volunteer army, a draftable generation glued to its iPhones, obsequious media, and war-loving macho men in charge of the government and the military/indust rial complex. Outlook not good.

There's hope. Even under the present system, It's all on Congress. They have the power to initiate removal of the President. They have the power to declare war. Why do they not act?

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