What’s Less Clear Is What Type Of Action Trump Has In Mind…
A suspected chemical attack by the Syrian government killed dozens of people in a town outside of Damascus. Victims, including many civilians, were described as having suffocated to death. Syria and Russia claim it’s “fake news” either a hoax, or anti-government rebels somehow gasses themselves in order to gain the attention of the international community.
Last time Trump got word of a similar attack, almost exactly a year ago, he fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria, an action that won him wide praise.
This time, Trump Tweeted:
Now, most everybody focused on the first two Tweets, because it’s so unusual for Trump to call Putin out by name. (And of course right wingers jumped for joy, pointing at “proof” Trump’s not beholden to Putin).
But what’s really most critical is that 3rd Tweet. Not because he blames Obama for the entire situation in Syria. (Also it was Syrian President Assad’s line to cross, not Obama’s.) But it’s true Assad crossed it, and Obama didn’t do anything. So If Obama didn’t cross “his stated Red Line In The Sand” does that mean Trump will?
As of time of publication of this newsletter, there has been an attack against a Syrian airbase. The U.S. denies responsibility for that. Syria, Russia, and Lebanon say Israel was behind it. And with Trump, in his Tweet, promising a “big price to pay”, there’s likely to be more.
One other thing to watch for: how big a role France’s President Emmanuel Macron plays in the response to the attack. We’ve asserted that just as China has rushed to fill a void created by Trump’s abdication of America’s customary role of world economic leader, Macron and France seem to be filling a diplomatic void created by Trump, especially when it comes of the Mideast.
Quick Follow-Up To Our Edition Last Week Entitled: “Problem Is, When You Lie And Cheat All The Time, You Assume Everybody Else Is Lying And Cheating So It’s Normal…”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Pruitt is not only spending millions on a full-time 20 person security force, and in the course of providing protection for himself also at times “diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes”. But who needs that when we already have “record clean air & water”?
And A Quick Footnote To That…
Trump responded to a Washington Post story suggesting Chief of Staff John Kelly has “faded” claiming:
And we think the President in this case may have a point. Because we think most people (including Washington Post reporters) have no idea what it’s like to work for Trump because they’ve never had a boss like him, and therefore they sometimes read him inaccurately.
We’re not arguing John Kelly’s on solid ground, and if he decides to quit, we’d completely understand. Just that we have had bosses like Trump (in fact one who is, not ironically, a very good friend of his), and the Post article read to us like a very accurate description of what it was like to work for that person every single day. All the confrontation and yelling and berating? That meant you were on his good side. When that stops is when you have to start worrying…