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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

A Wag The Dog Farce

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 04/08/17 17:28

by Dave Mindeman

With all things Trump, you have to wait for the details to get the full picture. And so it is with this missile strike in Syria.

59 Tomahawk missiles go into a small airfield and do virtually no damage to the air strip itself. That is only possible if it was not your target. So the air strip was spared and Syrian aircraft were using it the next day. Trump has an excuse...he says runways are the easiest to repair; just need to fill in the holes and resurface. OK. So they are easy to repair, but repairs still take a little bit of time. Not hitting it at all means it is usable immediately.

Another point. These Tomahawk missiles (which are built by Raytheon, a company that Trump owns stock in), were a surface detonated type. That means the explosion is targeted outward from impact. We have another type which is called crater makers. They can cause pockmarked craters in a targeted area. Very deep and very big. If these had been used on an air strip, they would have taken some time to make repairs. But the initial explanation is that they feared sarin gas underground tanks....which would have caused a major release. Well, sarin gas could also be stored in the surface buildings and they were obliterated. Again, a weak explanation.

We are told that infrastructure and planes were the big target. And we did destroy some buildings and some planes. However, Trump gave Russia an advance warning about the strike (by the way, wasn't Trump the guy that keeps everything he does a secret?), which in turn means Assad was given warning and probably moved planes and weaponry out of harms way...as much as he was able.

This has all the earmarks of a loud publicity stunt. It does several things...

1) Makes Trump look decisive to the low information observer.
2) Looks like he is sending a message.
3) Makes it look like he is breaking with Russia.
4) Distracts from his other Russia issues.
5) Pushes his GOP allies to rally around him.

All of those points are cosmetic actions. All of them are appearances rather than substance.

Frankly, it is a wag the dog farce.
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