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The Kakistocracy Strikes Back

2017-04-07

Thursday evening around  8:40 PM Eastern time, two US destroyers, the Porter and the Ross, scored 59 Tomahawk cruise missile hits on Al Shayrat airfield in far western Syria.  By the way, each Tomahawk carries either a half-ton of high explosives or a multiple bomblet dispenser, and is capable of flying over a thousand miles from its ship launch.   It is a matter of public knowledge that the US maintains stocks of about 3,500 Tomahawks.  To compare the force level used, over 800 Tomahawks were used in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and 79 were fired at Afghanistan in 1998 in retaliation for the bombing of US embassies by Al Qaeda.

The reason Donald ordered this missile strike is that he needs to appear presidential.  As usual, he learned of the sarin gas attack in Idlib from Fox News, which he watches obsessively.  Unlike virtually all presidents before him, he does not read briefing papers or participate in oral briefings from recognized experts.  His view of the situation is colored by his need to distract us from the FBI investigation into his collusion with Russian hacking of our election.

The expertise for this air strike was entirely supplied by our military, supervised by Mattis and officers under his command.  Donald was not required to perform any planning, but was presented with three options, from which he chose the two smaller for further consideration.  It should be noted that our military is a self-selected expert system which is nearly impervious to Donald’s influence but will cheerfully exercise any military adventure he may approve.  This presents the possibility that excessive and pointless military action will be a hallmark of Donald’s administration.

The other reason for this missile strike is that al-Assad violated his express agreement to refrain from the use of sarin after the previous attack four years ago resulted in a global backlash that forced him to destroy most of his stocks of nerve gas.  Thus, a forceful response is justified and no-one in the US will object.  Many will demand that we wipe out al-Assad’s entire air force, with which he prosecutes his fratricidal war.

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