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Trump makes war, and everyone swoons

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There’s nothing like firing 59 million-dollar missiles at a foreign country to make the U.S. foreign policy elites swoon. That’s the message of Trump’s “beautiful babies” strike on Syria Thursday. Virtually the entire establishment has lined up behind him, Obama aides are quietly cheering, Anne-Marie Slaughter finally got what she wanted, Brian Williams found the images of war “beautiful,” and the few Democrats who have challenged Trump, notably Chris Murphy of Connecticut, are hedging by the second, under the glare of Chris Matthews. Where is the antiwar bloc? In disarray as usual. So let us be thankful for Rachel Maddow and Glenn Greenwald.  

Carlos Latuff

Carlos Latuff is a political cartoonist from Brazil.

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33 Responses

  1. Citizen on April 8, 2017, 12:17 pm

    Javanka whispered in his two ears, flashed a few photos. Back on the PNAC bandwagon. And, yes, cable TV is swooning, except for (gulp) Rachel Maddow.

  2. just on April 8, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Great cartoon and summary, Carlos.

    “Swoon” is exactly what all the pundits were doing. They still appear to be in full- blown salivating raptures.

  3. Zara on April 8, 2017, 5:25 pm

    Apparently it takes flagrantly violating the US Constitution as well as international law to be considered the leader of the free world.

  4. Keith on April 8, 2017, 6:47 pm

    Now that Trump has put the CIA/Soros/MoveOn fears to rest, I guess we won’t be seeing any large anti-Trump demonstrations for awhile. Unless, of course, he flip-flops again and dials down the militarism proving that he is Putin’s puppet. Face it, we are a national security state. Peace is bad for business!

  5. just on April 8, 2017, 7:28 pm

    Gideon Levy:

    “America the Liberator …

    A star is born: U.S. President Donald Trump. One missile strike and the man the whole world feared became its great hope overnight. Yesterday’s Satan is tomorrow’s God. From German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel’s own Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, and of course, Yair Lapid, they’re all cheering him. Savior of children, humanist, man of conscience, modern-day Janusz Korczak, who, shocked and saddened by the dead Syrian children, bombarded their killers.

    If his Tomahawks saved even one Syrian child, dayenu, it would be enough. That’s already more than his predecessor did. But we must spoil the party, it’s premature and over the top. The Nobel Peace Prize can wait.

    Now is the time to recall what happens when America comes to the aid of other nations with military action: It always ends badly, usually in a Holocaust. The last time the United States saved the world through war was in 1945. That was the last just war. Since then, the United States, the greatest perpetrator of massacres since World War II, has caused the deaths of millions in wars meant to rescue and liberate them.

    When America liberates, it sows death and destruction and causes endless sorrow. Ask the Iraqis. What wouldn’t they give for America not to have come to their aid and free them from their tyrant. Their country would have been a safer and much less bloody place had the leader of the free world not decided to liberate it in a war that was dubbed, naturally, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Ever since, Iraq has known very little freedom and much more bloodshed. The U.S. occupation of Iraq was also the catalyst for the Arab world’s implosion. The poison gas of Syrian President Bashar Assad is an indirect by-product. The people of Libya will never forget their rescuer. The U.S. intervention in their civil war led to the removal of their dictator but also to the destruction of their state, which persists to this very day.

    America’s wars of liberation resemble, if not in their death tolls, those of Israel, its ally. In 1967, Israel liberated the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and ever since the inhabitants of these territories have been dumbstruck with appreciation for and gratitude to the liberator of Jerusalem and Palestine. They have never known such freedom. Before that, Israel liberated Jaffa and Haifa, Ramle and Lod, in a war that, naturally, became known as the War of Liberation. The United States liberated South Korea — two and a half million dead — and South Vietnam — four million dead. Together, six and a half million people killed in vain. And behind each such war against communism stood lofty causes and mass bloodshed.

    So it might be better were America not to come to the aid of Syria’s children, especially if the finger on the trigger is Trump’s. On the other hand, they must be rescued, whatever it takes, and the United States is the only one that can do the job. After years of vicious warfare in Syria, there is no magic cure. Some analysts suspect, in light of the results, that Trump’s Tomahawk missiles were coordinated in advance with Russia and, through Russia, with Syria, and that the strikes were in fact meant only to serve the president’s domestic political goals.

    But this could be a blessing in disguise. If the president sees the world cheering him for the first time in his first 100 days in office, perhaps he will persist. Perhaps this acclaim will lead to a new era, an era of action after his predecessor’s beautiful, high-flown rhetoric.

    Trump must turn first to Jerusalem, whose institutions do not need to be bombarded in order to exert pressure on the government. The president can achieve in Jerusalem what no missile could achieve in Syria. A reminder: The only time the United States was a partner to genuine success in uprooting an evil regime was in the face of apartheid South Africa. America did not fire a single missile. A diplomatic Tomahawk on Jerusalem would bring Trump more gratitude than did the 59 missiles of his nighttime strike on Khan Sheikhoun. Perhaps it would also save even more children.”

    read more:

    • Egbert on April 9, 2017, 8:17 am

      Of the 60 missiles fired, 1 failed on launch and only about 25 hit the target, an airbase. The fate of the other 30 odd missiles is unknown, though some reports are coming in. One landed in the garden of a house in Karto, Tartus. The warhead, designed to destroy reinforced concrete, did not go off so the people living nearby survived. One other Tomahawk exploded in a Christian village near the base, killing 9 innocent civilians. I wonder how that works in Mr Levy’s calculus.

      The attack was contrary to the US constitution. It was contrary to international law and it was not covered by a UN Security Council resolution., so it was a blatant act of aggression. Not only is Trump a war criminal, so are the military members involved (following orders is no excuse). One of the captains of the two ships was a female, so at least the US military is an equal opportunity war criminal regime. All of this for a faked attack.

      The supposed gas attack was yet another staged event by the terrorist White Helmets. The doctor involved has been banned from the British Medical register for his association with terrorists. This article (translated from Russian) shows one actor in the supposed gas attack was also filmed in another White Element event about a bombing in Idlib. That guy must be really lucky to survive both a bombing and a sarin attack /sarc.
      Regarding the gassing of the children, there are videos on YouTube of the terrorists testing their homebrew chemical weapons on rabbits. They didn’t run that kind of process just to show it could be done.

      The White Helmets are funded almost totally by the UK government and run by a UK spook/ex-SF guy. They are fully debunked by Vanessa Beeley.

  6. JLewisDickerson on April 8, 2017, 9:17 pm

    RE: “There’s nothing like firing 59 million-dollar missiles at a foreign country to make the U.S. foreign policy elites swoon.”

    MY SNARKCASM: I’m so thankful we now have a “man of action” President like Donald “Caligula” Trump instead of that pussy-footin’* Barack Obama!

    Long live Raytheon’s Tomahawk® cruise missle!

    FROM TED RALL, 07/22/10:

    . . . Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism” describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.” . . .

    SOURCE –
    *■ Obama Stop The PUSSY-FOOTING AROUND!

    *■ It’s About Surviving’: Judge Jeanine Says U.S. Must ‘Stop Pussyfooting’ in Terror Fight…

    • JLewisDickerson on April 10, 2017, 10:00 am


      They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
      For trying to change the system from within
      I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
      First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

      I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
      I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
      I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
      First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin . . .

      Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan (complete, German TV, February 17, 1988) [Euro-disco-influenced quasi-synthpop version}

    • JLewisDickerson on April 10, 2017, 10:40 am

      Trump Attack on Syria a Deadly Political Game
      Published on Apr 8, 2017
      Gerald Horne and Paul Jay discuss the cynical politics behind the attack and the decay and dysfunctionality of the American state


  7. wondering jew on April 8, 2017, 10:39 pm

    Why would assad use sarin gas? This is not clear. I assume it is true. Thus there is a lineup of evil players, whom do I hate worst? 1. Isis, of the list of players it is the newest, least predictable, most clearly aligned with wreaking havoc on Western cities. 2. Assad. I don’t like that guy. I don’t memorize his misdeeds or his father’s misdeeds, but video of the casbah in Damascus always showed the most fear I’ve seen in people videotaped around the world. 3. Iran, because of its recent nuclear deal, because of the imams, it has to come next. 4. Putin- the take charge attitude is neutral, could be used for good, could be used for evil. Putin strikes me as evil. But I confess regarding mother russia that history might be slanting my attitude more than the facts. I don’t have brzezinski’s brains nor facts and years of study to specify where russia is today and how mother russia fits into the future. All I have is enough facts to sense evil and to fear it.
    Which brings us to the US and its current president. Since 1941 the US has had a leadership role in the world. Advocacy of stepping back from that role was popular in the trump camp and was embodied by Obama’s policy towards syria creating the vacuum filled by putin. To sum up the role of the US in the world I’d say the American public ( and other publics as well) are tired of the policeman’s role, yet the pushy putin and Chinese broad shoulders do not hint at a better future resulting from the diminished US role.
    To the character of trump and the constitutional role of Congress in declaring war, these are interesting questions. The lack of a strategy is glaring.
    Is a divided syria the best outcome? I don’t know. Assad turns my stomach and isis is probably worse, so it’s difficult to try to imagine Syria’s future and envision good scenarios.
    Of course I haven’t yet mentioned bibi and israel. A cease fire between syria and israel has been the rule since 74, (except for a day or so in82). Lebanon is a different story, and has been the point of friction. Whereas my opposition to the settler nature of the occupation of the west bank is easy, trying to figure out precisely what policy regarding syria and lebanon is the wisest requires more study and I would accede to the wisdom of amos harel and Zvi barel of haaretz.

    • Mooser on April 9, 2017, 1:12 pm

      One mutters, one drivels. Just so much disheveled text to scroll past.

    • Brewer on April 9, 2017, 7:50 pm

      “Why would assad use sarin gas? This is not clear. I assume it is true.”

      On what would you base that assumption? You assume Assad would unleash chemical weapons on Ghouta in the early hours of 21 August 2013 – the very morning the U.N. Inspectors from the United Nations Mission arrived in Syria to investigate an earlier alleged chemical weapons attack – at Assad’s request.
      Likewise , based on zero evidence that Assad would cross a “red line” and alienate World opinion in this latest instance just when he has everything going his way.
      The U.N. blamed Al Nusra for the Ghouta attack:
      The chemical signature of the gas used was different from that possessed by the Syrian Army:
      Your assumption flies in the face of every report by legitimate reporters on the ground and conforms to that of the one-man Syrian Observatory for Human rights from his semi-detached in Kent, England and the Elliott Higgins character (unemployed insurance salesman and “World of Warcraft” analyst from somehere North of there.

      The evidence for this latest attack is even more flimsy. In the first place, the photographs clearly prove that it was not Sarin. Nobody in their right mind would enter the site of a Sarin attack and handle victims without full hazmat gear. There is widespread eye-witness reports of “smoke” or “mist” and white residue clearly coating everything. Sarin is undetectable by sight or smell.
      The “gas attack” was first tweeted at 6am. The Syrian forces attacked five hours later at 11 am.
      In view of this and the fact that Assad would have to be certifiably insane to do the one thing that would reverse his new-found success and U.S. policy, I think you can more safely assume that the gas release was from the “rebel’s” storehouse either deliberately or by accident.
      The opposition has been caught red-handed falsifying “news” of such events previously:

      • talknic on April 9, 2017, 10:26 pm

        interesting, while the Dr is wearing a mask, all around her are not

    • iResistDe4iAm on April 9, 2017, 8:37 pm

      “Isis, of the list of players it is the newest, least predictable, most clearly aligned with wreaking havoc on Western cities.”

      Daesh (aka: IS, ISIL, ISIS) has conquered large areas in Iraq (Bush’s war), Libya and Syria (Obama’s wars), and have killed tens of thousands of Middle Easteners to date. They have also targeted Turkey, Pakistan, and Arab countries including Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt and others. Their latest bombings were in Egypt just hours ago (at least 44 killed).

      Of course, Daesh have also targeted western cities in Europe and the USA, with their latest attack in Sweden a few days ago.

      So no, Daesh/ISIS’s main purpose is not wreaking havoc on Western cities, but wreaking havoc and conquering the Middle East (starting with Iraq, Syria and the Levant).

      But if your only source of news is the Fake News western media, you’d be forgiven for believing that Al Qaeda ISIS is on the verge of conquering western civilisation. Hence the need for the perpetual ‘War on Terror’ and dropping more US bombs on the Middle East.

  8. iResistDe4iAm on April 9, 2017, 12:23 am

    Trump: 1, Deep State: 1, Fake News: 1
    Win Win Win

    The Deep State strikes back

    • Mooser on April 9, 2017, 12:46 pm

      The Derp State strikes back! Oh yes, Trump and the fine folks in the US military. Ah, and our ‘intelligence’ community. This’ll be good.

      • chet on April 10, 2017, 9:57 pm

        Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial-Complex” (MIC) will now have ti amended to the “Military-Intelligence-Industrial-Complex (MIIC).

  9. Marnie on April 9, 2017, 12:37 am

    Lindsey Graham, McCain, McConnell, Hillary; all the war mongers in Washington and the world, experienced collective orgasmic joy with tRUMPs unlawful unleashing of weaponry and war on the Syrian people. He sure didn’t hurt the Syrian military. Not even a dent to any landing strip and the chemical weapons? Unharmed. I imagine he had a quick convo with Vlad to make sure he had the correct logistics that were guaranteed to do the least possible damage to syrian/russian military. And those ‘beautiful babies’ he went on an on about, is he going to do anything to provide safety and shelter from this unending storm. Not at all. Does he have a plan going forward? Not at all. I think he just wanted to get his shot off on the world stage and see how it feels. I’m afraid it felt too good.

  10. CigarGod on April 9, 2017, 9:19 am

    Owens Jones of The Guardian wrote a brilliant companion piece to this today.

    • Tuyzentfloot on April 9, 2017, 2:56 pm

      Indeed, I hadn’t noticed. I had just remarked to a friend what a disaster the Guardian’s reporting was on the matter.

      • chet on April 10, 2017, 10:02 pm

        Tuyzenfloot — do you have an opinion as to why The Guardian, a bastion of left-wing, progressive writing for decades, so changed its point-of-view recently?

      • Tuyzentfloot on April 13, 2017, 7:22 am

        @chet, I had to think about this, and I’m not entirely satisfied with the result.

        I never tracked the Guardian that closely. I have a lot of opinions though.
        One opinion is that it hasn’t gotten much worse because it has always had its weak sides and it still has its strong sides.

        On the issue of mainstream media and progressives I mostly think the differences are exaggerated.
        If you consider progressives as looking at things in terms of oppressors/aggressors and victims/beleagered people,
        then I’d keep in mind that
        – progressives do not have to look at everything in this way. It can be part of the time.
        – the victim can depend on the perception. Contrary to the descriptive ‘PEP’ I think progressives have a long history of looking at the Israeli Jews as the victims.
        What’s not progressive about that? In Syria, if you look at it as the population as the victim and the government as aggressor (with an optional foreign interference component), then it’s natural to support the overthrow of Assad.
        If you look at it as foreign aggression(with an optional legitimate local uprising component ), then it’s more natural to support Assad.

        – mainstream media: so I believe the propaganda model has value, that media adapt to their environment, newspapers are a business and any business avoids unnecessary conflicts and attracts people and attitudes that fit into that. Mainstream media have a strong bias in whom they regard as reliable sources and whom they distrust. Official sources are reliable above all. The NYTimes is reliable.

        But I believe even more in older warnings by Chomsky and Orwell about intellectuals.
        Our media are not operating in a social vacuum, they are not disconnected from the ideas around them, and they are more representative than critics may think, although not on the front pages.
        So our media are surrounded by a large periphery of intellectuals, middle class progressives, elites that have overlapping ideas. And these people rely on their media to tell them what’s happening in the world, so you get a bit of a lockin that constrains how they pay attention to things (I don’t mean to say that other people do not have such a lock-in). And it does not automatically make them wrong on things either. But yes, if progressive intellectuals trust the Guardian editors who themselves trust officials you get odd effects.
        I also use trust a lot in my judgement. It’s not trivial. It’s not as if others just follow hearsay and I follow facts. The VIPS (veteran intelligence professionals for sanity) immediately published a memorandum where they claimed without the usual caution that the syrian army did not commit a chemical weapons attack. I trust them, and it fits with other observations. Why do I trust them over the barrage of sources I get from mainstream media? So other people trust the NYTimes. It’s a reasonable approach to do so. Convincing people that the NYTimes has a very unreliable side is hard work, because it’s just not a simple issue.

    • Bumblebye on April 9, 2017, 6:26 pm

      Owen Jones seems to be the darling du jour of zionists. Keynote speaker at the Jewish Labour Movement conference. Interviewed by the JC. Etc. Quite controversial, had a spat with Jonathan Cook before giving up social media!


      • Tuyzentfloot on April 10, 2017, 6:18 am

        Owen Jones seems to be the darling du jour of zionists.

        I know, and I notice that hasn’t stopped him from writing a good piece about the Syria assault .

      • Tuyzentfloot on April 15, 2017, 8:52 am

        I’ll have to correct that. Medialens points out that Owen Jones also takes for granted the claim that Syria has just used chemical weapons. Now, I think that that’s pretty mediocre, but it doesn’t really weaken his opinion piece, which is about the liberal support for warmongering. You could even claim it strengthens it.

  11. Eric on April 9, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Levy: “Savior of children, humanist, man of conscience, modern-day Janusz Korczak, who, shocked and saddened by the dead Syrian children, bombarded their killers.”

    Turns out one of the many missiles that missed their mark hit a Christian village near the airbase, killing nine civilians — including four children. Nice job, Donald!

  12. RayJosephCormier on April 10, 2017, 9:24 am

    Americans spend so much more money on the military and the weapons of Death and Destruction than Russia, China, Iran and many other Nations combined, they have a collective orgasm when they’re used.

  13. Theo on April 10, 2017, 10:17 am

    The very first questions should sound like this:
    are we sure that Assad used sarin on the rebels or do we rely on informations from groups near to the islamic rebels, like the white helmets, who are known to lie about everything?
    Why would the US bomb a government airbase exactly the same time when the so called rebels start an attack against Assad forces and they will need this very same airbase to fight those rebels?
    Beside Assad who has plenty of sarin and who would like to have the USA to enter the war in Syria, besides Hillary and her cohorts?

    Answer 1: It was never proved who lauched the giftgas attack during 2013 that killed over 1,000 people and probably this one also never will be proved without a doubt. Falseflag operation are more than possible, yet the whole world very conviently charge Assad.
    Answer 2: Was this incident very carefully coordinated, so the world blames Assad and the US can destroy his fightingpower to aid the US backed so called rebels, in truth US and Saudi backed and supplied foreign fighters, as most of them are not even syrians? This is a question and also a reply to think about.
    Answer 3: Beside Assad, Turkey and Israel could have dropped the giftgas, as they both have a dire desire to have the US in that war and both have plenty of such weapons, in addition to other unsaviory actors in that drama.

    It is an old truth, keep generals away from politics, as they are trained to solve every problem with force! Trump has just too many generals in his team, so I am afraid this may just be the beginning of new and bloody wars.

    • amigo on April 10, 2017, 1:03 pm

      “It is an old truth, keep generals away from politics, as they are trained to solve every problem with force!”

      Theo, you left out Generals, Chaney/Wolfobitz/Rumsfeld/Kristol , and the rest of the higher echelon of the “neocon rear guard “, safely ensconced in their bunkers.

      Old truths never die , they just fade away.

  14. Misterioso on April 10, 2017, 11:27 am


    The Sunday Edition (CBC National Radio)   April 09, 2017

    Why do we think ‘only wars make presidents?’ Syrian priest Nadim Nassar responds to U.S. air strikes.

    This week, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered air strikes on a Syrian government air base in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including children.

    “No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” he said.

    As he watches from England, Syrian priest Father Nadim Nassar says he doesn’t understand why previous atrocities in Syria’s civil war have not provoked a similar emotional response from world leaders.  

    Why now, 70 people, made the whole world stand up and suddenly see it as a horrific thing? Yes, it is horrific. And the 700,000 who died before? Are they the children of a lesser God? Are they less human?  – Father Nadim Nassar

    Nassar is the only Syrian priest in the Church of England. He co-founded The Awareness Foundation, a charitable peace group that addresses religious violence. He was in Syria in December and plans to return later this month.

    He tells guest host David Gutnick that he is frustrated with media commentators like CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who said “Donald Trump became president of the United States” when he ordered the air strikes.

    I have a question to this journalist. If Trump met Putin, and decided, both of them, to end the war in Syria … Would he also have become a  president? Or are we so used to the fact that only wars make presidents?

    – Father Nadim Nassar

    On Palm Sunday — and the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge — Nassar calls on world leaders to use dialogue and diplomacy to end the crisis in Syria, rather than military might.

    “Today, we are remembering one of the most brutal battles in the first world war,” he says. “Today, we should remember also what is happening in Syria is the most brutal civil war, proxy war, that happened in history.”

  15. Kay24 on April 10, 2017, 12:41 pm

    Let’s face it, all it takes for a lame duck President to regain his standing, and stop his poll numbers from sinking is to lob some tomahawk missiles into a Muslim nation, and the entire nation, including the media (who he despised), congress, former rivals for the Presidency, and his voters, will think he is acting presidential, is showing toughness, and is ready to lead the country.

    No more talk about investigations, wiretapping accusations against the former President, strange and unexplained connections to Russia from those around him, and that his healthcare bill failed. It is so easy for American Presidents to get the approval of the American media, and the people – start sending missiles to Muslim nations, or drop a few bombs.

    Assad’s fighter jets took off from that very airfield, hours after the tough orange man sent his 59 missiles to that area. In the US everyone applauded him for such a successful mission! Really?

  16. inbound39 on April 10, 2017, 2:32 pm

    Trump attacked Syria because, in his words, innocent men ,women and especially children were killed in the attack. I notice Trump has done nothing about the innocent men women and children killed in Gaza and other areas of Palestine under Israel’s illegal Occupation. No American Government has done anything about Israel other than supply it with weapons and ordnance to carry out its criminal actions. Since Trumps statement the Special; Relationship as become even less sustainable and shines a bright light on why America needs to end its relationship with Israel. The damage to America and its people is becoming too great . Will we see Trump send 59 CRUISE MISSILES into Tel Aviv because of all the innocents Israeli’s continue to kill with American weapons and ammunition? Will MotorMouth Haley cease supporting Israel because of it’s crimes…….I doubt it. American Hypocrisy at its height.

    • Misterioso on April 10, 2017, 4:27 pm

      Well and truly stated.

      America’s response to the ever growing litany of horrors Israel has inflicted on Palestinians and other Arabs is $10 million per day in aid from US taxpayers (i.e., not including the $millions in tax deductible contributions from individuals and organizations) and a “Special Relationship.” Utterly sickening, hypocritical and as is becoming increasingly obvious, contrary to America’s interests.

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