Eventually, the truth reveals itself. And so it was after President Donald Trump – a still surreal phrase to put to paper – elected to bomb a mostly vacant Syrian airstrip in supposed response to the slow, suffocating murder of children by Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime.
The Pentagon-supplied images of Tomahawk cruise missiles bursting into the night sky triggered a near orgasmic reaction among the same band of US cable TV network-approved geopolitical “experts” and journalists-in-name-tag-only who gush with unbridled excitement each time flashy weapons go bang in the night.
You’ll recall that not too long ago, this giddy, easily impressed lot, joined by rancorous Democrats on Capitol Hill, were universally repulsed by the same dangerous demagogue they recently applauded on Twitter, TV and elsewhere as a bona fide ‘commander-in-chief’.
For an instructive moment, all the hyperbolic chatter about impeachment and treason evaporated as the unlikely coalition of ‘liberal’ and neocon card-carrying members of La Resistance rallied around the flag, yellow-ribbon-imbued patriotism and a racist boor who just happens to be president of the United States.
On cue, much of that so-called resistance in Washington and beyond heaped gooey praise on Trump, insisting the missile strike was the defining act of a statesman who had finally, if belatedly, grasped the profundity of his duties and responsibilities and of the office he shockingly holds.
All Trump had to do to win their saccharine-laced rhetorical approval was to do what his predecessors have done with often calamitous regularity – issue the order to kill.
The attendant result: Trump had instantly morphed from illiterate foreign policy nincompoop to oh-so-serious president who was, remarkably, channeling the “world’s conscience” to boot.
Forgotten in this hysterical revisionism, of course, was Trump’s tough-guy pledge to look war-ravaged Syrian kids and their families in the eye and tell the would-be “terrorists”: you can’t come here.
Ah and reportedly it wasn’t his or indeed the “world’s conscience” that prompted Trump to respond to images of children contorted in sarin gas-induced suffering, but rather a little word in his tin ear from his daughter, Ivanka, the corporate media-manufactured White House conscience-in-residence.
As I said, the truth eventually emerges.
Like the roster of telegenic presidents who preceded him, Trump fashioned a made-for-TV moment of perspicacity to announce that he could also bomb and kill in the same places that the US has been bombing and killing people for decades.
There Trump was, summoning all the faux solemnity that he could muster while reading from a teleprompter like a stuttering schoolboy to invoke God and America’s equally sacred “national interest” as justification for yet another demonstration of his nation’s singular military “resolve”.
The world has seen and heard this pantomime on display so many times over so many years that this vacuous, formulaic ritual could rightly be dubbed the presidential equivalent of Groundhog Day.
From John F Kennedy to Trump and every other Democrat or Republican president in-between, arguably, the job’s principal prerequisite is satiating America’s insatiable addiction to war.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘America’s addiction to war’. Courtesy: Aljazeera.com