Trump struck Syria, and the Alt Right lost its mind. They had hoped that Trump would go farther to the Alt Right, when in fact he has always been a moderate who likes cultivating opposites under his roof so he can pick the right decision on a case-by-case basis. Key fact: the man still believes in democracy and diversity. He is step one of a hundred back toward health.
By the same token, it is foolish to describe this as a strike on Syria when it was actually a warning to Russia. Trump blew up a few older planes at an airfield where Russian personnel had been present. He gave the Syrians time to remove all equipment and people they cared about. He warned the Russians in advance. This was not a military strike, but a signal to Putin: go no further.
Putin, who is accustomed to Obama, is trying to call this bluff. The Russians did this during the Cold War, too. Putin will continue to sail ships around the English channel, have his nuclear bombers fly over Sweden, and braggart about the Mediterranean with his battleships. Why? Because his need to create Russian self-image is powerful, and because he will take any power we give him.
The Left tells us Russia is evil; the Right tells us they are good. Both are wrong. Russia is like every other nation on this earth: self-interested. They do whatever is in their interest, which means that their goal is to take as much as they can and give back as little as they can. This is reality; only those who support democracy would think that people are “nice” and these rules do not apply.
It is almost as if the Trump administration bungled, and then the Alt Right fell apart in response. We can do better than this. Heck, we need to. If Trump made a mistake on this one, it was trusted the local Syrian agencies that claimed the gas attack happened. Assad had no need to gas these people; he was already winning. We made the same mistake in Iraq, trusting local informants who hatted Hussein and therefore, would tell us whatever they thought would get us to go to war with him. Shucks, we made the same mistake in Vietnam and trusted a series of bloodthirsty politicos just because they claimed to hate Communists. The trump card, if you do not mind a pun, is that Trump does not care about the gas attack. He wants Putin to fall back and get out of Syria.
Putin is rebuilding the Soviet Union. He is doing this for a simple reason: his people want it. They are a starving nation, beaten in a Cold War and a cultural war, and known mostly for selling their women on the open market. Their average IQ is ten points behind that of Europe. As a people of a quarter Asiatic blood, they are forever stranded between being European and Asian, hence the term “Eurasian” has been historically applied to them. They will always struggle for borscht, vodka and firewood. Putin cannot change this situation because no one can change this situation. But people do not live by material alone. They live by spirit. This is why they love Stalin despite his many murders. Under Stalin, Russians felt like not a failed state, but a great empire, and they want that feeling back. To that end, Putin is annexing or partnering with territories on all of his borders, building the greater Russian empire after which the Soviet Union was built. Soviet Union – Communism = Putinism. This is just him acting in self-interest for Russia, doing the best he can for the Russian people.
The West has a competing self-interest. We want what they want, and they want what we want. We are a different people. Time to extract your head from the delusion of collectivized individualism; there are no “rational solutions” that we reach through “compromise.” They are not like us, and our needs inexorably conflict. That means they always do. There is no international, universal magic place where everyone is equal and therefore we can agree on what we all need and act on that. Every party in this fight is a corporation acting to maximize value to its shareholders. Any “higher” truth than that it no truth, but a manipulation.
Trump has just checked Russian self-interest, but this means less than people think, because Trump’s “flip-flopping” is in fact an unwillingness to commit to agendas; like most natural conservatives, even if a moderate one, he takes problems on a case-by-case basis to avoid inducing blindness through dogma, repetition and social pressures. That is not politics but good management practice. And if you want the proof that Trump acted as I said he did, look to how Russia reacted:
Putin this morning denounced the strike as an ‘illegal act of aggression’ and also ripped up an agreement to avoid mid-air clashes between Russian and US fighter jets over Syria.
Putin saw the US action as an ‘aggression against a sovereign nation’ on a ‘made-up pretext’ and considered it a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq, according to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took to Facebook on Friday to declare US-Russian relations ‘completely ruined’. He also said the US was ‘on the verge of a military clash with Russia’.
Rex Tillerson also delivered some harsh words on Thursday and said Russia was either ‘complicit’ in the Sarin attack that killed more than 80 people or ‘simply incompetent’ in getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons.
Part of the problem of the Alt Right is that much of its ideation originates in Libertarianism, and Libertarianism originates in the city suburbs. There, people are accustomed to a great degree of order and “reason” aloud, in wispy voices, that if everyone is a rational market actor, and we reduce all questions to those of the market, we will find peace and sensible human order. Obviously they are idiots, since this has never worked throughout history, and like the rest of the first world are drugged on consumerism and democracy such that all of their problems are “first world problems” entirely unrelated to the reality outside the consensual hallucination of social pressures, advertising and speeches made by actors who have taken political office. Libertarianism is just another form of Leftism, albeit one that allows markets and not votes to decide.
Back in RealityLand, we know that most people are delusional and that this is the secret humanity is trying to hide. Democracy is a fraud and an illusion. Consumerism produces the best ripoffs, not the best products. These are only in place because we overthrew the kings, refuse to admit that this was a mistake, and so have tried out other forms of modernity like Communism and Fascism which turned out even worse than our toxic brew of democracy, consumerism and the social welfare state. Our modern society is a waffle, a hybrid produced of what has not yet catastrophically failed. That means that it will fail slowly and not by a single point, but by many thousands of small errors and omissions. We are seeing that failure now, as diversity depletes us, people vote for more social welfare systems, and other daily stupidities consume us. But right now, it is hard to argue with the “success” of democracy. Money, technology and growth are all up. And so, in the timeless way of refusing to let the smart people make decisions because our monkey-egos demand that we be right, we are going to have to wait for it to fail instead of doing something intelligent.
Looking at this Trump strike, we see the impossibility of democracy. It sets up assumptions that cannot be worked around because they are absolutes, which tells you right away that these are rules made in defense of the individual and not in favor of civilization. Trump cannot admit the real reason for these strikes because the peaceniks would clobber him. The hippies would be in the streets again singing “Give Peace A Chance” and banging drums, all of the American Leftists would start reading Sputnik News, Russia Today and Russia Insider (all of these are products of the old Soviet propaganda agency TASS), and our country would be sabotaged from within as it was during the Vietnam war. That is what our enemies hope for. So Trump waits for the Syrians to lie about a gas attack and uses it as a pretext to warn off the Russians — literally:
America had used a special military-to-military hotline to warn Russia about the airstrike around 30 minutes in advance – but the Trump administration did not ask Moscow for permission.
It is likely Russia alerted the Syrians about the incoming strikes but this has not been confirmed.
Of course Russia warned the Syrians. The point was not to generate casualties, but to send a message. The message was for Russians to stay in Russia with their influence, and this is far different than what Putin expected after he brushed aside weak leader Barack Obama and seized Crimea. Again, he is not being portrayed as a bad guy here; self-interest is beyond good and bad. Each party does what is to its benefit and we hope the best ones win. That leads us to the real issue that is being hidden here, which is that for us to understand Trump’s actions, we have to understand the role of the West, and that is that we must win because we are the best ones, or at least once were. Everyone else is incompetent and under Western leadership, the world prospered without self-destructing. Of course, that was through the remnants of monarchy and not democracy, which is doing its best to destroy that competence so that everyone can feel equal, which is what individuals do when they fear their own incompetence and irrelevance. If we remove the pretense of equality, they can stop having those feelings and we can get closer to realism again.
Russia is acting exactly as we would expect them to — if Trump is right. Russia is withdrawing its slapped wrist and posturing around so that Putin does not lose support at home. This shows that, for whatever reasons he made this decision, Trump got it right and the only reason people are upset is that it offends their pretense. This is typical of democracy.
No one wants to admit it but neocons are a product of We The People like anything else. We are in a democracy; if you do not realize that that makes you, as a voter, culpable for what comes out of Washington, then you are not even ready to understand a tenth of what is going on in this article. We the voters created the neocons. They are people who advance an American agenda in certain areas by sacrificing other areas, and they always do it through justifications like Syrian babies getting gassed because they learned from Vietnam that to do otherwise is to be destroyed. The voters demand to be lied to, manipulated, swindled and deceived. This allows them to escape culpability, claim victimhood and still allows government to be quasi-functional. The best response to this would be to limit leadership to the less than 1% of the population who actually have a chance in hell of understanding what is going on. If we do otherwise, we are doomed to have leaders like Putin and Trump communicating through airstrikes and social codes, and to never get a sensible world order because we do not simply allow the best to dominate.