The greatest negotiator in the history of the U.S. and the world (but who cares about the world when you run the U.S.?) scored another triumph on Friday, about which he’ll be tweeting us for nights to come. Let’s look at his list of triumphs so far:
- Travel ban – lost (twice);
- Wire tapping lies – lost;
- Health care destruction – lost;
- Gorsuch plan to Destroy educational opportunity for students with disabilities—lost.
One thing the failure of RyanCare indicates is that some Republican pols are listening to their constituents, rather than (or in addition to) their corporate bosses. Some polling data suggests that even the hardest-core Donald zealots are beginning to realize that what they were promised is not what they’re getting.
Pols who see themselves as faltering try to create drama to distract from their failings. And when wannabe tyrants start to lose their grips, there is always one sure-fire solution to get hoi polloi back in line – WAR!
But buyers’ remorse is of little or no use this early in the election cycle. In fact, it may be counterproductive and dangerous. Pols who see themselves as faltering try to create drama to distract from their failings. And when wannabe tyrants start to lose their grips, there is always one sure-fire solution to get hoi polloi back in line – WAR!
Remember how Ronnie Reagan conquered that international pariah, scourge of the Carribean – Grenada? If you’re a North Korean peasant right now, you’d be right to be pissing your pants with fear.
Reagan understood things better than the Donald does. But even the Donald’s intellect is Yuge enough to understand that he doesn’t want to be run out of Beirut or Mogadishu, as Reagan had been.
It’s helpful to remember that Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada only days after U.S. troops were bombed in Beirut. A dramatic show of force is always a great antidote to bad press from sloppy political work gone awry. A grand show in one hemisphere can cover an embarrassing retreat in another. Both Reagan and the Donald are ultimate showmen. They know the value of sleight of hand, and distractions that entertain, and preferable scare the populi.
With all of our vaunted technology, we certainly know a lot about North Korea’s military, nuclear development, strategic locations, etc. And we know about their leadership, including internal struggles, and potential successors if the current leadership were removed. So IF we truly felt that that small, impoverished nation were somehow a threat to us, we have the knowledge and tools to surgically remove whatever cancer drives their government in a dangerous direction.
But that would not be the point. The point of a military action to distract the home-front crowd, is not to conquer the adversary (unless one realizes that the voters are the real adversary for a wannabe tyrant). The Bay of Pigs invasion was aimed as much at U.S. domestic consumers as it was at any hoped for uprising against Castro.
The Donald has not been having a stellar run in the first two months of his presidency. Members of his own Party are now insisting that we need a independent commission to investigate his business ties and obeisance to Russia. Paul Ryan masterfully shifted “RyanCare” back to “TrumpDon’tCare” as the likelihood of the bill passing either house of congress faded. And people once cowed by his seeming invincibility are now openly saying the Orange Emperor Has no Clothes.
When even Mexico starts joking about doing away with corn imports from the U.S. heartland, as a response to threats of trade tariffs and walls, it is time to find something, anything to use as a distraction.
This is dangerous time for the U.S., and for small, weak countries around the world. Central and South America are almost certainly safe. Their populations threw off banana republic rule with successful civil wars. Their economic woes as they try to build independent nations do not indicate any popular interest in being recolonized. Reagan and both Bush’s played in the Middle East and got burned. No one wants to go into Africa. After decades of telling ourselves that ‘them folks is too primitive to matter’, sending troops to die at the hands of Boco Haram or the Lord’s Resistance Army can’t be appealing to a Defense establishment headed by someone who actually reads history.
But the press has been laden with years of stories about how North Korean peasants are starving; How they have to use oxen to plow, since they can’t get tractors or fuel; How they are repressed and eager for liberation. And their leadership is belligerent, threatening and “unstable” (‘qualities’ U.S. peasants are increasingly able to understand). And, of course, they are part of the “Asian peril”, constantly threatening our civilization.
We have had some experience fighting with oppressed peasants who farm with cattle and long for liberation. It didn’t go well for us, and vast numbers of those peasants died in the process of being liberated. The ones who survived still suffer the effects of depleted uranium dust and defoliating chemicals spread throughout their country.
This week, the Pentagon announced that its Saudi client army in Yemen will be experimenting with “relocating” people from their villages to “safer” areas, to keep them out of battle zones. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, this process was called “pacification”, and we relocated people whether they wanted to be put in “safe villages” or not.
But perhaps these tactics, unsuccessful in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, will be successful in North Korea. No doubt that this time we are right – the North Korean’s really long for the freedom to work 7 days a week in Apple factories, making life better for American consumers. And if they aren’t, we can just let them starve, as their own government is doing now.
For Americans, we should be worried. We should be glad that Paul Ryan said that ObamaCare is the law of the land, for now. We should forget the label “Affordable Care Act” and call it what it is, named after the community organizer President who devoted his administration (in very conservative ways) to serving the people who haven’t been served much in recent decades. And who didn’t respond even with the gratitude of acknowledgment.
But any gladness should be tempered by recognition that cornered dogs attack, and stymied wannabe tyrants cook up wars. The orange messiah is being increasingly ridiculed and marginalized, even by those in his own Party. The alt-white zealots who run his administration are seeing their grasp on power loosening and slipping. They will feel the need to do something, something dramatic, something ‘unifying,’ something distracting.
Historically, not just for the U.S., but for such people in all of history, war is one of the most dramatic, ‘unifying’ and distracting device available. And it can be wonderfully profitable for those who try to manage it.
Be happy that we still have ObamaCare. But be vigilant and know that those who tried to deprive us of it are still active, and eager to exploit every profitable opportunity they can. And that they will take whatever dramatic, ‘unifying,’ distracting steps they think will benefit them, not us.