“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, April 08, 2017

I fear Trump has had a taste, feels the high and will be back for another hit

The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria

In every type of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.

Trump, on Thursday night, ordered an attack that the Pentagon said included the launching of 59 Tomahawk missiles which “targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.” The governor of Homs, the Syrian province where the attack occurred, said early this morning that the bombs killed seven civilians and wounded nine.

The Pentagon’s statement said the attack was “in retaliation for the regime of Bashar Assad using nerve agents to attack his own people.” Both Syria and Russia vehemently deny that the Syrian military used chemical weapons.

When asked about this yesterday by the Globe and Mail’s Joanna Slater, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged an investigation to determine what actually happened before any action was contemplated, citing what he called “continuing questions about who is responsible”:
But U.S. war fever waits for nothing. Once the tidal wave of American war frenzy is unleashed, questioning the casus belli is impermissible. Wanting conclusive evidence before bombing commences is vilified as sympathy with and support for the foreign villain (the same way that asking for evidence of claims against Russia instantly converts one into a “Kremlin agent” or “stooge”).

That the Syrian government deliberately used chemical weapons to bomb civilians became absolute truth in U.S. discourse within less than 24 hours – even though Trudeau urged an investigation, even though it was denied in multiple capitals around the world, and even though Susan Rice just two months ago boasted to NPR: “We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.”

Whatever happened with this event, the Syrian government has killed hundreds of thousands of people over the past five years in what began as a citizen uprising in the spirit of the Arab Spring, and then morphed into a complex proxy war involving foreign fighters, multiple regional powers, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Russia.
The CIA has spent more than a billion dollars a year to arm anti-Assad rebels for years, and the U.S. began bombing Syria in 2014 – the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by Obama – and never stopped. Trump had already escalated that bombing campaign, culminating in a strike last month that Syrians say destroyed a mosque and killed dozens. What makes this latest attack new is that rather than allegedly targeting terrorist sites of ISIS and Al Qaeda, it targets the Syrian government – something Obama threatened to do in 2013 but never did.
Leading Congressional Democrats – including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – quickly praised Trump’s bombing while raising concerns about process. Hours before the bombing commenced, as it was known Trump was planning it, Hillary Clinton – who has been critical of Obama for years for not attacking Assad – appeared at an event and offered her categorical support for what Trump was planning:

1. New wars will always strengthen Trump: as they do for every leader.

2. Democrats’ jingoistic rhetoric has left them no ability – or desire – to oppose Trump’s wars.

3. In wartime, US television instantly converts into state media.

4. Trump’s bombing is illegal, but presidents are now omnipotent.

5. How can those who view Trump as an Inept Fascist now trust him to wage war?

6. Like all good conspiracy theories, no evidence can kill the Kremlin-controls-Trump tale.

7. The fraud of humanitarianism works every time for (and on) American elites.

8. Support for Trump’s Bombing Shows Two Toxic U.S. Conceits: “Do Something” and “Look Strong”

9. Obama’s refusal to bomb Assad hovers over everything.

10. None of this disproves, obviously, that Hillary Clinton was also a dangerous hawk.


  1. UPDATE:

    While Prime Minister Trudeau yesterday urged an investigation before any action is taken, once Trump’s bombs fell, he issued a statement expressing full support, directly contradicting his earlier statements: “President Assad’s use of chemical weapons and the crimes the Syrian regime has committed against its own people cannot be ignored.”

  2. It took the Pentagon about 15 minutes to learn how to roll Trump. The Neocons a little longer.

  3. I sure hope I am wrong that Trump was setup.


  4. I blame Ivanka.

    A Modest Proposal:

    A Nationwide Petition of Trump Voters Crying:

    "We Didn't Elect Ivanka and Jared"

    "Mr. Bannon, a hard-charging, fast-talking confidant of the president’s whose roving job in the White House has given him influence over policy and hiring decisions, now finds himself in the undesirable position of being caught between the president and his family. That is a position that others have not survived, most notably Corey Lewandowski, the first of the president’s three campaign managers."

    1. .

      Look for Trump or Spicer to express their 'full support'. That will be the kiss of death.



    “I don’t believe that our people or the American government should be the policemen of the world, it makes no sense, it causes us more trouble and more grief, it causes us more financial problems, and it’s hardly a way that we could defend our constitutional liberty.”

    This policy clearly does not lead to peace, Paul told RT.

    “The peace talks have ended now. They’re terrified that peace was going to break out! Al-Qaeda was on the run, peace talks were happening, and all of a sudden, they had to change, and this changes things dramatically! I don’t expect peace talks anytime soon or in the distant future.”

    Last but not least, the politician spoke out about the deeper reasons – and potential disastrous consequences – of the latest attack’s timing.

    “I was wondering about the fact that the announcement came when Trump was talking to Xi [Jinping, the Chinese president]. And of course, [North] Korea’s high on the list of targets for our president and our administration. It might be a warning: this is what’s going to happen to you if you don’t do what we tell you. I just don’t like us being involved in so many countries, in their internal affairs; I think it’s so detrimental.”

  6. .

    10. None of this disproves, obviously, that Hillary Clinton was also a dangerous hawk.

    True enough. Both are narcissists, both are thin skinned, and both want to be seen as 'strong'. Trump attacks because his pathology drives him to resist anything that could be interpreted as weak. Clinton attacks because she is a woman and still wants to be seen as having balls.


    1. All Hillary need do is visit E-Bay. Plastic strap on bull testicles have soared in price since The Donald bombed Syria. She's rich on stolen citizen money, she can afford it.

      Meanwhile Pussy Caps have dropped precipitously, and are now under $1 per cap.

  7. What I've learned over the years is that the Bull Shit Spin Detector always stops pointing at Quirk.

    It's really uncanny and not a little scary.

    Round and round it goes, it slows and slows, and stops....always pointing directly at Quirk.

    I don't know if 'the fix' is in, or how that might work, if it is something about 'animal magnetism', or what....all I know is the Bull Shit Spin Detector always stops pointing directly at Quirk.

  8. A possible motive for Assad choosing to use chemical weapons is he wanted his opponents to believe no one would come to their rescue.

    As Trump basks in the warm glow of his masterful military maneuver he is likely thinking more of the same will be jolly good fun. Hold on to your hats cause it could be a wild ride

    1. Ash, that almost makes some sense. Certainly beats anything Quirk has put up in a week.

    2. I'm thinking now about designating Ash Deep Coma, a move up the scale, and Quirk Deeper Coma, a move down, reversing their positions in my scheme of things

  9. USS Vincent, reversing course, heading to Korea.

  10. Prove this wrong:

    Lawrence O’Donnell: What if Putin and Trump arranged the Syria bombing to distract from Russiagate?

    We need to get the right-wing and left-wing conspiracy theorists together to hash this out. Was Assad’s chemical attack in Idlib a false flag perpetrated by some shadowy agent (Syrian rebels, the “deep state,” Mossad, etc) to give Trump’s new establishment masters a pretext to lead him into war? Or was it a real attack cynically exploited by Trump a la “Wag the Dog” to change the subject from bad news here at home (the Russia probe, health-care failure, sagging job approval, etc), possibly with the cooperation of Vladimir Putin? Under the first theory, American hawks are trying to push Trump into conflict with Russia and Assad. Under the second theory, Trump and Putin are trying to create the appearance of conflict to give him cover on Russiagate and other matters. Which is it?

    An alternate theory via McKay Coppins: Despite the many approving noises about isolationism that he made as a candidate, Trump is a Jacksonian. He’s impulsive and obsessed with projecting strength, especially in contrast to Barack Obama. When the opportunity to enforce Obama’s “red line” presented himself, he couldn’t resist. Occam’s Razor.

    Though Trump lacks the level of knowledge and grasp of history necessary to form an all-encompassing foreign policy doctrine, he has consistently articulated a belief that America’s enemies around the world can be terrified into submission—if the commander-in-chief is willing to send a strong message. Even if Trump had opted to stay out of the Syrian conflict, that belief of his—paired with a general aversion to the compromises of diplomacy—likely would have led him to abandon whatever isolationist tendencies he harbored sooner or later…

    Beyond fighting terrorism, Trump has often said the U.S. needs to be more “unpredictable” on the world stage. While running for president, he pointedly refused to take the potential use of nuclear weapons off the table, even in places like Europe. That probably wasn’t because he had big plans to bomb Estonia; it was because he wanted to place as few constraints on himself as possible, believing that the more nervous he made the world as commander-in-chief, the less likely it was that adversaries would mess with America. Some have identified this approach as a return to the “Madman Theory,” Richard Nixon’s belief that if his enemies thought he was unbalanced, he would have a stronger negotiating position against China on the Vietnam War.

    1. You never know when a displeased Jacksonian might punch you in the face, an important lesson early in Trump’s presidency not just for Assad but for, among other people, Kim Jong-un. But explaining away Thursday’s bombing by citing Trump’s erratic bellicosity does him a disservice in that it implies he doesn’t care much about Syria on its own terms. On the contrary, reports CNN, he’s been talking privately about action there for months, since before the inauguration:

      Months earlier, during an off-the-record holiday gathering with reporters at his opulent Mar-a-Lago estate a week before Christmas, Trump spoke at length about the carnage of the Syrian civil war, revealing that the issue was weighing on him as he prepared to take office. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks authorized CNN on Friday to report the contents of his remarks on the topic at the gathering, which CNN attended.

      He described the slaughter of civilians in Syria as a “holocaust,” and remarked on the “high pain threshold” of the population there.

      Trump also described in detail a video he had seen of an elderly woman being shot multiple times in Syria, struggling as she tried to continue to walk.

      And then, he acknowledged that the US had a “responsibility” over the devastating Syrian conflict — the same word he would use months later before approving the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to target a Syrian Air Force base.
      If this was a “false flag” or a “wag the dog,” it’s a loooong time in the making. A much simpler, less sexy explanation for Trump’s evolution is that he’s surrounded by hawks in his cabinet, starting with Mattis at the Pentagon, and they’ve influenced his views over time. (Mattis’s opinion carries so much weight with Trump that it seems to have convinced to abandon waterboarding as an interrogation strategy.) In particular, Trump’s inner circle is unanimous in viewing Iran as a major threat, and Iran is of course Bashar Assad’s chief regional patron. Beyond that, the U.S. natsec complex has been grumbling for years that Obama did too little as president to warn Assad away from attacks like the one this week in Idlib. Chris Hayes of MSNBC noted on Twitter a few days ago how striking it was that so many former Obama advisors seemed to approve of Trump’s decision to bomb on Thursday, suggesting a lot of unhappiness down the chain within the previous administration about O’s passivity. With practically everyone in a position of power — except Steve Bannon, allegedly — urging him to send a message to Assad and the rest of the world’s bad guys by slapping Assad across the face, go figure that Trump would lean that way too. No conspiracy theory required.

      Finally, don’t forget that Putin has been provoking Trump in greater and lesser ways since he took office. The lesser includes fly-bys of U.S. ships by Russian jets; the greater includes violating the INF Treaty, an infraction serious enough to have led Trump to put diplomatic outreach to Moscow on the back burner. O’Donnell’s conspiracy theory, like many conspiracy theories, is essentially unfalsifiable: If Trump and Putin make nice with each other, they’re colluding, but if they end up at odds as they did this week in Syria, they’re … colluding, manufacturing conflict to distract from the evidence of their previous collusion. Short of ordering a shooting war between U.S. and Russian forces, Trump is left with no way to prove that his objection to Assad’s WMD attack is on the level.

  11. Death in the age of surveillance:

  12. Proving once again that Polish Poles are so much more intelligent than American Poles, especially those living in the Greater Detroit, Michigan area, where so many seem to be in a deep coma -

    Poland blasts EU for migrant crisis quotas: ‘We will resist blackmail and pressure’
    By Pamela Geller - on April 8, 2017

    Poland is doing the right thing. Europe is importing jihad. Immigration jihad, or Hijrah, is the migration or journey of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him to Medina, in the year 622 CE. It was after the Hijrah that Muhammad for the first time became not just a preacher of religious ideas, but a political and military leader. That was what occasioned his new “revelations” exhorting his followers to commit violence against unbelievers. Significantly, the Islamic calendar counts the Hijrah, not Muhammad’s birth or the occasion of his first “revelation,” as the beginning of Islam, implying that Islam is not fully itself without a political and military component.

    “Poland blasts EU for migrant crisis quotas: ‘We will resist blackmail and pressure,’” by Sebastian Kettley, Express, April 5, 2017:

    POLAND’S Prime Minister Beata Szydło declared she will not back down after the EU threatened the member state for failing to meet migrant quotas.

    Ms Szydło’s declaration follows threats from Brussels to boot Poland and Hungary out of the EU – two nations which have failed to house any of the160,000 migrants.

    The Prime Minster told a press conference today her country will continue with a “prudent and reasonable migrant policy”.

    She said: “The Polish government under my leadership, from the moment we took responsibility for Poland, said it will not accept this resolution as we consider it bad for Europe.

    “The European Union made a fatal mistake under pressure from lobbyists but also under a lot of pressure from Germany – it accepted resolutions which turned out not only to be ineffective but also did not solve the migrant problem.”

    Ms Szydło added that failing to adequately deal with the migrant crisis has led to only 27 members remaining within the EU – alluding strongly to Brexit.

    On Tuesday a source said Poland and Hungary’s anti-migrant stance threatened their position within the bloc.

    The source said: “They will have to make a choice: are they in the European system or not? You cannot blackmail the EU, unity has a price.”

    By the end of the year the European Court of Justice will scrutinise the legality of migrant quotas – but is expected to rule in their favour.

    Brussels has ruled Poland has to accept 6,200 migrants into the country by 2017 which the country has so far failed to do so.

    The source added: “We are confident that the ECJ will confirm validation, then they [Poland and Hungary] must abide by the decision.

    “If they don’t then they will face consequences, both financial and political.

    The Polish Prime Minister made it clear in her message that no member state has met the quotas which in her opinion were damaging to the EU.

    She said: “Someone is still trying to break the unity of the European Union and is trying to force pressure in order to continue wrongful migrant policies.”…..

    1. Sounds like the fellow is not 'assimilating' and needs the help of Q's Moslem Assimilation Services-

      Detroit: Muslim who spoke of attacking church and hospital wanted to skin victims “like sheep”

      APRIL 8, 2017 5:21 PM BY ROBERT SPENCER

      “Defence attorney Todd Shanker acknowledged that Rayyan’s statements were “terrible.” But he said Rayyan was an insecure young man who was hooked on marijuana and simply wanted to impress the undercover woman online.”

      And what could be more impressive to the ladies than boasts of skinning some non-Muslims like sheep? Very smooth!

      “Khalil Abu Rayyan, Michigan Convict, Said He Wanted To Skin Victims ‘Like Sheep,'” by Ed White, Associated Press, April 7, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

      DETROIT — A Detroit-area man who talked about attacking a church and a hospital on behalf of the Islamic State group was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday after a judge said remorse over his provocative words came “too little, too late.”

      Khalil Abu Rayyan, 23, wasn’t charged with a terrorist act. But U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh said he couldn’t ignore Rayyan’s threats and infatuation with terrorism as he sentenced him for gun-related crimes.

      Rayyan kept a beheading photo on his cellphone screen, boasted about becoming a martyr and repeatedly expressed support for Islamic State. He said he wanted to skin victims “like sheep.” The FBI learned about his online activities and used an undercover operative to reach out to him during the investigation.

      Rayyan apologized in court last week and said he didn’t actually hurt anyone. He said he’s a different man after spending more than a year in custody.

      Steeh said he hoped the remorse was genuine, but he considered it to be “too little, too late.”

      “Any prisoner in his shoes would be willing to do the same,” the judge said….

      Defence attorney Todd Shanker acknowledged that Rayyan’s statements were “terrible.” But he said Rayyan was an insecure young man who was hooked on marijuana and simply wanted to impress the undercover woman online.

    2. Q's offers half way housing, in home counseling, adoption, and professional legal defense services.

    3. Though no clients are signed up yet, Donations are accepted for this worthy cause at Q's Moslem Assimilation Services, P.O Box 0000001, Detroit, Michigan, 000001.


  13. Sasquatch blamed for Idaho car crash

    1. Thanks for that. Just what I need. My nurse at the prostate docs office has a footprint photo of Sasquatch. I must show her this article during my next upcoming visit.

      She will really appreciate it.

      It's true we have been having lots of sightings recently.

      I think they need an apartment complex of their own, and Food Stamps, and a secure recreation area.

      Then they wouldn't be chasing the deer around on the highways causing accidents to innocent humans.

    2. Anthropologists at the U of Idaho have been expressing deep concern that the Sasquatch may begin interbreeding with the local Polish.

      It is becoming a political issue, and Governor Butch is pledged as his last act of office to outlaw it should it come to that.

  14. Russia again plants its flag in Nicaragua....DRUDGE

    Quirk would say Russia has deep national interests in Nicaragua, just like in Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, Crimea, and, probably, Poland, since the Ruskie's recent moves toward that area.

  15. April 9, 2017
    Gay Seattle mayor accused of molestation of young boys
    By Ed Straker


    1. That's absurd:

      Real Gay People have a switch set to the legal age in the environs.
      Anyone below that age sets their Gay Switch to Off.

      Just ask Milo.

    2. Not to worry. A Seattle jury is likely to let him off to bugger again.

    3. "Mayor Murray denies the allegations and plans to run for re-election. It is possible in Seattle that the accusations will only make him even more popular.

      But the accusation of a prominent gay official brings to mind research that claims that gays are more likely to molest children than heterosexuals, which, if true, again raises questions about having gay Scout leaders and the like."


      Those researchers are obviously unaware of The Gay Switch.

    4. Maybe they can require him to wear a gay switch like an ankle bracelet ?