The "Cruise Missile Left" Upholds the Virtue of Bombing the Middle East

It seems like there is no limit to the absurd behavior of the American “liberal” political establishment these days, and no limit to the number of people who fail to notice its absurdity. One would think that the public would find recent shenanigans quite hilarious, but nowadays talking heads on cable news can report with gravitas and furrowed brow, within a short span of two weeks, a perfect trilogy of the most absurd nonsense, and almost no one bursts out laughing.

Firstly, the Democratic Party is suing Wikileaks and Russia for colluding to deprive them of an election victory. This news came a week after the “liberal” establishment (a broad term I use to include the bureaucracy, political leaders and corporate media) used the term “conspiracy nuts” to describe those who question the rationale given for bombing Syria on April 14th, 2018. Their lawsuit against Wikileaks and Russia is, by definition, an unfounded conspiracy theory because there is no evidence for it. It’s simply another iteration of a whistling-in-the-wind hail Mary pass that postpones the day when they have to look at the faults within. The lawsuit is all the more detached from reality for suggesting that Russia would agree to be summoned to a court to answer the charges. Where exactly is this trial supposed to take place? This is, supposedly, an acceptable way to deal with the one nation that has nuclear parity with the United States.

Secondly, the liberal establishment was also seen to be riding off the rails in its fawning reaction to the former FBI director James Comey as he peddled his new book denouncing Donald Trump’s fitness for high office. Comedian/political analyst Jimmy Dore put together a scathing commentary on this topic in which he discussed a series of video clips from October 2016 when Democrats were livid at Comey for having re-opened the investigation into Hillary Clinton because of new information that emerged. Here are some quotes by leading Democrats from that week late in the administration of Barack Obama:

“Democrats have been very critical of Comey and many of us did call for his resignation.”
“I was appalled by what director Comey did.”
“Comey acted in an outrageous way.”
“He made a mistake. Maybe he’s not in the right job.”
“He may have destroyed the credibility of the FBI forever.”
“This was a very serious error in judgment.”
“The president [Obama] ought to fire Comey immediately, and ought to initiate an investigation.”
“What he did was unprecedented and outrageous. He damaged the institution of law enforcement in this country.”
“The lowest moment in the history of the FBI.”
“I find it hard to believe that Comey, who I thought had some degree of integrity, would do this.”
Now that Comey has denounced Trump, all is forgiven. He’s a national hero if he can help in the long quest to oust the “illegitimate” president. This endless campaign, focused on the lost election campaign of two years ago, brings to mind a memorable line from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. After the heroine has been shunned by high society for having an affair, a former friend explains, “I would talk to her if she had merely committed a crime, but she broke the rules.” This applies perfectly to the present attitude of the Democratic establishment. The campaign to oust Trump has nothing to do with the law, no matter how much is said about laws being broken. Both factions of the establishment are up to their necks in illegal deeds. The law is invoked only because everyone is willing to exploit the law and institutions of law enforcement to pursue their ends, but no one cares whether any crimes were committed. What matters is that the implicit rules of the game were broken. The ogre is not supposed to be in the White House. It isn’t proper.

Finally, to finish the trilogy, I post a segment of Lee Camp’s recent brilliant take-down of the ridiculous Rachel Maddow, who has recently outdone herself with a twisted rationale for questioning Trump’s decision to drop bombs on Syria—something she wanted him to do but not for the wrong reasons.

Redacted Tonight, April 24, 2018

Lee Camp: I want to talk about all the things the US bombing of Syria covered up this week. Sometimes a good bombing serves as a great distraction from whatever the ruling elite don’t want you to know about... Stormy Daniels giving too many interviews? Try some bombs away. Your lawyers office getting raided to find out the details of all the hush money you’ve paid various people through the years? Bombs away. Former FBI director James Comey suddenly a darling of the McResistance running around selling a book about how you’re an idiot? Boy, what a great time for some bombs away? Am I right?

… after I started writing this segment I noticed that the fake left wing was also pointing this out, which is bizarre because they’re part of the same neocon alliance that has forced Trump into bombing in the first place. People like Rachel Maddow are running around saying, “Trump… has to bomb to prove he doesn’t love Assad and he doesn’t love Putin.” He has to bomb, and then when he does, they say, “He only bombed because of Stormy Daniels.” In fact, this schizophrenic, idiotic argument brought Rachel to tears:

Announcing new military strikes on Syria... It is not just spectacle. It is not just political... It will therefore affect the utility of this military strike if the President of the United States is believed to have issued the order to launch this strike tonight, even in part, because people think he wanted to distract from a catastrophic domestic scandal that is blowing up at home.

... Because we had such a bad president, when he chooses to bomb countries we aren’t at war with, that Congress has not voted to bomb, that the American people don’t want to bomb, after we’ve funded and armed every type of jihadist and rebel group in that country thereby leading to the slaughter of thousands upon thousands of people, including children. After our president chooses to bomb them, some people are going to say it’s just because of the porn star! It will tarnish our country’s legacy of bombing innocent people for the right reasons, like because we want oil and power and a strong petro-dollar and to help the stocks of the weapons industry. We do not bomb to distract from porn star hush money! Donald Trump has sullied, sullied the name of our organized human murder industry. Thank God we have Rachel to defend the honor of organized human murder!

But in reality there’s something Rachel won’t tell you. There are other stories that this bombing covered up more important than Stormy Daniels, and in a roundabout way Rachel and the other neocon-friendly corporate media are working with Trump to cover those things up.

First off, the same week Trump bombed Syria, there was growing international concern over the Israeli massacre of unarmed civilians that had happened just days before. Israel also shot six journalists, killing one. And these were not top-secret journalists taking notes on a secret spy pad. No, these were people with PRESS written across their vests, which means the Israeli soldiers were aiming at journalists. Wow, that sounds like something the mainstream media stooges would want to talk about--”Hey you guys, I know we defend everything Israel ever does, but should we be upset when snipers take out fellow journalists?” No, it sounds like a good time for “bombs-away.” I doubt Rachel Maddow covered the recent massacre at all, and if she did, I doubt she did it with the same teary, oh-my-god inflection she reserves for porn star scandals.

Here’s another major story covered up by our illegal bombing campaign: Trump has been talking about rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the same deal which dropping out of was perhaps the only good campaign promise that he kept... Trump has proposed rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In case you’ve forgotten, the TPP is the largest corporate takeover that the world has ever known. If a corporation in Brunei decided it didn’t like the clean air regulations in California, it could take the US to a corporate-run tribunal...

There’s something very basic everyone needs to understand about trade deals: they’re not about trade. Less than a third of what the TPP says has to do with trade. It’s designed to set rules to minimize the risk of democracy for corporations... Forbes will let you know:

“America loses by not rejoining the TPP. The threat of trade wars have unintended results, but few could have predicted how quickly grassroots politics in America would pressure the administration to reconsider its position on the TPP.”

Yeah, a magazine for rich people! Farmers in Nebraska are showing up at Trump events with signs that say “TPP.” No, they’re not.

This Forbes writer is involved in the age-old tradition of bullshit. Farmers may be upset if soybean prices suffer from the trade war Trump’s creating, but none of them are demanding the TPP. In fact, most of the TPP... doesn’t have to do with trade. As the WikiLeaks files stated, the TPP is basically “...a corporations’ charter assigning a variety of rights and powers to corporations in the name of free trade” and that’s why the TPP is “... a grave threat to freedom of information, civil rights, and access to health care,” but have no fear. Trump then reversed course again saying, “While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into the TPP, I don’t like the deal for the United States.” Why is Trump reversing himself so much on this? Because he doesn’t know what the TPP is! And he hasn’t read the thing at all! In fact, he doesn’t even realize South Korea isn’t part of the TPP! He has no idea what he’s talking about, but mark my words: the American corporate state will continue to push to get into the TPP. This is not over.

So, to sum it up, we have a reactionary man-child president who pathologically lacks empathy. He can fire missiles on other countries whenever he wants, thereby getting our pathetic dumpster-fire media to do nothing for the next three days but wave a flag and sing... I guess the answer would be to take those crazy unconstitutional war powers away from him, just like you wouldn’t let a toddler play with an electric saw. It’s very much the same, but instead Congress now wants to give Trump more war powers. Yes, Tim Kaine and Bob Corker claim the new AUMF they presented to Congress does limit Trump’s powers. However, most legal scholars, including the ACLU, have noted:

Not only would the Corker AUMF almost irretrievably cede to the executive branch ... the power to declare war, but it also would give this president and all future presidents authority to engage in worldwide war, sending American troops to countries where we are not now at war, and against groups that the president alone decides are enemies.

So basically it would codify exactly what we already have…. The two-party corporate con men—sorry, con people—have given a dictator’s toolbox to Trump, most of it created under Bush and Obama, and they’re in no hurry to decrease it. And guess what? Rachel Maddow and the rest of the war-hungry corporate talking heads are in no hurry to cover the real stories because this porn star scandal is tarnishing our rescue bombs!


Note: Edward S. Herman coined the term "cruise missile left" shortly after the events of September 2001:

"A prominent set of commentators claiming to speak from the left have aligned themselves with the national leadership in support of an aggressive military interventionism and projection of power abroad. This is by no means a genuine left--that is, one that opposes the powerful in the interest of the non-elite majority. I call them a "cruise missile left" (CML) because of their alignment with power and their eager support of external violence, which is a very important component of their intellectual labors." 

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