Trout Fisting In America #5 – Syria

Because as my good friend Kathy Acker likes to say, ‘When they go low, we…(smiles)…we shove our fist up a defenseless trout’s asshole.’

Or in this case, I guess, a Syrian airfield.

Let’s all take a deep breath and try not to overreact. We aren’t at war, nobody got killed, and the intended USA message—however garbled & backmasked—appears to have been sent.

Of course, the message I got this week is that every journalist is a whore, every politician is corrupt, and your average US citizen is that parent in a horror movie who refuses to see the blood & dead bodies rising all around them. In this sense, the enemy is ourselves; the USA is a monster.

The scariest thing about our missile launch into Syria is that it proves nobody learned anything from the disasters in Iraq & Afghanistan. When it comes to justification for war, your typical american is still pathetically trusting & naive. Dead children! We need to do something! Didn’t we just do this? A brutal dictator gassing his own people, including women and children?

We should know by now that nothing good comes from the worship of children, up to and including fetuses (feti?). The Pentagon must focus group this stuff, because for the past 20 years every US intervention has been framed as a humanitarian effort, an attempt to stop the suffering of women and children. I bet the questions went like this:

Under which of these scenarios would you be okay with US military involvement?

  1. A brutal civil war in Syria where everyone involved is horrible and unworthy of support.

  2. Russia’s already picked a side. We can join them or oppose them, neither of which seems like much fun.

  3. Did we mention one of the opposition armies is ISIS?

  4. And another is Al-Qaeda?

  5. Ok, but the guy currently in charge of Syria, the guy who’s not Al-Qaeda or ISIS, used chemical weapons.

  6. Did we mention that he used them…on children?

It turns out americans will shake their heads no at #1 through #5, but throw in #6 and we’re read to start bombing because (in a desperate, hysterical voice) ‘we have to do something.’

And yes, Assad should be considered a war criminal. So should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Henry Kissinger, and if there’s any justice in this world (spoiler alert: there isn’t) maybe they can all share a cell together one day. They’d have a lot to talk about.

We’re okay with killing innocent children—our country does it all the time—but you’re a monster if you kill them with gas.  It’s okay to kill adults with gas, and it’s always okay to kill innocent civilians—the violence of which gets washed away by the neutered euphemism ‘collateral damage,’ and you can bet there was some high-fiving around the pentagon the day they came up with that one (back in 1961, in case you’re curious).

Our missile attacks, our military interventions, are always sold as a humanitarian effort, a liberation. a removal of a dictator, a spreading of democracy. And it’s amazing how many people still fall for it. Or maybe we just love to look at the flashing lights. Or maybe it’s just nice to see this country accomplish something…anything.

As the US continues its decline from an empire—an empire built through the extermination of its native population and the import/exploitation of slave labor—to an ignorant backwater with more weapons than sense (that is to say, as we all become residents of rural Texas), the only thing we’re still capable of doing as a nation is war. Actually, the only thing we’re capable of doing is ‘starting a war.’ We suck at finishing them.

Killing isn’t just what we do best, it’s literally the only thing we’re able to agree on. Feeding people, providing health care, or even an education, all of that seems to be impossible—mired down in details & arguments—but shooting missiles is something that everyone can get behind. Just look at the reaction this week from the weasels in congress and the media, whose ratings go through the fucking roof whenever we drop a bomb through someone’s, uh, fucking roof.

Everyone benefits from a military action. The media gets richer, the stock market goes up, and the government appears strong. Well pretty much everyone. As for the people who have to actually go fight these wars, thank you for your service and sorry about your PTSD. (On the bright side, if we’re perpetually at war then it’s just TSD, no chance for the P.)

What happened this week was more publicity stunt than humanitarian effort—I mean two days later they’re launching planes from the airfield we just bombed. This attack, like Donald Trump’s entire presidency so far, was just a meaningless effort designed to make the president look good. It accomplishes nothing besides making Donald Trump more popular. Well, it also slows the questions about about the ridiculous number of people with ties to Russia working for him (ties that they keep forgetting about when asked, which is weird).

Every time this government acts, or any government acts, you need to ask yourself who stands to gain from their actions. Quick hint: it usually isn’t you. And it usually isn’t foreign children.

And the people asking why this administration bombs an airfield in response to the suffering of Syrian children but bans these same Syrian children from entering the US because they might one day become terrorists—if they aren’t already, I mean given the TSA exceptions for small children, how much longer until we have a TODDLER BOMBER?—these people need to pay closer attention. Trump’s actions aren’t a contradiction, or inconsistency, or even hypocrisy. They’re completely consistent in how we deal with the Arab world. People need to get this through their thick crew-cut covered skulls: our actions in the middle-east have nothing to do with liberation, or humanitarianism, or saving the goddamn children. Our actions are about controlling a region, and by extension its resources. Anything else is a smokescreen. We crave power and stability. That is all.

As far as the Unites States is concerned, the Arab world has  two choices—total submission or death. This is a bipartisan position. Even Hillary Clinton emerged from exile to give the attack her blessing. And given her silence about nearly every other goddamn thing these past three months, we have to assume this issue is very important to her, that she cares more about US hegemony than US health care, or US citizens (although I’d still vote for her over Trump, and I’d still vote for Sanders over her).

It’s no coincidence that Israel, our only true friend in the region, shares the same philosophy. Israel wants the Palestinian land, but they don’t want the Palestinians that come with it, or they just want them to be quiet and stay out of the way. To the US and Israel, Arabs are nothing more than an irritant, an obstacle; they are a thing to be removed. And their death, either through the hands of our military or the hands of each other, is always considered a good thing.

In the meantime, this attack has gained Donald Trump a lot of respect & admiration, even from his so-called opposition, and so like all narcissists he will, in his endless pursuit of pleasure, be returning to this drug again and again. The thrill of war. An unending supply of missiles. A hair-trigger temper. What could go wrong?

About ScottCreney

Scott Creney lives in Athens, Georgia. He is the author of "Dear Al-Qaeda: Letters to the World’s Most Notorious Terror Organiztion".
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