News of war tends to bring out our natural gullibility. When the con-man in the White House announced a missile attack on Syria two nights ago, some otherwise intelligent pundits immediately began gushing with inexplicable praise. Fareed Zakaria called Trump "presidential" on CNN, while NBC's Brian Williams swooned over the "beautiful" images of Tomahawk smoke trails in the sky. The New York Times ran an embarrassing headline for a few hours, "ON SYRIA ATTACK, TRUMP'S HEART CAME FIRST", until their own oversight committee apparently forced a rewrite. Never mind the fact that Trump has obvious motives to wish for a distraction, that his policy on Syrian refugees remains heartless, that we are failing to help countless suffering Syrian children right now.
Well, our mass media has been dazzled by Trump since his campaign began in 2015, so let's look elsewhere for rational analysis. On behalf of every intelligent American citizen who cares about right and wrong, it's time for us to issue a simple statement. We the American people will never agree to be led by Donald Trump in any military activity. He cannot be trusted. This is far too serious a matter to equivocate about. The possibility of a Trump war is a red alert, and we must respond now with complete opposition, with massive resistance, with civil disobedience at every level.
Here's why we the American people will never follow Donald Trump to war:
- He's a compulsive liar. Trump can't even tell the truth about the crowd size at his inauguration. How could we ever support a military leader who has abandoned his own credibility as a source of factual information? Even George W. Bush, for all his limitations, was in touch with reality. Trump is not.
- He has a sick fascination with nuclear weapons. Trump's obsession with nuclear brinksmanship as a tool in "making deals" has been well-documented. The fact that he has the power to make any decisions regarding nuclear weapons is already mind-boggling.
- He supports torture, and has openly pledged to commit war crimes. "Torture absolutely works," Trump said in early 2017, and the fact that any journalist would ever refer to him as "presidential" after hearing these words is sickening. Are we going to allow Trump force our overseas troops to become war criminals? Why?
- He's ignorant and over-confident, and has a history of failure. A few weeks ago, our #NotPresident dumbly intoned that "Nobody knew that healthcare policy could be this complicated." Let's say Trump's understanding of the situation in Syria is equal to his understanding of healthcare policy. Why on earth would we follow him into a war?
My fellow loyal Americans: we are called upon to act today to remove Trump from office in any way possible. Illegal protest, civil disobedience, national strike, impeachment, secession, dissolution of the Union: all of these options are preferable to following this blatantly incompetent leader in any military operation. Of course, this puts many of us into a terrible position, because we wish to be loyal to our country in time of strife.
The agony of this situation must be felt most strongly by members of our armed forces, who are trained and pledged to follow orders. If you are a member of the USA armed forces, you are now called upon to act with great courage and conscience, and at great risk of personal danger, because you may need to oppose your orders. We are truly in a time of crisis, and blind obedience to authority will no longer suffice.
The fact that our commander in chief is bizarre and incompetent, also provides a terrible moral conflict for many thoughtful and humanitarian-minded Americans (including both liberals and conservative) who have long wished for an active military campaign against the horrible offenses of Assad's regime in Syria. If you believe that an airstrike against Assad in Syria is a good idea, but are concerned about Trump's competence, you may feel tremendously conflicted right now. There is no easy answer to this dilemma. We at Pacifism21 do not believe that missile air strikes and other escalations are likely to help the suffering people of Syria. But we do recognize that others may credibly believe it will, and may even wish to support Trump against Assad.
But the four points listed above cannot be ignored. If you really believe that military action against Syria is a good idea, you must support removal of Trump so that we can be led by a credible commander-in-chief. In the off chance that Trump really did suddenly develop a "heart" (as the New York Times briefly declared in yesterday's gushing swoon), let's ask him to prove it by resigning. We the American people will not and cannot follow Trump in any military action, no matter what the goal or intention.