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Is Trump a war-monger?

Posted by Simon Parke, 08 April 2017, 5.01pm

Donald Trump recently ordered a cruise missile attack on a military facility of Syria’s President Assad.

There have been various reactions.

Some have thought it a carefully managed Trump/Putin collaboration to guide people away from the idea of a more general Trump/Putin collaboration.


Others have seen it as a warning to China, coinciding with President Xi’s visit to the US.

The message being: ‘If you don’t help us with North Korea, we’ll go our own way, like we have done just now in Syria.’

Again, possible…though here’s a thought, it could be what it appears to be, the simple placing of a boundary, a line in the sand:

‘Chemical weapons are off limits.’

It was a boundary the west failed to put in place when Assad last used chemical weapons in 2013, killing at least 1300 Syrians and harming many more.

Led by Obama, we all backed off, I remember the parliamentary debate.

Never felt like our finest hour, and many who were involved, on reflection,feel the same.

And of course it left Assad with a very free hand in the area.

‘Really, if I can get away with such barbaric grossness, I can get away with anything!’

And so, with the support of Iran and Russia, he has used his free hand quite freely, particularly against aid convoys and hospitals.

Some, in disappointed response to the US action, say ‘War is not the way, peace is the way.’

But there has been no peace and there is no peace.

I think of Chamberlain optimistically holding up his little piece of paper: ‘Peace in our time!’

But there wasn’t.

The opponents of the action also say, ‘Regime change is not the way. Look at Iraq!’

Iraq was fucking a disaster, I agree.

But that is not the only model; and most believe the regime change in Germany after WW2 was a good thing.

Not all…but most.

And I can’t help thinking of children who have been given no boundaries, who are dangerous to both themselves and others.

Sometimes putting in a boundary is an act of courage.

Some parents prefer to let things be, they don’t wish to put down a marker…they prefer peace.

‘If he’s happy, let him get on with it! Keeps him out of my hair!’

But the outcomes of a boundary-free childhood are not happy; and nothing to do with any peace worth the name.

Who knows the intentions behind the recent cruise missile intervention by America?

I don’t. Probably mixed.

But if it was concerned with boundaries, if that was the intention…

I don’t equate it with being a war-monger, an imperialist, the easy option or anti-peace.

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