The Force Estate

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Memo to Brian Williams and Fareed Zakaria: IF YOUR WAR BONER LASTS MORE THAN FOUR MINUTES, GET THE FUCK OFF THE AIR.

There may, I concede, be an argument for Donald Trump's airstrikes against Syria. But if I have to concede that, you have to concede that whatever that argument is, there's no fucking way Trump himself actually considered it. And we all know that if these bombs, or the next bombs, somehow magically do what all the bombs before them in all the countries before them haven't managed to do, it'll be, at best, a weird coincidence.

Objectively, whether or not Trump signed off on someone's good idea, awful idea, or futile slight increase in the ratio of rubble to non-rubble in the Middle East has yet to be determined. But what we know for sure is that subjectively, the media loves it when Big Daddy President makes things go boom.

The patriotic bloodlust that has gripped the media pretty much since CNN covered the start of the first Gulf War live is in play, and because a Republican is in charge, the war boners are 20% harder and 20% longer than they are when a Democrat takes military action, because those are the rules.

It started on everyone's favorite "liberal" network, MSNBC, during Brian Williams' late night Padding His Resume purgatory show. As footage of the Tomahawk missiles being launched arrived, Williams uttered the following nonsense. ACTUAL NONSENSE TIME!

"We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two US Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean. I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: 'I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.' And they are beautiful pictures of fierce armaments making, what is for them, a brief flight over to this airfield. What did they hit?"

Well, they hit brown people, Brian. They usually hit brown people. That's mostly who we shoot these days. But hey, they might have been on the side of, or at least near, a bad man. A man who's always been bad, but sometimes hasn't been too bad and sometimes has been our bad man, as is the way of things in this part of the world. Also, Cohen hasn't even been dead six months, motherfucker. Give him a little while to settle in before you start radically increasing his angular momentum.

I don't understand this mindset at all. Is it some weird deliberate attempt to try to create a moment that can be replayed on ads and shit showing what a great journalist you are? Or is it legitimate jingoistic Viagra, from people who, while ostensibly independent, enjoy such a symbiotic relationship with the ruling class they've been conditioned to react this way to shows of force. Either way, it also got to Fareed Zakaria, who apparently thought this was the best possible fucking time to plagiarize Van Jones' worst moment in recent history:

“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night. I think this was actually a big moment."

Look. I get this one. The fallacy throughout Trump's campaign, that has continued through his presidency, is that the office itself is somehow magical and transformative, and the sheer weight of the decisions a president has to make and the responsibility that requires can somehow stop Trump from being Trump.

This is, of course, delusional. The office didn't transform Nixon, and compared to Trump, Nixon is a smart, honest progressive guy who likes black people and Jews. The office didn't transform Dubya, which is why he's spent his entire post-Presidential career painting pictures of doggos. And if any man has been singularly resistant to any kind of transformation over the course of his entire life, it's Donald Trump.

It's press like this that has helped to cheerlead every last one of our foreign misadventures in recent decades, and they're not learning anything from past mistakes. Democracy also dies in dumbassery, you know.