Thursday, February 2, 2017

The emperor at war: Update

Via Indian Express.
Yep, that Yemen raid was a clusterfuck:
U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.
It was what the rest of us call carnage, a horrible scene. Probably 30 killed, including at least 10, maybe 15, women and children, among them that 8-year-old Nara al-Awlaki. "A White House official" insists that the Obama administration had vetted the operation thoroughly, but there's no reason to think he's telling the truth. (I'm guessing right here that it's Spicer, who allows himself to be quoted by name boasting about how successful the mission was.) It's not funny, but everything Trump does has the structure of classic comedy, in which the hubristic villain trips on the banana peel of his own cruelty and vanity. It's just that in real life so many of the good people whose lives he affects are damaged and crushed.

Meanwhile Flynn is threatening Iran with some kind of red line the nature of which he doesn't specify very clearly, Trump is threatening to send a punitive expedition to take care of "bad hombres" in Mexico, and he's apparently managed to enrage the prime minister of Australia, America's most loyal ally over the past century. Just doubled down on that on the Twitter machine:

They're also not thousands of illegal immigrants but 1700 boat people refugees entitled to asylum (mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan) who somehow got lost in the South Pacific, generally held in horrible prison camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Steve M will tell us this isn't going to cost him anything with his base, and he's right as usual, but I don't think his base can really help him out much at this point. I think his base is going to be crawling back into their woodchuck holes and we're going to be hearing a little less from them, unless it's when they're protesting against the taking away of their Obamacare. And the Republican establishment will happily throw him under the bus if they think he's not helping them, which I can tell you is just going to get clearer every day. It's going to be awful, but hideously entertaining.

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