Donald Trump has flip-flopped again, sending waves through international politics and poking holes in his support base. NATO, thanks to Trump’s heroic efforts, is no longer obsolete. America should no longer stay out of Syria, because Donny, a man who seemingly forgets he has a second daughter, was oh-so heartbroken by dead children. And hamburgers with Kim Jong-un are no longer on the menu.
In stark contrast to his criticism of then-President Barack Obama, The Donald ordered a missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to Bashar al-Assad’s use of sarin gas on civilians. He was supposedly so moved by the images of the regime’s cruelty that he felt the need to do something (reports suggest Ivanka Trump played a role, likely seducing her father into ordering the strike with tales of how manly it would make him look, like Vladimir Vladimirovich).
The American media lit up, with news anchors describing the strike in terms ranging from strong to sublime. Brian Williams of MSNBC spoke as if simultaneously having a religious epiphany and tantric orgasm, watching as the Syrian night sky filled with diamonds and his head filled with Lucy. As Trump knows, any press is good press and the best way to get it is to kill some people (bonus points for vengeance factor). Such distractions are especially useful when your presidential administration is leaking like the Kursk.
While the strike degraded Assad’s air capabilities, it came separate from any broader strategy for resolving the conflict. This left the administration scrambling to adapt to the consequences of its actions. Officials had to follow in Trump’s turbulent wake, suddenly saying that Assad must go after months of arguing that ISIS was America’s main priority. But hey, you’re only president once you’ve bombed somewhere.
In another pivot away from Trump’s isolationist America First campaign rhetoric, U.S. forces in Afghanistan deployed the fuel air GBU-43/B or the “mother of all bombs,” destroying an ISIS tunnel complex in Nangahar province. Many bearded bad hombres dead and The Donald surely flush with glee at all the buttons he gets to press.
Besides the immediate fire and brimstone, the first operational use of the MOAB was also designed to send a message to another bad hombre, this one with a funny haircut and a penchant for anti-aircraft fire — the ever-recalcitrant Kim Jong-un. Being a fuel air bomb, the MOAB is excellent at destroying hardened structures like those in which you might hide, say, a nuclear research and storage facility. Removing the “crazy fat kid’s” (credit to America’s grandpa, John McCain) nuclear capabilities would require the destruction of a number of such underground targets. When questioned by Billy Bush about whether the MOAB deployment was intended to scare Kim Jong-un, the ever eloquent Trump replied, with a wink of his mole-like eyes, “when you look at North Korea, you know… we’ve just gotta grab ‘em by the missile silo… then they’ll let us do anything.”
So, after an isolationist campaign against Goldman Sachs with some Putin-love thrown in, Trump seems to be transforming before our very eyes. Maybe he’ll even take off the wig. With his growing interventionism it looks like he will end up, in the words of one Trump voter, “just like any other damn president.” To many, that would be a relief — to others, an outrage. Trump’s WWE appearance has prepared him well for just this situation. Let’s get ready to rumble.
Alex Davies is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have I Got News for You? runs alternate Tuesdays this semester.