Mr. Trump takes a swim in the swamp. Can he get out? Does he want to get out?

The U.S.-led attack on Syria was reckless, unnecessary, and self-defeating, but most of all it is clear testimony to the fact that the republic and its Constitution are nearly dead. Simply put, President Trump acted in the same matter as his four immediate predecessors; that is, as an elected dictator defying the Constitution and knowing that the supine Congress will do nothing to recover its sole and non-delegable constitutional prerogative to authorize the United States to go to war.

After eight years of war in Syria, not one genuine U.S. national interest — economic, military, or any other — has been damaged even slightly. The only American lives or limbs lost there were aid workers and journalists who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way, and several U.S. troops who were sent to Syria unconstitutionally and died there uselessly and wastefully. In other words, whether 35 of 3,500 Syrians were killed by gas at Douma, that attack — like all others in Syria over the since 2011 — was irrelevant to genuine U.S. national security concerns, not matter how severely they offend the sensibilities of some Americans.

Indeed, genuine U.S. national interests have benefited from the Syrian war. Russian President Putin threw his geopolitical dice and lost. As a result, he has been steadily spending his military’s lives, equipment, and monetary resources on a secondary Islamist threat to Russia, while the priority Islamist threat to Russia and its Commonwealth of Independent States is emanating from Afghanistan.

Islamist forces in Afghanistan, especially those of the Islamic State (IS), have substantially increased in number, and they are gradually solidifying their presence in the northern Afghan provinces that border Central Asia. Putin’s military will soon be mired and bleeding in both Syria and Afghanistan, thereby further reducing Russia’s ability and desire to antagonize the United States. This benefit, of course, would be greatly enhanced if the U.S. military was withdrawn from Afghanistan, after sewing salt or otherwise poisoning all heroin-growing land and destroying all military material and facilities that cannot be removed with the departing troops.

Geopolitical realities aside, Trump’s decision to join Britain and France to strike myriad targets in Syria is fundamentally a decision that would be made only by an Neocon or a hostage being threatened with death. Think about it, three nuclear powers attack a fourth and its ally because c. 35 Syrians were killed by poison gas that was dropped on them by what possibly was an Israel-run, false-flag operation. Under the morally indignant mantra “Assad gassed his own people!” Trump, Britain’s Theresa May, and France’s Emmanuel Macron launched missiles to chastise the foul Arab fiend and his Russian protector. Western morality and might again save the world.

Well, wait a minute. Trump leads a nation that has killed more than 60-plus millions of its own children; abolished majority rule in favor of rule by a motley, violent, and badly educated mix of racial, sexually deviant, and fascist minority groups; and has made the rule of law and the Bill of Rights quaint things of the past. Might not these depravities merit attack and destruction by some other nation or nations under the banner of morality and saving innocent Americans? Turn-about, after all, is fair play.

And what of Trump’s partners in this premeditated military intervention in Syria? Well, both May and Macron have been and are still attacking and killing their own people, and ruining their national economies, with the violent Muslim and African immigrants they have allowed to flood their countries. Their attacks are as bad or worse than Assad’s. He at least leads a sovereign government trying to save a moderate independent nation-state from Islamist forces. May and Macron, on the other hand, are deliberately trying to kill the sovereign states they were elected to protect, as well as the civil liberties of those who voted for them.

In Britain and France, unwanted, unneeded, and dole-supported immigrants are shooting, raping, robbing, kidnapping, knifing, and acid-dousing native-born citizen. Police often take days to respond to such attacks, and then tend to arrest the victims, and those who defend them, for “hate speech” if they damn their attackers publicly or on social media. It would not be a surprise to learn that the governments of May and Macron are facilitating the murder-by-immigrant of twelve of their own citizens each day. May and Macron make Assad look like a commonsense Syrian patriot, and they merit ending up hanging from the gallows, and soon.

Back to Trump. The president, in this attack, has made himself at least the temporary enemy of every man and woman who voted for him and against the continuation of their national government’s half-century of unconstitutional, interventionist, and unnecessary wars. In a single night, Trump forfeited his status as a symbol of hope and courage by knowingly descending into the swamp to attach himself to a long, stinking, and blood-stained line of lying U.S. presidents, a war-mongering brotherhood of average-American-hating men. Can he or, perhaps more accurately, does he want to get a grip and drag himself out of the sewer in which he decided to swim? We’ll see.

Finally, the military interventionism of Trump and his generals, as well as those of his predecessors and their generals, must be seen for what it is; namely, proof that there is absolutely no such thing as “American Exceptionalism”. Since 1945, most U.S. presidents, both political parties, and the governing elite have hewed closely to history’s well-trodden path of war-making rulers who do not give a damn about the welfare or desires of their citizens. This kind of behavior is unbearable by itself. But it becomes shameful, deranged and murderous when it is gussied up in the silken robes and diadem of “American Exceptionalism” and claims to be seeking to make the world safe for democracy as the bayonet’s point is pressed hard against the bellies of foreign peoples. The interventionists, since V-J Day, have used America’s young as cannon fodder abroad, and treated citizens at home as simple-minded workers from whom every last dollar in taxes must be wrung to pay for more war and war-industries.

America’s Founders, to their everlasting glory, knew that there was nothing exceptional about Americans. Those men believed that they and their fellow citizens were part of the common-run of mankind, fallen creatures of God who were capable of great good and despicable evil. The only exceptionalism the Founders saw in their countrymen and new republic was three-fold: (a) the citizens’ birthright to English liberties; (b) the republic’s location on the astoundingly well-watered, fertile, and natural resource-rich North American continent, and (c) the remoteness of that continent from the rest of the world, and especially those states and empires that wanted no republic to survive.

To nurture English liberties, take advantage of America’s geographical exceptionalism, and avoid all but necessary wars, the Founders crafted a foreign policy based on commonsense, neutrality, and non-intervention. Though they did not call their handy-work an “America First” policy, that is what it was, and it guided the republic’s international conduct for most of the 140 years that preceded the 1912 election of Woodrow Wilson, the first high and sanctimonious priest of American Exceptionalism. Since Wilson intervened unnecessarily in Latin America, the European War of 1914-18, and the Russian revolution and its aftermath, U.S. presidents have sought to bury the successful record of Founders’ America First policy and replace it with gangsterish military interventionism, clad in faux moralistic rhetoric, we see and hear today.

At least six notable men have stood up and defied the interventionists since 1917: Senator Robert M. La Follette, Brigadier-General Charles Lindbergh, Patrick J. Buchanan. Dr. Ron Paul, Dr. Rand Paul, and Donald Trump.

  • Senator Robert M. La Follette was a Republican from Wisconsin who supported Woodrow Wilson’s re-election in 1916 because that charlatan was still advocating American neutrality in the Great War. When Wilson showed his interventionist intentions, La Follette adamantly opposed America’s entry into World War I, and, after the war, he labored publicly and in the Senate — with other non-interventionists — to successfully stop the surrender of U.S. sovereignty and independence required by the Treaty of Versailles and U.S. membership in the League of Nations.
  • Building on La Follette’s work, and the anti-interventionism of his own father, Brigadier-General Lindbergh was the heart of the “America First” movement in the late 1930s. He was, as well, the greatest American hero of the 20th century. The price Lindbergh paid for trying to keep America out of a then-unnecessary war was to have his reputation permanently ruined by the label “anti-Semite,” which was indelibly attached to him by British government and Jewish-American leaders, media, and organizations. To this day, the latter U.S.-based groups have maintained and periodically refreshed this libeling of Lindbergh, even through the work of prominent novelists and biographers.
  • Mr. Buchanan and the two Dr. Pauls resuscitated the fading embers of Lindbergh’s America First blaze. They were consistently targeted and tarred in the same manner as Lindbergh, but courageously persevered and not only successfully kept the fire lit, but kept it slowly growing for decades.
  • Mr. Trump came onto the scene promising to out-Lindbergh Lindbergh on the issue of America First. So far that promise has been a black lie, which, for me, is a lie that not only seems to display a person’s mendacity but offends the commonsense of Americans, especially that of the parents who have lost sons and daughters in their presidents’ unnecessary and always lost interventionist wars.

It is up to you, now, Mr. Trump. Did you come to praise and save the republic, or to finish it off and bury it? For now, at least, the sound of shovels digging a grave seems to be coming from the White House.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.