For a fleeting moment this week, we saw a different, emotionally vulnerable President Trump. The Syrian civil war has produced 470,000 deaths and 5 million refugees. In the latest atrocity, the Syria’s Assad used bombs containing the banned nerve agent Sarin against his own civilians. Eighty-six people died on the spot, in their beds, on the street, in shops and at the market. Dozens of the victims were children. There they lay gasping for a last breath that never came. These images appeared on television, the President’s preferred source of information. Not seventy-two hours later, US destroyers were launching 59 tomahawk cruise missiles at the airport that the Syrian bombers had used.
The disconnect is the President’s visceral reaction to the scenes of dead and dying children versus his annoyance, indifference and refusal to help the living refugees of this same conflict. One could extrapolate that scenes of death stimulate Trump-the-almighty’s vengeful persona, the one who brings instant biblical punishment on the oppressors. Once he strikes and takes his retribution, he reverts to his dispassionate, egocentric self. It is a bit reminiscent of the pro-life contingent in Congress who want to stop abortions at all costs and save every embryo fertilized or not. Then they cut every social net and health program that keeps these babies and children alive once they’re born.
Hypocrisy is the mother of absurdity and illogic. There’s no shortage of that in Trumpland.