Child President

Report: Generals Resort to Ignoring What Trump Says

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump did an extraordinarily stupid and reckless thing this week: he tweeted that the United States was about to launch a missile strike on Syrian military assets.

Trump has said on numerous occasions that we shouldn't tell our enemies what our plans are but, according to the Washington Post, there is no plan or at least there was no plan when Trump tweeted that.

The Post reports that the Pentagon saw Trump's tweets and chose to ignore it.

In a White House known for chaos, the process of developing the U.S. response to the Syrian government’s alleged latest chemical attack was proceeding with uncharacteristic deliberation, including several national security briefings for President Trump.

But then Wednesday morning, Trump upended it all with a tweet — warning Russia, the Syrian government’s backer, to “get ready” because American missiles “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ ”

White House advisers were surprised by the missive and found it “alarming” and “distracting,” in the words of one senior official. They quickly regrouped and, together with Pentagon brass, continued readying Syria options for Trump as if nothing had happened.

This may be amusing but, on the other hand, maybe it isn't.

I don't think we should normalize the Pentagon ignoring what the president says, but I'm not sure what other choice they have when the Mad King is rage-tweeting from the toilet.

Government officials who spoke to Reuters off the record say Syria has responded to Trump's missile tweet by repositioning their assets, making it more difficult for the military to attack if the order is formally given, not tweeted.

Syria’s attempt to shelter aircraft, perhaps by locating them alongside Russian military hardware that Washington might be reluctant to strike, could limit damage that the United States and its allies might be able to inflict on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military.

A similar assessment regarding Syria’s actions was delivered by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, which said pro-Syrian government forces were emptying main airports and military air bases.

The National Security Council is reportedly meeting at some point today when a decision on what to do in Syria will be reached.

  • Badgerite

    They have a lot of company. Most of the country would like to ignore what trump says. It is usually infantile and dishonest and almost always displays disgusting narcissism.

  • ninjaf

    I don’t think we should normalize the Pentagon ignoring what the president says, but I’m not sure what other choice they have when the Mad King is rage-tweeting from the toilet.

    This is what I fear the most — that they think it is OK to ignore the Commander in Chief. But he is a special circumstance, to be sure.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I’ve said before, I hope should the time come that Trump gives an order to drop a nuke that the people who art duty-bound and sworn to obey that order will have the courage and patriotism to refuse to do so.

      “Yes, I realize refusing to follow this order is breaking the law and that I’ll be punished. Which is as it should be because I’m breaking the law. But I still refuse to follow this order.”

  • Badgerite

    trump never does anything with respect to Russia and Putin without first telegraphing the that the action will occur and then delaying the action so that the Russians can move assets around avoid any painful consequences. Happens with sanctions and with military actions. Putin owns him. And since Putin owns him, Assad owns him. And Iran owns him.
    And China owns him. Paul Ryan talks of building up our military. The GOP has enabled someone who has destroyed any credibility the US has internationally. If we have to resort to military actions as our only option, and that is where we are heading, we have already lost the world we cherish.

  • muselet

    A commenter somewhere on the internet (I do apologize, but I can’t remember who or where) suggested Donald Trump ltweeted about missile strikes on Syria so Russia would know what was in the works. Facetious or not, that explanation makes more sense than anything else I can think of.

    –alopecia

    • 1933john

      Could it be “Play Acting”?

      • muselet

        You think Donald Trump has a firm enough grip on reality to know the difference between it and the random thoughts that pop into his head?

        –alopecia

        • Georgie

          No. Scary as hell.

        • I agree. While I think he colluded with Russia to get elected, I don’t think he is smart enough (or perhaps sane enough is more correct) to even realize that he is helping the Russians now.

    • Draxiar

      That’s precisely what I thought when I saw that tweet.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Facetious or not, that explanation makes more sense than anything else I can think of.

      No. Tweeting to give Russia some sort of “heads up” is not something that would occur to Trump. First, here is nothing he’s ever done to suggest he is capable of that kind of subtlety or thinking (“I’ll appear to do this thing to actually accomplish that.”. And second, and far more notable, Trump only looks at what he believes directly benefits himself. Considering a friend’s interests isn’t in his vocabulary.

      • muselet

        If Vladimir Putin *ahem* requested an early warning about incoming missiles over Syria from his good friend Donald Fyodorivich, I doubt Donald Trump would be in any position to refuse.

        –alopecia