Last night, Sean Hannity suggested that Donald Trump’s missile strike against Syria was the magnificent act of a magnificent world leader. But just a few short years ago, he thought striking Syria would not be “very effective” and that the U.S. should "take out Iran's nuclear sites" instead.
Let’s take a stroll down Hannity Memory Lane to September 5, 2013 when then-President Obama was thinking of launching strikes against Syria for the same reason Trump supposedly just did, the use of chemical weapons:
Then, Hannity offered two reasons why he thought it likely to do more harm than good:
HANNITY: Number one, the threat which, I think, is real, clear, present-danger credible, and that is that Syria and Iran will, in fact, retaliate against Israel. And the second one is, we ultimately could help Al Qaeda-linked rebels in their battle against Assad and that would not be – either scenario is not good for us or them, for Israel.
Hannity also suggested it was a waste of time and effort when we should really be attacking Iran:
HANNITY: [Iran’s] ideology is - they are the modern day Nazis. They want a modern-day Holocaust. So if you agree with me that they are the proxy here, wouldn’t it make sense that if we really wanted to have an impact, rather than lob a few cruise missiles in to Syria, which I don’t think would be very effective, based on days, not weeks, and no boots on the ground, why don’t we do what we should do and that’s take out Iran’s nuclear sites?
[…] So that seems to me to be the bigger issue that we really need to focus on.
Coincidentally, that was the same day that Hannity’s beloved Trump was attacking a proposed air strike against Syria, too.
AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013
But that was all so Obama ago!
Last night, Hannity was so dazzled by Trump’s strike (probably the same plan or similar to Obama's) and how the rest of the world must be similarly awestruck at Trump’s leadership, Hannity forgot all about any unintended consequences or even how effective the action would prove. From his gushing interview with retired General Jack Keane:
HANNITY: North Korea is watching tonight. The Iranians are watching tonight. The Russians … they’re watching tonight. What is the message? How is this going to be received? That America’s back after seven years of war crimes and death and misery and the use of these weapons, that it will no longer be tolerated? That this, the goal of this is to prevent any further mass casualty of civilians, that that will now be non-negotiable with the United States of America?
Watch the two Hannitys below, on the September 5, 2013 and April 6, 2017 Hannity shows.
A lot of people said why bother over this? What’s the big diff with chemical weapons? The civilized world does not tolerate chemical weapons because they are so nasty and hard to control. And their use can quickly escalate in an evenly matched war. Chemical weapons are like a particularly nasty invasive species of plant or animal. There is zero tolerance lest they gain an acceptance. Sort of like you wouldn’t tolerate a small fire in your house but you’re not going to panic if you see a mouse.
Bemused, it sounds like you are talking about the neutron bomb (Carter era). The neutron bomb was not designed to save, but to kill, kill, kill. It killed by highly radiating into people hiding in bunkers and tanks better than anything else.
Bemused (and Maher) bring up a point I’m sure you won’t hear on Fox News. Obama went to Congress for authority – as the Constitution would indicate is the proper step prior to an act of war – and they basically did the 3 monkeys act: hear, see, speak no evil. Trump acts unilaterally side-stepping Congress and it’s all love and kisses from Republican lawmakers and their public relations firm Fox News. Well, I did hear Rand Paul had heartburn. So we do have at least one Libertarian objection.
Trump, Hannity, et al used to routinely rage against Obama for telegraphing his military plans. It was an outrage! An outrage I tell you! As I pointed out in an earlier thread, Trump had to warn Russia of the attack because if Russians get killed we’ve got a real mess on our hands. How does that work exactly since Assad is Russia’s ally? Well, apparently not very well because the air base attacked with all those cruise missiles is up and running the next day. Curious that.
Then the 800 pound guerrilla in the room is this a one time thing? Is chemical weapons the line in the sand? Heck, I’ve seen video evidence of the Russians using phosphorous bombs against Syrian civilians. Is that okay with Trump and Hannity? What about cluster bombs? Barrel bombs? Is there some comprehensive strategy to end civilian casualties or even the Syrian civil war we’re all missing here? Doubtful Trump’s attention span will last long enough to contemplate one. It’s pretty obvious this was a spur of the moment, impulsive action just like The Donald tweeting.
I’m sure Fox News will be too busy flag waving and thumping their chests he-man Trump’s firm action is a breath of fresh air to notice.
For people like Hannity, “anything my guy does is A-OK, anything anybody on the other side does is wrong.” This is not even hypocrisy, it’s pure, unadulterated double-think.
Practically all the people currently cheering were dead set against doing this very same thing in 2013. I believe it’s important to keep reminding folks that President Obama had asked Congress for the go-ahead for something similar and that his request was rejected by a GOP-domindated congress firmly resolved to block anything – but anything – proposed by a man guily of BPWB (being President while black). It’s stupid to lay all the blame on him for following the rules governing the balance of powers system. But, then, critical thinking is not a strength of the GOP, particularly the Trumplican breed of same.
Finally, I sort of like this idea of telling the targets that you’re going to go after their military infrastructure. It’s the stuff not the humans who are targeted (unlike Reagan’s infamous “humane” bomb that was supposed to kill people but leave property intect). That sort of war would placate the military-industrial complexes of all stripes. What they’re interested in is those fat contracts for new toys of mass destruction.
The missile attack is a mixed bag of good and bad. Bad; exposing just how chummy he is with Russia and of course the death and destruction. Good; the alt right is pissed off about this and that’s a good thing and of course the death and destruction of bad folks who use chemical weapons.
It is good that Trump is turning away from nationalism and isolationism. Baby steps.
It is bad that Trump did not involve Congress, his governmental spouse.