Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb showed an American cowboy so happy to bomb the enemy, he rides the bomb like a horse down to the ground, where it explodes. Part of Kubrick’s thesis was asking how we as a world got to that point. Kubrick would later deconstruct the Vietnam War with Full Metal Jacket, and before both of those films, Kubrick made a film called Paths of Glory about war resistance as heroism. While war has been the saving grace to create America, end slavery, and defeat Hitler, war in itself should always be a president’s last stand. After spending two years on the campaign trail promising an isolationist philosophy, President Donald Trump has decided that war is the new border wall.
In 2015 Trump was against the United States being the world’s police. Here is an excerpt from The Washington Times:
“We have ISIS, and ISIS wants to go after [Bashar Al-]Assad, but we’re knocking the hell out of ’em — even though it’s not a very full-blown thing, we’re still droppin’ bombs all over the place and, you know, look, they’re not exactly loving life over in Syria,” he said of the terrorist group, also known as IS or ISIL.
“So we’re stopping them, to a certain extent, from going after Assad,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett. “You have Russia that’s now there. Russia’s on the side of Assad, and Russia wants to get rid of ISIS as much as we do, if not more, because they don’t want ’em coming into Russia.”
The United States has consistently called for Assad to step down, but he has remained in power with the help of allies like Russia.
“And I’m saying, ‘Why are we knocking ISIS and yet at the same time we’re against Assad?’ Let them fight, take over the remnants. But more importantly, let Russia fight ISIS, if they want to fight ’em … in Syria,” Mr. Trump said. “Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why do we care?” he said.
Yet here we are in 2017, and Trump recently bombed Syria and attacked ISIS in Afghanistan, in the largest nonnuclear attack ever. So what happened to 2015 Trump?
After bombing Syria, he received less pushback from the Left than he eexpected, and he won over the hard-core conservatives like Lindsey Graham, who congratulated Trump on being more like a 1990s Republican. So it makes sense that with a little fandom, he decided to blow up ISIS, because he isn’t an ideologue; he’s just a guy who wants to be loved by different groups at different times.
With egg on his face from not being able to make a deal to repeal and replace Obamacare, he needed to “wag the dog” and win over GOP members who fought him on his first failed policy change. Ironically, the two separate attacks will get him some old-school elephant votes for his tax bill, but when will he pass the other promises he’s made?
He’s becoming chummy with China, a friend of NATO, and that big beautiful wall hasn’t broken ground yet. I’m not sure if Trump trolled the coal miners or if he’s laying down a foundation to make Congress his lapdog and pass everything else he barked about.
What I believe really happened is, he walked into the Oval Office and realized that the world is crazier than he thought. If President Barack Obama used drones to minimize the death rate, Trump will use shock and awe to minimize the enemy. And with North Korea threatening to nuke us, he’s making a statement that he isn’t afraid to wipe out Kim Jong-un’s people either.
This war-happy Trump is having a peeing contest with the international community, and the phallic symbol of Kubric’s cowboy riding the bomb appears to be Trump’s newest strategy.
We live in a dangerous world. There appear to be more evil men with weapons than ever before. America as the leader has been the best plan for decades. Hopefully, this “shoot first, ask questions later” approach is just a pathway for other things instead of a dead-end to nuclear war.