The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award goes to….

Letter to editor

The American People!

In the late 60’s early 70’s ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In’ was a top rated comedy show and one of the first to incorporate politically incorrect humor.  Weekly, they presented the “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award” for the most ridiculous news story of the week often poking fun at politics, politicians, the media, but mostly at the dumb things people do.

A classic definition of the term ‘fickle finger of fate’ is, the unseen and unforeseeable force that controls all living things.  ‘Fickle’ means, changing frequently, especially regarding one’s loyalties, interests, or affection.

Six months ago, we all condemned Donald Trump for what he said about liking to grab women by their private parts.  We were shocked and aghast by his lecherous comments and many of us figured it would cost him the presidency.  Notwithstanding his already questionable and megalomaniac personality, it seemed that singular comment was the last straw. 

And now, just a few months into his presidency, and his approval ratings at an all time low, many are wondering but few of us are asking about the “wall”, the jobs, healthcare, the infrastructure, racial unrest, ISIS …all the things he promised and on which he ran his campaign.  These are the hard things the president, any president, must do.  The real work, the daily grind.  The unsexy, political treadmill that keeps the country running.

But fait intervened for Donald Trump in the form of Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, a leader with his own baggage that makes President Trump’s White House look like Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  

By “stepping up to the plate” and bombing the Shayrat Air Base near Homs, Syria, all seems to be forgiven of Donald Trump by much of America.  He is being lavished with both media and bipartisan praise.  His approval ratings are up!

I saw a woman the other day wearing a T-shirt that said, “Go Donald!  You Can Grab My P_ _ _Y Anytime! 

Now, I’m sure this brief Trumpmania will yield to our greater sensibilities, but what does this say about us, We the People, who supposedly are charged with the thoughtful choosing of our leaders who run our country?  What next shiny object will distract us from reason? 

Trump, still embroiled in controversy, is now, at least for the moment, our new national super hero.  Macho man.

The reality of the token air strike on Syria is that it did little to alleviate the overall problem or even to destroy the operations of the Shayrat Air Base which is still up and running as Assad flips the U.S. the bird and continues to bomb and slaughter his own folks.  And now we’ve implicated Russia, further stirring up that hornets nest!

So, what was accomplished?  A statement by the U.S. that we won’t tolerate any crap from Assad?  I don’t think he heard us.  In fact, I think he is defying us.  And now maybe  the Russians are too.  And that, Mr. Trump, is “big time” serious.

The follow-up is now the most important next step.  There must be a follow-up.  Assad is  flying in America’s face, taunting us.  I hope there was more of a strategy to Trump’s plan than fire a few million dollar Tomahawk missiles and hope that does the trick.  I’m sure, and I’m hoping, the generals have looked at this from the long view and have advised the President accordingly.  Because if they haven’t all we have here is a reality show without an ending.

Our allies like the UK, France, Germany, etc. have all approved of the U.S. bombing, and conversely, expectedly, Russia, North Korea, Iran, etc. have condemned it.

The only winner, for the moment which is passing quickly, seems to be President Trump.  That same flip-flopping, p_ _ _y-grabbing, megalomaniac of just a few months ago is now our brave and decisive American President.  I’m afraid the 50 Tomahawks were merely Trump’s rhetoric personified, and now he’s apparently won our respect and admiration.  

It all echoes W’s disastrous victory lap “Mission Accomplished” rhetoric regarding Iraq. 

We’re hearing things now like, “There’s a new sheriff in town” ..the media loves that one,   and “..a decisive president.”  The story is that Trump saw the media pictures of the injured and dying children and, in his own words, “…the little, tiny babies …” and that convinced him to bomb the air base.  And of course this is all about the sarin gas Assad has been using.  I guess the barrel bombs were okay. 

We all saw the pictures.  They are horrible.  We’ve been seeing similar footage for years, all over the world.  Kids, people, starving, dying, being blown to bits and victimized by their own leaders.  It’s happening as you’re reading this, it will be happening tomorrow and beyond.  A few PR Tomahawks just tend to acerbate and escalate the problem.  

But we are a fickle people.  We love our cowboy heros no matter how short-lived or ineffective.  We live for the moment, for the headlines.  We love our myths. 

I appreciated Trump’s action as much as anyone, and understood the probability of it.  He had to do it, but he was politically lucky to have the circumstance and opportunity.  But I’m sensing America’s Vietnam debacle, and Iraq, and hoping for a more politically reasonable, humanitarian solution.  

Force, is usually necessary at some point.  Maybe within our humanity and our American political minds there was no other way of thinking this one through.  But I can’t help from thinking we, he, could have done something smarter and more effective than rattling sabers at the people who invented them.  And I don’t mead trying to push it through congress and waiting for a wrong decision, or no decision.  I mean something like taking out Assad 007 style.  Osama bin Laden style.  We’re good at that ..WE invented that.  

It’s ironic that in our militaristic technological world of rockets, bombs and nukes the U.S. seems always ready and anxious to use these against other countries who lose sway with us.

Granted, Hitler used the V-1 and V-2 rockets against Great Britain, but it was the U.S. that used the first atomic bomb against Japan.  

Which decisively put an end to that war …in a flash.  

John Kushma is a communication consultant and lives in Logan, Utah.


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