One of the unfortunate, burgeoning traditions of the Trump administration seems to dictate that April is the month we rediscover the consensus that Syria must be bombed. While the script has been set, some of the actors have shuffled places—rabid war hawk John Bolton has replaced the only slightly less repugnant H.R. McMaster, blacksite torture guru Mike Pompeo steps in for Tillerson. And of course, we have the Greek chorus of centrist Democrats—Madeleine Albright demanding long-term “involvement” (read: occupation) in the region, pundit Jeff Glor calling for Syria’s “punishment” with an image of Iran ominously projected behind him, the list goes on.
Perhaps most uncomfortable of all, those of us interested in a different future now find ourselves among strange and strained company. Anti-war rhetoric, if it can be heard at all, is voiced by people like Jack Goldsmith (NSA chore boy) or Tucker Carlson (slack-jawed bigot). Of course, their contorted reasons for adopting such a position are unsettling—Carlson fears exclusively for the Christians there, and Goldsmith wants to first make sure that the deep state has greater oversight in the matter. Even Laura Ingraham has chimed in, claiming that the real war should take place on our southern border.
Missing from this strange matrix, however, is any sense of the anti-war left. Apart from some disgruntled Twitter murmurings from the DSA and a few comments from the Intercept, no progressive voices have shown interest in anything but prolonged conflict in Syria.
April is the cruelest month—