“Wag The Dog.”

“Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence,” the President’s son, Eric, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph. “I’m sure she said ‘listen, this is horrible stuff.’ My father will act in times like that.”

 

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But let’s set aside the fact that the Republican President’s own son claims his father can be provoked into committing acts of war without Congressional consent by emotional appeals from Ivanka — that could make a very lengthy essay report of its own — because there is still much to be concerned about.

“Why does a dog wag its tail?

Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog.”

Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor.

Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government.

Moreover, the expression “the tail wagging the dog” refers to any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.

This concept was explored in Larry Beinhart‘s novel American Hero, which inspired the 1997 movie “Wag The Dog.”

Wikipedia lists the plot of the movie as:

The President of the United States is caught making advances on an underage “Firefly Girl” less than two weeks before Election Day. Conrad Brean (De Niro), a top-notch spin doctor, is brought in to take the public’s attention away from the scandal. He decides to construct a diversionary war with Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this instead. Brean contacts Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Hoffman) to create the war, complete with a theme song and fake film footage of a photogenic orphan (Kirsten Dunst) in Albania.

 

When the CIA learns of the plot, they send Agent Young (Macy) to confront Brean who convinces him that revealing the deception is against his best interests. The CIA announces that the war has ended, but otherwise maintains the deception and the media begins to turn back to the President’s abuse scandal. Motss decides to invent a hero who was left behind enemy lines, and inspired by the idea that he was “discarded like an old shoe” has the Pentagon provide him with a soldier named Schumann (Harrelson) around whom he constructs a further narrative including T-shirts, additional patriotic songs, and faux-grassroots demonstrations of patriotism. At each stage of the plan, Motss continually dismisses setbacks as “nothing” and compares them to past movie-making catastrophes he averted.

 

When the team goes to retrieve Schumann, they discover he is in fact a criminally insane Army prison convict before their plane crashes en route to Andrews Air Force Base. The team survives and is rescued by a farmer, but Schumann attempts to rape the farmer’s daughter and the farmer kills him. Motss then stages an elaborate military funeral, claiming that Schumann died from wounds sustained during his rescue.

 

While watching a political talk show Motss gets frustrated that the media are crediting the president’s win to a tired campaign slogan of “Don’t change horses in mid-stream” rather than Motss’s hard work. Despite previously claiming he was inspired by the challenge, Motss announces that he wants credit and will reveal his involvement, despite Brean’s warning that he is “playing with his life”. Motss refuses to back down, so Brean reluctantly has him killed and makes it look as if he had a heart attack. The president is successfully re-elected and a news report about a violent incident in Albania is shown, but it is ambiguous whether this is a true event or simply a continuation of the fictional war.

According to Eric Trump, this response undermined “ridiculous” allegations of links between the Republican president’s campaign staffers and Russian officials, which the FBI and Congress are investigating.

“If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie,” he said.

And that is exactly the point.

They did this to divert us all from their collusion.

Putin needs a war to rescue the failing Russian economy and deflect his domestic rivals from his mismanagement.   Trump needs a war to prove to himself that he’s as tough as he says he is, and to distract his domestic rivals from his own treasonous collusion with Russia.

Both achieve their needs by going to war with each other in a “visually important” manner, in a nation that neither cares about any collateral damage at all.

As The Telegraph reports:

Russia knew in advance that Syria was planning a chemical weapons attack on its own people but did nothing to prevent it, the US has concluded.

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Not only did Russia do nothing to prevent it; but,

A senior US official told AP that Washington had analysed reports of a drone flying over the site, and determined that the drone was operated by the Russians.

 

The drone went up immediately after the April 4 sarin gas attack, and begun hovering over a local hospital as victims began pouring in.  Five hours after the sarin attack, the camera switched off and a Russian-made aircraft struck the hospital. The two military officials said that it was unclear whether the aircraft were Russian or Syrian as the Syrians buy Russian-made aircraft.

 

US officials believe the jet bombed the hospital in an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons.

With even supposedly liberal and/or progressive newscasters calling the action “presidential,” we easily run the risk of being played into a sense of complacency by Putin and Trump as they escalate a war both want to save their combined political power, throwing away as many lives as necessary in the process.

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