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At Sea with Capt. ‘Wrong Way’ Trump


At Sea with Capt. ‘Wrong Way’ Trump

Michael Winship

Baby boomers like me fondly remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of childhood (and adulthood, for that matter — in their grown-up jokes and cultural references they presaged The Simpsons by a good 25 years and are still pretty hilarious).

You may particularly recall one Rocky and Bullwinkle character, Capt. Peter “Wrong Way” Peachfuzz, an addled mariner so spectacular in his incompetence that even his toy boats sank in the bathtub.


"Assad's brutality" ??? ... of course, if there was an armed revolution in the USA, our government would invite them over for tea and cake ........ idiots.


I am having a hard time understanding why 'everybody' seems so willing to accept whatever narrative is presented by an overly sychophantic press as to what Trump is doing or what he intended to do. First and foremost the press lauds Trump faux attack on Syria by 59 cruise missiles that came with a warning allowing the air base and its planes to be evacuated and which did virtually no damage to the base or the runways except to blow up a repair hangar.

The administration 'attacked Syria' said the press almost universally. Trump "...became a president" ran an overly repeated quote of a gushing newsman and others as if by skirting around Congress and our constitution that that conferred some alternative fact presidential legitimacy!

We then drop a very expensive piece of ordinance on some caves in a remote area of Afghanistan and the press again waxes eloquent as to the significance. Hello? These were only caves and a few soldiers but somehow the bombing is being touted as if a major secret underground complex had been targeted.

As if in response to the press making a big deal of Trump's posturing and bombast while sending a carrier strike force to intimidate N. Korea (and their own posturing and bombast), it was let out that Trump had somehow got it wrong as to where the strike force was headed. Australia not being part of Asia even for Trump.

Now everybody is giving Trump his comeuppance and calling him a misinformed boob for his not knowing the real destination of the strike force that was heading towards Australia.

Excuse me everybody but does that seem logical to you? I mean even if the spectacularly incompetent and possibly senile dementia poster boy for great wealth being able to excuse anything (including grabbing incidents), just how likely would it be that our militarized government did not accurately know the location of the strike force at all times?

What the hell is going on? My great fear is that Trump not only has no real clue (neither did another media spawned republican president - Reagan) and worse, is and has been uniformed about many things needed by a president that ... he is just (like Reagan) a mouthpiece whose ego believes himself to be in charge because he takes credit for whatever his subordinates tell him that this or that is what he wants to do. Does Trump suddenly know the details and ramifications of all the policy changes he displays in the royal edicts (presidential findings and executive orders) he keeps signing at record pace? Does Trump know what he is signing?

And one thing more... Trump is running a massive con on America but while he may be manipulated by more knowledgeable subordinates, he, nevertheless, chooses the misdirection of the con sans the pertinent details. Trump may actually want a war but isn't bothering himself too intimately with the details of how we get there. So Trump says one thing and the following week he says the opposite. Trump seems to be dancing around as if unwilling for the world or the citizenry to get a clear look at his presidency.

Was the task force on the way to N. Korea? Maybe it was and it was called 'back from the edge' by a changing situation. Maybe Trump just said what he did while knowing the carrier was indeed heading for Australia.

Maybe Trump simply did get it wrong.

The press needs to ask just how that last could ever happen... because it actually couldn't have happened ...could it?

Exactly who is running things then?


For the percentage of our local dyed in the wool Trump supporters who have always viewed the world and politics as a never ending Clint Eastwood movie any tough talk and especially ANY military action initiated by Trump deepens their love for Trump.

So sick, but so true.


Lets try to be more grown up now. Even though the carrier had gone to Australia instead of staying at North Korea that was a helpful event in that it does lessen the unnecessary tensions in that region. And warning Russia/Syria before the missile strikes indicate not only the firepower of the US but also its desire to limit the inevitable loss of Syrian lives. Unless one loves brinksmanship, wars, and the taking of lives, it's difficult to see the spate of neoliberal attacks on Trump regarding the above events as a love of slaughter.

And please, please, don't pretend that past administrations never went back on their words or policies. It's quite well known that before the Soviet Union was dissolved, there was a US promise never to let NATO move an inch towards the Russian boundary and we know what happened later. The Western media was full of articles about not breaking up Yugoslavia before it was actually balkanised. And within each administration, promises/policies were often contradicted every which way until people started to expect the opposite: more democracy often meant more surveillance on citizens, healthcare for the people had meant more profits for corporations, closing Guantanamo had only prolonged the incarceration of people without trial, etc. While such turnabouts usually take more time to be noticed, the consequences are often more worrying than Trump's fumblings.


Trump has inherited two intractable problems, North Korea and Middle East conflicts. So far he has chosen to act or talk tough. Since he probably has no idea on how to deal with these problems, and he has a lot of company on that, I would interpret what he has done as mostly for domestic consumption. He likes to be popular and must be very upset about his low approval ratings. I doubt if he has any foreign policy goals except to figure out how to use foreign policy to boost his domestic popularity. We always have to keep in mind that for him it is all about Trump and that includes his brand. Let's just hope he doesn't conclude that he can boost his ratings by dropping a nuclear bomb. That is the real nuclear option.


"It's difficult to see the spate of neoliberal attacks on Trump...."

Should be "it's difficult NOT to see ....."


You may want to check the news. The carrier group was NOT near North Korea. It was traveling towards Australia. NOW it IS headed towards North Korea. That fact has been reported on extensively. How you come up with the exact opposite I have no idea. But if you are this extremely misinformed no one is going to take anything you have to say very seriously. IE: Try to learn what you are talking about before you say too much. It helps.


You should've taken your own advice: tensions were created precisely because it was assumed by many people that the carrier was near North Korea. THEN came the news that it was going towards Australia. Now THAT is good news and certainly caused a lessening of tensions and therefore should be appreciated, not criticised (where it was before it went to Australia is no longer important so long as it is not near North Korea).

Now the latest news is that - so far as I know - it IS now going to North Korea. AND that's bad news but I don't see the anti-Trump people protesting that move. Instead, they've mostly limited themselves to whining about why the carrier was not near North Korea in the first place and now it has been shown that it has never been there, and so on and so forth. In other words, the focus is on leadership problems, on who knows what's going where, and not on what is really important - that there should be no war with North Korea.

The same thing with the missiles over Syria: the complaint is about warnings to the Russian/Syrian side, and not about the legitimacy of attacking a sovereign state. For years, this has been the neoliberal/neocon approach - talk about this or that ruler being a bad guy, a dictator, tyrant, etc., and not about the legitimacy of starting wars against sovereign states.


I like to agree with you that Trump's actions tend to be motivated mostly by domestic politics. If that is so, then it is all the more important for the massive anti-Trump campaign to stop. It's clear that from the moment it was known that he would be president, the Establishment, call it the Deep State if you wish, has decided to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, against the man. Whatever one can say about Trump, he won according to the rules and those who oppose him should accept those rules as well. I know, a few times in the past this country had stooped to literally finishing off leaders they didn't like, and perhaps some people think that, without resorting to such extremes, they could, by relentless pressures, turn Trump into a figurehead. But such a move would be tragic: it would once and for all show the world that the country's political system is a farce, and with not so nice competitors out there, we could very well see the demise of what Lincoln called "the last best hope of earth."


I question your assertion of "neoliberal attacks on Trump regarding the above events."

The majority of neoliberals supported Trump's attack on Syria. Just hours before it was launched, Hilary Clinton issued a statement calling for an attack. One establishment Dem after another fell in lie behind her and Trump following the bombings. As usual, bombing as political theater was a great success, escalating the likelihood of more bombing, and the D-Party contributed to that, also as usual. Note: In its last year in office, the Obama Administration dropped over 26,000 bombs on seven countries. Sadly, that was viewed as too restrained by Hilary.

Now then, if neoliberals attacked Trump for not knowing where an aircraft carrier group actually was, he deserved it. Carrier groups are large, they show up on radar. The Trump team blustered about hemming N Korea in, published photos of warships, and paraded the always entertaining Sean Spicer out to deliver more horse puckey. Trumpian bluster and aside, North Korea ran its failed missile test because they always do.

Finally, most everyone around here understands that politicians say one thing and do another. Whether Trump's rather glaring fumblings and about faces have huge consequences remains to be seen. This much is clear: Trump's policy seems to emanate from the seat of his pants, the lips of whatever influencer-of-the-moment has his ear, and rightwing ranting websites. Above all else, it'll mirror Hilary's policies had she become CIC.


"The majority of neoliberals supported Trump's attack on Syria"

I agree! That's why I corrected my typo thus: "it's difficult NOT to see the spate of neoliberal attacks on Trump regarding the above events as a love of slaughter."

The neoliberals would support the attacks, but not warnings to Syria/Russia in order to limit deaths in the attacks.


When I was a child, Rocky & Bullwinkle taught me what an oxymoron was!
I think Bullwinkles line was something like..." Rocky, do you mean oxymoron like military intelligence?'