Reactions to #SyriaStrikes


I’ll have a more serious post on this soon enough, but for now, reactions from some of the more important and interesting players.

White House


Although they are present, the “anti-globalist” crowd – Steve Bannon and his allies, Stephen Miller and Michael Anton – are relegated to the back, while the likes of Jared Kushner occupy a much more central position. (Isn’t Kremlinology fun?)

This might be relevant since even the NYT has painted this as a battle between Kushner and Bannon, which the former won.



Conveniently summarized in this NYT map.

Russia’sSyria’s, and Iran’s responses have been tough, while the Western Europeans, Turkey, the Gulf states, Israel, Justin Trudeau, and Ukraine fell in in behind Trump. All of this is predictable.

The strike appears to have been ordered at around the same time that Trump was meeting with Xi Jinping, which would make it a remarkably barefaced power play. Now I know that China is Russia’s friend only by convenience (and vice versa), but still, the lack of a condemnation is rather surprising even by China’s usually milquetoast standards. I would note that even the usually combatatitive Global Times has stayed neutralish.

The Establishment

Needless to say, the neocons were overjoyed at the return of the prodigal son:




As neocons-in-all-but-name, so of course were the neoliberal interventionists, with one “innovation” – led by Hillary Clinton herself, they are explicitly tying their support for Trump’s “invade” agenda with the eternal flip side of that coin, “invite.”


Whether or not this constitutes a true “zrada,” or betrayal, on Trump’s part, I am afraid he has opened a Pandora’s box that will not be closed anytime soon. For instance, bigwig CNN journalist was already posing the question to Ivanka:


The journalists have fallen in line:


That said, for the most diehard proponents of the ROG conspiracy, such as Louise Mensch, this was just one more ploy by Putler’s puppet to get her off the Russia trail:



Jeffrey Goldberg and Julia Ioffe:


More principled libertarian and nationalist politicians such as Rand Paul, Ron PaulNigel Farage, and Marine Le Pen expressed reservations.



Rick Wilson:


Bill Kristol:


Tweets of Note

Sentiment here ranges from deep unease to outright disavowal.

The biggest critic of Donald Trump’s decision was Donald Trump himself, t minus 4 years.


Based Taleb:taleb-on-journos

Ann Coulter’s defection – possibly the most influential figure in the Alt Light-sphere – has been particularly striking:

coulter-syria-wtfcoulter-syria-culmination-of-zradaRichard Spencer, who has long been relatively skeptical on Trump, minced no words:


Paul Joseph Watson has thrown in his MAGA hat:watson-syria-off-the-train

To be sure, some people such as Mike Cernovich had a 4d chess hypothesis ready to go:


Partisangirl was more skeptical:partisangirl-chess-wotlul

Mat Forney:


The zrada was strong with Hunter Wallace:


And with Peter Brimelow, or whoever runs the VDARE account:



The arcanest of the arcane, Runglish #frogtwitter:


Nick Land:


As for myself, I think its time to transition from frogs to Baathism:



Though TBF it was always inevitable:


Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. In the situation room pic, what are the black-and-white rectangular devices on the table?

  2. What do you have to be smoking to think China would be intimidated by something as feeble as this?

  3. Maybe they’re jamming devices designed to stop people from intercepting the wireless signals inside the room. I’m just guessing.

  4. Especially if it is known to be a demo operation.

  5. Either lizard mind control devices or some part of the videoconferencing gear.

    I took a look at

    but 404, these seem to be Trump-specific.

  6. China’s problem here is that the Chinese leader was visiting Trump when Trump made the decision to attack Syria.

    transition from frogs to Baathism

    Baathism is too Islamic.
    Zrada, Karlin, Zrada.

  7. truthman says

    I read recently that Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross are Bannon allies in the Trump cabinet, or at least have good relations with him. Mnuchin seems a bit surprising for that role.

  8. ussr andy says

    “Russian-style mnogokhodovka vs zrada discourse”

    in other words, conspiracy-mongering and everything that is wrong with post-Enlightenment politics. sad. I think this is a deterioration of the public discourse, especially for the West. this is late-Roman stuff.

    are there actually cases when what looked like flip-flopping turned out to have been 4D chess?

  9. ussr andy says

    the “stand on desk” tweet is genius.

  10. are there actually cases when what looked like flip-flopping turned out to have been 4D chess?

    I frankly doubt that anyone in the politosphere can even reasonably sustain 2-dimensional chess (or even Go, for that matter). Things are just too messy. Texas Hold Them, maybe?

    We may have to await our Artificial Superintelligence overlords.

  11. Daniel Chieh says

    Peter Thiel and Curtis Yarvin are both excellent chess players, actually.

  12. Kasparov is an even more excellent chess player, but fortunately for mankind his efforts to influence politics have been about as futile as Curtis Yarvin’s.

  13. Great chess players seem to always make terrible and ineffective politicians. Kasparov is not the only example.

  14. China’s problem here is that the Chinese leader was visiting Trump when Trump made the decision to attack Syria.

    Yes, and probably he’s not the kind of guy who makes an offhand remark which could damage (already damaged) relations further.

    It might also be that he was highly displeased with what many perceived to be Trump’s bromance with Putin, especially since Trump was campaigning on an explicitly anti-China platform. So now that the tables seem to be turning, he’s a bit cooler to Russia than would otherwise be.

  15. Greatest 4d chess explanation for Trump’s Syria turnaround.

    Trump probably realized he’d need dictatorial powers to drain the swamp. He also realized he’d need the same to stop immigration. Possibly he also realized he’d need to actually reverse much of the post-1965 immigration to MAGA. But he realized he has no power to do all these.

    4d chess: like Skynet, he attacks Russia (probably sending nukes the way of China in the meantime), who in turn will destroy his enemies in DC, also NYC, LA and countless other big cities with their huge liberal and immigrant populations, maybe accomplishing the same for European countries, too. It will also make it easy for him to assume dictatorial powers.

    The end result will be God Emperor Trump ruling over the ruins and a much whiter population.

  16. Mr. Hack says
  17. Daniel Chieh says

    He shall be called Immortan Trump.