Lee Camp: Have No Fear – Trump Is Lying Us Into War Just Like All The Presidents Before Him

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By Lee Camp, the creator, host, and head writer of the comedy news show “Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp” that airs every Friday on RT America and at YouTube.com/RedactedTonight. He’s a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comedian for 18 years 

If you’re worried that Trump is taking this country down some horrible uncharted path – leading us into the great unknown of orange demise – you can worry no longer! In some ways Trump is boldly and predictably behaving exactly like many, if not most, former presidents. I’m speaking specifically about lying us into war.

So I’m saying – Have no fear that Trump is unpredictable; his reasons for shooting explosive devices into foreign lands are AS false as those of so many American leaders before him. He is following a grand tradition of lying to the American citizenry in order to gain their ill-informed yet blisteringly enthusiastic support for blowing up other nations (or rather bits of other nations – but usually the important bits). So if you’re looking for the comfort and security of routine, you have found it.

This week famed Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that the motivations (and facts) given by Trump for bombing Syria were about as truthful as an OJ Simpson testimony (unless that testimony is about Hertz Rent-A-Car, which I still believe Simpson legitimately loves).

To simplify the story, Hersh reported that the Syrian military did NOT use chemical weapons, that the US military knew exactly what Assad’s military was doing at the time, that the bombing was meant to hit “a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders” – and did just that. The resulting deaths caused by any form of chemicals were due to stores of chlorine, bleach, and fertilizer in the building that was struck – the literal fog of war. Here’s what Hersh’s source said:

This was not a chemical weapons strike. That’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon – you’ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb – would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. [Military grade sarin] is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?

But instead there was a slow-moving cloud of chemicals:

A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement…

Patients on the scene “smelled of bleach, suggesting that they had been exposed to chlorine.” (Remember Sarin gas has no smell.)

Hersh states that although senior members of Trump’s national security team knew the truth and tried to impress it upon the president, Trump could not be talked out of viewing this as chemical warfare. Hersh said:

In a series of interviews, I learned of the total disconnect between the president and many of his military advisers and intelligence officials, as well as officers on the ground in the region who had an entirely different understanding of the nature of Syria’s attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

All this time I was under the impression Trump was just dumb and misinformed. What a relief to learn he is informed correctly but actively chooses to ignore the truth.

Keep in mind that it’s not only The Don who is involved in this crime; our corporate media apparently ONLY buys Trump’s snake oil by the gallon when it involves ONE solitary topic: The reasons for blowing up pieces of other countries. And not just do they believe him, but they’re downright giddy about it!

When Trump decided to actively bomb Syria (as opposed to our standard operating procedure of dumping money and guns into the hands of rebels we don’t understand nor have control over), he was lauded by nearly every mainstream outlet. Even his nemesis-du-jour Joe Scarborough celebrated Donald’s brilliant decision made over “the best” chocolate cake. Brian Williams’ crew had to wipe off the camera lens following his reporting on the glowing missiles fired into the night sky. Essentially no serious discussion was given to questions about the “chemical attack” Assad has perpetrated.

With every other lie Trump tells – and we all know he makes Lance Armstrong look like a lightweight – our mainstream media calls him out for being chock full of shit. The ONLY thing they celebrate the veracity of is war propaganda. It’s the equivalent of being upset with your friend for his endless manipulation and selfishness in regard to everything from foosball scoring to who bought the last round of drinks – EXCEPT when it comes to the Tinder dates he’s been murdering and storing under his bed. For THOSE, you are not upset and in fact congratulate him on a job well done.

And this is not the first time a U.S. president has led us into bombing a sovereign nation with the willful (and some might say gleeful) assistance of the mainstream media. Here are just three examples of many:

1) Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this minor moment in America’s distant past. The year was 2003 and a young man named Saddam Hussein had really gotten our goat. Following the traumatic events of 9/11, Hussein was discovered committing the unforgivable crime of ruling a country in the general vicinity of the country that actually birthed the hijackers who attacked us.

On top of that, he sat atop a lot of oil that he stubbornly refused to give us free of charge – even though we asked nicely (not nicely). Luckily, his aggressive weapons of mass destruction program gave us an ironclad reason to invade. He was preparing to kill a million innocent people!

Later –after he had been toppled, arrested, hanged, and we had killed roughly a million innocent people – we found his weapons program consisted of four guys with a sling shot (but the sling shot could be retrofitted to launch stones as large as a papaya).

In our defense, after the million people were killed, the New York Times DID issue a correction on the whole “weapons of mass destruction” thing. It read: “Correction: Over the past four years we reported that Saddam Hussein had a fully-realized program to produce weapons of mass destruction, and therefore the U.S. needed to invade Iraq, destroy their society, topple their government, and kill a lot of people….Please ignore that reporting.” (It did not actually read as such, but you get the idea.)

2) The Gulf of Tonkin Incident: This “incident” which got us into a protracted and altogether unpleasant war in Vietnam was a lie from the beginning. Even the name is a lie. “The Gulf of Tonkin Incident” is actually two incidents that are actually only one incident, which is actually only a half an incident.

The incidents took place on August 2nd and 4th of 1964. One of them didn’t happen and the other kind of happened. On Aug 2nd, the USS Maddox exchanged gun fire with three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats. The US claimed the North Vietnamese fired first, but in fact the USS Maddox fired the first shots.

Then, fresh off the heels of THAT horrible battle, on Aug 4th, two US ships spent four hours firing on various radar targets that were attacking them. They sunk two torpedo boats – which may sound like a win, but once you take into account that those torpedo boats did not adhere to the traditional definition of “existence,” it’s surprising the US navy didn’t sink far MORE than just two imaginary boats. Yes, that’s right. The US military spent four hours shooting at rain clouds in the Gulf of Tonkin. Considering the awesome power of our weaponry, it’s surprising we weren’t able to win that battle in no more than two hours.

Following that confrontation Defense Secretary McNamara advised President Johnson to retaliate and the president agreed. So our justification for getting involved in Vietnam was two incidents which were actually one incident which was actually our fault. Over the next several years 58,000 US service members and as many as 3.8 million Vietnamese would die in the fighting….But those rain clouds knew not to mess with us from then on.

3) Afghanistan – Almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and Osama Bin Laden was ultimately found hiding in Pakistan. But MAN did we fuck up Afghanistan!

So ask yourself: How much mainstream media reporting have you heard of the fact that Trump bombed Syria for completely false reasons? Our media has a seemingly limitless amount of time and energy to get the story wrong but just can’t seem to find enough free hours to get it right.

Also ask yourself WHY while Assad is winning the war against the rebels he would choose to do that one thing that would get the Americans directly involved. Strategically it would be about the dumbest thing he could possibly do. It would be like if the Golden State Warriors were up by 20 in the last sixty seconds of the NBA finals and suddenly Steph Curry stabs Lebron James in the thigh with a knife. Sure, it might take James out of the game, but it would also land Curry in jail following a game the Warriors were about to win.

If there is anything our nation’s fourth estate should take seriously, it’s war (especially considering the fact our presidents clearly don’t take it seriously). So corporate media – please drop your pom-poms and do your damn job before you allow our ruling elite to lie the American people into massacring another million human beings half a world away.

…That was my less cynical pretend-the-media-wants-what’s-best-for-America ending. …Here’s my ACTUAL ending:

The corporate media serves no purpose if not to buttress aggressive nationalism and unquestioned jingoism. They perpetrate a fraud on the American people in order to make sure we support the seemingly endless bombing of other countries. If they do not bolster blind American hegemony, then they will be stripped of their cushy positions, gold-plated healthcare, and sparkly cocktail parties.

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  1. gsinbe

    I’m glad to see Lee Camp becoming a regular feature of NC. Articulate, to the point and on the money.

    1. Huey Long


      Lee is excellent, I adore his show, and I saw him perform live once. His stand-up act was just as good as his tv show and he was a class act when I met him after the show.

      After I tuned in, turned on, and started reading Naked Capitalism daily I always wondered if anyone around here dug Lee Camp. I’m relieved that not only are there plenty of fans here, but that Lee’s written peices are now being published here too.

      What I love about Lee is his ability to tell you how things are in a humorous fashion without getting super wonky. His comedy, TV, and written peices are great for forwarding to friends and family who whose eyes would glaze over if I sent them academic papers or wonky articles.

  2. Carolinian

    It would be great if the Left in this country would suddenly discover that it is antiwar due to Trump but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Camp himself has been attacked for being off message and the Russia sanctions discussed elsewhere in NC–Senate approved 98 to 2–show that the impulse to meddle in other countries is evergreen. Let’s never forget that Big Liberal Lyndon Johnson dragged the country through years of hell in Vietnam.

    Trump did fire those missiles–after being convinced to warn the Russians–but what he has mostly shot off is his mouth and actions in Syria and Yemen are continuations of Obama. The jury is still out on whether he is as war mongering as the Democrats.

    1. flora

      So much easier for the Senate to talk war, where other people might get killed, than to talk about something like Medicare For All, where their own insurance/phrma campaign contributions might get killed.

      1. flora

        Makes me wonder how much the NK missile launch, the Chinese claim to the entire South China Sea (through which half the world’s commercial shipping moves), and the US hysteria about Russia are all aimed at domestic audiences. China’s econ isn’t as robust as it was. NK economy has always been 1 inch away from famine. The US econ isn’t as robust as formerly. Getting everyone thinking about “the enemy abroad” instead of fixing problems at home is an old trick.

      2. Art Eclectic

        There are only a limited number of spoils/assets to be claimed and/or protected in the insurance-pharma war.
        Limited benefit to the oligarchy. Besides, it keeps alive a bunch of people who drag down the productivity and profit margin. It’s a business decision.

      1. bdy

        We’ve self-corralled on the internets — where there’s plenty of air conditioning, free delivery, and free flowing ideas.

        I’m about fed up with “what works?” as a question to guide policy. “Where is the need?” is more direct, less philosophical. Jesus’ instructions are as good as anyone’s for this atheist. Give it away. If you’re going to bother empowering a state, make it a welfare state.

        Who needs medicine?
        Who needs water?
        Who needs food?
        Who needs shelter?
        Okay let’s take care of these.
        That dropping bombs is even on the table, ever, is flabbergasting.

        You’d think the constitution said “…establish justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, enforce contracts, protect property, and project power, do ordain and establish…”

        You’d think the Bible said “hate your brother.”

      2. Carolinian

        The people in power who call themselves Left and the actual Left that gives Sanders a pass on things like “Assad must go” and his support for military spending. After 16 years of this crap antiwar should be upfront and center as an issue for any group that claims to be for economic justice and human rights. Indeed the new report that was in Links today and that is talked about below suggests anti-intervention was a key reason for Hillary’s loss.


        Trump likes to bluster but it’s still not clear that he is a true believer and fanatic like HRC and that he is willing to see American soldiers die to support his boasts. The fact that he has offloaded military decisions to his miltary advisers suggests that he may be squeamish about doing so.

        Or that could be completely wrong. But as always with Trump we will know what he’s going to do when he finally does it.

  3. sleepy

    When I saw the headline, I assumed it was about North Korea. Too many looming wars and lies to keep track of.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Roger that. I also wondered which action in which of the 9 global Imperial “commands” the writer was talking about. And then there’s all this noise about “Trump lying,” when the lying and manipulating and maneuvering is carried out much more consistently and effectively by the Grand Combined Massed Mighty Wurlitzers of the fully-owned media, the “think tanks” and journals, the massive Bernays operations of the Pentagram and the other “security bureaucracy” Blobettes, and the constant force-feed from the scum corporations that live to create chaos and war toys and profit off all of it.

      And “we mopes” on the, I guess, “Left” are so very happy to personify that massive Racket effort into the singular “Mule” individual, Donald Trump. As if somehow getting rid of him, via impeachment or “recall” or popular clamor will do a dam thing to change the incentives and vectors that have all of us riding a well greased conveyor belt into Hades…

      1. jrs

        I’m just not sure Trump is actually in charge of military policy anymore, as he has deliberately abdicated it. So who is actually running it all isn’t specified here at all, but by any honest analysis it seems it isn’t Trump and so even making it about Trump seems like very lazy analysis to me (yes the MIC, but that’s a bureaucracy, I meant who is actually calling shots).

        It’s not the “left” usually but liberals obsessed with Trump the person. Now of course any actual left analysis worth it’s salt would point that Trump is also bad in plenty of ways, bad appointments including those who actually do call shots, bad abdication of responsibility, etc.. But that’s different than personifying everything into Trump the person alone.

  4. Quentin

    You’ve heard it before: uttered with appropriate shock,’Assad kills his own people.’ From that you might even infer, if you thought about it: then, ‘It’s better for the US instead to kill his people, someone else’s people, that is, not our own people. See how much better we are than Assad.’ I’m 71 years old. I’d estimate that in (almost) every one of those years the US has been involved in one war or another killing someone else’s people. Evidently the US is the world leader in war. It is so obviously the exceptional country, for no other can possibly approximate its war record. But then don’t forget the country’s invariable ‘good intentions’ which have inexplicably led to hell. Only the righteous know how full the world is of evil people outside the US.

  5. sid_finster

    Sociopaths ignore arguments based in reason, logic, ethics or morality.

    Sociopaths learn only from reward and punishment, but they do learn.

    Want to end the wars? Reward and punishment for those in charge. Very nasty, very public punishment for wrongdoers. To start, place Bush and Cheney in irons and then deliver them over to Iraq for whatever kind of summary proceedings the people there wish for them before they meet their fates. Put the whole thing up on YouTube. Then keep moving on.

    Folks will get the message.

    1. Huey Long

      I don’t know about that; Nuremburg happened yet our leaders still insist on starting wars everywhere. I don’t see them getting the message until there’s roving bands of citizens with torches and pitchforks bound for the Hamptons or Park Ave.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The U.S. establishment is deeply racist. Yes, its morphed to more of a melting pot and not the classic racism we are used to in recent years, but “American exceptionalism” as voiced by Obama was an announcement the U.S. is a special case full of special people who have a divine right to act around the world.

        Its like Rummy’s Old Europe. Those Nazis belong to Old Europe and were bad. They fundamentally represent a different ethnicity to “American Exceptionalism.”

  6. shinola

    So, the question now is: Will Trump be as good at lying the U.S. into war as Bush/Cheney?

    I don’t he’s a particularly good liar, but with the help & encouragement of the U.S. MSM, he might be able to pull it off.

    1. Alex

      Sorry, but that article is a little too hyperbolic and doesn’t really understand radar technology. The X in X-band does not mean “top secret”. It designates what frequencies the radar operates at. And the wavelength of 3 cm indicates a wave length, not height. Height would indicate the amplitude or power of the signal. The politics of THAAD deployment are of course a separate issue, but it’s hard to take the piece seriously when it can’t get basic technical points correct.

      1. Damson

        Fair enough.

        Since the bar for accurate science in media is so low, I am less than bothered by its techie limitations than you.

        The description of what is being done to the environment and quality of life to that area of South Korea is pretty vivid, and horrifying.

        Also corroborated by other writers who’ve been there – none of them in the MSM.

        Nor do these quibbles in any way detract from the deceit that the system is ‘necessary’ – as the writer points out, such long range systems are already deployed in Japan.

        The target is clearly China, and the system implementation a function of the corrupt previous Park administration.

  7. Disturbed Voter

    The US hasn’t been a free country since …
    1787 or
    1861 or
    1913 or
    1941 or
    1963 or

    Money talks

  8. Temporarily Sane

    Man, the clusterfuck that we are about to get into/unleash is seriously depressing. I have been following the conflict in Syria closely since 2015 and the way we and our allies and lapdogs have prolonged the war by arming and training extremely sketchy and brutal fighting groups, among them adherents to the ideology that brought us 911 and countless attacks and suicide bombings on civilians, is truly disgusting.

    If, say, Russia and China teamed up (or a militarily powerful alien civilization paid us a visit) and treated the United States and its NATO allies the way we regularly treat countries that we consider “evil” (i.e. they have something we want but don’t want to pay a fair price for or they simply stand in the way of our very reasonable goal of world domination) all our protestations would sound utterly pathetic and hypocritical.

    How did it get to the point where our military completely destroys entire nations and murders millions (or we hire others to do the job for us, as in Syria) and we just let it happen? Would Americans accept being treated the way we treat people in other countries? Not a chance. I mean 911 was nothing compared to our brand of state terrorism and we still whine about it with an inflated sense of victimhood. There is no escaping the uncomfortable fact that as countries and cities are bombed to rubble and countless lives are terminated and destroyed in our names, at the end of the day we are, for the most part, safe in our homes with our families and the hell we bring to others has no real consequences for us.

    If there were consequences we might think twice before casually supporting, or voicing token opposition before passively accepting, our government sending our military to slaughter and destroy people like us trying to make the best of their short time on this planter. It is simply indefensible.

    (Lee Camp is a great addition to the crew of NC regulars. Humor is an excellent tool for exposing the absurdities and contradictions of life in a diseased society.)


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