After the cruise missile attack on that Syrian airbase last week, where a US warship loosed off 59 of the things, only to do so little damage that the Syrian Air Force was operating out of the base later the same day, very few pundits noticed that the Shock and Awe was for media consumption only. The administration of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump basked in the glory of conning the press and broadcasters. Then reality returned.
Sean Spicer - weapons grade idiocy
Russian interference and surveillance stories have returned to bedevil the Trump White House. And then came the car crash of ad-libbed idiocy that is Sean Spicer.
Spicer is, for reasons best known to those who appointed him, the White House Press Secretary. He is the one who turns up to take press briefings on behalf of the Trump Gang, which he handles, or perhaps that should be mishandles, in his own inimitable manner. Some call it combative. Others see it for what it is - bluster and bombast masquerading as authority. And yesterday came the moment of truth for this buffoon.
Those who thought that Ken Livingstone behaved like an idiot when he kept banging on about Hitler now know that was a mere warm-up act: Sean Spicer did it properly, turning up with his shovel and keeping on digging. The timeline is barely believable.
Trying to demonise Bashar al-Assad, Spicer began “We didn’t use chemical weapons in world war two. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons”. Er, hello? What did the Nazis use to gas all those prisoners, then?
He tried again. “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing”. Jews were not “his own people”, then.
Could it get worse? It certainly could. “Thank you, I appreciate that. There was not in the – he brought them into the Holocaust centres - I understand that. But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns … So, the use of it, I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent”.
He even reimagined concentration camps - death camps, as they all too often were - as “Holocaust Centres”. The Guardian observed “More than 6 million Jews were murdered, along with large numbers of Gypsies, gay people, political dissidents and others, during the Holocaust. Many were killed in gas chambers with chemical gas agents such as Zyklon B. It is unclear if Spicer’s reference to ‘Holocaust centres’ was to the gas chambers or to concentration camps or something else”. And there was one more twist.
“The statement came on the first day of Passover, the Jewish holiday which commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The holiday is one of the holiest days in Judaism and has been used a metaphor for the oppression that Jews faced throughout history, including under Nazi Germany”.
Sean Spicer certainly chose his moment. Whether he chose wisely is another matter.