Getting Trumped and Thumped in Syria
As president Trump relishes telling the story, he was sitting with President Xi of China, who was enjoying a beautiful, huge slice of chocolate cake — the best chocolate cake you ever saw, which can be enjoyed only at Mar-A-Lago — when Trump decided it was time to launch 59 cruise missiles at the Assad government.
As the Chinese president dabbed the chocolate decadence from his lips, Trump informed him that he’d just given the order to launch missiles at Assad’s air fare. The Chinese president paused for about ten seconds and then said, “Well, he did use gasses on children.”
The president smiled bigly as he told the story:
As Trump savors the story even more than the cake, we also see the Contradictor in Chief undermining his own advocacy for greater military spending. He describes the weapons — how “amazing” they are, and how incredibly precise and how there is nothing like them and how they can beat anything the competition has by a factor of at least five — all weapons that the military got during Obama’s administration!
Then Trump spins to say that our military is seriously degraded in capacity or will be soon if we don’t do much better. At that point, I wiggle the plug in my brain to see if the connection came loose while I was listening. Nope.
The president, again, smiles at the marvelous cachet with which he pulled this off over a fine diplomatic dinner at his expensive estate (where, by the way, you can buy a membership and dine with Chinese presidents … and American presidents). It makes great publicity for the president’s premier club because everyone wishes like Bartiromo that they could have been there to see that happen … and to enjoy the chocolate cake — the best you ever saw.
Oh, how fun! You can just see Bartiroma wishing she had been there to watch this man of power in elegant action.
But is it really that dignified to be talking gas over a fine dinner?
Being gaslighted into believing Assad had anything to do with this chemical incident
While President Trump was quick to attack Assad and equally enthusiastic to boast about how he pulled it off, it remains far from clear that Bashar Assad was even the person responsible for the chemicals that caused death and injury in Syria. Many have raised the question as to whether this is a false-flag operation by ISIS to try to draw the US in. They know full well that Trump’s neocon government is itching for an excuse to eliminate Bashar Assad anyway. So, give them a reason they will be only too happy to accept, so long as you make it look plausible enough for the public. Just as Bush was all to ready to accept tales of yellowcake uranium in Iraq as reason enough to go after the man he already wanted to kill.
Several articles on Washington’s Blog have pointed out problems with linking Assad to the chemical blast:
Dr. Theodore Postol has won many awards as a professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. He specializes in ballistic missiles and chemical dispersion clouds. He helps the US government with its weapons program and trains other scientists in weapon technology. Postol debunked the 2013 claims that a chemical incident was caused by one of Assad’s missiles. Briefings, such as his, that countered initial information linking the chemicals to Assad are why Obama did not follow through with his red-line threat.
Trump, by contrast to Obama, has been immediate in leaping to the conclusion that Assad did this, even though common sense begs one to ask why would Assad do that, knowing it would bring the US directly against him and knowing gassing civilians, especially children, would accomplish absolutely nothing in terms of eliminating his opposition? It would seem he would be even less likely to do such a completely useless thing when you consider that the chemical incident happened only about a week after Trump stated his administration would be no longer be seeking regime change and offered Assad a deal that would keep him in power. Why would Assad just throw that off the table?
There are several hypotheses regarding what may have happened…. The first one points to a false flag by rebels and terrorists supported by Israeli, British, Saudi and Qatari intelligence. Alternatively, it could have simply been an accident. Assad’s forces could have hit a terrorist weapons cache without knowing that it was dedicated to the production and storage of chemical weapons. Another theory offers that foreign intelligence agents may have provided accurate information to the terrorists in Khan Shaykhun about what buildings were going to be targeted by Assad’s air force, thereby allowing them to move chemical weapons into the targeted locations in order to bring about a civilian massacre. Whatever the case may be, it is unthinkable that Assad and the Syrian army would use chemical agents against their own civilians. There is no rational reason for them to use such weapons which do not guarantee any tactical advantage and which, besides, would incite an obvious, vehement reaction from the international community — a counterproductive move from any way you look at it. (StrategicCulture.org)
Postal does not believe this year’s incident was a missile sent in by Assad, and he believes the site shows evidence of tampering. He notes many stunning errors in the reports that have tried to link both the 2013 chemical incident and the 2017 one to Bashar Assad:
…the government’s new report is] obviously false, misleading and amateurish…. What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true.
Former UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, also lays out numerous problems with saying the evidence points to Assad. From that, he claims that Trump is just being played by Al Qaeda on this one, and he notes how much Candidate Trump has morphed into a different President Trump:
Once upon a time, Donald J. Trump, the New York City businessman-turned-president, berated then-President Barack Obama back in September 2013 about the fallacy of an American military strike against Syria…. Trump, via tweet, declared “to our very foolish leader, do not attack Syria – if you do many very bad things will happen & from that fight the U.S. gets nothing!” (The Huffington Post)
The anti-establishment, anti-regime-change candidate goes full neocon
Candidate Trump was clearly opposed to any regime-change efforts in Syria as these tweets show:
Obama’s war in Syria has the potential to widen into a worldwide conflict.
President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your “powder” for another (and more important) day!
Obama must now start focusing on OUR COUNTRY, jobs, healthcare and all of our many problems. Forget Syria and make America great again!
No, dopey, I would not go into Syria.
That was Candidate Trump then, but President Trump now has gone where even President Obama refused to go and where Candidate Trump warned Obama not to go:
President Obama, despite having publicly declaring [sic.] the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime a “red line” which, if crossed, would demand American military action, ultimately declined to order an attack, largely on the basis of warnings by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, that the intelligence linking the chemical attack on Ghouta was less than definitive.
President Barack Obama, in a 2016 interview with The Atlantic, observed, “there’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses.”
Well, President Trump is using the same playbook, and that playbook for regime-change was written by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, as I laid out last year in an article titled, “HILLARY’S WARS: Wikileaks Proves Syria about Iran & Israel.” (Even Hillary probably pushed the importance of regime-change in Syria because of “persuasion” by the military-industrial establishment that profits greatly off of endless wars.)
Candidate Trump hated Hillary’s plan:
On Syria’s civil war, Trump said Clinton could drag the United States into a world war with a more aggressive posture toward resolving the conflict…. “What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” said Trump as he dined on fried eggs and sausage at his Trump National Doral golf resort. “You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton…. You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” he said. (Reuters)
As mentioned above, even Obama concluded, against Hillary’s plan, saying,
“Dropping bombs on someone to prove that you’re willing to drop bombs on someone is just about the worst reason to use force.” The media, Republicans and even members of his own party excoriated Obama for this decision.
Yet, isn’t dropping bombs just to prove you’re willing to drop bombs on someone the only thing Trump accomplished in Syria? He spent about $50 million dollars to launch 59 cruise missiles in order to take out seven badly aging airplanes (some of them fifty years old) and to dent a runway. We’re talking a pothole, not a crater, which put Assad’s forces out of commission for less than half a day. (Does the military even bother to evaluate cost effectiveness? Fifty-million dollars for a chip in the old concrete and the scrapping of some ancient hardware? Not a very smart businessman’s choice.) Trump’s attack didn’t even blow up the bunkers the planes were sitting in — just covered them with black soot.
Intriguingly, Hillary prescribed this attack on Assad just hours before the Donald acted:
I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them. (The Independent)
Of course she really believes that! Regime change was always Hillary’s plan, and seeing that she was such a warmonger is one of the big reasons many people voted for Trump because he spent a lot of time talking about how foolish all this regime-change nonsense has been and what a massive expense it has been to the US.
Rushing into a regime-change war with Assad is something neocons love and something the old Republican guard, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham are having wargasms over now that Trump has crossed this Rubicon. In fact, ousting Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, and sidelining Steve Bannon look like slick neocon chess moves in the White House that help clear the way for this attack on Assad. (Flynn was always opposed to turning the terrorist war in Syria into a regime-change war, but his replacement is not.)
Former US Senator Ron Paul described Trump’s bombing of Syria as “a victory for neoconservatives” that actually strengthens Al Qaeda and ISIS:
I don’t think the evidence is there, at least it hasn’t been presented, and they need a so-called excuse, they worked real hard, our government and their coalition…. In 2013, there were similar stories that didn’t go anywhere…. They thought that it was a fraud … and right now, I just can’t think of how it could conceivably be what they claim, because it’s helping ISIS, because it’s helping Al-Qaeda…. [The Syrian situation is] a victory for neo-conservatives, who’ve been looking for Assad to go…. They want to get rid of him, and you have to look for who is involved in that. Unfortunately, they are the ones who are winning out on this…. They’re terrified that peace was going to break out! Al-Qaeda was on the run, peace talks were happening, and all of a sudden, they had to change, and this changes things dramatically! (Reuters)
Read some of the articles quoted above, and you’ll see there is plenty of evidence that says the chemical incident in Syria bears further exploration before rushing into another attempt at regime change, yet rush we did, contrary to everything Trump said about war in Syria prior to becoming president.
In my next article, I’ll lay out the numerous total reversals involved in the transformation from Candidate Trump to President Trump. Months ago, I lost readers and websites for pointing out that these reversals looked likely to happen, but now the Trump make-over is nearly complete, and the examples of utter contradiction are abundant and obvious, even to some of Trump’s most ardent supporters as you’ll see that article later this week.
UPDATE: More information available at “Trump’s Red Line.”