Eric S. MARGOLIS
Behind President Donald Trump’s bluster and threats over Syria, powerful forces are pushing the US towards war with Russia and Syria: the neocons and the military industrial complex.
For a candidate who once proposed a normal relationship with Russia, just peace in the Mideast, and an end to America’s foreign wars Donald Trump is now hurtling towards a full-scale war with Russia and a new disaster in the Mideast. Not since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis has the danger of nuclear war seemed to close.
While Trump fulminates about the alleged use of toxic gas in Syria, US B-1 and B-52 heavy bombers are flattening villages in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
The bloodbath in Syria was ignited in 2011 by the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies in an effort to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who was failing to accept US tutelage and too friendly with Iran. By my count, this was the third attempt by Washington to overthrow a Syrian government since 1948.
Believe very little of what we are told about Syria. Trump threatens to again attack Syria because it is alleged to have used chlorine gas on anti-government defenders and civilians in the Ghouta enclave near Damascus. This may be true – or a fabrication.
Much of our information on Syria comes from ‘false flag’ outfits set up by western intelligence like the ‘White Helmets’ and ‘Syrian Observatory,’ Britain’s once independent BBC, now a major organ for government information warfare, and the majority of US government ‘guided’ mainstream media hankering for a Mideast war.
Interestingly, the reliable Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz just reported that Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, donated $1.1 million to a rabid American anti-Muslim group during the 2016 elections.
Lauder was joined by Robert Mercer, another leading far right Muslim-hater and Trump supporter. Such religious/racial hatred will likely blow up in their faces one day when the anti-Muslim far right turns on Jewish Americans.
Israel’s government plans to fragment Syria, just as was done with Iraq. This would eliminate the only remaining credible Arab state opposing Israel’s domination of the region and, equally important, allow Israel to begin expropriating chunks of Syria, notably water sources and pipeline routes.
Britain is trying to show the old lion still has some teeth. France used to be colonial ruler of today’s Syria and wants to reassert its influence there.
The timing for Israel is ideal. Trump may have been a Trojan Horse for US neocons. He has named ardently pro-Israel figures to senior posts: the loathsome Nikki Haley to the UN; the well-known ‘crazy’ from Bush days, John Bolton, as National Security Advisor; the notorious torturer madame, Gina Haspel, as new CIA chief and so on and nominated tea-party Mike Pompeo from darkest Kansas as Secretary of State of all people. The State Dept. has been quietly purged of ‘Arabist’ experts who understood the Mideast. The Christian fundamentalist machine that provided Trump his support base is running white hot promoting modern-day Crusader passions and hatred of Muslims. Nice bedfellows for Ron Lauder.
With this potent neocon amen chorus now singing at high volume, Trump, who evaded military service during the Vietnam War (when this writer was in US uniform), now thinks he can bully Russia into crying uncle and backing down in Syria, leaving it to the US and Israel.
He has misread President Vladimir Putin who is hard as steel but also very clever and deft. Trump is violating the most important rule of US diplomacy: never, ever get into a confrontation with a nuclear-armed power. Russia, which lost 30 million dead in World War II will not be lightly bullied into retreat. The Russians know if they back down over Syria, the US will then proceed to its ultimate objective, dismantling the Russian Federation and turning it into a client state. This almost happened under the drunken Yeltsin and is why Putin came to power.
Let’s hope Gen. Jim Mattis and the US military will deter Trump from more war-mongering. Trump is a child playing with nuclear matches. Putin may even help Trump find a way out of this game of nuclear chicken, as he did with President Obama. That is, provided the neocons clustered around him don’t manage to trigger a war with Russia.