I told you over the weekend that Trump’s presidency was over. As a practical matter it is. His yielding to his ‘advisors’ on every foreign policy issue makes it clear that he can’t or won’t stand up to the relentless pressure to do what his instincts tell him.
This morning’s article at the Deep State Washington Post paints a very clear picture of what the situation is. The advisors whose loyalties are dubious run the show. Their thinking has not evolved one whit from previous administrations.
Remember what Russian President Vladimir Putin always says, “Presidents change. Policies do not.”
Case in point they manipulated Trump into over-reacting to the Skripal poisoning by ousting 60 Russian diplomats, even though Trump clearly wanted to match Germany and France.
The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies — part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
“We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.”
The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.
You can almost see the evil glee on the part of the WaPo writer and Trump’s staffers who misled him into signing an order they knew he disagreed with.
And this is why Trump is not president currently. This is not the first time he’s been backed into a bad decision by the nest of vipers in his administration.
And he won’t be until he removes the worst people from his cabinet. Unfortunately, the trend on that front is definitely not our friend.
Tillerson out. Pompeo promoted. McMaster out (who was awful), John Bolton in (who is worse).
So, now that the WaPo is writing victory lap articles for the the Deep State in neutering Trump, let’s talk about where this is headed in regards to this weekend’s attack on Syria.
I’ll get right to the point. This attack was all about the long-game of taking down Iran.
Israel is desperate to prevent Iran from remaining in Syria after the war is over. And with good reason. That’s the prime motivation for their actions. But, on top of that is the need or the desire to always go farther, to take more than they should and use U.S. assets to achieve those goals which are in no one’s best interests, including Israel’s.
Because despite the rhetoric spewing forth from Lil’ Miss AIPAC, Nikki Haley, a failed state in Syria is not good for Israel. A beaten and cowed Russia is not good for the world. And yet, that is exactly the policy that wing of the Trump administration is pushing him to pursue.
Now, if they can’t get that because Gen. James Mattis isn’t a moron, then the next best thing is to prolong the war in Syria for as long as possible. Why?
To bleed Iran white. To fight a war it can’t afford and keep its best military units and commanders bound down in Syria and not have them return home to help maintain order.
Events in April are happening quickly. First, Iran bans the use of dollars internally. And, predictably, the Iranian Riyal blows up versus the dollar. Second, the U.S. pushes for much stricter sanctions on both Russia and Iran.
Iranians can’t get dollars and are, again, being cut off from international trade as sanctions create even more uncertainty on the ground there.
At the same time, President Rouhani’s economic reforms are, at best, slow to improve things. This was the source of the protests that rocked the nation in December, which U.S. and Saudi NGOs tried to fan into a revolution. Russia is finding it harder to move money around internationally and the U.S. is putting massive pressure on Europe not to do business with Iran.
However, the Italians blocked even stricter sanctions on Iran, so the revolt in Europe is gaining strength. And that’s going to become a bigger part of this narrative as 2018 barrels ahead.
The goal, of course, is to foment an overthrow of the current Iranian government through external pressure. And Iran’s support of Syria is a pressure point in that campaign now.
The Empire Strikes Back
The U.S. claims this strike was to end Assad’s future use of chemical weapons, which the Russians say they have irrefutable proof didn’t even occur this time.
That’s the story being sold to what’s left of Trump’s base, the MAGA-drones who can’t accept that he’s not actually running the country despite his public persona to the contrary.
By prolonging the war you bleed out an already bleeding Iranian economy and treasury. This is why, I think, the U.S. is hell-bent on staying in Syria even though Assad has, for all intents and purposes, won.
The strikes from this weekend were intended to do much more damage than they did. The U.S. Military’s presser on Friday after the attack was purposeful disinformation. They only admitted to attacking three sites, all of which were empty and obliterated.
But what about the airstrikes on no less than four Syrian airfields, including Al-Shairat (again)?
No mention of those.
Because they didn’t succeed.
Now, certainly salt this report to taste but there is a major kernel of truth uncovered by it. The U.S. intended to knock out a major portion of the Syrian Air Force with this strike and failed spectacularly.
Assad’s air force has been one of the most effective parts of the war against the insurgents in Syria. They are doing what the U.S. leadership says is their goal in Syria, to end the threat of ISIS.
So, it makes less than zero sense for them to then attack Syrian air fields to show Assad it will not accept his using chemical weapons in doing so.
Something doesn’t add up. And, of course, we’ve known this from the beginning, but now the Russians and Syrians are providing proof of these inconsistencies if only the American people will engage with them.
If the U.S. didn’t do this to just knock out Syria’s CW capability then it must have had a much, much larger goal.
And that goal is Iran.
War Without End
The hope is that Syria will go on long enough and cost the Iranians enough that it will destabilize the country and force an overthrow of the Mullahs. There comes a point where guns meet butter.
This strategy is consistent with the thinking of the Neocon/Deep State trolls in charge at the White House. It makes sense strategically to a guy like Mattis who knows Syria cannot become a truly failed state lest the entire region go off the rails, but at the same time wants a much different Iran.
Putin and Xi will not play along with this and will move to strengthen Iran’s money situation through increased oil revenue. The Saudis’ pushing this escalation behind the scenes will put them in a bind when China finally says, “Nope. Not paying for your oil with dollars anymore. In fact, we’re not buying oil from you period.”
At that point the real chaos is unleashed. Never forget that the Russians can withstand lower oil prices better than any producer. China is the marginal buyer of Saudi oil and the Saudis are becoming less important to them by the day.
Trump was forced to voice in his speech on Friday an overt plea to Putin to give up his alliance with China and Iran, abandon Syria and some of his transgressions will be forgiven.
Trump didn’t believe those words anymore than I did, but watching him confirmed for me that he knows there will not be peace any time soon. That he’s not up to the task of resisting the pressure.
Just as I said this weekend to the dismay of many, including myself. What it revealed was that no matter who wins, the world loses.