Saturday, April 14, 2018

Lying Elites, Syria, and Donald Trump

Brazen, baldfaced lying: all states engage in it. Russia engages in it, China, the US, Britain, France, Iran. Each has propounded brazen lies at different times in the course of its history, and many of these lies were eventually documented as such, to no one’s surprise.

This time, regarding the April 7th chemical weapons attack at Douma in Syria, it’s the Russians and Syrians who are likely telling something nearer the truth, while the US and its allies are lying through their teeth.

If what looks like a carefully planned, cold-blooded murder occurs in an office building, if there are no witnesses or other incriminating evidence, police inspectors tasked with solving the murder immediately begin the work of establishing who may have had a motive. Did the dead woman have a jealous ex-lover? Does someone stand to gain a huge inheritance? Was she in some power struggle in the company?

This approach is just common sense. After all, people usually don’t plan murders for no reason. Having identified someone with a strong motive, police can continue their work by focusing on that person.

In the case of Syria, why is this basic approach, good enough for police, not tried? Why is it simply assumed that the Syrian government would order a chemical weapons attack that served no military purpose--and in fact, for obvious reasons, served quite the opposite? Why would the Syrian government order an attack that could only put them in the crosshairs of vastly superior enemies?

The chance that the Assad government ordered the attack in Douma is virtually nil. Everyone paying attention, from blowhard John McCain to our military brass to Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May--they all know this. The Trump Administration also knows Assad didn’t gas Douma. If the story had to go out that Assad was responsible, and if Western military action needed to follow, these had little to do with anything Assad or Russia did. Rather, our quick Western response arose from powerful forces in our own governments and corporate offices. People with vested interests in staying on the war path in the Middle East needed this story.

But if Assad didn’t commit the atrocity in Douma, you might ask, who did? Well, first of all, there is still some small doubt that there there even was a chemical weapons attack. It is possible the event was staged, a propaganda op. But let’s assume that the attack occurred. Following basic police procedure, let’s pose the question of who would benefit from such an attack. Who had a motive?

One answer is obvious. The Syrian rebels themselves. On the verge of losing the civil war, the rebels heard the US president just days earlier announce plans to withdraw America from the conflict. Given that this was the same America that had been backing them for years, the rebels had a huge motive for finding some pretext, any pretext, to keep America involved. The only feasible way they could do this, playing Trump off against those in the US who wanted the war to continue, was to stage a chemical attack that could be blamed on Assad. Note the amazingly opportune timing of the Douma attack. It occurred just a week after Trump’s mention of plans to withdraw.

This is called, of course, a false flag event. And this one, really, it maybe wins the prize as the most glaringly obvious false flag event in decades.

But: Assuming the attack did happen, did the Syrian rebels plan and pull it off by themselves? Or did they have outside help?

That’s a rather gruesome question to be asking, one many won’t even like to pose, as it points to possible Western involvement. But how can we know the answer? At this point we can't. But if we’re looking merely at motive, again, there’s much evidence out there that Western intelligence and military elites have sought for years to find means of overthrowing the Assad government.

In any case, we need to keep our heads about us. We need to be thinking clearly. These issues are matters of life and death. Given Russia’s stake in Syria, and how the events there fit into growing Western tensions with Russia, the circle of death could potentially widen to include all of us.

To assume that Assad ordered the Douma attack is to assume that he is not merely a despot, but that he is a despot with a 41 IQ. This Assad is the same leader who managed to hold the Syrian capital during seven years of a brutal civil war. Yet he’s also, to believe our media, enough of a moron to shoot himself in the foot, in broad daylight, with a double-barrel shotgun. Assad is on the verge of winning the war, and the biggest guns against him, those provided by the US, would soon have been gone. So he makes sure to do something that ensures the Americans won't actually pull out.

In short, at this point it would be utter lunacy for Assad to call for such an attack. It's a fact must be kept front and center, as it points to a larger truth many are missing, at least at the level of media discussion. Namely: Our rivals on the world stage may be treacherous, even evil, but they are not drooling morons. Russia is not ruled by morons, nor is Syria. Had either state been run by morons, it would have been defeated or overthrown by now.

The story of the Douma attack presented in our media is thus predicated upon a glaringly cartoonish notion of our rivals. We need to call out the cartoon villains our elites present to us. Hell, even cartoon villains are smarter than Assad was--if he ordered that attack.

Breathtaking in all this was the immediacy and unanimity of the Western call for reprisals. Our corporate media, our government officials, our Congress, both sides of the aisle--all were suddenly on the same page. Assad must be shown a lesson.

How can we explain this unanimity? In corporate media, as far as I know, only one voice dared to speak plain truth: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s healhty skepticism and sanity deserve a nationwide hats off. Watch:

The very speed to verdict, the very unanimity of our elites, only underlines the fishiness of the whole Douma story. The one organization that could have possibly provided evidence as to what happened in Douma, the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), was just yesterday preparing to visit the site. Isn’t it interesting that the US, Britain and France decided to quickly pull off their strikes against Assad before the OPCW had time to investigate? If I didn’t have such respect for our elites, I’d be tempted to say that it almost looks like they didn’t really want to know what the OPCW might find.

There’s been plenty of evidence of a recent and growing Deep State push to go to war with Russia and its allies. The Skripal poisoning in London on March 4th is almost certainly part of this concerted effort. Attempting to poison Skripal and his daughter served no purpose for Putin and made no sense in terms of timing and execution. The only thing it succeeded in doing was giving Britain and her allies an opportunity to demonize the Russian government and expel diplomats.

But if the official story on the Skripal poisoning is full of holes, our official narrative of Assad’s chemical attack is no more than one big hole. There’s no story there even to have holes. If I weren’t seeing it unfold before my eyes, I’d find it hard to believe our elites would dare pull off such a clumsy sleight of hand. How can they expect to get away with it?

Oh, wait, I know how. Our elites assume that most of the citizenry couldn’t find Syria on a map and are too busy in any case stuffing their faces with mounds of french fries and watching Dancing with the Stars to care one way or another. Sadly, in this our elites are probably right.

So why did President Trump go along with it, calling for the missile strikes? Hadn’t he just announced intentions to pull out of Syria? Hadn’t he indicated during the campaign that he wanted America involved in no more Middle-Eastern hell holes? Hadn’t he even said, bravely and I think rightly, that it would have been better if we’d allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power and not created the horrible mess that brought the world ISIS and so much else?

Problem is, Trump is between a rock and a hard place. This month’s chemical attack at Douma, though fishy as all hell, more or less forced his hand. Inside his own government are powerful interests that want war in the Middle East to continue. He knew his announcement of withdrawal plans would irk these people. At the same time, he's been hounded since before even the inauguration with the absurd accusation that he is somehow a Russian puppet, a man put in office by, uh, $70,000 of Russian-bought Facebook ads. It’s laughable, I know. But keep in mind the Dancing with the Stars factor. Trump knows there are tens of millions of American voters who actually believe in Russiagate, there’s a CNN/NYT/WaPo media axis daily treating the story as legit, and there’s the Mueller investigation to boot, dragging on endlessly. So Trump had to do something.

Leading a democratic country in the age of instant information is more often a kind of ongoing improv theater performance than it is a matter of forging rational policy meant to address real problems. If what we are hearing so far is correct, then Trump’s new rain of missiles on Syria will not be followed by pursuit of the insane policy of the neocons and the likes of Nancy Pelosi. America will not be seeking to actually remove the regime in Damascus. At least I pray that’s the case. But Trump needed to throw something out there to appease the ravening wolves all around him, to shut them up. I’m praying he leaves it at that.

Will Russia undertake some kind of response in retaliation? They have more or less announced that they will. What might it be? A quick seizure of the Baltic States on the North Sea that used to be part of the Soviet Union? That would lead to direct Russian conflict with NATO. In any case, we can be sure Putin is himself feeling obliged to respond. Not to do so is to lose credibility with his own people. Provided the West’s actions against Syria are limited to these strikes, however, Putin’s response may be muted.

In any case, these are not games we want to be playing. President Trump should stick to his guns on No more regime change in the Middle East. This is what he promised, and this is what the voters who put him in office demand. If Trump can't stand up to the Deep State and the neocon apologists that swarm Washington, his legacy as an outsider will be lost.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.


Unknown said...

Compelling and, I fear, true. We are close to a world war. Certainly the closest in our lifetimes. If Putin is a Stalin, we are done

Anonymous said...

Thank you for connecting some dots here. I remember when this was first reported, I couldn't understand why Putin and Assad would even do something like that. Why stir the pot when things were going well from their perspective? I might have called them "idiots" under my breath, but I was more willing to (tentatively) file it under "cultural differences," meaning maybe there was a motivation that was harder for me to identify from my non-Syrian, non-Russian perch.

But yes, a third party stirring the pot -- we are perfectly situated to be exploited: moral squishiness and goldfishian attention-span a la Trump; bitter American left-right politics; and yes, inattention of the American public (guilty, here).

And the fact that the American government is stirring the pot, well, so disappointing, so disappointing....

It feels like 2003, when I supported invading Iraq -- mainly because Sadaam's sons were so awful. I regret that: Dictators sometimes sleep. Do-gooders, not so much. Mea culpa.


Eric Mader said...

Thanks for the good word, jxk, and the sharp observations. I especially appreciate: "Dictators sometimes sleep. Do-gooders, not so much." Probably I'll use it sometime.