How do you go from saying ‘We’re going to leave Syria to the other guys’, to saying ‘We’re going to bomb your brains out’ in one short week? That’s the question Donald-watchers have to find the answer to. My answer is this: Donald seems to be cornered. He must think that by reacting forcefully to all the chemical weapons trash talk, he will gain favor, or at least some time. And with the invasion of his lawyer’s offices by the Federal Bureau of Intimidation, that time may be minimal.
I’d like to pose a few questions that may reflect on Donald’s ability to maneuver, or even to survive. First of all, have you noticed that the phrase ‘chemical weapons’ has replaced WMD’s in the lexicon of the War Parties (notice, that is plural)? Somehow, this is the new ultimate crime. Why? Because it kills innocent women and children, so the narrative goes. And bombs don’t? Bullets don’t? Artillery, anyone? And the stories, front page everywhere, in neo-con and neo-lib rags alike, are all accompanied by colour pictures showing adults carrying lifeless children from some ghastly scene, surrounded by weeping mothers. It’s enough to make you want to cry. And to cry out for vengeance. And Donald, evidently, must succumb to this emotion, or else.
Surely Vlad Putin is a clever guy. At the very least, a cold-blooded realist. And his puppet, Mr. Assad no less so. I find it very hard to swallow the idea put forth by so many voices that Vlad somehow cannot totally control Mr. Assad, and that’s why these chemo/gas attacks keep happening. And that Assad has drug Russia to the brink of confrontation with the West. Again. Wasn’t it just a year ago this same thing happened, and Donald threw dozens of cruise-missiles at Assad’s armed camp? And hasn’t this repeated use of chem-weapons resulted in further airstrikes over this past year? Isn’t that the backdrop of this whole scenario? This whole script is so Pavlovian that I want to retch. Ring the bell, watch the dog salivate. Repeat.
All of which leads me to question this whole thing. Let’s start with the weapon itself. I am amazed that Mr. Assad supposedly seems to think that he needs chemical weapons to kill people. After all, he seemed to be doing that quite well, for what, six years now, all with conventional munitions. Why the need to spin the tech dial and shift gears? Does gas kill better? No, I don’t think so. Does it target better? It didn’t during WWI, when the vagaries of the wind often turned the weapon on the aggressor himself. So, what’s the point of using this? Is it the terror it inspires? Now I think we’re getting somewhere. But I don’t think the terror quotient is part of Assad’s plans. I’m thinking of someone else. I think most of Assad’s enemies (and their women and children) realize that dead is dead, regardless of the method. Was the slaughter of Homs more humane just because it used conventional weapons? And what about starvation, another Assad favorite? If you knew that you and your family were going to die, would you rather see your children starve to death, over an agonizingly extended period of time, or would you prefer the quick action of the gas?
So that’s my basic question, why in the world would Assad (and by extension, Vlad) resort to the small-scale use of this un-predictable weapon? And don’t ask me to believe Vlad can’t control this guy. All he has to do is pull his troops out and Assad is toast. Actually, Vlad could target him and put in a replacement quite easily. So, no, I don’t believe there’s a hair-breadth of space between these two. They understand each other perfectly. Which is why Vlad is so willing to go to bat for Assad. The Syrian regime is on a very short chain. Yes, the dog is vicious, but his owner’s no fool. For those who have forgotten, chess is the game Russians love to play, and they play it very well. They think out the repercussions of every move. Cold-blooded men don’t make hot-blooded moves. That’s for the Americans, who never question the front-page portrayal of some heinous event. They scan the headlines, look at the colour pictures (red is so graphic, no?) and then they decide we have to do something. And do it now! Which is what Donald appears to be doing.
So then, assuming something other than the surface story is actually at work, I wonder if we aren’t being maneuvered into something. Something we won’t like. Something like a ‘missile-gap’ moment, perhaps? Something that turns ugly (like our missile-launching ship getting sunk) and becomes the cause for a new round of war? Or our whiz-bang weapons fizzle in the face of Russian air-defenses? Or our troops in Syria get crushed in retaliation if our missiles do get through? Do we really want to know how cold-blooded Vlad can be? Is that the real point? To see if he will back down? Maybe we should ask some of his former victims about this thought.
Here’s another puzzle to me. This supposed poisoning of the spy defector and his daughter in London a few weeks ago. I keep asking myself, how did the KGB botch this operation? A double botch. How did they both survive? And she just got released from the hospital. Hmmm. Somebody in Moscow must not have checked the expiration date on that batch of poison. Or else…or else we’re back to the chemical weapons meme. We’re back to shrinking in horror at the thought that some peaceful guy sitting in a park with his daughter could be attacked in such a barbaric manner. Barbaric. That’s the way chemical weapons are always portrayed. As if a bullet to the back of the head is any less brutal. And why dope her? How would that further any Russian goal, other than terror? And why, why, why, would Vlad and his men resort to such a thing when they know that it will excite the world to such a frenzy that the public seemingly will bear any cost in retaliation? What is the point here? Why would Vlad be so unbelievably stupid? There is no logic here. Only emotion. And that’s what the media sells. On behalf of their client. Who might that be? Cui bono?
So let’s be a little Machiavellian here and ask something. If indeed the Russians were behind all of this, in Syria over the last year and London this past month, what have they gained by all of this supposedly-smart terror-inducing chemical activity? Let me see. Wow. I can’t think of a single thing they’ve gained. Don’t tell me it makes Vlad look tough in the eyes of his fellow Russians (or their client states). Vlad has always looked tough to them, and his polls have always shown it. As if he needs polls anyway. He’s firmly in control in Russia, regardless of what anybody here or there thinks.
But I can see what they’ve lost. Add it up, worldwide condemnation, sanctions, loss of trade, a weakened stock market, a falling ruble, and now, a possible head-on military confrontation that could upset their grand strategy of the gradual enervation of the West. A strategy that has been working quite well for at least a decade. Why would Vlad (and his puppet) risk that? For what? To kill a few dozen women and children? To off an old turn-coat? And by the way, just exactly how do we know that this guy (and his daughter) were actually poisoned? Says who? Isn’t it amazing that within hours of this supposed event the government experts were able to identify the substance, and the only country that produced it? Even to the point of telling us exactly where in Russia it was produced? Yet these same intelligence geniuses weren’t able to detect the plot to poison this guy in time to prevent it. How can these guys be so smart and so dumb at the same time? Which of these attributes is false? And isn’t there another more accurate attribute missing? Something like ‘scheming’?
What does all of this Western chemo-hysteria produce in that part of the world that doesn’t believe the Western press? Someplace like China, perhaps? Do we see them denouncing Russia and Syria? Do we see them backing away from their economic, military and political ties to Vlad? No, quite the opposite. They are as close as Siamese twins. They’ve figured out how to play us, now that our Armed Forces can no longer fight two major wars simultaneously. Guess where our carrier groups are right now. Nowhere near Syria, in case you haven’t guessed. No, the Chinese are laughing at us, as we ‘pivot to Asia’, leaving the rest of the world to be played by Vlad. So now, we have China and her hand-puppet, Rocket Man, tying us down in the East, while Vlad and Syria and Iran have free rein in the West. All of which is why Donald mused about leaving Syria to ‘other people’.
Now let’s look at the Muslim world. You know, that third of the world that is so dedicated to human rights and peaceful co-existence. Those regimes of moral rectitude that would shrink in horror at the idea of barbaric behavior. Right? Regardless of any feigned outrage emanating from any of these nations, I can’t really believe there is any genuine reticence to do anything similar to what Assad is accused of. Especially in Turkey. We’ve been here before, remember? The first time I wrote for Professor Briggs, I questioned the validity of assuming that the press was right. Specifically, right about the supposed coup attempt against Erdogan back in 2016. I said it was a false flag operation designed to cement Erdogan in power. All of which has seemingly come to pass. But I also said later in that post that Erdogan was in the grip of a three-front war with Russia, and only one could emerge as the master of his own fate. So, let’s see how this has worked out.
In Turkey, our cheerful ally Recep Erdogan is firmly in power. But only internally. He’s in power because he’s so beloved by everyone, right? Sure. Never any violations of human rights in Turkey, eh? So, what do we see there, in the land of the second largest NATO military ally? How strong is Erdogan now against his traditional enemy, Russia? What has he done to stand up to Russia since he shot down that Sukhoi jet in late 2015? Is Erdogan denouncing Vlad for his presence in Syria? Or is he busy edging away from NATO, the US and Europe? Is Erdogan busy buying more arms from the West, or is he busy buying the latest Russian air-defense systems? He’s already said Turkey no longer needs EU membership. No, he’s busy signing new trade agreements agreements with his ‘enemies’ in Russia. And surely Erdogan understands the meaning of the A2/AD bubbles Vlad has already emplaced in Crimea and Syria?
Maybe now we’re getting a little closer to the real motivations of those truly responsible for this repeated use of banned weapons. Maybe the War Party is getting nervous over the thought that they may not be able to control things any longer in the middle east. Especially if Donald cedes the Syrian theatre to Russia and Iran. And by default, to Turkey. So then, what would Vlad be willing to do in order to get Turkey to finally withdraw from NATO, and thus reinstate the Montreux Convention that bans non-Black Sea states from sending warships through the Bosporus? Would Vlad be willing to sacrifice the Kurdish card in return? Hasn’t this move already happened? Aren’t the Turks stepping with impunity into Syrian territory to pound the Kurds, without a peep from Vlad? And without a word of opposition from Iran, the other patron of Assad. And the other enemy of the War Party. It looks to me like the Syrian question is being addressed without any input from the US, who by the way, backs the Kurds. As long as they are useful, that is. And this looming loss of Imperial influence seems to me to be the driving force in this forthcoming fight.
The bottom line for me in all of this manufactured hysteria is that Donald is being herded towards something he doesn’t really want. Confrontation with Russia. And because he has failed to vanquish his domestic foes, they are free to use his own governmental apparatus to force him to acquiesce to their globalist agenda. After all, if Donald was willing to cooperate with the globalists, all would be forgiven. Including his past offences against women. He could be Bill Jr., and they would laud him. He could even gas them. If only he would relent. Which he won’t. But he keeps giving his (and our) enemies new cudgels with which to beat him about the head. And now his foes have seized his own lawyer’s trove of data. And they have somehow inserted John Bolton, the premier neo-con Warhawk, into his inner circle. Surely the generals that serve Donald are cringing at the prospect of this coming confrontation that will lead to nothing that enhances true American security.
There’s only one nation that will benefit from all of this, and it isn’t us. Nor does Russia want this showdown. Syria wasn’t looking for this either, so why would it use those weapons? The Iranians don’t want a further deterioration of relations with the US. And Turkey can only lose, long-term, if this showdown leads to an outright win by either Russia or the US. Why? Because Erdogan’s relative freedom depends on there being someone who might restrain the Russians when they finally decide they can take Tsargrad and the Straits. Erdogan’s a kept woman now, but he’ll be looking for the battered women’s shelter if either of the US or Russia is gone. As much as he hates the thought (and he does), he needs the continued stand-off between the US and Russia. His only freedom lies in his ability to play one side off of the other. He needs to maintain the current balance of power.
Where then is the motivation for anyone to use these weapons that are being used to drive this frenzy towards war? Nobody I’ve mentioned, with the exception of the Warhawks, stands to gain an inch of anything. And the Warhawks don’t seem to realize they may lose a lot if their calculations are off by any significant amount. Yet they seem willing to risk it. To risk everything. But not just to bring down Donald (although that is certainly a large part of this). No, there is a long-term game here, and it is at risk. And these Warhawks evidently feel that they have to make their move now, or else they may lose it all.
This is a dangerous moment. There’s too many chips on the table now. Nobody can afford to lose here. Everyone keeps raising the ante. And no one is dropping out. I have to say, I don’t see anything good coming from all of this. This may be a hand that everyone loses. Everyone except the player I haven’t named.