Image credit: IFP News
The dust has settled and the initial hullabaloo over Donald Trump’s cruise missile strikes on a military runway in Syria appears to have been wildly exaggerated.
In fact, the efficiency of the strike itself has been called into question because, as RT reports, “only” 23 out of the 59 missiles struck a target. A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the runways, taxis, and aircraft are all undamaged, prompting Donald Trump to Tweet the following reply:
The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017
And while it may be true that Donald Trump has committed to use additional force if necessary, statements of Senate Republicans and cabinet insiders seem to indicate that there will be no further escalation. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell stated Friday that the missile strikes were only in response to the alleged chemical attacks and that a further response isn’t warranted at this time. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson likewise indicated that the focus of the US military in Syria remains unchanged, and that they will be continue to work toward the defeat of ISIS, even if that means “working with Damascus” to do so.
This latest information confirms the analysis of alternative media commentators such as Alex Jones who reported while the story was breaking that Assad had agreed to destroy the supplies targeted in the strikes four years ago, that the missile strikes were merely a show of force, and that there would be no regime change in Syria:
Controversy over the strikes also broke out among Trump supporters on the Alt-Right / Alt-Light who were entirely displeased by the President’s decision, and #NeverTrump Neocons for the first time found themselves approving of Donald Trump. This culminated in speculation on social media which was later confirmed by MSNBC and other outlets that Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist, and Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to Donald Trump, were on opposing ends of an ideological conflict regarding what to do about Assad:
As mentioned in the clip above, this prompted Mike Cernovich, the journalist responsible for breaking the recent Susan Rice scandal, and Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who rose to notoriety during the 2016 election cycle, to launch a wildly successful Twitter campaign to make #FireKushner a trending hashtag:
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) April 8, 2017
No one voted for Kushner. Indeed, many of us voted against people like Kushner having power.
— Richard ?? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) April 7, 2017
So in an unexpected turn of events, Trump’s most ardent supporters have become his largest critics, and his largest critics have become his most ardent supporters over what at this time appears to have been a strategic move by Trump that will ultimately not culminate in Syrian regime change, as I speculated the moment the strikes were reported:
Assad is allied with and backed by Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. The various “rebel” factions inside of Syria may be at odds with each other insofar as they each wish to be the replacement for Assad and the Syrian government, but they were trained, supplied, armed, and funded by elements of the US federal government and its proxies.
Syria is thus ground zero for a de facto proxy war between the American and Russian governments and their political allies. For this reason, the Trump administration’s position on the recent gas attacks in Syria must be viewed through the lens of the leftist / Neocon “Russian election hack” false narrative. Tough talk is to be expected from the Trump administration given that they are still having to debunk false accusations about colluding with Russia to steal the election.
And yet Rex Tillerson’s comments regarding forward looking action in response to the attacks were directed more toward ISIS than Assad. Even the comments directed toward Assad were non-committal and suggested “political action after ISIS is taken out” rather than an invasion and a regime change. In light of these comments, and the strong electoral disincentives facing Trump, I strongly suspect that his administration will not attempt to forcibly remove Assad from power. This is all speculation, of course, but I suspect that he may allow Putin to wipe the floor with ISIS and al-Qaeda in exchange for Putin applying political pressure on Assad to resign.
This would satisfy those of his constituents who wish to see Islamist extremism diminished in the world as well as those who are adamantly opposed to American interventionism in the Middle East. In the past, Trump has been openly contemptuous about both American intervention in Syria, and of the tendency of US presidents to publicly telegraph their military plans, thus we are unfortunately reduced to mere speculation. NATO could be kind of a wild card, but if I’m right, the outcome described above would really only be bad for the people who want to have a nuclear war with Russia (Democrats and Neocons), Islamist extremists, central bankers, and ethnically motivated political enemies of Syria, like Israel.
War with Assad is off the table for now but Liberty Hangout will continue to track this story as events unfold.