It is sad when too many Americans don’t trust the republican President Donald Trump and the government he has created.
If he does something right, it is assumed that it was by accident or that someone was playing him or that he is up to no good. There has to be an ulterior motive, somewhere. And any or all of the above could be true.
In this case, I simply do not want to believe the “wag the dog” theories because I genuinely am convinced that our president took the right tact in ordering a swift and limited military response to the Syrian military’s recent sarin gas attack on its own citizenry. But unfortunately there are these nagging doubts which keep seeping into my consciousness. I am truly conflicted over all of these events having to do with the past week’s events in Syria.
I have been putting some thought to this whole situation and have shared my thinking in other blogs.
Here is what I know:
1.) President Trump is not one who I would think becomes emotional over pictures of children being hurt to where he does 180 degree adjustment in his thinking. Despite recent equally heart wrenching photos of Syrian refugee children, he has done everything in his power to prevent them from gaining entry into this country. I do not ascribe to him any noble intentions.
2.) President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is more than capable of gassing his own peoples to force them to move from regions under rebel control to areas under his authority. No one would ever refer to him as a good guy. Still, his timing was totally tone deaf and counter-productive but then he knew he had the backing of Russia.
3.) Russia has strong control over the Syrian territory area. Its President Vladimir Putin is someone who would not hesitate to resort to ugly tactics to assert his authoritative power.
4.) Around 4/5/17, early, several witnesses saw Syrian aircraft dropping chemical bombs from the air in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria where peoples ended up being victimized by sarin gas. US military can verify this via its advanced technology.
As per a 4/6/17 CNN report by Angela Dewan, Khareem Khadder, and Holly Yan, “Syria denied it used chemical weapons. Russia asserted the deaths resulted from a gas released when a regime airstrike hit a “terrorist” chemical weapons factory on the ground. But survivors being treated in a hospital on the Turkish side of the border told a CNN team they saw chemical bombs dropped from the air.”
When the Turkish doctors did autopsies, there were UN observers present. The victims all presented themselves with symptoms typical of those gassed with sarin chemical weapon. I absolutely buy this scenario.
So, as far as the attack is concerned, I am convinced that Syria is indeed guilty of this crime, and consequently, I have no problem with the President’s swift and limited military response.
What I am willing to buy into, is that US should have done more checking and planning for significant targets before acting so swiftly.
Iran is calling for a full investigation which I support.
So where do the “wag the dog” scenarios fit into the above set of facts?
Here is where new pieces of the puzzle are helpful.
1.) It turns out that post the Syrian gas attack on the same day, witnesses saw a RUSSIAN DRONE which was followed up with an airstrike on a medical facility where the sarin gas victims were being treated.
2.) Close up photos reviewed by military experts of the Shayrat airbase indicate that Russian planes are interspersed with Syrian aircraft. This means Russian military are working side by side with the Syrian soldiers to where it is hard to fathom how Russia could not have been aware of Syria’s plan to inflict a sarin gas attack on its own peoples from this very same airfield.
3.) This retaliatory US military action did minimal damage.
4.) US military brass is now looking into any Russian involvement in the sarin gas attack.
So, the following “wag the dog” scenario is plausible but not likely (my bias), if Russia orchestrated these events to help the U.S. president improve his standing with the American peoples to where he would be in a better position to help Russia in the future by the lifting sanctions against it. For Russia’ s effort to be worthwhile, it would have required President Trump’s tacit approval.
Russia and Syria’s future reaction and actions regarding President Trump’s US military retaliatory move will tell me more.
Then there is the other “wag the dog” theory where President Donald Trump took this step, however consequential to improve his popularity and as a distraction from other troublesome news surrounding him.
For more on this theory…
On 4/7/17, Frank Bruni of The New York Times penned the following editorial commentary, “The Riddle of Trump’s Syria Attack.”
“The agony of Donald Trump — well, one of the many agonies — is that there are times when he will actually do the right thing, or at least a defensible thing, and we’ll be left wondering, even more than we did with other presidents, about what his motivations were, whether they fit into any truly considered plan or whether his actions amount to the newest episode of a continuing reality show.”
“Such is the case with the strike against Syria, which is too big a risk in too complicated a place to be used for distraction, for diversion, for the pose he needs in the narrative du jour.”
“There’s justification for it, absolutely. President Obama had advisers who wished he’d done something similar.”
“But Trump’s military action makes little sense in the context of most of what he said in the years before he was elected and much of what he has done as president so far. Let me get this straight: Obama wasn’t supposed to draw or be drawn across a red line, not even when the Assad regime used chemical weapons, but when the regime did that on Trump’s watch, it crossed “many, many lines,” in his words, and compelled an American response?”
“That’s a “dizzying turnabout,” as Blake Hounshell wrote in Politico, under the headline “Trump’s Syria Whiplash.” And I can’t square Trump’s statements over the last two days that the United States can’t stand by idly in the face of such grotesque suffering with his determination to bar those who suffer from being accepted as refugees into America. The babies prompt outrage and heartache when they’re writhing in Syria, but God forbid they come here.”
“And so two questions, loud and urgent: Why did he do this now? And, beyond that, who exactly is he?”
“The readiest answers unsettle me. It’s impossible to ignore the degree to which the military strike pushes a slew of unflattering stories about the Trump administration — its failed attempt to undo Obamacare, the feuding within its ranks and, above all, the probes into possible collusion between Trump’s associates and the Russian government — to the side of the page. Nothing drowns out scandal like the fire and fury of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.”
“The notion that military action salvages a president on the defensive, boldly underscoring his role as commander in chief, is nothing new. But there’s a fresh wrinkle in this case, because those bombs put Trump at particular odds with Russia at a moment when there’s enormous advantage in that.’
“Listen to the television commentators right now. Read the news. It focuses on present and looming tensions with Vladimir Putin, not the Putin-Trump kissy-face that’s been so appalling and fascinating to watch. It’s a whole new story.”
“What’s more, the quickness with which those missiles followed the Assad regime’s latest atrocity cast Trump in an emphatically decisive light. It’s precisely the look that he needs right now.”
“That brings me back to the second of the two questions I asked earlier: Who is this president? Is he guided by any fixed philosophies or is he moved by moods and operating on whim? It’s a concern that’s amplified in Trump’s presidency, because his background is so unusual: no government experience, no military service, a hodgepodge of political positions and associations over time. On top of which, his performance on the campaign trail, in debates and in the White House has made clear, time and again, how woefully uninformed he can be and how blissfully untroubled by that he is.”
“But another take is that Trump isn’t just uninformed but unformed. As the week went on, there were more and more reports of extreme acrimony and outright warfare between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner in the White House. The intensity of that collision reflects competing ideologies but it also speaks to the stakes. The spoils (for the winner), it seems, are the opportunity to mold him utterly, because nearly 80 days into his administration, he remains a wet piece of clay.”