The 48,000+ reader-comments thus far at Stephen Bannon’s Breitbart News, to their announcement on April 6th that Trump had invaded Russia’s ally Syria with missiles, are overwhelmingly along the lines of “This isn’t what I voted for.”
The tweet by the convert to Orthodox Judaism, Ivanka Trump, when she had learned that her father was bombing Syria, was “Proud of my father for refusing to accept these horrendous crimes against humanity.” She was referring to the sarin gas attack that the U.S. government says that it can prove had been perpetrated by Syria’s government, and that the Syrian government says was set up by Al Qaeda so as to appear to have been planned and carried out by the Syrian government in order to draw the U.S. into invading Syria and killing Assad (in the way it killed Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi).
Trump has now been praised by Paul Wolfowitz and virtually all of the many other neoconservatives who had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President and who had supported George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq — including most members of the current U.S. Congress. This is a 180-degree turnabout by Trump, which occurs even before his hundredth day as President. Not many Americans had voted for this type of President — but it’s what we now have. It’s what today’s American political system has offered to its voters: a choice between two neoconservatives, one of whom had successfully hidden his neoconservatism, and the other of whom (Clinton) had not.
The London Times reported on Sunday, April 9th, that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is carrying a message to Putin that unless Russia abandons the current government of Syria, there will be war between the U.S. and Russia, because Russia is “complicit” in the alleged sarin gas attack that was allegedly intended by Assad (who was, prior to that event, near victory against the jihadists, so that the motive for this crime would have been extreme on the part of Al Qaeda, and non-existent on the part of the Syrian government).
On Sunday April 9th, CNN reported,
“The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has told CNN that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is a priority, cementing an extraordinary U-turn in the Trump administration’s stance on the embattled leader.”
Also on the 9th, Reuters headlined “Syrian President Assad’s allies say U.S. attack crosses ‘red lines’,” and reported that, “A joint command center made up of the forces of Russian, Iran and allied militia alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad said the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base crossed ‘red lines’ and it would now respond to any new aggression and increase their level of support to their ally.” And Britain’s Independent bannered, “Russia and Iran warn US they will ‘respond with force’ if red lines crossed in Syria again”.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on April 9th,
“Previous US officials created ISIS, and the current ones are strengthening ISIS or groups like them; however, the danger these terrorist groups present will backfire on Americans,” and he noted that, “the hypocritical European governments, who today claim chemical weapons have been used in Syria, provided Saddam with an abundance of chemical weapons during his war on Iran, and he used those weapons to attack our battlefields, as well as the cities of Sardasht and Halabja.”
This was an insult to America’s allies, but it applied equally accurately to the United States government as well. Perhaps the reason why he didn’t mention “the Americans” on that, however, was in order to send the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief a signal that he ought to be leading his vassals in a different direction, no longer toward an east-west conflagration.
Consequently, what is shaping up till now is a demand by Trump that Putin abandon Assad, and, on the opposite side, a resolute deepening of Russia’s and of Iran’s commitment, long expressed, that only the Syrian public, in an internationally monitored election, should be deciding whom the next President of Syria will be. (At least prior to Trump’s becoming the U.S. President, the Secretary General of the United Nations had likewise insisted upon only the Syrian people, in an internationally monitored election, being allowed to determine the political fate of Syria’s current President.)
So, it appears that either Trump will invade Russia, or else the trajectory for an internationally monitored democratic election in Syria will continue toward its ultimate completion, despite Trump’s demand to the contrary.
Every indication thus far is that Russia will not cave to the demands of the American international dictator, no matter what. It appears that Russia has already made its choice: freedom and national sovereignty, or else the death of the entire world, but preserving up to the very end the dignity and freedom of the Russian people, never becoming yet another American colony, like Ukraine (and see this, and this).
It is this, more than anything else, that the Syrian side, their entire alliance, countering the American alliance’s war against Syria, is standing for, resolutely, at least until the present.
Western polling of Syrians shows that the vast majority of Syrians loathe the jihadists who are trying to overthrow Assad, and they blame the U.S. government as the chief backer for bringing those jihadists into their country. Other polls show that the only person whom the majority of Syrians want to be Syria’s President is Bashar al-Assad.
Unlike America’s battle for “hearts and minds” in Vietnam when the U.S. was a democracy and John Fitzgerald Kennedy was President, the United States government no longer even cares about winning “hearts and minds”; it wants only to win control of all other governments. And this also explains why, like Obama before him, Trump is demanding that there be no democracy in Syria — and also why Trump wholeheartedly supports Obama’s 2014 coup that violently overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine and turned that country also into a failed state, on Russia’s borders.
Russia has changed a lot since the time of JFK, but so too has the U.S.A. And those changes in the U.S. had started actually the moment when FDR died and was replaced by a Vice President whom he had not chosen: Harry Truman. Perhaps the biggest failure of Roosevelt — one of America’s two greatest Presidents — was that he failed to heed his wife’s advice for him to insist upon retaining the V.P. whom he already had and whom he strongly wanted to retain (and who also polled far better than did the Establishment’s favorite, Truman): Henry Wallace. The entire course of future history is different because of that error, and JFK’s assassination by LBJ was a part of that difference. America’s democracy has become deader than a doornail since Ronald Reagan entered the White House, which ended the FDR era.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.