It is one of my personal quirks that I feel fortified if I have more than one reason for doing something adventurous and risky. Yesterday I set out four possible motives for Trump’s missile attack on Syria.
It is with this in mind that I am inclined to believe that Trump’s missile decision was based on more than one consideration. I feel pretty certain that Syria’s Assad, and his alleged use of chemical warfare, was certainly not Trump’s prime reason. The missile attack, in my view, was primarily to send a message to China, North Korea, Russia and Iran, that a new sheriff was in town
Trump may have been influenced by distaste for the cruelty of Assad and the knowledge that in the past he has used gas against his own people. This, together with Assad’s incapacity to strike back, may have made punishing Syria an easy target with which to make a point.
Michael Savage may be right that Assad was not responsible for the latest chemical attack. ISIS or Israel may have been the perpetrator, the latter perhaps with collusion and encouragement from people within the US Intelligence and Military complex. US preparedness for a quick strike suggests there was a plot and a proxy. In this scenario, Trump, in his quest for an excuse to show his strength, may have been set up as to the choice of a weak target.
When dealing with a gang of confronting bullies, I was always advised by a tough friend, to pick on the leader or the loudmouth and deliver an unexpected and ruthless attack. Picking on the weakest bully in the gang for attack, so my friend advised, was a dangerous tactic for obvious reasons.
If Trump used Syria to make a point to the gang of world bullies, he may have achieved little, merely showing America’s inability to go for the big boys. Of course, the big boys may not have much guts, and have been suitably impressed. We shall see as events pan out, but I doubt that Putin or his Chinese counterpart have been much influenced.
I still think Trump was wrong for a number of reasons to attack Syria as a display of American strength and his resolution. Assad is not a threat to America. He is a bulwark against Islamic Imperialism. He has protected Christians (our people). America should let other big powers play in the Syrian civil war and we stay out of it. Why risk causing offence to Putin? Picking on the weakest bully in the gang suggests a lack of confidence and may be counter-productive.
There are three other good reasons why it was wrong. It was a deviation from Trump’s campaign promises to his supporters, and suggests to them that he cannot be trusted once in office. He would be better advised to concentrate on resolving his domestic problems and cleaning out the enemy at home before turning to foreign affairs. Many will see it as him being manipulated by certain advisers who have their own agenda or are part of the Washington swamp.
Trump’s Syrian decision represents a departure from his campaign promises, and when this is put together with his promotion into the inner circle of Kushner and family, and the loss of influence of Bannon and other Nationalists, he risks losing the support of those who voted for him. They sense betrayal.
Such suspicions are reinforced when his former enemies appear to be delighted.