How The Neocons Are Tempting Trump On Syria
Trump’s latest press conference on Syria was a public repudiation of everything which he previously said that he stood for, representing a shocking volte face which has surprised many observers, not least of which are those who had previously supported him because of those said policies that he promised towards the Arab Republic. It looks like a single false flag chemical weapons attack was all that it took to get Trump to surrender to the neoconservative foreign policy advocated by the previous administration’s “deep state” holdovers.
The Psy-Covert Ops Masterstroke
In a masterstroke of psyops meet covert ops, the CIA and other intelligence agencies which have hitherto been extremely hostile towards Trump appear to have rightly calculated that a recreation of Obama’s 2013 chemical weapons false flag attack would suffice for pressuring the President to recant his earlier stance towards Syria and return to the openly aggressive one advocated by his predecessor. The reason for this is straightforward, and it’s because Trump doesn’t want his Mideast legacy to be “just like Obama’s” in the sense of “backing down” in the face of what is falsely being presented by the Mainstream Media as a gruesome chemical weapons attack committed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Judging by Trump’s newfound “change of heart” towards Syria as articulated during his press conference alongside the Jordanian King, this twofold hybrid operation of pairing a psyop with a covert one has thus far been a success, as the President has now openly hinted that a conventional military strike on the SAA might be in the cards. Moreover, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley also left open the option of a unilateral attack if the Security Council failed to approve a Libya-like resolution which could create the ‘legal’ pretext for one anyhow.
In hindsight, the latest chemical weapons false flag drama in Syria looks to have been orchestrated in order to advance a series of predictable scenarios that the Pentagon and CIA have been working towards for months already. The author wrote about these more in detail for his 21st Century Wire analysis titled “Syria: Approaching the Finishing Line, Geopolitical ‘Jockeying for Position’ Intensifies”, in which it was put forth that the US is actively working to carve up Syria into a “federation” of quasi-independent identity-centric statelets, which now looks set to expand past its Kurdish core to include a Salafist one in Idlib or elsewhere through multilateral ‘coalition of the willing’ or UN ‘peacekeeper’ support.
Domestic And International Contexts
All of these fast-moving events are occurring in particular domestic and international contexts for the US, and for Trump personally. On the home front, it was just revealed almost immediately prior to the false flag attack that Susan Race – by her own admission – had “unmasked” members of Trump’s campaign and transition teams, strongly suggesting that despite her expected denials, the former National Security Advisor had broken the law to spy on Trump and probably did so at Obama’s bidding. On the same day as Trump’s shock policy announcement about Syria, it was also disclosed that his Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon had left the National Security Council (NSC), though the ideologue insists that this was only because his mission to “de-operationalize” Rice’s legacy had been completed.
The curious domestic timing of the false flag attack lends credence to the idea that it was designed to deflect attention away from the Rice-Obama wiretapping scandal, and there are grounds for speculating that Bannon’s dismissal from the NSC might have been part of the Clintonian Counter-Revolution which has been incessantly waged against Trump ever since his election. The latter has among its chief goals a Machiavellian divide-and-rule outcome in which external forces succeed in turning Trump and his close circle against one another just like what they ended up doing with Flynn recently.
If any of these two assertions are true – that the false flag was carried out to distract from the Rice-Obama scandal and/or was somehow timed to coincide with Bannon’s NSC dismissal – then it would signify that the “deep state” is manufacturing international crises in order to achieve domestic dividends.
There’s also the international context which needs to be considered, too, and it’s that reports had just begun to circulate right before the false flag attack that Trump had given Rep. Tulsi Gabbard a secret message to convey to President Assad during her January visit to the country. One day prior to the attack, Trump had also called President Putin to convey his sympathies over the suicide bombing in the St. Petersburg metro and, in the words of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “The presidents noted that terrorism is the evil against which it is necessary to fight together.” All things considered, there’s a chance that Trump was on the brink of defying the “deep state’s” plans for Syria and unprecedentedly cooperating with both Presidents Assad and Putin in fighting Daesh.
As it turned out, however, the false flag chemical weapons attack occurred almost immediately thereafter and put a sudden stop to any realistic possibility that such a scenario would unfold, or at least not in the near future. Whether he’s paying lip service to the neocons or is sincere in what he said, Trump has been backed into a corner by this hybrid psy-covert op and is now on the horns of a dilemma. He has to either swallow his pride and have his 2016 Syria false flag moment “ignominiously” compared to Obama’s 2013 one in also failing to militarily respond to a chemical weapons false flag attack (despite Trump interestingly speaking out against such a response previously), or fall for the trap of “protecting” his desired “anti-Obama” legacy and going forward with the neocons’ plans.
Deep State Designs
The “deep state” wants Trump to take an even more direct and conventional approach to internally partitioning (“federalizing”) Syria than he already is, which they believe is necessary in order to both “send a message to Russia” and safeguard their anticipated gains. This might ultimately see the large-scale and rapid insertion of US troops into the battlespace, perhaps alongside Turkish and Saudi-led “coalition” forces and eventually followed by UN ‘peacekeepers’. This isn’t baseless guesswork, either, since Sputnik reported earlier this week that the US was “developing a ground force to defeat Al Qaeda in northwest Syria”, an effort which they quoted a senior State Department official as saying had thus far been “very difficult”.
Now that the false flag chemical weapons attack has taken place, however, there’s a renewed impetus for assembling a multitude of American-aligned forces to commence this operation, one which might begin with the typical “no-fly zone” (which infers bombing the SAA’s anti-air units and installations) and quickly develop into a fulfillment of the “safe/security zones” blueprint that’s been spoken about for years already. Given that Erdogan just pledged that “there will be [operations] from now on (in Syria)” and that Ankara has “very good surprises for all terrorist groups, including…Daesh”, it’s indeed possible that Turkey might be planning to work hand-in-glove with the US on the prospective Idlib “no-fly zone” operation.
Although Turkish-US relations have been very frosty ever since the failed pro-US coup against Erdogan last summer, both sides might be betting that a joint operation in Idlib could be what’s needed to reset the relationship and compensate for the US’ scandalous support of the Syrian Kurds. The successful completion of this possible campaign could see Turkey becoming the ‘guardian’ of the new “moderate opposition rebel” alliance (Daesh 2.0) that the US is reportedly assembling around Idlib, which would consequently allow Turkey to guarantee the future existence of a Salafist “federalized” buffer statelet in northwestern Syria modelled off of the Kurdish one in the country’s northeast.
Rethinking Russia’s Syria Strategy
It’s difficult to predict how Russia would react to any of these newfound strategic and military challenges, though possible indications might be seen in its recently changed attitude towards Syria.
The author published a two-part series for the Islamabad-based Regional Rapport analytical outlet critically examining “What In The World Just Happened To Russia’s Syria Strategy?”, which was then expanded upon in two articles for 21st Century Wire about “SYRIA: Cradle of Civilization and Pivot for the Global Power Games” and “SYRIA: Digging Into The Details Of The Russian-Written ‘Draft Constitution’”.
The most important conclusion that was reached in pertinence to the present piece is that Russia may have resigned itself to accepting the internal partition of Syria (which it euphemistically refers to as “decentralization”) and is unlikely to resort to military means in reversing what its strategists might already believe to be a fait accompli.
Relatedly, it needs to be underscored that the Russian military mandate in Syria does not extend to protecting its ally’s borders or even intervening on behalf of the SAA, but is solely focused on fighting terrorism in the country. What this equates to in practice is that Moscow is under no military obligation whatsoever to defend Damascus, however much the author and many others in the Alt-Media Community may wish that it was.
The world has already seen how Russia repeatedly turns a blind eye to “Israel’s” occasional bombings of the SAA, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Islamic Republican Guard Corps; Turkey’s conventional military intervention in northern Syria through “Operation Euphrates Shield”; and the US’ conventional military intervention in northeastern Syria to help its Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” proxy. All of these events have been officially condemned by Damascus as illegal violations of the country’s sovereignty, though the basic fact that they even occurred proves that Russia is not the military protector of Syria like some in the Alt-Media inaccurately portray it as.
A New Strategy:
Moreover, it can even be argued that Russia’s passive (or in the case of Turkey, active) acceptance of each of these three military occurrences is part of its new “19th-Century Great Power Chessboard” strategy whereby it seeks to maximize its Great Power engagement with its peers in pursuit of what it believes to be the “greater good” of multipolarity through deal-making, though at the perceived (key word) expense of its small- and medium-sized partners such as Syria in this case.
For example, Russia and “Israel” are allies despite the outright fake news that has taken hold of social media in pretending that President Putin is some sort of “anti-Zionist crusader”, which the author meticulously debunked in a two-part article series for The Duran on this topic. Likewise, Russia’s relations with Turkey are predicated on the concept of the fledging Tripartite that it aims to construct together with Iran, which was comprehensively elaborated on in a series of articles listed under the author’s 2017 Mideast forecast. Finally, as was touched upon in the author’s previously cited Regional Rapport articles, Russia’s blind eye to the US’ activities in northeastern Syria could be understood as a unilateral ‘concession’ out of ‘goodwill’ which the Kremlin might have mistakenly expected would result in reciprocal measures elsewhere and further the wished-for goal of a New Détente.
Russia’s new strategy in Syria follows the Neorealist principles of International Relations theory which are premised on the goal of power aggrandizement and geostrategy (regardless of how perceptively “amoral” or “cynical” it might come off as in the pursuit of the multipolar “greater good”), though with a touch of stereotypical Liberal optimism as it relates to hoping that the US and Russia could possibly be partners under a Trump-Putin New Détente. With an understanding of the impetuses which drive Russian policy towards Syria, it’s possible to prognosticate its reaction to the aforementioned scenario that the US might be planning for the Mideast country.
Will A Russian Reaction Translate Into A Russian Response?
Reacting, But Not Responding:
Given all that was analyzed in the subsections above, there aren’t many reasons to be hopeful that Russia would militarily intervene to stop a joint US-Turkish conventional intervention in Idlib, though it’s likely that Moscow will issue very sharp and highly publicized rebukes in conveying its supreme disapproval of this possible operation. No matter how much people might fantasize that it were any different, the provable reality is that US and Turkish troops are already in the country (with Russia occasionally entering into direct battlefield cooperation with the latter), and Moscow has a history of ignoring Tel Aviv’s periodic airstrikes against the SAA.
No S-400 “Air Bubble” For The SAA:
The US is already operating over Syrian airspace and could therefore suddenly launch air-borne cruise missiles against the SAA without any advance notice as part of its “no-fly zone” plans. Russia has never shot down or even fired at any of the “Israeli” jets which hostilely entered Syrian airspace with the express objective of attacking the SAA and its allies, so it might very well avoid doing so for the American ones which could seek to do the same thing. Remember, Moscow’s military mandate only covers anti-terrorist operations, not defending Damascus’ forces, and Russia probably wouldn’t even want to have that enlarged responsibility if it was being offered by the Syrian side.
Foreign Tanks And Troops Won’t Be Bombed:
Accepting the unlikelihood of Russia shooting down an American cruise missile barrage against Syria and/or directly targeting the aircraft tasked with carrying out this operation, the next question comes down to whether or not it would attack the conventional American and Turkish ground troops which might stream into Idlib at the same time. The answer, as painful as it is to write, is a resounding no, since Russia already hasn’t resorted to these measures against the Turkish troops in northern Syria or the American ones in the northeast, so it probably won’t change its mind just because they’ve joined together and are now invading Idlib.
To sum it all up, Russia will assuredly react to any intensified American aggression against Syria, whether executed unilaterally or together with its Turkish and possible Saudi-led “coalition” allies, but it won’t militarily respond to these moves in any way that would risk setting off a larger Great Power conflict.
Russia’s expected rhetoric would represent a moral victory, especially if it emphasized that the US was behaving in contravention of international law just like it was in Iraq and Libya, but this would actually be a pyrrhic one because its words would be powerless to change any of the rapidly unfolding events on the ground.
They might align with the prevailing “politically correct” zeitgeist in the Alt-Media community which self-righteously preaches the primacy of international law and Russia’s relative “moral” standing, but the “realpolitik” motivations which are guiding Russia’s strategists – for better or for worse – contradict these slogans.
Trump has been backed into a dangerous corner as a result of the neocons’ successful psy-covert ops masterstroke, which saw the US-backed “moderate opposition rebels” pull off a chemical weapons false flag attack almost identical to the one which happened in 2013, all for the effect of pressuring the President into going along with the “deep state’s” designs for Syria or risk “repeating Obama’s legacy”. For an individual as influenced by the public’s (manipulated) perception of himself as Trump is, and personally dedicated to being the “anti-Obama”, there’s a high chance that he might go along with the neocon agenda in order to “save face” and “protect his legacy”.
This means that the US might escalate its conventional War on Syria to the point of finally delivering on its years-long talked-about plans in setting up “safe/security zones” through a corresponding “no-fly zone” around Idlib, which would inseparably entail direct attacks against the SAA’s anti-air units and installations. Such an unprecedented move would instantly be met with a Russian rhetorical reaction but would more than likely lack a military counter-response owing to the “19th-Century Great Power Chessboard” and related “realpolitik” motivations which are guiding Moscow’s strategists at this moment.
Just as they passively allow (and in the case of “Operation Euphrates Shield”, sometimes actively work with) “Israel”, Turkey, and the US’ conventional military operations in Syria (in spite of occasional polemics against them), so too will Russia expectedly permit any unilateral or multilateral US-led mission around Idlib. This doesn’t mean that Russia is “selling out Syria” or “betraying its ally”, but only that Moscow is following its original anti-terrorist military mandate to a T in order to avoid being drawn into a larger Great Power conflict which it has no inclination to participate in.
On the other hand, there’s always the distant though still plausible possibility that Trump’s paying lip service to the neocons in order to buy some time for his speculated anti-terrorist cooperation with President’s Assad and Putin to eventually play out, which in that case would indicate that his words should only be taken at face value for the purpose of placating his rebellious “deep state” domestic audience. It would be ideal if this is the scenario that’s really happening right now, but at this point it seems to be a lot more wishful thinking than an objective reflection of reality.
In closing, the author would be delighted if forthcoming events proved him wrong and Trump was revealed to have been strong enough to bravely stay the course and stick to his previous strategy for Syria (however imperfect it originally was), though his decisive change of rhetoric in openly admitting that he “changed his mind” on the country and that Assad has “crossed many, many lines” point to the President being on the cusp of contemplating a major game-changing escalation in the War on Syria.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.