I hate even entertaining these thoughts.
The chilling idea that there are such inhuman thugs as leaders of nations who could cause such questions to be raised is the stuff nightmares are made of. However, the context of this week’s Sarin gas murders of 80 Syrians by Syrian & Russian leadership, and the “proportional” response by Donald Trump–an Assad cheerleader as recently as last week–makes the question necessary to ask: Were the poison gas killings of innocent Syrians orchestrated by Putin and Assad , and the carefully choreographed response by Trump carried out to benefit Trump and Putin?
Here are a few things to consider:
- Trump’s virulent oppostion to US intervention in Syria in 2013 when 1400 hundred humans–and many more “children of God suffered such horrors,” were slaughtered by Assad’s use of Sarin gas. Why did those deaths not matter four years ago, and now, these far fewer deaths do?
- Trump’s hollow piety that “No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” has a very short shelf life, corresponding to his tanking poll numbers. That standard didn’t apply as recently as last week, when he supported accepting Assad in power, with help from his pal Putin. Putin’s broken promise to rid Syria of its stockpile of poison gas–made to embarrass President Obama and the United States four years ago, and to secure a foothold in the Middle East for Russia–has never mattered to Trump. Not even now, since he is still silent on it.
- Trump’s carefully scripted line of “No child of God should suffer such horror,” didn’t apply to thousands of Syrian refugee childen, and their parents, he campaigned to keep out of America, despite their fleeing from terrorist attacks from ISIS, the Russians and their own government. He never expressed emotion when a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach, or when a bomb-shocked Syrian boy’s photograph became a worldwide symbol of such horrors.
- Assad’s latest poison gas attack on his own people was targeted and constrained, compared to the one he carried out 4 years ago. This limited atrocity raised more questions: Did Putin know about it ahead of time? Did he collaborate with Assad in conducting the limited Sarin gas attack as a way of giving Trump the opportunity to make a limited response and thus appear “tough” vs. Russia. Did Putin see it as a way to further his foothold in Syria and the Middle East?
- With the FBI and US Senate investigations closing in on Trump’s team and possible collaboration with the Russians during the 2016 elections, did Putin (with assistance from Assad, his client) stage these 80 murders, to give Trump the opportunity to: 1. look tough; 2. “stand up” to Russia; 3. Proclaim the moral high ground during a cynically named “Leadership Week”, and, 4. Prop up Trump’s sinking poll numbers?
- Putin & Russia clearly gain from this as well. With the US “proportional” attack, Putin can now pressure Assad that Syria needs Russia’s presence even more, to neutralize the involvement of the US. Russia’s largest airbase outside of mainland Russia is located in Syria.
- Trump’s empty “No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” has never applied to the other 500,000 Syrians slaughtered with conventional weapons during Assad’s reign of terror, especially since Russia’s physical and political presence in Syria began 4 years ago. Trump’s only interest in Syrian children up to this week was to keep them out of the United States as refugees, regardless of how horrible the terror at home. Now, he sees that crusading on their corpses can bring him political gain.
- Measure the responses of Russia and Syria over the coming days to ascertain whether this action was a pre-choreographed piece to help BOTH Trump and Russia. Expect rhetorical condemnation from Putin and Assad, but little else. They will tacitly “accept,” the US’ “proportional” response–as if 80 humans exterminated like cockroaches by poison gas can ever be equated with missile strikes at an empty air force base. Proportional?
- Everyone gains here, except the dead. Trump looks tougher with Russia, and changes the subject from the Trump/Russia investigations for a while; Putin gains further leverage inside of Syria, and extends his military presence in the Midldle East; and, Assad, has his hands slapped for slaughtering his own people, yet again.
- Trump’s defenders are already mouthing the disgusting minimization of the death of “God’s Children,” by pointing to the limited missile attacks on an empty air force base (that both Russia & Syria were pre-warned to empty) as “evidence” that Trump cannot possibly be in bed with Putin.
For thugs like Putin, Assad and Trump, children suffering such horrors are merely the cost of doing business and clinging to power.