“Make America Great Again”
The United States, despite electing Donald Trump, a man who formerly said that “We [America] should stay the hell out of Syria”, that the rebels are “just as bad as the current regime”, and that America would receive “zero” for investing billions into the opposition to Assad, according to a 2013 tweet, have now doubled down on a policy to bring an end to the current Syrian government. According to Rex Tillerson at the ongoing G7 summit “the reign of the Assad family coming to an end.” Many had hoped that despite Donald Trump’s shortcomings on domestic issues, demonstrating a complete lack of understanding for many of the core issues important to most Americans, and even losing a majority of the popular vote, he would still launch a new paradigm in American foreign policy– one less concerned in “policing the world” and more concerned with putting America first. So the motto goes… Make America Great Again.
Even when Barack Obama had begun negotiations with the Russians to reach a political settlement in Syria, one that became the last viable attempt at amicable relations between the United States and Russia before things began to falter, the United States bombed Deir Ezzor and killed scores of Syrian soldiers and effectively ended peace talks. Many speculated even then that the airstrike was carried out intentionally to end the possibility of peace and artificially prolong the Syrian crisis, and that this was not necessarily the doing of Obama, but could have been ordered from within the “deep state”, many believing that a below-the-surface military industrial complex ultimately held the veto power over whether there could be peace in Syria or not. Obama referenced what he called the “Washington playbook” of foreign policy, something of a typical response to situations that is contrived not from the mind of the President, but from so-called experts and insiders. So then what has caused his sudden change of heart on the issue of Syria? During his campaign, Donald Trump was repeatedly criticized for being sympathetic to Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad who are seen as tyrannical psychopaths by Republicans and Democrats alike.
A major piece of evidence for the liberal conspiracy theory of possible Russian influence into the 2016 Presidential election is the very fact that Trump promised to not pursue a regime change policy in Syria, much to the dismay of the political establishment, foreign policy aficionados, think tank shills, and a largely complacent American media. It may be the case that Donald Trump wanted to flex his muscles to once and for all destroy the headlines that he is a Russian puppet, or a possible Kremlin agent. But this narrative seems to focus too much on the personality of Donald Trump and not enough on the institution of the American Presidency as a whole.
Given the composition of Donald Trump’s cabinet, whether he is aware of it or not (and there is much reason to doubt his understanding of government), he has invited into his closest circle, and into the top echelons of government, a large sector of the military-industrial complex and their companions. His closest advisers and cabinet officials comprise the most wealthy administration in American history; people who stand to benefit greatly from the fruits of war and conquest. Trump’s budget has been entirely committed to domestic austerity and an expansion of military funds, much of which is given to the private sector through military contracts to companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and others. No doubt Trump’s playbook will be filled with plays to benefit the very wealthiest Americans in foreign affairs, even if that means undermining national security, or putting soldiers in harm’s way. But again, this is not entirely unique as his predecessor Obama took Henry Kissinger to be one his greatest mentors in foreign policy; Obama expanded the role of the American military globally despite winning a Nobel Peace Prize.
The media had virtually no criticism for Obama’s military pursuits, and as much as they have spent millions of dollars attacking Donald Trump, as much as the Democratic Party has organized a “Resistance” to everything Trump has done, they have come out in approval for Trump’s recent tomahawk missile barrage, including his November opponent, Hillary Clinton, who also called on the bombing of Syrian airfields. As she spent hundreds of millions attacking Trump in television ads all over America, she finds herself agreeing on the issue of foreign aggression. What is to be inferred from this?
What we can see quite clearly is that there is growing partisan unity on the issue of Syria, namely that there needs to be an escalation of intervention in Syria with America at the helm. In this colonialist mindset, Americans are being told that America has a moral responsibility to save Syria from itself. America believes that it has an a priori right to be the quintessential judge of political openings, human rights, and civil liberties despite quickly eroding on all of these accounts itself. If this is indeed the case, then a ground war in Syria is inevitable.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, claims to have evidence that the Americans plan to launch a false-flag chemical weapon attack on Damascus to frame Assad and pull America deeper into the Syrian conflict. While this may seem to be a dramatic conspiracy theory, it almost certainly could work considering how many times the Western public has been consistently fooled by alleged chemical weapon attacks emanating from the Syrian armed forces that were later revealed to have been carried out by opposition forces. This has proved to be an extremely successful means to prime the Western public for increasing interventionist policies and served as an emotional justification for increased involvement in Syria.
With Russia and Iran refusing to back down on their commitments in Syria, it is unclear at this point how the G7 conference will turn out, and how the Israeli meeting to discuss the Syrian conflict will conclude. If America achieves significant backing in these talks, then a multinational coalition with America at the helm could very well stand up to the current Axis of Resistance in Syria and engage in a war of untold destruction. Eventually, as was the case in Iraq and Vietnam, there is no way that such a war could maintain its popularity, especially given the mountains of evidence to prove that the conflict is less a civil war and more a hegemonic war. If America does not achieve significant backing from its allies, it could very well launch a unilateral, suicidal war that it can never win. There is no way that the American hegemony could survive a war in Syria, but even this fact cannot quell the suicidal tendencies of America’s post-war foreign policy.
As American troops find their way in Manbijj to fight ISIS alongside Kurdish forces, and no doubt emboldening their positions in Syria to prepare for what’s next, President Assad had this to say:
“What are they [foreign troops] going to do? To fight ISIS ? The Americans lost nearly every war. They lost in Iraq, they had to withdraw at the end. Even in Somalia, let alone Vietnam in the past and Afghanistan.”
According to Bashar al-Assad in late march, the US “didn’t succeed anywhere they sent troops, they only create a mess; they are very good in creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions.”