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08 April 2017

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BillWade

"are now scrambling to rationalize their utter delusions". Actually, they aren't. About 65% of Trump supporters have now changed their minds, they weren't "deluded" votes, they now feel they are "lied to" voters, big difference in my opinion.

Last week the Trump opposition wanted the "latest and greatest Hitler" impeached, they really should go for it and prove their integrity, I'll applaud them.

English Outsider

"Those who placed their hopes (or any hopes, for that matter
) on a Trump presidency are now scrambling to rationalize their utter delusions."

Trump is the first politician I can remember who put Neocon Foreign Policy, outsourcing and immigration squarely up for debate. Before him such subjects were fringe. Now they're mainstream. His proposals, or suggestions, on such subjects were not "utter delusion". They were common sense proposals. Proposals, incidentally, that if we in the West don't heed we're in trouble. The Trump movement, and the nascent parallel (though unfortunately not that similar) movements in England and Continental Europe are the most significant political movements in recent history.

Now you assume he has reneged on his commitments. Maybe. I will confess I, though far removed from American politics, felt pretty sick over recent events so to that extent your schadenfreude may be justified; what happened looked to me like straight neocon foreign politics. Though the Colonel himself saw Trump as a chancer when he first surfaced, and has continued to be sceptical since, it is I think true that many others placed hopes in him as a politician who could carry through his policies.

I don't know whether that's the case now. As I asked in a previous thread, has the Trump movement lost its figurehead? Has Trump switched to a neocon foreign policy, or is his a mistake made by an erratic and poorly advised politician?

I hope it's the latter, though better informed opinion on this site seems not to bear that hope out. Whatever the outcome, whether Trump has reneged on his commitments or not, Trump the man has done his job. Forces have been released and articulated that, whether they lose their figurehead or not, can no longer be suppressed. No one these days, I think, could be fool enough to place all their hopes on one politician; and we'd be fools indeed if we abandoned our ideals merely because a politician did.

Freudenschade

Col.,

This is a president like no other. He is an incompetent manager and a cipher. Thus the inexplicable 180 turn on Syria policy. Expect more of the same incoherence on foreign policy.

Babak Makkinejad

Neither Polk, nor Lincoln, nor TDR have been tarred as such by any historian.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

May be he though that this attack on Syria was akin to a "softening up" in the way to a deal.

german visitor

Donald Trump starting with mocking about fake news now a victim of these 24/7 propaganda outlets ?
I just don't believe it.

So after changing from "We don't want to oust Assad anymore we want to destroy Isis"
to his remarks about changing his mind about him its obvious that his campaign slogan
Make america great again turned to Make america plähd again.
(plähd is a german exprssion for very dumb)

That's all i can say here from Germany watching his contribution to this staged Idlib Gas
incident and his pathetic mourning about the beautiful children.

Dante Alighieri

Sir, you are of course correct, you did not “promote” Trump, and I wish to apologize for my tendentious wording. Nevertheless, I have detected in these quarters a whole lot of hope in the Trump presidency (hopes I BTW sympathize with, such as the hope he might defuse the potentially nuclear Russian confrontation) but now look completely misplaced. Personally I think there is no more time to waste pondering whether the Trump presideny is a good or a bad thing.

Greetings (and many thanks for your great blog) from Switzerland, where the Constitution is an everday plebiscite.

Ash TheLightningFan

Mr. Lang,

The Trump family's leading hasbara agent, Bill Mitchell, introduced Bobo's line of attack (really, defense)...this morning. I note the time difference between Mitchell's 5:00 AM marching orders & Bobo's 9:00 AM post.

IMO, Mitchell is meant to serve as an avatar for what can be considered the "establishment" wing of the Trump party. It seems to ostensibly serve the ambitions of Juan Kushner & his Evita Ivanka. It is corporatist in preference, liberal in social aims, neo-con in outlook, and only mildly tolerant of nationalism.

This morning, Mitchell comically blames Bashar Assad for flooding refugees into Europe. He declares him an "enemy" of the United States. Without a hint of irony, he repeatedly boasts of the "free world" alliance of Europe/Israel/US vs. his conception of the Axis: Russia/Iran/China.

By contrast, you see nothing but sadness & disappointment in more respectable figures like Nigel Farage & Marine Le Pen. It is also interesting browsing through Breitbart this morning. Pam Geller expresses somewhat contempt (she uses the word "confusion") for Trump's betrayal* (she uses words like "sudden turn"). They also highlight the dread of Syrian Christians after Trump's attack.

Willy B

Not only that, but impeachment on that basis would foreclose the option of a future Democratic president doing the same thing. Recall how the Dems refused to go after Cheney after they took control of the Congress in 2007. That allowed Obama to be as murderous as Cheney, even if his tactics, otherwise, were different.

J

Here is an interesting one:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-trained-syrias-al-qaeda-rebels-in-the-use-of-chemical-weapons/5583784

Priam's Crazy Daughter

I am and have always been quite ashamed of many of the people in the Boomer generation, my generation. But try to remember that one of the major "children" of the Boomer generation was Bomber Billy, a great friend of Obama. Obama was raised on the pablum that came out of many in my generation.

Many of us, however, never bought into that mindless "tune in, turn on, and drop out" message, or the "flower power" free sex and whatever ridiculousness they came up with.

Many of the young men were drafted of volunteering, while others whose parents had money were partying in college to avoid the draft.

On the other hand, many of us were working their way through college and studying hard to become the many solid people I knew and know now.

I haven't been able to turn on the news since Drumpf started talking about not doing what Obama did in not going through with his "red line" promise.

I was a Never Trump person. I've tried to give this man some respect as our legally elected POTUS. But, quite honestly, I haven't been made proud by most of the legally elected presidents of my adult years.

I don't hold out much hope either for the younger generation, the ones I taught before I retired. We turn out awesome singers, musicians, dancers and other sorts of entertainers, however. And most of them could easily fit in on the set of any "reality" television show.

My heart is heavy.

Pundita

If Robert Parry's source is correct my fear that Jared Kushner played in a role in Trump's decision to bomb the Syrian airbase was unjustified.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/07/trumps-wag-the-dog-moment/

In his latest report for Consortium News Parry wrote in part:

BEGIN QUOTES

The source said the Trump national security team split between the President’s close personal advisers, such as nationalist firebrand Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, on one side and old-line neocons who have regrouped under National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army general who was a protégé of neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus.

White House Infighting

In this telling, the earlier ouster of retired Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and this week’s removal of Bannon from the National Security Council were key steps in the reassertion of neocon influence inside the Trump presidency. The strange personalities and ideological extremism of Flynn and Bannon made their ousters easier, but they were obstacles that the neocons wanted removed.

Though Bannon and Kushner are often presented as rivals, the source said, they shared the belief that Trump should tell the truth about Syria, revealing the Obama administration’s CIA analysis that a fatal sarin gas attack in 2013 was a “false-flag” operation intended to sucker President Obama into fully joining the Syrian war on the side of the rebels — and the intelligence analysts’ similar beliefs about Tuesday’s incident.

END QUOTES

But from the (UK) Express today comes this report:

"Donald Trump carried out Syria missile strike ‘after being convinced by daughter Ivanka’ "

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/789399/Donald-Trump-Ivanka-Trump-Syria-Missile-Strike-Assad-US-Russia-Tomahawk

BEGIN REPORT

DONALD Trump’s decision to rain down 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base was sparked by his daughter Ivanka’s “heartbroken” response to Assad’s chemical attack, insiders have claimed.

Trump has long opposed military intervention in Syria – both as a private citizen when he criticised Obama’s intervention in the region, and as President.

But the Republican firebrand is believed to have made his dramatic U-turn after being convinced by his daughter Ivanka’s impassioned response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on Tuesday.

A source close to the first family said: “Increasingly, Ivanka is having more and more influence over her father.

“She often counsels her father and was very clear that action needed to be taken against Assad in some form.”

“Ivanka was infuriated over the lack of a direct response in the immediate aftermath of the Syrian attack.”

Responding the morning after Assad’s attack, The President’s eldest daughter tweeted: “Heartbroken and outraged by the images coming out of Syria following the atrocious chemical attack today.

Following her comments, the President’s stance on a military response began to shift, quickly claiming the attack was an “affront to humanity” and blasting Assad’s “heinous” actions.

And the following day, hours before launching a flurry of 2,900lb missiles into the country, the President had shifted from isolation to intervention.

He said: “I think what Assad did is terrible.

“I think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity and he’s there, and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen.”

After the missile strike, Ivanka wrote on Twitter: “The times we are living in call for difficult decisions. Proud of my father for refusing to accept these horrendous crimes against humanity.”

The insider added: “Ivanka has her own mind.

“While her dad is driven by his ego and political point-scoring, Ivanka could not be more opposite.

“She has genuine concerns for others and wants to do what is right.

“As she was feeding her kids on Wednesday morning, she thought enough was enough and tweeted her thoughts for everyone to see.

“The response was quite immediate and clearly helped changed her father’s views on the issue of Syria.”

END REPORT

To return to Parry's report:

BEGIN QUOTES

Trump immediately won plaudits from Official Washington, especially from neoconservatives who have been trying to wrestle control of his foreign policy away from his nationalist and personal advisers since the days after his surprise victory on Nov. 8.

There is also an internal dispute over the intelligence. On Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a “high degree of confidence” that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.

But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.

One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.

END QUOTES

There were enough rushes to judgement this past week, including my own fear about Kushner, so I'll have to put down the Express report to speculation and hearsay. And I will assume that even if Ivanka did have influence, Trump took professional opinions into account.

But I will note that my blood runs cold at the thought that if POTUS was in any way swayed by his daughter and her Twitter followers, then from Parry's sources he would have put their feelings and very uninformed condemnation of Assad above not only the advice of at least two close advisors (Bannon, Kushner) but also the analyses of several intelligence professionals who get paid to advise the POTUS/CINC.

Publius Tacitus

Impeachment will require significant will on the part of Republicans. Trump should be impeached. Hell, he should be tried by the International Tribunal in the Hague. But I don't think it will happen. What is certain is that Trump will be a one term President. Many of the Trump nation backed him specifically because he said he opposed foreign interventions. He took on Bush over Iraq and insisted that intervention in Syria was stupid. Well, so much for principle. He ultimately will be disgraced. The common people who would have fought for him will not be there in the future.

Lesly

Greg Grandin, The Nation:

With the sole exception of Chris Hayes, MSNBC turned into something like a Patriots Day Parade, with one guest after another crediting Trump for his decisiveness. Needless to say, CNN is worse. Josh Rogin of The Washington Post reminded his Twitter followers that Trump’s bombing brings him into the mainstream: “Former senior U.S. intelligence official: This is almost exactly the strike plan Obama readied in 2013.” Indeed, just the day before, Hillary Clinton had called on Trump to “take out” Assad’s air force. NYT columnist Nick Kristof said Trump “did the right thing.” A “proportional response,” Nancy Pelosi said.

https://www.thenation.com/article/six-thoughts-on-the-us-bombing-of-syria/

MSNBC is to the left what Fox News is to the right. #TheResistance is muzzled in the immediate future. Trump is a simple man with simple means and methods, but he does want to be liked. The media's effusive praise for his decisiveness just showed him how he can finally president. It's ironic that Democrats have been turning over every rock in search of a way to impeach Trump since he was sworn into office but it doesn't occur to them to impeach him on the grounds that he committed an illegal act of war. With morally compromised leadership like Pelosi to define impeachment standards the absence of sound and fury signifies the former hippie base has internalized endless war. It will get harder to tell one party identification from another as long as parties and voters want their team to win at any cost.

doug

As I said for a long time now, Trump will be assimilated or discarded. If we just look at how things stood just 5 days ago Trump was being increasingly attacked as a Russian puppet. IC leaks, innuendo, etc. Then the gas attack occurred. While Assad clearly had zero reason to do so, suicide by Trump not being in his genes, the media and establishment was so primed to be anti-Trump that the high improbability that Assad ordered this was ignored. The entire establishment media, Democrats, and many Republicans were absolutely shrill about "doing something." Hillary stated the USA should bomb all of Assad's air capability, establish and enforce safe zones, etc.

Had not Trump acted, he would be discarded. Not by the 25'th but by impeachment. Likely within months. The action he took is well below that advocated by McCain, Graham, Hillary, etc. but it quenched the Trump is a Russian puppet, agent of influence, etc. For now.

This whole thing repels me. The narcissistic Trump, who believes he can sell anybody anything with facts being irrelevant is being set up and played - he had no choice other than oblivion. This weakness was evident and being taken advantage of by a multitude inside and outside the USA. The threat of a short tenure and humiliation was not spurious. It was a real threat. Trump's actions were done to counter that threat. I doubt Trump gave any serious thought to whether the actions were Constitutional, or within the extant AUF. In fact I don't believe he cares about much other than his poll numbers.

OTOH, the media, and deep state appalls me as well.

My only hope is that McMaster and Mattis have some mitigating effect. Perhaps someday we will once again see the Constitution as a respected, foundational, document

turcopolier

All

Excellent piece from Conflicts Forum in UK. This was written by Alastair Crooke.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/08/trumps-59-tomahawk-tweet/

pl

J

Steve Pieczenik is saying that the reason Trump ordered the strike is that it's all about the deal, it was intended to impress the Chinese premier that he is serious about North Korea, and that it would impress China to apply pressure on North Korea.

Degringolade

Dante:

I voted for Trump, he was a shit all the way. But, to take a quote from a reasonably famous article comparing the US election in 2016 to a tragedy in the past:

"a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances."

Well buckaroo, five of the six chambers had rounds in them. The chances were never that good.

Laura

Degringolade, I thought the timing was definitely in Xi's best interests. He does not "work from the gut" and has the intelligence and discipline to see the "tells."

Trump was a fool to give him such opportunities.

Ghostship

When the Democrats discover that that is all there is and that Trump duped them, then they'll start demanding impeachment but they'll look like the idiots they are.

Sam Peralta

PA

Bravo!

Linda Lau

I am following with interest this thread and the many issues it raises. I think the overall problem is that we don't have a foreign policy and seem to have lost the concept of diplomacy altogether. I think this is a very dangerous and serious loss for the future of our country

Pundita

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/327882-mcmaster-shows-clout-in-trumps-first-crisis

[shrugging] add to the pile.

Matt

I'm not medically qualified in any way, I'm an engineer,

I've been looking at the 'Indicter Magazine' run by the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR)

they have been looking at White Helmet video's from a medical perspective,

is anyone medically qualified and able to judge the veracity of their findings?

http://theindicter.com/swedish-doctors-for-human-rights-white-helmets-video-macabre-manipulation-of-dead-children-and-staged-chemical-weapons-attack-to-justify-a-no-fly-zone-in-syria/

I found it a bit traumatic trying to read through it all, there are several articles but the jist is that 'victims' tend to be anonymous or displaced persons, often women and/or children, possibly from non IS approved social groups, i.e. christians etc. who have been taken as hostages, rendered insensible with opiate overdoses and then used as props in their video's and subjected to highly dubious medical 'treatments' to give the appearance of 'trying to save lives'

I can understand Trump being upset by watching dying babies but he might have actually been watching babies being killed for twisted propaganda purposes by their alleged 'rescuers'

Sam Peralta

Kushner's role is contradicted by the Telegraph story that Jack linked to earlier. It may be that Jared & Ivanka were on the same team as the Democrat neocons. And as the story notes it is a takeover of the Trump administration by Manhattan Democrats. I find that much more plausible, considering the cheering of Trump by Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, Fareed Zakaria, and the entire cast at MSNBC & CNN.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/08/donald-trump-considering-sacking-steve-bannon-reince-priebus/


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