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Damage Control or No Control? Trump Tees up Another Syria Sarin Hoax

Either Donald Trump has a pathological hatred for Iran or he has zero control over his National Security Team, his military chain of command and his State Department

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Donald Trump’s Presidency is spiraling out of control.

Last night’s surprise announcement by the White House is indicative of one of two frightening possibilities. 

<figcaption>More Tomahawks?</figcaption>
More Tomahawks?

Either Donald Trump is completely off the rails in his hatred of Iran or he has zero control over his National Security Team, his military chain of command and his State Department.

It could easily be both.

The key is U.N. Ambassador and Waffle House waitress-in-waiting Nikki Haley pounding her shoe on the table this morning. She is under strict orders from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to not speak unless he approves it.

So, either Haley ran her mouth in defiance of her boss or her boss truly believes this latest round of ‘intelligence’ about Assad’s army preparing another batch of Sarin gas to use on his own people.

Something no one, anywhere, has ever proven it has done.

The big problem is that the State Department itself was blind-sided by this statement by the White House. This is pre-loading the narrative for the next false flag that will be used as a casus belli to escalate a war in Syria that many U.S. military commanders are not happy about.

As the narrative that the U.S. and Israel are solely interested in fighting ISIS in Syria continues to crumble, the rhetoric coming from both parties has to escalate lest it collapse completely. When lying on the world stage the mantra is ‘go big or go home.’

And Trump is incapable of ‘going home.’

These statements come less than 24 hours after Seymour Hersh publishes a damning article explaining Trump’s moronic decisions in the wake of the last chemical weapons attack. So, damage control cannot be ruled out.

Trump could be deflecting blame for his rash and, frankly, illegal action on April 6th. And this is the kind of cognitive-dissonance-inducing action that fits his supposed deal-making style. And the irony here is that he needs the same U.S. media that he despises to build this argument.

On the other hand, he may be so distracted by getting minor wins in the Supreme Court, CNN’s admission that the entire RussiaGate scenario is nonsense (that’s putting it mildly) and the imminent collapse of Illinois’ government to care too much about clear provocations by people within his White House and State Department.

I refuse to ascribe any kind of 4-D chess thinking to a man who very obviously acts without much forethought, which Sy Hersh confirmed for us, if nothing else.

The most generous read of the situation I can muster is that Trump is being cornered on all sides by his domestic enemies. And this is just another way to box him in advance of the upcoming G-20 meeting where he will finally meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump and Putin’s initial meeting will set the tone and, more importantly, the agenda for any full diplomatic talks the two hold later in the year.

So, it is imperative that Trump’s opposition, i.e. the U.S. Deep State, push things as far as possible to remove avenues of discussion from his control. They are racing against the clock as the American people turn farther away from the obvious distraction of RussiaGate.

On the other hand, this could be the prelude to a widening of the conflict to force an unacceptable choice on Putin with respect to Russia’s alliance with Iran. This read is especially salient if Trump’s stated position on Iran is what is truly in his heart – that Iran, and not the Saudis, the U.S., etc. – are the producers of all the bad things in the world.

I can’t believe Trump is that blind either. But, if he is, and he has surrounded himself with many people with blind-spots towards Iran, then this escalation is only just starting.

That said, if Trump and his advisers, namely Henry Kissinger, think this is a winning strategy with Putin then they are sadly mistaken. Putin is collecting a laundry list the size of the original Obamacare Bill detailing every questionable act of the U.S. in Syria to use against Trump both in their meetings and, eventually, in the settlement talks at the end of the Syrian War.

Looking at the U.S.’s position in the region, this may be the only way to maximize the cards they hold. The GCC is crumbling under the pressure from Qatar’s resistance to Saudi Arabia’s aggression. Iran is taking advantage of the situation by pledging its support.

And Putin’s short course in the Dale Carnegie School of Diplomacy isn’t helping the U.S. at all. Russia has steadily built an impressive list of allies, friends and positive relationships across the region, while the U.S. continues to lash out like an impotent bully, alienating friends and foes alike.

Trump is in an impossible position, but he’s not helping himself either.

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