The Donald seems to be taking a Deep Breath on his Syria bombfest, but the Deep State has him by the orange hairs. So we doubt the delay will last much longer.
That's because our Art of the Deal genius is getting bamboozled yet again. They are telling him that wiping out up to a dozen Syrian airfields, military installations and a dog-eared factory or two that can be identified as chemical weapons sites will amount to some pretty serious Shock & Awe where it counts: That is, the mere witnessing of it will cause the Fat Boy of Pyongyang to brown his ample trousers, thereby getting his "mind right" for the upcoming summit.
That's exactly the kind of macho-bargainer stuff that the Donald thrives on, and is further proof that the Deep State has figured out exactly how to press his buttons.
To be sure, Trump is no innocent victim. He voluntarily made himself hostage to the War Party by surrounding himself with failed generals and the most rabid war-mongers to be found in the Imperial City----John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel.
Indeed, you have to wonder. How could anyone with even a half-baked notion of America First think that a hard core interventionist like John Bolton should be brought up right close and personal to the POTUS ear lobes, Walrus mustache and all?
But whatever the Donald was thinking when he made such horrendous choices for his top national security posts, these denizens of the War Party have wasted no time shoving their own agenda right down his throat.
And at the top of that agenda is systematic, relentless escalation of provocations against Russia and Iran. That's because confrontation with these demonized states is the best way to keep Imperial Washington (and therefore the entire country) on a war-footing and the national security gravy train overflowing with fiscal largesse.
As we indicated in Part 1, the impending attack on Syria is actually a shot across the bow aimed at Tehran and Moscow. The cover story is simply a humanitarian sounding ruse. Ostensibly, Bashar Assad is being administered a good hard spanking via a barrage of cruise missile birch switches.
That begs the question, of course, of how homeland security is actually enhanced by selectively spanking some malefactors and not others.
In this case, even the surely bogus claim that 40 civilians were gassed in Douma hardly compares to the 10,000 civilians that have been slaughtered by American bombs delivered by the Saudi air force in Yemen; or the thousands of anti-government prisoners that have been summarily executed by General al-Sisi in Egypt under his stewardship of Washington's $1.2 billion annual stipend; or the thousands of civilians that Israel has killed during its periodic "lawn-mowing" exercises on the Gaza Strip.
Obviously, Washington shouldn't even be in the spanking business because no one appointed America as the world's policeman or moral proctor. But even if that were the true purpose (it's not) of the impending act of naked aggression against the sovereign government of Syria, you would think there at least ought to be a semblance of proof that the alleged chemical attack actually occurred.
Unlike in past Syrian incidents, in fact, the way is wide open for an honest determination of what actually happened. That's because the last rebel hold-outs in Eastern Ghouta are now all dead or have vacated the area on busses arranged by the Syrian government as part of the relocation deal that sent them to rebel-held Idlib province in the northwest.
Consequently, Douma is now safe for western journalists, government officials and international investigators from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare (OPCW) to visit the alleged sites of the attack and find the evidence.
Of course, Syrian and Russian officials who have visited the area say there is no evidence of victims, bodies, chlorine residue or that the sole hospital in the community was ever over-run with victims of toxic chemical agents. That alone is remarkable given initial reports that there were upwards of a thousand victims of the purported attack.
But now the Russian government has gone a striking step further. They are claiming they have evidence that the whole thing was staged. That is, that an incident which has the world on the brink of war was just another false flag attack of the kind that the barbaric jihadists attacking the Syrian government have serially orchestrated since the original Ghouta event and Obama's infamous "red line" of August 2013.
A Russian government spokesman said the ministry had found those who took part in filming the rent-a-mob chemical attack in Syria’s Douma and these people told how the video had been shot.
"Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom’s direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta," he said
In his words, the so-called White Helmets were pressed by London in a period from April 3 to 6 to hurry up with the implementation of the planned provocation. "The White Helmets were told that in a period from April 3 to 6 Jaysh al-Islam militants would conduct a series of massive artillery bombings of Damascus. It would provoke a retaliation operation by government forces and the White Helmets were to use it to stage a provocation with an alleged use of chemical weapons," he said.According to Konashenkov, officers of the Russian defense ministry spoke with two Syrian who had taken part in filming the framed-up attack. Both have medical diplomas and work with the emergency department of Douma’s hospital. The two men do not conceal their names. They told Russian officers that all those who had been taken to hospital during the filming had no symptoms of exposure to toxic agents.
"When the patients were receiving first aid unidentified people burst into the hospital, some were holding video cameras," the spokesman cited them as saying. "These people started shouting, fanning hysteria. They carried hose and douched all present with water crying out that all of them had been exposed to poisonous agents."
"The patients and their relatives yielded to panic and began to pour water on each other. After this scene was caught on video, these unidentified people fled," he added.
This is what is called evidence in the civilized world, he stressed, adding that Russia had repeatedly warned about provocations with the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians plotted by militants in Eastern Ghouta.
We don't know whether the Russian government is lying or not, but since the whole world has been invited to come and make its own determination, we doubt it. After all, they have produced local citizens from the Douma hospital and elsewhere in the community who say they witnessed the fabrication. If these witnesses and the Russians are lying, that will quickly become evident.
To the contrary, you can't bury the evidence---including the bodies--- of a chlorine attack that allegedly caused hundreds of deaths and injuries. If it happened, the OPCW investigators and journalists will find it; and if they don't, it didn't.
Meanwhile, why in the world are they gathered in the Situations Room arguing about targets and how to minimize risks of a direct hit on Russian military personal, when the Donald could actually pick up the red phone and tell Putin that he'll have an investigation team on the ground at Douma tomorrow AM?
We have not doubt that Cool Hand Vlad would say "be my guest". And we also have no doubt that Pat Buchanan hit the nail on the head in his recent missive when he noted:
We cannot forever fight other peoples’ wars without ending up on the same ash heap of history as the other world powers before us.
And why not talk directly to our adversaries there?
If Trump can talk to Kim Jong-un, who used an anti-aircraft gun to execute his uncle and had his half-brother murdered in a Malaysian airport with a chemical weapon, why cannot we talk to Assad?
In 1974, Richard Nixon flew to Damascus to establish ties to Assad’s father, the future “Butcher of Hama.” George H.W. Bush enlisted Hafez al-Assad and 4,000 Syrian troops in his Gulf War to liberate Kuwait.
All over this city, and across the Middle East, there are people who wish to conscript U.S. wealth and power to advance their goals and achieve their visions. Having let them succeed so often has diminished us as a superpower from what we were at the end of the Cold War.
This should stop, and the nation knows it.
Among the reasons Democrats nominated Barack Obama and America elected him was that his opponents, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, supported the Iraq war Obama opposed.
Among the reasons the Republican Party nominated Trump and the nation elected him was that he promised to take us out and keep us out of wars like the one in Syria.
Is it not ironic that today our War Party, which, almost to a man, loathed Trump and rejected his candidacy, is goading and cheering him on, deeper and deeper into the Syrian quagmire?
And that gets us to the meat of the matter. Donald Trump has now been taken hostage by the machinery of the Deep State and has become the tool of its destructive agenda.
For instance, John Bolton is an advocate of America Uber Alles---the very antithesis of America First. In fact, he is an emissary for what might be termed the "Bibi First" wing of the War Party.
Netanyahu's entire misbegotten reign as head of the Israeli government has been based on demonizing Iran, thereby gluing together a motley coalition of rightwing religious and settler parties in the parliament.
In the present circumstances, the over-riding agenda of the "Bibi First" wing is to ashcan the Iranian Nuke deal when it comes up for certification on May 12.
That's because an Iran that rejoins the community of nations, reengages in trade and commerce with the rest of the world and adheres to the nuke deal, which it has every intention of doing if Washington sticks to its end of the bargain, is an Iran that puts the lie to the entire demonization campaign that has been conducted by the neocons in Washington and Israel for the past 25 years.
Needless to say, that is a scenario that the War Party cannot abide. It would put Bibi Netanyahu out of business and severely erode the case for the hundreds of billions that are being wasted on Washington's conventional military capacities.
After all, if Washington didn't have the Persian Gulf to police or a dog in the Sunni-Shiite religious and political struggles, it wouldn't be wasting $30 billion per pop on new aircraft carriers and their battle-group armadas.
So the Deep State has moved heaven and earth to bring the Donald into its thrall and to bury every vestige of his incipient pivot toward an honest and affordable national security policy based on America First.
If the Tomahawk cruise missiles fly toward Syria over the weekend, we will know that the capture has been complete; and that the Oval Office is now occupied by a hostage of the very Deep State that he campaigned against, and which, in any event, will soon sacrifice him to the vengeful furies of the Mueller witchunt.