'There is nothing like the possibility of war to excite some Americans, especially the so-called "liberals".'
Rajeev Srinivasan on why there is the strong possibility that the US airstrike on Syria is an elaborate charade and how the mainstream might have just played into Trump's showman hands.
The headlines are revealing:
'Trump's foreign policy looks more normal than promised' (The Economist)
'America should be planning for a de facto partition' (in Syria) (The Economist)
'Trump one step from war' (BBC).
There is nothing like the smell of napalm in the morning, as Robert Duvall said bracingly in Apocalypse Now. There is nothing like the possibility of war to excite some Americans, especially the so-called 'liberals'.
Suddenly, there is a spring in the steps of the #DeepState. Why, even Hillary Clinton, who had virtually isolated herself after her humiliating loss, is out there giving interviews.
Almost all the screaming headlines about United States President Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Russians have disappeared.
There are now stories about US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson being forced to wait for hours to meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: there's allegedly a new frostiness in relations.
All this must be music to the ears of the war-mongering #DeepState and its cheerleaders in the media.
Suddenly, Trump is rehabilitated in the eyes of The New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, and so on.
He is no longer the devil incarnate, and they believe this is a man they can work with.
The MSM (mainstream media) are practically wetting themselves with excitement, and their tail wagging is positively obscene.
Trump is almost -- not quite, but almost -- their favorite now. All is forgiven, if you just go to war, President.
And that whole kerfuffle over Steve Bannon being demoted from the national security council and the military guys being rehabilitated was fun.
Bannon's elevation in the first place to the council was an aberration, and this is merely a correction. And the speculations about palace intrigue and turf battles between Bannon and Jared Kushner: Bhedam, dissent in the ranks.
The MSM can't believe its luck: Generals H R McMaster (national security adviser) and James Mattis (defence secretary) have apparently softened up the mercurial Trump and made him a 'normal' President.
Almost everything is going the Leftie way, finally. Trump is tamed. Putin is the outcast.
All's pretty much well with the world again, after the regrettable turmoil of 2016.
Amazing, isn't it, how much impact just 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired at a Syrian air base can have? Outstanding return on investment.
Therefore, there is the strong possibility that this whole thing is an elaborate charade.
The fact is that there is considerable reason to doubt the whole story about the sarin gas being dropped from the air by the Syrians.
I am reminded of the entire 'weapons of mass destruction' hoax that eased the US into the Iraq war. That was, as we now know, fabricated. This one might also be.
For one thing, consider motive.
Things have been going pretty well for President Bashar al-Assad. With Russian support, he is beginning to crush the rebel forces.
This is the last moment -- the very last moment -- in which he would be inviting global condemnation and wrath by using chemical weapons.
There is a possibility that the whole episode is an elaborate fraud.
Here's a tweet suggesting that, and Scott Adams and Nicholas Taleb are not people to be trifled with (and oh, by the way, nice new word, kayfabe, meaning theatrical, choreographed moves as in World Wrestling Federation matches):
The Syrians claim they knew about the impending attack and, therefore, they moved their planes out of harm's way. No harm done, then.
Here's another tweet quoting an apparent chemical warfare expert from MIT:
Others have raised doubts about how all the victims of the alleged sarin attacks shown by the media are apparently children and young men. What happened to the old men and the women? They somehow escaped the gas?
I am not saying any of this is conclusive, but to me it looks a lot like marketing.
At low cost to himself, Trump has suddenly managed to show himself as decisive, a leader, and Commander-in-Chief.
He's got the Russia monkey off his back, and the chatterati are now viewing him with new admiration -- maybe, just maybe, he's the warmonger they were expecting President Hillary Clinton would be.
There is no war that, say, The Economist, has not supported with blood-curdling enthusiasm.
And, oh, it must have been sweet to humiliate the visiting Chinese strongman Xi Jinping by giving him virtually no warning that the missile strike was going to happen.
The Guardian bemoaned it: 'Dinner time strike leaves China having to reassess Trump.'
That and a guided missile destroyer fitted with Tomahawks deployed 300 miles off the North Korean coast are a non-too-subtle warning to Xi. The 'face'-conscious Chinese undoubtedly got the message.
Some of us may remember how then foreign minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was embarrassed by the Chinese who invaded Vietnam during his visit. Schadenfreude, anyone?
The Chinese are past masters at the art of diplomatic theater, as was seen also in their protégé Musharraf's antics: wasn't it amazing, but very convenient, that all the IED explosions happened moments after his motorcade had just passed by?
In the middle of all this righteous concern about chemical weapons in Syria, there was routine news of Saudis bombing civilian areas in Yemen. Of course, that did not happen to catch the attention of the media.
Business as usual.
If Trump has in fact managed to create this illusion, kudos to him.
He's buried the ghost of Barack 'to bomb or not to bomb' Obama who, despite his many 'red-lines', dithered.
Trump has diverted attention away from the Russia allegations, and he's shown up the Leftie media for what it is: Desperate war-mongers looking for crumbs. They have been dying to figure out a way to suck up to Trump, considering he doesn't look like he's about to be impeached.
And the Syrians moved their planes, so no harm done.
They have called Trump a showman. He may have just proved them right. Nice work.