Trump has finally crossed over to the dark side. Just like they have been telling me all along. Shock, dismay, outrage and that awful stench of betrayal started beating an unholy tattoo inside my head when I heard the news. How could he do it, launch such a massive unprovoked attack on Syria's Shayrat airbase? Anyone with half a brain can tell the latest Syrian chemical weapons story is yet another flag. What about the motive? Cui bono? Where is the proof? Where is the investigation? The UN Security Council drama?
Is Trump really batshit crazy after all? Here is the guy, the president of the US no less, who just last week said getting rid of Assad is not the priority. Prominent members of his cabinet and his UN ambassador (who seems certifiably batshit crazy; where does America find an endless supply of such women?!) said the same. And now big, tough, blustering alfa male Trump is sobbing at pictures of dead Syrian babies? Asking the almighty for wisdom like Bush having his communion with god? Letting loose with his own shock and awe on a country that is already reeling from a five-year war? What about his campaign promises on non-intervention, making lovey-dovey with Russia? This Putin puppet just fired the first shot of WW III?
What a crying shame. I feel such a fool. I should have learnt from Obama's great betrayal. I should have listened to my friends and critics who have been saying all along Trump is the worst thing to have happened to humanity.
These thoughts rattled around inside my head all of yesterday. Before I fell off to sleep, the little monkey on my shoulder started chattering. Something about the story being too pat, off-kilter. I was too groggy to deal with it at 2 am in the morning. I clamped my hand over the monkey's mouth and drifted off. When I woke up, the monkey was jumping up and down at the foot of my bed, jabbering like nobody's business. After chucking the pillow at it, I got myself a mug of coffee, fired up my computer and went a-Googling. After an hour, I sat back and shook my head. Could it be so? Is Trump capable of such subterfuge? Not batshit crazy but crazy like a fox as some people have been claiming?
I honestly don't know. It's all speculation. But the 'evidence', such as it is, points at something more than the story that has everyone in a tizzy. Before I set it out here, a few qualifications are in order. No, I am not a Trump supporter or apologist. That's a terrible cross to bear these days. I am a Trump hoping against hope hoper, praying he meant it when he said he won't get the US into unnecessary wars, especially a nuclear war with Russia. I confess that hope hangs on a slender thread. Heck, I am not even an American. I have no skin in the game, as some folks have been telling me off politely. Well, no skin in the game doesn't mean no head on the block. I have this awful crick in my neck scanning skyward for months, wondering when I may get turned into air pollution for poking my nose where it doesn't belong.
Anyhow, here's my second take on the Syria missile attack:
- The US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles. Only 23 of them landed on the Syrian airbase, an awful hit rate of just 40% for a supposedly super-sophisticated tried and tested guided weapon that has been around since the 1970s.
- Photographs of the damage inflicted by these missiles are underwhelming. Each missile weighs 1,300-1,600 kg and carries a 450 kg explosives payload. Yet, the 23 that struck the airbase destroyed a handful of stationary aircraft, some hangars and structures, and a canteen! They didn't put the runways out of operation, which should have been their main objective. In fact, Syrian and Russian planes are supposedly back in operation already from the 'destroyed' airbase.
- Tomahawks were the wrong choice to put an airbase out of commission. That needs bunker bursting ordnance like the JDAM which can turn runways into blobjelly. Those monster bombs can't be fired from ships, they have to be dropped by planes flying overhead. Obviously, the US didn't want to chance sending its warplanes against Russian S-300 and S-400 missile shields.
- The US war planners are not stupid. They knew this cruise missile strike was for effect. For all we know, they might have even been tamped down. Not exactly fizzles but perhaps with smaller than normal payloads intended to limit the blast radius. A ready reason has been stated already. They didn't want to hit the sarin gas stored at the air base. This has the twin advantage of reinforcing the sarin story and explaining away the low key damage.
- In spite of the surprise blitzkrieg claim, a two-hour warning was given to Russia (and to most everyone including Uncle Bob). The Russians would have immediately passed it on to the Syrians. There was plenty of time for all the airbase personnel to get out of the way before the missiles arrived. The handful of casualties -- six dead, about a dozen wounded -- were either faked or, fittingly, captured ISIS prisoners.
- Just think about that, 23 cruise missiles hitting the target with only six dead, unremarkable damage to a few non-operational planes, some peripheral hits to the infrastructure. The critical parts are still standing and the airbase is back in action within 24 hours. Bush's shock and awe team must be cringing.
- Now here's the thing. What happened to the remaining 36 missiles that didn't reach the target? That's a very large number of missiles to go AWOL. Even if they lacked pinpoint accuracy, one would imagine they landed somewhere in the vicinity of the airbase, say within a 2 km radius. Even that's a stretch considering the Tomahawk is touted as a precision weapon. So where did they all vanish? Fall into the sea, so many of them? Exploded in mid air? The most plausible explanations are: (a) they were never fired, (b) they were dummies that dived into the sea without an explosion and (c) they were taken out by the Russian S-300/S-400 systems.
Let's look at the political impact of this drama. Above all, it gets Trump off the hook, at least temporarily, with the neocon dogs of war. It silences Hillary and her warmongering 'liberals'. It lines up the Republican rebels behind Trump -- even Darth McCain is cheering. It gets the MSM do a 180 and start shouting hallelujahs. It reassures UK, Europe and other lapdogs the US still got cojones and not become suddenly gender-challenged. It gets Trump's popularity rating ticking upward for a change, or at least halts the plunge. It sends oil prices up, benefiting all oil producers, including Russia. It sends the stocks of military contractors like Boeing and Raytheon shooting up. What is there to complain about?
At $1.5 million apiece, the total cost of the Tomahawks fired comes to $88.5 million. Triple that to cover other mission costs, we are looking at a mealy $250 million, peanuts in these days of trillion dollar bailouts to crony banks. For this trifling price, Trump's teetering presidency is suddenly on firmer foot. Russia does its indignant act and makes some token gestures like suspending flight information sharing, thumping the table at the UN and issuing some grim warnings. The 'free world' heaves a sigh of relief its captain is back at the helm. A not too subtle message is passed on to China about North Korea. China, already clued in by Russia, goes through its own little protest dance and sits tight.
Possible? With Russian Maskirovka and the Deep State faction supporting Trump working together, anything is possible. So did Trump and Putin plan this? Was all the news about civil war within the White House a fake? We may never know. But if it turns out true, this could be the first ever fake false flag the US pulled.
We are all tired of getting played. But maybe, just maybe, it could be a good play for once.