Calling A Bluff? by Robert Gore

Things are seldom what they seem…

In “Plot Holes,” SLL took a contrary tack to the consensus after Michael Flynn was fired: “The upshot of many commentators is that Trump has underestimated the Deep State, he’s floundering, and so on.” SLL noted that in committing an obvious illegality—leaking transcripts of Flynn’s conversation to the press—the Deep State was showing weakness, not strength, and handing President Trump an opportunity to investigate it and score a decisive victory.

Sure enough, the “Russiagate” story has shifted from alleged Russian collusion with Trump and his team to the Obama team’s alleged illegal misuse of intelligence information against Trump. Susan Rice’s unmasking has been unmasked, raising the possibility that Obama ordered her to do so, and Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence committee who had vociferously pursued the Russian collusion investigation, has gone silent. While Trump cannot yet declare match point, he’s up several games in the final set and he’s got his opponents on their back feet.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page and many neocons are delighted by President Trump’s “muscular” response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. A number of commentators. formerly supportive or at least willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, have expressed extreme dismay or repudiated Trump. He stands accused of betraying one of his campaign’s main promises. However, just as with the Michael Flynn affair, the stories emerging so far have their plot holes.




Several days after the Assad regime was blessed by Secretary of State Tillerson and Ambassador to the United Nations Haley, Assad purportedly turned around and ordered the use of chemical weapons, which he had supposedly gotten rid of in 2013. Why would he in one supremely stupid stroke destroy the legitimacy so recently conferred? Why would his ally Russia allow him to do so? The WSJ and New York Times said he was thumbing his nose at the US. This is absurd on its face. A beleaguered head of state who is finally seeing some military and diplomatic daylight doesn’t make provocative gestures guaranteed to piss off the world’s most militarily powerful nation.

Those accusing Trump of betrayal argue that the implausibility of Syria using chemical weapons screams false flag, perpetrated by either Syrian rebels, or more darkly, by the US military and intelligence agencies and their contractors (the complex). Russia and Syria say that Syria bombed a rebel warehouse containing chemical weapons. Throw in the pictures showing relief workers handling chemical victims, dead and alive, with their bare hands, and it all smells pretty fishy. Certainly fishy enough for Trump to investigate before he pulled the trigger.

Unless Trump didn’t care if it was a false flag or not. Take the worse case: assume it was a false flag, that Trump knew it was, and that the complex had a hand in it. Isn’t it far more plausible that after Tillerson and Haley signaled abandonment of its long-cherished goal of deposing Assad, the complex would devise an incident designed to put Trump on the spot in Syria, rather than that Assad surrendered hard-won diplomatic and military gains by using chemical weapons? When politicians start talking about “the children,” watch out, some sort of mischief is underway. Was Trump really moved by pictures of dead children? Probably not. American intervention has been leaving dead children in its wake for decades. Trump has shown no remorse for those killed in Yemen by US special forces and Saudi Arabian bombs on his watch—he’s lifted restrictions on selling the kingdom more bombs!

In this scenario, the false flag was a strike—as was the Michael Flynn affair—by the complex against Trump. Objectively, the false flag was so suspicious that the reasonable course would have been to investigate before launching military action. This may have been what the complex thought Trump would do. If he had, its media allies would have had a field day lambasting “treasonous” Trump as soft on chemical warfare tyrant Assad, and more importantly, on Assad’s ally, Vladimir Putin. There would have been innumerable comparisons to that wimp Obama and his red line. Once again, the complex thought it had Trump backed into a corner.

Except Trump called its bluff. He has given the complex what it claims it wants—a measured, strategic response—and has been lauded by its propaganda organs for doing so. The question going forward: what else will he do? Will he put large numbers of US troops on the ground in a full-fledged effort to depose Assad? Will he risk war with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and possibly China, with the attendant risks of terrorist blowback and increased refugee flows? Almost certainly not. Even within the complex there are cooler heads (not all, but some) who realize a full-blown war in the Middle East would be disastrous, and Trump has expressed the same sentiment, many times. Trump is already seeing his base jump ship (Paul Joseph Watson, Ann Coulter). A war would drive it bat-shit crazy.

Perhaps indicating his desire not to escalate the situation, Trump warned the Russians, who in turn warned Syria, of the impending attack. Other than wasting $60 million dollars worth of Tomahawk missiles, some of which did not hit their target (but did give the Russians a chance to field test their antimissile technology), and perhaps rendering a Syrian air base inoperative, what has the attack accomplished? Trump has given the complex and its media a minimalist gesture they may not have expected, but which they must publicly support and praise.

However, there is no stomach in this country for a big power war in the Middle East, one that could potentially spread. Everyone remembers the public outcry in 2013 that prompted Obama and Congress’s embarrassing retreat from promised red line consequences in Syria and acceptance of Putin’s face-saving gesture, the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons. Trump retains the option for more of these measured, strategic responses, and he has given himself a lot of room. Having shown he’ll use force in Syria, he’ll look reasonable if he resists the complex’s calls for military escalation and regime change. He’ll have most of the American public (which is fine with missiles, drones, and special operations, but not full-blown war), and certainly his base, on his side.

The Trump-is-Putin’s-puppet story has been laid to rest. Having established his anti-Putin bona fides, somewhere in the future he can initiate a Nixon-goes-to-China rapprochement. He’s also sent a not so subtle message to both Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping (who got that message while eating dinner with Trump): play good cop to Assad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un respectively, or he will play the unpredictable, impetuous bad cop.

SLL believes Donald Trump is consistently underestimated and the Deep State consistently overestimated. If Trump’s bombing initiates a full blown war in the Middle East and perhaps elsewhere, then SLL is wrong and Trump’s an idiot, Deep State stooge, scoundrel, and whatever else you want to call him. If, however, Syria quiets down; Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah subdue ISIS as Assad stays in power; China restrains North Korea, and there is eventually US-Russian rapprochement rather than war, then the tab for Donald Trump’s missiles will be reckoned the best money the government ever wasted.





29 responses to “Calling A Bluff? by Robert Gore

  1. I was always under the assumption that Trump was part of the crowd. He and Jeffrey Epstein where friends. That should tell it all.


  2. I agree- net gain.
    He must have nerves of steel.


    • He does, or he never would have undertaken this whole enterprise. At 70 he could have gone on and played with his grandkids and his billions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I may later regret saying this, but I think (due in large part to what you point out: At 70 he could have . . .) it’s at least possible that Trump was / is sincere when he said (paraphrasing from memory) I’m doing this because I want to give back to the country that has given me so much. I won’t regret it if that premonition of regret proves unfounded; I’d much rather be convicted of excessive cynicism than terminal naiveté.

        WRT my comment @4/8 12:03 pm: D’oh! “. . . you know how it is . . .”


    • Michael D. Houst

      Definitely nerves of steel, considering that his orders to attack in this case violate his Constitutional and legal authority. If any of the Communist-Democrat-Liberal-Progressive-Socialist cabal in Congress (specifically the House) had any balls, or sense of morality, they’d initiate a bill of impeachment based specifically on this attack. Dollars to doughnuts none of them will.


  3. Reblogged this on The zombie apocalypse survival homestead and commented:
    SLL shines a light on Syria


  4. Absent very hard evidence to the contrary, I’m sticking with Scott Adams: I’m going to call bullshit on the gas attack . . . a little too perfect to be natural . . . I think we can rule out the idea that Assad decided to commit suicide-by-Trump. Beyond that, I haven’t got the least clue. Still, call me Pollyanna, but it’s not too hard for me to envision: Yeah, Vlad, I know it’s complete bullshit, but you know how is is, I gotta do something here. Work with me on this, and we can keep things from getting out of hand, OK?


    • The only thing I would add to your “Yeah, Vlad,” hypothetical comment would be, “Make sure Bashar doesn’t do anything stupid.”


      • you unrepentant Trumpaholics make me laugh. All his adult life – until he decided to run for Prez – Trump had been thick as thieves with the Wall St./Las Vegas Zionist warmongers. Pure Swamp. Then came 16 months of populist Performance Art. Sorry, Trumpsuckers. What you’re seeing now is the true, Israel-Uber-Alles Donald. And Israel wants a Sunni regime in Damascus so they can cut off Iran from Hezbollah, then ‘jack southern Lebanon. While having their DC puppets do up Iran. The only thing that surprises me is Putin’s pathetic hot-air response; he should have 86’d those two Zionist – ‘scuse me, ‘Murkan – destroyers that fired the missiles w/in hours of the aggression, then put Russia on DefCon One. Now Trump and his Zionist handlers have the inside track and will soon escalate again, and again. Bad moon rising.


        • Michael D. Houst

          And Hillary or Bernie aren’t part of the New World Order?
          Let’s just say that Trump is fully aware of the Global New World Order, and agrees with much of it. He still appears to not agree with a considerable number of points they want; which makes him an enemy of our enemies. Maybe not our friend, but a tool for the citizens of this country to undo some of this globalism so detrimental to us.


  5. Reblogged this on The way I see things … and commented:
    So many I know, whose opinions I respect, have far different views on recent events. I see this in Libertarians, Republicans and liberals …..
    I am on the fence!
    SLL believes Donald Trump is consistently underestimated and the Deep State consistently overestimated. If Trump’s bombing initiates a full blown war in the Middle East and perhaps elsewhere, then SLL is wrong and Trump’s an idiot, Deep State stooge, scoundrel, and whatever else you want to call him. If, however, Syria quiets down; Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah subdue ISIS as Assad stays in power; China restrains North Korea, and there is eventually US-Russian rapprochement rather than war, then the tab for Donald Trump’s missiles will be reckoned the best money the government ever wasted.


  6. I think that those who have given up on Trump are overreacting.
    And I do not pretend to understand much to most of this complex, boiling Syrian war witches brew.
    However, the one ingredient, if added, I fear most = the US shooting down a Russian fighter or killing a bunch of Russian in an attack ( or vice versa, either unintentional or planned)–>the war brew uncontrollably exploding.


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  9. Gas Attacks are alway blamed on Assad.
    I do believe it’s The CIA’s AQ Branch doing the dirty.
    As i have yet to see one micron of evidence against Assad other than Lip Service.
    But we gave saddam gas to use on iran, AQ has Chem Enginners,ISIS has Chem Engineers and frankly a Chem Engineer Graduate from any American College is capable of creating it.

    No, I believe Turkey and American Intelligence are likely behind this attack…
    It was all just to perfect and perfectly timed you Gubment Idiots!!


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