Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War? by Shamus Cooke

Shamus Cooke is overly dramatic with the phrase, “The political noose is tightening around Trump’s neck,” but he gives a good summary of the situation in Syria. (For a great fictional treatment of Syria, see Prime Deceit.) From Cooke at

The political noose is tightening around Trump’s neck, and he’s got only one way out: war. The U.S. involvement in the Syrian war is accelerating as Trump’s talons dig deeper into the conflict. If he successfully clutches his prey he stands a chance of clinging to the presidency.

The Democrats, now circling a wounded Trump, will happily feast instead on a rotting Syria: the only thing that can keep the Democrats from destroying Trump is if Trump destroys Syria.

Trump’s strategy is based on how Democrats reacted after his first attack on the Syrian government on April 6th: they paused their toothless “resistance” to celebrate his bombing. Trump, at his most dangerous, exposed the Democrats at their weakest.

Now Trump has struck the Syrian government again: on May 18th US fighter jets attacked the Syrian military in Eastern Syria, from a new US military base functioning inside Syrian territory controlled by the Syrian Kurds, where there are at least 1,000 US active troops.

Although the US media underplayed Trump’s recent attack – or ignored it completely – legendary U.K. Middle East journalist Robert Fisk explained the significance:

“…what was described by the Americans as a minor action was part of a far more important struggle between the US and the Syrian regime for control of the southeastern frontier of Syria…”

Yes, the US is already at war with the Syrian government for control of Syrian territory. The US war on ISIS in Syria was never about ISIS, but about gaining a foothold directly inside Syria. Many pundits dismissed Trump’s initial attack on the Syrian government as “symbolic,” when in fact it began a new war. The New York Times confirms the motive of Trump’s war:

“Two competing coalitions that aim to defeat the Islamic State – one [Kurdish and US fighters] backed by American air power, the other [the Syrian government] by Russian warplanes – are racing to the same goal.”

What is this goal?

To continue reading: Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?


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