Donald Trump has launched a missile attack on Syria and as usual, everyone is talking with no sense coming out. The mainstream media loves it because it fits their usual pattern of Good Diverse Egalitarian USA versus the Hitlers of the world; the Alt Right hates it because it shows Trump doing “business as usual” in Washington and possibly going full neocon (never go full neocon).
However, it makes sense to dial this back on several levels. First, Trump never said he was Alt Right; he loosely implied support. All evidence suggests he is a moderate who leans right because of his affinity for Reagan, eugenics and capitalism, which by its very nature in being results-driven tends to shift people toward the Right.
Second, there is much here we do not know. Was the supposed gassing attack a Gulf of Tonkin event, or simply Assad hurrying a war to its conclusion now that he has broken the back of the Obama-sponsored “color revolution” that has roiled Syria in war? Or could there be another communication here, one that has to be made deftly, covertly and yet unambiguously?
Finally, we have the act itself, which few people seem to understand. Let us read between the lies together and analyze the text of the Trump attack:
There was no immediate reaction from Russia, which Tillerson and Haley have accused of turning a blind eye to Syria’s transgressions.
“Russia cannot escape responsibility for this,” Haley said at the United Nations. “They chose to close their eyes to the barbarity. They defied the conscience of the world.”
Thursday, Tillerson urged Russia to “consider carefully their continued support of the Assad regime.”
We know that American teams warned the Russians well in advance that this strike was going to happen. Since the Russians were working with Assad, it stands to reason that they warned the Syrians. This means the Syrians moved all personnel and equipment away from the strike area. This means the USA just spent $50m to blow up some empty hangars and oil storage.
Total loss, eh?
Not so fast. If history is consistent, America is at the stage where it fights proxy wars like Vietnam and Korea primarily. Syria is perfect for a proxy war: it is a gateway to Europe through Turkey, which is a conduit to the Black Sea area, and so if it falls, Russia has an unstable southern border to deal with.
Now let us revisit what seems like an unrelated detail. Trump was not fond of Russia’s policy in Crimea; lately, he has signaled greater discontent with the situation. This leads us to ask why Russia was in the Ukraine to begin with.
The answer, of course, is buffer zones. Russia is in a difficult position; while its terrain is huge, and it likes to advance the “no one can invade Russia” myth, the fact is that Russia has been successfully invaded …by Mongols. A highly mobile and lightly armed military can devastate Russia because Russia cannot respond over the vast distances required. This means that what Russia desires is several hundred miles of rough terrain to separate it from Asia and the Middle East to prevent this from happening again.
From Europe, the approach is harder. One must drive through the morass of mud and chaos on the path to Moscow, which per the chess-playing subterfuge of the Russian mind, is not actually the target of importance, although it is the seat of government. To crush Russia, one must get the coastal cities that face Scandinavia and the UK. If those go, Moscow folds too, but not the other way around.
For this reason, the Russian mind — a quarter Chinese, mostly rebellious German peasants in the grips of the Dunning-Kruger psychosis, some Jewish and some Arab mixed in — wants to have dysfunctional nations on its periphery in whom it can assert control and with whom it can protect itself from enemies, which it sees from all sides.
The famous “Russian paranoia” is not a myth; it is a method of survival. If we are to be compassionate and yet realistic — the Left always forgets the second part — we might view the Russians much as we view hyenas, sandwiched between greater predators and a lack of prey, and therefore always paranoid and willing to attack even against the odds.
When we talk about Trump “playing 4D chess,” events like the Syria strike seem anomalous. Did he really just give in to politics as usual, as it seems he did? That would not be extraordinary: at this point, a president is hampered by the need to play politics both foreign and domestic so extensively that his choices are all balancing acts. Maybe.
Then again, he can claim a victory with this one. As usual, he has misdirected the Left by sending them chasing after a phantom. He has warned Putin without formally warning him, as Asiatic custom requires and thus is essential in Eurasia including Russia. He has gotten a chance to put Assad back under notice that, even if the “color revolution” failed, America still has power here.
If I am right, Trump has bewitched his enemies into making them think this is business-as-usual when it is not. That is a win for Trump, since anything he does will now come out of left field to the Left. He has also focused on what he said he would, which is not being world policeman, in part by avoiding threats to our allies in the regions affected.
Then again, this path leads to more politics-as-usual, and that is where they want to ensnare Trump. Once they tie down his arms with enough allegiances and what-ifs, and tie his legs with a commitment to the world order as it is or the economy dies! then he has far lesser range of motion and thus can be corralled into doing what everyone else does.
If nothing else, this shows us the utter failure of democracy and humanism. These beliefs import assumptions as rules and in doing so, channel thinking down the egalitarian path, which not coincidentally leads to doom and third-world status. The further one goes down this path, the fewer options remain, and this is what they hope to do to Trump.
In the meantime, what we can tell from this event can be discerned from how much ambiguity is created. Has Trump gone neocon? No one knows. What about Bannon leaving the NSC? No one knows there, either, and news reports vary widely. Like an octopus, the Trump administration is squirting ink at us, then retreating so that it may attack elsewhere.
For my dollar, however, the Syria attack was about Ukraine. We have seen this pattern before, and we know how important proxy war is to large dying empires. Putin has been warned to expand no further. The point of this raid was not the Tomahawks but the phone call. “Hi, I’m your friend and you should stay out of the following buildings tomorrow at 4 PM.”
If that is the case, it shows massive statecraft by Trump. He gently told Putin to back off, without Putin losing face, and without anyone realizing that blowing up empty buildings is “gentle” by international relations standards. He has hoodwinked the Left again. He has baffled the neocons, and obscured his actual intent.
On the other hand, it could be that that They — the forces of repetition, conformity, entropy and business-as-usual — simply got to him. This is how democracy “works.” It limits what can be done, so that all that is left is kleptocracy and attention whoring, which makes everyone easy to control. Let us hope that was not the case.