I detest empty conspiracy theories. If the most straightforward logical explanation for something is well supported by the facts, then it’s probably true most of the time. But here’s the trouble with the events of the past forty-eight hours: none of it makes sense on its face. Not the gas attack in Syria. And certainly not Donald Trump’s response. I hate to say it, but these events only logically make sense if they’ve all been arranged by Vladimir Putin.
Let’s start with the gas attack in Syria. In my view, the rebels lack the motivation and the organization to have been behind it. And ISIS was so weakened during the Obama administration that it now lacks the muscle to have pulled this off (and ISIS would be loudly taking credit if it did). And yet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, genocidal as he may be, would not have done something like this without the approval of the Kremlin, because he is a longtime Russian puppet in both an economic and military sense.
But Vladimir Putin knows full well that a gas attack like this was likely to prompt at least some kind U.S. military response against Assad. So Putin wouldn’t have been behind this unless he wanted the U.S. to take military action in Syria. And the only logical reason for Putin to want that is if he was trying to set up a win for Donald Trump, which could boost his historically low approval rating. It would also allow Trump to paint himself as being willing to go against Russian interests, as an argument against the most serious charges in the worsening Trump-Russia scandal.
Moreover, the U.S. Tomahawk missiles used in the attack could have been struck down by the S-400 weaponry which Russia already had in place in Syria (source: Washington Post) – but Russia chose not to do so. Additionally, NBC News is reporting on-air that the U.S. strike only took out planes and fueling stations, while leaving the two airstrips intact. The airstrips would have required significant reconstruction, but the equipment can theoretically be replaced tomorrow.
The U.S. attack seemed tailor made to look fierce to casual viewers at home, while inflicting as little real damage to Assad’s air force capability as possible. Trump went out of his way not to substantially impair Assad, and in return Russia went out of its way to allow the U.S. attack to happen. For that matter, Russia seemed to have already known what the U.S. would hit when it made the decision not to take out the incoming missiles. Regardless of any public jawing between the U.S. and Russia tonight, this reeks of carefully crafted military theater.
Combine that with the reports this week from Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show that the U.S. military had already been building up troops in Syria before the gas attack, and it strongly suggests Donald Trump knew he would soon be taking military action there. Further, Trump tried to keep the troop buildup a secret, suggesting he didn’t want anyone to figure out that he already knew the gas attack was coming.
This is a hell of an accusation to make on my part. I’m suggesting that Vladimir Putin orchestrated a gas attack in Syria so Donald Trump could strike back in minimal and symbolic fashion, and that Putin told Trump ahead of time to go ahead and begin building up troops in advance, and that Trump went along with the horrifying stunt. And yet this is – incredibly – the least convoluted explanation that makes any logical sense.
Whatever the real story behind the surreal events of the past forty-eight hours, which has cost the lives of Syrian children and has put U.S. troops in harm’s way, Donald Trump’s role in it must be investigated to the fullest. Because if my logical theory is even half right, then Trump just became a genocidal war criminal. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report