Skip to comments.Update: Syria, NORKs, Chicoms, & Russkies
Posted on 04/09/2017 7:38:52 PM PDT by LS
By way of disclaimer, I have known Steve Bannon for years and we regularly communicate in rather short bursts. So my info on the "inside Team Trump" is pretty one-sided. I don't know Jared Kushner, know OF McMaster and recommended him to Team Trump (as did Victor Davis Hanson). So I know what I know, but it's a pretty limited range of insight.
1. The Syria strikes. I knew going in this would be a firestorm for Trump among his voters, especially the Ron Paul/non-interventionist backers (many of whom you see on Twitter).
I agree with many of you that the evidence was not clear that it was Assad---indeed, it could well have been ISIS. I also agree this does not help in our fight against ISIS. I further agree that regime change is dangerous on a number of levels.
That said, the strike was a multifaceted message, and unfortunately one that absolutely had to be sent, somewhere, somehow.
Recall as many of you have posted, in the past two years, the Russkies have been getting extremely provocative, doing flybys of American ships, sailing into our waters, and so on. Forget who is "responsible" for Ukraine, the fact is Ukraine unloaded its nukes cuz we promised them we would protect them via NATO. Now that promise is vanishing. Our word certainly is not good from the Ukrainian perspective.
I start Syria with Russia because at some point, somewhere, Putin had to get a message that while we want peace and want to work with him, he cannot possibly be allowed to threaten (as he already has) American ships at sea and sail in our waters. This is flat out aggression.
It can be stopped, and nipped in the bud, but how? Consider Syria a "brush back pitch" to the Russian batter. (In baseball, when the hitter takes advantage of the plate and gets too far into the pitcher's zone, the pitcher throws one high and tight to brush him back and say, "No, you have to play by the rules.")
I do believe Putin not only got this message, but was expecting it. He wanted to see if Trump was Obama The bad news is that it had to go on this long, but like any aggressor, the longer you wait, the bloodier it becomes to stop him. I think Putin got the message. Yes, he's making a lot of threats. But he now knows Trump will act when provoked and act DECISIVELY. Whether you agree with the strike or not, you can't accuse Trump of "indecision."
Further, I think the brush-back pitch worked on Iran and the NORKs. Coming as it did when Xi was at dinner (indeed, I hear he was the first one to receive the news of the attack!), it was the equivalent of Trump pulling out a Colt .45 and laying it on the table and saying, "ok, Xi, let's chat." The fact that Xi apparently gave his blessing to American responses to the NORKs--in their own back yard---suggests the meeting was a 100% success. The brush back pitch was felt in China, too.
Many here do not agree with Trump's action. Many think he was being "played." I have heard (haven't verified it) that the "vote" to fire the missiles was unanimous among the NatSec team, including Bannon. He of course would never confirm or deny, nor would I ask. But what we have from "fake" news is one story that it was Kush v Bannon, another that it was Kush/Bannon v Mattis, and a third that it was everyone agreeing.
For the reasons I've outlined above NOT particularly relating to Syria, I believe the latter. Further, this was an opportunity to throw the brush-back pitch without civilian casualties and without a bunch of dead bodies being hauled out of a mosque. In other words, if Team Trump was looking for the "perfect" place to send a message, gas or no gas, this was it.
2. "Chaos/Turmoil inside Team Trump" Lately the Twitter people have been going nuts against Kushner thinking he is engaging in a war on Bannon. First, if you look at the picture of the "bunker" with everyone during the strike, the two people closest to Trump are Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, right behind him. Kush is one person removed. Small things. Second, Bannon himself told me three nights ago, "I ain't goin' anywhere." I'm pretty sure that means DT said so, too. We keep missing this and missing this, but REGULARLY Team Trump throws out a piece of media "cheese" into the maze and the media rats chase it while Team Trump governs. I don't know if the Kush/Bannon "clash" is real or just cheese, but it would not surprise me if the two guys don't go get a beer every night and laugh.
Trump's management style is much like Lincoln's: get a bunch of top, smart people who have different ideas, let them fight, come to a decision that may favor one, the other, or even neither. Don't forget businessmen do not hesitate to drop non-producers. Trump fired Lewandowski, Manafort, and his OWN BROTHER (as did Thomas Watson, Jr. at IBM!) If anyone thinks he won't dump Kush for good reason, think again. Ditto Bannon.
3. McMaster. I vouched for McMaster as did Victor Davis Hanson. McMaster is one of the few people in the Pentagon with actual hands-on success at forming alliances with Muslims against other Muslims. He was a rebel throughout the Iraq war, which kept him from being promoted. He's exactly the type of outside-the-box thinker you want. I'm NOT concerned about his early comments on "radicals" being a minority. Folks, you will not find any commanders in the field, anywhere, saying all Muslims are terrorists. Won't happen, cuz they need locals as interpreters and most of the time as allies. Maybe personally they have different thoughts, but they cannot express those in a combat zone. I think McM's comments were typical of that battlefield thinking.
Bannon's removal from the NSC planning group was predicted in Trump's own plans early on. Bannon was there to de-politicize it, and he has, and he still has top clearance, as you've all seen. I could be wrong, but of all the things to worry about, McM ain't one of them.
Finally, we are in a VERY dangerous position due to Obama. If anyone thinks we could just retreat to our borders, it's way too late for that. The NORK nut could wipe out the entire west coast with a single EMP bomb over the north Pacific. Many here would say "yay," but of course that's crazy. The entire US would be set back massively, Japan would be wiped out and we'd have to retaliate big time. (I do think it's time we reconsider assassination as a policy). Zero let the Russkies run wild. We can nudge them back into their stall, but to act like they aren't out would be a mistake. And we still have to deal with Iran.
None of this is easy, and no one will agree with any one policy. Trump was handed an absolute bag of excrement in foreign policy. I think he is trying to avoid not just one, but three wars, and we all better hope the "brush back pitch" was heeded.
Syria, NORKs, Chicoms, & Russkies, Oh my!
Syria, NORKs, Chicoms, & Russkies, Oh my!
Thanks LS. A nice touch of sanity in all the shouting.
Thanks for providing this, was very helpful.
And he should fire Niki Haley for her war mongering at the UN.
Damn! Thanks for the awesome explanation that even an old lady like me can understand, and appreciate.
The fat boy NORK now knows that all hell can rain down on him while he is drinking champagne, being “adored” by the crowd, and reviewing his goose stepping army as he’s standing on the reviewing platform.
I voted for someone to make tough decisions with the information he has.
He did that. I informed Team Trump of that.
Interesting post. Thanks.
Very good assessment and if the strike in Syria was just a brush back pitch, good.
If Nikki Haley’s statements about regime change are what they are considering, they need to reassess.
Regime change has not worked out well anywhere it has been tried, particularly in the muslim world.
Libya is a disaster and has doubled the European refugee problem.
Iraq is not much better.
The Egyptian Army saved Egypt.
Strong men are the only way stability exists in that part of the world.
They are not ready and may never be ready for self-governance.
The Norks do not have an ability for an EMP.
The US knows more about that than anyone could ever know.
The bitches here on FR have no clue on how we could respond to anything. We already know where the calcs are and have adjusted accordingly.
We have a President in office to stop this “progression” against the USA.
It ain’t 2013 anymore.
That was a sensible explanation.
“I agree with many of you that the evidence was not clear that it was Assad-—indeed, it could well have been ISIS. I also agree this does not help in our fight against ISIS. I further agree that regime change is dangerous on a number of levels.
That said, the strike was a multifaceted message, and unfortunately one that absolutely had to be sent, somewhere, somehow”
Essentially, that says we aren’t sure who did it, and it might be the exact opposite of who we accuse. But it was important that we attack -someone- to send a message. That’s the very definition of sociopath.
We are at a point in our history that being RIGHT actually matters.
If a cop shows up and just shoots the first person he sees to send a message, unsure of guilt or innocence, we arrest him as quickly as we can.
The only plus I see in the Syria engagement is that Kim Jung Un and other thugs on the world stage collectively peed their pants and have regained a healthy respect for the US military.
Thanks for the informative post. I always appreciate them.
I’m a little more sold on the idea that Assad was using chemicals. Trump said he used them a number of times during recent months. Netanyahu is sold on the idea. So it his intel community. So is ours.
I would urge folks not to get to the point where every single person is a boggy man. We have to trust some people. I trust Trump to do the right thing.
Your analogy of the brush back, was a good one. I’ve been saying that Syria, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea learned from this. I think it’s true.
China walked all over Obama. I don’t think that is going to take place under Trump.
Trump said they made real progress on trade and North Korea. No mentioned were the Spratley islands, islets and cays and more than 100 reefs. I wonder if it was brought up.
First things first, and trade and the North Korea problem is on the docket now.
At any rate, thanks again for your insights.
Very well said, LS...I said not long ago thatTrump doing this with Xi at the table with him pushed Xi into agreeing with Trump over NK...
Many have said Syria did not pose a threat to the US, but NK surely does and this action could very well negate that...
Give it a shot.
The dictators are gone. Time marches on.
I strongly disagree. Do you know Bill Forstchen? He is probably the leading civilian analyst of EMP, has briefed the Army War College and the Pentagon on EMP. He wrote “One Second After,” a #1 bestseller about an EMP.
He told me three days ago that his greatest fear is that the NORKs can put an EMP up over the north Pacific. You’ll have to argue with him.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.