Another Jolly Little War
It seems that every new US president has to prove his machismo…or make his bones, as wiseguys say…by bombing the usual Arabs. By now, it’s almost a rite of passage. The American public loves it.
So we just saw the US launch 59 or 60 $1.5million apiece cruise missiles at a western Syrian airfield to express President Trump’s outrage caused by seeing injured children allegedly caused by a Syrian government toxic gas attack.
But what, Mr. President, about all those Iraqi, Syrian and Afghan babies killed by US B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers? Or the destruction of the defiant Iraqi city of Fallujah where the US used forbidden white phosphorus that burns right to the bone?
Washington claimed its radar had conclusively identified Syrian warplanes dropping chemical weapons. This sounds to me to be unlikely. Where was the US radar? Hundreds of miles away aboard ships? Was the info from Israel or Turkey, both with axes to grind? Is US radar so sharp that it can tell the difference between a chemical and high explosive bomb at great distance? Sounds highly fishy to me.
The cruise missile strike was planned well in advance and the missiles programmed accordingly. This was likely done before the alleged chemical attack. What a hell of a rude act to launch the attack just before China’s leader, Xi Jinping, sat down to dinner with Trump in Palm Beach. This was the most important China-US meeting since President Richard Nixon went to meet Chairman Mao in 1972. What a monumental loss of face for Xi and for China. He was made to look small and irrelevant. Was this planned in advance? Xi should have walked out, gotten onto his plane and returned to China.
Couldn’t Trump have waited till Xi’s visit was over, a mere additional day? What was so urgent about bombing a Syrian air base? Do we not think that Russia, China and Iran, all Syria’s ally, will take some negative action? Trump had actually blasted former President Barack Obama for even thinking about attacking Syria…and now here he goes and does the same thing.
While the new president was showing how tough and decisive he is by bombing the usual Arabs, the US is openly threatening war against North Korea. Washington’s most urgent objective in the Florida summit was to somehow convince, cajole or coerce China into lowering the boom on irksome North Korea and ending its nuclear programs.
The huge insult to Xi will hardly motivate China to invade North Korea and depose Kim Jong-un. In fact, North Korea is quite useful for China in spite of its eccentric ways and offers no threat to them. The DPRK helps protect China’s sensitive northeast region and Manchuria from US/South Korean intervention. Collapse of the Kim regime would drive millions of starving refugees to China, South Korea and Japan.
Read the rest of Eric Margolis' article at The Unz Review.