Since Franklin Roosevelt's first (of four) term, it has been a tradition to give new presidents 100 days to get their act together. Out of curiosity and tradition, I was willing to give Donald Trump 100 days to show his true colors. It only took less than 90.
I think it is time to resign to the fact that Trump is just another Neocon warmonger. Had Hillary been elected, we might have actually had the country up in arms against any military intervention on the scale and premises of the Trump attack on Syria. Instead, all those folks who fell for his marketing are unwilling to bail on him, since they literally shed sweat, blood and tears to get him elected as a reformer.
Took the man all of a few weeks to dump a steaming pile of cruise missiles on their hopes and dreams. I don't care how you argue this, killing four people for geopolitical advantage is no better than any other tin-pot dictator on the planet.
So, the entire world has polarized over this event, with the usual suspects lining up in praise of Trump's "decisiveness" on one side (to include Merkel, Abe, Gentiloni, etc.), and the folks who elected Trump to change things on the other.
But of course, the folks who stop by the Far Side want to know our take on things, which is always just a bit different from the usual choices that we are all supposed to make under the Hegelian Dialectic. I hope I won't disappoint.
The official Far Side take is that the entire thing, from top to bottom, is Political Theater, likely coordinated at the lowest levels (I refuse to acknowledge the slime are higher than the rest of us), and professionally staged to achieve a number of goals, the most important (to them) is selling Trump as a global leader.
First off, the "Chemical Weapons" attack.
All the video I've seen from the site of the "attack" looks and feels, at least to me as a professional film and video guy, like a staged event. When I saw the video of the "victims" lying in the street, I was immediately reminded of the scene of a New Mexico town in The Andromeda Strain. The lighting was just too good. The depth of focus was just too right. The "bodies" were just a little too arranged. The bodie
When watching video, I always imagine the camera crew. Who is taking the pictures and where are they in the scheme of things? Sarin gas is a highly toxic substance, with just the tiniest amount being enough to kill or severely maim a human being. Was the camera crew in full environmental suits with respirators? If so, did they have special camera and sound gear that allowed them to record the scene wearing thick gloves? And did they have to destroy all their equipment (or at least abandon it on-site) after they had recorded their pictures?
And what about the "doctor" who was supposedly recording from a hospital hallway, offering to sell interviews to the highest bidder rather than caring for patients? In the background, "white helmets" were hauling "bodies" around without a single piece of protective gear - including gloves.
Nope, I'm not buying the whole "attack" thing. It reminds me too much of gamed scenarios were locals are hired as extras to play victims for training purposes. One need only to watch Wag The Dog to see how these things are done. And don't forget the recent ad in German newspapers seeking folks to play townies for military training games. In fact, going back a bit further, what about all those "training exercises" under Obama where hundreds of extras were hired to stage protects and civil unrest for "training purposes". This scenario is well within the range of plausible.
Next up, the "air raid".
By all accounts, Trump unleashed 59 aging Tomahawk cruise missiles in a "surgical" strike on an air base well within sovereign territory for which the US Congress had not issued a declaration of war in retaliation for an "attack" (see above) that did not affect the US nor any of its citizens. In other words, an unprovoked act of aggression on a sovereign nation.
Of the 59 Tomahawks, less than 40% hit the target, destroying (according to Major General Igor Konashenkov) six broken-down MiG-23s and causing so little damage to the airport that it was up and running hours later supporting anti-ISIS raids. The Major General speculated that the 59 Tomahawks were part of aging inventory that needed to be blown off so Trump could throw a bone to the Military-Industrial Complex in the form of an order for some fresh toys.
Thus, from the Far Side perspective, the sarin attack was a professionally staged event to provide justification for an air strike that not only blew off some aging inventory, but was nothing more than theater to demonstrate Trump's "leadership and resolve" in international affairs. He is now being hailed as the true leader of the free world, which apparently is defined as those powers willing to violate international law with unprovoked acts of war against non-aggressor nations.
I would be completely unsurprised if President P. T. Barnum...er, Trump, set the whole thing up to buy himself credibility. After all, the Russians were warned an hour in advance and had time to clear the air strip of vital personnel and materiel, so there seems to have been some collusion between Trump and Putin on this.
Regardless, the raid supposedly puts the entire question of Russian influence to rest and establishes Trump as the firm, decisive Grand Poobah on the international stage.
Folks can choose either of the two options allowed by the elites: 1) Trump is a great leader, or 2) Trump violated his campaign promises and alienated his support base.
I prefer to see the whole thing, and with good reason, as a professionally staged media event to achieve a number of public relations goals, as well as upgrade some military hardware, while at the same time send the message that the US is back and it ain't taking shit off nobody.
No matter what side you choose, though, the event proves our case that all governments are evil and no system can be reformed from within. Even if my scenario is correct and no one was hurt and the whole thing was theater, it is the perception of what happened and the crass attempt to manipulate that perception on the part of politicians and media that makes the entire thing evil and rotten to the core.
No one and nothing can be trusted on the geopolitical stage. It is all perception management, and in the worst case scenario, buying leadership credits with human lives. Bashir Assad stood to gain nothing from a chemical attack, especially since he was clearly winning against al-Qaeda/ISIS/CIA assets. The only entities that stood to gain anything here were Trump and the Military-Industrial Complex, making Trump an obvious stooge of the latter and an utter disappointment to anyone who supported him as a change agent.
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms."- As You Like It, Act !!, Scene VII