Dashed Hopes for Trump’s Foreign Policy

President Trump’s missile attack on Syria – without waiting for an investigation of Syria’s alleged role in a poison-gas attack – has dashed hopes that he might take U.S. foreign policy in a less warlike direction, writes Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

My days of hoping for the best from Donald Trump – and at least appreciating the fact that he was not the neocon/liberal hawk that Hillary Clinton is – are over along with my hopes that he might implement his campaign promise and take U.S. foreign policy in a more positive, less warlike, direction.

President Donald Trump being sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

From being possibly part of the solution, President Trump has become an integral part of the problem. And with his bigger-than-life ego, petulance and stubbornness, Commander-in-Chief Trump is potentially a greater threat to world peace than his weak-willed predecessor Barack Obama.

This week, Trump ignored Russian calls for an investigation into Tuesday’s  alleged chemical gas attack in Idlib province before issuing hasty conclusions on culpability. Instead he accepted a narrative of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s guilt despite indications that the incident may have been either an accident (the release of poison gas at a damaged rebel warehouse) or a false-flag operation designed by Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels in Syria.

The Assad-did-it storyline was disseminated by the White Helmets and other phony NGOs that are financed by Washington and London, and that narrative was accepted by the White House. Without waiting for any comprehensive review, Trump ordered the firing of 50 or more Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian military air base in Homs province, thereby crossing all Russian “red lines” in Syria.

Until this point, the Kremlin had chosen not to react to signs coming from Washington that Trump’s determination to change course on Russia and U.S. global hegemony was failing. The wait-and-see posture antedated Trump’s accession to power when Russian President Vladimir Putin overruled the dictates of protocol and did not respond to Obama’s final salvo, the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the U.S. and the eviction of Russian diplomats.

The Russians also looked the other way when the new administration continued the same neocon rhetoric from the tribune of the United Nations Security Council and during trips to Europe by Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson.

But the missile attack in Syria is a game-changer. The pressure on Putin to respond in some serious way will be immense. Putin has a cool mind and we may anticipate that the Russian response will come at a time of his choosing and in a manner that is appropriate to the seriousness of the U.S. offense. Look for a response by the end of the month.

In the meantime, we who have been hoping for a change of direction — for the rooting out of the neocons and liberal hawks at the heart of the Deep State — should recognize the dangers and the challenges ahead. One way or another, the White House must be told that arranging foreign policy moves out of purely domestic calculations, such as likely happened on Thursday, puts the nation’s very existence at risk.

Acting tough by striking out at Russia and its allies is not the way to form a coalition to pass a Republican tax bill or revive the repeal plans on Obamacare or divert attention from the Democrats’ obsessive investigations into Russia-gate. The same may be said of an alternative reading of the missile attack: that it was intended as a message to visiting Chinese President Xi that should there be no joint action to restrain North Korea, the United States will act alone and with total disregard for international law.

Either logic in the end is a formula for global suicide.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. © Gilbert Doctorow, 2017


47 comments for “Dashed Hopes for Trump’s Foreign Policy

  1. Chris Condon
    April 15, 2017 at 21:52

    Once again, it has proven almost impossible to predict what the foreign policy of a new president will be. Lyndon Johnson ran as the peace candidate against warmonger Goldwater. The two Bushes were thought to be weak-willed wimps who would hesitate to use American military power. Richard Nixon was expected by many experts to triple the military budget and start WWIII.

  2. Thomas Beck
    April 12, 2017 at 15:29

    Anyone who ever had the tiniest bit of hope for anything decent out of Donald Trump is an idiot. Period. You saw in him what you wanted to see, not what anyone who knows anything at all about him knew all along was there. Trump is a master con-man, and you were conned. Thinking that he would maybe not be as bad as you thought Clinton would be is like thinking, well, I’ll drink this bleach because maybe it won’t be as bad for me as this murky water that’s my other option. The fact that you could possibly imagine Trump as anything but a disaster-in-waiting is not a good sign of your qualities as a pundit. Sorry for the harsh tone, but wake up and admit your horrific mistake.

  3. Anonymous
    April 10, 2017 at 14:01

    We know that in 2013, the Shadow Regime of America, and the Regimes of Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are the Axis of Evil, wanted Syria to be invaded and they wanted to overthrow its Democratically Elected and Legitimate Government, using Slanders and Lies by Wrongly accusing the Innocent Syrian Government of having used chemical weapons, and after a few days of Investigating this False accusation, then All Americans Knew that the Legitimate and Democratically Elected Government of Syria was Innocent of this False allegation at http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-un-mission-report-confirms-that-opposition-rebels-used-chemical-weapons-against-civilians-and-government-forces/5363139 .

    It was the American Supported and Funded Terrorist Rebels who used chemical weapons, because Many of the Syrian Rebels, who go by the Euphemism of the Syrian Free Army are Not even Syrian Citizens, but they are Foreign Paid Mercenaries who used those chemical weapons, and that a few days ago, it was the same ISIS affiliated Terrorist Rebels who were Responsible for chemical weapons being in Syria, and the Anti Democratic Saudi Arabia Supplied those chemical weapons at http://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/syria-crisis/1456-saudi-king-chemical-weapons-syria.html .

    Syria held their regular and Free and Fair Election, and the Syrian Government was reelected with 88 % of the Vote, and these Foreign Mercenaries, who are Funded and Armed by America, want to Impose Sharia Law on the People of Syria, and Many of those Terrorists are Not even Eligible to Vote, because they are Not Syrian Citizens, but they are Foreign Mercenaries, who are Murdering Syrian Civilians, along with damaging Syrian Property, and yet America and Israel and Saudi Arabia Deliberately Lie by saying that these Foreign Terrorists and Criminals are a Pro Democracy and a Pro Freedom Movement, and while that 88 % Vote for the Syrian President is high by Western standards, People Should do a Google Image Search for the term Syrian War, and then they Will Easily Understand that fighting the Evil Anti Democratic Terrorists who want to Deprive the Syrian People of their Freedom, their Land, and their Democracy was the Main Election Issue at that Election, and there were Credible Election Monitors who said that the Election was Free and Fair.

    It was discovered that the Puppet Obama Administration had Maliciously Slandered the Innocent and Legitimate Syrian Government, and then the American Shadow Regime under the Guise of their Puppet Obama Administration came up with a new Evil Scheme, and they did that by Creating and Funding ISIS as their Proxy Secret Ally Army of the Axis of Evil which are the Shadow Regime of America, and the Regimes of Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are Responsible for Creating and Perpetrating the War and the Crimes against Humanity in Syria, and ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

    ISIS Pretends to be America’s Enemy and America Pretends to be the Enemy of ISIS, even as America Created and Funds its Proxy Secret Ally Army of Al Qaeda, who Pretends to be America’s Enemy at http://www.globalresearch.ca/fighting-al-qaeda-by-supporting-al-qaeda-in-syria-the-obama-administration-is-a-state-sponsor-of-terrorism/5339728 , and ISIS have been promised Syria, even as Al-Qaeda was promised and given Libya, and Libya had Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, but did not have Elections, and today there is No Freedom of Speech, No Freedom of Religion, and No Elections in Libya with its American Installed Al Qaeda Sharia Law Regime, who were said by America and the so called American Liberal Press to be a Pro Democracy, and Pro Freedom Movement, but they have Imposed Sharia Law on Libya, and America and Everyone Knew that was going to happen, and there Could be some People who think that sometimes, there Could be some People who use the word Liberal as a Euphemism for Feral, and that there Could be some People who think that sometimes, there Could be some People who use the word Progressive as a Euphemism for Regressive, while they think that at other times that those words are used as they are understood by People.

    There could be People who think that now that America has seen to it that ISIS is in Iraq and Syria, then they might think that America might then want to drive ISIS from Iraq and into Syria, so that ISIS can take over Syria, whose Capital City is Damascus.

    Certain Despotic Regimes like the Shadow American Regime and the Israeli Regime and Saudi Arabian Wahhabi Regimes Hate Damascus, and the Bible tells us that Christians Acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.

    The Jews do not have that as their doctrine, and we know that the Israeli Prime Minister is Jewish.

    We All Know that Gravity and the Earth’s Magnetic Field are Real even though they are Invisible, and the Bible tells us that the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons will at times use People who Pretend to be Christians in order to try to accomplish their Evil Schemes.

    “For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

    The Invisible Devil Hates Damascus, and he Hates there being any Christians in Damascus, which is the Capital City Syria, because that is where the Jewish Saul of Tarsus had an encounter with the Resurrected Jesus Christ.

    It was on the road to Damascus that Saul of Tarsus had an encounter with the Resurrected Jesus Christ, and when Saul of Tarsus was in Damascus he became a Christian after Repenting of his Sins.

    Saul then changed his name to Paul, and we know him as Saint Paul, and Christians Believe that Saint Paul was Inspired by God to write much of the New Testament.

    There are People who were far too quick to believe the Incorrect stories they originally heard regarding who was responsible for using chemical weapons, and Honest and Decent People of Every Country are hoping that certain People Confess to what they said against the Innocent President of Syria, and that they Confess to their Crimes against the Innocent Syrian People, but certain People will not admit to that for the Obvious Reasons.

    “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”(John 8:44).

    Saint Paul wrote: “First to those in Damascus (Capital of Modern Day Syria), then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 16:20).

    People can follow what is going on with the Syrian People’s Defending themselves from Terrorists at https://southfront.org/ , and at http://theindicter.com/ , and http://www.globalresearch.ca/search?q=Syria&x=0&y=0 , and there are People wondering why War Criminals and Terrorists Lie, and Pretend to be honest and decent People, and Many People think that is explained Correctly with the following statement.

    “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15).

    The following could Apply to those other than some of those of the former Corrupt Obama Administration, the Israeli Regime, and the Saudi Arabian Ruling Monarchy, and it is because they Know that the Invisible Devil has a Grudge against Damascus, that goes back to the days when Saint Paul was in Damascus.

    “See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:11).

    The former Obama, and the current Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabian Regimes, Knew that their Illegal and Immoral War against the Innocent Democratic People of Syria is Totally based on Lies.

    Israel has Unjustifiably attacked Syria while Syrians were celebrating Easter, and this is because Easter is the time when the Invisible Devil and the Invisible Demons are reminded of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  4. April 9, 2017 at 15:11

    Yes, now we see it, Trump is spineless. But until he became president he really did look like such a stubborn egomaniac that he would never give in to anybody on anything, a guy the neocons couldn’t bully.

    I may differ with Gilbert Doctorow on many, many things (he’s a capitalist and I’m a socialist), but I value reading his essays, which are well written and well thought out. And when he sees that he has been wrong, he comes out and tells us so. That’s something that not many people are able to do. I look forward to reading more of his writing.

  5. JeffB
    April 8, 2017 at 13:22

    Gilbert, What rock have you been living under? What part of “Bomb the shit out of them” ever, ever made you think for a second this would be an administration of peace?! You can expect again and again that whenever his soft as a banana ego is bruised by low ratings in the polls he’ll opt for the please the rednecks method of looking tough and decisive by dropping bombs on someone, somewhere.

  6. David Hungerford
    April 8, 2017 at 12:09

    “Acting tough by striking out at Russia and its allies is not the way to form a coalition to pass a Republican tax bill or revive the repeal plans on Obamacare or divert attention from the Democrats’ obsessive investigations into Russia-gate.”

    Indeed! Nothing about the reversal of U.S. policy in the last week makes the slightest sense in terms of Syria.

    But there is something more. In the past few days news of Susan Rice’s role in “unmasking” U.S. citizens surveilled by the NSA has gone off the radar. Perhaps there is a deal in U.S. domestic politics?

    As noted, the Democrats drop their absurd “Russian meddling” program. In return the Republicans look the other way on Susan Rice. (This is so divisive an issue that perhaps both parties would rather avoid it.) The MSM, up until now part of the opposition to Trump, suddenly accept him as “their president.” (Meanwhile Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, suddenly got Senate approval.)

    Putin can be counted on to do his best to safeguard Russia’s interests while avoiding worsened conflict with the U.S. – if he can manage this last.


    For Trump, most of the U.S. population has been badly frightened. They will not soon forget.

    For the Democrats: a great many people will at last realized they have been hoaxed about Russia.

    Both the Republicans and Democrats deserve all the setbacks they get. Let’s just hope they don’t overturn the boat while they are at it.

  7. April 8, 2017 at 00:54

    “Acting tough by striking out at Russia and its allies is not the way to … divert attention from the Democrats’ obsessive investigations into Russia-gate.”

    I’d argue that the immediate bipartisan reaction in favor of Trump indeed did divert attention – just as it has worked for so many other Presidents and leaders in the past.

  8. Tristan
    April 8, 2017 at 00:39

    I concur with your thoughtful analysis Mr. Doctorow. The drums of war, and the constant threats, and actual use of weapons of mass destruction in the service of state policy by the U.S. and its vassals cause a fear for all humanity that I cannot ignore. There are so many actors led by the lunatic policies of the U.S., which are unfolding with destructive consequences, including possibly fatal errors resulting in nuclear war. This perhaps requires an adjustment of the “Doomsday Clock” even closer to midnight.

    “Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed, but I do say no more then 10 to twenty million killed, tops, depending on the breaks.” (General “Buck” Turgidson, from “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”)

  9. tina
    April 7, 2017 at 23:24

    Twas the worst election ever 2016. I could not understand the hatred of Hillary on this site. She was not the best/worst candidate ever. But Donald J Trump? Mr. Reality ( Realty)TV show? I did like you people here at Consortium News,but now you all are making excuses for Trump. What happened to you? What about facts, not conjecture? It takes resources, human and money to get to the truth, it costs nothing to post opinions. I really expected better of Mr. Perry. Truly , I used to respect this site, now I am not so sure.

  10. April 7, 2017 at 21:28

    This attack was to be expect from an impulsive cowboying person like Trump.
    He has made the world a much less safer place.
    I’m ashamed to see some Democrats applauding this action.
    They are as reckless as Trump.

  11. delia ruhe
    April 7, 2017 at 19:23

    If you’ve lost Gilbert Doctorow’s benefit of the doubt, you’ve lost.

  12. D5-5
    April 7, 2017 at 16:29

    It’s sad to recall not long ago reading Gilbert’s article on the Trump-Putin phone call, right after the inauguration, and the feeling among some leaders in Russia that something good might transpire, possibly cooperation. We now see how a weak man caves and waffles with his ego threatened. Weak people yearn to look strong and be accepted and idolized. A few days back I read in The Atlantic Monthly that America has “a robust democracy.” What incredible nonsense. In the election to choose the national leader, we had two inadequate, disliked, unsuitable candidates for the position to choose from, with the most popular alternative candidate, Sanders, diddled out of the position by the corrupt Democrat Establishment. What we had to choose between was who might be “the least incompetent.” We now see ourselves sliding toward the precipice, with both candidates cheering it on.

    To parody Moon of Alabama’s inspiration a little bit, re Bertolt Brecht, “Oh show me the way to the next vomitorium, do not ask why, oh do not ask why . . .”

  13. Realist
    April 7, 2017 at 15:21

    I wonder, do most Americans even know or care that there is such a thing as international law? Our government has been oblivious to it for many decades now. Ironic that we were instrumental in creating the United Nations, basing it within our own borders even as we flout its every deliberation. The Europeans used to call us “cowboys” in international diplomacy. “Gunslingers” would be more apt. I wonder if Mr. Trump is feeling like manly John Wayne in a grade B Western movie today?

    • Bill Bodden
      April 7, 2017 at 16:57

      I wonder, do most Americans even know or care that there is such a thing as international law?

      Most Americans are only concerned with their own day-to-day existence until they get clobbered by events beyond their comprehension.

  14. April 7, 2017 at 15:12

    I was really hoping that being the huge egomaniac that he is, Donald Trump would stand up to the neocons and go down fighting rather than give in to them. But here we see Trump as he really is, an egomaniac without a spine, a worst case example of a teenage blowhard in his seventies.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 7, 2017 at 16:53

      Glenn Greenwald has some interesting comments on how this excrement from the bully pulpit might effect Trump: The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syriahttps://theintercept.com/2017/04/07/the-spoils-of-war-trump-lavished-with-media-and-bipartisan-praise-for-bombing-syria/

      • ADL
        April 7, 2017 at 18:14

        Yes -Greenwald as usual nails it. On all levels.Everyone should read it. A sure fire way for a Prez to go from incompetent to hero is to start a war – kill some people. And good lord – this is mana from the heavens for a bully and pathological liar like T.

        Desert Storm remade GHWB, and the Afghan War remade a doofus GHB into instant “Commander in Chiefs” with admiration and supposedly complete support from country. I still remember be repulsed by Chris Matthews gushing over Bush as he rode passenger in a jet landing on the USS Lincoln – exclaiming how ‘Presidential’ he looked.
        i guess wars do that – at least to most Americans.
        Not attacking Syria in 2013 – the mistake Obama made – of course made him a weak coward in the eyes of many. It is amazing how many media constantly refer to the ‘Assad’ gas attacks of 2013 – over and over. It has become fact in the eyes of many – and Obama is partly to blame by not TRUTHLY and completely explaining why he did not.

        It is actually a very smart political move by T. He of the reality show mentality understands better than anyone than value of ‘instant news’, controlling the message. Not unlike his campaign where the lies and crap of yesterday were forgotten by the lies and crap of today. Baffle them with BS.
        The serious and needed questions of how, who, why, and proof are all swept away. We don’t need no stinkin facts !

  15. mike k
    April 7, 2017 at 14:05

    Well Donald Trump turned out to be just the empty headed egotistical fool American we thought he was all along. The last shred of commonsense or humanity finally peeled off as just so much window dressing to hide the real stupid dangerous animal hiding behind it.

    Most of us here never put much real hope in this fraud called Trump. But now we need to wash our hands and hearts of any respect whatever for this monster pretending to be human. Doing so will clear our heads for what has to be done now as soon as possible: getting rid of this threat to mankind.

    • Dave
      April 7, 2017 at 22:01

      Mike: The only solace now is, it is Trump who is doing (this missile attack, and regime change, and all that) it . It is for the whole world to see what This Monster is doing. If it was Hillary, so called Liberals would have been chanting: First Woman President doing to liberate the women of the Earth, eliminating tyrants and all that.

      In California, voting for him or not was not the question at all. Hillary was so far ahead almost two to one, I did not want to vote for Hillary. I was against almost everything Trump stood for except the Foreign Policy he was peddling. And secretly (I could not do it openly because of the circle of Friends we had) in my heart I was rooting for his victory because may be, we can have a peaceful world. In fact every day for two months wishing, anticipating, may be he meant it – his new foreign policy. I feel relieved that It is over

  16. Stiv
    April 7, 2017 at 13:51

    Silly to ever think Trump wouldn’t resort to war at some point…to prop up his fragile ego, or create a diversion from other ill deeds he might be in. The Trump presidency is a disaster for this country and this world. Despite Clinton’s obvious problems, I honestly thought she would be less likely to do something EXTREMELY stupid ( though she’d already shown she’s capable of it ) because she’s not as imbalanced as Trump.

    I know…I’m splitting straws.

    Just watch Trump start strutting around and thinking he will do the same in Korea. McMaster…is he capable of pointing Trump in that direction? That’s all it would take.

    The shithouse is about to go up in flames. Sorry to say, we deserve what we get.

    • Tomk
      April 7, 2017 at 14:50

      Actually “we” don’t….Our choices come down to very bad and worse….Clinton or Trump or whoever….It is a rigged board but “we” don’t have much to do with it….The game is rigged by a “they” and “they” are greedy, insane, powerful, entrenched, and will do anything to remain in power including triggering a nuclear war….”We” are basically just watching and “we” see what “they” did when “they” thought Trump might get out of line from the script…Hammered him unmercifully 24/7 with lies upon lies like the “Russia did it” psy op propaganda garbage, “peeing prostitutes” etc. the Globalist media are traitors to humanity but so are those they serve on bended knee who own them….Trump has now fully signaled he has folded to them — hoping for some good press, he’ll get it, for a day or so…”they” want Pence….

  17. David Carroll
    April 7, 2017 at 13:40

    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

    It is a surreal experience to be reading 1984, while watching the collective madness, bolstered by the now suddenly uniform approval and applause by our Ministry of Truth of Big Brother’s premature and myopic missile blitz.
    They provide the 2 Minutes Hate, and everybody cheers with gnashing teeth, faces contorted in a rictus of self-righteous maniacal bloodlust and vengeance. Underneath all that good civilized writing at the NYT and WAPO, is a rotted landscape of what was once a free thinking press, now at the end of the day just a scribe for The Inner Party on the unquestioned core issues of the day: Perpetual War, Economic Hyper-Usury, a De-Facto Global Surveillance State.

    The slogans of Orthodoxy must be enforced and reinforced at all costs, while the proles muddle on

  18. charles goldberg
    April 7, 2017 at 13:25


  19. stan
    April 7, 2017 at 13:21

    the plan to conquer the middle east and southwest asia was decided in the late seventies when zbigniew brezenski advised the war machine to fund the freedom fighters (now called terriorists) in afghanistan to destabilize the soviet union. As soon as the soviet union fell in 1991, the U.S.military immediately began murdering the people of Iraq with 30-days of bombing, and continued from there to invade the whole area over the next 25 years.

    The attack on Syria has been in the works all along. It does not matter if there are any chemical weapons or not. It does not matter who is president and entertaining the rubes. Foreign policy to invade the middle east was set around 1980 and it does not easily change. We had a 10 year Reagan military buildup for the invasion during the eighties, The plan was in the works. All the reasons you hear are war propaganda, that is, just to convince you to go along.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 7, 2017 at 14:59

      Good comment Stan. Your reminding us of the past is vitally important, at a time like this. Between a bewildered Jimmy Carter, and straight onto an aggressive George H W Bush, our country America was blindly hijacked into this Middle East fiasco. So good on you Stan because history is often not quoted right, or it is loss entirely by the masses.

    • Dave
      April 7, 2017 at 18:53

      Stan: I agree. Your comments describe it all. Soviet Union was in their way. When that alcoholic Yeltsin, a Charlatan broke it up (under U.S. direction ?), there was triumphal rejoicing in the West. The way was all clear. This has been in the works for a long time. Chemical weapons, Gas attacks discussions, the “Shock and Awe” fireworks, over the cities in the unlucky lands – whose misfortune is to possess those resources which they can not hide – is an entertainment designed (by the Ruling Class) for the Masses. It keeps the Masses busy, sort of a participant in the process.

      Being the kind of person Trump is – rich, not very educated or thoughtful, macho . . . he is going to love even more of this. We have to just wait and see, what country is next

  20. KB Gloria
    April 7, 2017 at 13:11

    Consortium News and several of its contributors did seem to pin their hopes on a perception that Trump was and would be “the lesser of evil” of the two candidates in terms of neocon/lib warmongering–but can one really be surprised about the actions of a man who thought nuclear weapons were a good idea and he wouldn’t hesitate to use them—AND wanted to be unpredictable about it? Who discussed starting a nuclear arms race in Asia if they would not pay the US to “police” the world? Was this another example of refusing to believe his actual words because it was to be understood he didn’t “mean” any of it literally? I must say I have lost a lotta faith in this site–live and learn.

    • John Irvin
      April 7, 2017 at 13:21

      I couldn’t agree more! The reporters, especially Robert Parry, have always seem to me to be far more politically aware than this. Live and learn indeed.

      • Peter Loeb
        April 8, 2017 at 07:20


        I agree entirely with “KB Gloria” and John Irvin.

        Perhaps those Consortium writers (such as Doctorow)
        have learned their lessons as far as their optimism
        is concerned. Other analyses in Gilbert Doctorow’s
        article require some study.

        In his remarks (and in Robert Parry’s article of today
        in Consortium) we all have much to learn.

        As far as the misplaced optimism or hope is (was) concerned
        it is like petting a rattle snake. “Nice little rattle snake!!!)

        —-Peter Loeb , Boston, MA, USA

    • Skip Scott
      April 7, 2017 at 13:38

      Just FYI KB Gloria, Hillary said today that she’d have done the same thing as Trump. Most of us here did not support either Hillary or Trump, and any hopes we had were just that, only hopes.

      Trump was also quoted during his campaign as basically saying we did not have a dog in the fight regarding Syria. Of course anything he says is subject to change 5 minutes later. I think part of his shallow, egotistical thinking was to use this episode as a distraction from “Russiagate” and to show his bonafides to the Deep State as a true warmonger they can count on.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 7, 2017 at 13:59

      If you took a poll of the regulars at Consortium News you would very likely find that a majority were appalled, for understandable reasons, at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency at the same time they had no illusions that Trump would be the price we would pay for dodging the Clinton bullet. With Trump there was the slim hope that he might be more pragmatic and less inclined to go to war. It now appears that our choice was between cholera and the plague – a lose-lose option.

      In an interview with Nicholas Kristoff, Clinton said she would also have attacked Syria. Probably, she would have attacked Syria sooner.

      And, let’s not forget the American public. They had choices other than Clinton and Trump, but except for a small minority that rejected both candidates considered the worst ever running for president the vast majority said one or the other was OK with them.

      • Stiv
        April 7, 2017 at 14:12

        I wonder if there’s any constitutional device for “No confidence”/” None of the above” as a selection on the national ballot and how that could be implemented. We had choice of tyranny/tyranny lite this last time around. Fucking Demos’ really screwed the pooch this time around. GOP is hopeless and always will be.

        • Bill Bodden
          April 7, 2017 at 14:32

          I wonder if there’s any constitutional device for “No confidence”/” None of the above”

          The American people could have voted “none of the above” as far as Clinton and Trump were concerned by voting for someone else – Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were two options. I voted for Jill Stein.

          • Bill
            April 7, 2017 at 20:13

            Well I’m glad NV actually has/had a “none of the above” box that I was able to tick for my ballot. On a personal level it helps me clear my conscience.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 7, 2017 at 14:54

        Bill I agree with every word you said. We should not forget candidate Hillary raising her fist high during the debates, and calling out for a no fly zone over Syria. I mean do Hillary supporters know how you achieve a no fly zone? I doubt it, because if these good Democrate’s knew how you establish a no fly zone, well then Hillary would not have won the popular vote. Now is not the time to grumble over Hillary’s loss, she loss so live with in. Save the ‘I told you so’s’ for later. No now is the time to focus on who’s in the White House and call 202-456-1111 and let Trump know how you feel.

      • April 8, 2017 at 19:15

        This is right. With Clinton, we knew this would happen. With Trump, there was a chance. A small chance. I didn’t get behind him at all. I didn’t trust him one iota.

    • Tomk
      April 7, 2017 at 14:42

      You mean we would be alot better off with Hillary Clinton? She who was very much responsible for all this mess we now face? About where that Sarin Gas came from….Your preferred “peace” candidate? http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clinton-approved-delivering-libyas-sarin-gas-to-syrian-rebels-seymour-hersh/5522647

      Trump gave a chance as an unknown and based on his campaign speeches of being different, before he was ruthlessly attacked with the phony “Russia did it” lies, Clinton we know where she was going…war all the time….

    • D5-5
      April 7, 2017 at 16:06

      @ KB Gloria: I remember the discussions vividly including myself asking (discussion with Bill Bodden) whether Trump was possibly the lesser evil, but that by no means drew my support for Trump. I voted Stein. So to say that CN “pin[ned] hopes on a perception that Trump would be ‘the lesser evil’ of the two candidates” is not true. I know that, as a regular reader and during that period, and having engaged in discussion of the matter. You have lost faith based on your faulty reading of what’s been posted here.

    • rosemerry
      April 7, 2017 at 17:40

      I note that “the saker” (eg in Informationclearinghouse) comments that Trump has been neutered by the neocons and the Deep State. Certainly he is more than a disappointment for those hoping for the lesser of two evils and a reduction in attacks on other countries and tensions with Russia;

    • Dave
      April 8, 2017 at 01:28

      We are humans after all ! Always hoping that this time it is real – even though evidence points in the opposite direction. Foreign Policy was the biggest issue for lot of us. Alternative – Hillary we already knew was even worse. We knew, he had no principles and then with the exception of a few, who has any principles in the Congress, Well, as it turned out, he was the smartest snake oil salesman ever in politics. All this soul searching, and guilty feelings – we just have to get over it .

    • zman
      April 8, 2017 at 23:49

      Even more to the point, there is the continued allegations that this attack on Syria was in retaliation for the so-called gas attack. Never mind that every military consultant that knows anything about these weapons…and this includes Russian military, have said that this attack had to have been planned some time before the so-called gas attack, as it takes more than several days to weeks to set up such a large attack. Yet, nearly every author keeps repeating the same story as the Administration. The Russians continue to say that the attack on Syria had nothing to do with the gas attack event. US news barely mentions the counter-attack by ISIS immediately after the attack on the Syrian base. Deja vu Deir Ezzor? Then there is the other thing no one seems to want to mention…how does 36 historically very accurate cruise missiles just vanish? No debris reports, no one claiming to have destroyed them…nothing. Then there is the 23 that did make it to the target…a damage assessment that was given is that it was a complete failure. Something stinks about this whole put up mess…either that or one of these players are holding an ace up their sleeve.

    • drummerboy
      April 9, 2017 at 00:48

      You nailed it KB Gloria. Other Trump campaign statements about bringing back torture and taking Iraq’s oil and needing thousands of ground troops to fight ISIS should have given EVERYONE a clue that he was a warmonger.

      Except, apparently, for the crew at Consortium News.

  21. April 7, 2017 at 13:00

    These idiots are gonna kill us all.
    Off topic, but this website is featured quite often on c99p and is listed on their blog roll. The views expressed in this sites comments generally correspond to those at caucus99 and its contributors.
    Just an FYI.


  22. Sally Snyder
    April 7, 2017 at 12:37

    Here is an article that looks at how propaganda about the recent American attack in Syria is being used to sway public opinion:


    Propaganda is alive and well. The situation in Syria is proof of that.

  23. Blue
    April 7, 2017 at 12:32

    The US expects Russia and China to capitulate to US aggression in the ME, Eastern Europe, and soon Southeast Asia. The US doesn’t believe these countries have the stomach for war. Hitler used the same aggressive ploys in the thirties in Europe with pretty much the same reasoning. The US, however, is expecting a different result.

    Russia and maybe China will continue to appease the US, just as France and Britain appeased the Nazis. Because war may turn nuclear and destroy most life on the the planet, the US is betting the Russians, at least, will not confront them militarily at all or at least until its too late. The Chinese may be another matter, but the US is hoping to vanquish Russia first, isolating the Chinese with its relatively weaker military.

    Basically, the oligarchy of the US is gambling with all our lives as if they were poker chips. And most of us seem to have the intellectual level of a poker chip.

    • Sam f
      April 8, 2017 at 06:32

      Yes, but this “message to visiting Chinese President Xi that, should there be no joint action to restrain North Korea, the United States will act alone” will have no effect. China never wanted NK to be militarized, and had refused to assist NK in its 1952 invasion of SK. China drove back the US from NK because it threatened China’s then-industrial-centers in Manchurai, which it would not wish to do now.

      China is unlikely to do anything this time, because both sides are nuclear-armed, but would likely be forced to assist NK to resist a US land attack as before, to keep the US warmongers on foreign soil, and to make them pay heavily for their aggression. So if that was the motive for the Syria attack, those who advanced it were wrong.

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