War & Peace in the Age of Trump Part Two

Reporting from Mexico City, Mexico… 

--“It is clear to all of us,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters this week, “that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.”

Regime change, it would appear, is, all of a sudden, back in the game plan. This is very bad news not just for the countries involved… but the entire world.

Yesterday, you’ll recall, we began our series on last week’s Peace & War in the Age of Trump symposium held in Lake Jackson, Texas. We’ve already heard from Congressman Thomas Massie and David Stockman.

This symposium clearly couldn’t have come at a more important time. As I said yesterday, the entire video of the symposium is worth the watch. The lineup of speakers — including Congressman Massie, David Stockman, Lew Rockwell, Jeff Deist, Ron Paul and more — makes it one of the most important events for peace-loving individuals of the year.

If you’re strapped for time, though, and can’t watch the full nearly 4-hour video, fear not. I’ve transcribed some of highlights, just for you.

Let’s get to it…

Did Assad gas Syrians?

“Did Assad gas the people in this village in the Homs area the other day? We don’t know that he did. We don’t know that he didn’t. If he did, it would have to be one of the most reckless acts, or an act of insanity, probably from any leader in history. Judging on past behavior, and this is certainly no praise for him, he’s been able to helm his country in a war against almost impossible odds. Where jihadist rebels were backed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey and other countries, like the U.S., were determined to overthrow him, and yet, in a very cool and calculated way he developed alliances with Iran and with Russia and was able to beat them back. Hardly seems to be the motions of a madman or someone very reckless. He was on the verge of winning the war. It was literally days before peace talks were to begin for a political solution. And less than a week after, the White House said, Assad can stay, it’s up to the Syrian people to choose their own president.”

Under these circumstances, McAdams points out, it makes no sense for Assad to invite such global backlash by killing a few groups of civilians with chemical weapons.

But, the problem is, we simply don’t know the truth. We are in the dark. Maybe he is a maniac. Maybe he did do it.

“But,” McAdams says, “you have to ask yourself, as in any crime, who benefits? Is there any way conceivable that Assad benefits from doing this? He risks alienating his two allies that have literally saved his bacon in Syria. He risks being Gadaffi’d, in the end. ISIS and al Qaeda, on the other hand, were on the ropes, ready for defeat. Did they benefit from this? Well, they certainly cheered it and when immediately after the missiles hit, they started moving on some villages in the area where the strikes were and took advantage of it.

“We know the last time we thought it was Assad, it turns out, at least according to Carla Del Ponte, the UN inspector, she concluded it was probably the rebels.”

A Response from Russia

Prime Minister Medvedev, just so we know what’s on Russia’s mind, said this last week: “That’s it. The last remaining election fog has lifted. Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, ISIS, the Trump administration proved they will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government in a tough contradiction with international law, without UN approval, in violation with its own procedures, stipulating that Congress must first be notified of any military operation unrelated to aggression against the U.S. On the verge of a military clash with Russia. Nobody is underestimating the value of pre-election promises, but there must be limits of decency.”

Phil Giraldi on the U.S.’s non-foreign policy

Phil Giraldi, if you’re not familiar, is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer at the CIA. He’s extremely familiar with what goes on behind closed doors within the intelligence community and advocates for more even-keeled policies in the Middle East.

“The first thing I would ask people to consider,” Philip began, “is that the premise of this conference is actually incorrect. I would suggest that the United States actually doesn’t have a foreign policy. A foreign, by definition, is a coherent plan that pulls together different elements in terms of how the United States interacts with the rest of the world. What we’ve been seeing since 9/11 is actually something quite different. We’ve been seeing a reaction to what is going on in the rest of the world and the original intention of a foreign policy to protect American interests and protect Americans traveling and in business has basically been abandoned. So I think that’s something people should consider. We have really walked away from what the principle was for having a foreign policy as seen by Jefferson and others.

Speaking on whether or not Assad did, in fact, gas his people

“The investigations of what happened in Syria, just like Russiagate, will probably produce no result. And I think that’s an accurate assumption…

“Coming out of the intelligence community, I would say the sad thing about this is the intelligence community and the U.S. government know exactly what happened in both cases, but whether this will come out or not is doubtful, I think we need a whistleblower. And I think that people in their conversations with people who work for the government should subtly hint to people this might be a good idea.”

A very serious situation

It’s important to assess just how serious what’s going on in Syria really is. I consider this just as bad as the invasion of Iraq. And there are two reasons for that. For one thing, ISIS was on the verge of destruction, that’s gone the other way. The other thing was the Russian relationship was improving, that’s gone the other way. These are extremely serious issues and I think that they’re going to be very destructive for the United States if Trump is not reined in.”

What If?

One can only hope those who can stop this madness within the Trump administration stumble upon this symposium or, at the very least, Ron Paul’s “what if” speech and it rubs the right neurons together.

Ron Paul

As Ron Paul said in his speech last weekend, “peace is popular.”

More on that, though, tomorrow.

Until then,

Chris Campbell
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today 

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