Anyone who has watched Columbo once knows that the first step to finding out who is guilty of a crime is to ask who benefits by the crime…cui bono?
News reports and conventional wisdom tell us that Bashar al-Assad gassed the people of Douma, Syria on April 7, 2018. Reports indicate 20-40 people were killed.
Did it happen and did Assad do it and how do we know for sure.
What we know for sure:
ONE. Assad has been President of Syria since 2000. He is supported by Russia and Iran. He is viewed as a brutal dictator and a shrewd crafty survivor. Nobody thinks he’s stupid.
TWO. Israel and Iran are competitors for influence in the greater mideast. Israel, through its supporters in the US, has advocated that the US take “preemptive” military action against Iran. Israel opposes, through its supporters in the US, any efforts by Iran to normalize relations with the US.
THREE. On March 29, 2018 Trump announced that the US is leaving Syria “very soon”. We have roughly 2000 troops there now.
FOUR. On April 4, 2018 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met in Turkey with Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s their second meeting in six months.
FIVE. Prior to the alleged gas attack on Douma, Syria on April 7, Assad’s position as President of Syria was as secure as it’s been in the last ten years. The one thing that Assad could do to cause his Iranian and Russian supporters to desert him and render him completely vulnerable to his enemies is to use chemical weapons against anybody anywhere. The stupidity of using such weapons is inconsistent with someone intent on survival.
SIX. Donald Trump is a master of chaos and distraction. Military action by the US against Syria will give him a boost in his job approval numbers which stand at 41% (Gallup) right now. Action against Iran would be a dream come true for the Adelson wing of the Israel Lobby.
The record is clear. When an American President initiates military action he gets a short term boost in the polls.
There are people in Trump’s ear telling him that aggressive action against Syria and Iran will give him the boost in the polls he needs to fire Mueller and avoid a wipeout in the mid-term elections. Plus, his already strong relationship from his most generous financial supporter, Sheldon Adelson, and his indispensible media supporter, Rupert Murdoch, will achieve unshakable status.
We have to keep asking the question…who benefits from the events in Douma?
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.