Archive for the ‘TRUMP AND GREED’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE PORTRAYS PENTAGON OFFICIALS AS HAVING CONVINCED TRUMP ON THE BASIS OF HIS GREED TO MAKE OCCUPYING SYRIAN OIL FIELDS PART OF HIS “WITHDRAWAL” – MY DOUBTS OWING TO THE REMARKABLY LARGE AND DETAILED AMOUNT OF INSIDER INFORMATION WE HAVE ABOUT TRUMP’S BASIC NATURE – HE’S GREEDY BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IS DOMINANT HERE – WE HAVE ANOTHER ASPECT OF HIS TOTAL OBSESSION WITH BEING RE-ELECTED, AND THAT IS ISRAEL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DANIEL LARISON IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/how-the-pentagon-used-trumps-fixation-on-plunder-to-get-its-syria-occupation-reinstated/#disqus_thread

 

How the Pentagon Used Trump’s Fixation on Plunder to Get Its Syria Occupation Reinstated

“‘This is like feeding a baby its medicine in yogurt or applesauce’ said the official”

 

It seems to me that portraying Trump as someone who can be easily lured by Pentagon officials at the prospect of plunder to change a major decision is superficial, especially given a major decision governed completely by Trump’s political prospects and judgments.

Foreign policy as such does not really exist for Trump. The topic likely goes into the same mental trash bin as international organizations, “globalism,” and migration and refugees. Foreign affairs are just an arena for making gains in domestic political combat.

Trump’s political instincts are powerful, gut-level ones. He much resembles a high-level predator constantly sniffing the breeze for the scent of prey. Such instincts are not easily deflected or defeated.

Everything we really know about Trump – and, quite uniquely in modern history I think over so brief a time, we know an extraordinary amount of detail from many books and articles by insiders – simply does not support the idea of someone easily manipulated. Not at all.

Most insiders were baffled in their attempts to influence him, even in good ways. That includes people a good deal smarter than the average Pentagon general, but it also includes former top-level generals. Everyone agrees that he just does not listen to anyone, no matter what the person’s job title or qualifications, when what they are saying contains even a hint of anything which opposes his instincts.

While Trump is an erratic, rash, impatient, angry, and unpleasant man, he is also an unbelievably stubborn one, an almost textbook-perfect narcissist, one utterly convinced of his own rightness and remarkably proof against the ideas and arguments of others.

Trump functions at a gut level, and that’s just what the stuff about “plunder” and “feeding a baby” is intended to appeal to readers with. Yes, Trump is greedy – although I think no more so than most of the important players in Washington. But in this case, greed takes second place, at best, to political survival.

Trump is nothing less than obsessed with getting re-elected, and all of his twists and turns in Syria reflect that drive. He keeps making adjustments in what he is doing according to the political pressures he feels from different interests. Withdrawal was intended to appease the anti-war vote he desperately needs to supplement his not-quite-large-enough base. The anti-war folks made it possible for him to win in 2016.

But adjustments to the size and nature of that withdrawal reflect another important interest.

Nothing about American policy in the Middle East can be understood without taking account of Israel.

The Neocon Wars are not given that name for nothing. And efforts in Syria are just one theater in those wars, a theater where the decision was made to pursue the country’s destruction not through conventional invasion as in Iraq, something which had immense costs and many undesirable side-effects for the United States.

Israel wanted Syria toppled or broken up, but it was on the losing side in the main proxy war. It hung on to the hope of weakening Syria, as by creating a northeastern rump state for the Kurds, but that idea never was realistic given Erdogan’s attitude towards Kurds.

Trump’s original withdrawal, intended to attract anti-war voters – especially given the likelihood that the Democrats will oppose him with someone with no hint of being opposed to war, Biden or Warren – ignored what Israel wants. Trump has been reminded of what Israel wants – whether directly or by the Pentagon and CIA, both of whom have close working relationships with Israel.

So, a new scheme of occupying oil resources was hatched. This new hybrid scheme keeps an American presence in the region while allowing Syria to reclaim a considerable part of its lost territory, yet deprives Syria of a valuable natural resource, particularly critical with national reconstruction efforts ahead, efforts Trump has always been very uncooperative about, again looking to what Israel wants.

Trump does not need help, whether from the Pentagon or anyone else, in responding to what Israel wants. Such activity has been a dominant feature of his administration – as we’ve seen in everything from giving away what was not his to give in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to needlessly generating intense new hostilities against Iran and appointing people like Bolton and Pompeo to high office – Trump responds to Israel as few other presidents have.

And that responsiveness has a lot to do with his depending on some extremely wealthy American campaign contributors who help his sense of security both as to re-election and a possible impeachment. He can depend on them so long as he puts their major interest, Israel, as a top priority, and he has consistently done so.