When Donald Trump joined the Anglo-French team of May and
Macron in launching missile strikes on Syria on April 14, many
Trump supporters in the United States became despondent,
fearing that he had abandoned his campaign promise to break
with the never-ending-war agenda of Presidents Bush and
Obama and their intelligence/security apparatus. Just prior to
that misguided decision to strike, the U.S. President announced
that U.S. troops would soon be withdrawn from Syria.
On April 15, French President Macron boasted that he had
“convinced” Trump to keep a military presence in Syria, and
Nikki Haley, the war-mongering U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
confirmed on the same day that Macron’s boast was accurate.
She added that new sanctions against Russia, for allegedly aiding
Syrian President Assad’s chemical weapon attack on civilians,
would be forthcoming, within 24 hours.
These events seemed to confirm that Trump had been “captured” by the
propaganda about chemical warfare, which had been backed
by his neo-con advisers, who are allied with the British.
In fact, the Washington Post ran an article on April 16 by
Greg Jaffe and others headlined “Trump, a reluctant hawk, has
battled his aides on Russia and lost.”
The authors asserted that,despite the President’s firm intention to improve relations with Russia and with President Putin personally, the alleged use of
chemical weapons by President Assad’s military against civilians
in Douma had forced him to recognize that this goal was unattainable.
They also report that he was firmly opposed to any
reprisals against Russia for the Skripal affair, but his advisers
managed to persuade him to give in to the “European allies”
and expel diplomats.
However, this “new narrative” on how Donald Trump had capitulated
to the “deep state” was decisively crushed by the main
protagonist himself. Indeed, Trump deployed his new National
Economic Council adviser Kudlow to publicly criticize Nikki Haley’s
remarks, saying she was “confused.” By April 16, he had
announced that he still intended to withdraw from Syria, as
the mission — to “crush” ISIS and Al Qaeda — had been accomplished,
and that there would be no new sanctions against
Left unsaid by Trump at this time, but clear from previous
statements, is that the defeat of the terrorists in Syria was
accomplished largely by Russia’s strong military support for the
government forces, and a degree of coordination between Russian
forces and U.S. military leaders.
Later in the week, the U.S. President confirmed he still intended
to hold a summit with President Putin. Toward this end,
his new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, met on April 19
with Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov at the White House.
Both sides confirmed that they discussed improving ties, which
have reached the lowest point in the post-Cold War period.