“There is a palace coup underway.” This was the explanation offered by a Trump insider, as to why the U.S. President ordered a missile strike against a Syrian air base. “For the moment,” he added, “the neoconservatives have gained the upper hand.” They have been relentless, he said, pushing “fake news” about Trump and the Russians, to weaken him. “I’m afraid he has now fallen into the trap they have set for him,” by ordering the attack.
This source identified the removal of Steve Bannon from the National Security Council as essential to getting Trump to order the attack on Syria. Bannon, who ran Trump’s campaign and is his senior counselor and chief strategist, is known as a fierce opponent of foreign intervention, and is rumored to be engaged in a behind-the-scenes power struggle with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. It has been reported that Kushner objects to Bannon’s sharply anti-establishment outlook.
The view that Trump has given into the neocons is broadly shared by a significant number of those who voted for him. They are outraged that, in launching the military strike against Syria, he did something he repeatedly accused Hillary Clinton of intending to do. During his campaign, he repeatedly decried the Bush-Obama-Clinton policy of regime change, and the endless wars which have resulted. The action against Syria is seen as a repudiation of his election promise to end these wars.
The neo-cons, who have been mobilizing against Trump since he crushed them to win the Republican nomination, immediately embraced the action, led by war hawk Sen. John McCain and William Kristol, editor of the right-wing Weekly Standard and a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century, which has supported every bloody regime change operation in recent years. The neocons are collaborating with traitors in the intelligence community such as former CIA Director Brennan, with Obama/Clinton Democrats and with lying media such as the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, to delegitimize the Trump administration, by pressing the fraudulent charge that he owes his election victory to “collusion” with Russian President Putin.
The “trap” for Trump is that, by accepting lies from some advisers that Assad used chemical weapons, and ordering an attack on that basis, he is sabotaging one of the most promising aspects of his presidency, his declared commitment to cooperate with President Putin and the Russians against the terrorist ISIS and Al Qaeda forces in Iraq and Syria. Further, by doing so, he is alienating his base of war-weary voters, who rejected Clinton in part due to her support for an expanded U.S. involvement against Assad, and her willingness to confront Russia.