Trump’s attack on Syria; a wag the dog or a false flag operation?

If Trump had any credibility then perhaps his account of what happened might not even be questioned.


If there ever were a situation that appeared to be a Wag the Dog or a False Flag operation we just witnessed it when Mr. Trump launched his missile attack on a Syrian government military facility.

The astute, level-headed Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military empire, judge, jury and prosecutor in cases of suspected crimes; soon after he heard that some unknown entity had launched a chemical gas attack on the city of Khan Sheikhoun Syria, gave the order to launch that retaliatory attack.

Yes, if a chemical gas attack was actually committed it would be a heinous act to be sure and whoever is proven to be responsible should be condemned and punished if at all possible. However, the facts and evidence need to be presented before any action is taken, that’s the normal way that these situations are handled.

But, things in America are anything but normal right now since we have this president who has a very short fuse, a rush to anger and judgment, and is quick to retaliate in situations that, instead, call for careful, in-depth analysis and appropriate conclusions before action is taken.

But that’s not Trump’s style as he quickly dismissed all those prerequisites and didn’t hesitate to take unilateral action. The reported chemical attack was made on April 4th and Trump’s order to launch the missiles from U.S. offshore ships was given only two days later on Thursday, April 6th.

Yes, this missile launch by Trump has all the makings of either a Wag the Dog or a False Flag operation. So with that in mind let’s discuss two means by which U.S. presidents in the past have used such tactics to divert attention from some crisis going on within their administrations or in situations when they were personally on the hot seat for some reason.

Wag the dog

A typical definition is: “a cleverly planned strategy by which attention is purposely diverted from something of greater importance to something of lesser importance to keep everyone from discovering the real truth.”

A viable observation might be that the Trump administration, not really knowing who was clearly responsible for the chemical gas attacks, decided to capitalize on the situation by doing something spectacular and launched the missile attack on the Syrian government facility.

Why? Maybe because it was felt by those in charge that they needed to divert attention away from the many controversies in which they were involved. If this is true in this current situation it would be a classic example of how the Wag the Dog strategy has been used in the past.

Did the Syrian government initiate the chemical attacks? No one can say for sure at this point. Here’s an article that indicates that the jury is still out as far as who is responsible and the real culprit will not be determined until an extensive investigation by neutral parties is done. Right now the arrow is pointing to either Assad or one or more of the rebel/terrorist groups.

False flag

Then again it may well be that this action by the Trump White House is an example of what is called a “false flag” operation. This from Wikipedia; “The term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.”

The U.S. has been working with various supposedly moderate rebel groups who want to remove Assad from power. Close observers have raised the possibility that one of these groups many have staged this chemical attack to make it look like the Assad government did it. This may be another situation such as the one that took place in 2013 in Ghouta, Syria, as detailed in the following paragraph.

The Ghouta, Syria incident

What happened in this current Syrian event is almost identical to what happened there in 2013 when a similar alleged gas attack was made on the city of Ghouta, Syria. The first thing that the Obama administration did was to blame Assad for the attack. Various experts on chemical gasses, including UN inspectors, analyzed all factors in that attack, but no evidence of any kind was presented to tie Assad to them in any way.

It was determined that, in all likelihood, it was done by one of the rebel/terrorists groups. U.S. intelligence agencies reluctantly had to admit that this probably was the case. And now we have a similar situation in which Assad is said to be the guilty party without any real proof.

The big difference between Obama and Trump is that Obama did not immediately launch an attack on the Syrian government but waited to see if the accusations against Assad were viable. And it was a good thing that he did just that.

The height of hypocrisy

Want to hear an example of hypocrisy of the highest order? Trump, after this attack, made some seemingly very sincere statements to the effect that these were crimes against little innocent children who were helpless and didn’t deserve to die; he made a big spectacle of his deep agony over their deaths. And, yes, this was a terrible tragedy.

But did anyone hear him express these same deep feelings over the case in which U.S. led coalition forces, under his orders not long ago, bombed the city of Mosul, Iraq and caused the deaths of some 200 Iraqis, including many children? Did we hear him shedding his crocodile tears over those “innocent babies” who were killed in that failed attack for which he is responsible? No, because those babies must not have been as important as the ones who were killed in Syria.

The disgusting response by the media, many Republicans and Democrats

What is really sickening is when some military action of this sort, whether justified or not, immediately brings heaps of praise on the president who took the action by the Washington war hawks, a large number of Republicans, Democrats and the mainstream media; all of which seem to be simply thrilled. What better example of how the agenda of perpetual war has become embedded into the psyches of these politicians and the corporate-controlled media.

Brian Williams of MSNBC, as he was reporting the launching of these U.S. missiles, used the word beautiful three times in less than a minute and was clearly ecstatic about what was happening. Fareed Zakaria of CNN also was enthralled by the spectacle, as were any number of other news reporters.

What might Russia do?

Russia will never allow itself be forced out of Syria by the U.S. or let Assad be removed from power. It has a very strategic naval base at Tartus on the Black Sea and The Khmeimim air base near the city of Latakia. There is no way that it is going to abandon either one.

Does anyone think that Russia is going to let Trump launch one attack after another on the Syrian government without retaliating in some way at some point?

Trump seems to have no idea of the massive war he could initiate with Russia if he continues to launch such reckless attacks. The last country in the world to go up against, one which has a nuclear arsenal equal to or even larger than the U.S., as well as very sophisticated military weaponry, is Russia. Tread lightly Mr. Trump.

The average American has little to no knowledge or comprehension of what really is behind that ongoing crisis in Syria by which hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or wounded, with several million fleeing into other countries.

This entire bloody, monstrous situation has erupted for one main reason. It’s all about pipelines for transporting gas and oil. And it involves the country of Qatar that possesses massive gas fields and Saudi Arabia, its close ally.

This all started with the pipeline that Qatar wanted to construct in Syria to go through that nation, through Turkey, and then into the European market to replace Russia as Europe’s primary source of natural gas. President Assad initially agreed to a deal with Qatar but then changed his mind; that’s when all the trouble erupted. Russia, by backing Assad, is making sure that Syria will never let any such pipeline run through it.

For an in-depth discussion of this entire issue regarding these pipelines refer to one of my previous articles on this subject entitled, “Underlying Reasons for the Raging Syrian War: Competing Natural Gas Pipelines.”

Russia has just announced that it will ask for an intensive investigation to be conducted by the OPCW organization headquartered in The Hague in order to determine what exactly happened in this city of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria.

Was there some form of poison gas used? Also, there is a need to try to determine which entity in Syria, the government of Assad or some rebel/terrorist faction, or some other unknown party committed the heinous act.

If Trump had any credibility then perhaps his account of what happened might not even be questioned. But since he has little to none the real facts and evidence need to be presented and we will just have to wait for the conclusions that will be made by the inspectors who will soon conduct the investigation.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.