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Did A Blonde Blogger Inspire Trump’s Air Strikes on Syria? - Peter Diekmeyer (10/4/2017)

Did A Blonde Blogger Inspire Trump’s Air Strikes on Syria? - Peter Diekmeyer (10/4/2017)
By Peter Diekmeyer 2 years ago 137289 Views 24 comments

April 10, 2017

Donald Trump’s order of US air strikes on Syria last week provides investors with a sobering taste of what the coming four years could look like on the global-macro front.

The US attacks, against a seventh* Muslim country in less than three months, just days after his administration signaled tolerance for the Assad regime, portray an inexperienced and impulsive President with few checks on his behavior.

Trump is thus seemingly at the mercy of the last advisor he speaks to, or whatever information he picks up watching late night TV or surfing the Internet - his main sources of news.

We’ll get to that later. Let’s start by considering the radically-changed geopolitical environment.

The worst US foreign policy blunder since Bush

Let’s be blunt: The Trump Administration’s attack on Syria will rank as the worst US foreign policy mistake since the Bush Administration’s War on Iraq. It will almost certainly set the tone for the balance of Trump’s mandate, locking America into a trap, which it will be hard to back out of.

During the US election campaign, then-candidate Trump inspired hope that although his administration would carry a big stick, it would be less belligerent. Those hopes are gone, for several reasons.

Violation of US and international law

The first is that the Trump Administration’s strikes against Syria were launched without approval from Congress, the United Nations, nor any international body.

This marks a step up from actions against the other six Muslim countries that America has attacked* this year (Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia) where attempts were made to get some legal cover.

The message to American adversaries is clear: unless they get under a nuclear umbrella, held by Russia or China, they too are vulnerable.

War with Islam

Second, the Trump Administration’s air strikes on Syria come in the wake of a long record of rhetoric that gives increasing numbers of ordinary Muslims cause to believe that America is at war with Islam itself.

Barack Obama, whatever his faults, was regarded by much of the Muslim world as doing his best to hold back the US Deep State. After Syria, no one will believe that about Trump.

Strengthening the SCO

Third, the US air strikes against a Russian ally end any possibility of America splitting Russia from its deepening partnership with China. Indeed they create huge incentives for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which both countries are members, to strengthen their quasi-military partnership, and for other non-aligned nations, particularly Iran, to join.

The “United State of Fear”

Fourth, and most important, will be the effects on an American public, most of whom could not spell the names of the countries that their government has attacked, nor find them on a map.

Most Americans, not knowing who their enemies are, nor when they might retaliate, will thus spend the next four years in an uneasy “state of fear,” that will render effective judgement nearly impossible when the next crisis occurs.

One anecdote illustrates the scale of the challenge. A 2015 survey by Public Policy Polling asked Republican primary voters: “Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?” Respondents overwhelmingly favored bombing.

Thing is, Agrabah, which has an Arabic/Muslim sounding name, is a fictional country. It does not exist.

Is Trump watching Lauren Southern?

The dangers of inflammatory talk during a time of growing American Islamophobia was dramatically illustrated two weeks before the Trump attacks, by Lauren Southern, a fast-rising ex-Rebel media star.

In a shock video produced to build up her new channel Southern, author of Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation, launched a tirade against Muslims, new Americans and the decline in Western values.

“We have to deal with a sickness within ourselves and inside our culture,” said Southern. “I don’t think that high birth rates in a rapidly growing immigrant community, that suffers from rampant radicalization, is a recipe for success.”

Southern concluded by calling for the rise of “strong” men to take on the challenge.

The idea that Donald Trump was one of the more than 500,000 viewers who watched Southern’s video seems preposterous.

However investors now face a world in which there would be few restraints if a US President, with a penchant for beautiful young blondes, the Alt-Right and late night Internet surfing, did in fact stumble across unusual content.

(Note: Southern, in a request for comment, said that her use of the term “strong” as it would apply to Trump meant “not caving to neo-con whims to start a war that is not beneficial to the West.”)

Perpetual war. Perpetual spending. Perpetual printing.

The global-macro backdrop in which America now finds itself provides considerable clarity about where the country is headed on the fiscal and monetary policy fronts.

In the United States, wars, ranging from the Second World War to Vietnam and Iraq, were all fought with increased spending, financed by printed and borrowed money.

The base case scenario, as America awaits possible strikes on Korea, Iran and other nations that the Trump Administration had threatened, has to be for bigger budgets, continued low interest rates and central bank balance sheet expansion, for as far as the eye can see.

* The following list only includes reported strikes which this researcher could expeditiously track down. The United States also has numerous covert programs.

Libya

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-libya-strike-idUSKBN15320U

Afghanistan

http://thegardenisland.com/news/world/us-cites-progress-against-islamic-state-in-afghanistan/article_044965b4-be25-54e5-8dfb-c6c8d4685d6d.html

Yemen

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1139309/us-airstrikes-hit-terrorists-in-yemen

Pakistan

http://www.voanews.com/a/pakistani-militant-commander-reportedly-killed-in-us-drone-strike/3776029.html

Iraq

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/22/war-correspondents-describe-recent-u-s-airstrikes-in-iraq-syria-and-yemen/

Syria

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/22/war-correspondents-describe-recent-u-s-airstrikes-in-iraq-syria-and-yemen/

Somalia

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/usmilitary-now-authorized-conduct-offensive-airstrikes-somalia/story?id=46475314


Peter Diekmeyer is a business writer/editor with Sprott Money News, the National Post and Canadian Defence Review. He has studied in MBA, CA and Law programs and filed reports from more than two dozen countries.


The views and opinions expressed in this material are those of the author as of the publication date, are subject to change and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprott Money Ltd. Sprott Money does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness and reliability of the information or any results from its use.

Independent 2 years ago at 3:29 PM
Where have you been for the previous 8 years? Or are drone strikes ordered by a Democrat somehow benevolent?
Befuddled 2 years ago at 8:50 PM
Omg there's a pretty girl on the internet who thinks men should be strong...... and I should be outraged and buy your silver why again? Honest question.......
Oral Robots 2 years ago at 4:41 PM
If it's the OP's assertion that pretty women shouldn't be taken seriously on account of their looks, then he admits the MSM should be ignored.
Peter Diekmeyer 2 years ago at 8:41 AM
Great insight buddy.

I thought it was obvious to readers that US foreign policy was not really that different, no matter which party is in power.

In fact foreign policy for all nations, for centuries, has been governed by a philosophy Richelieu called "Raison d'État" and which Bismark referred to as "RealPolitik," which essentially boils down to: "We'll do what is good for us and we will define these actions as "selfless and in the interest of the common good."

Sounds like a great article subject.
Philip R 2 years ago at 6:41 PM
Well Trump voters were misled by a Trump who promised them the opposite. Would they have been more astute if they had voted for the other candidates who promised more of the same?
that's racist 2 years ago at 5:59 PM
An opportinistic partisan shill blogger trying to pin a geopolitic matter on a female journalist.
Bob 2 years ago at 6:07 PM
Lauren Southern has come out strongly against the missile strike. She just wants to keep them out of the US, not bomb the sh*t out of them. Turning this article into a Southern hit piece doesn't make sense. Did she reject the author's advances or something?
Peter Diekmeyer 2 years ago at 3:01 PM
LOL. Great point.

Yes Lauren did come out with a strong condemnation of the bombing about ten days after her first video (though the video was not up when this story was written).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIJs_Gd1mGY

She was actually quite helpful for this article.

We sent her an early draft and she got back to us within less than an hour with a response.
(Which we published in this story).
Philip R 2 years ago at 6:37 PM
And you might have had respect for her but you didn't.
peter diekmeyer 2 years ago at 3:17 PM
To be clear: Lauren Southern is going to become a major media star.

That is why I took the time to signal her to the investment community, despite the fact that I think she is off-tract on immigration.

In policy analysis you need to respect your adversaries more than your friends.

I'll give you a test: watch her video below, and now imagine it playing with Arabic subtitles, in an ISIS training camp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSe09SGLJfA
Mike Levance 2 years ago at 6:15 PM
Is this site like the onion? This has to be a parody article. If this is supposed to be taken seriously, God help us.
Peter Diekmeyer 2 years ago at 3:34 PM
This too is a good point. Thanks Mike.

Yes indeed, there was an element of satire in this story, though, as you may have noted, the author is no Jonathan Swift.

However it's thrust is serious: does America want a country in which the President can decide to attack someone based on a video he may have watched or the opinion of the last person he spoke to?

*****

By an ironic twist of fate, it turns out that President Trump's decision to attack Syria was indeed influenced by a young girl, a blonde in fact, his daughter Ivanka, who reports say was "heartbroken" about the alleged chemical attacks.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/eric-trump-says-syria-strike-was-swayed-heartbroken-ivanka-n745021

However in a democracy US military strikes would result from due process, which included some mix of United Nations security council resolutions, International Criminal Court proceedings and Congressional authorization.

Not because the President's daughter was "heartbroken."
Philip R 2 years ago at 6:35 PM
But seriously. This looks like a joke. And more sexism! The kind of sexism that makes the skin crawl even on so-called male chauvinist pigs who love the patriarchy. "Not because the President's daughter was "heartbroken."" Well obviously not. And you might have mentioned a pertinent fact or two such as the extensive financial interests Ivanka and her husband have in the destabilization of the Syrian government. Or the bigger financial interests of America's "allies". And you seem to think it is feasible for a nation to respond to a threat in real time by "due process, ...some mix of United Nations security council resolutions, International Criminal Court proceedings and Congressional authorization". Really? And to have any confidence in those institutions. Really? How can anyone on the Left ever address a crisis like this in the future and be taken seriously? Oh but you will. The MSM loves this kind of specious deception.
peter diekmeyer 2 years ago at 3:25 PM
That's a lot of points Phillip. I'll address the first one, and if you have any further questions, contact SM, and they will tell you how to contact me offline.

Your most interesting question in this batch relates to the question of sexism.

I too wondered why Lauren, in her video, only called for the rise of "strong men," and why she excluded women.
Snap 2 years ago at 8:48 PM
Obviously no. Do your homework on people before you write about them.
Uncle Joe 2 years ago at 9:20 PM
Ohh lord. Who let this fake news guy post an article here?
Jason 2 years ago at 2:02 AM
None of these countries has a name which is at all difficult to spell.
Philp R 2 years ago at 3:19 AM
It is likely that Trump does read Lauren Southern. (More likely than that he reads Peter Diekmeyer) Trump made perhaps a fatal political mistake. But attacking the Syrian airbase is not a blunder as big as Bush's Invasion of Iraq or the little acknowledged but more massive bombing campaigns and self contradicting policies of the Obama administration. As a side note: the Obama administration impoverished the U.S. and undermined human rights more than Bush's invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, bailout etc. Unfortunately it appears that the Trump administration will continue these kinds of self defeating policies. That is the wish of the MSM and the liberal, neocon or whatever you choose establishment. It's not the wish of Lauren Southern and many people who supported Trump. Very unfair to Lauren and this new punching bag the Alt-right. Sane people want a State that defends it's people and its interests. That means attacking enemies, not attacking innocent people and not enabling terrorists. Considering that children are being murdered all over the world, what does our nation gain from reacting to this event? Any person is offended by the murder of a child but if you can't resist being the policemen of the world at least attack the murderers, not the defenders of life. If that's Alt-right then label me Alt-right. What is wrong with you?
John Doe 2 years ago at 4:07 AM
The alt-right don't want foreign wars
Drew 2 years ago at 6:13 AM
So the Obama drone strikes killing civilians is ok, is that what I'm gathering from this narrative?
Peter Diekmeyer 2 years ago at 11:09 AM
Thanks for the comment guys. The three key takeaway questions I have are as follows:

1. Are there investment implications of a US President, who can change his policy regarding attacking another country overnight, unbound by the need to conform to US or international law?

2. Is the US Deep State fanning war and and anti-Muslim rhetoric to distract attention from a deteriorating and indebted economy?

3. Is the Alt-Right (including Lauren, who, as noted in the article, did condemn the strike on Syria) falling for the bait?
Philip R 2 years ago at 6:04 PM
As to your "points" 1. Investment implications are not addressed in your article. 2. Al Nusrah and IS, in case you didn't notice are Muslims. And Egypt, Jordan and Turkey are Islamic states. How is this anti-Muslim? Do you care that it is actually anti-Christian? And who is surprised if war mongers want war? 3. More like you are falling for the bait. You've deliberately misrepresented Lauren even though she helped you with your article. How does not supporting the attack on Syria become Blonde Blogger starts WW III? And how dare you say a blonde? Why do people on the Left always assume they can get away with their unconscious sexism and religious bigotry while accusing others of that? From the tone of your article it wasn't necessary to include the word dumb with the word blonde.
peter diekmeyer 2 years ago at 3:33 PM
LOL. You again?

OK. I'll give you one more answer, this time regarding your top criticism, (in this set) which is that "investment issues are not addressed," in this article.

In fact, despite this article's satirical title and theme, the piece was entirely about investment issues.

****

I am not sure how closely you follow gold and monetary policy, but the conclusions of the article are explicit:

"The global-macro backdrop in which America now finds itself provides considerable clarity about where the country is headed on the fiscal and monetary policy fronts.

In the United States, wars, ranging from the Second World War to Vietnam and Iraq, were all fought with increased spending, financed by printed and borrowed money.

The base case scenario, as America awaits possible strikes on Korea, Iran and other nations that the Trump Administration had threatened, has to be for bigger budgets, continued low interest rates and central bank balance sheet expansion, for as far as the eye can see."
John Doe 2 years ago at 6:58 PM
This guy is clearly a clueless and tendentious bigot diorced utterly from reality so as to avoid any information injurious to his pre-determined ideologically pure world view. Take his advice and analysis with a MASSIVE grain of salt and good luck.
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