President Donald Trump has repeatedly castigated President Bashar al-Assad for ordering a gruesome mass killing of civilians with chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun.
This accusation, unsubstantiated due to lack of investigation, sparked a bolstering of support for the Syrian regime from both Moscow and Tehran.
Were the account of an ordered chemical weapons attack to prove unassailably true - and Assad isn't exactly known for being a gentle despot - Trump could have handily earned a congressional green light and perhaps approval from NATO to obliterate Syrian Arab Army forces responsible.
Yet - images of deceased children, women, and men still echoing in shock waves around the planet - the reality show host-turned American President, tellingly, did neither.
Fifty-nine $1.87 million Tomahawk missiles raining down on a Syrian air base not long after the ostensive toxic gassing answered with finality whether Trump would fall in line with a succession of pompously bellicose presidents - as well as whether the neocon political establishment's longstanding mission to forcibly bend Syria to its will.
While the preceding bears the names of leaders and nations familiar to current headlines, that assessment, cogently titled, "Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria," from former CIA officer Graham Fuller in actuality discusses Syria under Assad's predecessor - his father, Hafez al-Assad - and is dated September 14, 1983, amid the Iran-Iraq War.
Read FULL report
Fuller's analysis, points out evinces Assad as a nuisance hindering American empire's lust to control vast fossil fuel stores and protect ally, Israel, against multiple threats in the Middle East.
Destabilization of Iraq and Iran also features prominently in the intricate U.S. plan to deal with the irritant, elder Assad - who, incidentally, recognized Western ulterior motives for what they were.
As the six-page above document continues,
With Iraq seeking to enjoin support internationally in the war, the U.S. had to scramble to prevent the shutdown of a pipeline - a dilemma Fuller suggests could be alleviated through a change in narrative to present Syria as a more deviant enemy than even Iran.
That, alone, would have changed the face of the war bearing the names of the two principal adversaries:
Further, he continued,
In context, then-President Ronald Reagan faced pressure both to insert military power in Lebanon - a theater of stated neutrality for the U.S. - and to prohibit actual military assistance in the fraught regional entanglement.
That is, until a suicide bomber decimated a U.S. Marines barracks encamped at an airport in Beirut, killing hundreds - just one month subsequent to the date on Fuller's Syria action plan.
That the CIA - master meddler in the affairs of sovereign nations - determined fault for the bombings rested with Syria and Iran left both plausibly responsible, with public perception largely following suit.
That a situation eerily similar - in behind-the-scenes string-pulling and long-term U.S. commitment to deposing an Assad from rule in Syria - appears to be playing out nearly three-and-a-half decades later, bellows resoundingly on failures of interventionist foreign policy.
Or, perhaps, its successes.
To make proud the neocon war-hawks ravenous to rain missiles upon Assad's forces would duly emblazon the already blood-tinged U.S. government as chief aggressor in a conflict that had been nearing resolution - if not, ultimately, the catalyst for the third world war.
To withdraw militarily and negotiate a reasonable conclusion to the quagmire in Syria, would mean admitting defeat in the removal of Assad - as well as a black eye from the propaganda-suckered who find solace in the Western policy of killing people to teach people killing people is wrong.
In fact, for Trump and his ilk to save face over Syria and prevent the increasing likelihood of direct military conflict with Russia seems an impossibility at this late hour.
In only the past week, incessant drums of war reached a frenetic and dizzying pace - met only by furious uproar over yet another theater of war - despite Syria unofficially having been precisely that for the United States for decades.