Tuesday, February 5

Wenn Trump nur wüsste

I've been noting a number of attempts to excuse President Trump's actions regarding Syria. The excuses boil down to the one invoked by many Germans living under Nazi rule, and encapsulated in the infamous phrase, "Wenn der Führer nur wüsste “ -- If Hitler only knew.

This defense continued even after the war's end, with many Germans refusing to believe Hitler could have known about, much less directed, the genocide exposed during the Nuremberg trials:
It wasn’t until Eichmann’s trial in 1961 that the world finally learned, and Germany confronted, the full extent and monstrosity of the final solution. The extermination of the European Jews was not the improvised handiwork of a few rogue Gestapo agents, operating secretly under the Fuhrer’s nose; it was the result of a well-planned, state-wide campaign of extermination, carried out with the willing participation of state ministries and the military at all levels. The idea of “If only the Fuhrer knew” wasn’t a mere excuse exonerating Hitler, it was an apology for the whole nation of Germany.
The government of the United States of America under the regimes of Barack Obama and Donald Trump, along with the entire NATO leadership, were knowing participants in the genocide perpetrated against Syria's Alawites. If not for the Russian intervention in Syria the perpetrators would've gotten away with wiping out the Alawites.  

Who planned the genocide? Recently I wrote that the hallmark of evil is the enormous complexity it creates to cover its tracks. I'd guess the prime suspect would be the Saudi regime but so many governments were involved and there's been so much blame-shifting it might take another decade to untangle the mess.    

In any case, the Russians blew the lid off when they exposed that the U.S. and its coalition had been aiding and abetting Islamic State in Syria. This happened when President Vladimir Putin displayed satellite photos at a G20 summit in Turkey, photos that showed large convoys of oil tanker traffic making brazenly routine runs between IS-controlled territory in Syria and Turkey's border. It would have been impossible for the U.S. command to overlook the convoys, yet they took half-hearted measures only after they learned the Russians were preparing to present evidence about what was happening. 
Caught red-handed, a grim-faced President Obama met with Putin on the sidelines of the summit, in what unfolding events suggested was his attempt to sweep the outrage under the rug by striking a 'deal' with the Russians. But even if Putin agreed to a deal, Obama repeatedly misled the Kremlin right up until the time he left office about the plan for Syria.

President Trump has carried forward the plan despite any of his rhetoric to the contrary. To assume or hope that he hasn't known what's been going on Syria, or that all the evil is the work of a cabal of neocons he can't control, is a kind of mental self-blinding. 

To ask why about any of this is an attempt to psychoanalyse the devil -- just about the most useless thing one can do. Once I recounted on this blog that I had to learn the hard way that the most one can ever do with evil is give it a good thrashing and send it on its way. 

It can take a long time to be in a position to give evil a good thrashing; until then the most that can be done is what the Russians did in Syria: try to hold the line and speak the truth as loudly as possible. And pray like mad.


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