New York Times goads Trump into major new war in Syria
Bill Van Auken
15 September 2018
The past week has seen a growing drumbeat of US threats against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and its Russian and Iranian allies that Washington and its NATO allies are preparing to launch a major military assault in response to the offensive begun by Damascus to reassert control over the northwestern province of Idlib.
The Trump administration, which has twice carried out missile strikes on Syrian government targets on the pretext of responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces, is threatening to carry out significantly greater aggression this time around.
While Washington and its allies have all issued repeated warnings about a supposedly imminent chemical weapons strike by Damascus, the Russian defense ministry has reported that it has intelligence that Western-backed “rebels” have brought quantities of chlorine into Idlib and are preparing to stage and film a bogus attack in order to provoke a US-led bombing campaign.
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made it clear in an interview with Fox News this week that Washington would not rely on a fake chemical attack. “Any offensive on the civilian people in Idlib was going to be dealt with,” she said, warning Damascus, Tehran and Moscow, “Don’t test us again.”
Under these conditions, one of the most right-wing figures in the New York Times’ stable of opinion writers has issued an angry indictment of the Trump administration for failing to prosecute a direct military confrontation with Iran in Syria.
“The Trump administration has made clear that its top priority in the Middle East is to thwart Iran’s nuclear and regional ambitions. So why is it so…