Dr. Ron Paul recently gave an interview with Sputnik in which he stated that in all the debates over whether Donald Trump is an effective or ineffective leader, the bigger picture regarding the actual power that a US President has, is being largely ignored.
The former Congressman and Presidential candidate stated,
” I don’t think presidents really have much control. I think the deep state – the people behind the scenes and the shadow government, who control the monetary system, who control our foreign policy and the welfare state, and are connected to the media and the military-industrial complex. – I don’t think the presidency is as important as it’s made out to be. But everybody talks about it; it’s a political thing, and they keep churning the issue and directing everybody to ask ‘is Trump a good guy or a bad guy, and are we going to impeach him or what’s going to happen’, rather than [asking] what kind of philosophy do we have: why do we have this philosophy of welfare-warfare, spend money, run up debt and let the central bank print all that money.
They don’t even talk about it; the major parties, including Trump, they sign even more controls on us when it comes to FISA courts and spying on us. In spite of the fact that government officials like the FBI and others actually spy on our own president, he supports this; he passes and signs bills on that. So that really raises questions about ‘does the president really have much to say’, and I think he has much less to say than a lot of people believe. I believe that if he had stuck to his guns and had a different relationship with Russia and started bringing troops home and not aggravating things, he wouldn’t have been tolerated. Something would have happened”.
Hours after Dr. Paul’s interview was published, Donald Trump offered a statement on Syria which seems to wildly contradict official US policy. Just over a month ago, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the US will stay in Syria beyond the alleged battle against Daesh (ISIS). Furthermore, the White House stated that keeping US troops in Syria for the indefinite future will not require new domestic authorisation. The irony here is that it is international rather than domestic authorisation which determines the legality or illegality of the currently illegal US troop presence in Syria. This is a crucial matter that is seemingly lost equally on Trump and those who actually run his country.
Nevertheless, during a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump said the following regarding his position on Syria,
“We’re there for one reason: to get ISIS and get rid of ISIS, and to go home. We’re not there for any other reason and we’ve largely accomplished our goal”.
Clearly, this statement contradicts what other US officials, including both the Secretary of State and Defense Secretary have stated. While Trump implied that as the US has “largely accomplished” its goal and that as such, it will soon be leaving Syria, the facts on the ground say otherwise.
The US is currently occupying some of Syria’s most oil rich regions, while refusing to abandon its Kurdish YPG/SDF proxy militia, even while running the risk of losing what little trust is left with fellow NATO member Turkey. Meanwhile at the UN, US officials continue to blame Syria and its partners for the horrific atrocities committed by a Takfiri terrorist enclave in Eastern Ghouta, just outside of the capital, Damascus.
Something in Trump’s statement simply doesn’t add up, even though he saved his harshest words for Syria, Russia and Iran. According to what the US President just said, while he condemned Syria and its allies, he also stated that he essentially is not going to do anything about it, because the American mission in Syria has largely been “accomplished”.
Of course in 2003, George W. Bush famously stood under a “mission accomplished” banner shortly after the US war in Iraq began. Far from “accomplished” the US remains on Iraqi soil 15 years later. Whether Trump’s remarks were another “mission accomplished” moment or just another piece of evidence backing up Dr. Paul’s assertion, remains to be seen. However, when taken in totality, it does seem as though a man who is supposed to be the most powerful individual in the world, is more of a hostage to fortune than a mover of events.