Sputnik discussed this with Stephen Lendman, an independent journalist and writer.
Sputnik: US President Donald Trump has threatened to strike Syria and he has told Russia to get ready, what do you make of that comment?
Stephen Lendman: It's really lunacy, imperial madness is the expression I like to use. I think he has been co-opted by the lunatics, they are already pestering his administration and, of course, John Bolton just joined and Mike Pompeo will be his new Secretary of State as soon as he's confirmed by the Senate, so he's really has a hardened war Cabinet; that's the expression I like to use.
I think they convinced him that this is the right thing to do, he may actually believe in that false flag in Douma. There was no chemical weapons attack, but he actually may believe that the attack occurred. He follows Fox news in America for news, and of course, they tell him nothing. There was no attack, it was a false flag and based on a big lie; he risks inciting potential global conflict.
Sputnik: It is a very frightening situation now and there is a whole chain of command that Trump has to go through. You mentioned some of the people in the chain of command, do you see any sort of resistance from any of the members of the upper command of the US Army?
Stephen Lendman: I think there may be, the resistance may come from the Pentagon. Trump knows nothing about getting into a major war; that's left to the generals and the generals in the Pentagon know an awful lot about waging war, they know a lot about Russia's military strength, when Russia says it can down incoming US missiles the Pentagon believes it, Trump may not believe, but the Pentagon believes it. Maybe the Pentagon will convince him to back off a little bit and not do something like this, maybe a very light strike somewhere, something like the Shayrat Airbase a year ago in April.
Another thing that gives me a little bit of hope is that Theresa May in Britain is getting little skittish about this. According to the UK media, she wants evidence of a chemical weapons attack in Douma and, of course, there is no evidence, it's a bunch of rubbish the US media reports, but if she goes after accurate information she'll learn that there was no CW attack in Douma, so she's a little bit hesitant, she wants the evidence, she won't get it. France, I think, is a little bit more belligerent, I'm certain that Israel is very belligerent, looking for any reason to attack Syria, and this thing could explode into something very, very dangerous. I remember the 1962 Cuban missile crisis vividly; it was nothing, it paled in comparison to what can potentially go on now.
Sputnik: What do you think is going to happen as far as who will be involved in this, will it be France? Trump said that he was going to get out of Syria and he said that he's going to let the other guys take care of it and Macron has been quite vocal about avenging for a chemical attack, do you think that France will be involved in this instead of the US, is that a possibility?
Stephen Lendman: Oh no, I think America will lead whatever happens, but it's a very good chance that it could be a joint US, UK, French and Israeli operation. I think Israel is just itching to do something more extreme than it's already done and if it has America's blessing it could join in, and again believing, these countries believing that together they have power and that Russia really won't respond militarily, at least very much to this.I think this is a false notion, I think that if Russia said it would down incoming missiles they should believe it's true, I think this is exactly what will happen.
Russia really wants to avoid at all costs a confrontation with the West, downing missiles is a little bit different than attacking the US forces, but it also said that they will attack the launch pads of these missiles, the launch pads maybe the US vessels in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Syria, does that mean Russia will attack US warships? I doubt that will happen but I think that it will have no problem whatsoever about targeting the incoming missiles and Syria will also do it.
Russia has the powerful air defense system, the S-400's and they can absolutely down these missiles, I think that will happen, maybe that will send a message to Trump that he's messing with the wrong partner, but the one thing that really needs to be avoided, and I'm afraid it may not be, it's getting into a major confrontation.
We could see any swift confrontation, it could be something hugely dangerous, it really scares me very much. Most Americans are not getting this information, they have no idea what the danger is, they don't know what the government may do, and even if the US cruise missiles start flying most Americans will have no idea what's going on.
Sputnik: What can you say about this last meeting of the UN Security Council where we had two motions to investigate and they were both vetoed by the US and by Russia for an investigation into this alleged chemical weapon attack, what happened?
Stephen Lendman: It really doesn't matter at all with the Security Council does or doesn't do, it can come up with any resolutions it wishes and America does what it pleases anyway. You can look back in history and all of the important resolutions that the Security Council passed, including the December 2016, when did condemn the Israeli settlement expansions and the US did not veto that, amazing, an abstention instead of a veto, America does what it pleases, Trump changed everything when he came to power, Israel has ignored all the earlier UN resolutions against its settlements, so these countries do what they please, Israel does what it pleases, America does what he pleases, I think there is a very good possibility that we will be seeing missiles flying in Syria and have the situation escalate beyond where it is now. It is already extremely dangerous, the war in its eight year and it looks like it is going to become more dangerous now than it's been before, it's a forever war just like Afghanistan, 17 years.
Views and opinions expressed in this article by Stephen Lendman are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.