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Focus on Trump obscures more important issues: Analyst

Professor James Petras

The excessive amount of time that is being spent on exposing US President Donald Trump’s personal issues is allowing Washington to dodge questions about more fundamental issues such as its role in the ongoing conflict in Syria, says an American academic.

Dr. James Petras, a Bartle professor emeritus of sociology based in New York, made the reamrks while discussing Fear, a controversial new book on Trump by Bob Woodward.

The book alleges that Trump allegedly demanded the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a 2017 chemical attack that Washington blamed on Damascus.

According to an excerpt from the book by Washington Post journalist, the US president told Defense Secretary James Mattis that he intended to assassinate the Syrian leader after the attack against the militant-held village of Khan Shaykhun in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib last year.

Mattis reportedly told Trump he would get "right on it" in an apparent attempt to pacify the president, but hung up the phone and instead told a senior aide, "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured," Woodward wrote.

The US national security team then prepared a plan for a more conventional airstrike that Trump ultimately ordered.

“The book by Bob Woodward “emphasizes on the psychological and mental processes of distortion and fanaticism and the impulsive nature of President Trump,” Petras told Press TV on Wednesday.

“So it’s a very questionable book that focuses on the personality disorders but it doesn’t deal with the substantive issues that is the fact that the US lies about Syrian use of gas, doesn’t discuss critically the bombing of Syria and the support for the terrorist organizations,” he argued.

The energy spent on outlining such peripheral issues ultimately “obscures the more fundamental issues of the US wars in the Middle East and particularly support for the terrorist alliance between Washington, Israel and the terrorists in Syria,” the academic concluded.

Several hours after the excerpts from Fear were first published, the White House issued a statement denouncing Woodward's book.

“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement.

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