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Turmp ‘helpless’ vis-a-vis US military-industrial complex: Analyst

US President Donald J. Trump welcomes Roger S. Penske and his family to the White House delivering remarks before the presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on October 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize millions of dollars in aid to the Western-backed White Helmets group is in contrast with his denunciation of the groups that have so far contributed to the destabilization of Syria and mainly stems from his helplessness in terms of his relationship with the US military industrial complex, an American scholar and political commentator says.

Kevin Barrett, who is an author journalist and radio host in Wisconsin, made the remark in an interview with Press TV while commenting on Trump’s authorization of $4.5 million in aid to the White Helmets operating in Syria, an organization known for staging false-flag chemical attacks in the war-torn country.

“President Trump, today, is decrying the military-industrial complex, saying he wants to end the forever wars that grew out of the 9/11 incident… Trump who is pulling out of Syria would be more than willing to expose the dubious elements of the White Helmets. Trump has famously said that [former secretary of state] Hillary [Clinton] and [former US President Barack] Obama created ISIS or Daesh, which is largely true. So why is Trump suddenly helping out the White Helmets, who are one of those groups that Hillary and Obama helped create to destabilize Syria?” Barrett said.

“The answer is that Donald Trump is helpless to a large extent in terms of his relationship with that very military industrial complex that he criticizes; he is unable to rein in the warmongers. When he drafts orders to pull out of places like Afghanistan and Syria, sometimes those orders are seen around on his desk and his advisers take them and crumple them up and throw them in the wastebasket hoping he may forget about them,” the American scholar added.

"If Trump is really sincere in his desire to wind down the forever wars and to end US interventionism in the Middle East and elsewhere he is going to have to become a bit more masculine and assertive, he is going to have to stand up against people around him," Barrett noted.

The Trump administration also provided $6.8 million in funding to the White Helmets in June.

The White Helmets have operated solely in areas controlled by anti-government groups in Syria.  

Russia and Syria say the group is linked to Nusra Front terrorists. They say the White Helmets have contributed to false flag chemical attacks aimed at accusing the Syrian government of targeting its own people.

Trump's aid came after he ordered the withdrawal of US forces from northeastern Syria on October 6, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region.

Three days later, Turkey launched the offensive with the aim of purging the northern Syrian regions near its border of US-backed Kurdish militants, whom it views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria says the Turkish offensive has killed 218 civilians, including 18 children, since its outset. The fighting has also wounded more than 650 people.

On October 17, US Vice President Mike Pence said Washington and Ankara had agreed on a five-day ceasefire in Turkey's attacks on Kurdish fighters in the region. 

Pence said Ankara would halt its offensive, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, for 120 hours in order to allow the militants to withdraw 30 kilometers from the Turkey-Syria border.

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