Podcast: Week in Review — No, It’s Not World War III

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin wave at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, November 2017

I joined Paul Ross of talkRADIO early Friday for our weekly review of all matters rational and irrational.

This week, I spent most of the 15 minutes talking Paul down off his ledge of worry, watching the build-up to last night’s US-UK-France strikes on Syria. We discussed the catalyst for the operations — the Assad regime’s chemical attacks last week on Douma near Damascus — and why they will not lead to a showdown with Russia.

I’m not quite hiding under my bed yet. Still avoiding the bunker.

While we should all be concerned, the people who have suffered the most over the past seven years are the Syrian people….

We will see some type of action by the US, UK, and France, but it will be a one-off attack on the Assad regime’s military facilities….

The question is not whether we are entering a new Cold War or a World War III, but where next for those people in Syria?

Listen from 5:23 in 0100-0130 Segment

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. American Deep State, MI6 behind Syria Strike – US Analyst : https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/04/14/1699909/american-deep-state-mi6-behind-syria-strike-us-analyst

    “President Trump seems to be surrounded by liars who are providing him with false intelligence, manipulating data, and essentially deceiving him to advance a political agenda that includes the continued deconstruction of the Middle East regimes targeted by the Israeli-Zionist and Neoconservative war-mongers…,” Scott Bennett, a former US Army special operations officer, told Tasnim News Agency.”

    Meanwhile, the Pentagon is accusing Russian trolls of spreading lies on Syria: https://wtop.com/national/2018/04/the-latest-israel-says-syria-brought-airstrikes-on-itself/

    • Ah, yes, Scott Bennett — a favorite of Press TV. Like I said, Russia and Iran (and InfoWars) love having these guys on spinning conspiracy theories.

  2. Interesting that the NYT, in its report on the strikes last night, refers to the Douma incident as a “suspected chemical attack”: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/world/middleeast/trump-strikes-syria-attack.html

    “The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.”

    The NYT is vociferously anti-Assad, but there appears real doubts in the media, especially due to General Mattis’ cautious remarks and the lack of evidence provided by the US Government, that a nerve agent was used even if chlorine (a chemical present in table salt and household bleach) may have been deployed.

    • Some agencies have used the modifier “suspected” because they are working on the lines that no formal investigation has been conducted.

      This should not distract from conclusions of US, UK, and France that there was a “confirmed” chemical attack with chlorine by the Assad regime. The only discussion now within those governments is the nature of an additional agent, likely to be an organophosphate.


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