On Friday, the United States launched missile strikes on a Syrian air base, in response to reports that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons on civilians.
According to briefings from the Pentagon, dozens of Tomahawk missiles were fired from the USS Porter, and the USS Ross stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The strike which destroyed aircraft, hangers, and ammunition supply bankers at Shayrat airfield, is believed by some conspiracy theories to be a 'distraction' tactic by the President.
It's not an uncommon theory that starting a war, banging the jingoism drum, is a political tactic used by leaders of nations to distract from a floundering domestic agenda.
The move also marks a shift in rhetoric for President Donald Trump, who previously spoke out against American military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
Representative Ted Lieu (D- CA) has joined those claiming the strikes are a distraction tactic.
If you’re facing possible collusion with Putin, you just might want to distract people.
The comment was made on the Bill Maher show, in response to this point from Maher:
[The] liberal idea that he was installed by Putin as a stooge to do whatever Putin wanted. This is not what Putin wanted.
Russia has condemned the strikes, and moved one of its Admiral Grigorovich class missile frigates from the Black Sea into the Eastern Mediterranean, approaching the US Navy destroyers Porter and Ross.
As such Representative Lieu appears to imply that not only is it a distraction tactic, but one designed to throw off the scent for people who believe Russia interfered in the US election to swing it for president Trump.
Representative Lieu is a minority member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Deep state at work?
The strikes came days after a reorganisation of the National Security Council (NSC) and its governing body, the principals committee.
The reorganisation removed the president's chief strategist Steve Bannon from 'regular attendee' status, and replaced him with more permanent apolitical officials in the military and intelligence community.
Furthermore the national security advisor Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster was made superior to the homeland security advisor, and in control of the agenda and calling of the principals committee.
The timing of these bureaucratic manoeuvres, and the about-turn from isolationist to interventionist policy, have led some to suggest they are connected.
In same Bill Maher appearance, representative Lieu stated he supported the president's decision to remove Bannon.
However, on the topic of the strikes Lieu stated he thought there was 'no strategy', and that it had placed into greater danger the American troops currently on the ground in Syria.