Yves here. This article at the Real News Network was written with the correct assumption based on Trump’s remarks Wednesday that he would make a military response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria attributed to Assad. It appears to be based on an audio; the rush version had missing apostrophes; hopefully I have caught them all.
By Phyllis Bennis,s a Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. She is the author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis, Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer and Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer. Her most recent book is Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer. Originally published at the Real News Network
Let’s start with what we don’t know. Experts remain uncertain what chemical(s) were involved in the horrific chemical attack, almost certainly from the air, on the village of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province in Syria. The nerve agent sarin, chlorine, and unknown combinations of chemicals have all been identified as possible, but in the first 48 hours nothing has been confirmed. We don’t know for sure yet what it was that killed more than 75 people, many of them children, and injured many more.
Crucially, we also don’t know who was responsible. Western governments, led by the United States, and much of the western press have asserted that the Syrian regime is responsible, but there is still no clear evidence. Certainly Damascus has an air force, has been known to use chemical, particularly chlorine, weapons in 2014 and 2015. So thats certainly possible.
A US military escalation against Syria (because we must not forget that US Special Forces and US bombers are already fighting there) will not help the victims of this heinous chemical attack, it will not bring the devastating war in Syria to a quicker end, it will not bring back the dead children.
The Syrian military denies using chemical weapons. Their international backer, Russia, claims that the Syrian military did drop bombs in the affected area but that the chemical effect was not in the bombs dropped but rather from the explosion of an alleged chemical warehouse under the control of unnamed rebel forces. The same report by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that found Syrian government responsibility for chlorine attacks also found that ISIS had used another chemical weapon, mustard gas, and investigated at least three other chemical weapons attacks whose perpetrators could not be identified. So that could be possible as well.
For a variety of reasons, some of these possibilities don’t hold up so well if the chemical used this week was the sarin nerve agent but we don’t know yet what it was.
There are some other, perhaps even more important things, that we do know. We know that in 2013, at the time of an earlier, even more deadly chemical weapon attack, similar accusations against the Syrian regime were widely made, assumed to be true, and used as the basis for calls for direct US military intervention in the civil war. And we know those accusations were never proved, and that it remains uncertain even now, almost four years later, who was actually responsible.
And we know that the bombing of Syria in 2013 was averted, despite President Obama’s red line being crossed, because an enormous US and global campaign against such a disastrous escalation made it politically too costly to launch a new US war. This was a president willing but not eager, or driven, to go to war. When Obama turned decision-making over to Congress, hundreds of thousands of people across the United States called and wrote and emailed their representatives, urging them to prevent a new war. In some offices calls were running six or seven hundred to one against a new bombing campaign.
And we know that President Obama turned it over to Congress in the first place because the British parliament, facing massive public opposition, made clear that the UK would not join its US ally in going to war against Syria. And eventually, when Congressional opposition became undeniable, Russia provided the US with a way out, arranging for international collection and destruction of Syrias chemical weapons arsenal. Chlorine was not included, and it is certainly possible that Syria didn’t declare all of its weapons, or perhaps the precursor chemicals to make them, and but that claim was never proven. Ultimately, though, a US attack was averted.
Much is different now from 2013. The state of the Syrian civil war is far different in 2013, the war was still new and uncertain; today it is recognized as the worlds most devastating conflict. There is little chance of UK involvement in a military attack on Syria this time around, so the sudden resistance of a key US ally isnt going to happen. Congress is not being consulted, and it is very unclear whether Congressmembers of either party are prepared to take on challenging a military campaign dressed up as a campaign for justice.
At the United Nations, Trumps Ambassador Nikki Haley seemed to be channeling George W. Bush even more than her actual boss. She threatened that if the Security Council did not act according to US demandsmeaning if it resisted authorizing military escalation in Syriathat the US was prepared to go alone. International law, the UN Charter, diplomacy be damned.
And this is a president, a cabinet, a White House with no military or diplomatic experience, with no understanding of the complications of the roiling Middle East conflicts or the consequences of war, and with a personal eagerness to demonstrate power. This is not a president accountable to a political party, to Congress and its constitutional role in military decision-making, and certainly less accountable to international law.
Trump’s incoherent reaction on Wednesday showed the lack of any strategic understanding in his foreign policy. He blames former President Obama for the crisis in Syria, while Trump of course had urged Obama not to attack Syria after the chemical bombing of 2013, tweeting in all caps DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. He continued that criticism of Obama, but then switched gears to brag about his flexibility, noting that my attitude towards Syria and Assad have changed very much. It was a clear implication hes considering a military response, although he pulled back from any clarity on that as well. Asked what his message would be to the Iranian militias supporting the Syrian military, Trump first went off on an unrelated attack on the Iranian nuclear deal, eventually circling back to a threatening but vague You will see what the message will be. They will have a message.
And the anti-Trump resistance that rose so heroically from the first moments of this presidency faces new challenges on a daily, even hourly basis. The mobilizationsin the streets, at the airports, at the White House, at the Supreme Court and beyondand the letters and petitions and sit-ins and teach-ins and more, have been incredibly powerful. Remobilizing those exhausted millions around an anti-war message will be a huge challenge for anti-war and indeed the whole range of social movements. As usual, much remains unknown.
But we know two crucial things, things that were true then, and remain true today. We know that using chemical weapons of any sort, in any war, against any targetis a crime. And we know there must ultimately be accountability for those who use it, regardless of who they are. That will take time.
In the meantime we know another truth: that a US military escalation against Syria (because we must not forget that US Special Forces and US bombers are already fighting there) will not help the victims of this heinous chemical attack, it will not bring the devastating war in Syria to a quicker end, it will not bring back the dead children. It will not defeat ISIS or end terrorism, it will create more terrorists. It will almost certainly cause more casualties, more injuries, and more dead. Maybe dead children. There is still no military solution. This is what we know.
To quote; “Certainly Damascus has an air force, has been known to use chemical, particularly chlorine, weapons in 2014 and 2015.”
There is hot debate about those two instances and some conjecture that hostages were the victims of those attacks and the perpetrators were anyone but the Syrian Arab Army or air force. A “primer” that neglects mention of the controversy in evidence suddenly becomes mere propaganda.
There are strong allegations of hostages being sacrificed to stage historical events. Perhaps that possibility can be obviated by absolute identification of the deceased and the circumstance of their being in the district.
Motive is a major component to guide one to a perpetrator. Assad has everything to lose here and he is a hard man but he is not stupid.
Hard evidence with an independent and impeccable chain from sourcing to testing of any materials is vital. This evidence should especially include the circumstances and affinities of those who are now deceased. Where is the radar evidence? who monitors these skies both at a distance and locally? try Jordan, Israel, USA, Russian Federation, Syria just for starters.
I trust the white helmets would support and welcome such an evidence gathering team after all they remain the object of allegations of criminal complicity in previous gas episodes in 2014 and 2015.
Put down your rifle and put on a white helmet – combatants with multiple personalities
The UN determined that Assad did *not* use them. That tidbit, however, is not being mentioned.
A contract is a contract… shoddy work will NOT do! https://youtu.be/lsepXJi9qIs?t=5
The White Helmets are run by the intel services – ‘humanitarians’ by day, takfiris by night.
They are a psyops, not a bona fide ‘human rights’ org.
Thierry Meyssan has done a brilliant expose if their true function/composition. The ‘White Helmet’ who photographed the dead body of little Alan Kurdi was a member if the takfiri group who beheaded a twelve year old Palestinian boy – he has a FB account that exposed his involvement .
The Wrong Kind of Green has also exposed the role of groups like AVAAZZ in promoting the attack on Libya, as well as the role of the huge New York PR firm, Purpose Inc.
More ( repost of comment on Moon of Alabama):
This best way to see immediately that the victims have not died from sarin intoxication is that in almost every case their skin is red/pink. Sarin turns people blue — always. Sarin makes people puke on themselves, urinate on themselves, shit themselves. Show me the evidence of sarin. Scores and scores of “sarin victims,” not a single one has the constellation of symptoms produced by sarin. Not a single one.
The red/pink color of the victims in the vids suggests the people were executed with cyanide or carbon monoxide, which, in turn, suggests these scenes are staged after the executions. The evidence for KS is just now being collected. The evidence for Ghouta is very, very strong: those people were gassed by the terrorists using, probably, CO.
Please quit spreading the lie that these are sarin victims and sarin attacks. They are false flags and now that there is a moron in the WH we see how effective those false flags will be unless the public understands what is going on biologically.
My PhD is in pharmacology, specializing in neuropharmacology, University of Virginia. My postdoc was at Harvard in neurosciences. I am a lawyer. I know bullshit when I smell it. This sarin bullshit has to stop. ” (Posted by: Denis | Apr 7, 2017 8:09:40 AM | 47)
Well I’m a PhD in poison gas from Cambridge, a lawyer, an Md, and a famous rock musician. So I think I can smell bullshit even better (and poison gas, and good drugs), and I say there’s NO false flag here.
If you bother Googling, sarin kills via respiratory failure. Turning blue as a result does not seem crazy. Any MDs in the house?
Also the # who died from the AUM gassing on the subway, which was a contained space with a lot of people and would seem ideal, was pretty small relative to the # exposed. You’d expect to see survivors with eyewitness reports and more important, symptoms that go with non-fatal exposure. Where are they?
Let us not forget AUM was a cult of very highly educated people and it had ~$1 billion in funds (not making this up, they were engaged in extortion and other schemes). This was the best they could do with sarin. Nerve gasses are extremely difficult to handle, more likely to hurt the parties trying to use them than the targets.
I can’t verify the symptoms of sarin, but if you watch the videos posted you will note the people walking among the victims and those picking up and carrying victims are not wearing any protective gear. No gas masks, no protective suits, no protective footwear, and no gloves. I’d say this pretty well rules out sarin, because sarin can be absorbed through the skin. If you thought someone was the victim of sarin you would not want to expose your bare skin to possible residue. I say this based on the CBR training I got in the Army thirty years ago. Maybe current doctrine is different.
And yet more:
ilitary brass notes only 40% of Tomahawk missiles fired hit targeted Syrian base
Russian radar data show that the Tomahawk missiles were fired from the US destroyers Porter and Ross in the Mediterranean between 03:42 and 03:56 Moscow time, the general said.
The Syrian army’s air defense system will be reinforced in the near future to protect the most important infrastructure facilities, Konashenkov assured.
In 2016, several batteries of Russia’s air defense system S-300 were moved to the naval logistic facility at Tartus to provide protection for the base and Russian ships off Syria’s shores. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said a multi-tier defense system had been created around Tartus and the Hmeymim air base. At the end of November the newest air defense system S-400 was delivered to Syria after a Turkish F-18 fighter shot down Russia’s Sukhoi-24 bomber.
Pantsir systems protect Russian military facilities from low-flying aircraft and missiles. Also, the defense of Russian facilities incorporates the system Bastion, capable of hitting naval and ground targets 350-450 kilometers away. Russia has helped Syria to restore the operation of its S-200 air defense systems that protect Russian bases from potential attacks from the east. Also, the Syrian army uses air defense systems Buk.
The chemical attack
The US missile strike in Syria had been planned in advance, while the chemical weapons incident was used just as a pretext, Konashenkov has noted.
“It is nakedly clear that the attack on a Syrian air base with US cruise missiles had been planned well beforehand,” he said.
“For any specialist it is clear that the decision to conduct the missile strike on Syria had been made in Washington long before the events at Khan Shaykhun, which were used a far-fetched pretext.
The show of military muscle stemmed exclusively from internal political reasons,” the ministry’s spokesman added.
Cooperation with Pentagon
The Russian Defense Ministry has suspended cooperation with Pentagon on prevention of incidents in Syria.
“We consider these steps taken by the United States to be a blatant violation of the 2015 Memorandum on preventing military incidents and ensuring security during operations in Syria’s air space,” the ministry’s spokesman said.
“The Russian Defense Ministry is suspending cooperation with Pentagon aimed at the implementation of the memorandum.”
“To protect the most sensitive facilities of the Syrian infrastructure, a set of measures will be taken in the immediate future to reinforce and raise the effectiveness of the Syrian armed forces’ air defense system,” he added.
US strikes on military airfield in Homs province leave six dead — Syrian armed forces.
“According to the air base command, two Syrian servicemen went missing, while four were killed and six sustained burn injuries while combating the fire,” Konashenkov said.
At the same time, according to the Syrian army command, the attack killed six people.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, six Mikoyan MiG-23 fighter jets, a radar station and other equipment have been destroyed.
“The strike destroyed a logistics warehouse, a training building, a canteen, six MiG-23 planes in the repair hangars and also a radar station.”
“The runway, taxiways and parked planes of the Syrian Air Force have not been damaged,” the spokesman said.
Trump admits he issued order for missile strike on Syrian airbase
On Thursday night, at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the US forces fired 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles on a Syrian military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The US authorities believe that the airstrike on Idlib was launched from that air base.
The attack was ‘reported’ TWENTYFOUR HOURS before it happened as a ‘chemical attack’ by journo working for Saudi/ Gulf agencies in a tweet.
So how did he spin it before the depot was targetted by SAA?
False flag – absolutely.
How about a link? Anything? Bueller?
They may have been talking about this? https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/849720967781863425
Yeah. It’s not that I don’t think some kind of ‘false flag’ or falsehood in general is possible here. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them. I simply don’t know. It’s just that I see so many loudly proclaiming that they know for SURE that it definitely IS a false flag, while providing only the flimsiest evidence, if any.
People who are doing that are doing the same thing ‘they’ are when they say they know for SURE that Assad is behind the attack. I don’t trust either side, and I don’t recommend anyone else does either. There’s a lot of agendas flying around, both personal and interpersonal.
Its called ‘ pattern detection.’
You could also try ‘ cui bono’ , and it ain’t Assad.
Memorandum signed by EU with Israel for the ‘ largest pipe line in the world’ just s few days ago.
Who’s in the way?
Russian gas, Iranian and that pesky Assad who rejected the Brit, US , Saudi, Israeli Quatar pipeline for the Islamic one from Iran.
Though the planned outdismemberment of Syria goes back way further, they thought they had Assad in their pocket.
Turns out he’s not just another colonial vassal…
Didn’t link because I was getting s ‘ data corrupted’ message from Google.
But not before I’d read it on a computer…
That tweet (using google to translate) references an attack in Hama which used chlorine gas. Hama is around a 100 KM away from Idlib.
Well, look at it this way. Yes, it makes no sense that Assad or the Russians bombed these people with gas. But what possibility does that leave? It was a false flag operation by the neocons.
Can Trump admit that? No, so he’s boxed in. Like Obama, who campaigned on “getting out of Iraq”, Trump has been dragged into the neocon cabal.
He’s not the fighter his supporters hoped he would be. He’s just another dumbass prez who likes to play golf.
No, no, no. You’ve missed what Syria and Russia claim. They say a Syrian strike hit a rebel cache of chemical weapons. And notice how the attack means that the truth of the matter won’t be investigated further. Just about everyone in the US accepts that Assad did it.
Just about everyone in the US accepts that Assad did it.
So much for some kind of awakening. This is seriously disturbing. The more obvious the lies, the more people believe them? The Intercept and Wikileaks et al may as well pack up and go home, almost noone is paying attention any more?
If you don’t accept that Assad did it you are discredited by the mob as an alt-right idiot. Expect this to continue.
Couldn’t I please be something else? An alt-up-arrow idiot perhaps.
Maybe an alt-up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a-start-arrow idiot?
“The more obvious the lies, the more people believe them?”
It is impossible to understand how effective the propaganda system in the US is unless you study and thoroughly understand the successful cover up of the 911 attacks. The official account, the 911 Commission Report, is a conspiracy theory so improbable that it defies understanding. It requires a sequence of events and actions that jointly have a near zero probability, and in addition fails unless the fundamental laws of physics were suspended.
The fact of the matter is that humans don’t form belief systems by using logic to build a base of facts and then revise and refine their understanding as they gain more information. Instead they are socialized into an ideology as they mature and then interpret subsequent information through the lens and blinders of that belief system. When facts don’t fit within the boundaries of understanding they almost always ignore or revise the facts to fit them within the belief system. It is much easier to engage in self delusion rather than change your belief system to one not supported by your peers, social acquaintances, church, and nation.
Historically religions have served as the foundation of faith-based belief systems, managing to dominate the world view of most humans while having absolutely zero evidence that their deities exist. With the development of the modern nation state, and in particular the sophisticated and powerful mind control technologies of the digital age, the state has become the new religion for many. Everybody is connected and continually bombarded by “information” designed to sell them a product they don’t need or unify them against a series of enemies manufactured by their “leaders” to divert them from noticing who is really standing with a foot on their necks.
Delusional thinking rests upon a fertile ground of faith-based belief systems, but it needs to be continually reinforced least seeds of rationality start to sprout. When the Overlords saw how easy it was to pull off the 911 charade, they decided that it was a waste of effort to build elaborate scenarios that only a mastermind like Dick Cheney could orchestrate. When you own mouthpieces like the New York Times and the Washington Post it’s much simpler to just repeat a lie over and over and thus win the propaganda battle with no need to have evidence.
“Just about everyone in the US accepts that Assad did it.” Could one expect less?
Regardless of what they claim, it still could have been a false flag by the neocons, perhaps cooked up by McCain when he met with the rebels a few weeks ago.
Who said they were even weponds? They could just as easily be industrial in nature.
And what is the logic in bombing what we “think” is a cash of chemical weapons?
Youve repeated this, yes and it could be the Queen of England. What human resoirces do the Neocons have in Syria that could execute?
This leaves an unsuppprted “Deep State” atoma in the room.
I want McCain to be called to testify in front of congress on what that meeting involved with the Rebels. I know McCain knows the who, what, when, how, where of what happened with these chemical attacks.
Anyone investigating a murder knows that there is only one common component of all murders, MOTIVE. Assad was being backed by Trump and Russia to take control of his country. He has ZERO motive to screw that up by launching a chemical attack. The Rebels and McCain had all the motive in the world to have the chemical weapon attack happen on them so that the world would turn on Assad and give them an opportunity to take control of Syria.
Trump on the other hand may not be as stupid as people think. Look at what he gets done by doing this.
1. He throws a bone to the intelligence agencies and military industrial complex so they can get off his back and stop trying to delegitimize his election.
2. He sends a message to Iran, China, and North Korea that he will launch attacks at them. So now they have a decision to make on exactly how hard they want antagonize the US.
3. He finally is able to get Bi-Partisan support from all the warmongering democrats and neocons which may lead to some bipartisan support for future legislation he tries to get passed.
The one thing Trump must do to make this a net positive is to continue to support Assad taking the back control of Syria, because that is the quickest way to stabilize the country and end US involvement in that region.
He has ZERO motive to screw that up by launching a chemical
A scenario I have not read is that it could be someone in the Syrian military that thinks it’s his chance to be in the President of Syria.
It’s clear that everyone in the western media and the West’s political elites claimthey believe Assad did it. Consequently the MSM is doing its job to create the perception everyone – the other 99% of the population – accepts this narrative. What’s not clear is how successful they are. Much of Trump’s support was based on the hope he would be anti-war. Initial reactions indicate he has blown up his base. Unlike Obama supporters who backed him through 8 years of mass murder and simply ignored his crimes, the Dump Trump movement is already in full swing. Does that mean the deplorables have stronger moral/ethical values than the liberals?
Of course this is all very bad. Without his base, Trump is a captured entity. At least there is a political epiphany: this confirms we are already in a post-democratic world. Elections serve one purpose, to determine who supports the system(those who vote) and those who oppose the system. Change is no longer possible without getting rid of the political system.
I looked at the comments section of the WSJ. No skeptics there. I would assume NYT readers are all on board too.
The Times “moderates” their comments, not like NC, where the “light hand” moderators sometimes allow comments through with a “don’t do this again” moderator note.
We don’t know how much comment filtering is being done by moderators, who may know that their paychecks depend on allowing through only comments supportive of the Times version of truth.
The Times also lost some paying readers, like me, who remain disgusted with the Times “humanitarian hawk” war mongering.
Even before I stopped paying for the Times, I also stopped commenting as it was not worth the effort.
Alt media – where Led Deplorables are most active – paints s very different attitude.
I was surprised, assuming the Great Unwashed expected nothing from Trump but MAGA ( dollars in wallets).
Looks likw a sizeable conti gent did indeed vote on anti- war tickets…
Ya know, when I recently (as in this week) saw signs in WaPo, NYT, and certain comics that maaaybee Trump and Trump voters aren’t so bad (see Kristoff,eg,) and it’s now time to tone down the hates, my first thought was, “uh oh, the fix is in. The Blob thinks it has sufficiently ‘rehabilitated’ Trump to get what it wants.”
It helps everyone to believe Assad did it when 59 1000 pound cruise missiles are boinked out into the night sky over Syria and the Pentagon gives us the videos. But strangely that barrage doesn’t seem to have left one single crater on the Syrian air base targeted – just a few chips of cement on the ground and all the bunkers protecting their planes still intact. The Russian reporting on this showed the site both from the ground and from the air. It looked like nothing had happened. I didn’t give us the audio. So this should raise lotsa questions. And additionally it was first reported that Trump had not bothered to notify the Russians; then on F24 there was a clip of an interview in Moscow wherein a spokesperson said that they (Russians) weren’t even “on that hill”, that they were not there at all. Then later reports say that Trump did notify the Russians in advance. Then in other reports a discussion of the range of Cruise missiles tells us they can go 1000 miles. So maybe they had a secret target in Iraq or somewhere else. Very strange.
ABC has the Pentagon’s map showing the path of the Syrian plane that may have dropped the nerve gas.
I am no happier with anybody else about the launching of the cruise missiles. I am not at all happy with the fact that we are in a dangerous situation with a fruitcake (with more nuts than fruit) as president.
But I have a great deal of believing that the “rebels”–whoever they are–had a stockpile of Sarin gas that was released by one harmless little bomb from a Syrian government aircraft.
Nor do I believe that neocons did it, nor John McCain, nor neoliberals, nor Queen Elizabeth, although if I had to choose, Her Majesty would be my favorite of those candidates.
It wasn’t sarin. See this comment on the thread:
April 7, 2017 at 10:10 am
As for sarin, one of the comments at MoA claims as follows.
I took a look at some videos of the Tokyo subway sarin attack. I didn’t see lots of purple faces but I did see one. I also saw a lot of first responders touch the victims without even gloves, let alone hazmat suits. Now, in fairness I think the sarin in Tokyo was homemade and impure. I don’t for one minute believe that Assad was behind this any more than that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. I do think however that we have to be careful about categorical statements about nerve gas weapons when the characteristics of the exposure are not known yet. Purity and dosage may make a given exposure not fit the textbook example. It is too easy for the PTB to exploit minor errors to “prove” that anyone who opposes them is spouting bunkum.
When rebels used chemical weapons against Syrian troops, mustard gas was suspected, not sarin. Possibly old Libyan stocks smuggled through jihadists channels all the way to the Syrian battlefield.
Whenever an incident with chemical weapons occurs, the name “sarin” immediately pops up — as if this were the attack gas. Alas, human ingenuity proved itself by developing several such weapons.
I have no degree in pharmacology, nor have I examined the victims. I wouldn’t know Sarin from Saran, and I hope to stay in my blissful ignorance.
But to postulate that this was not a chemical weapons attack requires an enormous number of stipulations. And the number of people involved in the conspiracy required to impose on the rest of us dupes that it was a chemical attack is beyond credibility.
The government of Russia, for example, allows that it was a chemical that killed the victims, but maintains that it was accidentally released from a gas depot owned by the rebels when the depot was bombed by a Syrian airplane. (See Ex-PFC Chuck’s explication below.) Is this believable? It certainly is a lot of coincidences.
The statement on the MSF page says:
I tend to trust MSF, and I find it hard to believe that they’d go in on the conspiracy.
Dark Lord Cheney, I presume?
But, as a qualifier, again. Bad arguments, introduced as fact, to follow….
“But to postulate that this was not a chemical weapons attack requires an enormous number of stipulations. And the number of people involved in the conspiracy required to impose on the rest of us dupes that it was a chemical attack is beyond credibility.”
I’d say it strains credibility more for any of the press cheerleaders for iraq to still be employed, and to still be pumping out BS like this AGAIN.
And for people to believe it AGAIN.
You have no sense of credibility to strain.
Plus, from what I’ve read so far, all the onsite reporting of the numbers, cause of death, symptoms, age (babies), political affiliation, etc.. came solely from the “White Helmet” folks whom took a few photos to back up their “diagnoses” and evidence. There was no independent confirmation. You can be sure they know the textbook symptoms of sarin gas and could quote them, as well.
Next, the WH, IC and media megaphone runs with it!
It’s a stretch to believe that Turkey can be relied on in this matter. And patients’ symptoms are consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin is not the same as clear symptoms of exposure to sarin.
Even if it was poor quality sarin or some other organophosphate, where is the evidence that the toxic agent was dropped from a plane, rather than delivered in a jeep, or dispersed from an exploded cache in a warehouse. Remember Bhopal?
The official line is just too reminiscent of Ghouta and other past lies.
MSF have many sterling folk on the ground, but make no bones about it, the top tier is politically- motivated.
Look no further than Bernard Kuchner’s involvement with expat Iranian ‘ opposition.
He is a Zionist through and through.
Turkey has sarin gas. Turkey does not want a autonomous Kurdish province on its border. Apparently the Americans have promised the Kurds something. The only way Erdogan and the Turkish wolves can prevent a Kurdish autonomous region in Syria is to bring about the downfall of the Bathists in Damascus. This was Turkey’s last desperate effort to get the US into the war and depose Assad.
The Kurds had better realize how quickly the Americans can abandon them, just ask Muromar Ghaddafi, Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia do not want the Kurds to take Raqqua. Raqqua is an Arab city. The Kurds have halted their offensive near Raqqua. Maybe they are testing their American’s pledges of autonomy.
Turkey gave the neo-cons and John McCain the excuse and they jumped on it. Weapons of mass destruction all over again. Paraphrasing Rahm Emmanuel, don’t let a good lie go to waste. Goebbels echo chamber on the Potomac.
What you said. The good lie caused a convergence of enormous pressures on Trompe to do something, and something (happily minor, but with incalculable consequences) was done. Turkey is now demanding more strikes.
What would be seriously bad is if the tabloids in the UK have it right, and it was tender-hearted Ivanka who pushed/dragged daddy over the line into ordering the strike.
On the Kurds pausing before Raqqa, that seems to have more to do with lack of tanks and dense IS minefields. One US casualty due to an IED has already been admitted. Perhaps the APCs aren’t ready to roll just yet.
“Publius Tacitus” has a post up at Sic Semper Tyrannis that contains what are likely some well-informed specifics. If Col. Pat Lang didn’t think PT’s assertions were credible he wouldn’t have given him the platform.
That scenario wins the “sense making award” hands down.
The wind blowing is a nice touch.
So much for “deconflict” co-operation as a result of all this.
“(Bloomberg) — Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned American air strikes on Syria launched in response to an apparent chemical attack as an act of “aggression against a sovereign state” and suspended an agreement with the U.S. to avoid hostile incidents in the skies above its Syrian ally.”
an ill wind.
Reportedly, Russia has cut off the dedicated line line used for air co-ordination.
If accurate, this is not good news.
April 7, 2017 at 6:07 am
Thanks for that background.
With regard to point 2 – do the Russians have some documentation that the US was briefed in this particular case? Do you think the US military if asked would acknowledge such a briefing?
And say this scenario is proven – how much chance the US will own up to a screw up? (and how much Trump will own up…..joking!)
The briefing would presumably have taken place during the ‘de-confliction’ process that was agreed upon with the Russians during the Obama administration, and I’d be surprised if such briefings are not documented by both sides. So I’d guess the answer to your question is a ‘yes.’
BTW, the Russian foreign ministry announced this morning that they are withdrawing from that de-confliction agreement forthwith.
Per point #1, it’s been ongoing conversation with rooskies for the last two months. That means it started well after inauguration day, so we can assume the military was allowed to speak to Russia at that point.
But now Russia says they don’t wanna talk no more:(
So why bomb that piddly little air strip, or pretend to? And if those missiles were actually launched and the Pentagon video is showing us actual footage – then why were they so ineffective? Alternatively, if they were launched at a different target, why is it secret? And why was it in the planning for so long, apparently before the gas attack happened. And is it possible that the Pentagon would use up 59 missiles to obliterate the evidence pointing at us and our allies who facilitated the stockpiling of nerve gas or whatever it was? This whole thing sounds like fiction.
One chain of events I can imagine is this:
-Trump for whatever reason decides it’s small dick waving time. He will be a hero who gets rid of a tyrant.
-Trump allows the story to spread expect get Russia and China to trust him for reasons. After all, he is the KGB man in DC.
-Russia and China don’t react the way he hoped because they are Russia and China, not Trump’s friends
-panic ensues as Trump is too cowardly to back down but can’t risk planes being shot down.
-a meaningless gesture is potentially cooked up on short notice. 59 cruise missiles to destroy runways.
-Trump like so many other Americans doesn’t understand foreign leaders even dictators have electorates of sorts and don’t rule with iron fists. Politics is the art of the possible everywhere. The hope is China and Russia accept a meaningless gesture because their domestic populations don’t exist in the minds of American policy makers.
Needless to say, Russia and inevitably China will have to react. The perception of the U.S. is too toxic to not react.
April 7, 2017 at 11:19 am
“Trump for whatever reason decides it’s small dick waving time….”
“The ratio between the length of the index finger and the ring finger of men’s hands is associated with penis length, a study shows.
Researchers found that men with a lower ratio, or a shorter length of the index finger compared to the ring finger, tended to have a longer penile length.
The study is published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.”
I’ve been told by….friends that it is not the length – but the girth…a big, THICK …. defensive perimeter that matters
….to impress young lasses with the defense of the realm.
What did you think I was talking about?
The TCMs were approaching there freshness date and it was time to dispose of them so the production line could be spooled up again for spring. –I presume they could put a TCM through an aircraft reventment hagar door if the so wished
I had to search for “TCM” a bit. I knew it wasn’t Turner Classic Movies, or Total Cost Management, or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Eventually I found Tactical Cruise Missile. Success!
I’m not sure that is right though.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
He’s in China. This show of force was most likely a threat to be conveyed to the Chinese during the “negotiation”. Fifty-nine cruise missiles, look what they could do in the South China Sea….
Mr. Tacitus may be correct on those bullet points (sounds more reasonable than any other explanation I’ve heard) but he’s a little naive with this bit –
Riiiiight. Just like all those other presidents who ignored intelligence to the contrary and took military action without consulting Congress and/or shredded international law.
If he is impeached, which the entire beltway seems to want, it won’t be for the reasons they tell the public but because Trump doesn’t belong to the right clique of DC grifters. He’s simply not one of the Kool Kids.
lyman alpha blob
April 7, 2017 at 11:37 am
I agree with you that bombing Syria, mistakenly or not, would never be the REAL reason for impeaching Trump, but I can see the kool kids using it AS the reason….but you already know that what they say the reason they do something, and the REAL reason they do something very rarely coincides….
(the commander in chief of the US military, the most powerful force on earth, MUST be led by an individual of the utmost integrity, discretion, probity, moral character, and judgement – the ill temper, impetuousness, and carelessness of the present occupant is too much of a risk for the American people to endure….)
Mr. Tacitus needs to read more NC comments to get a more cynical, hence realistic view, of American politics.
No, the Dem allied MSM is flogging impeachment. Robert Reich said IIRC 3 weeks ago no DC insider he spoke to thinks it will happen…and his contacts have to skew Dem. The Republicans won’t impeach Trump. The only way it might happen is if they lose both houses in 2018. That is an awfully long way away for the screeching to be this loud now.
The sarin attack in Japan in 1995 produced many secondary casualties among first responders, hospital personnel, and family members. These casualties, I can’t recall the number of dead and sick, were determined to be caused by sarin vapor degassing from the victims’ clothing.
The sarin used in the Japan attacks was produced, distributed, and deployed by a religious cult, so any talk of how such munitions can only be be from nation state sources is false (QED).
Not only that, there is a Nato nation state very active in that area that is perfectly positioned to supply the jihadis with suitable toxic agents. And they have a history of using them.
This puts Trump in the position of having taken unilateral action that is clearly unconstitutional. What comes next? Bend enough Congressmen to the “Trump must go” side with grounds for impeachment and removal from office in hand. Now who would want to do that?
There are a few more things we know about the background and context.
It is now pretty certain that rebels did it — the uncertainty is about which ones.
The thorough investigation by Seymour Hersh, which was so damaging for the MSM narrative that he had to publish it in the London Review of Books instead of a US outlet, was confirmed by intelligence leaks presented to the Turkish parliament.
Then, there is strong evidence that jihadist rebels have used mustard gas against Syrian troops repeatedly. But this never makes the front page of MSM.
Third, that the weaponized gas stockpiles of the Syrian regime (in particular sarin) have destroyed after 2013, and manufacturing facilities dismantled. Chlorine, which seems to have been used by the Syrian army since, is used in industrial processes and can therefore be produced and handled much more inconspicuously in standard chemical facilities.
The current situation shares important traits with the summer of 2013.
Then, the Syrian regime, had finished crushing the peaceful movements in early 2012, had largely defeated the ineffective and splintered FSA, and was then bolstered by Hezbollah and Iran, taking on successfully, though laboriously, the djihadist rebels.
Nowadays, the Syrian regime has finally crushed the FSA, and, bolstered by Russia, has largely defeated the Gulf-states sponsored jihadists (see Aleppo) and is taking on successfully, though laboriously, Daesh.
In both cases, the final outcome of that war of attrition is uncertain.
In both cases, rebels are desperate the get relief and some breathing space from a military and diplomatic intervention from the “international community”, while Syria has exactly the converse interest.
In both contexts, it makes no sense for Syria to carry on a blatant attack with obvious, prohibited chemical weapons. Since Syria entered the convention banning chemical conventions in 2013 following the previous incident, such an attack makes even less diplomatic sense today.
Hence, the preponderance of evidence does not support the mainstream narrative and the declarations by Trump.
But at least the shenanigans of Rice and Obama’s team spying on Trump have now receded in obscurity.
“But at least the shenanigans of Rice and Obama’s team spying on Trump have now receded in obscurity.”
A wag-the-dog operation?
Thanks for the info sir!
Yep, that Mainstream Media drops the ball again! Why would they want to break a story about rebels using mustard gas? No one cares about that.
/s in case you need it.
… “will take time.” Anyone here can tell me when the UN will bring up officials in George Bush Sr. administration for helping Chemical Ali improve chemical weapons yield and the targeting of Iranians, Kurds? Yep, didn’t think so. How about Israeli use in the occupied territories? Nope? Egypt and then Saudi Arabia mustard gas in Yemen(1962–1967) or (US supplied) white phosphorus(2015-2107)? No idea there too, huh. So this is like Norm Chomsky’s definition of terrorism, it’s chemical warfare when the bad guys use it. We don’t even need proof, it’s enough that they are labeled bad guys.
Noam Chomsky. Norm is his distant relative who swills beer at Cheers.
The irony of declaring the use of chemicals to kill people as a ‘war crime,’ while killing them with bombs is ok. They are just as dead, and their survivors just as traumatized, either way.
The absolute irony of the phrase, ‘war crime,’ when war is the ultimate crime.
The delicious irony of attacking a sovereign nation under the pretense that it has perpetrated chemical warfare upon its children (excuse me, its ‘children of god’), when we daily poison our own children in Flint, in Selma, in South Bend, in Fresno, with lead from deteriorating infrastructure. But, they, mostly brown and black and immigrant, are children of a lesser god.
just to put things into perspective …
Ah, human, this perspective even a lovely cat pic will not unskew.
But, we are a Nation that was birthed from the genocide of its Indigenous Peoples, fed upon the milk of enslavement of Black Africans, watered by the sweat of Polish and Czech and Swedish and German and Italian immigrants laboring in mines and mills and foundries …. always using State-sanctioned violence and incarceration to crush any movement to to break free from the twin cesspools of class and race and to truly share in the Nation’s wealth.
We are violent, ruthless and firm believers that White people are superior. And we spread this virus around the Planet. Do we care if 16,000 children under five die every day? Not really. Especially if they are not White or if they happen to live in lands whose natural and mineral resources are, to our minds, more valuable than babies’ lives.
Of course we’re superior we don’t use chemical weapons! *Kicks the WWI mustard gas canister under the couch*
Or elected uranium.
The last orange skinned President is treated like a saint despite unleashing agent orange.
Another irony: the vast amounts of depleted uranium left in Iraq by US.
Yep, the war machine really ‘ cares, about chemical ‘ attacks’ and dead children – not.
What this shows is that it doesn’t matter who the president is.
yeah, we lose either way. insane risks for the “benefit” of creating more chaos in the middle east. and then there’s the north korea launch, and duterte in the south china sea. the march of folly continues.
Almost makes you wonder if the US and NATO can really help with all those problems?
i’m afraid russia and china might start helping too. it’s a very helpful world lately.
April 7, 2017 at 8:38 am
I can’t help but remember Reagan mocking government with the tagline “We’re here to help you.” Funny how over the years the line starting being used by our diplomatic and military interventionists (funny how those who so doubt the efficacy of government action think its 100% effective when applied by the military….) And of course, we have Trump….so, so, soooo concerned about the children…in foreign lands…dying from war….domestic children….dying from lack of health care….not so much.
“National Security and Double Government” by Michael J. Glennon, 2014.
“Deep State” by Mike Lofgren, 2016.
At this point, without any coherent Middle East policy from both parties in years, it may be that the policy is just “Sew chaos”. Complete depopulation of the region except for a few ally countries. Everything that the US has done since 9-11-01 has made things worse for the people there.
Politicians sow seeds of destruction. I haven’t seen any sewing the fabric of society in a long time.
Sometimes grammar matters.
The Post has an article on the front (web) page about all the skeptics being alt-right Infowars whackos playing video games in their parents’ basements. The comments are disheartening. I posted something to the effect of “some of us are skeptical because the US just escalated this thing without anyone having a straight story about the chemical weapons” and my comment was attacked viciously.
April 7, 2017 at 8:15 am
I am old enough to remember when skeptics of the benefits of war were called…wait for it…continue waiting….”liberals.” On the other hand, pacifists are still commie lovers…..
Again, I have said this many times – growing up in the 6o’s and being young in the 70’s I got such a skewed. warped, and inaccurate view of this country as “peace loving” and non-interventionist due to the anti Vietnam protest. The anomaly was the short lived anti war view that was in vogue for just a few years.
Truth is, we love being at war, and unless we can do us some killing, we really don’t care much to intervene.
Americans are winners!! /sarc
I remember the Vietnam protests, as Governor Ronnie Reagan shut down the University of California campuses during one of the protests and we had numerous “bomb threats” in the building scares..
People had a difficult time making sense of Vietnam, but I remember people asserting that “The government knows something we don’t” as they wanted to believe the government was doing the right thing..
The leaders then were different, Robert McNamara developed an ulcer while doing his job and many years later I read that someone recognized him on the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry and tried to throw him off, McNamara held on to the railing, but didn’t press charges, possibly due to a feeling of guilt..
The movie “Fog of War” captures some of McNamara.
LBJ agonized over the Vietnam war.
The new generation of leaders seems to be selected sociopaths (Cheney, Rumsfeld, HRC, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bush II, “Mushroom cloud” Rice I, RIce II, Kissinger, Albright, Obama and now Trump) who I suspect sleep well at night and have no concern about the destruction of lives and property they unleash in the world and the harm they do to their fellow citizens..
The war like behavior of the USA must seem incongruous to much of the world.
The Japanese did a strategic strike in Pearl Harbor, but no invasion, a couple of torpedos were launched off the coast of Santa Barbara in WW II and the Japanese conquered an Aleutian Island in WWII. World War I touched the USA mainland as the soldiers brought back the flu.
While the 48 states have been invaded by a foreign army, it was the British in 1812 in response to an USA attempt to grab Canada.
The USA’s military deployment sentiment may be captured by the guiding light of Madeleine Albright
“”What’s the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin (Powell), if we can’t use it?”
The elite do want to use it.
Yes, nothing like the use of a bit of idle inventory to stimulate the US economy, I.e the Military Industrial complex, to help “make America great again”.
It also sends a “my dick is bigger than yours” message to Putin and Xi , although this might be a slightly inappropriate turn of phrase in this case…
see Breitbart readers comments. maybe this has something to do with why Bannon was slapped down.
Irony! Bannon was the only anti(this)war member of Trump’s current collection of cons. He had to be FIRED.
guardian reporting further air strikes in syria.
Yes. Syrian has to wipe out these terror cells. The US might be flying near Mosul – after all they have been at it in Mosul since 2003
This attack was timed to make Xi squirm. No doubt he is fuming at being held captive at Miro Lego Land while his ally Syria is being attacked and he is forced to smile and make nice. Not only is it humiliating in the extreme, it is the opposite of how the Chinese conduct state meetings with no surprises. Trump is telling Xi that N. Korea is next unless he plays ball.
Many here have commented that Trump will never nuke N. Korea because it’s too complicated. I hope this recent strike is clarifying. Trump obviously doesn’t care about the negative consequences of anything.
This also solves Trump’s Russia problem that was eating him alive. He is now on board with the Borg that Russia is the enemy.
There was no consent of the governed or its representatives and that is how it should be. Silly people, they thought they voted against the war monger.
That is quite the assumption of 4D chess-playing on Trumps part. He does have good instincts, but not the IQ. I don’t know that you can read quiiite that far into it though.
More likely is that he simply felt something had to be done in order not to look weak after his first reaction was taken so poorly.
He doesn’t actually make these decisions. They’re already made. He has “advisors.” He just has to decide who is standing closest, with the best sales pitch, or maybe as in Bush II just the last sales pitch, and give a thumbs up or down.
I sm readonably confident NKorea’s ballistic missle program could be pretty well messed up with something less than nukes.And fck Xi, if he has delicate sensibilities about his visit, ultimately N Korea is his bag of day old fish to deal with.
So the MSM is gushing over Trump’s flip flop but his base is pissed off and exploding. Wow. Just wow. Further proof that MSM is a trollop.
For additional information see Moon of Alabama.
Interesting. Moon of Alabama says,
while, Sic Semper Tyrannis calls the base a “backwater” and suggests that much of the forces/materials deployed there were evacuated beforehand.
Russian aircraft don’t need airbases like US planes do. They are designed for rough facilities
Iran already announced they will give Russia access to Iranian airbases on a “case by case” basis. I think Iran is close enough to Syria.
I thought there was an Iranian law about foreign troops which makes sense, so the can’t offer a blanket use base outside of a hot war. I’m sure it’s an easy rubber stamp, but they still take their own laws seriously.
The russian design bureaus designed fighter/interceptors/ground attack ACraft to tolerate rough field operations but of course they need airbases and heroic amounts of gound support.. like any MIL aircraft
<blockquoteit remains uncertain even now, almost four years later, who was actually responsible.
Seymour Hersh http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin
Tim Farron of the UK Liberal Democrats steps in: “Why I Support Trump’s Syria Strike”: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/07/donald-trump-syria-strike-tim-farron-assad-chemical-weapons-theresa-may.
Farron is a nothing – look at his background – he’s so lightweight he’s airborne
I happened to be listening to Dennis Bernstein’s “Flashpoints” on Pacifica radio station KPFA in Berkeley,CA yesterday.
Robert Parry was interviewed and said that the intelligence community had informed Trump that Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical attack.
But Parry predicted Trump might do something to quiet the Neocon Republicans and Democrats and quiet media pressure even though the Assad regime was NOT behind it..
As events unfolded Trump did the missile strike, but maybe with advance information to Putin to avoid inflaming Russia?
Parry’s interview starts at 24 minutes into the program.
This seems consistent with the Sic Semper Tyrannis account. The Borg echo chamber loudly characterizes the Syrian Army action as a “chemical weapon attack”. No one in the mainstream seems even remote aware of (or is willing to give voice to) the possibility that the chemicals were stored at the base being attacked and not dropped from the air.
As for sarin, one of the comments at MoA claims as follows.
Col Lang, the proprietor of Sic Semper Tyrannis, is fluent in Arabic and has some very interesting historical materials about Islamic culture on his site.
One of his posters, Patrick Bazard (?sp) is multilingual (grew up in Lebanon and France IIRC). Many of SST’s commenters are evidently multilingual and quite familiar with the Middle East; several appear to be Turkish, and heaven only know what risks they run by commenting on that site.
I believed there was nothing Trump could do to separate himself from his base, but joining the neoconservatives and Hillary is that action.
I see Tim Kaine style rallies in Trump’s future.
Many have raised the possibility of a fake response.
His base might still stick around.
Thanks for the link to the Parry interview. Former CIA agent Phil Giraldi offers a similar take:
4/6/17 Philip Giraldi says IC-Military Doubt Assad Gas Narrative
The big danger ahead is that Trump has destroyed the US Dollar.
With $20 trillion in Debt he spent his campaign saying the US would have been better off if US Presidents had spent 15 years at beach instead of blowing Trillions in Middle East.
Because Ivanka gets moody and tweets, Daddy spends $100 million on Raytheon rockets to no purpose. There is no prospect of Trump ever cutting US spending and I bet he will add at least $5 Trillion to the National Debt if he survives his term
Why would we want him to cut spending? What evidence is there that adding debt has “destroyed the US dollar”?
My theory runs exactly the opposite. As long as the U.S., Saudi Arabia (SA) and U.S. Gulf State ‘allies’ (GSA) control the world’s major sources of energy, the U.S., it’s bankers, politicians and, of course, the major recipient of the loot, the MIC, will be able to keep the money presses rolling. China may already have more of them (dollars) than SA. But what really matters is the ability to create NEW money. As long as SA and its GSA allow the US to ‘back’ its dollar with their oil, all is well (or HELL for most of the world). Should, however, they decide to grant the “exorbitant privilege” of reserve currency creation to an upstart country, say China, the US free lunch is over. The Empire of Debt is finished.
@Steven – The number of dollars held by China or Saudi Arabia is of no real consequence to the value of the dollar, which is not backed by oil, but by the “full faith and credit of the U.S.” and all of our national assets including our productive capacity. All of those dollars that they own (which were created by the Fed when it paid the bills of the federal government, or by U.S. banks when issuing loans), are actually sitting in checking accounts at Citibank in New York, or they are invested in Treasury securities in order to earn some interest (just like you would invest extra cash in a certificate of deposit to earn interest). They are not in Beijing or Riyadh.
In order to be the reserve currency it is necessary to have a consistently large trade deficit so that on a net basis more dollars are always going out of the U.S. than are coming in. Otherwise, there are no excess dollars for other countries to add to their foreign “reserves”. The status of reserve currency is not a privilege that is “granted” by some group or institution. A currency becomes a reserve currency because the country issuing it has a persistently large trade deficit and the currency is accepted by its trading partners without conversion to the local currency.
It also helps that in the ’50’s or ’60’s a secret agreement was made between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Oil Producers that oil would be traded on the world market in dollars. This had the effect of ensuring that the U.S. would always have a trade deficit.
We in the united states should not forget the CIA and their false flag operations division.
Will this have any effect on the French elections? I can see how it might give Marine L. a boost…
pure speculation on my part
I should explain… Le Pen’s crazypants right populist base is often described as similar to Trump’s and Trump’s crazypants right populist base (breitbart) seem to be the most vocal group in oppo to Trump’s latest war crime (after Yemen). Will LePen’s base double down, given her anti-regime change and pro-detente leanings, decrying Trump’s opportunistic abandonement of the same: the lone wolf nationalist in a crowd of quislings, as it were? (Don’t know if Melanchon has commented). I can see them using the threat of an expanding war in Syria, and the resultant increase in desperate civilians heading west, effectively.
Again this is amateur speculation on my part… indeed, in re-reading my comment I’m not even sure of what I’m suggesting…
“Après nous, le déluge”
The airstrike on Khan Shaykhun happened with sarin munitions under Russian, Syrian, and Iranian authority. The purpose is to prevent or hinder further deployment of US forces in the Raqqa area where action is to be taken not only against Daesh, but necessarily against Iranian and Hezbollah units as well. Preparation of which has crescendo-ed with recent C-17 arrivals rather than C-130’s. Contingencies for chemical prophylaxis now supersedes all other activity.
The victims experienced bronchorrhea, bronchospasms, salivation, lacrimation, urination, defecation, gastrointestinal distress, and emesis.
got any proof?
@Byron the Light Bulb and @pretzelattack – There is no such proof because it didn’t happen that way. See the post today from Moon of Alabama for details. There is no evidence of the symptoms Byron mentions and there are several other reasons why it could not have been sarin.
Wow, it really gets you guys all hot and bothered when they start talking hardware and prophylaxis–
“C-17 arrivals rather than C-130’s. Contingencies for chemical prophylaxis now supersedes all other activity. ”
This is just unreal. Tom Clancy’s ghost is ratfucking us all.
What we think we know is that there is zero reason for the government (or regime, if you will) of Syria to use chemical weapons in the conflict. Aside from whether they have any weapons of that nature left in their arsenal, aside from the tactically indifferent effects, the politics of it is so clearly disadvantageous that it would be truly irrational to use it, even if they had it. This cruise missile attack of the airbase is pure demonstration for political purposes like invasion of Granada, since punishing Syria for something they did not do has no deterrent effect from them not doing it again. I’d like to think that the top end of the military is more aware of the insubstantial nature of the crime, supposedly committed, and are probably more concerned about the 59 missiles that were reaching their use by date. I’m not at all convinced that the US can buy itself into the “post war” situation just by participating as a hostile party. There’s only so much you can do from the air or by supplying to terrorists, without significant human participation or buy-in (read blood) commitment.
What does really get to me on a daily basis is the expectation of the TPTB to buy into the bullshit that is the news. The sloppiness of the propaganda seems to be a feature not a bug. They do not seem to care that the shit they sell is known, not just suspected, to be just that.
” I’d like to think that the top end of the military is more aware of the insubstantial nature of the crime,”
Oh, I am sure that they are, but they also know that they have a much better chance of getting their bloated military budget passed if the public can be coerced into believing that enhanced military action is vital right now…….
Per the UN report on the 2013 chemical weapon attack “Al-Nusra” were responsible for it. Funny that “Al-Nusra” are i Idlib area now but no major news media can put this together. I put Al-Nusra in quotation marks because you might as well call Al-Nusra the CIA.
Thank you for posting this, Yves.
The American people did not want this. They voted against an escalation of war. This is a very sad day.
DoD press release regarding the attack:
It’s really interesting watching who is attacking vs jumping to conclusions here.
Glenn Greenwald probably has the best analysis of this by far:
Sadly our Prime Minister here in Canada has flip flopped:
Ugh… now he’s flip flopped.
This could very quickly escalate into a much wider war, just like how Iraq ended up escalating into Syria.
The other risk of course is that this could end up helping ISIS.
Furthermore, it could lead to a major crisis with Russia.
Probably the one person who has done a good job this time around is Tulsi Gabbard:
Gabbard is looking like a consistently good decision maker.
Except, that it is not clear that the US of A has standing inasmuch as it is a “Signatory that has announced it does not intend to ratify.” As are Russia and Israel.
In addition, the US of A, under W, “has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000.”
Quote from article below.
“And the anti-Trump resistance that rose so heroically from the first moments of this presidency faces new challenges on a daily, even hourly basis. The mobilizationsin the streets, at the airports, at the White House, at the Supreme Court and beyondand the letters and petitions and sit-ins and teach-ins and more, have been incredibly powerful. Remobilizing those exhausted millions around an anti-war message will be a huge challenge for anti-war and indeed the whole range of social movements. As usual, much remains unknown.”
Yea…where was all this concern when Bush dropped us into Iraq. And, it sounds like the author is being paid by the Clinton Foundation to roll out this paragraph. For such an expert to write such ‘authoritative’ primers on mid-east topics…guess no one has listened or cared much before Trump was elected about a whole range of social movements and anti war messages.
Just sounds like continued tantrum because Trump got in.
Consequences of politics and political security apparatus manipulation has extreme real world consequences …. so does arm chair militarism by media outlets.
I can’t believe McMaster is organizing this can of worms. It just is not like him at all. Which means to me that the truth of this whole incident is being obfuscated and it had a very strategic purpose which we the people have no clue about.
There are numerous reports about how everyone, including Russia, was notified of the US Tomahawk attacks on Syria hours beforehand, except US citizens, of course.
Remember that when you start slipping into again believing that anyone in our government these days gives a rat’s arse about US citizens…….
Part of this is they clearly didn’t anticipate the seemingly popular blow back or lack of Russian and Chinese approval. Now, they need to create a narrative of secret deals or Trump looks like a Saudi puppet and Clinton lackey. There is a distinct lack of non elite support for the strikes on the Internets. Obama’s old speech scribbler is debating an intercept writer on twitter. The reaction isn’t going as planned.
I suspect they thought this would be a swift victory in the strain of how Libya was treated by the media before It became an embarrasment. The cruise missile strike (Clinton use to waste million dollar cruise missiles on tents, Trump dumps 59 million dollar cruise missiles to blow up asphalt, talk about inflation) was likely a panic move when Moscow and Beijing didn’t budge.
A NYT writer in the 80’s described Trump as a white Al Sharpton. Trump like Sharpton knows many people are conflict averse, so the will throw around bluster expecting weak kneed media types to get out of the way. Now Trump is dealing with the President of Russia, who isn’t a Yeltsin or Brezhnev, with a population that is not fond of the Western elite. His old “Art of the Deal” stick doesn’t work.
Last Spring, Trump was on a late night show being his usual boisterous self raving about he would annihilate Hillary, but when the host asked him about Sanders, he cowered and looked uncomfortable. Trump knows his cap works on cowards and most thugs are cowards who will run away from a fight, but Sanders isn’t a coward. He might make mistakes or do things people don’t agree with, but he’s not a coward.
Putin was the lone KGB translator at a KGB office in East Germany when the wall fell. An angry crowd came to the office trying to get in. Putin knowing the crowd would tear him apart if he stayed holed up alone or tried to flee decided to walk out and tell the crowd the building was full of armed men and they should leave. Putin was the only person in the building. He isn’t Yeltsin or a McCain. Trump’s style won’t play well with him.
He lost his main speechwriter yesterday.
Don Rickles died.
That story is probably untrue. He was not a translator. Dresden is the gateway to Czechoslovakia and is where the major build up of protesters against Honecker concentrated. It was where the station was full of people wanting to get into Czechoslovakia where Genscher had arranged for the German-Czech border to be opened.
Gorbachev had ordered Red Army units to stop Honecker launching a Tienanmen Square and Stasi units were facing Russian APCs. KGB was in the same relation to Stasi as FBI officials in Wiesbaden are to BKA – rivals from the Occupying Power rather than directly controlling matters.
He is well aware of regimes that fail to keep up with events and how Gorbachev was toppled by a coup and Yeltsin became an agent of US interests. Dresden was also the power base of Hans Modrow
The story is a fable.
Putin was the #2 dude at time.
His boss sent him out.
He had no volition.
ALL of the Russians there spoke German… they had to.
Trump is a daddy who wants to console his little princess Ivanka. When she cries (and tweets) because the bad men have upset her, Daddy sends round the heavies and spends $100 million taxpayer funds on demonstration of his immense power so little princess doesn’t cry
Chomsky warned that if Trump’s support faltered enough he might stage a red flag event. This “gas attack” was a god send to Trump politically as his approval numbers had been hitting all time lows. He can manipulate a real event to suit his needs. A rapid response will end all investigations and Trump can be the “strong leader”. Anybody want to bet on what Trump’s approval numbers do?
Remember Trump’s ONLY concern is self promotion..
perhaps chomsky changed his mind? “. “NOAM CHOMSKY: Syria is a horrible catastrophe. The Assad regime is a moral disgrace. They’re carrying out horrendous acts, the Russians with them.” Ah…the intellectual class….
As the Gulf of Tonkin fiasco demonstrates… the first military intel is usually 100% wrong.
This has happened repeatedly across the ages.
You’re always dealing with excitable people and often fulsome liars.
The Nazi invasion of Poland was launched as a False Flag… something that most histories skip totally past. The general German public — and army — were fed a line of BS straight from the get go. The False Flag op almost went totally awry when German border guards started shooting at the SS — who were pretending to be Polish. Still, it was a successful op. WWII in Europe was started.
The evening of December 16, 1944, the US Army intel provided to Ike was rotten. Bradley didn’t even think it was a big deal. On his own hunch, Ike ordered massive reinforcements into the Nazi penetration. Yes, the huge American intel services were totally off base, totally wrong.
Did you know that it took TWO WEEKS for FDR to fully discover what a fiasco Pearl Harbor had been ? The US Navy largely lied to him… They were that ashamed.
The Japanese navy informed Tojo a FULL MONTH late about Midway. He’d been fed pure BS until the German embassy presented American newspapers to him.
In this instance, it makes ZERO sense for Assad to use chemical weapons.
It makes perfect sense for al-Nusrah to run a False Flag op.
Trump screwed up: he trusted the intel community.
Trump appointed generals to NSC and Defence when rule in democracies is Civilian control of military. Bannon was a civilian keeping Flynn under observation. With Kushner and Ivanka the dysfunctionality is becoming almost Peronist
He ran against “Globalism” — yet his daughter and SiL are True Believing Globalists.
Bannon put him in the Oval Office… so he’s kicking him to the curb.
What about the depleted uranium, cluster bombs and white phosphorous the US/Israel use? Isn’t their use also a crime?
UK as well…it is all over Kosovo, Raqqa, Iraq……but who controls the Media narrative ?
Expanding Sic Semper Tyrannis time line.
1. The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
2. The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
3. Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
4. Trump declares Assad a war criminal for chemical attack with no proof. Decides to retaliate.
5. Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.
6. Syrian military officials appeared to anticipate Thursday night’s raid on Syria’s Shayrat air base, evacuating personnel and moving equipment ahead of the strike, according to an eyewitness.
7. US Destroyers launch Tomahawk missiles, at the cost of $1 million each, at Assad’s airfield
8. Both of the air base’s major runways were struck by missiles, and some of its 40 fortified bunkers and some out-of-service planes, parked in a hangar, were damaged as well.
9. Syria Airstrikes Instantly Added Nearly $5 Billion to Missile-Makers’ Stock Value
Russia tells us Syria will attack our allies, which apparently is ok with us.
After attack we decide it is not ok with us’
We tell Russia we will attack Syrian airbase as retaliation.
Russia tells Syria, who then moves all personnel and equipment out of the way just as we planned.
US launches multi-million missle attack on abandoned airfield.
Missile manufacturer stock value skyrockets.
Why do I feel like I’m living through a scene from Catch-22. I’m sure Milo Minderbinder could have gotten the taxpayers a better deal by just subcontracting Syria to bomb itself
That is a multi-million dollar missile attack, not multi-million missile attack. Sorry
Germany is moving rapidly under Erdogan’s influence……he has 3 million of his compatriots there, he has 8 German states allowing his teachers operate in German schools paid for by his embassies, and he will flood more “refugees” into Germany via Greece to destabilise Europe. It seems inevitable that Europe is headed for a similar future to Ukraine
A staged event! There are possibly other games afoot
‘Don’t be confused by the diplomatic games and the Pied Piperism of the major medias. What happened this morning in Syria has no connection with the story you are being told about it, nor the conclusions which are being drawn for you.’
Century of Humiliation is a Chinese view of interaction with the West. Xi Jinping has just experienced humiliation first hand and can decide in Beijing how much he and the Politburo like it. Kim Jong-un knows he will need to position his 2500 MLRS systems to devastate Seoul before the US positions ships and aircraft. He can eradicate 40% S Korean population with these weapons. He knows he has no personal survival prospects.
Russia and China know the US will launch first-strike at any time. The need to keep Iskander options in Kaliningrad is clear but also to deploy more submarines and update Perimtr. War is inevitable just as in 1908 Bosnian Crisis. It seems always to be the remnants of the Ottoman Empire that become flashpoints. The greatest disaster of modern times was NATO in Kosovo where US bombed a Chinese Embassy and NATO destroyed civilian infrastructure in breach of Geneva Conventions and Clinton let Iran arm the Bosniaks…….now the whole mess needs Camp Bondsteel to keep intact.
Former UK Ambassador to Syria has another take
Please read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_warfare#Chemical_warfare_agents
There are numerous agents which “could” be implicated, as well as plain old industrial chemicals (c.f. Bhopal) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methyl_isocyanate
It seems to me that those who doubt Assad’s motivation for such an attack make a significant point.
When a country is so carefully monitored and examined. When a heavy breathing warmongering coalition, is leaning on your shoulders. Why would you risk annihilation? Use your sense. It is totally useless.
And who has the weapons he had?
Too obvious from my perspective.