US, UK, and French forces have launched a series of attacks on Syrian facilities.
The initial press reporting is somewhat garbled so it will take time to get the details right, but it seems that we are attacking to degrade Syria's ability to conduct future chemical warfare. That's pretty vague, I know, but as I said we will have to wait for further details. Such "degrading" could involve attacks on chemical weapons' stores, manufacturing centers, military units capable of conducting such warfare, supporting infrastructure of various types, and, of course, on Russian and Iranian support mechanisms. The attacks could also be aimed at degrading Assad's military capabilities, in general, and at embarrassing the Russians and Iranians by demonstrating to Assad that his friends can't spare him the pain we can inflict. In recent weeks, as Secretary-designate Pompeo confirmed, we, in fact, have been in direct combat with Russian "mercenaries," killing hundreds of them, it seems. I trust we will not go for the regime change brass ring, a la Libya, but we will see.
President Trump inherited a mess in Syria. "Mess" is too kind a word. Even the Israelis who have a vested and primordial interest in Syrian developments do not seem to have it figured out except for the part of being very reluctant to knock off Assad--something which the Israelis could have done any time in the past many years.
My default position which comes from 34 years in government service is to shut up and support the troops once they go into action. The time for debate is over. I just hope that we have a plan with a realizable and positive goal, and that we are not just floundering as we did under Obama/Clinton/Kerry. I certainly trust the instincts and leadership abilities of President Trump, NSC chief Bolton, and SecDef Mattis much more than I did those of the late and unlamented Obama misadministration.
I'm giving the ProgTards until the Sunday morning shows, at which point I fully expect their 180 degree flip from "Trump is incapable of dealing with this Foreign Policy crisis" to Trump will get us in a war with Russia.ReplyDelete
Then after the commercial break give us more of Comey explaining why Trump is Putin's puppet.
Well, as Europe is very much affected by US politics ( we will be flooded by even more migrants ) I won´t shut up. I am very disappointed. I know that Trump is a battled president with enemies within and without the administration but this time he has gone so far, too far, from the campaign-Trump I loved. Please explain to me why he is transforming into a neocon. Are they black-mailing him ? Is there anyone here who really believes in the Russian/Syrian "Chemical attacks" in Britain and Syria ? This is, I am sure, again about regime-change and apart from being illegal look what such politics brought us. It is almost ruining Europe. I suspect that much of this is also, on short sight, about such a banal thing as wrecking the FIFA-soccergames in Russia, coming up this summer. Believe me, they will soon arrange a boycott. And I think that May ( Brexit ?....) and Macron are sad simple losers who go along. Just check UK-media, read the comments, you will find that May doesn´t have "her" people behind her in this.ReplyDelete
Meaning no disrespect, but I think you are well off the mark on this. The chemical/poison attacks were real, not conspiracy stuff. There is no regime change in mind for Syria as it would be impossible to do-see Libya for starters. Europe's "ruination" was not done by Middle Eastern migrants. It was done by two generations of European "leaders" themselves who bowed to bad ideology that was and is anethema to Western Culture. The migrants were allowed in by over egalitarian attitudes and are taking advantage of a culturally and morally weakened population.Delete
If the world turns its back on the use of chemical weapons-true WMDs- then the use of chemical weapons will become normalized. Not good for anyone. Sometimes leaders must lead, polls or no polls. The failure of the famous Red Line is part of why the West and the world are at the point we are today.
But Whitewall, all this because of some dubious chemical attacks ? Surely it can be solved in other ways. What else do we have the UN for ? And what then about Saudis bombing women and children in Yemen ? Are bombs better than chemicals ?Delete
I agree that our European "leaders" are causing our problems with migrants. They are at best, just naive, but more likely bought and corrupt. Some of them are right now trying to drag their population into this bad and dangerous mess, another Mid East war and a severe conflict with Russia. Court martial would be proper for them in my opinion.
What else do we have the UN for?Delete
Well, for starters, to complain about Israel and blame the world's problems on that country.
Then to enrich a bunch of petty tyrants who should more properly be in prison.
Additionally, the UN is there so its civil servants can engage in horrible sexual practices with young boys and girls.
But perhaps most importantly, the UN is there so dictators have a place they can send civil servants they don't want to keep in their own country, but don't want to jail or kill. So the dictators use the UN as an employer of last resort.
That's pretty much what we have the UN for. Certainly not for deciding the truth of, and resolving, use of poison gas by a member state.
I agree with Swedish lady--except that I believe in the reality of chemical attacks. They happened in Iraq, against the Kurds, they were pulled on the Hmong in Laos after our pullout from Viet Nam (and swept under the rug as "bee pollen" or something like that), and now Syria is probably using it.Delete
However, you don't do a major military intervention, unless you see regime change somewhere down the pike, and you're ready to invest in a major way in rebuilding the defeated enemy country (even if it might be wise to cut it into ethno-tribal micro states).
I'm of the mind that the US needs to revamp its defense policy to realize that the chemical weapons cat is now out of the bag, and start some serious R&D about how to counter its effects and help those affected. We need also to recognize that nuclear weapons is a 1940's technology that anyone with enough money on hand can get. Last of all, we need to recognize that there's something very, very ornery about the core beliefs of Islam, and no amount of self-appointed Western Enlightened Ones playing at being 'Ulema can change it (although the other side is that Islam probably also has theological mechanisms to recognize that jihad isn't going to work).
We also need to recognize that gathering HUMINT is going to involve dealing with very unsavory characters (plus the very rare one who deserts because he won't fire on unarmed, peaceful demonstrators for nonviolent change), but we must do it nonetheless.
We need to recognize that history is going to happen, especially to those who want to see it happen.
We also need to seriously work on ways to counter the effects of nuclear and chemical attack, and work on ways to intercept and counter.
You can only be "flooded by migrants" if acquiesce to it. Control and defend your borders. If you do not now have laws against illegal entry to your country than write and pass those laws and enforce them. Arrest people who come into your country illegally and either incarcerate them or send them home. Simple as that. They intend to colonize you. This is an invasion of Europe and it can only succeed if you choose to allow them to.Delete
"all this because of some dubious chemical attacks"Delete
Nothing "dubious" about them. Just because you wish they didn't happen doesn't change the facts. Assad and his asshole father have consistently used chemical attacks when other means fail as they did here.
Well the OPCW folks got on the ground yesterday with the investigations to begin today's date (14 April) so maybe we can expect reliable independent analysis of what's been claimed by our "always spot on IC" to date ie, blood samples, analysis of video/photographs, maybe some SIGINT.Delete
I am glad the Brits and the French "participated" though 'cause in the past when our three nations have acted in concert, boy have we achieved a bunch!
The last time as I recall was "that shining shithole country Libya" and my how well that's turned out.
I wish we hadn't but since we have, at least we're not likely to have to hear much from the "former people" (I can't bear the thought of having to type their names).
However, as Mr. Amselem's put it, "Support the troops when they go into action" and so I conclude with, Aye aye Sir!
" "Support the troops when they go into action"Delete
Funny, the "troops" never went into action!
Well, okay, those guys flying those planes and floating at sea, launching missiles can loosely be considered "troops" and pushing the "Fire" button can, even more loosely, be considered as "going into action". (Although the late Gen. Norman "Dutch" Cota might take issue with that conclusion!)
Well Unknown you happen to notice my employing my ending "Aye aye Sir"?Delete
That suggest anything to you?
If neither of my questions satisfy you, you might look up how the HMS Sheffield wound up getting locked onto off the Falklands.
Damascus was one of my constituent posts('02-'05) back when I was in DSS. I remember it as an ancient city where I could walk to the Embassy from the Sheraton Hotel and if the wife wanted to meet me for lunch she could walk over as well without any worry.ReplyDelete
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED???!!!??!!
The UN also exists to keep 5-star hotels and restaurants in business ...ReplyDelete
We have seen that ole Narrow Head himself is unharmed by this attack. We know Vlad was well notified of it so he could practice his "Ajax sulks in his tent" routine for the media and the UN. Bigger picture, who else is watching? Fat Boy Kim and the Iranian Mullahs.ReplyDelete
Any armed attack without resulting pain to those attacked is meaningless. Any dead civilians resulting from that meaningless attack only act as a propaganda coup for the attacked. I am normally a Trump supporter, but find this act to be totally wrong-headed!ReplyDelete
"...this act to be totally wrong-headed!"Delete
ONLY if you are thinking in terms of "conventional wisdom" as espoused by the MSM (FOX included)!
This attack, spurred on by the usual suspects, accomplished the further goal of decimating ISIL and Iranian assets, without touching Russian or Assad assets. The Syrians on the ground were deliriously happy that the "bombings" did not result in civilian casualties, as well. And it didn't even cause a slow-down in American troop withdrawals! Also had the side benefit of showing Putin that the new American "smart" missiles are indeed all they're cracked up to be; e.g. Russian-proof!
So, what's so "wrong-headed" about accomplishing all your goals? You wanted more American and Syrian blood spilt or what?
Make your case man, don't just call names!
Just a detail Unknown (apologies All as I'm probably/likely to be getting repetitious - possibly boring):Delete
"Also had the side benefit of showing Putin that the new American "smart" missiles are indeed all they're cracked up to be; e.g. Russian-proof!"
The Russian-controlled S-400 system was never turned on lending credence to the reports Mrs. May's government "foresighted" Vlad. So. We ought not allow ourselves complacency. We do know at least three of the Israeli fired missiles were intercepted/destroyed during the IDAF raid (3?) weeks passed - those missiles very likely shared some commonality/compatibility with the US'.
However the Assad-controlled S-300s were turned on. There have been (dubious I think/hope) claims that "some" missiles were intercepted, hopefully (either/all) if the claims turn out to be credible/accurate - those intercepted missiles were of French or Brit variants.
“So, what's so "wrong-headed" about accomplishing all your goals? You wanted more American and Syrian blood spilt or what?Delete
Make your case man, don't just call names!”
Sorry, I thought I did make my case – “Any armed attack without resulting pain to those attacked is meaningless.”
Where is the PAIN - the first thing we did was telegraph in advance the fact that an attack was eminent, that Assad and his administration was not in danger; that Putin’s Russian personnel/hardware was not in danger. So all that was in danger were the local Syrian population around those areas attacked, Syrians that Assad clearly does not respect. What, in fact did we do – bomb some buildings (a research center?), possibly damaged some aircraft/airfields, create some confusion and inconvenience to those in the areas attacked? We could not bomb the actual stores of chemical weapons, for obvious reasons. Because few real details are available to us, what are we to make of “Strategic targets were taken out”; what the hell does that mean. Please, I am not advocating another Afghanistan or Iraq, but this attack seems to my simple mind to be on par with Clinton’s missile attack on some poor camel.
"Where is the PAIN"?Delete
Well John I take it you didn't suffer through Eleanor Clift's hoorahs on today's McLaughlin Report?
Or Adam Schiff's on George Stephanoopolis?
If you can pull up those appearances on YouTube I think you'll agree there was real pain inflicted on at least, me.
I think the "Mission Accomplished" phrase Trump included in one of his tweets had a rather nice touch to it. Heh.ReplyDelete
You don't think TRUMP was mocking a certain low-IQ former POTUS, do you? Maybe the one who "sat out" eight years of BHO's abominable Presidency, but re-surfaced to attack the thus-far successful, conservative presidency of Donald J?Delete
But those were Saudi, Sunni, and Wahhabists with nary an Alawite amongst 'em right?ReplyDelete
And Syria being (except for the places the Sunnis have overrun) about the only place that tolerates Christians? Well I guess I'd have to admit Lebanon does too except for maybe that old-timey Khobar unpleasantness.
And now that Erdogan's found his "train stop" and at a stroke, created NATO's sole Islamist Government member I wonder how, longish term, that's gonna turn out - Erdogan apparently having no love lost for our other regional ally the Kurds?
Still though ... How's your day going in Pyongyang Mr. Eun? Sun shining?
For those saying how disappointed they are in Trump, I agree lobbing a few missiles and bombs isn't a great response, unfortunately the cards he's got to pay from the prior administration aren't all the great. Right now he can:ReplyDelete
-Lob missiles, which at least causes some, minor, harm and price
-Work with the UN to send a sternly worded memo ala Hans Blix in the Team America World Police movie
-Escalate by taking Assad out, potentially giving ISIS an opening to regrow
-Escalate by pumping support into Syrian rebel groups, except most are ISIS aligned or ISIS wannabees.
-Escalate by massively backing the Kurds, except it isn't the friendly Iraqi Kurds who are on the front lines, but the PKK and allied groups who are basically the Socialist equivalent of the Islamofacists. Not to mention irrevocably alienating Turkey from NATO.
-Ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. I hope I don't have to explain why this is a bad idea when WMDs are involved.
Trump badly needs to redeal the deck there, but he's too busy redealing the trade deck, battling the deep state, dealing with the Muller train wreck, dealing with the train wreck that is Congress, and trying to resolve the mass illegal alien invasion via Mexico.
Just a detail Anon but,Delete
The PKK are avowed Maoists. A (relatively, when it comes to describing/ascribing political philosophies to the many many complications where the Kurds are concerned) "smallish" group.
Pre-Syria (as if any country in the region can be 'Pre-Anything "Peaceful"') the PKK's aim was to carve out from Turkey a homeland. "The Kurds" we [US] support are of the variety who largely lived in "harmony" with, among some few others, the Yazidis.
Sinjar region of Iraq. Kirkuk thereabouts. "Those Kurds" are definitely not, Maoist. Complicated and yes, very, but not Maoist.
Thanks for the clarification, JK. I was trying to keep it simple so others wouldn't miss my point, but yes there are different groups of Kurds. Hence why I referred to the Sinjar region Kurds, that most think of when saying they want to support the Kurds, as the "friendly Iraqi Kurds" and tried to differentiate them from the PKK and their ilk.Delete
I do think, in the long run, we'd be better off helping the Sinjar Kurds get and keep their independence, but there would be huge short term pain from this.
Well Anon, seems to me that we, at least, "enjoy" something of a grip on how very complicated just the various and sundry Kurds groups are. And, as you've acknowledged "huge short term pain" I reckon we're probably occupying common ground there too.Delete
I may be going out on a limb here Anon but might you agree with me when I suggest that, any *Syria involvement at all shoulda been really really considered and reconsidered before we [US] ever stuck our neck out.
*Some - not you Anon - I expect may not appreciate what I suspect Anon remembers. Where Syria's concerned a guy by the name of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi headed up a group (AQI or, Al Qaeda in Iraq) which imported a bunch of foreign fighters - mostly Saudis and Libyans and the throughpoint those foreign fighters took to get into mostly Anbar was the Syrian city of Dayr Al-Zawr (many variants of the spelling).
AQI was so bad even bin Laden and Zawahiri asked Zarqawi, "Can you tone the violence down some there Abu?"
Long story short. AQI morphed into ISI following Zarqawi's being on the lethal end of a Predator cellphone call but unfortunately the travel agents back in Dayr Al-Zawr were left to keep the organization running. ISI later going through the various iterations first usually chained as ISIL/ISIS/Jubhat al Nusra (the latter birthing a Libyan affiliate known as Ansar al Shariah [of Benghazi fame] to what we today recognize as "The Caliphate."
That a fairly good thumbnail sketch Anon?
Continuing from my prior comment, I don't doubt chemical weapons were used. I did some some suggestions that this might be a false flag by the terrorist groups/rebels in the area. That said, weakening Assad _slightly_ to move things from an Assad victory to a bloody stalemate is A-OK in my book. We need Assad strong enough to keep the Islamofacists busy and pulling in resources instead of using those resources against Western targets. We don't need him victorious.ReplyDelete
I'm taking it Anon as you've started "Continuing from my prior comment" you're the same individual I've replied to above?Delete
Your mention of a "false flag by the terrorists" brings to mind a 2013 interview conducted by Sky News (UK) with Syrian "Freedom Fighters" during which a FSA Spokesman admitted at least his own affiliate possessed "a Sarin manufacturing facility."
Curiously I cannot find a link from Sky. However I see ZeroHedge managed a screen-grab of a more recent State Department posting to wit (for reasons I shant get into, it's kinda risky [I'm pretty sure] I won't/can't hotlink).
Anyway, hopefully any interested parties here on Mr. Amselem's site can paste the following into their preferred Search engine or browser:
While I've got this up I will go ahead and paste a snippet of what ZeroHedge says is from the "State Department travel warning":
"Tactics of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and other violent extremist groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons."
"They have targeted major city centers, road checkpoints, border crossings, government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces, in Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr provinces."
Totally off-topic Mr. Amselem but:ReplyDelete
I was going to do something about Libby when the Syria stuff broke my concentration. Thanks for the link.Delete
It really insane that a desk jockey that outed herself at a cocktail party caused this chain of events.Delete
A little known fact is that a significant amount of yellow cake was moved out of Iraq to Canada, I think.
Why Ms. Plame's husband was tasked with going to Africa is still beyond me.
These people are political grifters.
"My default position which comes from 34 years in government service is to shut up and support the troops once they go into action."ReplyDelete
'Shut up and support the troops once they go into action' is how almost 60,000 American troops got killed in Vietnam for nothing achieved even remotely worth the price in lives, legs, arms and treasure. That is not supporting the troops. And all based on "intelligence" likely no better than the 'intelligence" the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was based on, which was "events" part of which were highly exaggerated and part of which never happened.
Well you do at least Anon, note Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.Delete
See Anon's above of April 14, 2018 at 11:21 PM final paragraph where he, very specifically types "... needs to redeal the deck."
That it's virtually impossible now has mostly to do, I would humbly suggest, with those who originally shuffled beginning with, I would further humbly suggest "Goober Carter."
1979 was indeed "a problematic time" to take up learning how to play Middle East Hold 'Em poker.
1. The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.ReplyDelete
2. If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support needed to win. It should not be a halfway or tentative commitment, and there must be clearly defined and REALISTIC objectives.
3. Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress.
4. Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat abroad only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.
How many of these does Syria meet?
Not a single Reagan one.
neither did his bombing of tripoli...Delete
executives have to make these calls, and they're not going to break down into definable and smoking-gun logical cases.
executives make good calls and bad calls, but many are only distinguishable ex-post facto.
For instance, Bush should have counted on a anti-american socialist being elected next, and that should have factored into how he dealt with Iraq.... he should have assumed the next president would do everything he could to show America that it shouldn't ever do anything but cower and shrink on the international stage. It's not pleasant to assume that your successor will hate America, but it's a clear task for a responsible president. On that account, Bush failed.
- reader #1482
I have not seen any recent mention of the deep cultural tie between Iran and Syria.ReplyDelete
It is a significant religio-philosophical link that sets these two countries apart from the usual, blood-drenched Sunni/Shia schism.
Both the peculiar Persian version of Shia and the very "heretical" Syrian Allawites are, effectively, catastropharian doctrines. They both have a character called "the Twelfth Imam" at the core of their "philosophy".
This "Twelfth Imam", is a sort-of "super-saviour" who will appear when the world is a total shambles and guide the "faithful" to their "rightful" place at the top of the heap (of corpses, mostly).
So what better way to "bring on" achieving this rightful place in "Paradise" than to tear up the joint.
Bin Laden's son is in Iran.Delete
You'll recall perhaps Bruce AQ (the old timey AQ) was friends with, whereverwhom AQ could be "friends" with?
Pakistan is the problem/issue.
When our [US] government gets to grips with that fact then stuff like "achievements" might get realized.
You might recall Bruce [pre-Iraq invasion] the Iranians "helping us" against the Taliban? Then we [US] ignoring both what we'd got including GW (Sharon's allowing against his better instincts) opening, ala Napoleon, a Second Front?
Its not so much Bruce "the deep cultural tie" between Iran and Syria as it is the Shi'a majority pre-invasion Iraq and Iran. You'll recall Hadi al-Amiri? Pal of Qassem Soleimani?
When I was very young I enjoyed the guidance of an Uncle who'd taught me to read at the age of 4. He'd (my Uncle) held against my Dad that, I ought "be taught the ways of the World."
My first magazine subscription (Uncle paid the scrip) was National Geographic. Uncle's house was right-next-door to the Lieutenant-Governor's own house where I, as a very young kid, used to throw a ball against the neighbor's house "inciting" him.
Had I a clue to his War record I'd never dared.
Anyway my Uncle's "supplementing" my awareness got me later into something had I a clue what was to come I'd not've done.
But I was young dumb and full of ____ and so when the civvie-clad guys showed up on the ship I happened to be on did, in the best Darth Vadar impersonation I'd ever heard before (or since) "If you'll join us on the darkside you'll never have to stand for an inspection ever after."
(Or words to that effect.)
So I did. At the time I was thinking something along the lines of, "Dad being a [near Admiral] getting me into this familiarity in the first-place combined with me, apparently, knowing [somewhat] more about the cultures than "they" do.
"Damn right," I think I said, "Where do I sign?"
There's a photograph somewhere ... probably available via the Internet of, Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. A knee of mine wasn't cropped.
Dad's claim to fame I reckon but, I sure wish things hadn't worked out as things seem to've.
You as absolutely Proud of "Some Things" we [US] have accomplished and (in my experience, damn few) as I am?
I am Proud to be an American (of the United States variety).
An idle thought on Comey's interview. That after a year of investigation, if the investigator has not reached a clear conclusion based on evidence, then he is incompetent.ReplyDelete
Tell us again how long Mueller has been searching for Collusion with Russia with zero evidence uncovered?
Rosenstein nearly cleared the Trump campaign a few months ago, saying there was no evidence of contacts between russia and the campaign except in efforts by supposed russian operatives to dupe unknowing campaign workers like they did with all campaigns.Delete
I don't know what Mueller's still doing on the hunt.
- reader #1482
Ken Starr (and his successor) investigated Whitewater for 6 years, and never claim to filing charges against the Clintons (although others were convicted). Mueller is also getting convictions of other people, even if Trump is not touched. Sauce of the goose, etc.Delete
Of course, if any of those who want Mueller to stop are willing to say that Starr should have been stopped in 1996, I'll take your suggestions more seriously.
I'll be your huckleberry Uni-Brow...and go a step further. The ONLY time a Special Prosecutor should be empaneled is when the subject of the investigation are high level DoJ people (The AG, FBI Director, their Deputies, etc). Someone should be able to Investigate the investigators. SPs should be warranted to looking at a specific set of crimes/charges and nothing else. And they should be on a strict time limit. No more of these years long "investigations" where the final tally is based on how many innocent people did you sweep up in perjury traps.Delete
I actually agree that would be ideal, but it doesn't seem to be the way things work.
Prosecutors always want more power, more things to investigate, more convictions. They need to be reigned in generally.
I dunno... I guess I want allegations... I want something specific to be getting investigated. I wish it were clear as the whitewater scandal, honestly. Raiding Cohen's files is really an 'all in' move by Mueller, FBI, and the relevant US attorney's office.Delete
- reader #1482
sounds like hannity is going down... dershowitz is right... though context is missing. I'm betting this started with cohen appearing as a guest commenting on matters other than himself.... was asked for some legal advice/help at some point... and continued to be a guest commenting on issues... no conflict of interest to report there because Cohen wasn't the issue under debate. Then at some point, Cohen himself became the issue, and it probably wasn't immediately obvious that the relationship had to be disclosed. Once that was recognized, the mistake was already in the past, and that becomes very difficult to own up to.ReplyDelete
This is a very tricky line for pretty much everybody.
- reader #1482