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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Syria

Surface to air missile fire over Damascus during the US-led raid on Syria.Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP


U.S., UK, France strike Syria in first coordinated action against Assad

Wise move?

Necessary move?

Related reading... Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2018

and

Commentary: In Syria strike, the real danger is Russia.

96 comments:

  1. Unwise, unnecessary. Russia has stated that there would be repercussions, and we have multiple locations where are forces are within Syria. That's the tactical response, for strategic, Russia could just decide to turn off the gas & electric spigot to Europe for a few days.

    All this for what?

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    1. Robinda Hoode saod

      Yeah there's a reasonable amount of evidence that Syria and Assad had nothing to do with it and it was not an attack on us and it's not our job to police the world.

      :Lying globalist hack warmongers.

      Trump lost a lot of support today..

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    2. Della de la Rue said

      Yes, I agree. Robinda's comment was perceptive as well as incisive.

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    3. I admit that I see no advantage to Assad's gassing his own people at this point -- unless the people we're seeing as victims of this chemical attack were part of the Syrian Rebels' camp or maybe part of the human shields system for such a camp.

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    4. If Assad didn't order the chemical attack, then who DID?

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    5. Syria has won the war, for all practical purposes, are are allied with Iran and the Turks to open a corridor to Lebanon from Iran. They just completed a big deal to make this happen. Again. Cui bono?

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    6. The only people that can effectively keep Iran out of Israel and Saudi Arabia now are the Kurds.

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    7. Trump's attack is just a "freebie" created by the liberal media in the West to hit Assad. But it would be stupid to go beyond this strike "other" than arming the Kurds.

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    8. Every blow against Assad merely prolongs ISIS and the Resistance. The Turks are doing Assad's bidding against the Kurds. I say we make it "expensive" for Turkey to continue to do so. I think we need to accept the fact that Assad has won, but I would make it difficult for him to assert control over the autonomus Kurdish region in NE Sysria

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    9. The Turks have the Europeans check-mated. Turkey is going to go after the Kurds. The US is the only player with freedom to act.

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    10. NATO's about to become "Turkey-less". And Russia will fill the void.

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  4. Johnny Tremaine said

    No, I don't agree with Maddow on this one. Because it involved the British and French, and they would not just do Trump's bidding without justification. This sounds like he listened to Mattis and did a justifiable attack on known chemical weapon manufacturing and dispersal facilities. It was a well planned and strategically sound attack, IMO. Maddow is usually correct, but not always. This time, I feel, she got it wrong.

    In the end, though, I don't feel it will deter anyone. Already, the chance that Assad would use more chemial weapons was small, given that, with the fall of Douma, he now controls virtually all of the major population centers in Syria. He'd have no more reason to use chemical weapons until or if the rebels retake major population centers. Using chemical weaponry in sparsely populated areas is pointless (also expensive) so the barely populated eastern provinces of Syria (where our troops are located) are not a candidate for assault by chemical weapons.

    The real question is: What, if anything, does this do to Russia and it's continued buttressing of Assad and his thugs?

    I don't put much past Trump, in all honesty, but in this I think he was correct in his actions.

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    1. Actually "Johnny Tremaine" didn't write that. I did and I do NOT appreciate my words being stolen by another person.

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    2. Hence, one of the problems with posting anonymously. Your claim is unverifiable.

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    3. Johnny Tremaine said

      Not only is ot unverifiable, it's ridiculous. An anonymous commenter who doesn't even bother to give hinself a fictitious name is less than a non-person. He's only a figment of his own imagination,

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    4. I have been at this - bulletin boards, message boards, blogs - for a long time. There are means to check these claims. The problem is it usually isn't worth my time,I would have to correlate it from the metadata. If anyone insists on using a nom de plume I'd rather they use the same one. In some cases that isn't necessary because I am familiar with the author and their style is readily apparent or if they use it as means of amusement, it isn't a problem. If they paraphrase or quote using attribution, it isn't a problem. If someone "steals" prose -to be generous- it will be deleted and I will keep it in mind the next time they post.

      The prose may be yours but the idea has a life of its own after it's stated.

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  5. I am more concerned as to if Assad was the one that used the chemicals. It makes little sense since this followed on the heels of Trump stating we were on our way out..
    Have we forgotten about Iraq and their WMD's. After this nonsense with the FBI and CIA can we trust anything they say?

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    1. Bunkerville,
      I hear ya!

      But I don't have any answers for you.

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    2. The same intel community trying to oust POTUS.

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    3. Ed,
      The same intel community trying to oust POTUS.

      Yes, and that fact keeps niggling at me.

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  6. The Town Crier said

    Mattis: Syria Strikes a ‘One-Time Shot,’ Further Operations Will Depend on Assad

    BREITBART NEWS

    by KRISTINA WONG

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that whether the United States will launch further attacks against the Syrian regime will depend on whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons again.

    “That will depend on Mr. Assad,” Mattis said at a Pentagon briefing Friday night, when asked whether there would be more military operations, following U.S., French, and British strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities.

    “Right now, this is a one-time shot. We believe it has sent a strong message to deter him from doing this again,” he told reporters. “Right now we have no additional attacks planned.”

    Briefing alongside Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said Friday night’s strikes differed from those Trump ordered a year ago, after the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.

    While last year’s strikes were done unilaterally, and hit one target — a Syrian regime airfield that housed about 17 percent of its air force – Dunford said Friday’s strikes were conducted with two allies on multiple sites and would “result in a long-term degradation of Syria’s capability to develop chemical weapons.”

    “Important infrastructure was destroyed. They will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment, and expensive chemical weapons precursors,” he said.

    “The strike was not only a strong message that their actions were inexcusable, but it has inflicted damage without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians,” he added. ...

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  7. Torky's Mater said

    Why not just

    A
    S
    S
    A
    S
    S
    I
    N
    A
    T
    E

    ASSAD?


    Who care's if it's ILLEGAL if it would be EFFECTIVE in stopping the horror show?

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    1. Who would replace Assad as ruler of Syria?

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    2. Why Russia and Iran...and that will finish off any Christians that are left.

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    3. We did not decapitate Assad.
      We demo'd that we can.
      And that Russian MilTech can't stop us.
      Mission accomplished.

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  9. Question...

    Could this attack on Syria have anything to do with Mohammed bin Salman's recent visits to the United States and the UK?

    It seems to me as if Saudi would love to see Assad fall from power. In fact, it seems to me as if the benefit of this recent launch upon Syria goes to Saudi Arabia. Maybe I'm wrong....

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    1. Russia is not going to allow Assad to fall. Putin has strategic interests in Syria (we don't) and is simply not going to allow an Islamist regime to ascend to power.

      Just what the raid accomplished is hazy but it certainly didn't weaken Assad significantly.

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    2. Ducky, it isn't necessary to replace a tyrant as long as he remains aware that the seat upon which his ass sets is an uneasy one.

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  10. Thomas Clarence Stenchover said

    WOW --- bombing with missiles --- a friend and ally of Russia. huh.

    I wonder how much more Trump would diss Putin if he really wasn´t in Putin´s pocket and being blackmailed by him. Use atomic bombs??

    And how does Putin feel now about getting Trump elected?? Some payback.

    This just highlights the stupidity of the Left and shows beyond doubt that the Mueller travesty is, in fact, a witch hunt only meant to destroy Trump and hamper his/our agenda.

    Lastly, #6 and others, it´s my understanding that the whole world condemns gassing people as it is so unfair and the victims can´t "get out of the way". Basically everything that is living gets killed --- whether innocent or guilty --- including soldiers, civilians, babies, old people, dogs, cats, bugs, mice, birds, fish, many plants and trees, etc. Truly anything that breathes. It is much like real hunters condemning and ostracizing someone who shoots "a sitting duck" swimming on a lake instead of one on the wing. It´s just too easy and the duck doesn´t have a ghost of a chance. That´s where the phrase comes from.

    And, of course, all the munition makers who sell guns & ammo don´t get a cut of the action because they don´t make gas. There´s that.

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  11. Joe Conservative's comment are a nice thumbnail sketch of just how confusing and tangled alliances are in that part of the world.

    AOW asks a good question: Who would replace Assasd? What the hell are we trying to accomplish? We are really good at destroying things and creating biblical-scale chaos, but we suck at building and putting things back together.

    The Kurds? We throw them under the bus when we don't need them. We're allowing Turkey to attack them, because Turkey is an "ally" and the Kurds are "terrorists."

    Ultimately, this is about preventing an Iranian Anschluss that gives them a superhighway to Lebanon and Israel's borders.

    The entire region is a sisyphean nightmare not worth our blood and treasure.

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    1. Xantippe Peterson said

      bomb the whole region back to the stone age. kill everybody there. destroy every building. the innocent ones are better of dead anyway. the place is a hpeless mess nd always has been. just get rid of it.

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    2. You assume we can have control over who might replace Assad.

      The Turks, Saudis, Iranians, Israelis, Russians and a few others all have skin in this game. We don't.

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    3. Ducky, I don't assume that at all. We will not have control over who replaces Assad. You'd think we've learned something by now about regime change and unintended consequences...

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    4. Agrippina di Lauro Kiley said

      I like Xantippe's idea best. Half measures are for spineless, "half-fast" weaklings.

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    5. Don't climb into any wheelchairs, Agrippina...

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  12. Robert Spencer posted these thoughts last night:

    1. Is it certain that Assad’s regime really used the chemical weapons? There is so much manufacture of atrocities in that region, it cannot be taken for granted that he has, especially since there is no clear benefit to him in doing so.

    2. What is the endgame? The removal of Assad? No doubt Assad is a scoundrel, but what replaces him is likely to be worse.

    3. Is it certain that the strikes will actually reduce the production of chemical weapons and end their use?

    4. Every U.S. intervention in the Middle East has been disastrous, as they were based on false assumptions. Will this one be different?

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    1. The last question actually ties the others into a nice little package; every Middle Eastern intervention has lacked an endgame.....been based upon shoddy or invented intelligence.....and increased the threat to U.S. forces or national security.

      Such is the lack of evidence, the reckless engagement and the immediacy of the affair, that it literally begs all but true believers to consider that there are ulterior and distracting motives at play on the part of POTUS.

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    2. We talked this on the radio today.
      Took up the whole show.
      One caller I actually know as a friend and on FB is convinced it was a put up. Sent me videos that have me thinking he's right.
      That means our intel community, who should know, convinced the POTUS that a fake chem attack was real.
      Of course that would be the same intel community that has been trying to get him removed from office.

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    3. POTUS can act without the intelligence community. Not terribly Constitutionally of course, but he [as others have] can act nonetheless.

      The IC has less a vested interest in their distraction than others do.

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    4. I'm not following...
      I assume POTUS relies on IC for info so he can decide.
      I don't follow your last statement at all.

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    5. POTUS relies on the IC when he wants to. It's not a prerequisite for a consensus among agencies, for POTUS to act in the manner he has.

      It's very convenient to always be able to levy suspicion or blame at a nebulous assortment of federal and military agencies, casting doubt on the patriotism of those who work within them, at least when party allegiance is at stake. This is not unique to this Administration, but it has been employed more often than I remember during any other.

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    6. Ed,
      One caller I actually know as a friend and on FB is convinced it was a put up. Sent me videos that have me thinking he's right.
      That means our intel community, who should know, convinced the POTUS that a fake chem attack was real.


      !!!

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    7. C.I. Your Trump dislike should not color your assessment of the situation. It has been demonstrated that elements of IC has tried to bring Trump down.
      They may even see themselves as patriots.

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    8. I don't care enough about Trump to color my assessment of the situation. I do however, find the unhinged opposition to him - and - the sycophantic support of him, to be fascinating.

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    9. BTW, if you've reached an assessment that the IC has 'set up' Trump.....I'm anxious to read your factual evidence.

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    10. Turkey is on the march, Ataturk is spinning in his grave. Iran is on the march although somewhat muted at this time -crippled by economic problems and civilian unrest-. Syria, Iran and Turkey, have been or are becoming, Russian clients. Russia has been sabre rattling by the open boasting of the Russians the supposed "superiority" of their "super fast" atomic missiles and their boasting of their anti-aircraft defense systems, which are in place in Syria, and Turkey seems about ready to purchase.

      Iran seems bound and determined to open a corridor through Northern Iraq or possibly Turkey into Syria where it may attack Israel and endanger the Kingdoms of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

      Saudi Arabia sees this as a direct threat to its position as power broker to Middle East, to such an extent that Saudi Crown Prince Salman has visited France to seek a strategic partnership and spoken openly that Israel has a "right to exist" which has never been spoken in public before.

      Does anyone really think that this was only about a gas attack?

      Add to that, France and GB both joined in this attack and they didn't do it because of our intelligence. I would hazard to guess, both of them have much better human intelligence in this area than we do. The Israelis just recently attacked a Syrian missile base, I know they have better intelligence.

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    11. If President Trump acted rashly and without a good assessment from the IC, rest assured multiple leakers inside the IC will be sure everybody knows.

      "They got six ways to Sunday to get back at you."

      Yes, the vast majority of the IC and federal law enforcement are honest, patriotic Americans, but we've already seen what a few rat finks in high positions can do.

      Don't forget the CIA's grossly illegal hacking of Congressional computers.

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    12. CI: Factual evidence? Of course not.
      Evidence that a lot of fakery has been going on?
      There's plenty.
      That high ranking elements of the IC has tried to "take out" Trump?
      There's plenty.
      For all I know, Trump may not believe there were gas attacks either.
      As I said elsewhere, this may just have been an excuse to demo that the Russian miltech is not superior.

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    13. I'm going to bolster my point here:

      From The Aviationist
      "If Syrian air defense units were ineffective in stopping U.S. cruise missiles, and most information now points to that outcome (actually, it looks like the Syrians fired their missiles after the last missile had hit), this represents a significant blow to the Assad regime and to Russia’s ability to assist in an effective air defense in the region."

      From AOW's link above:

      "Some residents said that warnings from the Russians made the strikes less effective than they could have been.

      “Assad during the previous days transferred many aircraft and weapons from their places to another one. Most of the targeted areas were empty and only the building has been damaged,” said Damascus resident Ayman Bakla, 53."


      Why would we telegraph such a strike if we didn't want them to be ready for the attack? Could it be to show that the Russians can't protect them? By inference, doesn't it tell the Turks and Iranians that they are wasting their money buying Russian air defense systems? Doesn't it embarrass the Russians?

      The Russians claim that 71 out of 105 Cruise Missiles were shot down, our DD claims all 105 hit their targets. The truth may be somewhere in between but the Syrians will know for sure and the Turks and Iranians will find out.



      "If Syrian air defense units were ineffective in stopping U.S. cruise missiles, and most information now points to that outcome (actually, it looks like the Syrians fired their missiles after the last missile had hit), this represents a significant blow to the Assad regime and to Russia’s ability to assist in an effective air defense in the region."

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    14. Warren: Agreed. Unless the Russians did not deploy because they knew the targets were empty and to lull us.
      I doubt it.
      This was their moment to sell.

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    15. this represents a significant blow to the Assad regime and to Russia’s ability to assist in an effective air defense in the region

      Two good consequences, IMO. And perhaps some of the ummah will take a larger lesson and start wondering if it's the will of Allah to partner with the infidel Russians.

      I must say that after Obama's "leading from behind," the pendulum needs to swing via a show of force from the infidels.

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    16. You need a 'like" button.
      Consider this a "like".

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    17. the pendulum needs to swing via a show of force from the infidels.

      Didn’t this already occur with the relative demise of ISIS?

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    2. FT,
      I can't say that I agree.

      It is relatively easy for a modern nation to protect herself against incoming traditional weapons of war.

      But bio-weapons and chem-weapons? Those are a different story. Invisible incoming attacks!

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    3. AOW - as terrifying as chemical/biological weapons are, they’re also unreliable given that they’re subject to the whims of wind and humidity in the dispersal and diffusion. The net effect of the horror of these weapons is in reality, no different than what happens to the inside of a human body within the concussive blast of conventional artillery.

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    5. FT,
      I had so hoped my satirical poem, provocative though it may be, would at least produce a glimmer of AMUSEMENT at the richness of the IRONY and absurd lack of logic it illustrates...

      Maybe it comes down to a reticence to see anything at all amusing about war -- or the worst side of the human condition as a whole, for that matter.

      Anyway, unless I am mistaken, this being horrified by chemical weapons dates back to WW1, wherein the Germans deployed mustard gas (and chlorine gas, too, I think).

      If the reports about the coalition's attack upon Syria are indeed correct, what was destroyed was the factories. Caveat: it's fairly easy to get up and running with chlorine gas as a weapon.

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  14. Replies
    1. “Most of the targeted areas were empty and only the building has been damaged,”

      That’s been a common theme in post strike reports. Shadows of Clinton striking empty tents and aspirin factories.

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  15. One of the few silver lining's to trump's appointment was that he was not a hawk. Was he lying, or has he been manipulated by the dastardly military complex, or does the sitiation really merit our intervention?

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    1. That's the question, all right.
      Or is this a negotiation tactic?

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    2. I can't help thinking a president is just a figure-head.

      $ Government and the debt grew under Reagan

      $ Bush the Elder kicked off the "sell our souls to China and give them all our technology" program

      $ Bill Clinton's buddy Bernard Schwartz of Loral gave China advanced missile technology (which then proliferated to Iran and other bad actors)

      $ Bush the Dumber swore on the campaign trail he was not a nation builder.

      $ Emperor Barack said he would close Guantanamo and end America's wars

      $ President Trump's foreign policy is looking pretty much like Clinton-Bush-Obama foreign policy.


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    3. The only bright spot I see in the Trump Presidency is ironically what is bedeviling him the most:

      His ongoing death match with The Establishment. It's Armageddon, and either President Trump will go down, or he will expose and cleave off the rotten portions of the Deep State and expose the conspiracy against him.

      Much to my surprise, Clinton pollster Mark Penn wrote a pro-Trump article about this struggle:

      Comey's Last Stand for the Deep State

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    4. Thank you for Mr. Penn's most welcome article, Silver. I've printed it in its entrety my –– in FOUR sections –– at my blog in case anyone would like easy access.

      Amazing since it comes from a former CLINTON aid –– or should I say "operative?"

      };^)>

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    5. SF,
      I will be posting Mark Penn's essay front-and-center tomorrow. Thanks for the link!

      Delete
  16. A quote from the former "leader" of the Deep State, Mr. :A Higher Loyalty"...


    When asked by ABC anchor George Stephanapoulos if President Trump should be impeached, Comey replied: “I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they are duty bound to do directly. People in this county need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.”

    We VOTED our values you stupid F*ck!!!! HE is the President, NOT YOU!

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  17. The AG blackmails NYPD with a Civil Rights case against their officers unless they stop looking at Anthony Weiner's laptop.... Unbelievable!

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  18. From the excerpts in Comey’s book that I have read, James Comey appears to be one of those little bitchy mean girls who stamps her foot and proclaims her virtue knowing that she is no virgin -- and in Comey's case, servicing the football team. Speaking of Donald Trump's orangy complexion, his small hands, or his marriage makes Comey seem less independent and as highly partisan and delusional as commentator Rachel Maddow.
    If there any shockers in this book, and there doesn't appear to be any, is that Comey never met Hillary Clinton, a major investigative target and that he knew all along who financed the so-called Steele dossier while apparently using that dossier to back various aspects of his investigation although he could not substantiate much of it over the course of a year or so.
    I cannot believe how petty and personal this scandal has become with Comey saying something and President doubling down can calling him out as a "slimeball" on Twitter. That Comey cannot substantiate what the media calls the Trump pee tape" but keeps repeating it and saying he is not sure it is true, makes Comey look like a man with an agenda to push the "big lie."

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  19. And behind door no. 3 ... Sean Hannity.

    More popcorn?

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    1. You like a "weaponized" DOJ, don't you. Nothing like leaks from law enforcement to feed news cycles. I can't wait till the Clinton Foundation raid.

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    2. I don't know which Sean Hannity I like. The one that tries to insult the left with a half-baked analogy to marital infidelity with Newt Gingrich sitting next to him, or the one that closes his show blasting Facebook's "war on conservatives" with "follow me on Facebook."

      Hannity didn't hire the lawyer that pays sex scandals to go away, but he has attorney client priviledge y'all.

      The distinction between conservative and Trump voter has never been more clear.

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  20. Ahem.

    Comments are drifting off topic.

    We can discuss Comey tomorrow when I publish a blog post on that particular topic.

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