Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 07, 2017

Syria: New U.S. Air Support On Request Scheme For Al-Qaeda

On this day one hundred years ago the U.S. joined World War I. Last night the U.S. attacked a Syrian government airport in an openly hostile and intentional manner. The strike established a mechanism by which al-Qaeda can "request" U.S. airstrikes on Syrian government targets. It severely damaged the main support base for Syria's fight against the Islamic State in eastern Syria. The event will possibly lead to a much larger war.

On April 4 Syrian airplanes hit an al-Qaeda headquarter in Khan Sheikoun, Idleb governate. Idleb governate is under al-Qaeda control. After the air strike some chemical agent was released. The symptoms shown in videos from local aid stations point to a nerve-agent. The release probably killed between 50 and 90 people. It is unknown how the release happened.

It is unlikely that the Syrian government did this:

  • In 2013 the Syrian government had given up all its chemical weapons. UN inspectors verified this.
  • The target was militarily and strategically insignificant.
  • There was no immediate pressure on the Syrian military.
  • The international political atmosphere had recently turned positive for Syria.

Even if Syria had stashed away some last-resort weapon this would have been the totally wrong moment and totally wrong target for using it. Over the last six year of war the Syrian government army had followed a political and militarily logical path. It acted consistently. It did not act irrational. It is highly unlikely that it would have now take such an illogical step.

The chemical used, either Sarin or Soman, was not in a clean form. Multiple witnesses reported of a "rotten smell" and greenish color. While the color would point to a mixture with Chlorine the intense smell of Chlorine is easily identifiable, covers up most other odors and would have been recognized by witnesses. Both Sarin and Soman are in pure form colorless, tasteless and odorless. The Syrian government once produced nerve agents on a professional, large scale base. Amateurishly produced nerve-gases are not pure and can smell (example: Tokyo subway incident 1995). It is unlikely that the Syrian government experts would produce a "rotten smelling", dirty, low quality stuff in an unprofessional and dangerous process.

The nerve agents in Khan Sheikoun, should they be confirmed, came either from stashed ammunition at the place attacked by the Syrian government or it was willfully released by the local ruling terrorist groups -al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham- after the strike to implicate the Syrian government. The relatively low casualty numbers of mostly civilians point to the second variant.

Several reports over the years confirm that Al-Qaeda in Syria has the precursors and capabilities to produce and use Sarin as well as other chemical agents. This would not be their first use of such weapons. Al-Qaeda was under imminent pressure. It was losing the war. It is therefor highly likely that this was an intentional release by al-Qaeda to create public pressure on the Syrian government.

For a release incident of powerful chemical weapons the casualty numbers were low, lower than the casualty numbers of recent conventional U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq. Despite that fact a huge international media attack wave, seemingly prepared in advance, against the Syrian government was released. No evidence was presented that the incident was caused by the Syrian government. The only pictures and witness reports from the ground came from or through elements, like the White Helmets, who are known to by embedded with al-Qaeda and ISIS (video) and are acting as their propaganda arm.

Last night U.S. president Trump "responded" to the incident by ordering the launch of 59 cruise missiles on the Syrian military airport Al Syairat (vid). The cruise missiles were launched from sea in a volley designed to overwhelm air defenses. According to the Syrian and Russian military only 23 cruise missiles reached the airport. The others were shut down or failed. Six Syrian soldiers were Killed, nine civilians in a nearby village were killed or wounded and nine Syrian jets were destroyed. The airport infrastructure was severely damaged. The Syrian and Russian governments had been warned before the strikes hit and evacuated most men and critical equipment. (Was the warning part of a deal?) The air attack coincided with an Islamic State ground attack east of the airport.

The Pentagon alleges, without any evidence, that Sarin had been stored at the airport and a chemical attack launched from it. Both seems highly unlikely. The airport was accessible for UN inspectors. It is not as well covered by air defenses as other Syrian airports, for example in Latakia governate. Its ground approaches are not completely secured. Some medium range air defense system near al Syairat was recently used against Israeli planes attacking Syrian forces fighting ISIS near Palmyra.

Al Syairat lies in Homs governate, 150 km south of Khan Sheikoun in Idleb governate. It is the main support and supply airport for the besieged Syrian government enclave in Deir Ezzor which will now again be in even more serious trouble. It was also used to launch attacks on the Islamic State which fights the Syrian government troops in east Homs.

Al-Qaeda and its sidekick Ahra al-Sham welcomed the U.S. strikes and Abu Ivanka al Amriki on their side. The theocratic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia offered its full support as did its British creators.

The U.S. airstrike delivers a message to al-Qaeda. Whenever under military pressure al-Qaeda can now stage or fake a "chemical attack" and the U.S. will act to destroy its enemy, the Syrian government. Acts as the one last night are then direct military support by the U.S. on al-Qaeda's request.

A similar scheme had earlier been established on the Golan heights. Al-Qaeda, fighting against Syrian government positions, would launch a mortar round that would land within Israeli controlled territory. Israel would then launch artillery strikes against Syrian government positions because "the Syrian government is responsible for what happens in the area". Al-Qaeda then used the battle field advantage created by the Israeli strike. The scheme and the Israeli military "reasoning" was published several times in Israeli media:

A number of mortars have landed in Israeli territory as a result of spillover fighting over the last several years, raising fears among residents near the border.

The IDF often responds to fire that crosses into Israel by striking Syrian army posts.

Israel maintains a policy of holding Damascus responsible for all fire from Syria into Israel regardless of the source of the fire.

The U.S. administration has now established a similar mechanism, on a larger scale, of direct military U.S. support for al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria.

The Trump presidency had been held hostage by unfounded allegation of "Russian interference" in the U.S. elections in support of the Trump candidacy. The air strikes on Syria might have been the ransom that was demanded for the release of the hostage. His opponents are now gushing about him. The allegation of any Trump-Russia connections may now die down.

Yesterday major Democratic leaders in Congress supported strikes on Syria. Despite that they are also likely to attack Trump over them. The strikes are a "strong man" gamble. As Trump said when Obama ordered strikes such are a desperate move. Most parts of the State Department and the NSC were not consulted about them. The chances that these will "blow back" politically as well as strategically are high.

Trump is the third U.S. president in a row who promised less belligerence during his campaign only to deliver more after the election. The "democratic" veil of the U.S. oligarchic rule thus rips further apart.

Open U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria will now cease. U.S. planes in Syrian airspace are from now on constantly under imminent danger. There will also be some larger revenge against the U.S. for last night's strikes. Likely not in Syria but in Iraq, Afghanistan or at sea. A "message" will be send. The U.S. reaction to that "message" will be a decision over a much larger war.

Posted by b on April 7, 2017 at 8:22 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Jen 53
That is an option and it is the lesser of evils for a Trump action. Pretend to go along with the neocons and even the media. Put on a show against Syria and Russia while buying time to do the right thing. Possible and the best thing to hope for.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 7 2017 15:20 utc | 101

somebody 63

Well this attack shows that US dont care about Russia doesnt it?
I wonder how that Tillerson/Putin meeting next week will play out. Any idea?


Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 15:24 utc | 102

According to Zio Jazeera, Yemen's civilian-slaughtering nemesis, Saudi Barbaria, has congratulated Trump on his courageous attack on Syria.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 7 2017 15:25 utc | 103

The EU cant even condemn the american aggression, and these nutjobs wonder why people want to leave their rotten union?

http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/04/07/517103/EU-Mogherini-Syria-strike

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 15:30 utc | 104

From The Hague @67

My criticism of Circe was factual. I'm sorry that you choose to mischaracterize it. Several others at MoA also criticized Circe.

Circe showed up a week before the election. His first post was arguably pro-Hillary (more on that later). He complained bitterly about anything and everything that Trump did and pushed hard on guilt-by-association. For example: despite Circe's hair-on-fire assertions, its not unusual for a President-elect to talk with the Israeli leader as one of his first foreign contacts; and Trump didn't get nearly as much money from Adelson as Circe claimed, neocons that Circe was certain signaled a pro-Israeli .

Despite attacking the two-party system and calling for a revolution (as part of his urging people to protest against Trump), Circe revealed that he would like to see Kucinich (a Democrat) as the next President. And despite attacking Trump as an uber-Zionist, Circe was unconcerned with the smearing of Ellison as "anti-semetic" by Haib Saban (a major Democratic Party donor who famously declared: "I am a one-issue guy, and that issue is Israel.") during the recent election of DNC Chair. Nor has Circe been concerned with what may come AFTER Trump (Pence or Hillary).

Given the above, it is difficult not to see Circe as a Democratic Party partisan working to weaken support for Trump.

Trump's attack on Syria calls into question his sincerity but does NOT make the outlandish partisan attacks against him look prescient in hindsight. Instead, these attacks are even more suspect as they are now used to excuse Trump's attack on Syria.

Claims of Russian interference in the US election appear to be as bogus as the claims that Assad launched a sarin attack. If one applies hindsight with some real thought, the anti-Trump campaign looks like a set-up: a pretense to allow Trump to do what is unpopular (continue the 'Assad must go!' effort, even if it risks war with Russia).

I think this is the way that the Russians must be looking at Trump now. It seems likely that they see Trump as just part of the US bi-partisan establishment that is running the same deceitful neocon/neolib games as his predecessors.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 7 2017 15:31 utc | 105

chris m 93
China likes construction, true. But they are also building a military base at Djibouti. Nothing large of course like the US (Lemonnier and others) and French bases there. It's simply a presence for now.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 7 2017 15:34 utc | 106

There is only one way for Eurasia to stop Oceania's constant bullying and murder by a thousand cuts: draw red lines and threaten to use the strategic nuclear deterrence if those lines are crossed. Any threat short of that serves as a signal that it's okay for Oceania to continue.

Oceania doesn't respect *anything* but power. No morals (be they of "religious" or atheist origin), no political philosophy, no economic philosophy, no human rights, no treaties, no political boundaries, no bill of rights, no civil rights, no property rights save those of the oligarchs. Any indications to the contrary have been compromises in the face of threats to the system. (E.g., MLK and civil rights threatening to undermine the draft of the underclass, so the rulers passed a civil rights act.)

Eurasia must include this threat within a publicly announced comprehensive ultimatum -- probably read aloud at the UN and simultaneously broadcast globally on as many channels -- that Oceania's murderous behavior must end; Eurasia is drawing various "red" lines (get out of Syria now, get out of South China Sea now, etc.) that trigger nuclear annihilation if not met.

Oceania's unchecked invasions of the rest of the world threatens its independent existence. If Eurasia wants to remain independent, then that's what they must do. If Eurasia instead prefers to "survive on their knees" than "live and potentially die on their feet", then they should just surrender now. Either way, choose now and save us a whole bunch of time and drama.

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 7 2017 15:35 utc | 107

@98 Ghostship

The Russian MOD came out with a statement that the chemicals were being shipped to Iraq. RT was expanding on that today stating that Russia has reported numerous past chemical attacks in Syria and elsewhere and submitted samples to the OPCW, which to date has not responded.

Here is their current statement, https://www.opcw.org/news/article/media-brief-reported-use-of-chemical-weapons-southern-idlib-syria-4-april-2017/ , which is little more than an organizational mission statement. Does anyone know how effective the OPCW is or are they another worthless NGO hacking money out of concerned nations to manufacture consent?

As long as AQ has control on the ground, i.e. propaganda authority, the truth will never be verified, as perpetrators will cover their tracks once the story has traction in the media.

I would second the motion on running a symptoms analysis to determine a range of possible agents, but the white helmets are apparently skilled in makeup and cinematography to show whatever they want in a video. Very plausible to me that Trump was party to orchestrating an attack based on fake news, in a political deal. How surprised will he be when the next news cycle kicks in with the daily scandal?

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 7 2017 15:36 utc | 108


Assad's office calls US strike 'reckless and irresponsible'
The office of the Syrian president has called the US strike against one of its airbases in central Homs “reckless” and “irresponsible,” AP reports.
The statement on Friday said the strikes were “shortsighted” and reflect a continuation of policy regardless of which administration that is based on targeting and “subjugating people”. It added that the dawn attack was not based on facts.

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 7 2017 15:36 utc | 109

As I recall, there had been a story in the Turkish media about six months before Ghouta where a group of al-Nusrah (or whatever they're calling themselves this week) were caught by Turkish troops at the border smuggling components of sarin into Syria. Anyone remember, or have a link to that story?

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Apr 7 2017 15:41 utc | 110

US presidents don't get impeached for using military force.

They are 'expected' to demonstrate for domestic political consumption they are, 'Tough'. So, no impeachment for this, no way. Dream on. In a way this nullifies the 'Russian Puppet' Psyop narrative to a significant degree ... back channel co-ordination ? however unlikely ? or just Trump-faction trying to put a stake thru that BS with one low risk act using ordnance only, for wholly domestic political reasons ? Hm ...

The Lavrov-Tillerson meeting will be ... interesting. The claptrap from the vassals and 'coalition' partners is sickening & immoral yet entirely typical & expected, par for the course.

No justification for strike, under domestic or international law, aggressive war crime/act of war/etc, but what does that matter to the Empire, never has in the past ... when has the Empire ever needed 'actual' proof or evidence or UNSC authority ?

Nerve-agent, by Syrian AF strike, my ass. Was doing NBC drills, PT, exercises in mopp3 at the height o' the Cold war, feared the atropine injection re a false alarm far more than the possibility of the real thing ... 100% co-ordinated #False by the Oscar documentary winners.

Nil risk re aircraft or casualties in launching stand-off cruise missile strikes with little damage and few Syrian casualties is ... unexceptional ... Oh, and the tarmac is undamaged and still operational ?! WTF ? THAT is a failed 'strike' ! No nukes will be launched against another country for such ... that is just 'way out there' and alarmist ...

RU will not abandon Syria at risk of losing Tartus. RU/Iran/Hezbollah are now likely to 'double down'. So, unless willing to further escalate at risk of WWIII, what next for the Empire ?

The Chinese will not be happy over the disrespect and loss of face to XI, not happy at all.

What the US & coalition 'do' next, re 'acts'/escalation, will determine where this is going ... 'Syrian' AD systems will now almost certainly be upgraded, expanded and better integrated, deployed to key locales/regions, by RU, beyond RU just upgrading existing S200's, as in the past.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 7 2017 15:41 utc | 111

typo @107
... neocons that Circe was certain signaled a pro-Israeli foreign policy (Bolton, Woolsey) were shown the door, then after taking office Trump didn't even mention Jews in his holocaust message and Trump said that Israel's settlement building was unhelpful.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 7 2017 15:44 utc | 112

It's impressive given that part of Europe Jihadi problem was augmented by European support for anti-Assad forces ... they turned a blind (but encouraging) eye as Euorpean Muslim youth traveled to Syria to fight with "the rebels" ... only to return, as further radicalized anti-establishment actors, now furious at their government(s) for attacking ISIS and Al-Qaeda and Company and being part of the American coalition ... oh gee.

The truck attack on a Stockholm Department store is being officially called a terrorist attack ... although how it will be spun and/or what the perpetrator has to say was his motivation can only be imagined at this point, but doubtless a boon to the nationalist right.

The migrant crisis has largely dropped off the radar ... seasonal effect of migrants sheltering in place until the weather improves?

New reports from Mosul indicate that there are still 200,000 civilians in the 10% of the city remaining to be liberated (our of 2 million thought to be present at the start of the battle last fall), regardless, that's a lot of civilians (who were -- it is now reported -- assured victory would be swift and advised to not leave the city for the vast shelters that were being prepared -- even as folks scratched their heads and worried when the camps did not fill as anticipated).

God I hate all of this Cockburn on Mosul in Unz is a depressing read, but perhaps a preview of some post-Assad Syrian "reconciliation that wasn't" ... as mentioned yesterday, the LA times now places the Mosul death toll at nearly 300, while Trump weeps over the children of this latest atrocity, forgettabout our Syrian mosque bombing also on Trump's watch (03/17/2017 57 killed apparently at prayer) unz cockburn.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 7 2017 15:47 utc | 113

I don't understand why there is even still a discussion about the veracity of the chemical weapon "attack" . . . since when do facts matter anymore? Facts have played absolutely no role in the actions of the US since the MSM and the "papers of record" announced that "The Russians invaded Ukraine and Crimea!" All that is needed these days is a report from twitter or a couple photos that can be waved around.

The oligarchy and deep state rule the US, we have no representative government, our elections are a farce meant only to give the appearance of democracy. As someone said, we live in a democracy theme park, where the handles and levers are not connected to anything.

The only saving grace Trump had was that he called for detente with Russia and a non-interventionist policy for the US. Hence the all-out war against him via the CIA-run MSM, the non-factual charges of being in league with Putin and the "Russian Hackers" interfering in US "elections". So it took what, a month or two for the deep state to completely neuter Trump.

With the neocons still running the US, we inevitably have a countdown to World War 3. The crazy bastards seem to think that Russia will back down, that China will back down, that putting a couple mechanized brigades on the Russian border will intimidate the Russians? Or maybe it is just some deep-seated death wish they all have. There is an 800-kiloton Russian nuclear warhead with their names on it, and it only takes a couple minutes warning to launch. http://thebulletin.org/what-would-happen-if-800-kiloton-nuclear-warhead-detonated-above-midtown-manhattan8023

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 7 2017 15:48 utc | 114

Does anyone know what the effect of a bomb on a warehouse full of organophosphate pesticides or herbicides would be? Would it completely destroy it, or would it create a cloud of the stuff. One of the bombs landed very close to some grain silos so maybe there was a hit on a warehouse full of organophosphate pesticides and/or herbicides there since farming around Khan Sheikoun doesn't seems to have stopped.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 7, 2017 10:48:24 AM | 98

I would guess that in a professionally run facility dangerous chemicals would be in sturdy containers, so either they would be hit almost directly and chemically desintagrate or survive intact. But if they are in flimsy containers or containers with flimsy caps, then the containers or caps would brake in some zone of destruction that has much less impact than the zone in which the temperature etc. would destroy the chemicals.

Thus a workshop run by self-thought "experts", or expert with sketchy supplies, could explain the Russian scenario. That said, there is a strong whiff of speculation in their story (why would those weapons be exported to Iraq?).

Clearly, the most responsible thing to do would be to urge a local ceasefire allowing a team of experts from a balanced group of countries to investigate. This is how we do it on Mars. But the most responsible ways are not how it is done on Earth,

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 7 2017 15:49 utc | 115

White Helmets should've been exposed years ago, instead they were recently feted by Hollywood(several times over, there was just another film at Sundance recently - from an Israeli director), leading to them receiving highest "artistic" award in America, the Oscar.

It was in fact obvious that they were running jihadi propaganda, and also fighting right alongside each group they show up "embedded" in. Even before they had their own branded "logo" on those white helmets.

I'm not sure why no official governments *cough*Russia*cough* have made an official accusation.

The whole thing hangs on their propaganda. They should have been exposed by more than a few no-name bloggers. It's ludicrous.

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 7 2017 15:51 utc | 116

Bolivia is just destroying the US in the Security Council going back to weapons of mass destruction and Alliende.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7 2017 15:53 utc | 117

115 Perimeter

Not only that, it doesnt matter who and if there was a gasattack. No country have the right to attack Syria because of that, I am amazed that that is not discussed anywhere.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 15:53 utc | 118

The Syrian-Sarin ‘False Flag’ Lesson
Amid Official Washington’s desire to censor non-official news on the Internet, it’s worth remembering how the lack of mainstream skepticism almost led the U.S. into a war on Syria
byRay McGovern
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/12/syrian-sarin-false-flag-lesson

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 7 2017 15:53 utc | 119

An explanation: dangerous stuff should be transported in containers that can survive a car crush. OTOH, cleaning and gardening supplies that we see in stores are not in such containers. Do they truck them in very sturdy packaging? I suspect that to obtain weapon-grade poisons one would need to increase the concentration levels in easily available stuff, and an improvised rebel facility would use plastic or glass jars.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 7 2017 15:54 utc | 120

Medvedev on Trump:

“That’s it. The last of the campaign fog has disappeared. Instead of the theory he disseminated about working together to fight the main enemy — ISIS, the Islamic State — the Trump administration has proved that it will viciously fight the legitimate government of Syria — in blatant violation of the norms of international law, without the approval of the UN, violating [the United States’] own procedures establishing the need to notify Congress about any military operation that isn’t tied to an attack on the U.S., and on the verge of a conflict with Russia.

“No one exaggerates the value of campaign promises, but there are nonetheless the bounds of decency. Beyond them is absolute distrust. What’s really sad here is our completely ruined relationship. And this, of course, only encourages the terrorists.

“And furthermore the U.S. president has proved with his military action both his lack of originality and his extreme dependence on the opinion of the Washington establishment, which sharply criticized the new president’s inauguration speech. Immediately after his election, I knew everything would depend on how quickly the existing machine could crush Trump’s campaign promises. It took two and a half months…”

Posted by: b | Apr 7 2017 16:02 utc | 121

I again 100 % agree. It may be necessary to add some words about the shameful reaction of the rest of the west. After criticizing and ridiculing Tronald incessantly for more than a year now they applaud his doing the first step into WWIII. Not only the usually belligerent Hollande, May, Brexit-Johnson but also Ferkel and even Gabriel, her look-alike. Most of the commentaries I read in various media sound very worried. I think 90 % of the people disagrees with the cheering media. And this is called democracy...

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 7 2017 16:03 utc | 122

Denis @47 I just read your detailed analysis on V-002. I might suggest to others who are working through the details of the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun to review Denis' work and add it to your own - http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_015-BLA-ShajulIslam.htm

Cyanide is what keeps popping up in posts by alt writers who are digging into the details. As well, every report I've read on this alleged attack do not support the sarin corporate media scare.

As well, the limestone quarry clearly seen in pics and videos is more than suspect. I sincerely hope more folks are digging into that angle as well.

b, I believe nailed it when stating

"The U.S. airstrike delivers a message to al-Qaeda. Whenever under military pressure al-Qaeda can now stage or fake a "chemical attack" and the U.S. will act to destroy its enemy, the Syrian government. Acts as the one last night are then direct military support by the U.S. on al-Qaeda's request."

Using his observations about how the Israeli's used the corporate funded Wahhabists in the Golan Heights in a similar fashion is telling.

Add to his Golan Heights observation the covert actions the CIA took in DA and one can clearly see the U.S. Military is in fact now serving as AQs air force.

What has been especially troubling to me is Mattis' picks to serve as his deputies. Nearly all of them were Hillaryites including the woman, I cannot recall her name right now, who Hillary hoped to serve as her Secretary of Defense. Mattis is proving to me, at least, to be a wild card. He's a warrior at heart, no question, however, he seems to hold loyalty to the neocons/libs playbook rather than being his own man.

Posted by: h | Apr 7 2017 16:03 utc | 123

@99
been there, done that...His tongue is firmly planted in his cheek in this essay.

Posted by: kgw | Apr 7 2017 16:04 utc | 124

Israelis and Persians and all Arabs should take time to learn about the Christian Orthodox faith. Be prepared. WWIII is now upon us. First salvo of WWIII has been fired in Syria. Lets save your souls which are forever. Our bodies might not be saved. Become one with God. Help you fellow brothers in their hour of need. Be mercyfull to one another, so God can mercy the humankind. The party is OVER. Get prepared.

IT IS ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE ON!!!

Posted by: The 5th Crusade | Apr 7 2017 16:05 utc | 125

Political suicide. Even if it is all staged to shake off the anti-Russia hysteria, Trump has still choked on a King-Ace hand. Now he's on political par with Barry'O n Dubya in the eyes of the anti-war neutrals that in good part put him there, and gave him a good deal of time.

And clowns like Circe should have more class than to say 'ner-ner told you so', but clowns is clowns - I think there's much more to be said for letting someone get the job done, the Circe-type hysteria is one of the root causes of the problem we've seen: instant guilt without time to be proven innocent... not unlike an Barry'O/Dubya kill list really.

Any elected rep should be given the space to work, at the very least.

A slippery slope for Trump now.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 7 2017 16:08 utc | 126

@99

Only the last paragraph is free of satirical humor.

"The next step is the one already taken by Syria in July 2012 - that is , to convince the whole of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to stop manipulating international terrorism. That is to admit that the current version of the Muslim Brotherhood is not an Arab brotherhood at all, but a branch of the British Secret Services - and to recognise the fact that they are not Muslims, but hide behind the Qr'an in order to pu sh forward the cause of Anglo-Israeli imperialism."

Posted by: kgw | Apr 7 2017 16:10 utc | 127

@107 Jackrabbit

Given the above, it is difficult not to see Circe as a Democratic Party partisan working to weaken support for Trump.

QUIT WITH YOUR LIES AND DISTORTIONS AND YOUR FUCKING OBSESSION WITH ME ALREADY!!!!!!!

I'm not for ANY party!!!! Kucinich is one of the only honest politicians still around; the fact that he ran with the Democratic Party is equivalent to Tulsi Gabbard running with same, to get a wider platform! Kucinich never compromised his integrity! I would like to see them start an Independent party. I care squat about the Democrats!

Don't stalk me with your smear bullshit distortions again.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 7 2017 16:10 utc | 128

Turkey "confirmed" it was Sarin. This means: It's false flag.

Posted by: Jens | Apr 7 2017 16:13 utc | 129

For those saying Trump can be impeached for this, get real. US presidents issue illegal military strikes all the time all over the world without Congressional authorization. The Constitution has long since been put into mothballs for practical purposes. From a Congressional standpoint, Trump will actually be strengthened as the war hawks are ecstatic about the bombing (if anything, they wanted even more death and destruction) and the "Russian stooge" meme will start to fade toward the background. I don't believe Trump cares at all about anything but his domestic standing and I expect a "rally 'round the flag with a pocket full of shells" boost to his popularity polls--this is usually what happens with such strikes. If nothing else, Trump has changed the press agenda and pleased his Israeli and Saudi "allies".

I totally oppose all US intervention in Syria and support the Syrian government as the only protector of the secular state. The only upside of this idiotic strike is that it appears to not have done that much damage. We can only hope that it's a one off rather than an harbinger of more US intervention to break up Syria into ethnic zones vulnerable to foreign manipulation.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Apr 7 2017 16:14 utc | 130

Trump is receiving a significant amount of positive psychological reinforcement, from the democrats in congress and from the cable news broadcasts. I find it hard to imagine he will not repeat, launch further military aggression, if for no other reason than for positive attention, particularly from his political/news media rivals. Yeah, simple armchair psychology, but I like simple.

(I rarely post, but I read everyday. Thanks, b and all the posters.)

And Circe, I've never posted anything in opposition to your missives here. But I have had plenty of opposition thoughts. And for those thoughts alone, I owe you an apology. As others have said, I disagree with a lot of your points, but some of those disagreements were rendered null and void last night. Cheers, mate, and sorry.

Posted by: howard in nyc | Apr 7 2017 16:15 utc | 131

Tillerson... Steps are underway for regime change in Syria. That much has been obvious for the past 6 years. The only way the saying of 'if it does not kill me, it should make me stronger' will apply in this case is to use this foolish and for the most part ineffective US provocation to decisively win the war against Syria's numerous enemies, the West, Saudi/Qatari,Turkey??. The war on the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah and Yemen is existential for them, and it should go without saying that an attack on one is an attack on all. If the 'arc' was defeated [highly unlikely] Russia comes into the US crosshairs. In my opinion I hope the Russians and Iranians go all in, in Iran's case they could supply many more troops.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 7 2017 16:18 utc | 132

Sorry if I'm pouring water in the wine, but maybe this isn't quite as big and disastrous as it first appears.

Note the detail that the recent Israeli attack was repelled from (near) this base:

Some medium range air defense system near al Syairat was recently used against Israeli planes attacking Syrian forces fighting ISIS near Palmyra.

Apparently this resulted in the downing of one fighter jet - something the IDF can neither admit nor leave unpunished. So what if the US missile attack was 'only' retaliation for this humiliating loss?

It's too early to tell how much of an escalation this really is imho.

Note that there were only cruise missiles involved - no risk to US lives, thus no potential/ need for further uncontrolled escalation in case of US deaths. (I remember one commentator giving a similar explanation for Russian CM use on 'command rooms' in Idlib.)

Posted by: smuks | Apr 7 2017 16:20 utc | 133

PCR was right. Another diplomatic fantasy peddled by Lavrov blew up in his face and in the face of Putin.
Believing that US. Is not an enemy but that however belligerent can be reason with is a political failure and may be even suicide that may lead straight to nuclear WWIII.

Russia could have finished off the Al-Qaeda/ISIS a year ago and did not for political reasons of naive notion of finding commons ground for improvement the relationship with the US after Ukrainian poutsch 2014.

Why Putin stopped Russian generals who immediately in 2015 took over central Syrian command, from winning the war for Syrians and instead withdrew Generals and equipment?

The answer us simple. There are Russian oligarchs that Putin depends on who see their interests and wealth connected with western financial system and hence desperately want normalization other priorities rescinded.

But that means the end of Putin political power and hence we have hsf measures that only get us closer to WWIII since this diplomatic and political hesitation on Russian side is read by delusional psychotics from DC as weakness and opening for new Yeltsyn who would turn zrussia into a vassal state and dismantled.

While it was obvious that Trump the clown will shut up bend over and submit to CIA the responsibility right noe for the future Russia and the world lies in hands of Putin and Xi. Will ther stand for raving psychotics of US imperial regime and sell out their nations even more?

Posted by: Kalen | Apr 7 2017 16:21 utc | 134

A runaway truck seems a popular weapon of choice for todays rampant terrorist in Northern Europe.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/07/truck-crashes-crowd-people-stockholm/

Stockholm this time. And wait... wasn't Sweden the nation Trump was going on about a few weeks ago, only to be mauled by the anti-Trump press aka all MSM for talking shite...?

The guy was actually talking sense. The euro-Atlantic powers that be would want to be in close contact with Russia and Syria to know exactly who, when and how people are getting around - in a sane world that is.

Now Trump's an active part of the problem.

As London mayor Sadiq Kahn leads us to accept: this is the new normal.

In the end, you really do reap what you sew I guess.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 7 2017 16:22 utc | 135

I am no expert on US politics so feel free to shoot down the first couple of points, but when I first heard about the attack and given the overt emphasis placed on the avoidance of Russian assets, a few things instantly came to mind:

a) Has Trump fallen into the trap that was set for him by war mongering factions domestically and abroad (Turkey) and is this now only the beginning of a further enflamed conflict. .. God forbid.
b) Has Trump calculated a low level aggressive move in order to silence the building of 'too close to Russia' accusations domestically while at the same time placating to some extent the Turkish faction and tempering its move to the Russian side?;
c) If Russia is clever then the act, no matter how atrocious, could be used to justify 1) increased defense measures in Syria (and Iraq?), greater clarification re. definitions of boundaries and terrorist / non-terrorist groups.
d) 60 cruises!! - looks like someone is trying to claw back lost defense supply contracts!!
e) Lastly and emotively, if only we spent half the time and money furthering the cause of peace and good productive relations!!


@jfl - when discussing Turkeys possible options last week I rightly cancelled out military options, but how did I not consider its trademark MO false flag op?!!? Erdogan is loving this 'the plan came together boys!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Apr 7 2017 16:22 utc | 136

@107
Attacking someone because he's working to weaken support for Trump.
Yes, you're a charlatan.

Posted by: From The Hague | Apr 7 2017 16:23 utc | 137

Actually this is all perversely encouraging...IF The King of Deals just have made one... he comes out owing Putin a favor.
-Tillerson says the Russians were not told, others say they were... did the targeting get done with open communication?
-Hit an insecure airbase with junked planes (remember ISIS standing beside pictures of the same about 2 years ago?
-The only real destruction was a fuel dump used only when the place was not as insecure)
-All casualties came not from the airbase from a hit on a nearby village the airbase was abandoned. (tomahawks it seems are neither reliable or accurate)
-Putin does not shoot the missiles down even though they demonstrated in the last gas attack that they could
-Putin gave Obama a deal... for two years Syria & Russia had wanted someone to take the gas off the Syrian hands. Trouble is it cost 1.2 billion to do so (Seymour Hersch). Obama claimed success for paying to do what Syria and Russia had been asking for someone to do for two years.
-Trump needs to look strong... especially against Russia. This will end quiet the hounds snapping at his feet
-Russian security council does not meet to respond til the middle of the next day!! (translation - not a crisis)
-With the escalation, Trump has lots of reasons to talk to the Russians, for his whole staff to talk to the Russians.

The only problem is Trump's narcissim

The question is... will he see himself as giving Putin a deal, or having been given a deal?

Posted by: les7 | Apr 7 2017 16:24 utc | 138

The Russian response has made me feel better about the situation. I viewed the strikes as a very damaging strike to Russia as it's a clear, bullying challenge to Russia's ability to impose order in that region.

The response so far (Medvedev, Putin) have been very professional and sensible. I hope this literal show-boating by Trump ends up being another policy failure, but USA did continuously lob missiles and bombs and Iraq on a daily basis, and I'm sure there is no shortage of lunatics in Washington that want a return to that.

On the Internet at least, there are lots of former Trumpkins that are now dropping their support. Since we know this was just a politically motivated strike that was ineffectual, the MSM will quickly criticism him and demand more substantial moves.

If Russia can successfully secure Syrian airspace as a deterrent, then maybe they can outmaneuver Trump's lunacy.. but he has other flashpoints that he and his rectal-puppeteers might target.. North KOrea, SCS, Kashmir, Armenia/Azb, Ukraine/Donbass....

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 7 2017 16:30 utc | 139

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7, 2017 11:53:36 AM | 119

According to international law it is possible to intervene with the approval of the UN security council. That is what the dance around the Russian veto in the UN council is about. What the US are doing is against international law.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7 2017 16:36 utc | 140

The struck Syrian airbase was defended by Russian S-400 but it was unable to counter the cruise missile saturation attack from this morning for which almost half got through. Taking out 2 missiles like in 2013 post Ghouta was easy, 60 not really.

The odds are against Russia. Compared to the combined military expenditures of the US and its willing vassals Turkey, Israel, France, UK, rest of NATO, Sweden, Finland, KSA, rest of GCC, Japan, Australia, South Korea; the military expenditures of Russia, China and Iran combined are marginal. And that's in case countries like Brasil and India would not choose sides. Russia, China and Iran will have to cooperate better to stop the onslaught that will not stop at Syria, Ukraine or North Korea.

Posted by: xor | Apr 7 2017 16:45 utc | 141

The "Trench" (the ones in the know will get it) is crawling with fishes. It doesnt seem like is winding down soon. What scares the fishes could be smart stuff been layed down to the mud. The ones who wait gain the most. Vacation base will receive upgrades and some more floors underground. Maybe even its own canal to the Trench, so the fishes will not be getting scared. Ohio is a bussy city.

Posted by: The 5th Crusade | Apr 7 2017 16:46 utc | 142

xor

Syria doesnt have S300, that is a myth I have heard all day, there is simply no evidence that Syria has this weaponry. It is Russia that have and use them against THEIR OWN activities.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 16:51 utc | 143

Trump is claiming R2P without using the word -- because children -- but he's also claimed vital national security interests ...
It sounds like a Tillerson and all are eager to go for the golden ring of regime change ... who will still love Trump's strikes in 24-48 hours if that game plan becomes explicit and will a wave of terrorist attacks and civilian protests.

Do many Jihadis really want an American led (Saudi approved) Syrian regime change and quasi-occupation? Throwing the game board with all the pieces on the floor or shaking the pin-ball machine until it "tilts" may create an exploitable chaos ... but the blowback and delegitimization of any future Salafi regime ... particularly with Iran and Iran as neighbors.

If -- big if -- most "rebel" fighters at this point are primarily in it for the money/salary (the economy being stagnant/dead), how eager are they likely to be under a new regime -- be it ever so fundamentalist -- that is likely to treat them with extreme suspicion and be no better at unifying their hold than ISIS was (and likely to purge and cleanse Syria of many many Syrians) ...

We (the USA) said we would not let Assad win militarily ... I hope people quickly recognize this as is in fact a false flag/Tonkin equivalent

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 7 2017 16:51 utc | 144

'The Donald' just nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 7 2017 16:52 utc | 145

Followup to 113.

So, there was communication/co-ordination with RF forces sufficiently in advance of the ineffective missile strike:

The US says it warned Russia one hour before it fired 59 tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat air base.

Satellite imagery suggests the base that was struck is home to Russian special forces and military helicopters, part of the Kremlin's effort to help the Syrian government fight Islamic State and other militant groups.

No Russian personnel were caught up in the strike.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the strike deliberately avoided sections of the base where the Russians were believed to be present.

Briefing reporters on the operation, he said the US military had "multiple" conversations with Russian forces on Thursday before the strike, using a line of communication that had previously been established to prevent an accidental clash in Syria during the fight against Isis.

Russia says US air strikes in Syria came 'within an inch' of military clash with their forces

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 7 2017 16:53 utc | 146

@Anon1: not sure if you're a troll or ... but read my post again. It says Russian and not Syrian. Russian as in Russian manned from Latakia.


To dispel any belief that Trump is fighting Daesh: "Last night, the T4 air base located near a front line with ISIS in the Homs desert was reportedly hit by the US Army with a single Tomahawk missile. The missile hit a maintenance facility within the air base." T4 is at the front line near Palmyra where Daesh was recently ousted but where the US want to drive the fleeing Raqqah Daesh militants to. There and Deir Ezzor.

Posted by: xor | Apr 7 2017 16:57 utc | 147

The crazies are now fully in charge in DC, and I fully expect them to continue with even more insane acts of war. The report that a large amount of US military equipment was routed through Romania to Lebanon has been confirmed by the Saker http://thesaker.is/naval-briefing-nb-0417-april-2017-by-ledahu/ These maniacs are not just going to stop with an attack of Tomahawk missiles.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 7 2017 16:58 utc | 148

Sorry for this, one last post.

Schauble knows and he agreed. Not much of a choice, yet Merkel should be puzled and most of all Erdogan. Final choice for the line seems is all the way to Vacation island and then across to the north, then to Kosovo and Italy. Seems Bondsteel was not placed there by ccident. Each junction of the line situates near a base each time. No part will go through Turkey. Israelites will share the island, or so they think. Turky is for dinner. This all seems planed a long ago.

Posted by: The 5th Crusade | Apr 7 2017 16:59 utc | 149

xor

No you have to read my post again. The site bombed is not a russian base, only russian "bases" or russian "sites" is protected by S300 NOT SAA.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 17:00 utc | 150

xor

Anon1 is not a troll, and quite correct re S400/300+ AD/ABM complex deployments that are specifically there to protect ... RF strategic assets/forces ... NOT Syrian.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 7 2017 17:06 utc | 151


If you haven't read Denis O'Brien's excellent and thorough analysis of the Shajul Islam video that was released 10 hours after the 'attack' on Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday -- go now. In this, and his work on the Ghouta Mass Execution in 2013, he painstakingly decimates the western governments' and MSM deceptive and obfuscatory narratives on Sarin.

Opening paragraph:

"One of the first videos to hit the internet on Apr04 claiming horrors of a sarin attack by Assad on Khan Sheikhoun (KS) is a 10.5 minute YourTube that I have designated as Vid-002 in my playlist of KS vids. It is basically 10 minutes of full-face selfie of a guy named Shajul Islam wandering around in what appears to be a clinic, purportedly in KS. I will have a full analysis of this head-chopper himself in the coming day or two. Suffice it for the moment to note that I don't refer to this terrorist as "Dr. Shajul Islam" as the MSM does, and the reason I don't is that his British medical license has been revoked and I have no information of him being licensed to practice medicine anywhere, not even the Islamic Caliphate."

http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_015-BLA-ShajulIslam.htm

His exacting analysis of the Ghouta Mass Execution in 2013 can be found here: http://logophere.com/Topics2016/16-01/16-01-27.htm

I know it's hard and heartbreaking, but we gotta wake up kids -- rub the sleep out of our eyes and clear the delusional dreams from our minds. It's gonna take a growing group of sober, sane, rational and hopeful people, regular folks, to come together -- past the illusional divisions of left and right, black and white, us and them -- and hold accountable the power drunk mad men and women who are raining destruction down on all we hold dear: innocent people, the rule of law, our very world.

Posted by: bj | Apr 7 2017 17:09 utc | 152

Les7 @139, the only flaw in your theory is why did Putin recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel yesterday? What deal was made with Netanyahu?

Posted by: mischi | Apr 7 2017 17:20 utc | 153

Wow you guys read this?

Donald Tusk on Twitter:
US strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks. EU will work with the US to end brutality in Syria.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 17:32 utc | 154

@152

Exactly. Trump also knows perfectly that this was a false flag, but he doesn't care! Russia vetoed the U.S.-sponsored resolution at the U.N. and he went right ahead and perpetrated this attack milking the deception. He is therefore fully complicit in whatever the plan is to expand the war in Syria. The Russian Deputy Ambassador to the U.N. called this a flagrant violation of a U.N. Memorandum to prevent hostile international incidents and I have yet to listen to all his speech condemning this attack, but will do so.

To make matters even worse, the U.S. is now investigating possible Russian involvement in the chemical attack claiming a Russian plane was spotted in the area when the attack happened.

Russian PM today warned Trump that he is one step away from war with Russia.

I agree. Everyone and Trump himself knows he exploited a false flag for reasons the least of which is political and the worst to provide cover for the real agenda for Syria.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 7 2017 17:51 utc | 155

@154

By EU, I hope he doesn't mean to drag NATO in.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 7 2017 17:56 utc | 156

The S300/400 are deployed in Hmeimim airbase outside Latakia... a two hour drive on a very fast bus to the North West of Homs. The airbase hit in the strike is to the south east of Homs, had little in the way of material deployment as it was in a very insecure location. it certainly had no S300/400 deployed there.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 7 2017 18:00 utc | 157

Back when Russia launched Kalibr from Caspian Sea four of 26 missiles went missing according to the US, last night 36 out of 59 Tomahawks went missing according to Russians.
>>>> Outraged | Apr 7, 2017 12:53:12 PM | 147
Saw a thermal image clip of Shayrat from Russian MoD drone on Sputnik or RT- you could see where the missiles had hit and there were none on the runways, also a number of aircraft had been dragged from their shelters onto the grass between the runways but none appeared to have been damaged -normally Syrian air bases appear to have old aircraft lying around (for spares?) so perhaps any aircraft destroyed couldn't fly anyway.

>>>> xor | Apr 7, 2017 12:45:51 PM | 142

The struck Syrian airbase was defended by Russian S-400

Your evidence for this is what exactly? As far as is known the only S-400s are up in Latakia to defend the airbase the Russians use there. It seems the Russian aircraft only stage through Shayrat to refuel and rearm so no need for S-400s there.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 7 2017 18:03 utc | 158

S300 and S400 are a bit overkill for cruise missiles.
Buk and Pantsir seem more suitable against them.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 7 2017 18:06 utc | 159

Circe

Yes, soon we will hear that it was Russia that attacked with chemical weapons. Thats the result of the insane anti-russian psyops right now.

Nato? Oh they are just waiting to attack Syria too. These people are simply insane.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 18:10 utc | 160

Thanks for that stupid move orange child rapist, now evil putin and the mad mullahs of Persia have no pungent for saving the barrel bomber dang this guy assad has unimaginable powers .The whole west want him off but he keeps grinning at them!Talk about 'no fly zone'? Well the barrel bomber says come bomb me ''make my day''!:-)

Posted by: Nur Adlina | Apr 7 2017 18:21 utc | 161

Trump is a neocon ass but this strike was militarily insignificant. It was really all theater. What is orange hair moron trying to achieve?

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 7 2017 18:31 utc | 162

Anyone got something other than Seymour Hersch on HRC as SOS facilitating transfer of Libyan materiel?

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 7 2017 18:41 utc | 163

Vlad : "Hey Donny, what have your CIA dumbos and their goat fucking subcontractors cooked in that shithole is Syria?

Donny: "Uegh, yeah well Vlad, I don 't know, they always are cooking their shit behind my back. But Vlad, why did your guys just have to throw some bombs there, I mean there is place enough to do that. And nobody would ever have worried a shit about it?"

Vlad: " My dear Donny, I see, there is a lot you still have to learn, so far you are not my best pupil. And BTW Donny, next time take care that these "White Helmet" actors are not there, would also help.

Donny: "I know Vlad, but now I have a big problem. My warmongers at home are screaming for revenge and they want bombs"

Vlad: "I understand Donny, I happen to have the same problem. But look, here is an idea :"

Donny: "Tell me Vlad, I know you will save my ass out, just as you helped to get me elected".

Vlad : "Well Donny, look, there is this crappy airbase in Shayrat, you know. There are some old scrap planes there, old Mig 23, have survived even the war of 1982, basically worthless and also there is a cantina... ."

Donny: "Ooogh Vlad, I feel it, yes that 's it. And I have some long expired cruise missiles, Tomahawk, you remember? I am sure if I launch 60 only 20 will arrive at destination and you even don 't need to shoot them down"

Vlad: "That is very kind of you Donny. But may I remind you that of course afterwards, I will terminate the memorandum on air safety."

Donny: " Well Vlad, even that is fantastic. Now the Dutch and the Belgians will get scared and go home with their third hand F16-s and my generals will be scared that it could by shitty for that new F35, you know, that new piece of crap that can 't fly"

Vlad: " Well Donny it 's a deal, let 's have some bottles of Vodka on that!"

Donny: "Oggh yes Vlad, thanks again for saving my ass out!

Posted by: ludwig | Apr 7 2017 18:42 utc | 164

Several posts downplay the impeachability of the recent missile strikes in Syria, since the violation of Constitutional and international law has become 'the new normal'. Personally I think it is appropriate to point this out, just as it is appropriate for some to remind us from time to time that the US is in Syria without being asked to be there by the current government of Syria.

It's a slippery slope when we don't think these reminders are important. All that matters then is factual considerations of the willy-nilly use of force, and we all become Trumps. I don't want that to happen here at least.

The standards matter. Whether they will be applied is fairly obvious to us all. I didn't think I needed to point that out. Russia operates within the parameters of international law; the United States does not.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 7 2017 18:51 utc | 165

mischi @153:

... why did Putin recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel yesterday?
Well, the short answer is, he didn't.

See more here.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 7 2017 18:51 utc | 166

My wishes is that Marine Le Pen is elected, that Erdogan gets a NO at his referendum and that Scotland splits from the UK. Oh I forgot, that King Salmam dies while farting!

Posted by: virgile | Apr 7 2017 18:54 utc | 167

ludwig @164

The problem with the supposition that Trump and Putin are trying to put one over on their opposition is what b wrote about in the post: the Jihadis and neocons are now encouraged to commit atrocities for Trump to respond to.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 7 2017 18:54 utc | 168

A "message" will be send.

I can not stop looking at the "damage" to Shairat Air Base. Unless there is some behind the scene "messaging" (and I am sure there is), the results of salvo by 59 BGM-109 can only be described as pathetic. Konashenkov articulated the number today--only 23 missiles (38%) out of 59 reached the targets. So, only two options here:

1. Either this "damage" or, rather, lack thereof is a message and it is embarrassing (Russia does have means to screw guidance systems big time), or...
2. There is some bigger game of which we may only guess, if US will not continue strikes. If strikes will stop--then there is collusion between Trump and Russia. If they will continue....I predicted couple of weeks ago that Syria's AD will suddenly become much much more capable.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 7 2017 18:56 utc | 169

Why US Attack in Syria Seems to Be 'Pre-Planned

“You cannot launch an attack by cruise missiles in 24 hours or in two days. You need to prepare cruise missiles for weeks

Posted by: virgile | Apr 7 2017 18:57 utc | 170

So let's hypothesize that Trump can be pretty canny from time to time, feint left, punch right, do a bit of rope a dope, fawn over people he despises but wants to neutralize, etc etc.

We have a guy who is street smart, but naive to much of the inner workings of American politics, surrounded when he takes power by mostly enemies in all directions, apart from the distant deplorables. He, with not a small bit of narcissism integrated into his persona, loving to be loved and admired, finds himself vying with Putin and Hitler for the title of most demonized political entity in the modern era.

If he wants to secure the leaky borders, he's a racist and a xenophobe; if he takes on the corrupt EPA he is an environmental monster; if he muses about the apparent child carnage wrought by vaccines, he is a great pharmaceutical ignoramus, and so on.

Let us also assume that he genuinely would like to be the catalyst and leader of a great improvement in the crime infested, cancer ridden, war mongering, indebted, drugged out, anti-depressant dependent, dispirited etc etc American population's circumstances, and that he actually doesn't believe in the global empire project.. And he wants to get some of the nostility from all directions off his back.

He is seen as out of control by the PTB, dangerous to the PTB's criminal, demented but still relentlessly pursued unipolar, global totalitarianism ambition. In conjunction with Putin and Russia, who are seen as the main monkey wrench thrown into the global empire project, an out of control Trump was The PTB Nightmare.

So as I say, let's assume for a moment that Trump understands the above, and understands that he has to negotiate a very tricky perilous process, where the chances of being being JFK'd would increase in proportion to the success in actually much improving let alone restoring popular people power and reducing oligarchic power.

So what does he do: he does the most tried and untrue but effective way to rally the MSM to his side: launch missiles at a symbolic target as stand in for the latest designated demon, Assad, in the American tradition of preceding the missiles with lurid lies. And in this case, a marginally successful demo. Very Presidential. (You can hear the cheer from the war loving crowd, thirsty for shock and awe)

And somehow the world seems once again to have returned to normal for Americans. The pink ladies protest parades are muted, the Congress can wink hopefully at their Israeli keepers, and in the spirit of summer, the Soros and Hillary colour revolution troops against Trump go to the beach and sun themselves. Fantastic.

Posted by: canuck | Apr 7 2017 18:57 utc | 171

Next chemical attack: Mossoul?

Posted by: virgile | Apr 7 2017 18:58 utc | 172

@170, Virgil

“You cannot launch an attack by cruise missiles in 24 hours or in two days. You need to prepare cruise missiles for weeks

A complete baloney: enter flight plan, start pre-launch protocol, launch. All in minutes. Tens of minutes max. SLBMs take about the same, since SSBN has to be in "howering" mode for a little bit.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 7 2017 19:01 utc | 173

agree -- I suspect that ever since Bush got caught with his pants down post 09/11 having moved that carrier off Afghanistan, cruise missile launch capacity has become widespread ...

Trump seems as obsessed to be "not-Obama" as Bush was to be "not-Clinton" -- part of why (if you believe Richard Clarke) we were more vulnerable to the 09/11 plot than we should have been. (Both Trump, Bush and, irrc, Clinton all also had not-my-daddy issues as well)

Shallow, but if shoe fits ... and Speaking of Daddies, Bannon's departure (or demotion) may leave Trump without a #1 trusted advisor. I haven't seen an explanation of why Kushner has taken over Pence's planned role as "day to day manager" ... but widely reported Kushner v. Bannon feud may also be a wild card, particularly since Kushner has been found to have "forgotten" to include Russian meeting(s) on his security clearance forms ... how very Clintonesque of Jared ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 7 2017 19:11 utc | 174

Just now, demented Nick Halley is saying that Russia aided Syria in the chemical gas attack. WTF is she trying to do?

Posted by: mischi | Apr 7 2017 19:15 utc | 175

Smootie @173, they also had to check that there were no Russians or Russian aircraft with flight plans in the area. That could take a lot longer.

Posted by: mischi | Apr 7 2017 19:17 utc | 176

Dabiq..?
ISIS is/was a US construction. It is starting to look like Syria was a trap set up to try and destroy Russia. Similar to Afghanistan. Neo-cons pissed because Putin has been taking the cheese without setting off the trap?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 7 2017 19:18 utc | 177

Philip Giraldi 15 minute interview with Scott Horton yesterday prior to Trump's assault -

Robert Parry over at Consortium News writes "Giraldi said his sources were more in line with an analysis postulating an accidental release of the poison gas after an Al Qaeda arms depot was hit by a Russian airstrike.

“The intelligence confirms pretty much the account that the Russians have been giving … which is that they hit a warehouse where the rebels – now these are rebels that are, of course, connected with Al Qaeda – where the rebels were storing chemicals of their own and it basically caused an explosion that resulted in the casualties. Apparently the intelligence on this is very clear.”

Giraldi said the anger within the intelligence community over the distortion of intelligence to justify Trump’s military retaliation was so great that some covert officers were considering going public.

“People in both the agency [the CIA] and in the military who are aware of the intelligence are freaking out about this because essentially Trump completely misrepresented what he already should have known – but maybe he didn’t – and they’re afraid that this is moving toward a situation that could easily turn into an armed conflict,” Giraldi said before Thursday night’s missile strike. “They are astonished by how this is being played by the administration and by the U.S. media.”

Link to Giraldi/Horton interview - https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/4617-philip-giraldi-says-ic-military-doubt-assad-gas-narrative/

Link to Robert Parry's post - https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/07/trumps-wag-the-dog-moment/

Posted by: h | Apr 7 2017 19:20 utc | 178

canuk@171

You are assuming that the American public are as you describe. They are not. Trump's presidency is not based upon that public's media crazy desire for war. Far from it. People would have elected Hillary had they been under the sway of the media - they were not. They chose Trump because they were sick of, and they feared the government policies up until now. That's a fact. Now Trump is following Hillary's crazed mantra. He's not going with the people - far from it, again!

b's quote from Medvedev at 122 is highly pertinent.

"...What’s really sad here is our completely ruined relationship. And this, of course, only encourages the terrorists..."

Our completely ruined relationship. Ours, the American people's, as well.

America did NOT want this.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 7 2017 19:24 utc | 179

mischi @175 do you have a link you could share on UNSC debate? thanks in advance...

Posted by: h | Apr 7 2017 19:25 utc | 180

I found the link mischi. I had to turn it off the minute the libtard from the UK started spewing the issued talking points. blah, blah, blah...

Posted by: h | Apr 7 2017 19:31 utc | 181

yes, the truth will out ... There were rumors for years about the gulf of Tonkin incident (1964) but it the Pentagon Papers (1973) to move that from "crazy conspiracy theory." The report yesterday in the NYT back tracking wrt Gouta 2013 is important. Most Americans seem to have zero awareness that there was or is any question(s) (and don't care).

I was hoping someone would follow up on the Russians' claim that Al-Qa’eda/Rebels are supplying chemical weapons to Iraq (iow, to -- gasp -- ISIS??) since I had not ever heard that chemical weapons were being used (much less by whom) but a quick google found nyt: 11/21/2016: ISIS Used Chemical Arms at Least 52 Times in Syria and Iraq, Report Says.

Syrian rebels supplying ISIS with chemical weapons should be worthy of both followup and headlines, doncha think?

Oh, I remember that in a long article I read about Gouta, that "Sarin" has become a generic tradename for "chemical or gas attack" (like Kleenex) ... and that absolute terror of being the victim of a chemical attack is such, that those who think they have been so attacked tend to be utterly paralyzed by fear, far beyond their actual level of contamination/proximity.... so you have victims and witnesses insisting things that the facts do not support.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 7 2017 19:39 utc | 182

@Anon1, @Outraged, @Circe, @les7

The S-400 has a maximum range of 400 km. At least one Russian system is deployed at the Hmeimim air base. The S-300 has the same maximum range and at least one Russian system is deployed at the Tartus naval facility. The Ash Sha'irat military airfield lies at a distince of less than 200 km from both.

Persuing your hypothesis, it wouldn't be the technical limits of the present Russian air defense that had been reached but Russia keeping their Syrian ally in the cold for whom they have already spent tons of money, tons of diplomatic effort and soldier lives by not flipping on the air defense switch when missile launches were detected and their trajactories calculated.

Another line has been crossed and it's now sufficient for Al-Qaida to make any kind of bogus accusation to rain down cruise missiles at Syrian government troops. A number of Syrian jets have been destroyed and the airfield damaged severely incapacitating Syrian military capabilities in the area against both Al-Qaida and Daesh making Russia's effort even more costly and harder. In this hypothesis, Russia could have easily knocked out all the missiles with Buk and Pantsir "because S-400 and S-300 are overkill" BUT Russia won't... . What about the 36 out of 59 (might have been more) that didn't reach their target? Were they knocked out but the Syrian S-200 air defense, were they purposefully launched to not reach their target, were they simply malfunctioning? That makes little sense.

What makes far more sense is that the S-400 and S-300 are covering their full range protecting both Russian and Syrian assets not against Israeli F-16's who have been out of the question thus far but certainly against cruise missiles that are anounced up front. These strategic Russian systems although deployed thinly were not able to intercept the full barrage when it reached just like any other system it limits by oversaturation. Although the first hypothesis is easier to sell to the Russian population for instance, the second is not.

Posted by: xor | Apr 7 2017 19:47 utc | 183

Newsweek:

TRUMP’S YEMEN RAID THAT KILLED NINE CHILDREN: WHAT WENT WRONG
BY JACK MOORE ON 2/9/17 AT 1:47 PMA new investigation into the special forces raid targeting Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen has found the the operation went “dreadfully wrong,” killing nine children under the age of 13, with the youngest victim a three-month-old baby.

In the first military operation authorized under President Trump, U.S. commandos launched a raid on an Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula stronghold (AQAP) in the al-Bayda province, leaving at least 25 civilians dead, as well as a U.S. soldier.

=====

I did not reads about Trump shedding tears and anger on that occasion (and quite a few other).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 7 2017 19:48 utc | 184

@171 canuck
Good sendup.

I admit I was shitting my pants last night waiting for a Russian escalation, although that may in the end take time. They are keeping track of all their casualities, whether that be global insults, as this one was, or murdered ambassadors.

As much as we Americans, myself included, want to relax about the situation in Syria and possible escalation, with the war looking good for the allies, we must take into account the pressure on all sides of the Donald. I was decrying this decision to strike last night, and it is murder by any other definition what happened to the few Syrians that were tomahawked, but perhaps it was just a ploy and empty shot across the bow to sidestep the traitors in our midst. That is giving Mr. Trump a lot of credit and benefit of thr doubt, of which he is gradually losing the privelege of, but it does seem like little has been lost for such valuable placation. I hope you're right.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 7 2017 20:08 utc | 185

ALL SMILES: Serial warmonger John McCain gives ringing endorsement to Trump’s aggression (VIDEO)

http://theduran.com/serial-warmonger-john-mccain-endorsement-trumps-aggression/

Emotionally. Its quite tragic that no one comes to support for 'little' Syria when its attacked by the US. Its so depressing.

Reading comments here makes me feel somewhat better, keep up all the good commentary all.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7 2017 20:08 utc | 186

Der Spiegel - in German - anti IS coalition has stopped flying

that was quick.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7 2017 20:09 utc | 187

https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/850425431899680768

reuters twitter: JUST IN: Syrian warplanes take off from air base hit by U.S., carry out strikes in Homs countryside - Syrian observatory for human rights

(Trump is not going to enjoy being asked the inevitable questions regarding this)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 7 2017 20:18 utc | 188

Apparently the US cruise missiles were launched from near Cyprus.

Unless they where set to fly a course well away from Tartus, the missing missiles may well have been taken out over the sea by the S-300. How many S300 launchers does Russia have in Tartus? How long does it take to reload the launchers?
Tomahawk missiles set on a course to avoid close in defences, and launched in sufficient numbers that the S-300 cannot destroy them all?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 7 2017 20:23 utc | 189

Thinking a bit more along that line, low flying cruise missiles may be fair game while over the sea, but once they get over land and between some hills, the S-300 would no longer be able to see them.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 7 2017 20:26 utc | 190

Not only that, it doesnt matter who and if there was a gasattack. No country have the right to attack Syria because of that, I am amazed that that is not discussed anywhere.
Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 7, 2017 11:53:36 AM | 119

You'll be pleased to know that China TV covered the Syria attack reasonably dispassionately and NHK (japan) went much further, with one of it's local pundits pointing out ALL of the US breaches of International Law, good taste, and acting with unseemly haste on unverified suspicions: then topped it off with a report from Indonesia (world's most populous Moslem country) explaining how truly pissed off the Indonesian Govt is with AmeriKKKa. If NHK is the Jap.gov channel then it would seem that the Japs are descending farther into Yankee Go Home mode than they were in 2016.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 7 2017 20:28 utc | 191

@133 Yes smuks, I agree it could along those lines..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 7 2017 20:59 utc | 192

Correction, post is @134

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 7 2017 21:00 utc | 193

Russian military analysis, based on logisitics assessment, concludes that the missile strike was planned before the flase flag attack. The flase flag was then run as a pretext for the pre-determined strike.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/zakharova-us-missile-strikes-were-planned-alleged-gas-attack-syria/ri19480

Only 25 or so of the 59 cruise missiles launched hit the target. of the others, remains of one were found in a garden in Karto, Tartus. The US claimed the target arifeld was totally destroyed but it is barely damaged and is operational already. After the attack, supposedly against a chemical weapons store, reporters wandered around in normal non-protective clothing.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3345092.html


Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 7 2017 21:00 utc | 194

Anon 1, b, h 124
Molyneux (a bit libertarian) discussed these aspects in his video. 1. What right did the US have to attack since it is in Syria. 2. If Trump can be provoked to doing this, what does it say for Trump?

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 7 2017 21:13 utc | 195

Is it possible that the majority of the missiles was intercepted as a demonstration?

Would such a demonstration be "taken on board?"

Posted by: Cortes | Apr 7 2017 21:17 utc | 196

Nemisis @185:

... it does seem like little has been lost for such valuable placation
They will never be placated. That is why b calls characterizes this attack as: "New U.S. Air Support On Request Scheme For Al-Qaeda".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 7 2017 21:21 utc | 197

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 7, 2017 4:28:25 PM | 191

Occupied Japan is, to put it mildly, in a difficult position from many angles: including financial, geo-political, and perhaps most sadly from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, no certain end in sight, which the MSM and officialdom have continually blamed on natural events, with a side note indicting questionable Japanese judgment and behaviour. The destruction of several nuclear power plants in Japan, incidentally almost synonymous with the beginning of the destruction by bombing of Libya in 2011, may have had a different genesis: may have involved sabotage, been an act of war, as in Jim Stone's analysis. Japan was lucky to have only been extensively contaminated by radiation: it could have been worse. Radiation from Japan has moved steadily for six plus years now eastward, into the Pacific and atmosphere towards North America.


It would not be surprising if behind the stoic faces and polite expressions the Japanese have had their disgusted and outraged fill of the fruits of the 'friendly alliance' 'protection racket' of the United States, and are plotting escape, alternatives, and perhaps revenge.

Posted by: canuck | Apr 7 2017 21:25 utc | 198

I am trying not to jump to conclusions - appreciate reading all the thoughts and opinions here. What worries me, however, is that the American people - and the peace movement in general - seem to have lost whatever deterrent power they once possessed. A great deal of effort went into selling the Iraq War to the people of the West. Many did not buy it, but enough did to provide a fig leaf of "moral" justification. No real effort by the PTB to buy the support of the people going on now - just wailing, hateful banshees calling themselves "leaders" making stuff up off the cuff and attacking seemingly with impunity.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Apr 7 2017 21:38 utc | 199

I think it time to review the duties of a citizen living within an Outlaw/Rogue nation such as the Outlaw US Empire, Germany, UK, France, etc., particularly since it's April with its the Outlaw US Empire's annual Tribute Day. Such duties are stated within the Nuremberg Principles and related International Law that evolved from them as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its several offshoots.

First and foremost, a citizen living within an Outlaw or Rogue Nation must do nothing to facilitate the nation's behavior causing it to be Outlaw/Rogue. The most obvious form of support would be the provision of monies for the nation to pursue its illegal activities through the payment of taxes. This is the most effective passive manner in which an individual can resist/not become an accomplice to the nation's illegalities. Indeed, any action that may benefit the nation must not be participated in and opposed if possible. Educating fellow citizens as to the nation's illegalities must be done while encouraging them to resist. Lastly, it's in the best interest of the citizen to organize with others to remove the criminal actors that caused the nation's Outlaw/Rogue status and submit them and their non-governmental allies to the rule of law for punishment.

Most here know of the United States of America's Outlaw/Rogue status since its escalation of the Iraqi Genocide it began in 1991. But what most may not know is its Outlaw/Rogue status goes back to the 1945 atomic bombing of Japan with currently no end in sight. Its many vassal states also qualify as Outlaw/Rogue. World Peace will be impossible to attain until the #1 Outlaw/Rogue nation and its vassals are neutered and returned to law abiding nations. Some say WW3 has yet to begin. I argue it already has and a global resistance is already in progress. But to overthrow the Tyranny of the #1 Outlaw Nation, all citizens, everywhere must do their duty, and swiftly if they have yet to begin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 7 2017 21:40 utc | 200

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