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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I cant believe Chinese president keep staying in the US, when US started bombing he should have left immediately, but it seems that China have become more naive past 8-10 years about neocon wars and its own position with the western world.
Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 8, 2017 5:29:44 AM | 281

Getting indignant, stamping their little feet, and running off to sulk with their pals whenever things aren't going their way, is behaviour exclusive to the angry spoilt brats in charge of the Christian Colonial Coalition.
China, Russia, and most other countries, are run by grown-ups and grown-ups will talk to anyone, any time, in the interests of resolving disputes and misunderstandings.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 8 2017 13:21 utc | 301

Susan Sunflower@240, "Either laws, and "international laws" mean something or people need to sit down, shut up and admit that we're all screwed ... That is and has been Russia's point for a very very long time" These are wise sentiments, unfortunately we live in a world where the 5 veto wielding members [and their friends] are above International law for all time. If, as the US/UK decided to do when invading Iraq in 2003 ignore UNSC rules, there is nothing the other members can do about it. Any Resolution against their [US/UK] actions is immediately vetoed by the US/UK and consigned to the memory hole.The US attitude of might is right is a difficult one to counter without an equally belligerent response in which case as you say "we're all screwed" Dr David Morrison has an excellent article on the veto and how it was used by US/UK in the lead up to the Iraq invasion here..http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/iraq/ags-legal-advice.pdf

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 8 2017 13:26 utc | 302

Hmmm. Hmmm. Steve Bannon was "removed" from the National Security Council in a "major shakeup" on April 4, 2017. And the U.S. military launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian government military airfield on April 7, 2017.

Hmmm.

Posted by: blues | Apr 8 2017 13:30 utc | 303

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 8, 2017 8:50:22 AM | 299

Deutsche Welle is Germany's BBC. Germany is not interested in a clash with Russia. They are trying to position themselves in some mediating role.
Officially they will go with "the West", but not when their core interests are involved like "North Stream II".

It seems Trump has been coopted into another attempt to produce a new cold War rift in Europe for the weapon's industry. Ukraine has failed.

New sanctions are in the cards. Germany hates that as their exports will be hit. Let's see if Angela Merkel will grow a spine in an election year.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 8 2017 13:36 utc | 304

Hope someone shares some of the reasons for skepticism with the boys at foxtrot alpha.

They are so all in, you have to wonder if its a CIA channel.

Look, reasonable people can think Assad 'would' do this, but it doesn't survive scrutiny - leaving aside whether or not this was a token strike by a Super Genius Trump who's still /ourguy/ (I don't think he's a smart guy, and I think smart guys can trick him, which is the easiest thing for CIA-Mossad to do).

ANYWAY: If you havent seen this re Kushner in Iraq:

absolutely a **must** read.

http://taskandpurpose.com/jared-kushner-iraq-storybook-pictures/

Obama had his Rahm... Trumppet has his Jared.

Lastly - it will be helpful to try to promote the use of 'President Kushner' with appropriate meme/image magic.


We're going to need a coup before they drive into Damascus... then Iran... everyone gets that, right?


Posted by: Matt C. | Apr 8 2017 13:36 utc | 305

@300 smuks, 'China doesn't want confrontation or to 'fight its way to the top' against rival powers. Instead, Beijing waits until the time is ripe and undisputed global leadership falls into its lap like an apple in autumn.'

so we agree.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 8 2017 13:38 utc | 306

Posted by: smuks | Apr 8, 2017 8:57:54 AM | 300

The chess/go comparison is good.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 8 2017 13:42 utc | 307

UK have announced they will not go to Moscow as planned next week instead UK and G7 will meet to condemn Russia. This is getting crazy.

Posted by: neocon butcher | Apr 8 2017 13:50 utc | 308

You have to be very naive, blind or prejudiced to miss the fact that Trump has been bought and sold just like every other of them after JFK. I would love to know what they have on him or what they threatened to do. Same old, same old.

Posted by: K | Apr 8 2017 13:55 utc | 309

None of the experts believe it was a rebel cache.

The Syrians have stocks of chlorine. But no one knows yet what the agent was.

The amount required is measured kilos in the hundreds - a large amount for a clandestine lab.

A damaged canister would not impact a large area. A direct hit would've destroyed much of the agent, similar result.

The warehouse near the impact crater had been Adam domed and empty for some time.

The best explanation for Assad using chemical weapons: he doesn't want the US and Russia to force a settlement on him. Tillerson announcing that Assad could stay put the US and Russia in position to do just that. That's all ruined now.

Posted by: Horatio Parker | Apr 8 2017 14:25 utc | 310


Gloves Are for Sissies: Photographs Show White Helmets Are Immune to Sarin

Who needs basic protective gear when dealing with chemical WMDs? The White Helmets have superhuman abilities http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/gloves-are-sissies-photographs-show-white-helmets-are-immune-sarin/ri19458

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 8 2017 14:36 utc | 311

https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/849635794994286592

What do you think about this? The blogger writes:

Wow. This anti-Assad "reporter" tweeted about the sarin attack in #Syria 24 hours before it happened. Still think nothing fishy is going on?

Tweet says: "Tomorrow a media campaign will begin to cover intense air raids on the Hama countryside and use of chlorine against civilians"

Anyone able to confirm this?

Posted by: K | Apr 8 2017 14:37 utc | 312

Trump's failure of course is that he is not the deconstructor of the administrative state of Bannon's lumpen prole dreams.

And yes, sadly for the Putin defenders, the imperialist/globalist monopoly described by Lenin 100 years ago now firmly includes China and Russia in the top shelf. Yes, there are tensions and rivalries among the various oligarchs but at end of day the global financial structure will not change because of an ascendent China, a declining US and EU, it may well become reconfigured, reformed, repackaged, resold, remodeled with new currencies of last resort and new centers of power but it will not simply go away because of any power shuffling among the upper tier.

This class-based reality explains the tolerance of Xi and collusional acceptance of Putin regards the US aggression, whose purpose in my opinion is simply to assert Trump's and reassert US primacy in the most vulgar way possible.

Posted by: ASAFP | Apr 8 2017 14:41 utc | 313

310)

You slept through science in school?

The stuff does not need a missile hit to cause serious accidents

Chlorine Accidents Take a Big Human Toll

Over the past 10 years, chlorine has been involved in hundreds of accidents nationwide, injuring thousands of workers and townspeople, and killing some, according to federal databases. It is second only to carbon monoxide when it comes to the percentage of accidents that cause injuries, according to the newest federal data.

Chlorine is one of the most widely used industrial chemicals in the world today, with 13 million tons produced annually in the United States alone.

I suspect the "underground formerly Al-Nusra, now aligned to Al Qaeda hospital" that was hit to be the cause.

This is made too much political use of to be an innocent accident. As the YPG stated many groups on the ground make use of chemical weapons.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 8 2017 14:49 utc | 314

I will point out to those analyzing the apparent minimal damage to the Syrian airfield that there was significant damage inflicted by this stupid attack. Firstly, extreme damage to any possible warming of relations between Russia and the US. It would take an apology on Trump's part to make restoration, and it is evident he's not only not going to apologize for attacking a country with which Russia is working to defeat terrorists, but he accuses Russia of being complicit in a bogus chemical attack on Syria's people, a preposterous claim. I see no win-win strategy in this, no umpty-dimensional chess game. It is simply a stupid, stupid thing to do.

And secondly, of equal value to the first extreme damage caused, it must have escaped people's notice that indeed there were casualties, many, and some deaths to the people at the airbase and in surrounding communities. And there is no apology for this either, nor will there be.

We should have no illusions that just because Russia's response is muted and restrained at present, they are in cahoots with Trump and have been all along - that was the media theme, and people seem to have bought it. Russia was ready to have a partnership to defeat the terrorists, who are presently cheering Trump on. Russia is not cheering. The Syrian people are not cheering. They have lost some of their own in this exercise of futile, knee-jerk braggadacio.

And apart from the brain-damaged media, America is not cheering.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 8 2017 14:55 utc | 315

Trump wants to be a war president. He thinks he has what it takes. He's ready to delegate all that boring domestic shit to his minions and concentrate on the heavy-duty stuff.

Up till now all he's gotten is shit and abuse over everything he's tried to do. Most people were convinced he could fuck up the Lord's Prayer. Now, all of a sudden, he's getting some respect. People are saying nice things about him. People like Lindsay Graham and John McCain are saying the country should unite behind the CoC. His base has its nose out of joint and feel like he's let them down but they don't matter. The people who matter think he's doing just fine.

He always new he could do the job. He just had to find his sea legs. it's amazing how one can just initial a piece of paper and a bazillion bucks worth of ordinance is airborne. And it's cool being in the spotlight all day every day. It would be some kind of letdown to go back to trying to fix an impossibly dysfunctional country and have everybody saying he's no good at it when he can dance on the razor's edge and garner the admiration and respect he's come to expect. So some of the deals his people had arranged with the Russians before the election may not come to fruition, big fucking deal. This is much more satisfying. Besides, he's starting to get morning wood again.


Posted by: peter | Apr 8 2017 14:56 utc | 316

Hey Outraged - here is a link to Russia's Foreign Ministry statement on the illegal bombing of Shayrat air base -

"The US pretends that it does not understand obvious things, turning a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons in Iraq, officially confirmed by Baghdad. The US refuses to believe the evidence provided by certified documents confirming the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Aleppo. In doing so, the US is abetting international terrorism and making it stronger. New WMD attacks can be expected.

There is no doubt that the military action by the US is an attempt to divert attention from the situation in Mosul, where the campaign carried out among others by US-led coalition has resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and an escalating humanitarian disaster.

It is obvious that the cruise missile attack was prepared in advance. Any expert understands that Washington’s decision on air strikes predates the Idlib events, which simply served as a pretext for a show of force.

Russia suspends the Memorandum of Understanding on Prevention of Flight Safety Incidents in the course of operations in Syria signed with the US."

Link to full statement - http://www.mid.ru/ru/press_service/spokesman/official_statement/-/asset_publisher/t2GCdmD8RNIr/content/id/2717798?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_t2GCdmD8RNIr&_101_INSTANCE_t2GCdmD8RNIr_languageId=en_GB

Posted by: h | Apr 8 2017 15:00 utc | 317

And a link to Defence Ministry statement - http://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12117678%40egNews

"On April 7, from 3.42 to 3.56 (MSK), two destroyers of the US Navy (USS Ross and USS Porter) made a massive strike with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the area near Crete Island (Mediterranean Sea) against the Syrian Shayrat Air Base (Homs province).

According to the objective monitoring data, 23 missiles reached the Syrian Air Base.

As a result, an equipment depot, a training building, a mess, six MiG-23 aircraft in repairing hangars as well as a radar station were destroyed.

The runway, taxiways and aircraft of the Syrian Air Force at parking places were not damaged.

According to the information received from the Air Base Command, two Syrian servicemen are missing, 4 were killed and 6 got burning wounds during firefighting."

Posted by: h | Apr 8 2017 15:03 utc | 318

@juliania 315

Of course there was damage done, but of little military significance.
It was 'only' tit for tat for the downing of the Israeli fighter plane some weeks ago, by an air defence system located near the airbase according to b. Rules of war.

Posted by: smuks | Apr 8 2017 15:10 utc | 319

Peter @ 316 - couldn't agree with you more. The danger for Trump with this strategy is that he can get away with this maybe once or twice, depending on circumstance but sooner rather than later this "war president" without a rationale for war will be even less acceptable to the country than currently.

Coupled with his huge blunder of backing the unpopular GOP legislative agenda that he successfully campaigned against he will be either a one termer or survive as a failure.

Posted by: ASAFP | Apr 8 2017 15:25 utc | 320

Re: Posted by: Matt C. | Apr 8, 2017 9:36:42 AM | 305

Lastly - it will be helpful to try to promote the use of 'President Kushner' with appropriate meme/image magic.

You know - I was thinking exactly the same thing.

America's First Jewish President - ironically with his puppet the dozen of German immigrants!!!

Posted by: Julian | Apr 8 2017 15:30 utc | 321

Amazing, Trump ordered the attack upon Syria just before he met with China's Xi for discussions that included China's assistance in curbing North Korea's defense/offense capabilities.

Put a WTF in Xi's thought bubble as he listens to Trump.

Posted by: librul | Apr 8 2017 15:32 utc | 322

between the humanitarian catastrophe and mass casualties in Yemen (ongoing) and Mosul Iraq (~ 03/26/2017)and the Damascus mosque bombing (03/17/2016) for America to cry "war crimes" and declare a crisis about an as-yet uninvestigated apparent chemical release at the site of an otherwise insignificant aerial bombing resulting in under 100 civilian casualties is (somehow) still shocking.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 8 2017 15:35 utc | 323

No one thought this through - exhibit 1

Syrian Army confirms targeting US aircraft in Al-Qamishli

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:50 P.M.) – A Syrian Special Forces unit targeted a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft flying over their positions in northeastern Syria , a military source confirmed to Al-Masdar this evening.

The U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was reportedly hovering over the Syrian Army’s Regiment 54 Base in Al-Qamishli, when the personnel at the installation opened fire on the plane.

The aircraft fled the area around the base after it came in contact with the Syrian Arab Army on Saturday evening, the military source added.

Today’s confrontation in the Al-Qamishli District of the Al-Hasakah Governorate marks the first time since Friday that the U.S. and Syrian forces have confronted one another.

Taking their no fly zone from the Kurds. And now?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 8 2017 15:39 utc | 324

Some people think that the US are the "indispensable Nation", "the Shining city on a hill" and an "exceptional nation" and that people must defer to them, bollocks! they have the support of the 7th century medieval head chopping GCC state dictators and aparthied Israel plus lukewarm Turkey, thats it. They are up against a committed 'arc of resistance' Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Yemen backed by Russia.The US are on the wrong side of history and will lose the Middle East and will soon be thrashing around in its death throes, as these futile strikes against Syria indicate. Hopefully the Saudi satraps will all be strung up on lamp posts

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 8 2017 15:39 utc | 325

Trumps meeting with King Abdullah on Wednesday is already paying dividends, for terrorists.

"Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham originally began their assault at the Al-Manishiyah District of Dara'a on Wednesday...on Friday, the jihadist assault finally made significant headway, as they broke-through the Syrian Arab Army’s defenses around the western perimeter of the Al-Manishiyah District...According to a military source from the 5th Armored Division, the jihadist rebels have captured more points inside the district today, putting them in position to seize Al-Manishiyah in the coming days if the Syrian Arab Army does not receive the necessary reinforcements to hold their positions."

It would appear Jordan is back on board the regime change train.

Original article
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/jihadist-rebels-close-capturing-key-district-daraa/

Posted by: WG | Apr 8 2017 16:14 utc | 326

jesus, I wonder what the formal handover of Syria to KSA/GCC ceremony will look like ... and when it's scheduled for and which Trump resort has been booked for the festivities.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 8 2017 16:28 utc | 327

K 312

That was a reporter for orient news. Orient news is owned by Ghassan Aboud.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghassan_Aboud

Born in Idlib, based in Dubai. Re-exports new cars http://aboudcar.com/ , Runs the media in Idlib - television ect http://www.orient-news.net/en . Sets up hospitals in Idlib http://www.orienths.net/index.php?Lang=EN#!prettyPhoto/0/ .

Also runs something called livepoint art production. Here's the blurb...
A new touch in the world of art and TV production where artistic and creative endeavors are offered.
Live Point Art Production brings an ambitious vision of creativity in the field of art and media production in the Middle East.
With our strategically located branches in the UAE, Jordan and Syria, we can provide quality media and production services across the Middle East....
http://gagroup.net/divisions/live-point-art-production/

This livepoint art production seems just the setup required for producing false flag snuff videos.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 8 2017 16:32 utc | 328

re 328 Aboud seems to specialise in re-exporting new toyota's going by what the vehichiles advertised at his website. Wonder how the headchoppers in Syria acquired their shiny new convoys of landcruisers and hylux.

Aboud has done very well as a business man since the start of the war in Syria. Seems to be a front man for a lot of outside money pouring into the headchoppers.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 8 2017 16:39 utc | 329

@315 Excellent comment - did you ever imagine we'd end up on the same side? I did, because I had Trump pegged from the beginning. For a while there, it wasn't easy debating you. :)

@316 Equally good comment. Yes, Trump is going to milk this new-found and favorable support he's getting from both his party and the other side after this military strike for all it's worth.

juliana,

We have yet to see more significant damage from this reckless (to say the least) move, and it has to do with what I just commented to peter. This strike was limited only because Trump wanted to test the waters, since aside from the black operation in Yemen and multiple strikes there since, it represents the first bold military directive by Trump. This is why I believe that Trump TESTED the waters with this strike, first from a political domestic vantage and second from the global side. Unfortunately, the reaction both domestically and internationally, especially in the U.S., Israel and then in Canada and Europe is very supportive of Trump and many are now rallying around him encouraging further military action. Even the media appears to be more supportive of him and more hesitant to criticize now that he has assumed the role of Neocon imperial Commander-in-Chief.

Therefore, I strongly suspect that aside from creating significant damage to U.S. - Russia relations; and even twisting the knife by accusing Russia of complicity with the chemical attack, Trump will escalate in Syria to capitalize fully on the positive wave of support he's being showered with, and as I replied to peter, he will milk this opportunity for all it's worth therefore increasing military presence on the sly and ordering further action against Syrian forces, and we all know that safe zones were already in the works with the Saudis and Tillerson is now alluding to having Assad removed.

@321

America's First Jewish President Correction Julian, America's First Zionist President.

Aside from predicting that Trump would continue the Zionist Neocon agenda for the Middle East and elsewhere, I also wrote more than once here months ago, that Trump intends to create a political dynasty and Kushner is the pretender to the throne of the Empire, in other words, he's being groomed for the U.S. Presidency, and you know, it now comes to mind that maybe this was planned all along. He had strong Zionist support from the beginning. ZOA was completely in his camp, as was the Settler Movement and its financiers. Israelis put up huge billboards that read: MAKE ISRAEL GREAT AGAIN. Well, no doubt Kushner has that very intention.

Kushner is gaining power. He was responsible for the shake-up in Trump's campaign, Lewandowski, Manafort, and Christie being the most notable to be ousted on his orders. Now, Bannon has been sidelined and there are rumors of one or two others whose heads are also going to roll. Kushner has more influence over Trump than Bannon ever had and he's solidifying his power every passing day. Things are moving Israel's way.

@325

The US are on the wrong side of history and will lose the Middle East and will soon be thrashing around in its death throes, as these futile strikes against Syria indicate. Hopefully the Saudi satraps will all be strung up on lamp posts.

The biggest fear those Saudi satraps have is that they'll end up hung upside down in the public square like Mussolini, and after all the crimes they've committed; they should sleep with one eye open.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 8 2017 17:03 utc | 330

@327

Maybe this Trump shelved project will finally get funding from the financiers of regime change in Syria and they can christen it at the same time they toast the murderous rape of Syria.

https://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/dubai/trump_international_hotel_tower_a191108_3.jpg

Posted by: Circe | Apr 8 2017 17:33 utc | 331

@Formerly T-Bear
If you haven't figured out yet how to stop the stored information from coming back try;
1) clearing your browser cookies. This is the normal way sites retain info.
2) if #1 doesn't work, try unplugging your modem for 30 seconds then plugging it back in. IP reset.
3) if neither 1 or 2 work download a free VPN and install that. Use the VPN when online.

Remember before filling in the Name, Email fields to UNCHECK the remember personal info box. It is checked by default, which should not be that way for user security reasons. This reply might not even make it to you, but I hope it gets through moderation as it is my first comment post ever.

Posted by: informer | Apr 8 2017 18:12 utc | 332

Scott Adams is an authority on chemical weapons due to his media analyzing powers?

Gimme a break.

Posted by: Horatio Parker | Apr 8 2017 18:38 utc | 333

Grieved says:

Eventually the devil runs out of tricks and the learning capacity of humans keeps on coming, undiminished. Eventually, evil loses

are you a social worker by any chance? a priest? anyway, if you're going to dwell in the land of extravagant platitudes, you'd better offer up some serious quantification, or risk being run out of town as a snake oil salesman.

your weak-kneed long view kinda mollifies the whole, 'we had to destroy it in order to save it' mentality.

Posted by: john | Apr 8 2017 20:27 utc | 334

Somebody 306
DW's story was surprising since that is the highest level in the media that such thinking has risen. DW does seem like the German BBC, when they talk to US people about stories, they tend to be insider bureaucrats, CFR members, etc.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 8 2017 20:56 utc | 335

someone needs to get camera crews into Yemen ... and Mosul ...
Remember all the outrage about Assad refusing to allow humanitarian aid deliveries to rebel areas? Remember the almost 300 dead in Mosul? That Damascus Mosque bombed during Friday prayers?

Someone need to exploit and fully highlight Tillerson's lies that the Russian weren't warned (when they were).

I found a site that said that all coalition flights had been grounded ... but only on one site ... and nothing, crickets everywhere else ...
http://www.geopolmonitor.com/international-coalition-suspends-air-operations-syria/

no idea who they are ... but no one else is talking.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 8 2017 20:59 utc | 336

336 - Germans are getting extremely worried that the US don't know what they are doing - this here is a conservative "transatlantic" paper.

Brief translation: Option 1: tolerate an Assad regime kept alive by Russia and Iran, threatening Israel in the medium term.
Option 2: a military intervention resulting in a Libya type scenario where rivaling Islamic factions fight each other
worst case Option 3: when attempting Option 2 getting into a fight with Russia.

Option 2 will result in a new flow of refugees to Europe
Option 3 will involve installations in Germany, we will not be able to remove our country from this fight

So naturally Germany is inclined to prefer Option 1 though they are too polite to say so.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 8 2017 21:33 utc | 337

@338 Polite? Maybe they don't want to be accused of collaboration......or worse being anti-Israel.

Posted by: dh | Apr 8 2017 22:00 utc | 338

Posted by: dh | Apr 8, 2017 6:00:00 PM | 339

They would not risk anything vote wise. A slight majority of Germans disagree with Trump's strike on Syria. Trump had the sympathy of 12 percent of Germans in February. The German government insists on two state and they are not part of the UN resolution block of the US plus Micronesia, Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands.


Posted by: somebody | Apr 8 2017 23:02 utc | 339

@312: "None of the experts believe it was a rebel cache."

Odd statement, that.

Over at Pat Lang's site there appears to be quite a number of people who retain insider knowledge, and I've been struck by how unanimous they are about that very point: they insist that the intel reports coming in from the field all agree that this was not a deliberate CW attack by the Syrians.

These are not namby-pamby conspiracy theorists: when they speculate then they speculate, but when they *know* then they make it quite plain that they are In The Know.

Trump has been set up, and his lack of political experience means that he has walked right into it.

He's ordered this attack on the basis of incorrect information, and in the weeks and months ahead he will get ambushed with: Mr President, we've concluded our review of the available evidence and have established that, err, the Russians were correct all along. Shall we leak that to the press now, or do you want to tweet it first?

As Tricky Dick once said: when you have a guy by the balls then his heart and mind will follow.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 9 2017 1:47 utc | 340

@ Yeah, Right who wrote: "As Tricky Dick once said: when you have a guy by the balls then his heart and mind will follow."

In the summer of 1973 I was a 25 year old hippie futurist at an international conference at Asilomar in CA and had a series of conversations with a guy who worked in the White House on future stuff...which folks did back then.

Anyway, I got more of an education about the world out of those conversations than I did from the international Technology and Social Institutions conference itself. Nixon was just another puppet megalomaniac normalizing the Dirty Tricks of the day.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 9 2017 3:46 utc | 341

@ Susan Sunflower

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1145865/military-strikes-target-isis-terrorists-in-syria-iraq
Strikes in Syria
In Syria, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 14 engagements against ISIS targets:
-- Near Tabqah, seven strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units; destroyed four vehicles, three fighting positions and two tactical vehicles; and suppressed nine ISIS tactical units.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 9 2017 4:23 utc | 342

@ Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 8, 2017 7:20:38 AM | 292

Reluctant to respond ... however ...

Respectfully, always follow your posts as they are consistently thoughtful and often insightful. Your last posts to me tho are false broad personal assumptions & make little sense to me ... my 'position' since the days of Billmon, is clear & consistent, IMV ... have faced the elephant and formerly sold my soul in wilful blind service to the Empire ... will, leave it there ... and, pass, re your assertions/assumptions.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 9 2017 9:12 utc | 343

Thanks Peter (although as is normal, it doesn't say whose planes/personnel were aloft)
I've reached saturation with people now trying to shoehorn their hobbyhorses into the current ambiguity -- however, neither surprising or even encouraging, some people seem to recognize that they went tooooo far in their enthusiasm for this showboater's used of deadly force. So strange how many people who otherwise talk about agency and self-determination jump on board the "America as the World's Savior" when (some) humanitarian crises get a lot of press attention. The idea that this was not a deliberate chemical attack -- "in all likelihood sarin" -- is now as not-to-be-questioned as the "Russians hacked the election" meme. Evidence? Schmevidence!!! yes, but will you still love me tomorrow.

The parallels between the Syrian "rebels" (what once were but haven't been for quite a long time now) and the South Vietnamese as "valiant holdouts against communist domination" and the futility of propping up the losing side in a civil war keep recurring to me. If the "rebels" (what were, not what are called "rebels" now) had overwhelming popular support (given the massive infusion of money, weapons and logistical support given by the West and the Arab Sunni states), they really really really should be doing better. The dismal prospect of a radical islamist controlled Syria after the "departure" of Assad is no longer mentioned, I'm guessing due to the presumed (possibly erroneous) weakening of the ISIS threat. Would another KSA or GCC type Islamic state be acceptable to those suddenly applauding Trump's interventionism? I can't figure out how Al-Qa’eda and ISIS and the Saudi-supported "rebels" are intersecting. Reports are so contradictory I suspect some deliberate disinformation.

Who knew that Nikki Haley was as loose a cannon as John Bolton (except I suspect Bolton of having some long-standing and internally consistent -- no matter how loathsome -- ideology).

Oh, for David Horowitz gawkers, John Batchelor has part one of a two-parter up for your listening pleasure (or whatever).

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 9 2017 17:01 utc | 344

@karlof 202
"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."

It goes back ’way farther than that. The eviction of the Native Americans from their lands in Alabama under Andrew Jackson; the annexation of a large part of Mexico, including Texas and California in the 1840s; the annexation of Hawaii in 1898; the annexation of Puerto Rico and the Philippines that same year...

Posted by: Gene Poole | Apr 10 2017 12:05 utc | 345

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