Syria - Iraq 2.0?

drummerboy

Well, the winds of war are being stirred up again. All of a sudden, the deaths of innocent Syrians has become the worst thing ever, and action must be taken.

(Reminder - the death toll in the gas attack is less than 100. We recently killed 200 civilians in Mosul.)

It's remarkable how the media buys into this crap. All I see is repeated clips of dying children and grieving fathers - as if this crap hasn't been happening EVERY DAY for years in Syria.

Anyway, get ready for another sh!tshow in Syria. And it will be all due to Obama's "red line" statement.

Sometimes I really hate our country.


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tjohn


drummerboy said:

Well, the winds of war are being stirred up again. All of a sudden, the deaths of innocent Syrians has become the worst thing ever, and action must be taken.

(Reminder - the death toll in the gas attack is less than 100. We recently killed 200 civilians in Mosul.)

It's remarkable how the media buys into this crap. All I see is repeated clips of dying children and grieving fathers - as if this crap hasn't been happening EVERY DAY for years in Syria.

Anyway, get ready for another sh!tshow in Syria. And it will be all due to Obama's "red line" statement.

Sometimes I really hate our country.

For some reason, people think that dying from poison gas is worse than dying from a bullet or shrapnel wound. I don't know that this is true. In fact, I rather doubt that it is true.

There are some interesting assessments of why Assad would use chemical weapons. One interesting idea is that Assad felt that Russia and the U.S. were evolving towards a solution that would be imposed on Assad and Assad knew that by using chemical weapons, he could aggravate and widen the rift between Russia and the U.S. After all, it wasn't too long ago that Trump said that removing Assad was not a priority and now he is rumbling about military action. So, why would Assad want to aggravate the situation?


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paulsurovell

Some resources to help understand the current media/political stampede to war:

-- Robert Parry on the current media/rush to judgment:

https://consortiumnews.com/201...

-- Seymour Hersh debunked the 2013 CW accusations against Assad:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

-- The MIT Science Technology and Global Security Working Group debunked false technical data used to accuse Assad in 2013:

https://www.documentcloud.org/...


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tjohn

Of course, military action against Assad is rather problematic unless we secure U.N. approval. The sad reality is that all the souls in Syria are not worth war with Russia.


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tjohn

Why would Obama not have seized upon this information given that Obama clearly was not interested in punishing Assad militarily?

paulsurovell said:

Some resources to help understand the current media/political stampede to war:


-- Robert Parry on the current media/rush to judgment:

https://consortiumnews.com/201...


-- Seymour Hersh debunked the 2013 CW accusations against Assad:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

-- The MIT Science Technology and Global Security Working Group debunked false technical data used to accuse Assad in 2013:

https://www.documentcloud.org/...



Like  
South


paulsurovell said:

Some resources to help understand the current media/political stampede to war:


-- Robert Parry on the current media/rush to judgment:

https://consortiumnews.com/201...


-- Seymour Hersh debunked the 2013 CW accusations against Assad:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

-- The MIT Science Technology and Global Security Working Group debunked false technical data used to accuse Assad in 2013:

https://www.documentcloud.org/...

Just because Trump didn't notice how Assad was butchering civilians when more "conventional" means were being used, doesn't mean that it's appropriate to "jump to his defense" by citing "debunkings" from years ago with respect to the latest gas attack. There's no evidence to contradict the conclusion that Assad's forces were responsible for the recent attack. There is only unsupported conjecture (such as Parry's) which is being put forth to excuse Assad (probably in order to defend Russia, which Parry is wont to do, as he did with respect to Ukraine).

That being said, the proper course of action is to work with Russia (if not demand cooperation from Putin) to pressure Assad. Russia helping Assad attack doesn't help. Hopefully, somebody in the White House will make it clear to Trump that he can't just attack Assad directly without butting heads with Putin, and that it would be dangerous to do so.


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tjohn

The proper thing would be to have a back channel with Russia such that we could quietly ask Russia to slap Assad in the strongest diplomatic language and in return, we would be moderate in our response.


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ml1

when we're talking about going to war, the standard of proof shouldn't be that there isn't evidence to contradict an accusation. There needs to be evidence that proves an accusation.

that said, even if there is strong evidence that Assad ordered this chemical attack, what would be the rationale for a U.S. military intervention? We don't have a track record of making any of these terrible situations any better by invading. As bad as it may be now, our history has been that we make these hellish circumstances even worse by sending in our military.


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South

What is known is that there are victims of poison gas.

The Russians say that Assad's forces bombed a storehouse where rebels were keeping the gas. The BBC had a report this morning doubting that claim:

Is Russia's explanation credible?
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment, said it was "pretty fanciful".
"Axiomatically, if you blow up Sarin, you destroy it," he told the BBC.
Experts say the explosion resulting from an air strike on a chemical weapons facility would most likely incinerate any agents. Sarin and other nerve agents are also usually stocked in a "binary manner", which means they are kept as two distinct chemical precursors that are combined just before use, either manually or automatically inside a weapon when launched.
"It's very clear it's a Sarin attack," Mr de Bretton-Gordon added. "The view that it's an al-Qaeda or rebel stockpile of Sarin that's been blown up in an explosion, I think is completely unsustainable and completely untrue."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-...

Assad's forces did drop bombs. If investigation confirms that the victims suffered from poison gas, then it was dropped from the sky (not already there in a warehouse). That's what I meant when I wrote earlier: "There's no evidence to contradict the conclusion that Assad's forces were responsible for the recent attack."


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terp

Syria has the potential to be orders of magnitude worse than Iraq.


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tjohn

True - that whole direct conflict with Russia thing is problematic.

As I said, all the souls in Syria are not worth war with Russia.

terp said:

Syria has the potential to be orders of magnitude worse than Iraq.



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sarahzm

This is my theory - based on nothing in particular. It might be far fetched but check back in a year or two and see how this plays out.

Assad had nothing to gain by the attack. He's winning. He has the Russians behind him. Trump had written off Syria, saying that it was OK if Assad stayed in power. It seems that the target had no military or strategic value. Why then ?? By attacking civilians with nerve gas Assad had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

I think the Russians were behind the attack. They did this to give Trump an excuse to send military forces into action This attack, and the military action that will surely follow will be a huge diversion from the investigations of Trump's ties with Russia that might have resulted in Trump's impeachment. If we are fighting a war in Syria, if US soldiers start dying in a military action to save innocent mothers and children, people will rally around the president, and calls for impeachment will be muted and much less likely to go anywhere.

More than anything , Russia wants a weakened NATO. I think Russia backed Trump and did a lot lot more than is currently public to help Trump into power. Trumps payback to Russia will be the partial dismantling of NATO using the excuses that 1. our allies are not paying their fare share and 2. Our resources should be spent fighting ISIS. Russia has everything to lose if Trump is ousted. So, a nerve gas attack with photos of dead children and the US military action that will follow is just what Trump needs to rally Americans behind him and get enough people to forget all that Russia nonsense . A short, small war will ensue, in which the US , with Russia secretly behind us, will oust Assad from power. US forces will make a quick exit, leaving Russia in virtual control. Trump will be hugely popular with enough voters to avoid impeachment, stay in power and do what the Russians want him to do with Nato.

I know it's far fetched but it kind of makes sense.




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drummerboy

That's pretty tin-foil-hattish....

But not implausible.

I have a feeling someone is sitting back, watching the U.S. reaction, and eating some popcorn while laughing evilly.


sarahzm said:

This is my theory - based on nothing in particular. It might be far fetched but check back in a year or two and see how this plays out.

Assad had nothing to gain by the attack. He's winning. He has the Russians behind him. Trump had written off Syria, saying that it was OK if Assad stayed in power. It seems that the target had no military or strategic value. Why then ?? By attacking civilians with nerve gas Assad had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

I think the Russians were behind the attack. They did this to give Trump an excuse to send military forces into action This attack, and the military action that will surely follow will be a huge diversion from the investigations of Trump's ties with Russia that might have resulted in Trump's impeachment. If we are fighting a war in Syria, if US soldiers start dying in a military action to save innocent mothers and children, people will rally around the president, and calls for impeachment will be muted and much less likely to go anywhere.

More than anything , Russia wants a weakened NATO. I think Russia backed Trump and did a lot lot more than is currently public to help Trump into power. Trumps payback to Russia will be the partial dismantling of NATO using the excuses that 1. our allies are not paying their fare share and 2. Our resources should be spent fighting ISIS. Russia has everything to lose if Trump is ousted. So, a nerve gas attack with photos of dead children and the US military action that will follow is just what Trump needs to rally Americans behind him and get enough people to forget all that Russia nonsense . A short, small war will ensue, in which the US , with Russia secretly behind us, will oust Assad from power. US forces will make a quick exit, leaving Russia in virtual control. Trump will be hugely popular with enough voters to avoid impeachment, stay in power and do what the Russians want him to do with Nato.

I know it's far fetched but it kind of makes sense.









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tjohn

I don't think that Russian misinformation and hacking assistance have worked out quite so well as Putin may have hoped. I am sure that Putin wanted improved relations with the U.S. I don't know that he expected Trump to be so breathtakingly clumsy in diplomatic terms. Trump, of course, failed to note that by singing Putin's praises, he alarmed a lot of people in Washington. God help us. We have a middle-schooler in charge of a serious game.


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LOST

You have insulted middle-schoolers


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bub

The problem in Syria is the same problem that existed in Iraq and to a smaller extent in Libya. You have an unquestionably evil murderous but not fanatical dictator who you can talk to. If you dethrone him, it doesn't trigger the love festival "hail Dorothy" let's-build-a-democracy moment we fool ourselves about when we step into these things. Chaos ensues, fanatics fill the vacuum etc.

No easy answer.


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tjohn

I'm glad HRC is not calling the shots on Syria. Apparently her love of intervention remains strong.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/...


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paulsurovell


tjohn said:

I don't think that Russian misinformation and hacking assistance have worked out quite so well as Putin may have hoped. I am sure that Putin wanted improved relations with the U.S. I don't know that he expected Trump to be so breathtakingly clumsy in diplomatic terms. Trump, of course, failed to note that by singing Putin's praises, he alarmed a lot of people in Washington. God help us. We have a middle-schooler in charge of a serious game.

Maybe if someone shows him pictures of happy Syrian children, he'll go back to supporting Assad.


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paulsurovell


South_Mountaineer said:

What is known is that there are victims of poison gas.

The Russians say that Assad's forces bombed a storehouse where rebels were keeping the gas. The BBC had a report this morning doubting that claim:
Is Russia's explanation credible?
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment, said it was "pretty fanciful".
"Axiomatically, if you blow up Sarin, you destroy it," he told the BBC.
Experts say the explosion resulting from an air strike on a chemical weapons facility would most likely incinerate any agents. Sarin and other nerve agents are also usually stocked in a "binary manner", which means they are kept as two distinct chemical precursors that are combined just before use, either manually or automatically inside a weapon when launched.
"It's very clear it's a Sarin attack," Mr de Bretton-Gordon added. "The view that it's an al-Qaeda or rebel stockpile of Sarin that's been blown up in an explosion, I think is completely unsustainable and completely untrue."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-...


Assad's forces did drop bombs. If investigation confirms that the victims suffered from poison gas, then it was dropped from the sky (not already there in a warehouse). That's what I meant when I wrote earlier: "There's no evidence to contradict the conclusion that Assad's forces were responsible for the recent attack."

We don't really "know" anything. The main sources on the incident are opposition (Al Qaeda-linked) rebels. The chief source is a former British doctor whose license was removed, who was charged with kidnapping British journalists in Syria.

Former British ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, also suggests the possibility that the videos were staged:


With regard to sarin, in the link to the article you posted there is a rebuttal in the comments section by an individual who identifies as a "CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) professional:"

Paveway IV - April 5, 2017

“…To date, all of the nerve agents used in the Syrian conflict have been binary chemical warfare agents…”
Curious how you’re so sure about this, Dan. Do you know personally if the Jobar FSA Sarin landmines that sickened/killed SAA troops were binary? How about the Sarin rockets in Kahn al-Assal the rebels used on the SAA? I mean, they certainly could have been, but the OPCW kind of ignored those, didn’t it? Don’t you mean to say that all the UN-destroyed Syrian stockpile, specifically, was binary?
And by ‘all’, you mean all one – Sarin. I have not heard any reports or confirmation of VX or any other nerve agent used in Syria (besides speculation), unless you know something we don’t. And we actually have no idea if Sarin was responsible for the deaths and injuries in Khan Sheikhoun. Once again (like East Ghouta) there seem to be many kinds of injuries and symptoms inconsistent with those know to accompany Sarin. Videos emphasize the small number of casualties exhibiting such symptoms, but they seem to be a remarkably small percentage overall. Nonetheless, I see Turkish Civil Defense chem teams showed up surprisingly early, almost like they expected the attack. I’m sure we’ll be presented with their ‘proof’ implicating Assad any time now.
“…Even assuming that large quantities of both Sarin precursors were located in the same part of the same warehouse (a practice that seems odd)…”
Odd for head-choppers? I didn’t know they were such safety nuts! They didn’t seem to have many worries about precursors close to each other in Jobar. I’m going out on a limb and assuming “in the same tunnel” qualifies as “close to each other”. The SAA seemed suitably terrified to find that – well, the ones that didn’t die and actually made it out of the tunnel.
“…an air-strike is not going to cause the production of large quantities of Sarin.”
Not large quantities, but the potential for *some*. And you surely know the consequences of methylphosphonyl DF exposure, right? Providing the head-choppers were making Sarin, which we don’t really know. Could have been some other nasty CW agent – not sure what their Turkish suppliers are sending over nowadays. There is no need to presume anything was mixed – the precursors (if there were any) are plenty toxic in their own right.
“…The US and USSR had devoted a huge effort to finding a way out of this problem…”
Binding the HF wasn’t the problem. It was removing the residual bound fluoride so the mixture was as pure as possible. A consideration for self-life and the small quantity a shell/rocket would hold. Head-choppers certainly wouldn’t have the same worries for a crude bomb or land mine. NATO, Israel and the USSR went to great effort to produce unary Sarin as pure as possible or binary Sarin as concentrated as possible through whatever method. That’s an entirely different engineering problem than just producing a sufficiently neutralized short shelf-life product.
“…Dropping a bomb on the binary components does not actually provide the correct mechanism for making the nerve agent. It is an infantile argument…”
Well, it’s a stretch, but once again you’re assuming binary Sarin. We have no idea at this point. But the mere suggestion of binary components mixing when the warehouse is bombed: ‘infantile’? What kind of CBRN snobbery is that?
“…Another issue is that, if the Syrian regime actually did believe that the warehouse stored chemical warfare agents, then striking it deliberately was an act of chemical warfare by proxy…”
Whaaa..? Didn’t you just say that the argument was infantile? And Russia is guilty, not your head-chopper pals? If you remember, there were people salivating at the though of the US unloading a few hundred cruise missiles at Assad’s CW facilities a while back. Would that have constituted CW use by proxy?
“…Are we to seriously believe that one of the rebel factions has expended the vast sums of money and developed this industrial base, somehow not noticed to date and not molested by attack?…”
Whoa… you led us down the path of “it must be binary Sarin” and now you’re saying that it necessarily must have been home-brewed by the head-choppers? No, sorry – it doesn’t work like that. Head-chopper-backers are MUCH more likely to have supplied the precursors, binary components or whatever. The head-choppers were packaging it in the warehouse, not manufacturing it from scratch by any stretch of the imagination. Why that argument is… oh, never mind.

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terp

Here's what pisses me off. She has advocated for countless bombings. She's advocating for bombings in that very video. Does she think that our bombs magically avoid innocent people?

She does not have very much respect for our intelligence.

tjohn said:

I'm glad HRC is not calling the shots on Syria. Apparently her love of intervention remains strong.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/...



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drummerboy

much as I hate to do this.....

would it be such a bad thing to bomb his airfields (civilian casualties at an air force would be minimal, relatively speaking) and cripple Assad's war-making capability?

Wouldn't the end result of such an attack be that more lives would inevitably be saved than if nothing were done?

Doesn't that make it worthwhile to try?


MSNBC is telling me right now that we've launched a bunch of cruise missiles at an airfield. 50 impacts.


terp said:

Here's what pisses me off. She has advocated for countless bombings. She's advocating for bombings in that very video. Does she think that our bombs magically avoid innocent people?

She does not have very much respect for our intelligence.
tjohn said:

I'm glad HRC is not calling the shots on Syria. Apparently her love of intervention remains strong.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/...




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conandrob240

and so it begins.


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terp

Methinks you should trust your instincts. Our track record is awful here. I'm not going to defend Assad, but the one thing I think is more horrifying than Assad is his opposition.

Not to mention, that we don't really know what happened. We really don't know what happened even in 2013. What we do know, is given the current situation, Assad would have to be among the dumbest world leaders in history(we're talking waaaay dumber than Trump) to use chemical weapons at this juncture. I mean its pretty close to unbelievable that he would do this right now.

So, we can drop yet more ordinance on this country. For me this attitude conjures up the words "It's different this time".

drummerboy said:

much as I hate to do this.....

would it be such a bad thing to bomb his airfields (civilian casualties at an air force would be minimal, relatively speaking) and cripple Assad's war-making capability?

Wouldn't the end result of such an attack be that more lives would inevitably be saved than if nothing were done?

Doesn't that make it worthwhile to try?




MSNBC is telling me right now that we've launched a bunch of cruise missiles at an airfield. 50 impacts.



terp said:

Here's what pisses me off. She has advocated for countless bombings. She's advocating for bombings in that very video. Does she think that our bombs magically avoid innocent people?

She does not have very much respect for our intelligence.
tjohn said:

I'm glad HRC is not calling the shots on Syria. Apparently her love of intervention remains strong.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/...






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conandrob240

I thought Obama asked for military action in 2013 but it was rejected by congress?

While Trump sucks, I don't know that I am opposed to military action against Syria. Sort of long overdue. Problem is from what we know of Trump, I have no confidence it's been very thoughtful or well planned out.

tjohn said:

Why would Obama not have seized upon this information given that Obama clearly was not interested in punishing Assad militarily?
paulsurovell said:

Some resources to help understand the current media/political stampede to war:


-- Robert Parry on the current media/rush to judgment:

https://consortiumnews.com/201...


-- Seymour Hersh debunked the 2013 CW accusations against Assad:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

-- The MIT Science Technology and Global Security Working Group debunked false technical data used to accuse Assad in 2013:

https://www.documentcloud.org/...




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terp

I might add for a supposedly freedom loving country, we sure do like killing people.


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terp

It's not long overdue.

conandrob240 said:

I thought Obama asked for military action in 2013 but it was rejected by congress?

While Trump sucks, I don't know that I am opposed to military action against Syria. Sort of long overdue. Problem is from what we know of Trump, I have no confidence it's been very thoughtful or well planned out.
tjohn said:

Why would Obama not have seized upon this information given that Obama clearly was not interested in punishing Assad militarily?
paulsurovell said:

Some resources to help understand the current media/political stampede to war:


-- Robert Parry on the current media/rush to judgment:

https://consortiumnews.com/201...


-- Seymour Hersh debunked the 2013 CW accusations against Assad:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

-- The MIT Science Technology and Global Security Working Group debunked false technical data used to accuse Assad in 2013:

https://www.documentcloud.org/...






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Art (ajc)

So many opinions; and so many experts... The world would be a much better place with more factual reporting, and fewer news pundits.


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terp

And fewer bombs and bullets

ajc said:

So many opinions; and so many experts... The world would be a much better place with more factual reporting, and fewer news pundits.



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conandrob240

No? How not long overdue?

terp said:

It's not long overdue.

conandrob240 said:

I thought Obama asked for military action in 2013 but it was rejected by congress?

While Trump sucks, I don't know that I am opposed to military action against Syria. Sort of long overdue. Problem is from what we know of Trump, I have no confidence it's been very thoughtful or well planned out.
tjohn said:

Why would Obama not have seized upon this information given that Obama clearly was not interested in punishing Assad militarily?
paulsurovell said:

Some resources to help understand the current media/political stampede to war:


-- Robert Parry on the current media/rush to judgment:

https://consortiumnews.com/201...


-- Seymour Hersh debunked the 2013 CW accusations against Assad:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

-- The MIT Science Technology and Global Security Working Group debunked false technical data used to accuse Assad in 2013:

https://www.documentcloud.org/...








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terp

We struck Syria over 12,000 times in 2016. I don't know how you define it, but dropping bombs seems a lot like military action.


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