Syria: Another Regime Change?

Since the gas attack and the subsequent missile attack the chants of “Assad must go” have amplified….and the ever popular….”Assad’s days are numbered”…these are nothing more than cute slogans and one liners…..

I tried to give my reader my take on what “regime change” would look like for Syria…….

Source: What’s The Syrian Endgame? – In Saner Thought

Let’s say that we have success with a Syrian regime change….(wait!  I need to stop laughing)…..really….what are the options that the “leaders” are considering for this mythical regime change?

Beyond the narrow justification of these strikes as being necessary to reinforce an eroding international norm against the use of chemical weapons, this U.S. military intervention has resurfaced questions concerning the ultimate strategy that the Trump Administration is pursuing in Syria.  Before the strikes, senior administration officials including Secretary of State (SecState) Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Halley suggested that U.S. policy would abandon even the pretense of President Barack Obama’s objective of ousting Assad from power in Damascus[3].  However, in the aftermath of the strikes, the Trump Administration signaled an apparent about-face as National Security Advisor (NSA) Herbert Raymond “H. R.” McMaster declared that U.S. policy in Syria would “simultaneously” pursue the twin goals of destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and removing Assad[4].  While the fight against ISIS is making significant progress, the administration has not yet articulated a detailed strategy for pursuing the ouster of Assad.  There are two broad options available:

Source: U.S. Options for Regime Change in Syria | RealClearDefense

Sorry but I may offer an opinion neither of these two options will hold the key to a successful regime change.

Look at Iraq…..that alone should deter these toads from either of the two options….In the post referenced above from IST I set forth what the future of Syria will look like.

I wish I could be more optimistic, you see I have lived in Syria many years ago and I liked the country and the people, there is not much left in the country for a successful transition to democracy.

I am positive that Syria can bounce back from this Hell….but not so with the way the US is approaching the problem…..and for now that is all there is….

Let’s Debate Syria

Yesterday in class a student requested a substantive talk on the Syrian situation….and since I encourage my students to research a situation I decided to closed down my lesson for a half hour to have a debate on Syria….( I have the power)…..

The young lady started with that she understood why we were in Syria but was confused why so many people compare it to Iraq.  She was not sure why.

I spent about 10 minutes explaining the mash up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq…that apparently it was started on lies.

She then asked if not doing something in the face of humanitarian crisis would have been the right thing……I asked her she was talking about non-intervention….she was…..after about 5 minutes of back and forth I asked her where she had got her info for the questions….

This is the report that she had read…….

It’s remarkable just how little the basic contours of the Syria debate have changed, despite more than five years of brutal civil war. The same perceptions and misperceptions about intervention dominate today. In some ways, they are even worse now because of the distorting figure of President Donald Trump. Is it possible to separate one’s feelings about the man from the recognition that he is, whether we like it or not, our commander-in-chief?

Source: A practical guide for avoiding fallacies on Syria | Brookings Institution

After we talked for awhile longer and I told her that Brookings did some good research and papers….but that they have an agenda….like most think tanks….they say they are non-partisan but most consider them a liberal think tank…in so it has been known to change views depending of politics…..that it is a good place to start but not to end.

I decide to forgo the lesson plan for the day and to talk to the class about Syria…in the headlines but few know why…..

Below is a good synopsis…..

As the Syrian conflict enters its seventh year, more than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, more than a million injured and over 12 million Syrians – half the country’s prewar population – have been displaced from their homes.

In 2011, what became known as the Arab Spring revolts toppled Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Source: Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning | News | Al Jazeera

After 5 years and an all out assault on a Syrian airbase……what should come next?

Whether one believes they were the long-overdue response to the Syrian regime’s brutality, a one-off event that will not affect the conflict’s trajectory, a risky step that could prompt military escalation or all of the above, the 7 April U.S. missile strikes on Syria’s Shayrat air base in response to the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons should be seized upon as an opportunity to jumpstart diplomatic efforts. The strikes have heightened tension between Moscow and Washington. Yet, this added volatility and the risks attached to it could and should prompt more serious pursuit by the two countries of their purportedly common interest: de-escalating violence sufficiently to establish a meaningful political track. This can be best achieved by deepening rather than breaking off U.S.-Russian cooperation.

Source: Syria after the U.S. Strike: What Should Come Next | Crisis Group

I have said a couple of times that I am disturbed on how the media has framed this…..they are basically a cheerleader for military action…..and has uplifted Trump from “Dud to Dude”……

It is pretty amazing how quickly the media and suck-up politicians can transform a mendacious, hypocritical, amateurish, ignorant, incoherent, bigoted buffoon who is way, way out of his depth into a man of courage, which is what they did to President Trump this past weekend. All it takes is some saber rattling and launching a few dozen missiles. Granted, the Trump brand is already so tarnished that he didn’t get the bounce or the adulation that the Bushes, pere and fils, got when they began their wars. According to one poll, only 51 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s action, but given that Trump’s favorability rating has hovered around or even south of 40 percent, this is an improvement.

Source: Why Trump Was Able to Sucker the World on Syria | By Neal Gabler | Common Dreams

Trump has drawn his little line in the sand (the problem with those lines is a wind blows up and they disappear) and all the king’s boyz have had their say on Syria….but really what is next?

Since World War II, every war America started without just cause it lost. Vietnam and the second Iraq War are tragic proof of this conclusion. But America also failed when it intervened with military force for similarly flawed reasons. The reasons are obvious. First, America failed to exercise sound strategic thinking and judgment. Second, America lacked sufficient knowledge and understanding of conditions in which force was used.

In other terms, White Houses never answered the fatal “what next?” question. Congresses never demanded answers. And the public was too often disengaged and disinterested to demand accountability.

Source: Does America ever learn? What next in Syria? – UPI.com

All in all a good session in class…..BTW the young lady that started the class down this path will be getting a favorable grade for showing initiative on the Syria situation…..(I need more like her)……

According To Law…..Was It Legal?

Since the attack there has been international outcry saying that the attack was a violation of international law…I am writing about that issue here today….

The first “Press” is from the site of a regular visitor to IST….Green Road Journal…….

According to the Syrian News Agency SANA, the US led Coalition has carried out targeted airstrikes against a chemical weapons depot in Hatla, east of Deir Ezzor. The depot is held by ISIS-Daesh terrorists:
The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the aircrafts of the so-called “US-led International Alliance” on Wednesday between the hour 17:30 and 17:50 carried out an airstrike against a position of ISIS terrorists that includes a large number of foreign mercenaries in the village of Hatla to the east of Deir Ezzor, causing a white cloud that became yellow as a result of the explosion of a huge store that includes a large amount of toxic materials.

Source: Trump’s Missile Attack On Syria; Mass Media Ignores Truth, Morality, Legality And Verifiable Facts, Most Had Orgasmic Reaction To Shooting Off Hard Upright Missiles In Tubes; War Drums Beating, Military Industrial Complex Celebrating | A Green Road Journal

Next is from a major site…Politico….they defend the attack as a legal response….

“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” argued President Donald Trump during his statement justifying last Thursday’s U.S. missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military. Since then, his decision has faced withering scrutiny, particularly on legal grounds. Critics, from Russia to some members of Congress, have argued the military action was an illegal violation of Syria’s sovereignty. “Whatever it is,” tweeted Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith in response to a question about what the legal justification for the strike was, “it exceeds all prior precedents under domestic and international law.” Use of chem weapons is horrific,” tweeted ACLU national security lawyer Hina Shamsi, “but Trump’s military action violates Constitution & U.N. charter. No legit domestic or international law basis.”

Source: Why Trump’s Attack on Syria Is Legal – POLITICO Magazine

I have given as many posts as possible on this action….I want my reader to be as well informed as anyone……they will decide the validity of this attack.

I still am wondering why NO one and I mean NO ONE is asking the question about the number of missiles fired and the damage done to the airfield….this “attack” does not pass the smell test…..neither the action or the reaction can pass the test.

A Drive-By Tomahawking

I has been a week since the US attacked the Syrian airfield….and the analysis is still going on……personally, I want answers and I believe that most of my readers do also (but I could be mistaken for some want to believe).

Since the attack by the US on the Syrian airfield I have been trying to give all sides of the debate…..this is a piece I found on the Libertarian Institute website.

On Friday, the fact-checking organization weighed in on the legal debate over President Trump’s April 6 bombing of a Syrian airfield, with two essays concluding it was A-OK, constitutionally. “In some cases, people saying Trump needed congressional approval have gone too far” Politifact’s Lauren Carroll pronounces. For instance, Rep. Marc Pocan’s (D-WI) claim that there’s “no legal basis” for the strikes rates a full-on, needle-in-the-red “FALSE” on P-fact’s patented “Truth-o-Meter.” Tom Kertscher of Politifact Wisconsin asserts that: “For limited military activities like the missile strike, presidents can send in forces without approval from Congress.” You see, while the president may not have the legal authority to unilaterally launch a full-scale war, he can—if he thinks it’s a good idea, and assures himself it won’t bog us down—order up acts of war that don’t rise to the level of war: a light dusting of cruise missiles—a micro-aggression, constitutionally speaking.

Source: Weak Legal Pretext for Trump’s Drive-By Tomahawking – The Libertarian Institute

But with all the info available was this strike necessary?

Knowing that the evidence refuted the claim that the Syrian Air Force was responsible for the April 4, 2017 chemical nerve agent attack, the National Security Council (NSC) manufactured a false claim that intelligence actually supported [President Donald J. Trump’s] decision to attack Syria, and…to accuse Russia of being either complicit or a participant in an alleged atrocity,” according to Theodore A. Postol, an MIT Professor of Science , Technology and National Security, who has previously served as a scientific adviser to the Chief of Naval Operations.

Postol’s conclusions were set forth in three successive reports. In the first, the renowned scientist concluded that the photographic evidence of a bomb crater relied upon by the White House does not support the conclusion “the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it was dropped from a plane.” To the contrary, the evidence “clearly indicates that the munition was almost certainly placed on the ground with an explosive on top of it that crushed the container so as to disperse the alleged load of sarin.

Source: MIT Scientist: “White House Lied, Manufactured Evidence to Justify Tomahawk Missile Strike.” – LA Progressive

I believe the only way that we can have a overview of the situation is to check out all sides of the debate….

The missiles used were Tomahawk missiles….and according to most reports all 59 did not hit their target, there is a bit of confusion on just how many……but this then leads us to ask….if the missiles were not that accurate or were somehow intercepted then just how effective can they be?

While researching (something everyone should do before they voice an ignorant opinion) I found a Defense site that questions the Tomahawks existence….

As the U.S. military prepares to do combat in an increasingly threatening and competitive global arena, the Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile may not be “the weapons system solution for the future,” the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said April 13.

“I think we have to decide what’s next after Tomahawk,” said Air Force Gen. Paul Selva at an Air Force Association breakfast in Arlington, Virginia. “My gut tells me, as I look at the requirements a decade or more out, that a subsonic, non-stealthy, low-maneuvering, unitary warhead may not be the answer.”

Source: Senior Pentagon Official Casts Doubt on Tomahawk Missiles Future

I will admit that I do hold some of the same beliefs on foreign policy as the Libertarians…..I do have a problem with their domestic stuff so they are out as far as support during elections…..some politicos need to embrace their issues on foreign policy but as it is today we have NO opposition to continuous war….the voices that are there are sidelined by accusations and innuendo perpetrated by the MSM.

Please let me know what you think about this situation.

Syria:  A Multi-Level Analysis

This latest attack by the US on Syrian soil has many components…..I try to give my reader as many aspects of the raid as I can possibly find…..

Below is an analysis from WND (not a usual source for me…they tend to rely too heavily on conspiracy bullshit to be accurate)….I include this because it is another look at the raid and I feel that all sides need to be presented and in doing so the reader will find the info he/she needs to make a valid observation.

It is a lengthy report….but well worth the time to read it….some interesting points were made….some not so interesting……

Information Clearing House” –  “The Saker” – The latest US cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase is an extremely important event in so many ways that it is important to examine it in some detail.  I will try to do this today with the hope to be able to shed some light on a rather bizarre attack which will nevertheless have profound consequences.  But first, let’s begin by looking at what actually happened.

Source: A Multi-level Analysis of the US attack on Syria

Please let me state again….this is FYI and does not mean in any way that I endorse the findings…..I believe there is NO such thing as “Too Much Information”…..

Is Gas Worth The Price?

America’s latest attack on Syria was a result of the supposed use of Sarin gas by Assad on the local population…….the US called it a humanitarian response….a punishment for the use of the gas Sarin.

We have had all sorts of info come out about the attack…the reason, the result, the excuse……pics have been released about the gas attack results and pics about the result of the missile attack on the Syrian airfield…..but so far I have seen nothing that would be proof positive of the attack and who committed it…..

I have been researching the intel (the intel available to us mere mortals, that is) and I found some interesting articles that my readers may find informative…..

But I have found a few pieces about the gas and the intel……

A four-page white paper, prepared by President Trump’s National Security Council staff and released by the White House on Tuesday, claimed that U.S. intelligence has proof that the plane carrying the sarin gas left from the Syrian military airfield that Trump ordered hit by Tomahawk missiles on April 6.

The paper asserted that “we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence,” but then added that “we cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack due to the need to protect sources and methods.”

Source: Trump Withholds Syria-Sarin Evidence – Consortiumnews

I believe the sources were revealed….sigint and geospatial sources…..

Then there is this “white paper”…..does not really give much in the way of proof…..

I am responding to your distribution of what I understand is a White House statement claiming intelligence findings about the nerve agent attack on April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. My understanding from your note is that this White House intelligence summary was released to you sometime on April 11, 2017.

I have reviewed the document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria at roughly 6 to 7 a.m. on April 4, 2017.

Source: The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – The Unz Review

As long as I am writing about a sarin attack I thought that you guys could profit from a knowledge of what a sarin bomb attack entails…..

The recent chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun in Syria is alleged by witnesses to have been delivered by an air-dropped bomb.  The purpose of this article is to systematically break down a Sarin bomb into its components and analyse what happens to them.  This first part addresses the contents of the bomb and how these components interact with the environment.

What’s in an air-dropped Sarin bomb? A Sarin bomb will contain more than just Sarin.

Source: bellingcat – Anatomy of a Sarin Bomb Explosion (Part I) – bellingcat

I will post “part 2” when it becomes available……

I hope that that this information is helpful to those that are, like me, looking for answers.

Syria: Thus Spake “MSM”

My regulars know that I do not like nor trust the Mainstream Media (MSM) with the news of the day.  And the incident with the missiles and the Syrian airfield are no different.

The MSM has been a cheerleader for the warmongers for decades…..and this most recent missile strike is no different……even the great Brian Williams sounded giddy when the attack occurred…..it was just sick…..

Amazing how fast Trump went from “dud” to “dude” and all it took was a couple of missiles.

Below is a list of the top news sources that have done nothing but cheer lead the attack……

Five major US newspapers—the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News—offered no opinion space to anyone opposed to Donald Trump’s Thursday night airstrikes. By contrast, the five papers ran a total of 18 op-eds, columns or “news analysis” articles (dressed-up opinion pieces) that either praised the strikes or criticized them for not being harsh enough:

Source: Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes–Zero Are Critical | FAIR

NO negative PR from the leaders in news….go figure.

Plus the same media is leading the calls for escalation in Syria……

The mainstream U.S. media now reports as “flat-fact” the Syrian government’s guilt in the April 4 chemical weapons incident, but the real facts are less clear and some point in the opposite direction.

Historian and journalist Stephen Kinzer has said, “Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press.” This past week’s coverage of the April 4 chemical-weapons incident in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun will only add to that dubious legacy.

Across the mainstream U.S. news media, there was almost no skepticism shown and virtually no differences of opinion allowed. Within hours, the rush to judgment that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was guilty had solidified into a full-scale groupthink.

Source: How Media Bias Fuels Syrian Escalation – Consortiumnews

Please do not rely on the MSM for your opinions….especially when it may involve the use of American troops…..read for yourselves….research for yourselves…..educate yourselves.

War is too important to allow others to form your opinions for you…..