As each day passes the conflict and war in Syria is looking more and more like a chapter in a story from America’s past.
After the attack on America on September 11, 2001, in 2003, then President G.W. Bush claimed that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and so we engaged in war. The main premise for the war was that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that these were at risk of falling into the hands of terrorists. Today, violent Salafists from Syria and elsewhere have swept through the Sunni areas of Iraq, routing the Iraqi army, seizing important cities and declaring an Islamist caliphate. Some 4,486 American service personnel were killed and more than thirty thousand wounded. Total cost of that war, over $2 trillion.
Then, 10 years later in 2013, the sarin gas attack in Syria occurred and Western officials and the news media blamed Assad’s government. But according to the Cato Institute, they did so even though the actual source of the 2013 attack remains uncertain, and in fact some evidence still points to a “false flag” operation by Islamist rebels with the covert assistance of Turkey’s government.
It’s hard to understand the whole Syrian conflict, especially when there is so much confusion about who’s fighting who and why. Ezra Klein’s video simplifies the confusion and conflict in Syria:
See what I mean? Early on, the U.S. supported Syrian rebels. Then, Assad “allegedly” used chemical weapons in 2014. Russia came in and supported Assad and ISIS broke away from Al Qaeda. What shortly followed, Turkey bombed the Kurds. Then, the U.S. worked with Turkey against ISIS. Russia came back to assist Assad, who then took Aleppo. Now again, we have a return to chemical weapons being used in Syria, but the real question is by whom?
We were against ISIS, then we were against Assad. It seems we have now funded and/or attacked both sides – Assad and ISIS. It’s confusing, isn’t it? Hence, the question remains, “Whose side are we on? And who are we really fighting?”
As part of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Syria became a member of back in October 14, 2013, they agreed to destroy they agreed to destroy all of their chemical weapons or 100 % of all their Category 1 chemical weapons within 10 years of the agreement and destroy all stockpiles within 15 years. The framework agreement states that Syria’s CW material and equipment—making no distinction between Category 1 CW and the other categories—are to be destroyed “in first half of 2014.”
Of course we know that didn’t happen. But then again, there are no real repercussions against anyone in the CWC, because it all comes down to goverance by the UN. However, we all remember President G.W. Bush, the Iraq War and WMD. Need I say more?
In 2015, Obama took credit for a “deal” brokered between Syria and Russia in which Assad agreed to turn over his stockpile of the deadly chemicals for destruction by the U.S. and Russia.
Democrats hailed the deal and Secretary of State John Kerry crowed, “We struck a deal where we got a hundred percent of the chemical weapons out.”
“Right now, Bashar al-Assad doesn’t have a declared chemical weapon stockpile,” Josh Earnest said in September 2015.
Oh, really? So al-Assad doesn’t have a “declared” stockpile, but what about the “undeclared” stockpiles?
It was reported that Assad again used chemical weapons in 2015 in violation of the agreement, Obama reaffirmed his claim by stating that the stockpile had been destroyed, claiming that the chlorine gas used in them was not “part of the deal.” In other words, what Obama really meant to say was, “it’s O.K. folks, because we didn’t say anything about Assad using chlorine gas to attack people, we only negotiated against sarin gas.
That brings us to the current situation. Last week, the United States was once again made aware of Syria’s use of “chemical weapons”. But before anyone could really verify any certainty of it’s use by Assad, a drone was used to bomb the hospital where Syrian victims are being treated.
It seems obvious to some, that President Trump’s cabinet and administration were in disagreement about the force to use against Syria. Afterall, Trump campaigned on the statement and promised he would not get involved in Syria.
However, the Syrian conflict is an interesting scenario to follow.
President Obama used Susan Rice to “unmask” the names in the Trump administration almost a year before the election. Then, right before leaving office, Obama asks for information or intel to be shared among all of the agencies. More agencies, more information, the harder to pinpoint any “leaks”.
Then, Trump’s campaign advisor and appointed National Security Advisor, US Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, became “unmasked” with ties to Russia. President Trump on Monday afternoon announced his selection of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to fill the post, one week after the president fired Michael Flynn for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
TGP reported yesterday that McMaster is said to be working behind the scenes with Petraeus to put troops on the ground in Syria, a foreign policy decision that many say is a “U turn” fromTrump’s previous claims of how he would handle the Syrian conflict.
Next up, is Steve Bannon, another Conservative advisor to President Trump. Back in February, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice urged Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to get rid of a national security wing led by Bannon.
“Hope you will be able to choose your team, have direct reporting and daily access to POTUS, and can eliminate Strategic Initiatives Group,” Ms. Rice wrote in a congratulatory note to Lt. Gen. McMaster on Twitter.
The Strategic Initiatives Group was a layer of the White House National Security Council that was led by Bannon. Strategic Initiatives Group was reportedly an internal White House “think tank” set up to influence President Trump. Bannon was removed from the National Security Council on April 5th.
A third surprise! K.T. McFarland was a Deputy National Security advisor to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. McFarland was recently “offered” the role of ambassador to Singapore in the Trump administration. The timing is just awkward. First Flynn, then Bannon, now K.T. McFarland. What do all three of these Trump advisers have in common? They were all against escalating U.S. involvement in Syria.
What’s with the sudden “U Turn” in staying out of Syria? Is it a coincidence that Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist was removed from the National Security Council on the very same day Trump turned on Assad? Bannon was a champion of ‘America First’.
In 2013, K.T. McFarland credited Putin with offering Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry “a way out of the mess they’d created” with a proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. McFarland went on to say “the world knows that Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize” for saving “the world from near-certain disaster.”
As Mike Cernovich, who first released the news on Susan Rice as the “unmasking” source stated: “This is appalling, really. This is unbelievable. This is not what we voted for. This is definitely not what we voted for.”
We have now been on both sides of the Syrian War or conflict – simultaneously helping both tribes while attacking both tribes. Again, the question remains, “Whose side are we on and who are we fighting?”
When you have neo-con senators, like Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham, who have repeatedly called for an invasion of Syria, suddenly heaping praise on Trump, you begin to wonder about the decisions that are being made. These are the same senators who “cheered” when Muammar Gaddafi was taken out in Libya and look at the results of that fiasco. Libya is now a failed state and a sanctuary for ISIS. It is also the jumping off point for millions of migrants who fled to Europe reaping havoc across that continent.
President Trump ordered the total destruction of the instruments of the chemical attack – the military base, the airstrips, the hangars and the aircraft used to deploy the deadline Sarin gas on innocent people.
But let’s look at some of the other players involved in the Syrian conflict. Turkey in the past supported the Islamic State as a counterweight to the Kurds.
It is still openly supporting ‘moderate’ Islamist rebel groups in Syria, who claim to have monitored the chemical attack and will gain most if the accusations against Assad are accepted as truth and if America intervenes militarily.
So then you have to ask again, who’s to gain most if the accusations against Assad are accepted and American military sends 150,000 troops on the ground to Syria? Probably the Islamist rebel groups.
These Islamist rebels opposing Assad have been fighting on the front lines of one of the most brutal civil wars in modern times.
They have committed the most horrendous human rights violations against both their military opponents and civilians, and now they are in retreat and desperate.
Through their propaganda channels, they falsely claim, on a weekly basis, that they have been the “victims” of Assad-orchestrated chemical attacks, in order to garner support and publicity in the West.
Not surprisingly, Iran and Hezbollah support Assad, while Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Sunni states have backed the rebels.
The U.S. defeated Saddam Hussein, and ISIS filled the vacuum that was left when Obama removed all US presence. Hence what followed, the country was turned over to the the rebels and ISIS have since been attempting to form a caliphate.
Again, why the sudden “U Turn” of the Trump administration? Whose side is America on and who are we really fighting? The answer is as clear as mud.
On the other hand, if President Trump just wanted to send a message to the world – especially China and N. Korea – that if you use chemical weapons….THIS is what will happen! YOU will pay a price! It seems to me that sending 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria is a clear message for anyone.
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