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07 April 2017

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Babak Makkinejad

Harper:

I agree with your last paragraph.

The thing is, the much broader war will wreck Turkey and Saudi Arabia, if not Gulfies, all US allies and friends.

Just like the Shia-Sunni division is eroding the cohesion of the Gulfies.

Bill H

Well, Congressional approval was not needed because the attack was not war, it was punishment for Syria's use of Sarin gas. The NYT did admit, however that, "Syria could consider the attack to be an act of war."

No, of course I do not subscribe to that theory, and I find it hard to understand how Syria could consider it anything else. But even if one did buy the premise, a) before punishing someone, one must be sure that he did the misdeed for which you are punishing him and b) one must have the authority to issue the punishment.

If I think my neighbor stole my lawnmower, or have it on hearsay that he did so, can I go next door and put a hand grenade in his pants? I don't think so.

LondonBob

https://www.peoplespunditdaily.com/news/politics/2017/04/07/trump-weighs-replacing-loyalists-swamp-creatures/

One of the few journalist I will listen to on the Trump administration is Richard Baris. Says there is a power struggle and unfortunately the Bannon wing is losing. I still find it amazing Kushner, with his family's background, and Ivanka have such prominent roles, they seem ever present. I actually liked his son Don Jr, never see him interfering.

kooshy

"The Constitution has been further eroded,"

With all due respect, as a naturalized citizen of US, in my experience the most disrespectful of all to US constitution and what it stand for, have been the few past presidents of the US, ever since i became a naturalized citizen.

sid_finster

The Constitution has been a dead letter for a long time now. Were to God that things were otherwise.

Erika


Here are Valdai Club interpretation of the events.

http://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/three-goals-of-trump-s-airstrike-in-syria/

turcopolier

BillH

It was not an act of war? No? Then what the hell was it? There is not a state of war between Syria and the US. There has been no declaration of war and as Senators Paul and Kaine point out, the present AUMF does not authorize acts of war against the Syrian government. Nor are there authorizing UN Resolutions for such an action. IOW this was an illegal attack both in international and US law. pl

Stephanie

David Ignatius outdoes himself:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-faces-a-moral-test-in-syria/2017/04/06/bea8bdde-1aee-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2_story.html?utm_term=.b8ff320087b6

"Even for a president who advertised his coldblooded pragmatism, the moral dimensions of leadership find a way of penetrating the Oval Office. In the case of President Trump, the emotional distance seems to have been shattered by simple, indelible images of suffering children in Idlib, Syria."

Mikey

Other than the relative scale of it, how is this any different than Pearl Harbor?

Priam's Crazy Daughter

Well, it's not as if my generation didn't have to fight an "undeclared war."

Please don't think I agree with this action by Trump. I am just plain tired of this sort of behavior on the part of the executive branch, no matter which party is in control lately.

Booby

Turcopolier

About 25 years ago I was in the office of a senior EUCOM flag for a private meeting when his red phone range. He asked if I could move to the outer office for a moment. When he ushered me back into his office, he apologized saying, "Sorry, I just had to approve another bombing of country that we are not at war with."

I don't think that we've been to war since WW-II. Only had police actions, conflicts, etc. We've invaded, occupied, bombed & droned around the world, all in the name of peace. We've used a lot of our blood & treasure creating this Pax Americana and have left trails of blood & devastation.

Poor Syria. What will we leave behind this time?

turcopolier

Booby

The undeclared wars that you are talking about were just about all covered by some kind of law. This one was not. pl

The Beaver

@ LondonBob

They want to be the political couple in addition to be socialites in NY and Palm Beach. Jared is working his wife since she knows how to get her father to comply to her demands and wishes: that is, sit at the table with the big boys and girls - from Justin to Angela to the Saudi dauphin and most probably at the G7 /G20 meetings
Check this
http://http//taskandpurpose.com/jared-kushner-iraq-storybook-pictures/
Bibi and AIPAC are loving it

turcopolier

PCD

If you are referring to VN, the authorization was contained in the Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed by the US Congress as well as the annual appropriations voted for the war by the US Congress. And then of course we were requested by the sovereign state of South Vietnam to assist them. The sovereign state of Syria has not invited the US to do anything. pl

bj


Linked is a thorough and excellent analysis by Denis O'Brien, neuroscientist, of the Shajul Islam video that was released 10 hours after the 'attack' on Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday. This vid apparently was much used by the MSM in their cries of "Sarin!"

Opening paragraph:

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

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

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

divadab

"how is this any different than Pearl Harbor?"

Really? Pearl Harbor was US territory, right? Bombed by a hostile foreign power. Which US territory did Syria bomb?

Give your head a shake.

HankP

I was the biggest Trump supporter. From the get go. I campaigned really hard, gave a lot of time and money, and tried to persuade people why Trump is the candidate America needs. Today I threw away my 5 Trump shirts, my Inauguration paraphernalia, my Trump Presidency coins, et al. I feel like a fool. I am now more anti-Trump than Michael Moore and Ashley Judd on bath salts. I want this orange bastard impeached. #NeverTrump.

Fred

Bill H,

Where in the constitution is that authorization?

bj

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

optimax

Kooshy

So it's your fault.

kao_hsien_chih

One reason that we elect presidents, rather than emperors or "dictators" (in the Roman sense), used to be that we can consider presidents to be bound by laws, while we can only rely on the "good character" of the emperors and dictators as the latter are beyond the law. Somewhere in the past couple of decades, we seem to have crossed that line: I am not sure if any of us should be surprised at this sudden turn of events, if indeed, Trump is "Emperor Trump"--he can change his mind if and when he wants to and no one, other than himself, can keep him in check. Hardly a knock on Trump: he was, after all, running against a madwoman who vowed to do exactly this with all sincerity.

The real "solution," and the only solution I think, to this mess is to, first, try to rebuild the legal framework that limits abuse of power for whatever purpose, and, more importantly, try to place in high office(s), not just presidency, but all public offices of import, with those who recognize the import of keeping their power constrained, not try to blind the masses with the allure of "the right thing." The latter will be a challenge: we are too much drawn to the dangerous image of a crusader, a Mr. Smith, who will "do the right thing and will let no law stand in the way." I'm talking about politicians of all stripes. If we give up the law for a little bit of righteousness, we shall soon have neither, as Franklin would tell us.

JohnH

Now we know how WWIII may start. First, stage an atrocity. Second, if Trump doesn't respond immediately, accuse him of being weak...like Obama. Being perceived as weak is not tolerable for Trump. He will attack.

McCain, neocons, Israelis, and liberal interventionists now know how to play Trump...the Syrian gas attack might have been the trial run.

Virginia Slim

This strike is being portrayed as a snap decision based on media coverage of a single "attack" -- is that credible? In the weeks before last night's events, Trump met w/ the king of KSA, the president of Egypt and the king of Jordan (the latter was in town with the putative attack took place). What do those three fellows have in common? Their nations are the backbone of the old US-Sunni alliance (viz. after 8 years of "Iran first" policy in the ME, "Trump is getting the band back together!") One imagines that the current state of play in Syria was a top topic of conversation in each of those dialogues.

So, this "attack" happens and Tillerson chides both Russia AND Iran for failing to properly pull their puppet's strings. So, this "attack" happens and lo and behold, look who's due in town. President Xi! How convenient that he could be here to witness this show of resolve just as POTUS needs to sit down and have a talk about North Korea. You'll recall that just last week, SecDef Mattis very publicly identified DPRK as the most pressing NatSec concern facing the US, e.g.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/defense-sec-james-mattis-north-korea-has-got-be-stopped-n740966

Additionally, one should not overlook the largely symbolic bit of news that appeared on Wednesday (D-1): Steve Bannon, he of the "America First! No wars of choice!" was very publicly (and again, largely symbolically) removed from NSC. What's the point of such a story? Well, it's a signal of course, and I imagine the folks who get paid to watch for such things knew that it meant the pivot had come.

To sum up, this seems to have been a well-planned and well thought-out operation. And bugger all if doesn't have strategic coherence to boot. PRC and RF will be brought under enormous pressure to act as internationally responsible hegemons.

Will it work? Hell, who knows.

b

Trump has established a mechanism for al-Qaeda to "call for help" just like the Israelis have done on the Golan (al-Qaeda lobs mortar towards Israel, Israel hits SAA).
Now:
- When under military pressure ..
- hoax some "chemical weapon" incident ..
- produce pictures and vids that will impress Trump ..
- have the U.S. dropping on your enemy.
Rinse. Repeat.

It took some 10 weeks for the deep state to domesticate Trump. I hadn't expected that he would be so easy to defeat. He will love the role for now. Strutting like Bush on that aircraft carrier. When the inevitable "blow back" comes, asymmetrical and harsh, he will again be the bad boy, be hated and hate it.
---
The Russian's say that this attack was planned some time ago - way before the incident. Is there a point that one can fix when exactly?

Farmer Don

Here is Nassim Taleb's take on the attack.

"An offer very hard to refuse
There is this formidable scene in the Godfather when a Hollywood executive wakes up with the bloody severed head of a horse in his bed, his cherished race horse."

https://medium.com/incerto/facta-non-verba-how-to-own-your-enemies-ea79a34c9c49

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