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07 April 2017

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Sam Peralta

"I am told that McMaster successfully argued for the smallest strike package among the three options offered."

Col. Lang, would it then imply that McMaster is no Dempsey? Or Trump just didn't care enough to get the facts before acting?

turcopolier

Sam Peralta

Dempsey was CJCS. McMaster is NS Adviser, a member of Trump's staff, unconfirmed by the senate and subject to dismissal at any time. pl

Sam Peralta

Thank you, Sir. OK, Dempsey had the statutory office and consequently could go public with the scoop of the falsity of Ghouta.

It looks Russian PM and former President Medvedev has his finger on the crux of the matter.

"...the U.S. president has proved with his military action both his lack of originality and his extreme dependence on the opinion of the Washington establishment, which sharply criticized the new president’s inauguration speech. Immediately after his election, I knew everything would depend on how quickly the existing machine could crush Trump’s campaign promises. It took two and a half months…”

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/the-campaign-fog-is-lifted-russian-prime-minister-says-donald-trump-is-done-57672

FB Ali

It isn't just Syria. The crazies are now trying to go after Russia.

I see that CNN is mounting a campaign to blame Russia for the chemical attack. While Nikki Haley merely blamed Russia for not 'supervising' the Syrians properly, CNN says that the Russians were present at the Shayrat airbase and thus knew what was going to be done. Thus, they are complicit in the CW attack.

Having discovered that Trump can be 'turned on' by the CW button, the Borg is now trying to use that button to get him to authorise action against the Russians.

There appears to be a serious epidemic of insanity in Washington!

BTW, Tel has posted on the Publius Tacitus thread a link to a tweet which apparently indicates that a "journalist" called Feras Karam talked at 2 in the night about the "chemical attack", which is supposed to have taken place next morning!

The tweet is at http://tinyurl.com/lnxsrmm

kao_hsien_chih

ancient archer,

I was thinking something similar, then decided that it sounded too conspiratorial and clever by half at this stage. If the attack was a loud nothing (a lot of missiles, great big noise, but not much at the other end...especially if the Russians knew what was coming long before), it would be a terrific thing to publicly shut up the warmongers for now, but, one could imagine that they could play the same game and up the ante, to see if Trump follows up. Even if it were a fakeout, it would take a real leader to climb back down from the precipice to which Trump will almost certainly be pushed. We shall see what Trump is made of soon enough, as well as how crazy the warmongers really are.

Sam Peralta

Your thesis may well be the case. But once you feed the beast, it will demand more. Its appetite is ravenous.

IMO, he should have used this fakery as a club to beat and discredit the Borg and all the warmongers. He would have kept his base. Now he's lost trust as they feel betrayed. Just review his tweets from 2013 on this topic. And his tweets when the Ghouta "red line" was crossed. He should have followed his own advice from then.

Fred

Anonymous,

If he's going to sink a carrier to send a message the USS Intrepid makes a much better target. Especially at 4am on a Sunday morning. Nobody dies and all the people and TV cameras and ambassadors to the UN get to see just how capable of defending the Republic the armed forces are. It will give some current meaning to the phrase "the city that never sleeps".

Yeah, Right

Doug, this is not just a US phenomenon. As far as I know not one single country has "declared war" since the end of World War Two.

That isn't just bloody-mindedness, or even laziness. There are sound reasons under International Law why nobody declares war any more.

It is this: the UN Charter in Article 2(4) says that "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations"

That precludes a country from "declaring war", since the legal effect of doing that is to declare that you are choosing to go to war with whoever it is that is pissing you off.

You can still fight a war, of course. Article 52 of the Charter acknowledges that. But the war has to be forced on you, you can't choose to go to war.

So rather than a Declaration of War the Congress votes the President a AUMF, which satisfies the Constitutional requirements of the USA without violating Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

Legal stuff, I know, I know. Pfffffft.

But it is important enough that every state has observed that legal nicety i.e. regardless of what the domestic legal requirements are - or however hard you intend to sink the boot into the bad-guy - you simply don't "declare war" on him.

You just thump him, even as you insist that he started it.

turcopolier

Yeah, Right

That is why we have an AUMF and not a declaration of war. You seem to be Israeli. Your country just attacks without interest in the niceties of law. pl

turcopolier

Sam Peralta

Dempsey DID NOT go public. He told Obama privately and that was enough. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I agree, this is like putting lip stick on a pig.

"I cannot take it any more from the New York Times, find me a country to bomb,; pronto."

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think you can scare Xi or the Chinese. They will take counter measures that US and the Western Fortress will not like but will have to live with those consequences.

Likewise for Russia, Iran and others.

In 1991, after the defeat of Saddam Hussein, North Koreans took their artillery South and proceeded to take Seoul hostage. And now they evidently have taken Tokyo hostage too.

US is pinned down in Northeast Asia, in Afghanistan, in the Persian Gulf, in the Horn of Africa, in the Levant, in North Africa, and in the Baltic Sea.

I personally do not see any upside in any of this for the United States, but then I am a Beige Foreigner with limited amount of cognitive capacity.

Yeah, Right

"That is why we have an AUMF and not a declaration of war."

Yes, that's what I said: a AUMF satisfies the requirements of US domestic law without violating the prohibition in International Law on using military force to get your way.

That we agree on that score is gratifying.

"You seem to be Israeli."

I have no idea how you came to that conclusion.

You must have access to my IP address, and a simple tracert should show you that I am about as far from Israel as it is possible to be and still be on Planet Earth.

"Your country just attacks without interest in the niceties of law."

Well, yes, it does. But it does so on the coat-tails of the USA, not because it comes up with the idea on its own.

Unlike Israel, which I agree has no interest in the niceties of international law.

But I have no tribal loyalties towards Israel, and nothing but contempt for Zionism, and I have no idea why you would think otherwise.


Tel

"No way he was taken in by the fake chem attack propaganda. But he has paid back the fakers in their own coin! A fake attack on Syria in response to a fake chemical attack propaganda. Bravo!!"

I hope that's true. It sounds overly optimistic but if you are right then I will be the first to congratulate you and Trump.

"Your thesis may well be the case. But once you feed the beast, it will demand more. Its appetite is ravenous."

Rumour has it, there's a lot of fake coin going around.

If it's a show they want, then Trump is certainly the right man to deliver. And should they demand an even bigger show, Trump might just get into his stride and deliver a really, really big show.

"Now he's lost trust as they feel betrayed."

He's got three years until the next election. Surprise comeback at the last minute is jolly good for the ratings.

Bill H

Fred
I'm sorry, where did I cite any constitutional authorization?

Old Microbiologist
Well, yes, that too. Very good point. Let me correct my analogy. If neighbor one steals neighbor two's lawn mower, can I go put a hand grenade in neighbor one's pants?

To your second point, note Col. Lang's point as to the Washington groupthink that Russia will back down if we press them. Is the Borg thinking that Russia has backed down?

Bill H

All due respect, Colonel, I did say that I do not subscribe to the theory of it not being war, and that I find it hard to believe that Syria would consider it anything other than an act of war.

Bill H

I wondered about CW dropped in air strikes, but am insufficiently expert to question it. Only use of CW I have heard discussed is either missile or artillery. Perhaps someone could clarify; is air dropped CW likely?

Jack

All

As this story notes it looks like the "Democrats" are ascendant in the Trump administration and the America First "nationalists" that helped Trump win the election are on their way out.

So, did the Deplorables vote Trump, only to get Clinton?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/08/donald-trump-considering-sacking-steve-bannon-reince-priebus/

Jack

Check out this InfoWars poll on the Syria strike. Looks like 60% felt it was a bad decision. It would imply that the alt-right were not impressed.

https://www.infowars.com/infowars-poll-what-do-you-think-about-trumps-syrian-strike/

confusedponderer

Richardstevenhack
"But he will do something in retaliation and that something will be effective."

Given Trumps and US sympathy for air strikes Putin could make Syria demand a price for this agression by sending them, quietly, modern or modernised air defence systems and/or modern radars and ECM systems.

Delivering something like that, Putin could quietly piss at Trump and Bibi in the face at the same time. If they like it that way, they could just foolishly go on with their hobbies.

The US, just like Israelis, wouldn't like to actually lose aircraft when they are bombing Syria (ignoring the point that it is illegal, and all that).

Certainly with Bibi the preference is liking domination, not liking to fight someone who would fight back.

When someones fights back, and does so well, you lose troops. It isn't a cheap war anymore, in contrast to firing cruise missiles or just bomb at will without losses.

When Hezbollah showed that they could fight hard and fight back well (as during last Israeli infantry moves in Lebanon) it usually ended with great Israeli disappointment, and withdrawal.

Bombing Hamas and Gaza is 'poltically cheaper' and the Israeli rigtwings love it. I propose that that's why the Isrsaelis rather prefer bombing Hamas and Gaza over fighting in or over, say, Lebanon or Syria.

That written, a happy saturday.

LondonBob

Lets see what happens and not over react, suspect Trump might just see this as Reagan and Libya (I suspect this is a similar ruse to the one described by Victor Ostrovsky) with it a one off message to send to various parties. Well informed persons suggesting the Russians will now step up their efforts to end the war and just maybe the chances of US troops being permanently stationed around Raqqa for target practice won't materialise.

Encouraging to hear about McMaster, Mattis I worry very much about, I think Obama called him right.

LeaNder

Do you read it as irony? Stephanie. Are you ironic yourself?

Almost a year later, Assad’s regime killed more than 1,400 people in a chemical weapons attack on the city of Damascus.

Our own public channels after using that argument over and over again ad nauseam have apparently shifted on the topic. "Allegedly, Ghouta was perpetrated by Assad" or "The issue is controversial". Not so Ignatius. Just as our journalists do not fully support Merkel's shift from more cautious: There should be an investigation, she initially demanded, to full support of Trump's action by now.

What I am wondering at the moment is, was Russia indeed blocking an investigation as reported over here. Has the UN already moved on to more sanctions on Syria? Not that I could blame the Russians, if they are a bit more suspect of US dominated investigations.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-chemicalweapons-idUSKBN167232

Western powers put forward the resolution in response to the results of an investigation by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The international inquiry found Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks and that Islamic State militants had used mustard gas.

British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the council before the vote: "This is about taking a stand when children are poisoned. It's that simple. It's about taking a stand when civilians are maimed and murdered with toxic weapons."

Maybe I have to shift to lifestyle section of the WP to grasp "the Borg" in this context:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-media-loved-trumps-show-of-military-might-are-we-really-doing-this-again/2017/04/07/01348256-1ba2-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html?utm_term=.04dafce6febb&hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_ussyria-820pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Pentagon investigates Russian involvement in the attack? Meaning maybe it can be sanctioned too a little harder? ...

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/850394405143851008

Old Microbiologist

My cynical side has been thinking overnight. We have an attack which obviously took more than a few days to plan, which launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles of varying warhead capacity. Of which 36 disappeared. The remaining 23 caused very light damage destroying 6 very old and already out of commission Su-23 fighters. They also destroyed the canteen but not much else. As an aside a S-400 battery contains 36 missiles. Coincidence? The Russians were forewarned so moved everything vulnerable out of harms way.

So, we have a very weak and ineffective attack on a single base in Syria. Who gained from this directly? Trump mostly as now Gorsuch is in and the Borgistas seem quite happy. I believe this is also the end to the Trump is a Russian puppet gambit. There is a lot of verbiage from Niki Hailey, Lavrov, and even Medvedev. But that is all it is talk. The meeting between Tillerson and Putin has not been cancelled which is very telling. So IMHO this was a deliberate theater to shift focus once again away from Trumps Washington problems. Time will tell.

Old Microbiologist

Don't discount this yet. I believe it is all political theater and the goal is to overcome the anti-Trump efforts. If so, then he has accomplished a lot for only $200 million.

Bill Herschel

Thank you for this insight. I would only add that Trump delegates. That's it. He delegates. He does nothing himself. Kushner is President of the United States.

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