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06 April 2017

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Pundita

Asked if the US will lead a regime change effort in Syria, Tillerson said that “those steps are underway.”

Quote is from RT report "No role for Assad': Tillerson’s U-turn on Syria regime change"
6 April - 2017 19:08
https://www.rt.com/usa/383762-tillerson-assad-syria-statement/

More from the report:

The Trump administration has reversed course on Syria again, blaming President Bashar Assad for the alleged chemical attack in Idlib province and declaring he has no future leading Syria – just days after publicly abandoning the policy of regime change.

“There is no doubt in our minds, and the information we have supports, that the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad are responsible for this attack,” Tillerson told reporters in Florida, ahead of the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their support for Bashar al-Assad.” Tillerson added.
[...]


Jim MacMillan

CIA Director Pompeo is the one that turned Trump on to change his tune on Assad. Back in 2013 he called for a kinetic response against Assad. I think it is BS that a few are pointing to McMaster and Mattis as the ones wanting a military confrontation. They are preparing options, that is their job, but I believe there is no way that either is pushing for airstrikes. I would hope that T-Rex at State and Mnuchin at Treasury are preparing diplomatic and economic options, and that they get the same consideration.

Sans racines

Matt
With respect I've been listening to Radio4 on and off for some years. They are in no way sober and definitive - they have been ardently anti-Assad for all that time - all 'bombed hospitals and children' . I think of them as the 'war-drums' radio channel... the only sober thing about them is the English accent used in the delivery.

Lemur

Depends on what you consider to be 'alt-right'. Breitbart is considered 'altright' by the MSM for propaganda purposes, but in reality their Zionism contradicts the core altright principle of acting in one's own ethnic interest. However, I've noticed the Breitbart commenters are pretty red-pilled on Assad and are prepared to call Trump out if he deviates from America First.

This is a pretty typical response from the authentic altright
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/04/neoconning-god-emperor.html

I doubt enough people are reading actual alt-right outlets for their position on the matter to substantially alter public opinion in the short timeframe we're operating in.

Croesus

Dan Joyner's blog Arms Control Law posted links to documents being produced/considered by the UNSC and WHO to determine what happened,

https://armscontrollaw.com/2017/04/06/cw-attack-in-khan-sheikhoun-documents-from-the-unsc-debate-on-responsibility/

"CW attack in Khan Sheikhoun: Documents from the UNSC debate on responsibility"

n a statement also issued on 5 April, the WHO gave credence to the hypothesis that the agent or one of the agents used might have been sarin:

The likelihood of exposure to a chemical attack is amplified by an apparent lack of external injuries reported in cases showing a rapid onset of similar symptoms, including acute respiratory distress as the main cause of death. Some cases appear to show additional signs consistent with exposure to organophosphorus chemicals, a category of chemicals that includes nerve agents.

The full document is available from the WHO website.

The UNSC emergency session began with a report by Mr Kim Won-soo, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) has published his statement.

{Update} The minutes with the statements by UNSC members and debate on 5 April can be downloaded here.

At present, Russia, on the one hand, and France, United Kingdom and the United States, on the other hand, have started circulating draft texts for resolutions.

Nikki Haley is a disgrace.

b

Russia today announced that it would recognize West-Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (east-J as capital of Palestine).

A new position, very unexpected, and it comes shortly after a Putin-Netanyahoo call today.

Putin is obviously working on a deal and has already paid Netanyahoo. What did Netanyahoo give?

MartinJ

Disgraceful. Chemical weapons were discarded as useful tactical battlefield weapons before the end of WW1. However the War Poets Wilfred Owen et al and war artists managed to convey the sense of terror so well that chemical weapons are an incredibly potent propaganda weapon. Dying by gas somehow more awful that dying by barrel bomb which is somehow more awful than dying by a manufactured bomb.
I can't believe that WW3 is about to commence on the back of some iPhone footage. This is terrifying.

Keith Harbaugh

Robert Parry offers some alternatives to blaming Assad:
Another Dangerous Rush to Judgment in Syria
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/05/another-dangerous-rush-to-judgment-in-syria/

Also, a web site that serves as an aggregator for antiwar news is, natch:
http://antiwar.com
This seems to me to be a good source for information.
Anyone take exception to that?

Edward Amame

Rex Tillerson: "It would seem there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people."

Regime change. It's looking more like a standard issue GOP admin except with a lot of far right types populating it and a guy at the top who's in way, way over his head. Apparently we couldn't get to 90 days into it before starting another war. "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated." Yup. The other stuff too.

raven

If you know in your heart that the coming war is wrong stand up and be counted. There are those who will call you a coward, anti-American and worse. Don't listen to them, listen to yourself.

Larry Kart

Another thing about Trump heeding the Borg media on Syria that baffles me: Most of what that media has been saying about just about every aspect of Trump's own self and governance has been characterized by him as "fake news." Why now, on a matter of potentially grave consequence, does he find what that media is saying to be believable? Is it just because, as Nikki Haley, says there are "pictures"? And of "babies" too? Good grief.

Pundita

Stop the presses. Drat. I should've double-checked before taking RT's word.

RT: Asked if the US will lead a regime change effort in Syria, Tillerson said that “those steps are underway.”
https://www.rt.com/usa/383762-tillerson-assad-syria-statement/

Yes, that is a correct quote, but RT reported it out of context.

Sputnik, on the other hand, incorrectly reported the quote: "No steps are underway" for ousting Assad from power, Tillerson said. But Sputnik's follow-up sentence to the quote is correct:

"According to him, any plans to remove Assad would require international cooperation and would not be an operation undertaken by the US alone. ..."

https://sputniknews.com/news/201704061052376723-no-doubt-assad-chemical-attack/

The Sputnik report also provided the State Dept. video of Tillerson's presser today during which he answered questions about Syria, and which put his quote in precise context.

Here is the video of the presser from YouTube; his Syria remarks start at the 2:10 minute mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bkA7ZsYNpU

From what I heard, he said that the US now thinks Assad should go but in stepwise fashion; i.e., after the US has (a) removed ISIS from Syria then (b) stabilized the country and then (c) worked with an international coalition to address the political process (I assume for removing Assad).

So that sounds far less drastic than a unilateral military campaign to remove Assad or ground the country's air force.

That said, this is no time to ease up on the actions Col Lang advised in this post because who knows what Trump is going to decide 15 minutes from now.

I think the White House bears some responsibility for setting off a panic because of Trump's bad habit of ruminating aloud and changing his mind after shooting off his mouth.

He is getting the reputation for being fey. People don't know what to believe from hour to hour. That might work for an intense negotiation process but not for leadership, much less governing the most powerful nation.

Sam Peralta

I am sure that McMaster, Mattis and Coats know that this is a false flag. The Russians who are operating in Syria could quite easily provide added evidence.

The question is, if President Trump will get rolled by the Borg or will he use this opportunity to discredit them. He should know that if he decides to attack Syria on the basis of this falsity, he will lose the support of many who voted for him. And more importantly, greenlight the Borg to take him on even more intensely. I hope he thinks through this carefully and shows the pugnaciousness that won him the election. This is the moment. Its kill or be killed. The Borg believes they have him on the ropes.

StoneHouse

This is a full court press to restart the process of piecemeal MENA destruction, same old policy, no change. Unreal,the heat level in the media is astonishing... even Fox. Trump may well feel trapped, don't know but it's extremely disheartening for a Foreign Policy Trump voter. Was worth a shot anyway I guess, and the Clintons got taken out so there's that.

Why would VVP back down for Trump when he was willing to bring the BHO admin to the brink? I don't think he'll fold, it's clearly the same US/Borg Imperium it was before, same irrationality, same existential threat. I think VVP will show a very stiff spine, the only x-factor would be Xi's position, but he has put a lot of work into Russia relationship, don't think he'll just drop it, though NeoCons probably think otherwise.

Someone above mentioned Trump Voter Mea Culpa's... I am prepared to be very disappointed, on the other hand, one really can't count this guy out until he's is CLEARLY down for the count.

Sad really.

Laura

Done...Feinstein, Harris and Carbajal.

Swamp Yankee

I contacted (by email) the White House, my Congressman Bill Keating, and Sens. Markey and Warren. I asked them to say no to Syrian strikes, that war with Russia is too grave a risk, and we don't have all the facts yet on who exactly is responsible for the chemical attack.

Watching NBC Nightly News tonight, WH Correspondent Hallie Jackson was breathlessly intoning about "the ULTIMATE test for a Commander-in-Chief..." I don't think many of the media are bright enough to see how thoroughly they've been propagandized by the War Party. In any event, it's revolting to see them delighted once more with the prospect of sending other people's children to war. The Borgist elites start the wars, but they certainly don't fight them.

Thank you, Col. Lang, and the other members of the Committee, for your work.

trinlae

Looks like DC getting played yet again .... watch Putin pull out as soon as Pentwgon steps in, and then say, "you want it? fine...its YOURS! With the final you-broke-it-you-own-it stage left all for Washington.

I can understand the hapless public impotence, many who tried to elect Sanders or an independent Trump, and most of which doesn't have $400 in savings, and the morally bankrupt of DC spending the remaining few's 401ks and HSAs and student loans.

But the so called captains of industry are no better than the rest of them to sit silently by and watch Trump get played worse thwn Obama, who at least had the excuse of young age to blame for his tail wagging the dog "leadership" performance.

Another tactic to get the brakes on is to ask Europe if its really ready for another 5 million refugees (more if Turkey goes to hell in a handbasket behind Syria).

Blessings, thanks for te update, and prayers to the enlisted folk and their families.

Sans racines

In addition the BBC News website is repeating the untruth with much innuendo that Assad was responsible for Ghouta http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39513193. It's a full-press attack (and no comments sections to allow the public to disprove their fabrications)... England is descending into the reek yet again...

The Beaver

I don't know this House Representative but, man, he is ON it:
https://twitter.com/RepStevenSmith

Nancy K

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I will call my Senators Burr and Tillis in the morning.

trinlae

Meanwhile, the 42 million Americans living below the poverty level include some 20 million children, who cared about them when they were taboo topic and not mentioned once in the entire 2016 election season (except a w times by Sen Sanders?)

Slow death to millions of children: no problem!
Tragic death in warzone of ~busload full : Quelle surprise!
(even one lost is an insult to sanctity of life)

Blrturner

Col. Lang you are indeed correct this time.

C L

This could be no more than a cheap show of force while the 'great negotiator' interlocks with Xi Jinping.
Power-phrasing his tell all Art of the deal. 'look what i can do - deploy and strike halfway across the world at my whim, rain death and destruction at will, topple dictators, Can you do that Xi? now come negotiate with me and enjoy the steak well done'.
Will acting presidente Jared sort everything out on Sunday?

Jony Kanuck

Colonel,
Elijah Magnier has just penned some of the clearest analysis of the situation in Sheikhoun:
https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/did-assad-use-chemical-weapons-on-khan-shaikhoun-to-score-an-own-goal-in-the-international-arena/

After studying things russian pol/mil for the last couple years, I don't think Russia will abandon Syria & I don't think the Russians will let the USA 'bomb Damascus'. If the Russians let the 'liberal interventionists & the neocons' take an inch they will go for a mile.

ex-PFC Chuck

He's not exactly a guy known for his national security expertise, but when it comes to understanding how Trump operates Scott Adams, the author of the comic strip Dilbert is hard to ignore. Or beat. Here's his take on how Trump 45 will consign this made-up brouhaha to a natural death.
http://blog.dilbert.com/post/159264981001/the-syrian-gas-attack-persuasion

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