A Few Thoughts on Syria

I saw an interesting article on Medium.
 
 
On the other hand, National Security Adviser ("NSA") McMaster may be the most capable Army officer of his generation.  He's the guy who won the 73Easting Fight in 1991 and, as the Commander of 3d ACR, he made Tal Afar work (when little else was working in Iraq, outside of work the Marines were doing that soon laid the groundwork for the Anbar Awakening).  One of my VMI Classmates went to Armor Officer Basic ("AOB") with him and thought McMaster was a great guy and a great officer.
 
OK, reading the above in such a way as to include a range of outlooks:
 
1) Some smart people (apparently such as LTG/NSA McMaster) favor a greater role for the US in Syria.
 
2) Some smart people, COL (R) Lang, think this could be a significant error.
 
3) None of those smart people (to include he-who-I-have-not-named, GEN [R] Petraeus) were overly anxious to go into Iraq in '03.  McMaster and Petraeus served there with great success, but paid a personal price through many tours there.  (Seen, for example, in Petrauus's issues in 2012.) 
 
4) By open source accounts, we have Special Operations Forces ("SOF") types in Syria now, working on the Raqqa problem.
 
5) We know Iraq (the terrain, the culture, the politics and the military ramifications) better than we know Syria.
 
6) The Russians know Syria in a way we don't: Syria was a long time Russian/Soviet Client.
 
7) If we can trust the Russians, it would make a lot more sense to let Russia handle IS in Syria.
 
8)  The possible Sarin strike indicates we may NOT be able to trust them.
 
9)  Lang, who has a background with Chemical Weapons, is not sure Sarin was used.
 
10) He believes that chlorine and organic phosphate were the agents involved, which have been used by BOTH sides. 
 
11) Assad gains nothing by using a Nerve Agent: the war has turned in his favor and use of chemical weapons is, at least, a  potential "Red Line."
 
12) However, as Taleb has stated, it may be that Assad no longer has complete control of his military and someone was "freelancing."
 
Here is my opinion, which is very tentative:
 
---It would be a bad idea to get into a war with Putin's Russia over this, the very embodiment of Bismarck's "some damn fool thing in the Balkans, not worth the bones of a single, healthy Pomeranian Grenadier."
 
---Ideally, we should be able to use this strike to get Putin to be more compliant and to start seeing a need for a stable way forward that does NOT include Assad himself.
 
---I'm not sure there is anyone in the Trump Administration that can pull that off, not least Trump himself, EXCEPT McMaster.
 
---I do not like the optics of Trump feeling he needs to take a truculent approach in Syria, due to accusations of  collusion with the Russians on the 2016 Election.
 
---I see Putin's Russia as a "Jominian" power, in the sense that it has been conferred a great advantage by the PRC's "One Belt/One Road" policy; Russia occupies the key terrain that knits together Mackinder's "Heartland."  Putin is like a guy who owns a plot of land where the railroad has to go through. (To a degree, he literally is)
 
--I think Putin and the PRC have decided that the key to stopping Salafist-Sunni Extremism is to tilt towards Shia Iran.
 
---To get crossways with Putin is to get crossways with the PRC, our main (but deleveraging) creditor. 
 
---This is one to be careful of---but we do not, however, seem to have many careful people involved, with the exception of McMaster.

Comments

George N Romey Added Apr 11, 2017 - 3:50pm
In other words the US is again getting itself involved in something it can't extract itself from.   Sixteen years and counting and the Middle East only gets worse.  What's another $6 trillion on the national credit card.
Donna Added Apr 11, 2017 - 3:56pm
Hi John,
This actually disgusts me. as George says how much more are we going to spend??
Why are we even involved. Let Russia have them, let Iran take Assad out of power, don't they like to claim land for a new territory? Just sick of the USA being involved in all, while we suffer..
How many were worried about Hillary pushing us to war, seems to me, this one has pushed every Country he could..  )0(
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:16pm
Here is the issue in my mind: there are competent people on both the "stay out of it" side (COL [R] Lang, a legend within the Army MI and DIA Communities, especially WRT the Middle East) and the "expand our involvement" side (LTG McMaster, arguably the most accomplished Army officer of the last 30 years).
 
In my experience, people who have seen as much combat as each of these two gentlemen have seen are not quick to call for violence as a solution.
 
A big part of this is how they view the rising power of the PRC (which, due to "One Belt, One Road," makes Putin's Russia a rising power as well).
 
My gut instinct is to stay out of it and use diplomacy to help frame an outcome that suits are interests, but outside of McMaster, I see few in the Trump Administration, including President Trump, who are up to this and I am not comfortable with putting that much responsibility on one person, no matter how competent they are.  
Donna Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:25pm
John,
My question would be this, why are we there? What is the goal for us? What do we plan to accomplish ? See i have an issue with sending more troops on the ground, we do  not need to lose more men and women. We are rarely right about what we say or do over there, so that is also a concern. Why won't Russia take control and push Assad out of office, wouldn't that make much more sense that us getting involved? 
I agree it is scary about the Administration, and leaving all that power to one man is also dangerous..
Would like a peaceful solution )0(
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:30pm
Interesting view.
Donna Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:40pm
John,thank you for that link.. it is most definitely interesting..
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:40pm
The Russians appear to see Assad as being useful/a force for stability, his father was a long time-Soviet ally.
 
Events in Iraq have proven that a substantial involvement by US Special Operations Forces is required to fight IS, which is an entity with vast negative potential (to put it in concrete terms, think of how Islam expanded after 632 CE.)
Donna Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:52pm
John,
If Russia views him that way, why not intervene and help stabilize the region for him? 
We took out one in the ME, and look how stable that became..we do not belong there, IMHO..
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 5:05pm
Well, the Russians are there now.
 
To an extent, they have been more successful  (until this event) because they limited their intervention as we did in the Gulf War.
EXPAT Added Apr 11, 2017 - 6:06pm
The 60 Cruise missiles were a warning shot to Iran, N.Korea, China, and Russia. Children are killed on a daily basis in Africa, and nobody gives a shit.
 
There is only ONE Superpower, and it let the world know that the aggression game is over.
NO Russia. You are not going to take control of the world's oil supply.
NO N.Korea, you are not going to collect nuclear protection money.
NO China, You are not going to control SE Asia.
NO Iran, you are not going to rebuild the Persian Empire.
 
The next step, is to disarm N.Korea. The carrier force is a distraction and a deterrent. The strike will come from B-1 bombers that have been practicing in the region for a month now.
It is a terrain following, Mach 2 bomber that flies at sea level and delivers a heavy conventional payload.
They are based in Okinawa, Guam and S.Korea.
https://theaviationist.com/2017/03/22/u-s-b-1b-performs-training-attack-mission-on-south-korean-range-china-issues-radio-warning-as-the-bomber-flies-over-east-china-sea/
 
Syria has been destroyed as a nation, and whoever steps in will have the financial burden of rebuilding it. Russia saw Syria as a gateway to control of Middle East. Now that they have been put on notice that the American Superpower is BACK, and that Iran is next in line after N.Korea, they will go back to threatening Europe and the Balkans.
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 6:15pm
I don't really have that much confidence in the current players.
 
Possibly, current issues in the ROK, mean we coud do what you suggest.  The thing that has prevented this for the last 30 years is the fact that the ROK government did not want the financial burden of trying to absorb the DPRK, like the FRG had to do with the DDR . . . . 
EXPAT Added Apr 11, 2017 - 6:40pm
Yes John. The Trump admin. plays to the stupid people who look to Medium and Facebook for their information. By keeping them occupied with Twitters and immigration bullshit, the Military can go about the business of keeping American interests safe.
 
You underestimate the Racial cohesion of the Korean people. They are a hegemonic / One people who have withstood thousands of years of war. Ever since 1950, they have been trying to reunite. They would welcome the financial burden of developing the North, bringing much needed Coal away from China, and opening new internal markets.
 
Their food imports are at 36.1 Billion USD, and a chance to develop agriculture in the North, long neglected by Pyongyang, would be a blessing.
 
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 6:45pm
"You underestimate the Racial cohesion of the Korean people . . . . They would welcome the financial burden of developing the North, bringing much needed Coal away from China, and opening new internal markets."
 
That opinion may be right, but is not widely shared.
EXPAT Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:16pm
I really don't care what is widely shared. The majority of people have no clue as to what is going on in the world, and see themselves as relevant, by praising each other and copy/pasting platitudes from Progressive web sites.
 
Trump understood this and played the MSM for fools. That is why they are so determined to destroy his admin. and America along with it.
 
The American Superpower is back; faster than I could have imagined, which leads me to believe Trump had a Master Plan for the world, long before he ran for POTUS.
 
That is how all dictators start out! That scares the hell out of me. If the Democrats continue down their path of idiocy, there will be nothing to stop him!
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:35pm
The problem with elective wars for short term, domestic, political gain is that the enemy gets a vote.
"The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected."– Sun Tzu, the Art of War
 
John Minehan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:41pm
I hope this is right.
 
Mattis is another potential "grown-up."
Leroy Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:03pm
Syria needs a strongman to hold the country together and Assad is as good as any.  Better the devil we know.
 
The only other solution is to break Syria up along ethnic lines.  To my understanding, that is what the Russians want to do.  It's about the only chance for peace.  The UN is good at creating nations, so it is the best one to involve.
 
And, perhaps that is the reason behind the chemical warfare; Assad didn't want the US and Russia or the UN deciding his fate.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:06pm
"H.R. McMaster is a dangerous figure. He has an extraordinarily high IQ, with a Ph.D from West Point, and has written a number of books on war. McMaster’s latest speeches and lectures (2015-2016) deal with his vision for the United States on the 21st century battlefield, singling out China and Russia as “revisionist powers” that America must grind down through proxy conflicts in the smaller and unstable states on the Eurasian landmass."
 
"McMaster appears to criticize the wide availability and free flow of information as “threats” from Russia, in accordance with the “fake news” hysteria. The allowance of two sides of a conflict to be heard have obviously had atrocious results for the US government, Merkel, and the other globalists."
 
In his May 4, 2016 presentation at the “Center for Strategic & International Studies,” McMaster stated:

What Russia is employing…is a sophisticated strategy…that combines conventional forces as cover for unconventional action, but a much more sophisticated campaign involving the use of criminality and organized crime, and really operating effectively on this battleground of perception and information, and in particular part of a broader effort to sow doubt and conspiracy theories across our alliance. And this effort, I believe, is aimed really not at defensive objectives, but at offensive objectives – to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic, and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.

So what do all these conflicts have in common is they’re about the control of territory, people and resources.  … What we need is that synergy between the joint force, where our forces have the capability and the capacity to deter conflict and, if that fails, to resolve conflict in our interest – to protect our security and our vital interests. And that may entail imposing outcomes without the cooperation of the enemy, and that has significant implications for the Army in particular.
 
 

 
 
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:07pm
"As for the prospect of a full-on “hot war” with Russia, and its morbid implications, this is not lost on McMaster. His response to such a scenario is: “bring it on.”"
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:08pm
You obvious love of the military and military men is both obvious and pathetic in your usage of military terminology that sane people are unable to decipher. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:11pm
"This is a warning to our generals, Mcmaster, and others, who think they can do a regime change in Syria. Number one, that will not be possible, not with the military, not with all the forces you have and not with the quality of the soldiers you have, the generals. Any notion of a regime change through force is both absurd or criminal. The issue of Syria and Assad have no national security interests to us at all. This will be an incredible dereliction of duty if we go to war in Syria."
 
America's foremost expert in international affairs, having served under 5 Presidents, instrumental in the Camp David accords, in addition to playing a key role in regime changes around the globe for decades, Dr. Steve Pieczenik
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:37pm
"Now, as then, we are barraged by true believers telling us that we have a right to control the world because our goals are somehow morally purer than our adversaries’, that we are always on the side of the angels, always the innocent victim of some evil enemy. “The mystique of exceptional virtue,” Dower concludes, “does not accommodate serious consideration of irresponsibility, provocation, intoxication with brute force, paranoia, hubris, reckless and criminal actions, or even criminal negligence” on the part of the United States, even though all of these are evident enough in the historical record since 1945."
 
 
The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two. by John Dower
John G Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:26am
How can the US 'stay out' of the war against the people of Syria that it itself caused?
 
Silly article based on fake news.
Dino Manalis Added Apr 12, 2017 - 8:29am
The Assad dynasty has ruled Syria for decades with relative stability.  The demise of Saddam Hussein; Hosni Mubarak; and Muamar Gaddafi changed all that.  Even ISIS was seen and supported as a possible alternative to Assad.The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq gave ISIS the opportunity to expand its territorial control and kill Christians and Shiites.
 
Trump's missile strike was punishment for Assad's chemical attack, that's not a new policy.  Hopefully, Tillerson will mend relations with Russia and proceed with a no-fly zone over all of Syria and urge all parties, including Assad, to focus on fighting ISIS, instead of each other, while terrorists ought to be attacked only on the ground.  Assad has to accept a confederation of Sunni; Shiite; and Kurdish states to stop all sectarian violence and prepare for elections.
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 10:19am
"You obvious love of the military and military men is both obvious and pathetic in your usage of military terminology that sane people are unable to decipher."
 
Somewhat narcissistic on my part given my background. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 10:21am
McMaster is a man of demonstrated competence.  Lang is also a man of demonstrated competence.  They do not agree.
 
Given that, Syria is a major problem.  
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 10:30am
"The Assad dynasty has ruled Syria for decades with relative stability.  The demise of Saddam Hussein; Hosni Mubarak; and Muamar Gaddafi changed all that."
 
Well, other than his (VERY one sided) conflict with the Ikhwan at Hama in 1982.  But the current conflict implies that what Thomas Friedman called "Hama Rules" no longer work.
 
"Assad has to accept a confederation of Sunni; Shiite; and Kurdish states to stop all sectarian violence and prepare for elections."
 
Given the failure of the "Hama Rules," this is at least possible.  However, I think the support of Assad is more support for an Iranian backed government, that might be possible without Assad, but which might not be possible in a state NOT dominated by the Alawites.   
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 10:33am
Somewhat narcissistic on my part given my background. 
 
Nothing at all to be proud of. Quite the opposite. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 12:12pm
Pride in anything is meaningless.
 
You do what you do, as well as you can. 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:08pm
As I have said before, if we are going to be involved then work to make a difference, if not then we should just back off and let it all explode.  These half way measures are part of the problem.
 
 
But what I would do is stop all the people leaving, if these Nations stand any chance of rebuilding when the fighting stops, they will need all their people.  Letting millions of people leave and resettle in new nations means these existing nations will be stuck forever in their destroyed state.
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:41pm
Louis the biggest problem is that most of this region has been at war with itself for centuries.  This sets up hard line and even brutal leaders like Saddam Hussein that force peace through threat of violence. Then the US comes along and says that person is evil and commits horror acts against his people and should be removed.  After removal the country turns into utter chaos and the fleeing starts.
 
Iran is actually a very modernized economy but yes is run by the same kind of government.  Yet here we are talking about taking military action against Iran and yes we will end up with the same result. We've had 16 years in that region and its only gotten worse.  At some point you have to let things be.  If the citizens of these nations are not going to set aside differences and unite for their greater good we can't do it for them.
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:42pm
Has that been the case with other nations?
 
It seems having a diaspora can be a good source of capital for rebuilding and of a foreign-educated elite.
 
Let's see.
 
  
Billy Roper Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:44pm
It's all about balkanizing Syria to weaken Israel's neighbor, and give Greater Israel the Golan Heights. President Kushner knows what he's doing.
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:49pm
In many ways, the situation in Syria is analogous to that of Cambodia during the Vietnam War era. In both cases, the government in power was trying to acommodate too many externally warring powers in and around its territory, and wound up getting consumed by all of them. The major difference of course is that Syria still has a central government that has been bloodied but far from beaten, an army that wasn't disbanded, and has the benefit of direct Russian military assistance, chiefly in the form of air power. No matter how you cut it, like everything else in the ME, it's a huge mess. Constantly shifting alliances and extraordinarily treacherous and vicious people certainly don't help. The lack of coherent international action in response to the use of chemical weapons is further proof of the utter and complete impotence of the U.N.
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:52pm
Billy Roper I may not agree with you on many topics but that my friend is right on target.  This has nothing to do with burning babies and everything to do with Israel.  
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:55pm
It's all about balkanizing Syria to weaken Israel's neighbor, and give Greater Israel the Golan Heights. President Kushner knows what he's doing.
 
Agreed.
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:03pm
"No matter how you cut it, like everything else in the ME, it's a huge mess."
 
Yes.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:06pm
Still no evidence has been presented to support Trump's illegal attack on Syria. If it exists why is he withholding it? 
 
And if you seriously think an ineffective tomahawk missile attack based on obvious lies scared the Russians you are beyond naive and crazy. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:15pm
If it was Sarin, it was almost certainly the Syrian Government.
 
If it was Chlorine, it could be any of the actors involved in the war.
 
Given that McMasters and Mattis are supporting Trump on this, these actions are not without credibility.
 
Given that people like Taleb and Pat Lang see problems, opposition to these actions is ALSO not without credibility.
 
The really unfortunate thing is the people who might have the skill to resolve this within US interests are those, like McMaster and Mattis, who support the strikes.   
Micahel Dolan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:18pm
Its all about the facts- fact Islamic terrorism has declared war against anyone who refuses to bow to Allah. The Islamist terrorist nations are full blown lunatics. Our last president bowed to these lunatics and aided and praised them.
13 Islamic terrorist attacks in our cities-its war. Saying we do not want to fight another war. The Islamic terrorist-chant Allah U Akbar when they read that good news. The invasion of the Jihadist into our states is ignored by many of our elected politicians.
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:22pm
Sarin is a nerve agent that is relatively difficult to produce, while Chlorine is a choking agent and relatively easy to make...I would think that the symptoms and the chemistry of each would be dissimilar.
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:40pm
George,
When Obama took over the Middle east was fairly peaceful, Iraq was a challenge to get there but it was under control when Obama took over.
 
Yes, the Middle Easy has always been pretty violent but it could be more.  Look at how we have to impose peace on Germany and Japan and after generations of occupation and forced peace transformed those Nations into financial powerhouses.
 
We can impose peace, but the question is do we want to?  It took only a couple months after Obama withdrew from the world for ISIS and Iran and Russia to explode the Middle East as well as smaller players.  Obama called ISIS the JV team and said they were nothing and we did not have to talk about them.
 
Obama was wrong.
 
 
But again, I am not advocating our involvement, just pointing out we can make a difference if we want to.  But if we do not intend to go all the way, we should just back off and watch the fireworks because these half way measure can't change anything for the better.
 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:42pm
The facts are that our own intelligence says that Syria no longer has chemical weapons: ( from Ambassador Rice just 10 weeks ago) https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/850421586293338112/photo/1
And see from VIPS:
Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation – Consortiumnews - https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/11/trump-should-rethink-syria-escalation
The Trump Administration is withholding what they claim is evidence. If it exists why withhold it?
Trump Withholds Syria-Sarin Evidence – Consortiumnews - https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/12/trump-withholds-syria-sarin-evidence
The world is a hip to this kind of false flag garbage from Iraq. Russia is not amused and is preparing for what's next:
US claims in Syria same as WMD claims in Iraq |
"Russia Is Preparing For Hot War" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46838.htm
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:43pm
Jenifer, according to many news reports, Turkey verified this was indeed Sarin gas, Link to one story here .
 
So if this is Sarin, it means the likelihood that the victims gassed themselves for propaganda is pretty slim.
 
 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:47pm
Doesn't mean it wasn't a sit-up Louis, or from the terrorists. Makes no sense for Assad to gas his own people at this point THINK! 
White House claims on Syria chemical attack ‘obviously false’ – MIT professor - PaulCraigRoberts.org - http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/12/white-house-claims-syria-chemical-attack-obviously-false-mit-professor/
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:49pm
Also unlike some I don't believe in "many news reports" (ie: anything from the corporate mainstream media outlets). 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:49pm
And again, if the evidence exists why withhold it? 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:51pm
I personally trust VIPS (who also debunked the Russian hacking conspiracy theories) which says There was no Syrian “chemical weapons attack.” Instead, a Syrian aircraft bombed an al-Qaeda-in-Syria ammunition depot that turned out to be full of noxious chemicals and a strong wind blew the chemical-laden cloud over a nearby village where many consequently died.
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:52pm
The difference is that the Middle East is socially ruled by extreme religious beliefs we could never overcome without spending trillions upon trillions and killing millions.  Japan and Germany were never ruled by religious zealots.  I think we can find a better use for $10 million plus than the Middle East.
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:58pm
"Sarin is a nerve agent that is relatively difficult to produce, while Chlorine is a choking agent and relatively easy to make...I would think that the symptoms and the chemistry of each would be dissimilar."
 
The chemistry is very different. The symptoms are very similar, although the process that produces them s radically different.
 
Chlorine is a very reactive gas, which reacts with water to produce HCL. It causes choking and tearing. 
 
Nerve agents are organic compound block the central nervous system, which causes respiratory arrest and loss of bodily functions (choking and tearing). 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:04pm
The aid personnel were handling the victims without being MOPPed up.
 
That would make sense for Chlorine, but not (necessarily) for Sarin.
 
Sarin is non-persistent and could have dissipated by the time the aid personnel were removing the bodies and treating the survivors, especially if it were very hot or windy. 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:04pm
George,
Except we did have control, until we left.  Occupation and forced peace was in place, just like with Germany and Japan.
 
What do you think would have happened if we did not occupy Germany?  Do you think peace would have held and they would have behaved?   A society that knows only violence will always go back to violence, only by enforcing peace and letting the adults die off, let a couple generations be born and all the others who knew about wars to die can there be any possibility of peace in a society like this.
 
You said it yourself, they have known only war and hate, to learn something new there must be imposed peace.
 
But again, we have proven we can impose peace, but I am not advocating it, just saying we should not be meddling if we are not willing to really make a difference.
 
All in or all out is my point.
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:08pm
Jenifer,
So you believe the Turkey scientists are telling lies when they say it is Sarin?  What is their motive to lie?  I tend to shy away from massive conspiracy theories, they are almost always wrong.  
 
There was no conspiracy for Russia to hack the American election and no conspiracy to use Sarin gas on innocents and blame Assad.   Assad or Russia were the only two likely to have the Sarin gas, not the civilians and not ISIS, if they had that stuff they would have used it on a military target, not worthless civilians who were not fighting them.
 
 
The simplest answer is usually the correct answer, a madman who has done countless numbers of other horrible things did one more.
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:11pm
It would essentially take the resources of a state to produce sarin or any other nerve agent, while a chlorine-based chemical weapon could easily be produced in someone's kitchen. The plot thickens...or does it? Considering the utter ruthlessness displayed by all sides in the conflict, I wouldn't put anything beneath any of the actors in this tragic story. Not being an expert on the Syrian Army (or any other one for that matter), I have no idea on how tightly or loosely they controlled their chemical weapon stockpiles.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:14pm
The simplest answer is usually the correct answer, a madman who has done countless numbers of other horrible things did one more.
 
Wrong yet again cop.
 
Robert Steele - Inside Source Says Brennan, McCain & McMaster Responsible for Syrian False Flag
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:21pm
Don't bother with facts and reason Jeffry. I tried that, it was entirely ignored. So now I'll do the ignoring for a change. Some people just want to believe whatever will make the world burn. So be it! I hope they enjoy the nukes! Nukes, fun on TV and in theory, terrible in real life. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:26pm
Don't bother with facts and reason Jeffry
 
Some people just put the DUH in DUHmerican Jenifer.  :-)
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:27pm
Good advice Jenifer, I'm not an idiot whisperer. 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:29pm
Jeffry, don;t you have some Katoeys calling your name somewhere?  Leave the adult conversations to those of us not sexually aroused by what looks like a 12 year old boy in a dress.
 
 
Jenifer,
 
I am wanting to discuss in a reasonable way, remember I like much of what you say but that does not mean I am just going to blindly agree to all conspiracy theories you push, can you offer me any facts to show Assad was not involved?
 
At this point I see reports that Turkey, the UN and the British have all processed samples and agree it was indeed Sarin gas that was used, so all these groups are in a conspiracy to blame Assad for something he did not do?
 
I just do not see why?  You claim he had no reason to do it, but does he need a reason?  And what is the reason for several Nations, one of them Muslim, to conspire to lie?
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:32pm
Personally, I don't see what Assad would gain by employing chemical weapons, but who's to say what some of his subordinates would do. Usually chemical weapons like bombs and artillery shells are very clearly and distinctly colored and marked, so the possibility of an accident is on the low side, if in fact they were used.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:36pm
I am wanting to discuss in a reasonable way,
 
Says the POS cop who accuses my family and myself of unspeakable crimes and trots out that tired old cliche about Thailand. Typical pig. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:38pm
Personally, I don't see what Assad would gain by employing chemical weapons,
 
Nothing. He was winning. Peace talks were about to begin and DUHmerica was going to let him stay.
 
Usually chemical weapons like bombs and artillery shells are very clearly and distinctly colored and marked
 
Makes sense
 
Every time Grumpy McCain visits Syria a chemical attack follows. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:39pm
It seems unlikely that Assad would use Nerve Agents at this point, which outs him as having these agents at this point, after it was claimed they were destroyed.
 
Sarin would contaminate the site where it was used.  However, if the weather conditions were hot and windy, the site  might not have been contaminated when aid personnel were on site; it is not a persistent agent.
 
On the other hand, Sarin would be more likely to be in the possession of Assad's regime, although we do not know how secure his stockpiles were, as Michael B points out.
 
Although the chemicals are very different and they achieve their effects in very different ways, the terminal effects are similar. 
 
Chlorine is in the possession of (and has been used) by all sides in the Syrian conflict.
 
If it was Sarin, it was probably employed by Assad.
 
You would probably need to get autopsies to know for sure.  Worth skepticism, let's see. 
 
 
 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:39pm
Michael,
Don;t forger Obama and Rice and Kerry all said all of the chemical weapons were removed from Syria.
 
Were they?
 
I agree it seems foolish but a lot of what Assad has done is foolish, why should today be any different from any other day?  He has used chemical weapons before so why not now?
 
I just look at the alternatives.
 
Either the British, Turkey, and now the UN are all in one some grand conspiracy, and lied about Sarin gas testing that came up positive, or someone there used Sarin gas on those people.
 
If so who?  I also find it highly doubtful the people gassed themselves, and if the ISIS people had this why use it there?  Certainly not much gain to use it there for them specifically.
 
 
I don't know and I admit I do not know, but I tend to not choose options that require a huge conspiracy, so that leaves Assad or maybe a rogue actor in his army in my mind.
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:52pm
Taleb has raised the issue of Assad not having full control of his forces at this point.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:56pm
Taleb has raised the issue of Assad not having full control of his forces at this point.
 
The one's Grumpy McCain just returned for visiting again? 
 
And the one's like Trump not having control of - your hero -McMasters?
 
Lots of lack of control going around just about everywhere DUHmerica sticks its warmongering terrorist nose. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:56pm
Russia vetoed a UN resolution requiring Syria to cooperate with a probe on the attack. 
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:57pm
I think autopsies would be the only way to determine with certainty what kind of agent was used. Sometimes results can be misleading; for example, in some field-testing kits, insect repellent comes up positive as a nerve agent, which makes sense, as a lot of chemical weapons and nerve agents like VX (the deadliest and most persistent of them all) were originally developed as pesticides.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:58pm
Good for Russia! Teach those warmongering terrorist DUHmericans they can't control the outcome of a UN probe. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:59pm
"The one's Grumpy McCain just returned for visiting again?"
 
No, he appears to be on the side of the rebels who may be aligned with AQ. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:00pm
No, he appears to be on the side of the rebels who may be aligned with AQ. 
 
At least you got that part right. Good on ya.
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:11pm
Your basic Raid (TM) is a nerve agent. 
 
Someone told me they had a class on NBC in the 1970s that involved dropping a mouse into a jar that had been heavily sprayed with Raid .  . .  .
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:15pm
John, 
This is one of my points, while some are pushing wild conspiracy theories, the simple truth seems to be Assad was behind it and now Russia is blocking any attempt by the UN to investigate it.
 
If they were so sure Assad had nothing to do with it they would invite an investigations, but being as they are preventing one it seems more likely Assad is guilty.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:22pm
"can you offer me any facts to show Assad was not involved?" 
Can I prove a negative? No, no one can do that and you know it. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:25pm
On the other hand, there are some clever people who don' agree, such as Taleb (who is from Lebanon and whose grandfather's home was destroyed in the 1970s by the Syrian Army) and W. Patrick Lang  (a distinguished MI officer and expert on the Middle East).
 
Let's see.
 
I'm not sure if the attack itself made much sense.  An air field is NOT an optimal TLAM target.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:34pm
clever people who don' agree, such as Taleb (who is from Lebanon and whose grandfather's home was destroyed in the 1970s by the Syrian Army)
 
Clearly a dependable source with no axe to grind. /sarcasm
 
W. Patrick Lang  (a distinguished MI officer and expert on the Middle East).
 
There is nothing distinguished about military intelligence or any of its so-called officers.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:34pm
military intelligence may be the ultimate oxymoron.
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:35pm
Jennifer,
My point is that many sources now have reported it was Sarin, and now Russia blocked the UN from doing a full investigation and asking Assad to cooperate, so where is the evidence pointing to someone other than Assad?  
 
You seem to prefer massive conspiracy theories over simple explanations and now that Russia has tied the hands of the UN do you still believe there is no possible way Assad was involved?
 
It is completely out of consideration Assad did something bad in your world?
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:40pm
John,
Many people also have assholes, and most of them stink, I tend to dismiss their conspiracy theory stuff out of hand.  The Russia thing was easy, there was no actual evidence Russia did anything, it was all assumptions, but in this case we now have three Nations who have done chemical weapons testing (not field tests) in their labs and have determined that Sarin gas was used.
 
And as you pointed out, Russia has tied the hands of the UN not allowing a full and complete investigation, that to me speaks pretty loudly that even they know it was Assad or someone in his military.
 
In fact the more I think about it I am considering that as the better theory.  Russia and Assad would block this because they do not want it to seem he is not in control of his military and whatever materials they have.  Second, Russia and Assad agreed to ship out all the chemical weapons and admitting a rogue military leader did this means also admitting they lied about removing all their weapons.
 
 
So the only option they have is deny everything and block all investigations.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 4:47pm
And as you pointed out, Russia has tied the hands of the UN not allowing a full and complete investigation, that to me speaks pretty loudly that even they know it was Assad or someone in his military.
 
To a sick disgusting cop mind it would.
 
What you don't have is the wherewithal on any level to consider that what Russia does support is:
 
"Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council before the vote that during talks earlier Wednesday in Moscow Russia asked for an independent international investigation to examine the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun that killed nearly 90 people. He said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering the request."
 
As usual cop you have it all wrong. Must be hundreds wrongly in jail because of you. 
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:00pm
There's a saying in the military: "If you want to send a message, use AT&T." That's how I interpret the U.S. missile strike...an expensive message, and not much more. Lineal targets like roads, pipelines, and airfields are all relatively quickly repaired.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:03pm
John writes "I'm not sure if the attack itself made much sense.  An air field is NOT an optimal TLAM target." 
 
It made no sense because as Syria didn’t attack the United States it was an act of unprovoked naked aggression, violated international law and the Geneva Convention and as such was a war crime. Violated the War Powers Act as well. Even if everything Assad is accused of is true, two wrongs do not make a right. Two war crimes don't even things out and equal "justice". 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:03pm
Speaking of DUHmerican missiles the Treasury should withhold future payments to Raytheon equal to the cost of the  36 of their 2015 built missiles that failed. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:06pm
It made no sense because as Syria didn’t attack the United States it was an act of unprovoked naked aggression, violated international law and the Geneva Convention and as such was a war crime
 
Ding ding ding! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!
 
Damn straight Jenifer. Damn straight.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:08pm
Louis I agree with Jeffry about the investigation. Remember Washington let one of the suspects of the MH-17 airliner shoot down over Ukraine investigate themselves. Washington has no credability in investigating anyone. Nor do their vassal states agreeing with them lend any credibility. Collaboration is not conspiracy. And I presented evidence from a MIT professor, from Veterans Professionals for Sanity and former Ambassador Rice to support my conclusions that this was an accident. Ignoring it doesn’t invalidate it. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:17pm
"Award-winning Iran-Contra journalist Robert Parry says the chemical weapons attack in Syria was launched from a joint Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan, according to his intelligence sources.
 
U.S. intelligence analysts determined that a drone was responsible for the attack and “eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels,” according to the source.
 
“The suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad,” writes Parry."
 
Makes more sense than anything else. 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:18pm
Jennifer,
 
Jeffry and now you are attempting to change the topic away from this topic, the suspected Sarin gas attack, how about we stick to the topic?
 
We have UN people who also conducted tests and concluded it was Sarin gas, they are you can't claim they are brainless puppets of America, even though you making that claim about Britain and Turkey is a tad insulting, just because they say something that hurts your conspiracy theory that does not mean they are liars.
 
You did not offer any evidence, you offered unsubstantiated claims that there was a grand conspiracy from people who are in no position to know one way or the other.
 
 
They detected Sarin, can you address this actual evidence please?
 
Russia blocked an investigation, now there is more evidence, can you address this fact please?
 
You disappoint me greatly Jenifer, I respected you more than someone who wallows in conspiracy theories for the sake of feeding hate of America.  Jeffry sure, he has always been mentally unstable and hate filled, but I did not see that in you.
 
 
I also asked you if you thought is truly impossible that Assad did something bad?  Why do you see Assad as an angel incapable of doing anything bad?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:24pm
Jeffry sure, he has always been mentally unstable and hate filled, but I did not see that in you.
 
Unless you have a medical license I suggest you stop trying to practice medicine cop. You aren't qualified to make any diagnosis. It has to be hard being stuck in your 40 year old single wide off SR 44 Sport but get a grip.
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:31pm
Jeffry,
Once they told me about your love of Katoeys I combined that to your hate of American laws and police and all of your crazy stuff started making sense, I no longer care what you say, you are as hate filled as anyone I have ever encountered on the internet and being infatuated with men that look like 12 year old boys in a dress means you are about as sick as a human being can be so don't waste my time, lol.
 
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:31pm
Jeffry, as usual, I gotta hand it to you...you really know how to rub it in. Even if I totally disagree with someone, you must always admire the artiste at work. The Liquordale Yachtie will always be the standout, lol.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:45pm
Michael B's suggestion about autopsies to determine whether or not what particular chemicals were the cause of death is also a good one. But only for those seeking the truth clearly not those backing a US led UN "investigation". I'm happy to disappoint those looking for any excuse for WWIII. 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:53pm
Jennifer,
 
I agree with more investigation, unfortunately Assad and Russia does not.  That makes them look guilty too.
 
But at this point they already did do specific testing in at least three different lans and all three said it was Sarin, I see no reason to believe any of them just blindly lied about their findings.
 
 
So you refuse to admit to any possible bad action by Assad or Russia because you believe by avoiding admitting to some facts can prevent WW III?
 
 
I have the capacity to both accept the possibility that Assad did something bad and to "ALSO" not want WW III.  
 
 
I see you are dodging all of my questions so I will leave it at that. I guess I misjudged you.
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:54pm
I've been bombarded by corporate propaganda longer than I care for, but I do have some takeaways from it, transparency being among the best ones. A neutral, disinterested, third party investigation would be much better than a bunch of knee-jerks jumping to conclusions. During WW2, even the Nazis used that to their advantage when the Katyn Forest Massacre first came to light. Another corporate takeaway: "It's not only impropriety...it's also the appearance of impropriety that must be avoided at all times." Spoken by a brassy, patrician-sounding woman. lol
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 5:59pm
I'll believe Assad did "something bad" when a truly international investigation which includes Russia concludes such. Not until. If it doesn't make sense it's probably a lie, as my mother used to say. This doesn't make sense, Assad had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Irregardless the American attack was a direct violation of international law, only the lawless would support such. Apparently it's my turn to be disappointed in you on that one Louis if you indeed support such war crimes. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:01pm
Once they told me about your love of Katoeys.......being infatuated with men that look like 12 year old boys in a dress
 
Classic projection. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:05pm
"'clever people who don' agree, such as Taleb (who is from Lebanon and whose grandfather's home was destroyed in the 1970s by the Syrian Army) (sic)
 
Clearly a dependable source with no axe to grind. /sarcasm
  
W. Patrick Lang  (a distinguished MI officer and expert on the Middle East)." (sic)
 
There is nothing distinguished about military intelligence or any of its so-called officers."
 
Do you understand that both of them SUPPORT your position?
 
Do you understand that Taleb is speaking AGAINST his presumptive interest, as someone from a family victimized by Baathist Syria and, thus, DOES NOT ? have an act to grind (or, at minimum, is not grinding it)? 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:08pm
Jeffry, as usual, I gotta hand it to you...you really know how to rub it in.
 
Thanks once again Michael. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:10pm
"There's a saying in the military: "If you want to send a message, use AT&T." That's how I interpret the U.S. missile strike...an expensive message, and not much more. Lineal targets like roads, pipelines, and airfields are all relatively quickly repaired."
 
There are some effective things designed to deal with that kind of target.  
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:11pm
Do you understand that both of them SUPPORT your position?
 
Now I do! Thanks for pointing out my error. Its very early in the morning here and I'm under the influence. 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:15pm
No problem.  Have a good rest of your day.
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:27pm
John, that's among the things that makes me feel the TLAMs were a "message." If they were serious, Durandals and other specific runway-cratering weapons would have been used. That would open up another can of worms though, as the Russians are obviously using Syrian airfields, but probably only a few where their aircraft can be adequately supported, but I would guess they would like all of them to be serviceable for takeoffs/landings and maybe refueling. A sustained campaign of cratering runways would be the next "best" thing to a no-fly zone, but again, that would also be a marked escalation of the conflict.
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:30pm
Jenifer,
If Russia was involved, and based on their block of the official investigation into the event by the UN makes it seem, then how does putting them in charge of the investigation help find the truth?
 
 
 
As I told someone else, I do not think Assad himself did it, I am starting to think the most logical explanation is that someone in his military did, and if they allow an investigation it exposes two things Assad and Russia do not want exposed.
 
1. That Assad is not in complete control of his military.
 
2. That all chemical weapons were not destroyed as Assad and Russia both asserted.
 
 
This would be an incredible mess and stain to Russia and their activities and there is no way they can allow it to be exposed.
 
 
 
 
The simplest answer tends to be the truth.
 
 
As far as attacks go, I do not want anyone to be attacked, but I can see why it was done.  Of not America, who?
 
 
Just for the sake of debate, let's consider for a moment that Assad did use Sarin gas on his people, with Russia blocking any and all actions of the UN against Assad, how do we tell him that using gas is wrong?  
 
Or do you not see using sarin gas as bad?  Should any National leader be allowed to do anything they want to their people?
 
 
 
My point is not so much in support of the attacks as I am against doing things just for appearances, if we want to make a difference then make a difference, if not then let's get out and just get a big bag of popcorn and watch the fireworks, does not really matter to me one way or the other but these half-way actions are what I am against.
 
 
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:34pm
"A sustained campaign of cratering runways would be the next "best" thing to a no-fly zone, but again, that would also be a marked escalation of the conflict."
 
Which is why doing it once to demonstrate you can, would have been a MUCH more effective "message," in my opinion.
 
Once again, you demonstrate both knowledge and understand of military operations, Michael B. 
 
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:36pm
Let me take the liberty and speak for millions of Americans as well as myself.  We don't really know much about Syria or its problems. Hell, we not sure where it even is on the map.  We feel sorry for a country with such social upheaval.
 
But what we do know is that millions of us here in the US have had the floor taken out from under us during the past 10 years.  And the situation hasn't gotten any better.  We see more problems at home than you shake a stick at.
 
Then we see both our public and private leaders in total denial of the condition of this country.  Maybe I Spy Games are more sexy and fun to contemplate than some guy that has lost it all in the "Great Recession" and can't seem to get it back.  We have to wonder what some of those trillions spent in the Middle East would have done to improve the lives of people back here.  We wonder how a country so f@@ked up could have spent more than $10 trillion over the past ten years but have nothing to show for it.
 
Now maybe one day if the US returns to its previous economic glory we can spend our time and money involving ourselves in other countries' issues. Till then how about an America First policy?
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:36pm
"This would be an incredible mess and stain to Russia and their activities and there is no way they can allow it to be exposed."
 
Which MAY give us leverage, Mr. Weeks, if we have the wit to use it . . . of which I am unsure. 
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:45pm
I agree John, but if they can get away with blocking investigations and admitting the truth then they can limit the leverage at the very least.
 
George,
 
I agree with the basic idea of isolationism as you seem to be advocating only if we go all the way and not pretend to want to be part of the world and care about right/wrong.
 
I have serious issues with people in one breath saying using chemical weapons is bad but then they also say we should turn a blind eye to it when it happens, the two do not go together.  If we care enough to say something is bad, then care enough to do something about it.
 
 
If not, then stay home and keep your comments to yourself.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:55pm
Louis, I'm for the bag of popcorn solution for America because it keeps us out of conflict and possible war with Russia. America should not be the world's policeman, that's the job of the UN. If they can't do it in Syria I suggest Russia conduct the investigation. It was good enough to let the Nazi Ukrainian military investigate THEMSELVES in the MH-17 airliner shoot down, it should be equally good enough to let Russia investigate the Syrians. If not = massive hypocrisy and double-standards. No? Also why is everyone up in arms (literally) over a few Syrian deaths when no one gives a damn that Saudi Arabia is massacring hundreds of people in Yemen? More hypocrisy and double-standards! Where does it end? 
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:09pm
Jennifer when will rich countries in the region like SA and UAE step up?  
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:14pm
Jenifer,
Again, I am all with the idea of isolationist policies but only if we do it completely.  We can't say something happening (like attacking people with Sarin gas) then refuse to do something about it.  Either we are engaged or we are not.  These half-way positions bother me a great deal.
 
I do not like the gas attacks and I do not like the response to them, who likes war and strife?  Certainly not me.  But wars and strife do exist in the world and sometimes if you have morals you feel certain kinds of things should not happen without some response.
 
It's like walking by and seeing two men raping a woman, should you rush in and try to stop them?  Should you call the police?  Should you walk by and pretend not to notice?  
 
If you confront the attackers there will most likely be more violence, maybe someone will get seriously hurt or even die so you have to consider those things when you decide if it is okay to take action to stop men from raping a woman or not.
 
 
If you believe raping a woman is wrong, then you will respond to stop it, if you do not see rape as wrong you will keep walking and do nothing.
 
 
I will gladly admit America has made a lot of mistakes in trying to do good, I am fully in the camp where good intentions do not always equal good results.  But the question is if we do make a mistake in life, does that mean we just stop everything out of fear another mistake could happen?
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:29pm
Louis you can't change a country's values.  In these countries women have no rights and are not given basis rights.  Even look at the modernized countries like SA and the UAE. We are fighting a losing battle.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:36pm
I suggest anyone serious about what is going on in Syria read the following article. It breaks it down with reason and logic. The future of the world's leadership lies in Russia with Putin. China needs to step up and help as well. America has spent and wasted it's leadership role and needs to step aside before they get the whole planet incinerated. 
A Multi-level Analysis of the US attack on Syria - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46845.htm
John Minehan Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:40pm
I'd say it ultimately rests with the PRC.
 
Putin has power due to his relationship with the PRC and Russia's physical location, as I said, a Jominain power.
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:45pm
Jenifer and John the neocons will never allow Russia and China to take world leadership roles.  Its the US running the show or else. In fact Russia and China stepping up to the plate will give the neocons and the neoliberals an even bigger hardon for war. It will be like taking four Viagra pills at once.  
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:45pm
George,
 
At one time Women did not have it much better in America, could not vote, could not own property, could not even drive a car in some areas.  Women were seen as property, not people in many ways.
 
We can certainly cause change, just like we forced fundamental changes in Germany and Japan, and we all know how women were viewed in Japan back then and today it is way better.
 
 
But it does take a huge commitment, I am not refuting that point.
 
 
 
Jennifer, that link is to a opinion piece not addressing any of the facts we know so far.  Sad.
Michael B. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 8:22pm
John M., I agree that LTG McMaster is an extremely astute military man, and the fact that his promotion to higher rank was delayed only burnishes his credentials in my book (he's not, to use the late COL Hackworth's term, a "perfumed prince" by any stretch), but whether anyone listens to him or not is another story altogether, especially when dealing with someone like Trump.
Patrick Writes Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:11pm
I see no reason why Assad has to go, personally. It's the same old regime building nonsense that's par for the course since WWII. (Let me guess Assad's "successor" won't be as friendly with Russia and will rather prefer Western interests). 
 
George Washington, in his farewell address, cautioned the country that he practically gave his adult life to help create. He said to beware foreign entanglements that can pull you into wars, practically against your will.

That's how World War I started, by accident. Some stupid incident by a meaningless country (sorry Bosnia) led to a chain reaction that saw Britain and its empire fighting the 2nd bloodiest war of all time against the rising star of Germany. It was fought for no reason and put in motion the events that led to World War II--the bloodiest war of all time, 50 million dead. 
 
The best thing to happen in Syria would be for Assad to defeat the rebels (with Russia's help if need be). Then go after ISIS with the help of Iraq and Iran. 
 
But we have the Israel and the petrodollar system with Saudi Arabia we have to protect...thus here we are. 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:17pm
Ah yes I see you didn't read the piece Louis or you would not have misrepresented it as an option piece when it clearly is not. A shame because it covers in depth everything discussed here and then some. Sad indeed! 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:22pm
Also Louis I see that you didn't answer my question about why is everyone up in arms (literally) over a few Syrian deaths when no one gives a damn that Saudi Arabia is massacring hundreds of people in Yemen? More hypocrisy and double-standards! Where does it end? 
 
Nor did you address the question of how two wrongs make a right. The specific laws (national and international) that Trump broke are listed specifically in the article I posted a link to. You know, the article you misrepresented as an "opinion piece". 
 
George, from earlier, when will wealthy middle eastern nations like SA and UAE start to help? Probably never. Saudi Arabia for one is too busy training terrorists and the UAE funding them. 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:24pm
Just for the record, from the article I posted (the one misrepresented by Louis as an "opinion piece"):
Most people think that crimes against humanity or genocide must be the ultimate crime under international law.  They are wrong.  The ultimate crime is aggression.  This is the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trial on this topic:
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
So, following the long and prestigious list of other US Presidents before him, Donald Trump is now a war criminal.  In fact, he is a “supreme war criminal”.  It only took him 77 days to achieve this status, probably some kind of a record.
As for the UN Charter, at least for articles (1, 2, 33, 39) ban the kind of aggression the USA took against Syria.
EXPAT Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:51pm
Just for the record, from the article I posted (the one misrepresented by Louis as an "opinion piece"):
Most people think that crimes against humanity or genocide must be the ultimate crime under international law.  They are wrong.  The ultimate crime is aggression.  target="_blank">This is the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trial on this topic:
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
So, following the long and prestigious list of other US Presidents before him, Donald Trump is now a war criminal.  In fact, he is a “supreme war criminal”.  It only took him 77 days to achieve this status, probably some kind of a record.
As for the UN Charter, target="_blank">at least for articles (1, 2, 33, 39) ban the kind of aggression the USA took against Syria.

 
Now that Tillerson is meeting with Putin and Laverov, and China is moving 150,000 troups to the N. Korean border, Proving Trump's policy is working;
Don't you feel just a little foolish for posting this crap?
Like I said, the 60 cruise missiles were a message to N. Korea, not revenge for dead children.
EXPAT Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:54pm
Added Apr 11, 2017 - 6:06pm

 
The 60 Cruise missiles were a warning shot to Iran, N.Korea, China, and Russia. Children are killed on a daily basis in Africa, and nobody gives a shit.
 
There is only ONE Superpower, and it let the world know that the aggression game is over.
NO Russia. You are not going to take control of the world's oil supply.
NO N.Korea, you are not going to collect nuclear protection money.
NO China, You are not going to control SE Asia.
NO Iran, you are not going to rebuild the Persian Empire.
 
The next step, is to disarm N.Korea. The carrier force is a distraction and a deterrent. The strike will come from B-1 bombers that have been practicing in the region for a month now.
It is a terrain following, Mach 2 bomber that flies at sea level and delivers a heavy conventional payload.
They are based in Okinawa, Guam and S.Korea.
https://theaviationist.com/2017/03/22/u-s-b-1b-performs-training-attack-mission-on-south-korean-range-china-issues-radio-warning-as-the-bomber-flies-over-east-china-sea/
 
Syria has been destroyed as a nation, and whoever steps in will have the financial burden of rebuilding it. Russia saw Syria as a gateway to control of Middle East. Now that they have been put on notice that the American Superpower is BACK, and that Iran is next in line after N.Korea, they will go back to threatening Europe and the Balkans.

 
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 12, 2017 - 11:45pm
Espat, it's been established that you feel American is above all civility and law, morality or ethics. I could not possibly disagree more with your imperialistic tyrannical stance. Therefore no, I do not feel "foolish". I have the moral high ground, and you throw rocks from the gutter like a common bully. Have fun in your irrational maniacal rants. But I will be ignoring you on this thread and topic, you are too blinded by your lust for empire to have a meaningful conversation on such topics. Good day sir! 
John G Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:32am
They are pathetic propagandised sheep believing what the rich tell them to believe without question.
Even when it makes no sense.
Amerikkkah Fuck yeah!!!!!
EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 2:51am
What a ridiculous statement! This is a new low even for you!
Espat, it's been established that you feel American is above all civility and law, morality or ethics.
 
 
But I will be ignoring you on this thread and topic, you are too blinded by your lust for empire to have a meaningful conversation on such topics. Good day sir! 
 
I agree with you! It is better to be silent and thought without opinion, than to post childish Progressive dogma, and prove it!
John G Added Apr 13, 2017 - 3:01am
You post childish ruling ruling class propaganda.
 
As if you are ever going to be amongst the ruling class.
 
You're a pathetic cretin who has no idea about who is screwing him.
EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 3:55am
This is how a STRONG American President gets results.
China reportedly sent 150,000 troops to North Korea's border — here's what they're probably up to
 
Alex Lockie
Apr 12th 2017 8:29PM
 


After a productive phone call between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese state-run media reported that a force of 150,000 troops went to North Korea's border.
International observers fear that North Korea may conduct another nuclear test this weekend on the anniversary of the founding of the Kim regime, but the US has target="_blank">broadcast loud and clear that nuclear posturing in the Korean peninsula will no longer be tolerated, and the Chinese seem to be stepping up to help.





In March, target="_blank">Business Insider talked to Sim Tack, a North Korea expert at Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis firm, speculated how Chinese forces could potentially stop North Korea's nuclear program without firing a shot.
Tack predicted that China would "definitely react to and try to prevent" a US strike on North Korea, as the US increasingly touted military strikes as an option against the Kim regime, even going as far as target="_blank">positioning an aircraft carrier off Korea's coast.
"The overt presence of Chinese forces would dissuade the US from going into that territory because they would run the risk of inviting that larger conflict themselves," said Tack.
Chinese forces in North Korea would "be in a position to force a coup or force Kim's hand" to disarm, said Tack.
Ultimately, China, North Korea's biggest backer, would attempt "to make sure North Korea still exists and serves Chinese interests while it stops acting as a massive bullseye to the US," he added.


 


In this way, China can preserve its buffer state against falling to western influence, prevent a US military strike right on their borders, and possibly even a nuclear war.
Besides its apparent troop buildup, China also seems willing to apply pressure to the Kim regime in other ways. Last week, Beijing ordered its customs authorities to reject coal imports from North Korea, a big hit to the regime's wallet since its coal is roughly 40% of its total exports.
 
You Progressive idiots can go back to blaming Putin now!


 
EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 3:59am
There is more "...childish ruling ruling class propaganda" to come. You can ignore that also.
This "pathetic cretin" is laughing his ass off at you idiots.
John G Added Apr 13, 2017 - 4:13am
Actually we're laughing at you.
EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 4:35am
Yes, Asylums are often referred to as a Laughing Academy
EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 5:11am
At least Jenifer was smart enough to stop posting stupid comments, when she was overcome by events predicted by me!
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 13, 2017 - 7:18am
Jennifer you dodged most of my questions first but then you cry about me not answering all of yours?  I was showing you how it felt to have people dodge your questions and clearly you did not like it one bit, so why did you do it to me?
 
Answer all of my questions and I will show you the same respect, but if you dodge everything asked of you then expect the same treatment in return.
 
 
But in general your questions are used to dodge the current topic, to change the subject away from one you know you are most likely wrong about.  and that is okay if you feel you need to hide from the topic, but do not expect me to enable your dodging.
 
 
As far as the link you offered, all of the parts pertaining to this Chemical attack were pure speculation and opinion, the blogger discussed a few other things as well but he also did exactly what you are doing, refusing to address certain things like the testing from three different sources to include the UN saying this was Sarin gas.
 
Sarin gas limits who this could be.  I offered what I believe to be the most plausible explanation where some military leader did it and both Assad and Russia having a desperate need to not let that truth be known.
 
 
And guess what, you dodged that point too.
 
So if you want to have any integrity at all you need to address the many, many questions and points I made to you before you cry about me not responding to all of your points, I made mine first and you dodged. 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 13, 2017 - 8:48am
So if you want to have any integrity at all you need to address the many, many questions and points I made to you before you cry about me not responding to all of your points, I made mine first and you dodged. 
 
Jenifer, this is pure 100% cop speak. This asshole pig thinks he's in control and thinks he sets the agenda. Those of us that don't have the mutant gene that causes others to become cops understand this behavior as being deviant and unacceptable of course. 
John Minehan Added Apr 13, 2017 - 9:26am
Wow, this got a lot of comments.
John Minehan Added Apr 13, 2017 - 9:29am
The issues with the DPRK provide the PRC with an opportunity to demonstrate that they have supplanted the USA as the dominant power in East Asia and the Western Pacific out to the Second Island Chain . . . if they handle it right.
Mircea Negres Added Apr 13, 2017 - 10:02am
Bottom line in my view:
1. U.S. and NATO missed the pro-democracy window a few years ago, so getting involved now is the height of folly.
2. U.S. and NATO countries have no money or popular support to expend on a Syrian intervention, needed though it is, preferably without Russian, Chinese or Iranian "help".
3. What does SecDef Mattis think? "Chaos" is pretty astute when it comes to the Arab mind he's got at gunpoint, but I haven't come across any thoughts of his on the Middle East situation since he joined the Trump administration.
4. What do the "Jedi Knights" at the U.S. Army's School for Advanced Military Studies have to say about American plans on Syria? Those guys are some of the sharpest human calculators of military strategy and tactical innovators (based on supplied front line data) in the U.S. arsenal. Their opinion should be sought before doing anything.
 
Find the answers and plan the workarounds, then it might work. Go in stupid and more American warriors will die.
George N Romey Added Apr 13, 2017 - 10:10am
Yes, lets spend trillions policing all the suppose wrongs of the world, even when we really aren't sure who are the good guys and the bad guys.  Then we will soon wake up and find our own country now a nation of two classes, massive violence and social unrest, crumbling systems both hard and soft and in general just as chaotic as the worst parts of the world.  Isn't this how empires typically end?
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 13, 2017 - 11:41am
Louis there is no proof of Sarin gas until and unless a Russian investigation proves such, period. The United States and it's vassal states have ZERO moral authority under Trump him having violated international law and the Geneva Convention and committed the most heinous of war crimes. I see you apparently support war criminals and war crimes, sad, I sure had you figured wrong. People who support war criminals and lawlessness have no moral authority themselves either. And it's now obvious why you called the article I posted an opinion piece, you didn't want others to read it and see the kind of evil war criminal your hero Obama 2.0 Trump is. I pointed out the particulars on that so your deflection failed. Serve evil and become evil. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 13, 2017 - 11:49am
Serve evil and become evil. 
 
To even want to be a cop is prima facie evidence of evil. Pure. Unadulterated. Evil. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:31pm
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:42pm
Curiouser and curiouser.
 
Who's hiding what and who's withholding evidence? 
 
Hmmm?
 
Trump Withholds Syria-Sarin Evidence
 
Hey Weeks you sick pig STFU and sit the fuck down.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:50pm
I think the best we can hope for is containment, which should have been the policy with Iraq.   The problem cant be solved in Syria, but we can make efforts to keep it from spreading and minimizing the collateral damage.  Attacking ISIS should be fair game.  Inside Syria we cant really eliminate them, but we can make it costly for them.
 
Russia has the strong position, and if they are bent on keeping Assad in power, there is little we can do to remove him that makes any sense.  Sure we can fire some Tomahawks in from time to time to show  we are annoyed, but they dont really do anything.  They blow up a few buildings, some concrete or sand, but they dont change the course of events. 
 
Add to this, it isnt clear that removing Assad makes things better, witness Iraq, Egypt and Libya.  Who replaces him ?
 
Some problems cant be solved, and there is no reason to throw good money, and people at the problem when it isnt clear it will do any good.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:05pm
Bill writes "Sure we can fire some Tomahawks in from time to time to show  we are annoyed, but they dont really do anything." 
This is especially true now that we know the Russians can stop them as the article I posted a link to explained. And now (thanks to Trump's idiotic illegal attack) the Russians are free to arm Syria with their S-500 antiaircraft and anti-missile defense system which can stop pretty much anything America can throw at them. Trump is his own worst enemy. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:08pm
For all those crying for the kiddies:
 
Syria: US hit ISIS chemical weapons depot, killing hundreds
 
As usual DUHmerica does far worse than anyone they make accusations against. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:09pm
This is especially true now that we know the Russians can stop them 
 
Indeed. Raytheon will keep selling them to the pentagon.....
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:03pm
Another excellent article about what happened in Syria. It confirms what the last said regarding the crimes, national and international, the Trump Administration committed in the bombing. It also explains why the vassel states analysis of the chemical agent was tampered with by groups such as the White Helmets (a terrorist propaganda group) and as such the chain of custody was corrupted. Only an independent investigation can possibly yield any legitimate results as to what really transpired:
Scott Ritter: Dereliction of Duty, Redux - Scott Ritter - Truthdig - http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/dereliction_of_duty_redux_20170412

EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:30pm
America just dropped the Mother of all bombs on ISIS in Afghanistan!
http://nypost.com/2017/04/13/us-drops-its-largest-non-nuclear-bomb-ever-in-afghanistan/
 
Another message to N. Korea.
 
Keep arguing about the diversion in Syria. There are none so blind as those who will not see!!!!!!!
I am beginning to think that Trump is a Master Planner. Without serious opposition, he will change the world.
 
You guys keep arguing over what you know nothing about, such as Sarin Gas and  Russian intentions.
Without intelligent opposition, Trump can do what he pleases, and he is doing it. Syria is fly paper for fools!
John G Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:38pm
Louis E Weeks
 
When America wages aggressive warfare and slaughters millions of civilians you call it 'enforcing peace'.
Have a good long look at your own violent, martial history.
John G Added Apr 13, 2017 - 9:02pm
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:03pm
 
The appearance of the fake 'White Helmets' on the scene was a dead giveaway. 
Also, the insurgent group that was bombed had kidnapped about 100 civilians from a nearby village a few days beforehand. One wonders whether these were the victims in the videos.
John G Added Apr 13, 2017 - 9:09pm
EXPAT Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:30pm
 
The NK thing is fake. The USA maintains a hostile, provocative position deliberately.
 
It is within the US' power to deescalate tensions by dropping the economic warfare and demilitarising the region.
 
 
John G Added Apr 14, 2017 - 1:18am
If this wasn't a false flag operation how did media have advance notice?
Mircea Negres Added Apr 14, 2017 - 1:41am
EXPAT, you beat me to it. I just read a small piece about the U.S. Air Force disturbing ISIS's prayers with a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Apparently it makes a mushroom cloud which can be seen from 20 miles away, and having that turn their caves into craters will make a few ISIS psychopaths rethink their decision to join- after they're done scooping handfuls of smelly brown matter out of their drawers... :-) Big thumbs up for the U.S. Air Force on this one!
John G Added Apr 14, 2017 - 2:30am
Mircea Negres
 
'ISIS" in as much as it actually exists is a US operation. The takfiris that it attracts as foot soldiers probably express the same sort of barbaric idiocy and revelry in the deaths of others as you.
Cretin.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 14, 2017 - 12:54pm
Mircea, I'm not impressed. The Russian Satan II nuclear missile can destroy an area the size of Texas. If big destructive things are to be praised, that one trumps Trump’s. 
 
In other news... Despite evidence that Al Qaeda and its allies have staged fake chemical attacks in Syria before, Official Washington asserts with “high confidence” that it’s not being fooled again, reports Robert Parry.
Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again? – Consortiumnews - https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/14/did-al-qaeda-fool-the-white-house-again/
The complete morons on CNN are apparently even saying idiotic nonsense such as "We all know that Assad did this before" referring to the 2013 incident which the UN ruled was NOT done by Assad, yet this lie persists. The goal is to murder every human being on the planet via nuclear war with Russia. I've been saying this for a while now, and the evidence just keeps piling up.
 
When listening to the intelligence community means Russia "hacked" the elections and we should as a result go to war with Russia, we are told to listen to the intelligence community. When the intelligence community says Syria no longer has chemical weapons and listening to the intelligence community means not going to war with Russia, we are told to ignore the intelligence community! How much more obvious can the goals of the Deep State be? Wake up people, they want us all dead! 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 14, 2017 - 1:27pm
Wake up people, they want us all dead! 
 
Sooner rather than later. 
EXPAT Added Apr 14, 2017 - 3:29pm
I adamantly watch the news for Kim Jong Un-stable to fire his Missiles and do more nuclear tests.
China is desperately trying to stop him, but he is beyond reason, and if he did, his own Generals would assassinate him.
The most likely scenario:
1. N. Korean missiles will come close enough  to the American fleet that it will be declared an act of war.
2. Trump will enact emergency powers act, as Senate is on Holiday.
3. Stealth fighters will destroy the Power Grid and Radar.
4. B-1 Bombers will destroy all missile launching facilities.
5. MOAB's will destroy all underground Nuclear facilities.
6. Fighters from the carrier will destroy the N. Korean Air Force.
7. South Korean forces will invade the North and take over government.
 
HAPPY EASTER!
John G Added Apr 14, 2017 - 3:35pm
Weeks is a troll. 
John G Added Apr 14, 2017 - 4:21pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkj9UCHO0Tc
Mircea Negres Added Apr 15, 2017 - 10:08am
John G., here's another military-style radio phonetic alphabet curse- Foxtrot Yankee. I served in the military and had my best friend die in my arms. Afterwards I had to tell his parents how he died because the SANDF lied to them. Now imagine what it's like to have to give parents a blow-by-blow description of the second son to have died within a month (read two of my posts, the first is "The darkness under the brightly shining sun" and the second, "The long short story" I published on Writer Beat about actual death-, and if you can get through it without crying or making stuff up, then maybe, just maybe you'll be like me. There's no "barbaric idiocy and revelry in the deaths of others" as you put it, only an awareness of what death and Death really mean after seeing them firsthand- er, no, I don't feel sorry for the ISIS psychos for dying as they did, not after they decapitated helpless Egyptian Coptic Christians, threw Iraqi homosexuals off buildings and shot in the back of the head in shallow graves Iraqi soldiers at the beginning of their invasion of the country. TROOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John G Added Apr 15, 2017 - 5:22pm
'ISIS' are US funded takfiris.
John G Added Apr 15, 2017 - 5:23pm
And if you think you military shit will get any respect or sympathy from me, you're way off.
I have zero respect for military types.
EXPAT Added Apr 15, 2017 - 11:23pm
SEOUL - A North Korean missile "blew up almost immediately" on its test launch on Sunday, the U.S. Pacific Command said, hours before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was due in South Korea for talks on the North's increasingly defiant arms program.
The failed launch from North Korea's east coast, ignoring admonitions from major ally China, came a day after North Korea held a military parade in its capital, marking the birth anniversary of the state founder, in which what appeared to be new long-range ballistic missiles were on display.
 
I guess that's one way to save face!
John G Added Apr 16, 2017 - 1:28am
It's clear that NK is no threat to the USA. So why the fuss?
The cognitive dissonance on display by the AMERICA FUCK YEAH!!! types never ceases to amaze me.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 16, 2017 - 9:08am
Jennifer, exactly, now the Russians can escalate in Syria because we have threatened their ally.  Why is it we never seem to look multiple moves ahead ?  The Russians owned this mess as soon as they stepped, in and we should just let them have it. We should stay out, and ask the Russians to take on the refugees since they are helping to create more of them.  Unfortunately for the people who live there, there is little we can do to help them. 
 
We can focus on ISIS elsewhere in the world. 
John Minehan Added Apr 16, 2017 - 10:04am
The Russians (and before them the Soviets) have had a good relationship with Baathist Syria since the 1960s.
 
It made a lot of sense for us to let them carry the fight with IS in Syria, while we helped the Iraqi government with their fight against IS.
 
The complication is Assad, who has used chemical weapons against his people as an extension of his father's "Hama Rules."  Because of that, Assad CAN NOT stay in power.
 
Russia may have overplayed its hand and let Assad use chemical weapons or Assad may not have full control, but these events have changed the calculus of these events.
 
Ideally, we can use our strike and public opinion to guide the Russians to embracing an end-state that does not include Assad.
 
But the only two  Trump Administration officials who seen up to this are McMaster and Mathis and that seems like a shallow  bench.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 16, 2017 - 11:39am
DUHmerica used chemical weapons in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos and many others therefore DUHmerica has no right to say who can stay or go. Syrians are the only one's who can say about Assad. You have to get this DUHmerica is boss of the world shit out of your head!!!!!
John Minehan Added Apr 16, 2017 - 1:55pm
Well, it used defoliants that contained dioxin.  It didn't use Chemical weapons (Blister, Blood and Nerve agents)  per se.
 
The effects were bad, both for US Troops and Vietnamese who were exposed to it. 
 
One of my NCOs in my second battery had been exposed to it (he said in the A Shau valley in 1969, Agent Orange fell like orange snow).  When he died, and we turned in his TA-50, we found that his skin had been falling off in his sleeping bag.
 
But, to say the Syrians have a right to say if Assad stays or goes, is not the same as saying they can enforce that choice against Assad's Army playing "Hama Rules."
 
Like it or not, we are in this and need to play it smart . . . if we can.
 
 
 
    
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 16, 2017 - 2:14pm
You sound just like Bubba Billy Cliton and his "depends on what your definition of "is" is". Sickening. DUHmerica has no business in Syria. Full fucking stop.
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 16, 2017 - 2:16pm
John writes "Like it or not, we are in this and need to play it smart . . . if we can." 
A good start to that would be listening to the intelligence community which says Assad didn't have chemical weapons (& therefore couldn't have been behind the incident), and getting all the facts straight BEFORE acting, instead of the cowboy shoot first, ask questions later, attitude. Also NOT violating international law and the Geneva Convention would probably be a good idea. 
Michael B. Added Apr 16, 2017 - 4:04pm
John, you should take care when using military-speak...very few people here besides me know what TA-50 is. lol
John Minehan Added Apr 16, 2017 - 4:45pm
But, look at the bright side, even fewer of them even noticed!
 
This post seemed to have touched a nerve, for reasons waaaaayyyyy beyond anything I mentioned.  
Jenifer Frost Added Apr 16, 2017 - 5:24pm
It's not the post John it's the hypocrisy of Trump that infuriates, me at least. Can't speak for everyone else. Hillary Clinton ran on the PROMISE of more illegal wars and SWORE she would be another (the FOURTH) war criminal president. So I didn't vote for the warmonger. But we got a FOURTH war criminal warmonger President anyhow! I see why people I know refuse to vote for anyone. Why bother when the Deep State always wins everytime anyhow? 
 
Oh and BTW, nothing is hard to Google, TA-50 included. 
John Minehan Added Apr 16, 2017 - 6:07pm
I have to say I voted for neither.
 
Both of them were today's James Wilkinson. 
Michael B. Added Apr 16, 2017 - 6:44pm
Too bad Hackworth wasn't able to stay with us for a little while longer - I would have loved to hear what he would have said about the whole situation. My guess is that he would have been four-square against any military involvement in Syria beyond striking ISIL. I also would bet that he would have regarded McMaster as, to use his word, a stud (as opposed to a perfumed prince, which was his preferred term for most of the military brass).
martin macrae Added Apr 17, 2017 - 10:49am
EXPAT, eu, um. the undeployed B-1A was double supersonic, and the deployed prduction (35 in service in working order out of 60) B-1B is mildly supersoniic, on a good day. B-1B is a good bomber, but a bit big! NK is so tiny a place it would wizz straight over to China before hitting the brakes (air). They have a few mig29s, and some Il-28s from the Korean War era. Mig-23s seeem all parked out as decoy targets. The last time NK did a full mobalization test the results were pretty chaotic, half the equipment didnt work. Their army is 4th rate. The DO have about 30,000 ancinet  cannons pointing at Seoul (Capital of South Korea). When you see the NK Elite wizzing off in their executive jets to Switzerland (where their loot is) you can assume the cute  chubby sack called "Dear Leader ", has gone off his rocker. Trunpled , hopefully , the NK people can join the rest of the world, (avg. 4 inches shorter and 1/37th of the GDP of the South, they have a lot of catching up to do. Is South Korea keen on having to look after them? a-la German re-unifiation.... takes decades.
As a side note, NK exists on forigen  aid money at present, could we just turn off the tap?
martin macrae Added Apr 17, 2017 - 10:51am
It does seem that the Oval Office secrets some sort of Dark Side of the Force all over incumbants,  the get all warlike and want to blow up the world.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 17, 2017 - 1:01pm
Jenifer, the foreign policy of the US has been pretty consistent since WWII, and then Kissinger "formalized" the policy, so hoping that it will change just because the President changes seems like wishful thinking, sorry.  Now HRC may have been worse, because she embraces the Kissinger philosophy, and thinks we SHOULD be the world's policeman.  However, if Trump is easily swayed by the hawks, then he could turn out to be just as bad.  Trump likes the big talk and swagger, but doesnt yet appreciate the trouble it can cause.
John G Added Apr 17, 2017 - 2:34pm
As a side note, NK exists on forigen  aid money at present, could we just turn off the tap?
You like starving people?
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 11:00am
"Now HRC may have been worse, because she embraces the Kissinger philosophy, and thinks we SHOULD be the world's policeman."
 
Bill, I'm not sure that was Kissinger's philosophy as SecStat and/or as NSA. 
 
The Nixon-Kissinger policy (at least at the time) appeared to be "global retrenchment" and supporting regional actors who they believed could ensure regional security, such as the Shah of Iran.
 
The US has generally been a power that sought  stability (or what it believed was stability) rather than trying to engineer an end-state.
 
Even at our most Wilsonian (with Wilson himself during and after WWI or G.W. Bush with Iraq) we were always interventionist in order to increase stability.  (Establish a League of Nations to avoid a next European war that would drag us in or make Iraq a stable, modern state to block Salafist ambitions at the rough center of the Dar-al-Islam.)
 
It never seems to work; it's a sort of "belling the cat" problem but the ens-state sought does seem to be stability.  
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 11:25am
"The DO (sic) have about 30,000 ancient (sic)  cannons pointing at Seoul (Capital of South Korea)."
 
Enough to create nuclear effects by non-nuclear means.  The guns are in HARTs (hardened artillery positions).  Also, it's not just cannons, it is MRLs. 
 
Further, Seoul is not just the capital, a lot of the major ROK companies have their HQs and a lot of their manufacturing capacity right within the NKPA's range fan.  (It started as an act of defiance but became a fiat accompli.)
 
Everything is against the DPRK. 
 
However, until their economy began to really take off in the 1990s, the ROK was really militant about reunification and had an excellent, highly trained army.  The ROK has become a consumer society and has become MUCH less  militant about reunification since they saw how much t cost the BRD to absorb the DDR after 1989. 
 
The question is how much have declining conditions in the DPRK undermined NKPA Light Infantry Battalions ability to sneak into airfields and take out our planes on the ground as compared to how much improving conditions in the ROK has impaired the ROKA's ability to detect and stop such infiltration.
 
For the ROK, the best option is to wait for the NKPA to collapse and then pick up the pieces for cheap.  Until then, jolly it along and avoid war.
 
For the DPRK, the best option is to be scary and be bought off.
 
HOWEVER, if things get really hopeless, what the Kim Dynasty could do is: Nuke Japan and come South, balls to the wall.
 
If their plans on the Peninsula work . . . and the strike on Japan causes the world economic markets into rapid failure . . . they can get about half to three quarters of the way down the Peninsula  before our air stops them.
 
Then, the ROK is a shambles and the DPRK is largely untouched and still relatively resource rich.  The DPRK elites (minus the Kims, who will bear the blame) will wind up in control.
 
Could it work?  Possibly, everything would have to go right.  Hopefully, we don't find out,
 
Big question: one what side does the PRC perceive their bread to be buttered on?    
martin macrae Added Apr 18, 2017 - 11:42am
Provided NK has weaponized an atomic bomb, and minturized to fit on top of a missile. Very difficult to do, Pakistan  may be helping to do this.  US ABMs may be in place, and if  NK fire several missiles at any other country, that will be the end of NK. I dont' think the Americans will let them get away with a single cannon shot, let alone a missile. 
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 11:58am
Let's see.
 
IRONDOME has been fairly effective and the new Patriots use a similar technology.  With the Gulf War-era Patriots, I would be a lot less sanguine.
Michael B. Added Apr 18, 2017 - 12:35pm
"The ROK has become a consumer society and has become MUCH less  militant about reunification since they saw how much it cost the BRD to absorb the DDR after 1989."
 
I was there when all of that was happening. After the initial euphoria died down, a lot of West Germans started to say things like, "Instead of tearing down the wall, we should have built it three meters higher." Then there's the whole cultural thing. One of my father-in-law's friends was a construction contractor, and hired several former East Germans. One day while building a parking lot/sidewalk project, they ran out of bricks, which coincided with their lunch break. The East Germans never returned, and he had to round them back up. According to him, they were accustomed to long delays whenever they ran out of materials.
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 1:48pm
Yeah, I don't see the ROK being in all that much of a hurry to reunify the Peninsula these days . . . .
John G Added Apr 18, 2017 - 2:41pm
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 11:00am
The US has generally been a power that sought  stability
It never seems to work
That's because the stated goal i.e. 'stability' is never the real goal.
The real goal in most cases of US and client aggressive warfare was/is to destroy the target state and society a la Iraq.
These aren't mistakes. They are administrative genocide.
John G Added Apr 18, 2017 - 2:43pm
Or the US could make peace.
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 3:13pm
"Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant." Tacitus
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 18, 2017 - 3:22pm
To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. — Oxford Revised Translation
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 3:36pm
Seems to fit your point and a seeming occupational hazard of great powers, which is why you should generally avoid becoming one, but no one asked me and the decision was mad just before my time.
Michael B. Added Apr 18, 2017 - 6:01pm
The more I think about it, it's probably better for many nations and/or people to be separated rather then being unified. Kind of like my friend's two kids; they are more-or-less well-behaved individually, but when they're together, they fight like rabid dogs.
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 6:15pm
Good fences make good neighbors . . . .
Michael B. Added Apr 18, 2017 - 6:30pm
That's what Robert McNamara thought, lol. The ironically-named Korean DMZ is a pretty good fence...
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 7:04pm
I never  saw that particular wall.  Oddly enough, I never did time in Korea.
Michael B. Added Apr 18, 2017 - 7:18pm
The last Smoke I had in C 2/3 FA, SFC Kim, had a 2ID combat patch. He hated my guts until I had an incident involving COL Giddings, commander of the 1st BDE, 3AD, and after that, he was my friend and protector from then on. I asked him what was up with the combat patch, and he told me he got it during a tour in the ROK in the early 70's. They got combat pay, too. So many things you don't hear about in the news, not back then anyway.
John Minehan Added Apr 18, 2017 - 7:30pm
The CSM in 2d BDE, 1st CAV in the Gulf War also had the 2d ID Combat Patch, I think it was actually awarded until about 1974, AFTER the Vietnam War ended.  
Michael B. Added Apr 18, 2017 - 7:57pm
Funny thing when I was in How Battery, 1/3 ACR; it seemed that at any given time, about a third of the people in the unit either just came from a tour in the ROK, or were PCSing to one.
John Minehan Added Apr 19, 2017 - 10:08am
Yeah, I don't know how I missed it, probably because I had short tour credit for DS/DS.