After a brief distraction from the November 8, 2016 elections and President Donald Trump’s brief declaration just over a week ago that removing President Bashar al-Assad would not be the United State’s priority in concluding Syria’s civil war, it appears that the Global Regime Change Tour — produced by the US — is back on track.
Or is it … ?
Let’s first deal with this chemical weapons attack in Idlib Province’s Khan Sheikhoun — allegedly committed by the Syrian government — and then cover Trump’s military response.
It’s clear that something awful happened, but the chemical attack story seems fishy to me.
These videos aren’t helping matters.
Take a look at this story of the attack victims submitted by Dr Shajul Islam:
Is that a doctor wearing a leather jacket and treating a “gas” victim with a ventilation bag?
Next scene: the film director must’ve told Leather Jacket Guy “Hey, stupid! Put your white Ghostbusters outfit on! This is the post-gas attack scene!”
So, the guy goes through a wardrobe change but still halfway handles the ventilation bag in the next scene. His protective surgical mask poetically hangs halfway off his mouth.
Plus, the Former Leather Jacket Guy spent more time staring at the camera than helping his patient.
Bad acting? Or bad doctor? In the latter case, the patient probably gave up the ghost by now.
Back to masks — this WAS a chemical attack, right? What’s a surgical mask going to do?
All the hospital personnel either wore surgical masks or nothing over their faces at all.
So, why did we NOT see medical personnel dropping to the floor on camera due to exposure?
Anything less than wearing a hazmat suit and protective headgear when near sarin gas attack victims who were immediately exposed to the agent means trouble.
But doctors are wearing leather jackets for protection?
Oooh, wait — how do you tell the difference between a Sarin chemical attack and a chlorine gas one?
You sniff the contaminated body, of course!
And we’re not even past a minute into the 10-plus minute video.
One more thing about Dr Shajul Islam — Google his name with the term “terror charges.”
Like many other skeptics have pointed out, there’s no strategic reason for the Syrian government, who is winning the war at this point, to gas anyone.
Something terrible appeared to happen, but what? And how?
I have a stupid question for you: how would you like to see children die — from gas attacks, or bombs?
Innocent children have been bombed to death across the Middle East since 2001, but a chemical gas attack against these children is Trump’s red line?
Why isn’t anyone calling out Saudi Arabia’s B.S. when they condemned these gas attacks while they are killing or starving innocent babies in Yemen with US-made bombs, US-sourced intelligence and US fighter jet refueling capabilities?
This Yemeni baby starved to death.
Why isn’t Trump condemning the baby deaths in Yemen?
#45 referred to the “beautiful babies” from Syria who died in last Tuesday’s gas attack.
Do the dialectics of Trump’s prose and the substance of his actions (or inactions) declare the babies of Yemen less beautiful?
When Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS) was killing babies in 2014, the US only half-azzed bombed ISIL — and as a result, we saw the terror group’s medieval-like caliphate actually grow its territorial footprint. It took Russia’s madness-ending air strikes to reverse ISIL’s momentum.
We know by now that the half-azzed air strikes were by design since ISIL appeared to be an effective bet — risks of creating Mujihadeen 2.0 considered(?) — to remove Assad.
I’ll save that for later.
But were the Syrian babies not beautiful in 2014?
How about the hundreds of Syrian babies who were killed by US air strikes?
What about the babies killed by US-led coalition air strikes in Iraq? You can analyze those deaths here.
What beautiful baby deaths moved Trump to act this time?
I know we’re talking about the simple thinking of Trump, but I’d like to think the answer is more complex than the blond twins:
Hey, I stated my desire …
The situation finds Trump pushed by two catalytic vectors — the wave of recent setbacks concerning his domestic agenda, and the way this attack serves as a test of his own “red line” preferences.
“You can’t go out like a punk!” is what I’m sure his aides said to him.
Blaming President Obama on TV for how the former President’s reaction to the 2013 Ghouta gas attack led to what we see today didn’t go terribly far in convincing people that Trump was acting sufficiently presidential.
But Trump had to do SOMETHING to show Americans what kind of leader he is — without ratcheting up Russia’s anger.
So, he gives Russia the heads-up that America will have to bomb a Syrian airfield, Syria gets the advance warning to prepare and then missiles flew.
All this with no publicly accessible evidence of what exactly happened in Idlib, and no plan for what should happen next.
Did we just witness another erratic decision by Team Trump, or an attempt at a deft parry that hoped to turn a horrific event into the neutralization of domestic critics and Russia collusion witch hunters?
The gas attack and Trump’s response open a new chapter that will give keen observers an opportunity to separate the political elites from people just want to scream “RUSSIA” from their lungs for MSNBC airtime.
Like I mentioned in previous posts, the US has wanted regime change in Syria for about two decades. Some will argue the desire and attempts at implementation have occurred several times since 1949.
Active planning for removing Syria President Assad began about a decade ago.
The convenient convergence of the Arab Spring and the Gulf nations’ desire to build a natural gas pipeline through Syria — against Assad’s wishes and erasing Russia’s gas market advantage in Europe — prompted the US to channel arms and training to shady “rebels” for the purpose of overthrowing Assad.
And yes, those rebels have been infiltrated by jihadists.
Allowing the formation and expansion of Islamic State under the “I thought they were junior varsity jihadists” excuse — despite 2012 warnings from a nutcase intelligence chief who happened to be right this time — was part of the regime change plan.
Overthrowing Assad this way means Russia loses the European gas market and Iran loses a client state, but the region gains an extremist cesspool that would be the worst mixture of 1999’s Afghanistan and 2017’s Libya. Both were also US creations, by the way.
With Assad out of the way, Iran — and its enormous oil reserves — would be an imminent stop on the Global Regime Change Tour. Besides, without regime change in Iran, the country will soon become too powerful to obey rules of desired behavior in the Middle East.
I suspect that Trump did not understand much of this during his presidential campaign and the beginning of his honeymoon in the White House when he declared that ridding Syria of jihadists would be his administration’s priority, and not regime change.
If you get the concept of how “the enemy of your enemy is not always down with you,” you’ll now understand why the political elites, including Bush The Second, former US Vice President Dick Cheney and 2016 political opponent Hillary Clinton take the same side when criticizing Trump about Syria. I rap about this in more detail here.
This also explains why nutcase General Mike Flynn had to leave his NSA director position one way or another, and Steve Bannon was removed from the National Security Council.
Some of you still see the world through red or blue lenses, so I’ll say this differently to avoid being misunderstood: Bannon and Flynn may not be down with down with you, but they’re also not down with the political elite’s bigger picture.
I’m particularly concerned about Trump’s more recent decision to focus on regime change in Syria.
This tells me the political elites are winning control of foreign policy, and the Global Regime Change Tour will resume in Syria and Ukraine.
Except Russia will not go along with this plan.
To be continued …
song currently stuck in my head: “con mi ritmo” – mongo santamaria