Syria

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Syria

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:49 am

I would not have launched this attack especially without Congressional approval as Constitutional law requires - time to end our role as the world's policemen.

That said, the attack last night was not that bad - it was directed at chemical/biological sites as a deterrent, they were limited - only three sites, and we coordinated with France and the UK. I’d guess Mattis won the debate and Bolton lost it (but that is only supposition).
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Re: Syria

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:29 am

Trump just tweeted “....... Mission Accomplished”. I hope he is right but far more likely that tweet will come back and haunt him just like it did with Bush Jr.
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:45 am

Nothing in the Middle East is "Mission Accomplished"; it's all, from Abraham's day to the present situation in Syria (or situations, since there are multiple situations we keep trying to address), more like Mission Impossible. I would think by now we would have got a clue.
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Re: Syria

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:52 am

I get a sinking feeling that we have been here before with other Middle Eastern countries where we try to set things right by an American bombing. (Need I make a list?) I don't think that this will make any real difference in Syria. Barrels of chlorine are easily accessible anywhere from pool supplies to water treatment plants, to laundries.
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Re: Syria

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:56 am

Haruo wrote:Nothing in the Middle East is "Mission Accomplished"; it's all, from Abraham's day to the present situation in Syria (or situations, since there are multiple situations we keep trying to address), more like Mission Impossible. I would think by now we would have got a clue.

Well said!
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Re: Syria

Postby William Thornton » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:39 am

You acknowledge the use of chemical weapons?
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:04 am

I'm not competent to assess the use of chemical weapons. But chemical weapons are a dime a dozen. I don't think the UK and France joined this mission because we forced them to, nor that they did so to distract American voters from other matters, though I have little doubt that the latter goal played quite a role in the way Trump went about his part in it. But the UK and France (and many other countries) have their own reasons to want to stick it to the Russians. So they may have seen flying along with US as a convenient excuse for something they might otherwise have had a hard time doing.

I don't think "Mission accomplished" means any more than his bragging about the never-ending rise of "his" stock market indexes did a few months ago.
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Re: Syria

Postby Sandy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:35 am

http://thehill.com/homenews/administrat ... for-Syrian

Deja vu?

As long as the middle east is loaded with regimes led by puppets backed by foreign governments, civil wars will rip countries apart, insurgencies will rise (two major ones now since the mission was allegedly accomplished in Iraq during the Bush administration) and all kinds of atrocities will result as the low level puppets work to help their foreign masters "protect their country's interests in the Middle East."

So we see television pictures of a "chemical weapons attack" on Syrian civilians in a city held by the anti-Assad faction and it prompts another air strike, this one including the UK and France. What about the chemical weapons attacks that have occurred that didn't get on television? I don't see that the stated ends are being accomplished, though it did cause a pause in the news cycle about Trump's sex scandals with porns stars and the criminal activity in which he was involved with the Russians.
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Re: Syria

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:34 pm

William Thornton wrote:You acknowledge the use of chemical weapons?

Yes but not sure if any nerve agents (like Sarin) were involved (Mattis, who I do trust, was uncertain about Sarin).

Chlorine gas is not usually lethal unless large quantities are inhaled or there is a long exposure time. Chlorine gas alone is not formally classified as a “chemical weapon” as far as the UN Chemical Weapons Convention is concerned.
Chlorine gas is highly toxic, but being a pure element and extremely widely used for peaceful purposes, is not officially listed as a chemical weapon.


Note that UN Inspectors did not inspect these attacks and the Convention does not provide for a military response/remedy. BTW, Syria has “acceded to” but has not signed this chemical weapon ban.

I’m also not absolutely sure who released the chlorine gas/sarin (?). Probably the Assad Regime, but I’m not 100%.

Pence is talking right now about all of this (but he is not saying anything that would move me on any of this). Why is he speaking, not Trump? - Pence is in Peru.
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:55 pm

What I heard Pence say made it sound like he thought chlorine was a forbidden chemical weapon. I wonder if this means a generation of Syrians will have to drink bottled water courtesy (at a cost) of Nestlé or other oligarchical outfits.
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:59 pm

KeithE wrote:Pence is talking right now about all of this (but he is not saying anything that would move me on any of this). Why is he speaking, not Trump? - Pence is in Peru.

Well, would you rather Trump spoke? I actually listened to his announcement of the strikes yesterday, and he was far more focused and coherent than usual; the grammar was all in place; the references to morality could have been delivered by Jimmy Carter. It was a stunning contrast to most of the times I've heard him ramble. But I think you have to assume that if he spoke about it a second time he would either renege on a major part of it or garble his sentences so badly no one would know if he had reneged.
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Re: Syria

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:37 pm

Haruo wrote:
KeithE wrote:Pence is talking right now about all of this (but he is not saying anything that would move me on any of this). Why is he speaking, not Trump? - Pence is in Peru.

Well, would you rather Trump spoke? I actually listened to his announcement of the strikes yesterday, and he was far more focused and coherent than usual; the grammar was all in place; the references to morality could have been delivered by Jimmy Carter. It was a stunning contrast to most of the times I've heard him ramble. But I think you have to assume that if he spoke about it a second time he would either renege on a major part of it or garble his sentences so badly no one would know if he had reneged.

I think that perhaps Trump is so caught up in the Russian matter (and/or his salacious matters) after the Cohen raid Friday morning, that he does not want to face questioning. So he does not want to face reporters (thus the “full lid” treatment today) and will only give quick, scripted, no-questions-asked press encounters (like his did last night). We will see.
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:53 pm

KeithE wrote:
Haruo wrote:
KeithE wrote:Pence is talking right now about all of this (but he is not saying anything that would move me on any of this). Why is he speaking, not Trump? - Pence is in Peru.

Well, would you rather Trump spoke? I actually listened to his announcement of the strikes yesterday, and he was far more focused and coherent than usual; the grammar was all in place; the references to morality could have been delivered by Jimmy Carter. It was a stunning contrast to most of the times I've heard him ramble. But I think you have to assume that if he spoke about it a second time he would either renege on a major part of it or garble his sentences so badly no one would know if he had reneged.

I think that perhaps Trump is so caught up in the Russian matter (and/or his salacious matters) after the Cohen raid Friday morning, that he does not want to face questioning. So he does not want to face reporters (thus the “full lid” treatment today) and will only give quick, scripted, no-questions-asked press encounters (like his did last night). We will see.

I was just surprised he didn't chuck the script last night. It's so unlike him.
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Re: Syria

Postby Jon Estes » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:37 pm

KeithE wrote:Trump just tweeted “....... Mission Accomplished”. I hope he is right but far more likely that tweet will come back and haunt him just like it did with Bush Jr.


My take on those words was about we did what we intended to do - we did. Will there be more - who knows but that will be a separate mission.
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Re: Syria

Postby KeithE » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:55 am

Jon Estes wrote:
KeithE wrote:Trump just tweeted “....... Mission Accomplished”. I hope he is right but far more likely that tweet will come back and haunt him just like it did with Bush Jr.


My take on those words was about we did what we intended to do - we did. Will there be more - who knows but that will be a separate mission.


Even if the undeclared “mission" was only preventing Syria from using chemical weapons again, that is far from “accomplished". That will take time to assess as Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

The “operation" was by Pentagon accounts executed well. But the Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) has not even been completed to declare the “operation” successful as Mattis has cautioned. Yet Trump trumpets “mission accomplished”. I guess one could charitably call it cheerleading to our and our Allies' militaries - but I fear it was mostly directed to his base. The Syrian people (all sides) are not cheering - the good guys there want refuge and we only let 11 Syrian refugees in the last year.

I remember the totally false assessment of Patriot effectiveness in the Gulf War.

But I remember that, shortly after Operation Desert Storm, the first war against Iraq in 1991, the U.S. Army claimed that an earlier model of the Patriot had intercepted 45 out of 47 Iraqi Scuds—a 95 percent success rate. Over the following year, the Army lowered its estimate, stating that Patriots intercepted 79 percent of the Scuds launched over Saudi Arabia and 40 percent of those fired at Israel. These remain the official figures today.

However, even the revisions wildly overstate the Patriot's performance in Desert Storm. A later report by the General Accounting Office concluded that Patriot missiles destroyed only 9 percent of the Scuds they tried to engage. The Israeli Defense Force calculated they'd destroyed just 2 percent. William Cohen, Bill Clinton's secretary of defense, admitted upon leaving office in January 2001, "The Patriot didn't work."


I believe we have progressed since then and offensive measures (like Friday nights attack) are a whole lot easier than defensive interception of missiles; but I am not naive enough to believe the initially assessments coming from all sides.
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:50 pm

Trump is definitely a cheerleader for a team where he's also trying to be the quarterback. Hard to do both well at the same time. Poor guy.
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Re: Syria

Postby Sandy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:08 pm

After the fact, it appears the purpose of the missile attack was to support the drawing of a "red line" when it came to Syria's use of chemical weapons. A couple of warehouses and a research facility were hit, according to most news reports I've seen, not much in the way of making a dent in the ability of Assad to use chemical weapons. Coupled with tough talk about sanctioning the Russians, I'd say the attack really did nothing except distract the media from all of the scandals and investigations going on in the swamp Trump has created in Washington. Had it not been for the involvement of the British and French, I might think that was all there was to it.

Syria has been bombed to smithereens all through this civil war, a hundred missiles on a couple of desert warehouses and a research lab in the side of a hill aren't going to make much of a bang. It's going to take genuine diplomacy, not missiles, to end the violence in Syria, and that means a major change in the way both the US and Russia are approaching their own "national interests" in the middle east.

Apparently, though, we have a much better way of scaring Assad in to submission, and that is the ability for the Vice President to be in two places at the same time. According to the descriptions of a photograph shown by White House Press Secretary Sarah Pinnochio, Pence was with Trump during the missile attack, while he was also delivering a speech in Peru.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... spartandhp
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Re: Syria

Postby Sandy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:19 pm

And then, maybe I spoke too soon. Trump threw his UN ambassador under the bus when it came to remarks about Russian sanctions. There aren't going to be any.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... spartandhp

I was wondering how Trump was going to enforce sanctions against Russia over their involvement in Syria when he hasn't enforced any of the existing sanctions for their invasion of Ukraine and their stealing of the Crimea. Kinda makes you wonder what Putin's got on him, huh? :wink:

Russia has a large military presence in Syria, which is, in fact, the reason why Assad is still in power, after coming to the brink of being militarily defeated. Kind of makes you wonder, with the air cover they provide, and the military presence, how it was that a hundred or so missiles got through the air defenses and hit targets in the Assad regime controlled areas of Syria without any Russian anti-aircraft support, or anti-missile defenses being engaged.
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Re: Syria

Postby KeithE » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:53 am

Sandy wrote:And then, maybe I spoke too soon. Trump threw his UN ambassador under the bus when it came to remarks about Russian sanctions. There aren't going to be any.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... spartandhp

I was wondering how Trump was going to enforce sanctions against Russia over their involvement in Syria when he hasn't enforced any of the existing sanctions for their invasion of Ukraine and their stealing of the Crimea. Kinda makes you wonder what Putin's got on him, huh? :wink:

Russia has a large military presence in Syria, which is, in fact, the reason why Assad is still in power, after coming to the brink of being militarily defeated. Kind of makes you wonder, with the air cover they provide, and the military presence, how it was that a hundred or so missiles got through the air defenses and hit targets in the Assad regime controlled areas of Syria without any Russian anti-aircraft support, or anti-missile defenses being engaged.


Sounds like another tit-for-tat to me.
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Re: Syria

Postby Haruo » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:48 am

I was unaware of the Pence-can-be-in-two-places-at-once photo until I read more of this thread just now. That really is a tactical miracle, one that the Russians would do well to fear. And maybe it can be used in the Cohen investigation, too.
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