Trump jumps the other way in Syrian swamp

President Donald Trump is suddenly jumping up and down about President Assad after the alleged chemical attack in Syria several days ago.

The Federalist: So You Want To Go To War In Syria To Depose Assad. Can You Answer These 14 Questions First?

Recent news reports that the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against its own people have amplified calls for the United States to intervene militarily. The images of victims of the chemical attack, which shock the conscience and grieve the soul, all but cry out for a response. The Russian government claims, quite implausibly, that the attacks were either launched by rebels who oppose Assad or as a false flag effort to make Assad look guilty.

After years of watching former president Barack Obama dither and do nothing on Syria while Russia and Assad seized the initiative following Obama’s disastrous red line comments, many hoped President Donald Trump might be willing to take military action to put an end to Assad’s atrocities.

These calls are understandable given the magnitude of death and destruction wreaked by Assad. But what proponents of military action to depose Assad have not explained is what our clear national security interest is there, what political victory looks like, what our main risks are, and what costs we will be required to pay in order to achieve that victory.

Here are 14 questions that proponents of war in Syria must answer before anyone considers whether military intervention to remove Assad is the best course of action for the American people.

The questions:

1) What national security interest, rather than pure humanitarian interest, is served by the use of American military power to depose Assad’s regime?

2) How will deposing Assad make America safer?

3) What does final political victory in Syria look like (be specific), and how long will it take for that political victory to be achieved? Do you consider victory to be destabilization of Assad, the removal of Assad, the creation of a stable government that can protect itself and its people without additional assistance from the United States, etc.?

4) What military resources (e.g., ground troops), diplomatic resources, and financial resources will be required to achieve this political victory?

5) How long will it take to achieve political victory?

6) What costs, in terms of lives (both military and civilian), dollars, and forgone options elsewhere as a result of resource deployment in Syria, will be required to achieve political victory?

7) What other countries will join the United States in deposing Assad, in terms of military, monetary, or diplomatic resources?

8) Should explicit congressional authorization for the use of military force in Syria be required, or should the president take action without congressional approval?

9) What is the risk of wider conflict with Russia, given that nation’s presence and stake in Syria, if the United States chooses to invade and depose Assad, a key Russian ally in the Middle East?

10) If U.S. intervention in Syria does spark a larger war with Russia, what does political victory in that scenario look like, and what costs will it entail?

11) Given that Assad has already demonstrated a willingness to use chemical weapons, how should the United States respond if the Assad regime deploys chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons against the United States?

12) Assuming the Assad regime is successfully removed from power, what type of government structure will be used to replace Assad, who will select that government, and how will that government establish and maintain stability going forward?

13) Given that a change in political power in the United States radically altered the American position in Iraq in 2009, how will you mitigate or address the risk of a similar political dynamic upending your preferred strategy in Syria, either in 2018, 2020, or beyond?

14) What lessons did you learn from America’s failure to achieve and maintain political victory following the removal of governments in Iraq and Libya, and how will you apply those lessons to a potential war in Syria?

Is trump capable of considering 4 let alone 14  questions?

 

 

96 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Answers will be provided following consultations with Jared, Ivanka, T-Rex, *Ex- President Bannon* & someone at Fox News perhaps.

    But look, don’t worry about it. What could go wrong❓😳

    • In reality, maybe not much more than is going wrong in Syria at the moment.

      On second thoughts, getting offside with Saudi Arabia and more off side with Russia, Turkey, Iran and just about every other country in the Middle East may take a couple of days watching Fox and reading Breitbart to sort out.

      Even Israel is likely to be a tad nervous.

  2. Corky

     /  April 7, 2017

    15- This may be the best ( and only) chance to gauge Russian and Chinese resolve. Better to find out in Syria rather than the China Sea, or outer states surrounding Russia.
    Besides, if handled properly, President Trumpy goes from being a ‘pussy grabber’ to everyone’s favourite uncle much to the chagrin of Gezza and liberals world-wide.

    • Pussy grabbing has festered and blown up after a couple of decades. He shouldn’t take much longer to grab the Middle East by the gonads.

      • Corky

         /  April 7, 2017

        Lol…according to one site in a breaking news story the White House is considering taking out
        Assad. Don’t know if that’s breaking news?

        • Gezza

           /  April 7, 2017

          No it’s hours old Corks. Don’t you watch Aljaz tv?

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Not at all to my chagrin, Corks. I’m very fond of Trumpy.

      • Corky

         /  April 7, 2017

        Not biting today? Nothing worse then trying to upset a happy trooper. Its water off a ducks back.

        • Gezza

           /  April 7, 2017

          Exactically. Sunny but a bit nippy in North Welly?

          • Gezza

             /  April 7, 2017

            Just ignore the question mark, a drifting digit kicked it by accident. You seem in a good mood today too.

          • Corky

             /  April 7, 2017

            Christchurch? Dunedin? Bay Of Islands?

            • Corky

               /  April 7, 2017

              Yes, my A2 shares.

            • Gezza

               /  April 7, 2017

              Bay of Islands thanks. With a twist of lemon.

            • Blazer

               /  April 7, 2017

              sell A2 now,and buy back later…’sell in ..May ..and come back again..on Derby..day.’

    • Blazer

       /  April 7, 2017

      don’t know about ‘pussy grabber’…try …’a supparating sore..on the face of…humanity’.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 7, 2017

        It’s still hot in the Waikato, Gezza. Come and live up here.

  3. Griff

     /  April 7, 2017

    Festering wound
    All of the options are crap
    We support the insurgents who include Muslim extremists.
    Or we support a corrupt regime.
    I have a better idea.
    The Americans should butt out of the Middle east

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Yes. This has been my position since before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on the grounds they didn’t have a clue about the place & would probably make things worse.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  April 7, 2017

        And on the fiction that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and chemical weapon production facilities… those were the fictions that helped pave the way for invasion of Iraq, the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of one of the world’s oldest civilisations.

        That the New York Times chief propagandist Michael R. Gordon authored those fictions about Saddams WMDs and has now moved on to author similarly alarmist stories about Syria seems more than coincidental.

        • Gezza

           /  April 7, 2017

          Well, yes. That wasn’t really all that convincing, but the other main thing that bothered me was the ex-intelligence commentators saying that there was no evidence of the claimed links between Al Qaida & Saddam, & that in fact they were implaccable foes.
          Oh, and all the Cheney/Rumsfeld administration links between various Corporation like Halliburton, Security contractors, Building Contractors & oil interests etc who were champing at the bit to get in in there after the bedt military in the world cleaned the opposition up.

        • John Schmidt

           /  April 7, 2017

          It turned out to be fiction because the Saddam regime were experts at BS and talking up their capabilites doing such a good job with talk and facilities that looked like the real Mccoy such that they tricked the west into going to war to remove what was percieved as WMD.
          Saddam had every reason to act like he had the capability to keep his enemies at bay on the pretence that he had WMD at his disposal. The bluff cost big to everyone.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 7, 2017

          The Emperor’s New Missiles ???

  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  April 7, 2017

    Question 1:
    A “decent” war in the region would divert attention from trump’s many many domestic policy failures, would divert attention from Russia investigations, would divert attention from questions of unethical and lying behaviour throughout his administration, would divert attention from shady financial dealings and conflicts of interest… and would bolster the alt-rights ability to mobilise racist and xenophobic sentiment, would feed the military-industrial complex at the expense of social policy… and on and on and on it goes.

    The other questions become irrelevant.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 7, 2017

      Most of yours were already irrelevant, Joe.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 7, 2017

        Can you uptick yourself, Joe ? I could only give you one-give yourself one from me.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  April 8, 2017

        [Deleted – don’t post addresses of other people. PG]

  5. lurcher1948

     /  April 7, 2017

    Why use sarin when you are winning?, I know they are muslims but using gas or a bomb on children in a dirty war on your own side for sympathy is a well used trick when losing.Donald like the idiot he is will roar in for regime change, but when the Russian air defense brings down a USA plane,the stakes will get higher…just saying

  6. Patricia Midwinter

     /  April 7, 2017

    I agree Lurcher. Something fishy going on here – Iraq all over again me-thinks.

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  April 7, 2017

      Scrolling back thru my tweets, I came across this one from *John Kerry* where he admits Syria *gave up* ALL their chemical weapons….something fishy going on alright 😡

      • You -actually- believe Kerry. ?
        He has a history of not being entirely truthful.
        If you can find it there’s a lot of ex Vietnam claims he made that were shown to be wrong.
        and a self awarded Purple Heart

        • Nelly Smickers

           /  April 7, 2017

          *Of course* I don’t believe him…..silly ❗

          As my old gran used to say, “Nell, never trust a man with a rug” 😡

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 7, 2017

    Gen. Jack Keane: Assad has 6 air fields; this takes out 1. It’s a warning to the regime. If we wanted, we could’ve taken out all 6 tonight.”

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 7, 2017

    US defense officials told Fox News that two warships based in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Porter and the USS Ross, had been training for two days to execute this mission.

    “Our forward deployed ships give us the capability to quickly respond to threats,” a Navy official told Fox News.

    “These strikes in Syria are a perfect example – this is why we’re there.”

    The original plans called for two targets, the airbase and a chemical weapons storage facility. However, Pentagon planners decided late Thursday to target just the airbase.

  9. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    I bin busy. Very interesting development. Perfect choice of target, perfect method of attack, waiting to see if any footage from Syrian impacts, & Russia’s response, on Aljaz tv.

    T-Rex: “We sought no approval from Russia”.

    This is going to score instant big brownie points for Trumpy & co around the world!

    14.44 hours.

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      • Gezza

         /  April 7, 2017

        “What do you mean, Xi is at Mar-a-largo?”

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Aljaz tv now doing full time coverage of strikes. Trump media conference announcing the attack being shown.

      Russia failed to sort out Syria’s chemical weapons.

      • Gezza

         /  April 7, 2017

        Ends with :”As long as America stands for justice then peace & harmony will prevail. Good night America & goodnight the world ( or something like that).

        Exciting stuff: looking for the video.

        While I’m watching all this stuff, can someone keep on eye on what else is happening at the same time over there in the US, thanks. As squirrels go, this is a big one. 😳

  10. Nelly Smickers

     /  April 7, 2017

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 7, 2017

      Yep, US general says this was a message to North Korea too.

  11. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Aljaz:

    “Syrian State television says Syria was target of American agression.”

    President Xi had left Mar-a-Largo & gone back to his own luxury resort when attack was launched.

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Governor of Homs says 😡 US strikes serve goals of “terrorist groups”

      • Gezza

         /  April 7, 2017

        (What’s that governor talking about? 😡 Bannon got the heave ho from the NSC!)

        Turkey govt spokesman says everybody still still asleep there but Turkey ready to assist in any way to sort out Assad.

  12. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    PG must be busy. Can’t see a new post yet … 😳

  13. duperez

     /  April 7, 2017

    If there’d been reports of a country gassing or otherwise heinously killing its people and that country were a ‘friend’ of the USA, would we have heard the President in ‘Fake News” mode?

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 7, 2017

      The man whose technology enabled the running of the Holocaust and who was given the equivalent of a knighthood by Hitler was an American. His name was Thomas Watson and his business was IBM.

      For some reason, this is not emphasised by those who run the research institute whose name bears that of the American who played an active part in the gassing of millions of people, as well as making it easier for the Germans to sort out those who were to die at once and those who could be used as slave labour.

  14. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Aljaz : Rory Challands in Moscow:

    Nothing from Russians yet. But it’s 6am so ‘no doubt people will be getting roused from their beds. … We can assume that the big players have been notified what has happened …. It may take some time for a considered respone. … Interestingly, this is the first test of Russia’s air defence system that supposedly protected Russian & Syrian defence forces from attacks from the sea and air in Syria. Possibly this is because Russia was notified, but this certainly changes the playing field in Syria as Russia has pretty much had air superiority there for the past year.’

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Rory: ‘We shouldn’t have to wait long. Maria Zakara (sp?) who is the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry says the Foreign Ministry is preparing a statement now.’

      Rory: ‘T-Rex is saying that NO INFORMATION was given to Russia before the strikes. There seems to be a possible disconnect between Trump Administration officials, causing some speculation Tillerson may not have been informed.’

      • Gezza

         /  April 7, 2017

        1619 hours

      • Gezza

         /  April 7, 2017

        Aljaz: Another commentator – T-Rex says emphatically that Putin was not consulted or notified, but that Commanders of US forces on the ground notified Russian Commanders of Russian troops on the ground in Syria to get their asses out of that airbase quick as. (Or words to that general effect. The fog of war is descending.)

        Trump, it is claimed, gave the order during his meeting with Xi but kept shtum, & this will cause Xi to lose face.

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      There will also apparently be a *statement by the Russian military* shortly.

  15. Nelly Smickers

     /  April 7, 2017

    I always find it amazing hearing about things I didn’t have a clue about.

    Wayne was just saying that *Sarin* was actually developed by the Nazi’s way back in 1938…..for use as *Fly-Spray* 😡

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 7, 2017

      Not quite,

      It was discovered when research was being done for pesticides (which are much more than flyspray, of course) and was quickly annexed as a weapon because of its lethal potential.

  16. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Aljaz: US Defence official calls cruise missile strikes a “one-off”.

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  April 7, 2017

      There was a lady just on *Fox* saying those missiles are the size of *wooden lamposts*….gawd imagine if one fell on you 😡

      • Gezza

         /  April 7, 2017

        59 cruise missiles apparently (Aljaz). Engine trouble with one?

  17. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Homs Governor: We already knew ISIL & Nusra were part of America’s efforts to attack us & we are not surprised that they have now attacked us directly. There have been terrible casualties at the airbase.

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Correction: Homs Governor says firefighters are busy there but he believes there have NOT been “big human casualties” at the airbase.

    • Gezza

       /  April 7, 2017

      Also says Israel & Saudi Arabia are part of America’s conspiracy against Syria.

      Haven’t heard from Iran yet but they probably won’t approve.

  18. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Rory Challans, in Moscow: Russian Senate Chair says Russia is to call for urgent Security Council meeting on the attack & that this may put an end to Russian military cooperation with the US over activities of their forces in Syria.

  19. Nelly Smickers

     /  April 7, 2017

    @ 4:54pm

    *Fox* are reporting the Syrian Defence Minister saying “…..there have been a number of civilian casualties”

    They’ll no doubt be busy staging a few photo-ops with bodies they’ve had stored in the morgue.

    Looking forward to seeing the *Sky-Tower* all lit up……

  20. Corky

     /  April 7, 2017

    The Prez informed New Zealand before the attack, Looks like we are back in the fold. Hell, even Russia was informed.

    God bless the Prez.

  21. Gezza

     /  April 7, 2017

    Aljaz:

    * Syrian activists: At least four soldiers killed and base almost completely destroyed.

    * Saudi Arabia backs action ( do they have any planes that look like Syrian planes?)

    * Bibi Netanyahu announces support as well. (Do they have any planes that look like Syrian planes?)

  22. A SU 22 Aircraft was detected dropping the Chemical Bomb. How many SU 22s are owned by ISIS or Al Qaeda ? Err ! The weapon of interest’s bomb crater has been located and photographed. It was clearly air launched1. Delete Al Qaeda theory!

    • Gezza

       /  April 8, 2017

      What does a “chemical bomb” look like? Can you link us to the footage? Who has located & photgraphed the bomb crater & how is it clearly different from other bomb craters? Do they have the bomb casing or parts? Have they been turned over to anyone for analysis & inspection? Any relevant links would be great.

      • Iwill try and find it again and let you know. Have to do a History search, andteas nearly ready!

        • Gezza

           /  April 8, 2017

          Very good. Carry on. 💂

          • Have a look at this. Williams is a dick but this shows the results of the strike from US:

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  April 8, 2017

              If you’re going to make a video maybe you should watch the clips first. Who wants to watch a video of a religious nut surfing the web?
              That guy is an amateur,

            • Gezza

               /  April 8, 2017

              Interesting. Seeing he’s a religious nut by the look of it & those images are pretty small and you have to stop the video for a squiz I’ll have a hunt around for any official photos – looks like the pentagon’s released some.

              Those two ships that launched the missiles will have to be replaced with others with a full load I imagine. Wonder if the crews of the Russian ones & theirs will give each other a wave?

              Bet everybody’s excited as heck. Chance to let fly with the gear & not be attacked back, see how they do against Russian air defence gear. All the US military will be thanking Allah for sending them a trigger happy one.

            • Meanwhile off scene is the logistics support ship with a whole new lot of ammo, etc etc. And where is the US nuclear submarine monitoring the area? The basis of might is right!

            • Gezza, I also listened to a Russian Academic who is a regarded as being fairly smart about Russian Defence policy. He said the yippee state of the art missile air defence units deployed in Syria were not used because they are protecting Russian military assets. They are only capable of knockdowns for 40 kilometres and are unable to intercept the long range US missiles used in the attack. He actually admitted the capabilities of the Russian Air Defence Units have been deliberately exaggerated! Ask yourself, the Russians knew of the attack, why not use their acclaimed assets?

            • Gezza

               /  April 8, 2017

              Been doing myself some dinner. Haven’t checked out any other available before & after Pentagon pics yet. Well they’d have come in low level so would’ve zipped in under the SAM radars I expect. Maybe that’s why they apparently didn’t target all the SAM sites. Have you counted the buildings & craters in that video? Pics within video too small for the iPad & haven’t fired up the lappy. Runway looks untouched.

            • Keep looking and enjoy your dinner!

            • Gezza

               /  April 8, 2017

              Yeah I’ll see what the latest is on the next hour long news on Aljaz. They give a less jingoistic assessment of these sorts of events than Fox News & they’ll have the pentagon pics by now & probably some commentary from an ex-US Military expert or two. They’re anti-Assad & tend to give as much time or more to spokespeople for the Syrian Opposition as they do to Assad’s flunkies. They pretend the Syrian Opposition are saints & that their tv spokesman actually represents the real bulk of the opposition.

              This bloke Lawrence Korb is one of their reasonably regular military / strategic commenters. Quite well qualified for the issues he speaks on. Sensible chappie. Straight down the middle. Doesn’t concern himself with whoever’s got their butt on the oval office chair & what party they they are.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Korb

          • Hey Gezza, bomb crater. Loo at this site:
            //www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/syria-chemical-weapons-attack/521883/

            • Gezza

               /  April 8, 2017

              I can’t see any loo❓ Why would they take out a loo❓😳

          • Gezza

             /  April 8, 2017

            Ok, hopefully this is the full link. I see a crater. The article doesn’t say anything about it.

            https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/syria-chemical-weapons-attack/521883/