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Old 2017-04-07, 15:50   #430
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatman View Post
I've only heard reports (from people who were present at the attack) that the attack was initiated from an airplane. Who else, aside from Assad, could have conducted the attack? (Serious question)
One suggestion that I have heard floating around is that an air strike blew up a sarin stockpile in a rebel area. It opens up the possibilities if all one needs is high explosives to release the gas.

At this point, I am still in "don't believe anybody" mode. I am gravely concerned that this situation could lead up to a full-blown confrontation with Russia. It also needs to be asked, "Qui bono?" As with the previous gas incident, in which early claims of regime culpability were debunked, this incident does not play out in Assad's favor. The opposition certainly benefits if the big players attack government forces as a result.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2017-04-07 at 15:57
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Old 2017-04-07, 16:07   #431
wombatman
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Thanks for that clarification. I thought the implication was that the rebels had done the bombing via aircraft or something like that--hence my confusion.

With you on the concern about the fight with Russia. Although it's interesting that the alt-right has already expressed their dismay over the possibility of a protracted fight in Syria. Trump's doing a helluva job pissing off all of his supporters through his actions (border wall, dumbass tweeting, shitty "healthcare" bill, and so on).

I think this action will build some support from more traditional Republicans, but it'll be interesting to see if the alt-right people end up falling in line or turning on him.
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Old 2017-04-07, 17:18   #432
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I agree with Kladner.

The attack makes no sense militarily for Assad. He's winning. Since Russian help arrived he's almost made as much ground up against the Rebels as the YPG had from the other direction against ISIS.

The attack makes no sense strategically for Assad. Who or what was killed or accomplished militarily? Chemical attacks in the day and age of the internet only make sense if the goal is worth the inevitable backlash against viral pictures of dead civilians.

The reports on the ground from the attack are almost laughable in how wrong they are.

The bomber attacked just minutes after sunrise EEST. the Rebels claimed they saw the plane dropping gas bombs.

The several problems exist here. first Syria's previous gas delivery was ground based missiles. After the earlier attacks (which don't appear to be government sponsored despite western claims) Syria has allowed inspectors into the country. Where and how did they modify these Russian bombs to deliver a highly volatile neurotoxin? To what end? Why spend the time and money and effort when they are winning.

There is no way a person on the ground could identify "gas bombs" dropping from the bombers. Even if it hadn't been in a low-light situation.

Sarin is easy to manufacture but breaks down quickly without complex doping processes. This is why the US and Russia continuously produced and destroyed the stuff for decades after WWII.

The highest probability is that the Rebels had some sarin compounds at an arms location. That material was dispersed by the Assad regime's attack. It didn't do a whole of damage considering the low dose needed for sarin to be effective. Which leaves open the possibilities that the Rebels were manufacturing it, or that they had some stores left from the Assad government's supply.

Also, this could be a false flag operation by the side that is losing. And 45 played right into their hands.

All of those options make more sense and are far more likely than Assad just randomly decided to drop a chemical weapon with no strategic goal in mind. And on a place with no military significance. In a war that, thanks to Russian support and American ineptitude, he is winning.
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Old 2017-04-07, 17:53   #433
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Default NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims

Here is another damper on the rush to war.
Quote:
The New York Times, which has never heard an allegation against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that it hasn’t immediately believed, has compiled a list of his alleged atrocities with a surprising omission: the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus.

Why this omission is so surprising is that the sarin incident was the moment when the Western media and the Washington establishment piled on President Barack Obama for not enforcing his “red line” by launching military strikes against the Syrian government to retaliate for Assad “gassing his own people.”
Quote:
So, for the Times to compile a summary of alleged Assad atrocities, which included a separate section on “chemical attacks,” and to leave out the August 2013 case suggests that even The New York Times cannot sustain one of the most beloved myths of the Syrian war, that Assad was at fault for the sarin attack.

Previously, the Times backed away from one of its front-page reports – published about a month after the sarin attack – that used a “vector analysis” to place the site of the sarin missile launch at a Syrian military base about 9 kilometers from the two impact zones. That analysis was considered the slam-dunk proof of Assad’s guilt, but it collapsed when it turned out that one of the missiles contained no sarin and the other rocket, which did have sarin, had a range of only about 2 kilometers, placing the likely firing location in rebel-controlled territory.
Once again, "Qui bono?"

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2017-04-07 at 17:54
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Old 2017-04-07, 18:28   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Once again, "Qui bono?"
ITYM "cui bono?"
HTH
HAND
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Old 2017-04-07, 19:11   #435
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
ITYM "cui bono?"
HTH
HAND
Oops. Thanks. I guess I have been mixing languages again.

EDIT: I don't get your second and third initialisms.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2017-04-07 at 19:12
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Old 2017-04-07, 19:16   #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Oops. Thanks. I guess I have been mixing languages again.

EDIT: I don't get your second and third initialisms.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=HTH
http://www.urbandictionary.com/defin...nd&defid=11119

or at least that's what urban dictionary says.
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Old 2017-04-07, 19:20   #437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by science_man_88 View Post
Thank you. I did not think of such resources.
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Old 2017-04-07, 22:11   #438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatman View Post
I've only heard reports (from people who were present at the attack) that the attack was initiated from an airplane. Who else, aside from Assad, could have conducted the attack? (Serious question)
If a conventional air-dropped bomb hits a rebel poison-gas cache, you get just what was described on the ground. Recall that the 2013 gas attacks were eventually sourced - by tracing the chemical signature of the stuff - to the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Al-Nusra front, which staged it as a false-flag attack to try to draw the U.S. admin. into regime-changing there - Sy Hersh and Robert Parry did great early work on that story:
Quote:
In August 2013, the Obama administration lurched to the brink of invading Syria after blaming a Sarin gas attack outside Damascus on President Bashar al-Assad’s government, but new evidence reported by investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh implicates Turkish intelligence and extremist Syrian rebels instead.

The significance of Hersh’s report was twofold: first, it showed how Official Washington’s hawks and neocons almost stampeded the United States into another Mideast war under false pretenses, and second, the story’s publication in the London Review of Books revealed how hostile the mainstream U.S. media had become toward information that didn’t comport with its neocon-dominated conventional wisdom.

In other words, it appears that Official Washington and its mainstream press had absorbed few lessons from the disastrous Iraq War, which was launched in 2003 under the false claim that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was planning to share hidden stockpiles of WMD with al-Qaeda, when there was no WMD nor any association between Hussein and al-Qaeda.

A decade later in August and September 2013, as a new war hysteria broke out over Assad allegedly crossing President Barack Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons, it fell to a few Internet sites, including our own Consortiumnews.com, to raise questions about the administration’s allegations that pinned the Aug. 21 attack on the Syrian government.

Not only did the U.S. government fail to provide a single piece of verifiable evidence to support its claims, a much-touted “vector analysis” by Human Rights Watch and The New York Times supposedly tracing the flight paths of two rockets back to a Syrian military base northwest of Damascus collapsed when it became clear that only one rocket carried Sarin and its range was less than one-third the distance between the army base and the point of impact. That meant the rocket carrying the Sarin appeared to have originated in rebel territory.
Also motive: according to most accounts he Syrian regular forces, with the backing of Russia and somewhat-backing of the U.S., has the jihadists on their heels and mostly pinned down to a few shrinking areas, one of which was the one where the 'gas attack' occurred here.
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Old 2017-04-08, 06:38   #439
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o Trump's 'Wag the Dog' Moment | Robert Parry, Consortiumnews

o The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria | Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
Quote:
Leading Congressional Democrats – including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – quickly praised Trump’s bombing while raising concerns about process. Hours before the bombing commenced, as it was known Trump was planning it, Hillary Clinton – who has been critical of Obama for years for not attacking Assad – appeared at an event and offered her categorical support for what Trump was planning:

WATCH: Hillary Clinton said U.S. should attack Assad's airfields hours before missile strike. More: https://t.co/BQ6AEMNpZh pic.twitter.com/GtiAjJE7sK

— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 7, 2017

The instant elevation of Trump into a serious and respected war leader was palpable. Already, the New York Times is gushing that “in launching a military strike just 77 days into his administration, President Trump has the opportunity, but hardly a guarantee, to change the perception of disarray in his administration.”

Political leaders across the spectrum rushed to praise Trump and support his bombing campaign. Media coverage was overwhelmingly positive. One consummate establishment spokesman accurately observed:

Among US political establishment, attacks on Assad the most popular action Trump has taken to date as President.

— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) April 7, 2017

...

Democrats have spent months wrapping themselves in extremely nationalistic and militaristic rhetoric. They have constantly accused Trump of being a traitor to the U.S., a puppet of Putin, and unwilling to defend U.S. interests. They have specifically tried to exploit Assad’s crimes by tying the Syrian leader to Trump, insisting that Trump would never confront Assad because doing so would anger his Kremlin masters. They have embraced a framework whereby anyone who refuses to confront Putin or Assad is deemed a sympathizer of, or a servant to, foreign enemies.

Having pushed those tactics and themes, Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. How could they possibly do anything but cheer as Trump bombs Syria? They can’t. And cheering is thus exactly what they’re doing.

For months, those of us who have urged skepticism and restraint on the Russia rhetoric have highlighted the risk that this fixation on depicting him as a tool of the Kremlin could goad Trump – dare him or even force him – to seek confrontation with Moscow. Some Democrats reacted with rage yesterday at the suggestion that their political tactics were now bearing this fruit, but that’s how politics works.

Much as George H.W. Bush was motivated to shed his “wimp” image by invading Panama, of course Trump will be motivated to prove he’s not controlled by Putin via blackmail by seeking confrontation with the Russian leader. And that’s exactly what he just did. War is the classic weapon U.S. Presidents use to show they are strong, patriotic and deserving of respect; the more those attributes are called in question, the greater that compulsion becomes:
Greenwald also details the mainstream media's deep complicity in - if not outright fomenting of - the imperial warmongering.

o And Dilbert creator Scott Adams frames things in the same distictly heterodix art-of-persuasion terms he used in the run-up to the election (in which he correctly predicted the winner, starting many month in advance, before anyone in the MSM was taking Trump's chances of winning at all seriously):
Quote:
And how about those pictures coming in about the tragedy. Lots of visual imagery. Dead babies. It is almost as if someone designed this”tragedy” to be camera-ready for President Trump’s consumption. It pushed every one of his buttons. Hard. And right when things in Syria were heading in a positive direction.

o Interesting timing.
o Super-powerful visual persuasion designed for Trump in particular.
o Suspiciously well-documented event for a place with no real press.
o No motive for Assad to use gas to kill a few dozen people at the cost of his entire regime. It wouldn’t be a popular move with Putin either.
o The type of attack no U.S. president can ignore and come away intact.
o A setup that looks suspiciously similar to the false WMD stories that sparked the Iraq war.

I’m going to call bullshit on the gas attack. It’s too “on-the-nose,” as Hollywood script-writers sometimes say, meaning a little too perfect to be natural. This has the look of a manufactured event.

My guess is that President Trump knows this smells fishy, but he has to talk tough anyway. However, keep in mind that he has made a brand out of not discussing military options. He likes to keep people guessing. He reminded us of that again yesterday, in case we forgot.

So how does a Master Persuader respond to a fake war crime?

He does it with a fake response, if he’s smart.
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Old 2017-04-08, 07:49   #440
kladner
 
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It is depressing just how willingly all sorts join the stampede.

From The Nation, by Joan Walsh. The gist of her article is that a bit of warlike activity does wonders for the old poll numbers; and causes people who should know better to get carried away by rhetoric and images
Too Many of Trump's Liberal Critics are Praising His Strike on Syria.
https://www.thenation.com/article/to...rike-on-syria/

But just have a look at The Nation's home page.
https://www.thenation.com/
In another piece here, Juan Cole muses on,
"What Is It With US Presidents and Tomahawk Cruise-Missile Strikes?"
(Don't think I am agreeing with everything Cole says. He is slippery, IMO.) Still, it is a good question.

Then there is this, from Zero Hedge:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-0...ident-question
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