Just was watching Twitter for an extended period of time tonight – astonished at the wide variety of heart felt, differing opinions about it. Some Trumpsters upset, some Never Trumpers finding a strange, new respect for Trump. Honest questions. Sincere hopes. Support for the troops without cheap rah-rah patriotism. It was refreshing.
I don’t know what will come of this – I’m not sure I support the action (though I support the actions of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, of course). I hope there is a plan behind all this – there could be, and it might work out to a brilliant stroke of diplomacy backed by military force (the only sort of diplomacy which actually works, by the way). We’ll just have to see.
There seems to be a lot of praise for the limited strike on the Syrian airfield. Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and many other Arab countries have voiced their support for the strike, and Thomas Friedman of all people had a good point this morning. He said that it appears that Assad may have acted alone on this and did not inform Russia or Iran on this sarin attack due to the silence from both of those countries, and this may serve to give the US some leverage to weaken the support for Assad.
I am also glad to see America finally assert it’s power. In the absence of moral courage, strength, and resolve there is chaos and we have seen that dynamic unfold over the last 8 years to the detriment of millions of people.
And then there is this from Russia:
But the military action has already sparked a furious response from Vladimir Putin, who this morning called the airstrikes an ‘illegal act of aggression’. The Russian President, who has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad militarily, warned of grave damage to relations between Washington and Moscow which are already ‘in tatters’. Syrian Army officials described the attack as an act of ‘blatant aggression’, saying it had made the United States ‘a partner’ of ISIS, the ex-Nusra Front and other ‘terrorist organisations’. Putin has vowed to bolster Assad’s air defences while the Admiral Grigorovich
So I am a little confused now. Is Trump still a puppet of Russia?
I’ve seen or read 3 completely different reports on the attack this morning. One says it’s a false flag by Syrian moderate rebels, one says bombs dropped by Syrian planes hit an ammo dump that contained sarin gas canisters, and one said our intel is 99% that Assad did it. The only safe reaction is to assume that at least two of them are lying.
Regardless of the truth behind the use of nerve gas on civilians, I don’t think our response is all that unreasonable. It’s something Obama should have done after Assad violated the “red line” the first time.
Personally, my guess is that anti-Assad forces in the Assad government did it as a power play against Assad…there are wheels within wheels going on in Syria, after all. My guess is based upon the fact that such an attack accrues no benefit – not even bad benefit – for Assad. The theories that it didn’t happen just don’t seem likely (though I guess that is possible), nor does it seem likely that ISIS would have access to something like sarin.
But here are some things:
1. We were assured that all chemical weapons were removed from Syria by Obama and Kerry.
2. This sort of attack is not mounted on the fly – we knew what to hit, which means we knew what was there, all along.
3. Obama and Kerry lied to us (again).
Let’s not forget the convoys of tractor-trailers and the converted passenger planes, hauling vast amounts of WMD out of Iraq in the year-long buildup to the Iraq invasion, while Bush was still deluding himself that multiple votes to invade, including Dem votes, would provide adequate cover for the invasion.
The meme that “there were no WMD in Iraq” has such deep roots now, we forget that we WATCHED those WMD being moved out of the country.
I’m pretty confident that Syria’s stockpile was once Saddam’s – as I said many times in the past, intel services can get things wrong; in fact, they usually do…but they almost never say “something is there” when there is nothing there. The intel on Saddam’s WMD program was too extension to be entirely in error…he was up to something along those lines, and our fooling about with the UN gave him (and, more importantly, Russia, Germany and France) time to get his stuff out of Dodge before we attacked.
As an aside – just loving Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador – really sticking it to those corrupt clowns! Clearly a top choice for SecState in a putative 2nd Trump term.
If Syrian moderate rebels did it then bombing the airfield and not doing anything else to help the moderate rebels is the correct thing to do.
If Assad did it, then bombing the airfield and preparing to do more action is the correct thing to do.
If Assad bombed and accidently struck a warehouse containing sarin gas that is not supposed to be there and Russia was supposed to make sure it wasn’t supposed to be there, then bombing the airfield was the correct thing to do.
Seems to me that in the end that 99% goes up to 100% when only the measured action is considered.
It’s nice to have a solution that fits all possible causes.
Excellent analysis, Doug.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if this missile strike sucked all the oxygen out of the Russian collusion investigation?
Are you implying that Leftist hysteria might possibly be derailed by actual fact?
That’s going to be an uphill battle, as there are no precedents to fall back on.
It would have been fun to have been a fly on the wall during National Security Council discussions. I’d be surprised if getting the Russian collusion story off the front page was NOT at least mentioned.
One of the most interesting aspects of this missile strike is the variety of narratives and rampant speculation about the provenance of the sarin gas. Numerous reports have posed the question, what did Assad have to gain by using gas to bomb a rebel warehouse? I have to agree, that doesn’t make much sense. There are so many conflicting accounts; quite frankly, I’m skeptical of just about all of them. The only account I might believe is if I had a close friend on the ground reporting live.
But the bottom line is that this strike sends a message to a bunch of different players; as someone of Fox noted last night, there’s not a NEW sheriff in town, there’s finally a SHERIFF. And, as I said before, if it accomplishes nothing else except to thwart the Russian collusion meme, that isn’t all bad.
I was initially very wary of the US missile strike but am now cautiously optimistic. I’m generally a non-interventionalist–it’s one of the reasons I voted for Trump–but if this turns out to be a one-off retaliatory strike it will rank as one of the more reasonable uses of US force I’ve seen. The often insightful Scott Adams has a pretty good take on this I agree with:
I’m still wary of it – but one thing is certain, any diplomatic effort can only be successful if the other side is convinced that, ultimately, force backs up your position. Armed diplomacy is just diplomacy, per se. Unarmed diplomacy is just a surrender negotiation. Whether or not this particular strike was the right thing to do is immaterial to the fact that the whole world now knows that when Trump takes a position, there is a threat of force to back it up.
All in all, it may well have been the right thing to do – I read a description of what effect Sarin has on the human organism and it is a horrible way to die…anyone using that stuff clearly needs to be bombed.
That’s a good analysis by Scott Adams and I agree with it as well, although I don’t know why people have a hard time believing Assad was responsible. Wanting to ascribe rational thought to a maniacal despot is never a good idea. I completely believe that he and his regime are responsible because that is who they are; killers who like to use their toys. This also exposes the fecklessness of Obama’s foreign policy on Syria and the pats on the back they all gave themselves for getting rid of Assad’s chemical weapons.
I am also a little dismayed at the reaction by the #AlwaysTrumpers; Ann Coulter, Milo, etc. Making America Great Again does not mean the total abdication of global concerns. There are just entirely too many selfish and unreasonable political factions within this country.
So I can’t resist posting this. Our media is broadcasting the happiest countries in the world, and asking the familiar refrain; what do they have in common. Of course the leftist medias answer is that they are all happy socialists with free healthcare and long vacations. The list of the top 6 countries in order is as follows:
Norway, Denmark Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands
I can tell you what these countries also have in common. They all have populations of well under 10 million people, they have secured borders, and cultural and racial homogeneity and I think these facts have a hell of a lot more to do with their happiness than free healthcare does.
I note the glaring omission of Sweden from that list. This is a classic example of the static thinking that Liberals tend to engage in. It would be nice if cultural and racial disparities didn’t make a difference, and we should all strive for a world where they don’t. Barack Obama’s golden opportunity to be a racial and cultural healer ended in an epic fail, and, unfortunately, I don’t think it was an accident or incompetence. As long as Leftists believe they’re the chosen ones, I don’t see it changing any time in the near future.
Many Christians killed yesterday as a result of two separate terrorist bombings in Egypt …………. and it’s barely news anymore.
Just saw that one was a young altar server…a martyr at a young age.