Trump’s new war has neocons, Clintonites, and Israelis applauding, but left and realists dismayed

US Politics
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As you know, Donald Trump ordered a massive missile strike on a Syrian airbase last night, as a response to civilian deaths on Tuesday in what was alleged to be a chemical attack by the Syrian government on a rebel-held town. The strike, which Trump justified with repeated references to the “babies” killed on Tuesday, is broadly perceived as a complete turnaround of Trump’s earlier vehement determination not to get involved in Middle East wars. The strike is being applauded by neoconservatives, liberal interventionists, and Israelis too– as well as by mainstream Democrats.

Meanwhile, American realists and leftists and conservatives are deeply critical of the attack. Here are some of the reactions…

Russia has condemned the strikes, Syria says that the strikes were prompted by a false propaganda campaign saying it was responsible for the chemical attack on Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a series of tweets last night supporting Donald Trump:

 In both word and action, @POTUS sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision.

Israel hopes this resolve in face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions resonates not only in Damascus but in Tehran, Pyongyang & elsewhere

Israel’s former ambassador was also impressed.


Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer applauded the strikes last night– “Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do.”– but he urged the Trump administration to come up with a “strategy.” Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, also praised the attacks as “proportional.”

But Connecticut’s Chris Murphy was critical of the strike on MSNBC today, as pointless and illegal. From his twitter feed:

The hypocrisy of our “red lines” – our refugee ban locks Syrians into their dystopia, our support to Saudis helps cause famine in Yemen.

Senator Bernie Sanders has been tweeting up a storm this morning:

I’m deeply concerned the strike in Syria could lead the U.S. back into the quagmire of long-term military engagement in the Middle East.

If the last 15 years have shown anything, it’s that such engagements are disastrous for American security, our economy and our people.

Former US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who reputedly had favored stronger action by Obama in Syria, earlier tweeted reports saying Assad was responsible for the chemical attack (including this article from Haaretz) and a John McCain speech on the attack: “Unless we act we’re going to see it again.” But now that Trump acted, Power has not commented.

Though liberal interventionist Anne Appelbaum is hard to please, suggesting this should have happened four years ago when it would make a difference.

Hard to know what to say about a bombing raid that appears to be part of no coherent strategy whatsoever

Pure power types love it though. Clintonite Paul Begala, who spoke at AIPAC 10 days ago, praised the strike, said Obama should have done it. Clintonite Anne-Marie Slaughter echoed the thought:

Neoconservatives are over the moon. Bill Kristol, for one. Here is Elliott Abrams— the Trump administration has finally begun.

the Trump administration can truly be said to have started only now. The president has been chief executive since January 20, but this week he acted also as Commander in Chief. And more: He finally accepted the role of Leader of the Free World.

This was unexpected: He had appeared to say, during the campaign, that this kind of global leadership role was just too expensive. We were tired of it, tired of having others take advantage of us. We could not solve all the world’s problems.

But the strike at Syria had at its heart precisely that kind of global leadership, to enforce the century-old ban on chemical warfare—in the interest of decency and peace. His remarks ended with words that many predecessors, from Wilson to Roosevelt, and Kennedy to Reagan, might have spoken: “as long as America stands for justice then peace and harmony will prevail.”

Other Israeli leaders sought the strike. Netanyahu’s rightwing partner/rival Naftali Bennett on Facebook posted an image of children stricken by an alleged chemical attack and called for action. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the takeaway of inaction on Syria is that Israel must “rely only on itself.” Opposition leader Tzipi Livni has an op-ed in Jerusalem Post in which she brings in the Holocaust. “Never again” has not been learned, she says:

“The children of Syria are the children of the world – and they are looking at us. Will the world stand idly by as their blood is shed? Can moderate elements still expect that in times of trouble there will be those who will end the horror — or is it better to be on the side of evil? Now is a moment when interests and morality fuse: it is time to act accordingly.”

Israel has itself attacked Syrian government positions in recent weeks, evidently to try and thwart Iranian shipments to Hezbollah, the militia group that is fighting on Assad’s side.

Of course when Syria crossed Obama’s red line in 2013 and the president refused to strike, Donald Trump was on his side:

“President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your powder’ for another (and more important) day!”

America-firsters are disturbed that the impulsive president would so betray his posture. One writes on twitter, “May the Syrian soldiers we just murdered on behalf of Al-Qaeda Rest In Peace.” White nationalist Richard Spencer has declared this the “Trump Betrayal.” “I am ready to condemn Donald Trump,” he says in a video.

Realist Stephen Walt points out, with hundreds retweeting, that the strike will achieve nothing.

Boy, didn’t take long for to discover what Clinton, Bush, & Obama learned: air strikes easy way to look tough w/o fixing anything.

Former ambassador Chas Freeman conveys a similar idea, by email:

What last night’s cruise missile strike tells the world is that we have an administration that shoots first and asks questions later, led by a president who is emotionally affected by television and impulsively responsive to its narratives.  No one knows what policy lies behind this set of strikes.  No one has asked “and then what?”

Iran’s Foreign Minister points out that Assad and the Russians are fighting ISIS in Syria.

Not even two decades after 9/11, US military fighting on same side as al-Qaida & ISIS in Yemen & Syria. Time to stop hype and cover-ups.

Conservative realist Scott McConnell concurs:

I wish he wasn’t right, but can see no factual flaw in statement. Iran the one ME country where genuine pro US sympathy after 9/11… Besides Israel.

Remember what John Kerry said last year: that Russia only intervened in Syria to keep the Assad government from falling to ISIS.

The left: James North points out that a no-fly zone in Syria is impossible to maintain militarily and warns that the “foreign policy elites” are making bad decisions out of an ability to inflict damage on people thousands of miles away. Glenn Greenwald is dyspeptic about American naivete:

Single most amazing thing about US discourse is how people are continually willing to believe humanitarianism is the goal of new US wars.

Ken Klipperstein sounds the cynical note:

Regime change in…

-Iraq: disaster

-Libya: disaster

-Afghanistan: disaster

-Syria: good maybe?

This is also good, from Appelbaum:

From Israel’s Government Press Office. Happy days:

US Vice President Mike Pence, this afternoon (Friday, 7 April 2017), telephoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and thanked him – on behalf of US President Donald Trump – for Israel’s strong support for the American action in Syria.

To be updated… Thanks to Allison Deger. 

 

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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72 Responses

  1. Donald Johnson
    April 7, 2017, 11:50 am

    It’s not clear what happened in Ghouta in 2013. Assad is a war criminal, but even war criminals can be framed by other war criminals. What we do know beyond question regarding Ghouta is that the original claims about the evidence were flat wrong and disproven by MIT weapons experts Postol and Lloyd.

    https://www.rootclaim.com/claims/who-carried-out-the-chemical-attack-in-ghouta-on-august-21-2013-8394#storyline_assumptions

    The link above asserts that the rebels probably did Ghouta.

    Here is a NYT story admitting that the early claims regarding the evidence were wrong, in that way the NYT has when it really would rather be writing something else.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/29/world/middleeast/new-study-refines-view-of-sarin-attack-in-syria.html

      • JWalters
        April 7, 2017, 8:43 pm

        A good Consortium News article on this attack, Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment
        https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/07/trumps-wag-the-dog-moment

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 12:14 am

        Glenn Greenwald: “The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria

        https://theintercept.com/2017/04/07/the-spoils-of-war-trump-lavished-with-media-and-bipartisan-praise-for-bombing-syria/

        Something is Not Adding Up In Idlib Chemical Weapons Attack

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46801.htm

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 12:16 am

        @Jwalters

        Some of the comments to the Consortium News articles are valuable as well.

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 10:07 am

        Ben Norton: “Why Is Media Citing Man Accused of Kidnapping Journalists as Credible Source on Syrian Chemical Attack?

        http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/shajul-islam-idlib-chemical-attack-syria-media

      • Keith
        April 8, 2017, 11:58 am

        SIBIRIAK,

        At this stage of the game, it should hardly be necessary to examine all of the individual details of this one particular incident to arrive at the reasonable conclusion that this latest gas attack is probably a false flag and definitively a pretext for aggression. It fits a well established pattern, doesn’t it? Uncle Sam’s modus operandi for creating pretexts for military and other action. Is it a coincidence that the White Helmets recently won an Academy Award? That the media, Congress, liberal intelligentsia, et al, are so uniformly committed to military action? That the response was so rapid as to suggest that the event was anticipated? Empires don’t do anything humanitarian. From Iraq to Libya to Syria, a pretext is a pretext is a pretext. Uncle Sam is a serial mass murderer. Our motto, give us hegemony, or give us death!

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 12:36 pm

        Keith: At this stage of the game, it should hardly be necessary to examine all of the individual details of this one particular incident to arrive at the reasonable conclusion that this latest gas attack is probably a false flag and definitively a pretext for aggression.
        —————-

        Agreed.

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 7:51 pm

        A little time taken to get the facts right might not be amiss.

    • gamal
      April 7, 2017, 8:11 pm

      “Assad is a war criminal”

      but

      “His wounds said: “No!”
      His chains said: “No!” ”

      thats muin bseiso, his ” a lover from Palestine” is available for $2000 from Amazon, so he must be right.

      https://www.amazon.com/Lover-Palestine-other-Poems-Palestinian/dp/B000LC0SAY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438954123&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Lover+From+Palestine+and+Other+Poems

      “Assad is a war criminal,” thats a life saving straw you go ahead and cling to it boy. how sad.

      • Donald Johnson
        April 7, 2017, 9:54 pm

        Figured you’d object to that. No doubt he fights as cleanly as Israel in Gaza.

      • gamal
        April 7, 2017, 10:17 pm

        “Figured you’d object”

        how insolent of you

        “No doubt he fights as cleanly as Israel in Gaza.”

        what part of Syria isn’t Syria, where does Gaza have the might of America in support, don’t patronise me you insolent moral midget. we are not conquering ourselves don’t let our freedom displease you.

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 12:27 am

        Donald Johnson: No doubt he fights as cleanly as Israel in Gaza.
        —————

        You seem to be creating a bit of a straw man…

        But in any case, on the issue of war crimes:

        If this latest chemical weapons incident was indeed a “false flag” operation, as likely also in the 2013 incident, conceived and carried out in order to justify U.S. intervention and the continued pursuit of regime change, how egregious a war crime would you judge that to be and what are its ramifications?

      • Donald Johnson
        April 8, 2017, 9:03 am

        Gamal, you don’t speak for all Syrians, millions of whom probably hate Assad even as others support him. If his forces have deliberately killed large numbers of civilians in massacres or indiscriminate bombings, then he is a war criminal. If his forces torture or murder prisoners, again he is a war criminal. If you deny that his forces have done such things, that would be a bit more relevant than the usual insults. What you call ” patronizing” is me not being interested in your insults. You seem to think that by taking on the role of spokesperson for all Syrians and using the word “we” like you represent everyone in the Mideast that it is supposed to carry weight. It doesn’t. If you made an argument that the Assad government is fighting the war as humanely as possible and that all the reports of indiscriminate bombardment and torture are false, that would be relevant.

        This doesn’t mean the US had any right to support the rebels– by doing this the US stretched the war out greatly adding to the death toll and anyway, using your words, it is the act of insolent moral midgets to intervene in other people’s countries. We agree on that part, even if you meant the words for me.

      • Donald Johnson
        April 8, 2017, 9:30 am

        Sibiriak– the straw man is intended to point out that Israel’s tactics in Gaza resemble the Syrian government’s tactics in Syria. There are similar reports of indiscriminate bombing and shelling.

        If one or both of the chemical weapons attacks were false flags, then both were war crimes, obviously and if the US knew then it is about as serious as you can get short of genocide. I think our support for the rebels was a massive war crime regardless of the truth about the chemical attacks. I think Assad is a killer and we had no right to try to overthrow him and the pretense that we haven’t intervened against Assad is a monstrous Orwellian lie put out by interventionists to justify yet more immoral intervention.

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 9:54 am

        Donald Johnson: If you made an argument that the Assad government is fighting the war as humanely as possible and that all the reports of indiscriminate bombardment and torture are false, that would be relevant. [emphasis added]
        ————

        Is anyone here making either of those two claims?

        If not, what is their relevance?

      • Sibiriak
        April 8, 2017, 11:28 am

        Donald Johnson: There are similar reports of indiscriminate bombing and shelling.

        ————-

        Thanks for the response. What I’m trying to understand is–who are you arguing with, if anybody?

        Has someone here denied that there are reports of Syrian government indiscriminate bombing and shelling?

        ———————

        If one or both of the chemical weapons attacks were false flags, then both were war crimes, obviously and if the US knew then it is about as serious as you can get short of genocide.

        So, are we going to just leave those “if”s as “if”s?

        Just like these “if”s:

        If [Assad’s] forces have deliberately killed large numbers of civilians in massacres or indiscriminate bombings, then he is a war criminal. If his forces torture or murder prisoners, again he is a war criminal.

        Don’t you need to resolve both sets of “if”s? Otherwise, what conclusions, moral or political, can be drawn?

        ———————

        Assad is a killer // Assad is a war criminal

        Those seem like simple assertions, but actually they are quite complex semantically.

        On the one hand, they can be taken as simple assertions of fact. But then, what is their significance? It isn’t at all clear. Which of the Western and Middle Eastern leaders involved are not “killers” or “war criminals”? What are the implications of being a “killer”/”war criminal”? There is a whole range of “war crimes” subsumed by the term “war criminal”, so it’s descriptive content is very broad–while the negative emotional charge is huge.

        On the other hand, the labels “killer” and “war criminal” have a specific function in Western interventionist discourse. They are not simple factual terms, but demonizing labels used to justify military action, regime change, assassination etc.

        So I ask, how are you using those terms? For what purpose?
        If your purpose is factual description to serve as the basis of moral or political evaluation, not interventionist demonization, don’t you need move beyond the labels and get much more specific?

      • Donald Johnson
        April 8, 2017, 11:49 pm

        “Has someone here denied that there are reports…”

        This is why I don’t spend much time in comments. Endless parsing that means nothing. Gamal and Keith get mad when I say Assad is a war criminal, which is what I would also say about various US presidents and American allies and all forcthe same reason– they commit atrocities against unarmed people. The evidence against Assad is as strong as it is against Israel or the US. One can question individual cases, but to argue that the government isn’t guilty of massive crimes against civilians is no different from Israeli apologists denying the evidence in Gaza. There too you could question individual accounts. It’s a simple straightforward concept and there are only two relevant ways to argue against it —

        1. Deny virtually all the claims of Syrian government atrocities. That would be interesting if real facts could be deployed to back it up. But it is wildly unlikely.

        2. Claim it doesn’t matter because the US is evil or some other form of whataboutery or claim the government has the right to murder or torture or whatever. I reject this and find it boring. Anyone can claim a noble cause for mass murder.

        One can also do the random insult thing or engage in parsing and I lose interest. Ditto for questioning my motives, especially when I have stated plainly that the US has no right to intervene and is responsible for greatly increasing the death toll with its arming of rebels. You see that in my comment and yet you act like it isn’t there. This is why, for the most part, it isn’t worthwhile engaging in comment threads on the subject of Syria. It is a subject that inspires more bad faith and bull feces on all sides than any other, including Israeli crimes. So far as I can tell, this is true virtually everywhere.

      • Sibiriak
        April 9, 2017, 9:31 am

        Donald Johnson: Gamal and Keith get mad when I say Assad is a war criminal, which is what I would also say about various US presidents and American allies and all for the same reason …

        * * *

        I have stated plainly that the US has no right to intervene and is responsible for greatly increasing the death toll with its arming of rebels

        ————————–

        So again I ask, what is your purpose in labeling Assad a “war criminal”?

        Is it just to make a moral judgment? To put Assad in the same moral category as U.S. presidents, European leaders, Middle East leaders, Israeli leaders, et al. ?

        That’s interesting, surely. But are there any practical implications?

        If Assad being a war criminal does not justify U.S. or other foreign intervention, then are you suggesting legal action against him?

        Or what?

        Does it justify support for Islamist rebels fighting Assad? If not, why not?

      • Keith
        April 9, 2017, 6:01 pm

        DONALD JOHNSON- “…Gamal and Keith get mad when I say Assad is a war criminal, which is what I would also say about various US presidents and American allies and all forcthe same reason….”

        You would also say? Ah, but you didn’t, did you? You singled out Assad for demonization. If his actions are the same or similar to US Presidents, why single him out for demonization? Why become part of the destabilization demonization process? If you really believe that he is acting in similar fashion to Obama/Trump, why not describe Assad’s actions as “Presidential?”

        Speaking for myself, I think describing me as “getting mad” when you call Assad a war criminal is an attempt on your part to attack me personally rather than deal with the inherent contradictions and liberal apologetics of your comment. You are jumping on the “Assad must go” bandwagon while claiming even handed neutrality: “… I would also say about various US presidents and American allies ….” You are like a critic of Israel who nonetheless feels the need to swear undying loyalty to the Jewish state. In your case, criticism of empire comes wrapped in the imperial narrative. Reviewing my initial comment, I see nothing which would justify you claiming that I was “mad” at you. Do you imagine yourself a victim?

        I criticize the empire and US Presidents all of the time, yet I refrain from criticizing Assad. Why is that? First of all, as a US citizen my primary responsibility are the actions of my own country which I should criticize when appropriate. Secondly, current imperial actions are rather obviously intended to destabilize/destroy any nation (particularly in the Middle East) which is not a loyal US ally. The list of countries to be attacked provided by Wesley Clark is instructive in this regard. Then there is the ultimate responsibility for ending the conflict. As I have said before, only the empire can unilaterally end the death and destruction which it started. Al Qaeda, et al, could not exist for long without imperial support. Tanks and artillery take massive logistical support to exist. Rather easy to eliminate the “rebel” firepower. Assad, on them other hand, does not have the capability of unilaterally ending the military destruction of Syria. What could he do? Turn the country over to the Islamist terrorists? Seriously. All Russian initiatives at ending the conflict have been either turned down or ignored by Washington. Even John Kerry’s efforts were sabotaged by the US military “accidentally” bombing Syrian government troops killing around 100. Interesting timing on the “accident”, no? Interesting timing on this alleged gas attack, no? Interesting that Israel favors an ongoing bloody stalemate.

        Getting back to Assad, in view of Western hostility, support for Arab sectarianism and ongoing destabilization attempts over many decades, what exactly could/should Assad do differently? A Western style capitalist democracy like Russia under Yeltsin? Seriously. In view of how the West has distorted any sort of beneficial development in the Middle East, what would you do if you were Assad? Act more like el-Sisi? Emulate US/Israel ally Saudi Arabia? Become an exploited US vassal state? What? In other words, if you don’t have some reasonable idea of alternative actions, continually labeling Assad as a war criminal in your comments provides de facto psychological justification for some sort of “humanitarian” intervention, even though you claim to be fully aware that imperial interventions are NEVER based upon humanitarian considerations.

        Since I asked you what you would have Assad do differently, it is only fair that I mention what I would have Trump do differently, assuming that he wouldn’t be assassinated for doing so. Stop the drone assassinations, stop all support for these Islamist terrorists, reduce the military budget, honestly work toward eliminating nuclear weapons, etc. Since we are talking about foreign policy and the Middle East, I won’t go into Trumps atrocious domestic policies. Did I forget to roll back neoliberal globalization? The point is obvious that Trump has considerable opportunity to do good but isn’t, whereas Assad’s options may be so severely limited under the dire circumstances that there is little he can do. Therefore, I don’t think that continually calling Assad a war criminal is helpful, and is probably counterproductive. Perhaps that is why Sibiriak is questioning why you continue to do this. One would think that simply answering his question and my questions would provide you the opportunity to clarify your thoughts on this matter. And if there is divisiveness on the Left over Syria, all the more reason to discuss and clarify these issues.

    • Keith
      April 8, 2017, 12:53 am

      DONALD JOHNSON- “Assad is a war criminal….”

      Trump isn’t? Obama isn’t? Both Clinton’s aren’t? For well over 100 years, all US Presidents have been war criminals. Empires aren’t do-gooder organizations. Under the circumstances, what exactly do you propose Assad do differently?

  2. Helena Cobban
    April 7, 2017, 11:59 am

    Yup, I agree with Donald Johnson on that. Phil, you wrote definitively that “When Syria crossed Obama’s red line in 2013 and the president refused to strike… ” Why do you so easily buy into the MSM’s framing of that? It was not ever proven– and at the time the real experts, like Ted Postol etc, used their expert analysis to conclude it was almost certainly not the government forces that had used the CW then.

    This time, of course– as with the whole, never-authenticated hue-and-cry about the imminent killing of “10,000 people” in Benghazi in March 2011– the warmongers absolutely did not want to wait for the acquisition of the actual *evidence* that would be required to back up their claim, but argued they “had” to launch war immediately.

    Did not end well in Libya.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2017, 1:50 pm

      i have another quibble with that quote. not sure “refused” is the right word under the circumstances.

      although, ultimately, it was obama’s decision not to strike, after the overwhelming response of the american public after the announcement of his intention to strike, obama left it up to congress to approve a strike and asked the neocons (or aipac or something, who had outlandishly claimed they were staying out of it up to that point) to help him get congressional support, which he failed to get.

      jeffrey goldberg wrote a long article about it — hinging the future of america’s reputation in the world on this one incident and claimed, among other things, obama “folded”. i wrote about it here:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/goldberg-does-obama/

      i recall at the time there were objections during the editorial process about dragging out clappers “not a slam dunk” and US intel not having the evidence and the intel source being israel, so all that was cut (as i recall). but this was a crucial era (imho) as obama set up the lobby for failure knowing the US didn’t want to go to war — by tasking the lobby for approval of the strike, and they couldn’t pull it off. so i think refuse is the wrong word.

      and helena, we discussed this same thing in the comment section at the time. your words:

      I hadn’t seen the video. At 0:22 it stopped me in my tracks: “When Bashar Al-Asad actually *used* chemical weapons, he [Obama] realized that… ” So Jeffrey Goldberg, former Israeli prison guard, is now definitively telling us what no intel organization in the world has been able to, that he *knows who it was* who used those chemical weapons in August 2013. Gimme a break. Even in his written article, he reports (quite accurately) that the US intelligence community was saying that the claims that it had been Pres. Asad who used the weapons were “no slam dunk”. But now, in the video, Cpl. Goldberg tells us he knows. Why does anyone give this cheap pro-war propagandist any credibility? (A question that I would extend to Pres. Obama, as well… )

      that article (of mine) rolled off the front page in a couple hours, no one read it. but goldberg’s article is important (see that outrageous video again!) and very telling. his “obama doctrine” makes it crystal clear what the establishment neocon priority was crushing syria (albeit they would have preferred bombing iran but the opportunity wasn’t there) — and obama didn’t come through for them, but he didn’t “refuse”, he exposed them and set them up for failure. he called them/it “the washington playbook”.

      • Boomer
        April 8, 2017, 9:36 am

        Annie,

        thanks you and the others here who try to keep the record straight. I have a hard time listening to MSM these days because spin is mostly repeated as historical fact.

    • straightline
      April 7, 2017, 6:19 pm

      Ah yes, Libya:

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-22/british-parliament-confirms-libya-war-was-based-lies-%E2%80%A6-turned-nation-%E2%80%9Cshit-show%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%A6-s

      I have stopped reading or listening to anything apart from sport in the Western corporate media. I read somewhere else that even the NYT admitted in the last couple of days that the Ghouta attack was not by the Syrian Government.

      This is the most reliable source I have found for what’s happening in Syria:

      http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page

      Just treat NYT, NPR, BBC, the Murdoch media, the Guardian, and even our Auntie ABC and the Fairfax Press in Australia as fiction when it comes to reporting on the Middle East. That way, you will find you don’t have to contradict yourself a couple of years later.

  3. amigo
    April 7, 2017, 1:27 pm

    Note the puke inducing hypocracy from war criminal livni.The same livni who oversaw the barrage of White Phospherous dropped from the sky on the children of Gaza.

    Grrrt.

    • oldgeezer
      April 7, 2017, 8:59 pm

      I hear you amigo. Do some people enjoy the kill just because they can or because they can and also get away with it.

      The moral high ground is several thousand feet below the majority of humanity.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2017, 9:57 pm

      amigo, i cringed when i read that quote by her.

  4. JustJessetr
    April 7, 2017, 1:50 pm

    Phil, it’s a sad day when you have to use Richard Spencer to illustrate your point.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2017, 2:47 pm

      even a stopped clock is right once a day

    • Keith
      April 7, 2017, 6:06 pm

      JUSTJESSETR- “Phil, it’s a sad day when you have to use Richard Spencer to illustrate your point.”

      Phil is highlighting the current reality that people who are being labeled “fascist” are opposing militarism, whereas, those folks who call themselves “liberal” are the diehard militarist warmongers, along with the neocons and other Zionists. It is interesting how Zionism and imperialism share so many of the same values, warmongering at the top of the list.

      • oldgeezer
        April 8, 2017, 12:09 am

        @Keith

        zionists ask for nuance but they don’t actually understand it. They have redefined the dictionary. Balanced means lopsided in their favour.

  5. Citizen
    April 7, 2017, 2:01 pm

    Neocon-lib Zionist take over of Trump continues; Bannon out, Kushner in, continued demonization of Israel’s enemies, march towards PNAC agenda fulfillment, usual bipartisan POTUS custom of bombing somewhere on most convenient pretext to divert attention from growing bad reputation at home. Rinse, repeat. Who benefits? Israel.

    Compare what was done about white phosphorus in Gaza, more recently, Yemen’s children, etc.

    • Keith
      April 7, 2017, 6:15 pm

      CITIZEN- “Compare what was done about white phosphorus in Gaza, more recently, Yemen’s children, etc.”

      That is a comparison that the MSM will never make. How does it feel to be a citizen of the Fourth Reich?

      • oldgeezer
        April 8, 2017, 12:17 am

        @Keith

        No need for nazi comparisons. zionists are just as vile on their own merits.

        The US and Israel violate every humanitarian principle known. The US army is know as the most efficient killing machine in the world. Not necessarily the most effective.

        It really doesn’t matter what nazis did. The two of them are just as bad without a comparison.

        Who cares who they liquidate or evaporate. We’re number one.

        WP is so much more humane than sarin. In fact the US general laughingly described it’s use to the world as ‘shake and bake’. I do mean laughingly literally.

        Beyond comprehension and explanation. Exceptional only as a form of evil.

      • Keith
        April 8, 2017, 12:14 pm

        OLDGEEZER- “No need for nazi comparisons.”

        Perhaps not, but as I survey the extreme militarism and warmongering which surrounds me, the thought occurred to me of what it was like to be in Nazi Germany prior to Stalingrad. I view our current situation with utter dread. I am practically overwhelmed by the madness of our rulers (yes, rulers). Hegemony or death?

    • JWalters
      April 7, 2017, 8:49 pm

      Who benefits? Israel.

      We can’t overlook Israel’s history of false flag attacks. Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
      http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/terrorism-israeli-state

  6. Mooser
    April 7, 2017, 3:16 pm

    Tonite, Trump will Tweet: ‘ Hey Putin, how do you like me now?’

    On the other hand, there may be a whole lotta Trump condo and apartments available at below-market prices.

    • RoHa
      April 7, 2017, 11:21 pm

      Now do you believe he is not a Putin puppet?

      (That might have been his point.)

      http://theduran.com/10-reasons-trump-illegally-attacked-syria/

      Farage and Le Pen are not happy about it. Medvedev is being cynical.

      http://tass.com/politics/940148

      Zakharova is being understanding.

      http://www.pravdareport.com/news/russia/kremlin/07-04-2017/137409-russian_foreign_ministry_zakharova-0/

      (But I love her line about Russia having to rescue the world after every act of US conscience.)

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 12:23 pm

        “Now do you believe he is not a Putin puppet?”

        You bet. Not any more..

      • Keith
        April 8, 2017, 12:37 pm

        ROHA- “Now do you believe he is not a Putin puppet?”

        Perhaps the reason for calling him Putin’s puppet was to force him to prove his independence by anti-Russian militarism? It worked! And in record time, too!

        ROHA- “Farage and Le Pen are not happy about it.”

        Yes, and isn’t it a sad day when “liberals” are to the right of the right when it comes to war and peace? Wait! Come think of it, liberals have always supported “humanitarian” warmongering, the responsibility to bomb (R2B).

      • Keith
        April 8, 2017, 12:49 pm

        ROHA- “Zakharova is being understanding.”

        I am hoping that the Russians are trying to avoid uncontrollable escalation which the neocons lust for. Give Trump time to come to his senses. The Russians lack the force projection to take on US/NATO, et al militarily in Syria with conventional weapons only. This is probably why the empire is pursuing the military option now. I am surprised by how easily the Deep State got to Trump. Perhaps they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 7:59 pm

        “I am surprised by how easily the Deep State got to Trump”

        Well, surprise, surprise. And now the Goldman-Sax bankers, too.

    • RoHa
      April 7, 2017, 11:38 pm

      Of course, you know what the official Australian response is.

  7. Steve Grover
    April 7, 2017, 3:17 pm

    Don Rickles Z”L never called Phil Weiss a hockey puck because it would have been a complete waste of his time thinking about a guy like Phil Weiss and he wouldn’t have wanted to insult hockey pucks.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2017, 4:05 pm

      Don Rickles made fun of ethnic bias by using it on the public, protected by his Jewish ethnicity; the same jokes would not have been allowed if done by goy comedians. Pickles never ventured into post Nazi Era jokes. He stayed in his time. Sarah Silverstein is more contemporary; she has come out with jokes in support of the Palestinian people.

    • Mooser
      April 7, 2017, 5:42 pm

      “Don Rickles Z”L never called Phil Weiss a hockey puck because it would have been a complete waste of his time thinking about a guy like Phil Weiss and he wouldn’t have wanted to insult hockey pucks.”

      Rim shot/ little press-roll/ cymbal crash!

      (Looks like BillW lost a friend.)

  8. AddictionMyth
    April 7, 2017, 3:26 pm

    The bombing is terrible because you can’t do it without a declaration of war, and because you can’t bomb countries and then ban the refugees and because “the voice of my brother’s blood cries to me from the ground.” Why did Trump do it when just a few weeks ago he was on Assad/Putin’s side? Because the generals told him to, and right now they are his only hope against impeachment. Also it shows that the Trumpkin coalition is fracturing. And aligning with the Zio-fascists over the white nationalists is an improvement – we can deal with them.

    And oh – the fact that Trump supported this attack suggests the chemical attack was a false flag (because Trump wouldn’t do anything for the ‘right’ reasons). BUT – the rebels are no better than Assad. The country needs free speech and religion – that will solve everything.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2017, 4:10 pm

      It’s true Trump has bought in to current Zionist thought, Bannon out, Kushner in; Trump has decided going with customary US bipartisan Israeli agenda is best for him. It’s working. Bombing Syria is Totally deflecting bad shit from his former addiction to Putin and anti-regime change policy.

  9. just
    April 7, 2017, 4:11 pm

    This is repugnant and illegal bombardment, imho. There was no investigation nor proof that Assad’s folks did this.

    “US threatens more military action against Syria after cruise missile strikes

    After the US missile attacks on a Syrian airbase, Russia, Syria and Libya say America’s intervention violated international law.

    …British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the chamber that President Assad had shown the world he is “capable of redefining horror”.

    He called the US strike a “proportionate response to unspeakable acts”.

    In an unusually personal reply, the Russian representative accused Ambassador Rycroft of using “unprofessional” arguments and of lying.

    He also requested a second chance to speak at the end of the meeting, asking Ambassador Haley to refrain from insulting his country.

    The Russian representative, along with the Syrian and Libyan ambassadors, argued that America’s unilateral military intervention defied the UN charter and violated international law.

    The US, they said, had not acted in self-defence and had not sought the agreement of the Security Council, the UN body tasked with maintaining global peace and stability. …”

    http://news.sky.com/story/us-threatens-more-military-action-against-syria-after-cruise-missile-strikes-10829063

    Trump’s bombardment by 59 missiles also killed babies. His bombardment of Mosul also killed babies. Yemeni babies are dying by bombardment and/or starvation every single day. The MSM selectively ignores the truth and merely parrots the neocon line~ they were all breathless with apparent satisfaction in the coverage I could bear to watch. btw, Clinton herself is still going after Assad.

    “Hillary Clinton called on the United States to take out Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s Air Force on Thursday, days after a chemical attack killed more than 70 people in the war-torn country.

    “Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days,” Clinton said in a speech at the “Women in the World” summit in New York City. “And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.”

    The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee against Trump in 2016 reiterated her support for a no-fly zone over Syria and more direct support for protesters….”

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/hillary-clinton-syria-assad/

  10. CarolMoore1776
    April 7, 2017, 4:24 pm

    Let’s not forget Richard Perle’s 1996 report made to Bibi Netanyahu “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” which defacto prescribed, among other things, getting the US to do Israel’s dirty work of regime change and destabilization and destruction of regimes and even nations that threatened Israel. Iraq and Libya down, Syria under attack, Iran next in line. And Russia, too, if it doesn’t get out of the way. That way lies world war, with North & South Korea, China, Japan and lots of other nations involved as well.

  11. Sulphurdunn
    April 7, 2017, 7:17 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, the commander-in-chief has just launched a unilateral attack against a sovereign foreign state without consulting with or receiving consent from congress and is also in clear violation of international law. Unless the commander-in-chief is a military dictator, and international law does not prohibit such action, Donald Trump is a war criminal who has also committed an impeachable offense.

  12. scott9854958
    April 7, 2017, 8:20 pm

    As someone rightly said, the bomb was okay but we bombed the wrong people.

    It’s a terrible move and shows how easily Trump caves in to the media abuse he claims to not care about.

    What’s needed to crush the neocons is an alliance between the populist right and the Tulsi Gabbard/Bernie Sanders wing of the Dems. Put aside their differences on abortion and what have you and just fixate on the stuff they agree on: better trade deals and non-intervention. The neocons are just too ruthless and organized to fight one on one. They will always win when everyone else is scattered and divided.

    • Mooser
      April 8, 2017, 12:14 pm

      ” As someone rightly said, the bomb was okay but we bombed the wrong people.”

      Used the wrong bombs, too. The 1.5 million times 59 Tomahawk missiles had “surgical” munitions, instead of the penetrating or bunker-busting charges used to seriously hurt airfields and runways.
      The airfield was back in use in a few hours, and with fewer casualties than the mosque we bombed the other week.
      Or was that done on porpoise? Who knows?

      Yeah, Donald Trump and today’s US military, there’s a match made in heaven!

      • scott9854958
        April 8, 2017, 1:17 pm

        I’m sure Mattis made the call on what to use. And he’s not a novice.

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 7:54 pm

        “I’m sure Mattis made the call on what to use.”

        There’s a comforting thought.

  13. Kay24
    April 7, 2017, 8:39 pm

    Yet another excuse to start wars. The world looks upon the US as a war monger, a nation constantly at war, looking to start wars, and always being in a quagmire in a Muslim nation, unable to get out of there. How quickly they concluded exactly who was responsible for the chemical attack, there was no investigation, nor waiting for officials to confirm their findings.
    The outrage you hear from US officials, even McCain, rings hollow. How many civilians have been killed, even recently, by US bombs and drones, and how many times have we responded by saying it was a mistake? Who are we now to show our outrage when we are guilty of killing civilians too. No one knows for sure who exactly acted so violently and used Sarin gas on civilians, taking a look at all the evil actors over there any one of them can be guilty, and this could even be false flag operation (some over there are experts at it), to intensify the war and topple Assad, and at this point no one can know for sure. Keep in mind the US backed rebels were also accused by the UN for using Sarin gas years ago.
    Trumps approval ratings were tanking, and now that he is feeling the love and adoration from around, he will want to show just how tough he is, and keep this momentum going with more tomahawk missiles, and what not. Americans do not learn lessons from past mistakes.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2017, 10:17 pm

      yep

    • oldgeezer
      April 8, 2017, 1:26 am

      @Kay24

      In all my years on this planet I have yet to see a US not involved in a war or trying to start one. The death toll is literally in the many millions. The world is not a better place for any of it.

      I have many friends in the US. I have family there as well. Some for several generations.

      I can’t reconcile the actuality of the US with what those citizens perceive themselves to be on the world stage.

      I just don’t get the absolute disconnect.

      • Kay24
        April 8, 2017, 9:28 am

        I cannot understand how the US, has turned out to be the world’s biggest war criminal, waging wars that costs trillions of dollars, with their mighty weapons, and using bully tactics on helpless nations that do not have the capability, or capacity, to fight back. It seems the people cannot learn from past mistakes, and are so gullible, that even after learning that there were no WMD’s in Iraq and that their President and his neocon administration LIED t them and used fake intelligence, they are still easily manipulated, and scared into believe any garbage from their leaders. They still cannot get it that the trillions of dollars spent on this never ending wars, deprives them of so much, including good healthcare, education for their kids, and that the American children who are hungry can be fed. They voted for a man this time, who is totally incompetent, has NO experience in running a township office, has admitted to groping women, has 5 children from 3 wives, and has bragged he knows MORE than the US Generals. It goes to show just how much voters in the US are ignorant, naive, and have poor judgement. Unfortunately the entire nation suffers.
        Trump will continue the pattern of endless wars, and we will be hated even more around the world. Right now the media, and even those within his own party who opposed him, think he is being so presidential, because he showed Assad we have great tomahawk missiles.

      • Walker
        April 8, 2017, 3:59 pm

        I just don’t get the absolute disconnect.

        oldgeezer, we live in an echo chamber in the US. We produce the biggest share of the world’s entertainment, and our news media dominate as well. Very few outside voices penetrate. I think that’s the main reason for that disconnect.

        I love my local paper’s coverage of local news, but look at what they put on today’s front page about the attack on Syria:

        Russia complains, but other nations rally around U.S. strikes.

        This is an AP story, about as official as it gets in the US.

        Even if you look at, say, the Canadian or New Zealand version of Google News, you get mostly American articles with no second thoughts about the attack.

      • oldgeezer
        April 8, 2017, 10:14 pm

        @Kay24
        I am not sure what is to get about. There was never anything more moral about the US. The US has been on this trajectory all my life. If you have power you use it.

        @Walker

        Sadly quite true.

        @both
        I don’t see any solution until enough people actually care about other humans as individuals.

  14. talknic
    April 7, 2017, 10:13 pm

    1998 Zionist/Neocon PANC letter to Bill Clinton. Need one say more?

  15. Talkback
    April 8, 2017, 3:04 am

    Attacking first and not providing or faking evidence would be something that JSIL would applaude to. And of course being afraid of a real investigation.

  16. inbound39
    April 8, 2017, 5:57 am

    Israel has killed and maimed more women and children over seventy years of occupation but apparently that doesn’t move Trump enough to withdraw aid from Israel or send Tomahawk Cruise missiles into Israel…….Pathetic.

  17. Ossinev
    April 8, 2017, 9:26 am

    I am not sure what made me want to puke more – Trump`s dribbling Holywood script about the slaughter of ” beautiful little babies” or Cast Lead Phosphorus Brained Livni. I think on balance it has got to be Livni – the very model of “liberal” Zionism.

    https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2013/05/03/israels-illegal-use-of-white-phosphorus-during-operation-cast-lead/

    For Trump and all the other American Zionist Arslikhans what made the difference was not that the children were dying and dead as a result of brutal and barbaric war crimes but that they were “foaming from the mouth” as they died. The hundreds of Palestinian children killed in Cast Lead and Protective Edge by the most moral well they were just Palestinian children being used as human shields by their terrorist families so it`s a pity but its down to those nasty immoral ” terrorists” . So in the case of those ” beautiful little babies” that was alright then.

    • Talkback
      April 8, 2017, 12:27 pm

      Ossinev: “I am not sure what made me want to puke more – Trump`s dribbling Holywood script about the slaughter of ” beautiful little babies” or Cast Lead Phosphorus Brained Livni.”

      Get your bucket and watch Nikki Haley at the Security Council showing dead children (time stamp 1:29:50).

  18. just
    April 8, 2017, 4:10 pm

    “Russia sends warship to battlegroup off Syrian coast

    Naval move will overshadow US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow

    A warship armed with cruise missiles has joined the Russian battlegroup off the coast of Syria as part of Moscow’s response to US cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airbase of Shayrat.

    Russia’s angry declarations, a world away from hopes of a rapprochement voiced in Washington and Moscow after Donald Trump’s election, have overshadowed US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s planned visit to Moscow. His anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin will now be dedicated to reaching an understanding on Syria and addressing concerns over Russia’s suspension of an agreement designed to keep the world’s largest nuclear powers from accidentally clashing there. …

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/08/russia-sends-warship-syrian-coast

    (Lavrov says Assad did NOT use chemical weapons as reported on MSNBC).

    • just
      April 8, 2017, 5:12 pm

      “Syrian villagers near U.S. missile strike know the sound of battle — but never as horrific as this

      “It was less than a couple of hours before dawn when Wael Zefa heard a “horrific amount of noise” rumbling through the east Syrian village of Shayrat.

      During the six years of civil war ravaging Syria, Zefa has become used to the sounds of mortar shells and rockets. But nothing like this.

      “What we heard this morning … their sound was very, very loud,” he said.

      Explosions ripped through the morning. The ground shook. Windows broke. Walls cracked.

      What Zefa and his neighbors experienced was the pounding of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by the U.S. to clobber the Syrian government’s Shayrat airfield, less than a mile from the village.

      A total of 60 missiles were fired at 4:40 a.m. Friday in response to an apparent chemical weapons attack this week…

      Zefa’s house was shaken so severely that a chunk of the roof broke off and smashed to the ground.

      “There was no way we could stay at home,” Zefa, 38, said by phone from where he and his family have sought shelter.

      Zefa quickly sent his wife and four children to a nearby bunker before running to his roof for a better view. What was unfolding, he would learn later, was a new front in America’s involvement in Syria: After thousands of airstrikes directed at Islamist militants, U.S. missiles for the first time were directly targeting Syrian military assets. …

      But Syrian state news operator SANA said six soldiers had been killed in the attack. It later reported nine civilians had also been killed, including four children, in the surrounding villages, though there was no way of independently verifying the reports. …

      Mohammad Zefa, a 41-year-old oil ministry employee, had run outside with his family during the strike. When one of the missiles hit an ammunition warehouse, he said, “you stopped knowing where the explosions were coming from.”

      “We ran back inside the house. After, we saw a rocket had fallen thirty yards from our house,” he said in a telephone interview. “All the windows broke, here and at my neighbor’s house. Some older houses even had cracked walls.” …

      For residents of Shayrat and other villages, the airbase was instrumental in keeping at bay Islamic State militants hiding in the eastern desert of Homs.

      Now with the base so severely damaged, Mohammad Zefa, a distant cousin of Wael Zefa, expected Islamic State to try to advance to the village.

      “Women and children have already started to leave Shayrat to go to Homs city. We’re not afraid of airstrikes. Our fear is the attack from the east,” he said.

      For him, Friday’s attack was “proof that the U.S. helps Daesh.” He referred to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.

      When Islamic State first overran the city of Palmyra in 2015, it celebrated its takeover with a theatrical slaughtering of government soldiers. Mohammad Zefa insisted he would fight before suffering the same fate.

      “Here we are loyalists to the state to the highest degree,” he said. “It’s an existential battle for us.””

      http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-attack-people-20170407-story.html

  19. Kathleen
    April 9, 2017, 3:23 pm

    BB has Ivanka and Jared as Reps in White House now,

    Today (Sunday) Howard Dean was on Alex Witt’s program ripping up Congresswoman Tulis Gabbards comment that Trump’s action interfered with the UN’s investigation into the details of the chemical weapons strike. Dean said she should not be in congress. Falling right into the description of liberal interventionist like Clinton, Dean etc fawning all over Trump’s strike on Syria. Dean demonizes Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

    Glenn Greenwald nails this ass kissing by the media for the Trump strike on Assad’s forces and how anyone who questions is demonized like Dean is doing to Gabbard

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