Don’t buy the spin on Syria

Donald Trump and his suddenly-hawkish administration are banking on the fact that most Americans can’t even locate Syria on a map much less understand the volatile geopolitics of the Middle East. The ploy seems to have worked; his approval rating ticked up immediately after the attacks. And isn’t it weird how all the drumbeats to investigate the Trump connection to Putin and Russia’s interference in the election and suddenly faded away? (“Wag the dog” anyone?)
 
Unfortunately for the Syrians caught up in the middle of a prolonged and brutal civil war, most of us aren’t paying attention to anything beyond the latest headlines. So it’s easy to manipulate the facts about military offensives, attacks and ever-changing battle-lines, especially in a situation that’s as murky as the one in which Syria finds itself. (Most still don’t know the truth about Aleppo.) You need a play-card just to understand the various factions vying for control over all – or just their corner – of the country.

 
KhanSheikhoun-Syria 

Khan-Sheikhoun is the site of “chemical attack”

 
Because I’ve been keeping abreast of the Christian genocide in the Middle East (see HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE), I’m extremely skeptical of the Trump administration’s (and their new support staff in the mainstream media) Syrian narrative for the following reasons:
 

Original sources accusing Bashar al-Assad of dropping a sarin gas bomb are all rebel–allied.

 
The alleged attack occurred in an opposition-held area (see map) – there are no credible independent news outlets embedded with these jihadis. So far, most of the information our news media is feeding us has come from suspect sources like the rebel-connected White Helmets, and guys like Shajul Islam, who has a real penchant for the limelight ~

Dr. Shajul Islam speaks with NBC News about his current experience treating Syrian victims of chemical attacks, which Mr. Islam says are becoming more dangerous and now hospitals are becoming targets

 
NBC neglected to mention that Islam’s brother is a known terrorist (currently fighting with ISIS in Syria) and Shajul himself was alleged to have helped abduct two men in Syria in 2012.
 
Also worth considering, as this post at The Muslim Issue does ~

Do you ever ask yourself why rebels and jihadists never seem to die in these chemical attacks in rebel held areas Syria, that occur periodically against trapped and hostage-held civilians?
 
For some reason these “bombs” launched from the sky in “chemical attacks” manage to single out children in particular – the most perfect photo-op for a media outrage. They are immediately and blindly blamed on President Assad.

Awfully convenient don’t you think?
 

Assad was winning, and willing to participate in indirect talks with opposition forces.

 
Why suddenly flip out and decide to gas innocent civilians – knowingly inviting immediate international condemnation? (Assad is no lunatic like the dear leader in North Korea). He’s no Mr. Rogers, but Assad’s reputation as a murderous thug who gleefully gases his own population is mostly a false construct. It’s an impression created primarily by a 2013 attack — one that was eventually attributed to anti-government forces (Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official). But, as Goebbels is famous for saying, “a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.”

 

Trump has a whole new cadre of supporters.

 
Despite America’s regime change, our approach to the Middle East doesn’t appear to have altered much at all has it? We just have a POTUS who’s a little more impulsive. And there’s nothing like dropping a few dozen Tomahawks to get your former critics suddenly singing your praises ~ The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria ~

In every type of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.

 
Former Secretary of State Kerry is thrilled.
 
Democrats are so supportive they’re even turning on one of their own who refuses to follow the progressive playbook on this one.
 
Then there are Donald’s millions of new Muslim admirers, as Gatestone Institute reports ~

A new hero has been born in the Arab world and his name is Donald Trump. And this is not a joke […]
 
Thousands of Arabs have taken to social media to express their admiration and gratitude for Trump after the U.S. missile strike. Many are affectionately referring to Trump as “Abu Ivanka al-Amriki.”
 
Others are calling Trump “Lion of the Sunnis”, “Caliph of the Muslims” and “Defender of the Islamic Holy Sites.” Some wrote: “Blessed be the hands of Abu Ivanka al-Amiriki (Trump),” and expressed hope that he would do more to rid the Syrian people of their dictator. “We love you Trump” and “Trump is our hope” are two of many hashtags that have become extremely popular on social media, especially Twitter.

 

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Fielding questions regarding the alleged chemical bombing, this Russian spokesbabe makes way too much sense. Which of course is why the western media ignore her ~
 

 
Note ~ the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that Maria Zakharova mentions, did just meet yesterday to facilitate the investigation into this event.

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Plain and simple, we’re on the wrong side in this fight. Anything that hurts Assad helps the jihadis. That’s why POTUS is suddenly the “Lion of the Sunnis.” (ISIS, al Qaeda, al Nusra are all Sunni; Assad is Alawite, a Shia sect)
 
In a sea of ongoing Christian genocide, Bashar al-Assad is the only Muslim leader left in the Middle East who is a proven protector of ethnic and religious minorities. We topple him, we’re essentially – as John Zmirak puts it – giving al Qaeda a country, and dooming Syrian Christians, Kurds and Alawites to death or expulsion ~

Do we want to send U.S. troops to Syria, which would likely put al Qaeda in control of a major country? To cause the ethnic cleansing of another million Christians, as we made possible in Iraq? To remove the last safe country for Christians in the region, apart from Israel? And all to accomplish what?

 

Furthermore, in opposing Assad we’re aligned with evil Erdoğan in Turkey who – considering his ruthless suppression of last year’s attempted coup is likely a bigger tyrant than Syria’s president. (But then those of us who were paying attention saw this coming last summer ➡ Trump says U.S. shouldn’t criticize Turkey’s Erdogan over post-coup purge.) He’s pushing secularized Turkey back to the 7th century.

 
tillerson&Erdogan

Now I know why John Bolton didn’t get the job. Pretty sure
he wouldn’t have been this cozy with the Turkish tyrant.

 
Finally, after the mess the United States has made encouraging the Arab Spring (Iraq, Libya, Egypt) you’d think we’d learn, it’s NOT our business to decide who’s in charge in Syria! In an excellent article at National Review, Andrew C. McCarthy explains that ~

The U.S. attack is an impulsive intervention in a civil war in which both sides — the Damascus/Tehran/Moscow alliance and its Sunni-jihadist/sharia-supremacist opposition — are hostile to the United States. It is a war in which Bashar al-Assad’s continuation in power, dismal as that prospect may be, is in no way the worst conceivable outcome for American national security.

 
What should we be doing? Here’s an excellent article – from Jason Jones & John Zmirak, writing at The Stream – that helps make sense out of the multiple groups and alliances and who’s fighting whom: President Trump: Find Peace in Syria by Looking to Switzerland. The authors are suggesting that peaceful Switzerland could provide a blueprint for a collection of fractious ethic and religious groups by getting them to agree on individual territories, or states, within a confederation of sorts ~

… Switzerland was once a lot like Syria. Its ethnic factions engaged in vicious attacks and bloody vengeance. Its churches used to whip their members into mutual holy war […]
 
Localism and decentralization saved Switzerland. They could save Syria. In fact, a peace plan based on these principles is currently on the table, at the Russian-sponsored Astana talks — which the U.S. so far is boycotting.

 
At this point I’m more and more convinced that it really is about the oil. Because if the Trump administration were sincerely interested in diplomacy, brokering some sort of agreement in Syria leading toward a more stable Middle East, they would take Jones and Zmirak’s advice…
What are the odds?
 
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Related:

Should we take out Assad? ~ No. Excellent article from Dr. Michael L. Brown, who concludes with this ~

• First, if we are not 100 percent sure that the Assad regime is responsible for the chemical attack, we must continue gathering information, even after our first strikes. The lasting controversy over WMD’s in Iraq serves as a cautionary warning.
• Second, we must think through the long-term regional implications of whatever actions we take, lest our actions lead to even greater suffering and instability.
• Third, we must do what we can to support the best players in this bloody drama (if such players exist) while doing our best to protect and aid the innocent, like Syrian Christians who have been caught in the crossfire.
• Fourth, we must pray for God’s kingdom to come to Syria, in the words of the Lord’s prayer. Only divine intervention can bring real healing to that ravaged nation.

 
US-led airstrike kills 18 ‘friendly fighters’ in Syria mistaking them for ISIS fanatics after the victims gave allied forces the ‘wrong coordinates’ ~ UK Daily Mail reported on this; anything on the alphabet news networks…?

 
Why Won’t the US Help Syrian Christians Fighting ISIS? ~ A damn good question
A Million Syrian Christians Can Thank Hindu Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ~ Donald Trump actually met with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) last November. Apparently he doesn’t remember that conversation. Or worse, doesn’t care ~

(A) U.S. intervention — beyond risking war with nuclear-armed Russia — would allow radical Sunni Muslims aligned with al Qaeda to take over Syria and commit genocide against religious minorities numbering in the millions, including Syria’s Christians. You know, the way they did in Iraq. That is why Syria’s Christian leaders have been begging Western Christians since 2013 to avert such a reckless intervention.

 
‘Syria will implode if Assad goes’, says fmr UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford ~

Given there is no evidence that Assad carried out the attack, the universal approval for military intervention from our political and media class is concerning. Based on impulse and without evidence, Trump bombed a sovereign nation allied with Russia before even knowing the details of the chemical disaster. And the ‘liberal’ media went from challenging his impulsivity on a number of important issues to unequivocal support.

Islamic and Christian Syrian Reaction to Trump’s Airstrike over a Suspicious Chemical Attack
Blurring Lines and Manufacturing Consent ~

Why does the prospect of war and armed conflict bring both sides of our political establishment (as well as the mainstream media) together in such a programmed – bordering on creepy – way? Are we becoming the very thing we’ve been fighting?
 
There is something strange lurking in the swamps of Washington…

 
Exposed Secret US Documents Reveal How The United States Government Is Designing The Plan That Is Moving The World Towards Armageddon ~ (!) I know. Don’t be put off by the hyperbolic headline. :) This is a quite lengthy but intriguing article from Theodore Shoebat who, while a bit of a zealot, certainly makes some compelling points.

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