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Rachel Maddow Suggests UK, France, U.S. Involved In “Wag the Dog” Strike On Syria

Rachel Maddow Suggests UK, France, U.S. Involved In “Wag the Dog” Strike On Syria

“Trump’s personal turmoil taints U.S. military options and national security”

Following President Trump’s announcement that the United States, the United Kingdom, and France had launched a joint missile strike in Syria, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow told her audience that the strikes might be motivated as a means of distracting from domestic problems Trump is facing.  Apparently, she is concerned that even this impression will “taint” military operations.

In her best “no, you are not dreaming Trump really won” voice, Maddow announced that the timing of the strikes and her sense that it seems to be a diversion weakens our military’s “impact and effectiveness.”  National security, she intones, is at risk.

Real Clear Politics reports:

On Friday, Rachel Maddow said President Trump’s decision to strike Syria will make people think he wanted to “distract” from a “catastrophic domestic scandal” blowing up at home. Maddow, using a form of the phrase ‘wag the dog,’ implied the bombing of Damascus was a diversion from such crises.

“It will affect those other countries’ view of this strike. It will affect their reaction to it,” she said.

“It will therefore affect the utility of this military strike if the president of the United States is believed to have issued the order to launch this strike tonight, even in part because people think he wanted to distract from a catastrophic domestic scandal that is blowing up at home at the same time,” the MSNBC host declared.

“The perception that the president may have ordered these strikes in part because of scandal will affect the impact and the effectiveness of these military strikes. Unavoidably. Even if the tail is not wagging the dog,” Maddow added.

Given that the segment begins with Trump’s announcement of the joint air strikes by the U. S., UK, and France, does she imagine that British Prime Minister Teresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron are colluding with Trump to distract from media-driven scandals in America?  Are their military forces and national security threatened by this “wag the dog” taint?


As you can imagine, this bizarre statement has created some buzz on Twitter, starting with a New York Times reporter confused by the leap Maddow makes.

Maddow’s response is clear as mud:

Everyone seems confused . . . and / or amused by Maddow’s latest bit of bad theater.


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stevewhitemd | April 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm

“So Rachel, what would YOU do about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against their own people?”

So, that’s why Obama reignited the Iraq war, commissioning the Islamic State, which progressed as a global war in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. As well as a first-order forcing of CAIR: catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform, and gerrymandering and welfare profits in Democrat districts.

Why give her any additional ability to speed her BS

I wonder if she laid awake all night thinking that one up.

I am surprised that this angry young man didn’t propose a conspiracy with Syria. Why go halfway with your crackpot ideas?

She is a Rhodes Scholar, as pointed out ad nauseam. I thought Rhodes was out of favor with the Left? Colonialism and all….

The French get a bad rap militarily at times, but when they do clobber somebody they do a good job. Now who were the players in taking down Libya under Obama?

Paul In Sweden | April 14, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Well… They don’t call her Rachel MadCow for nothing.

Henry Hawkins | April 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm

Well, not to defend Maddow, God forbid, but given her’s and the left’s constant pervasive anti-Trumpism, what else can she or they say? Great job, Mr. President? Well done, Mr. President?

Trump or any other national GOP office holder could save 100 kittens, 200 puppies, and 300 orphans from a fire and Maddow and her ilk would be forced to make it negative – no matter how silly they sound.

What “catastrophic domestic scandal” might she have in mind?

They’ve certainly been trying to plant one, and there are little seedlings all over the place, but none of them has exactly taken root.

I’m surprised at how limited an imagination she has. She failed to work in the Trump/Putin/Russian collusion narrative:
“President Trump, working with Assad through mutual ally Vladimir Putin, orchestrated a chemical attack on a Syrian town in order to give himself cover to commit a US air strike to divert attention from his domestic problems. Trump further indebts himself to Putin for the political favor.”

The fact is, Trump strikes Syria and the Left regurgitates Maddow’s brand of nonsense. If he didn’t strike, they’d be saying it’s because he’s soft on the Russians.

I guess if we all were as stupid as she is, maybe somehow, some people could think she’s right. Or not.
What a doofus!

Alex Jones was crying while bemoaning the Syria strikes, so was Michael Savage, who ever thought these three would be on a similar page of being against this strike, even though they came at it from different angles… Jones and Savage were on similar tracks of it being that Trump broke his promises, so maybe Madcow was referring to these two right wing voices being against Trump for the attacks as a “catastrophic domestic scandal”, after all they both believe it was because of them and their support Trump was elected.

Dogs and cats … living together… we are certainly living in extremely strange times.

Anyone ever read one of Madcow’s books?

She’s a very fact-challenged hysteric.

Actually, given her premises her reasoning makes sense. Suppose it were true that some major domestic scandal had broken this week that looked like it might devastate Trump’s prospects of remaining in office, much like that which had broken for Clinton when he testified before the grand jury on the Lewinsky matter. If this had happened, then it would have been natural for everyone to understand the strike on Syria in that light, just as everyone did understand Clinton’s missile strike against Osama bin Laden three days later.

And this understanding would indeed have undermined the operation’s military effectiveness. The whole point of the strike was not to seriously degrade Assad’s military capacity but to send him a message, that his behavior will not be tolerated. Anything that detracts from that message therefore undermines the operation’s effectiveness. If Assad thinks this is about Trump’s domestic problems and not about his own behavior then he will have no reason to alter it.

The flaw in Maddow’s case is not in her reasoning but in her premise. Whatever the long-term legal effect of the Cohen raid, politically and in the short term it was a win for Trump. He came out looking like the victim, and increased his public legitimacy, while no information from the raid has yet come out to discredit him, and none may ever come out. So why would he need a distraction this week of all weeks?

    Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | April 15, 2018 at 12:46 am

    A win for Trump? How so?

    The President made no effort to gain any domestic coalition to back his attack upon the sovereign nation of Syria. None. He owns this attack and any and all ramifications which may arise from it. Unfortunately so does the rest of the country, whom he never consulted before he acted. And, as there is no evidence that the Syrian government actually deployed any chemical weapons in this incident, a case will now have to be made that it was justified.

    See, what you have is a loose cannon, a cowboy President who saw movement and shot from the hip. This week we have the Cohen Raid, several sex scandals and the media shouting that it is all over for the President. And, what does he do? Does he take a measure response to the chemical release? Does he call for an investigation of the incident? Does he go to Congress and present ANY of the evidence that Syria was involved? No. He unilaterally attacks Syria. He does not ask for an investigation. He goes so far as to have the US UN ambassador vote against a Swedish investigation. He presented NO evidence to the American people to justify this actions. The man works for the people. And, before the bombs had finished dropping, a case was already being made that he did this only to look Presidential, not because it was necessary. And, not without merit.

    No, this is not a win for Trump. Unless he can justify this attack by proving that the Assad government delivered the chemical munition, more and more people will begin to believe that he is reckless. Especially if any action is taken against the US by either Russia or Iran. Remember when we all told that 17 intelligence agencies had agreed that the Russian had tampered with the 2016 Presidential election? We now know that they had no verifiable evidence that there was any significant hacking of election systems. About the most that can be proven is that the Russians took out ads on social media in an effort to influence voters. But, we now supposed to believe that these same intelligence agencies have conclusive proof that the Assad government released these chemicals after all of three or four days, without any proof.

    You know who it is a win for? It is a win for the Establishment. All the Establishment RINOs, McCain and Graham among them, as well as all the Establishment Dems are thrilled about this. They all were pushing Trump to attack Syria. Then, when he did what they wanted, now they are attempting to blame the chemical attack on Trump’s statement that he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria. Look for this talking point to catch on. Now the international community is backing off, telling trump they do not want to see any escalation in the Syrian civil war.About the only people who were strongly opposed to Trump’s attack on Syria were his conservative constituency.

    No, this is not a win for Trump. It could end up harming him badly, in the long run. And, of course, we are all in the same boat with him.

      Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 12:56 am

      Correction: The US blocked a UN proposal for Sweden to investigate the deaths resulting from the attempts to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip. – Mac.

      Valerie in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      “See, what you have is a loose cannon, a cowboy President who saw movement and shot from the hip.”

      Hold that thought. Repeat it, loudly and often. It is valuable.

      I remember when Doonesbury was using that line on Ronnie Ray-Gun, and I thought he was making an intelligent and scary point. But Reagan also brought down the Soviet Union. I discovered that it’s not a bad thing for the rest of the world to think the US has a cowboy for a President.

      Of course, it is not in the least bit true, as anybody who has heard or read DJT’s speeches abroad. DJT has a fine grasp of recent world history, and of the story arcs of all the current major players. He knows what works, and what does not work, when it comes to dealing with other countries. I suspect that is because he’s been paying attention to real world news (as opposed to what the newspapers print) for the last 50 years.

      Right now, he is playing New Kid on the Block, and he is playing to avoid getting sucked into a major war. This is how it’s done.

    Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | April 15, 2018 at 1:21 am

    I was pleasantly surprised to see how limited and precisely targeted this strike was – only the main chemical weapons lab and two major chemical weapons storage facilities. And done at 3 am Syrian time to minimize casualties. That is hardly a “shoot from the hip” operation, this is something that has obviously been in the planning stages at the Pentagon for a long time.

    And from reading here and there, I’m getting the impression that Assad was so bold because Putin had promised that he would militarily retaliate against anyone who launched an attack against Assad, and help defend his facilities.

    So this was a major slap of Putin’s face, humiliating him and showing him to be a powerless blowhard in front of one of his most cherished allies, and simultaneously demonstrating what a complete fool Assad was to think he could get away with this because he trusted his patrons. You might even say that both Assad and Putin got “Trumped”.

    btw, for just one collateral effect of this strike, expect North Korea to be even more willing to talk about de-nuking now than they ever were before. The Strong Horse always gets respect.

      tom_swift in reply to Tom Servo. | April 15, 2018 at 1:30 am

      Assad was so bold because Putin had promised that he would militarily retaliate against anyone

      I see no way that anyone could possibly know this.

        Tom Servo in reply to tom_swift. | April 15, 2018 at 11:14 am

        Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, said this publicly just a few days ago.

        “If there is a strike by the Americans then… the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” he told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.”

        But then the American strike came and – nothing. Putin got caught with his pants down.

        Barry in reply to tom_swift. | April 15, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        “I see no way that anyone could possibly know this.”

        yes, it’s difficult if your dumb and blind.

      Mac45 in reply to Tom Servo. | April 15, 2018 at 11:22 am

      “The Strong Horse always gets respect.” I think this was the philosophy that Al Capone subscribed to, as well.

      AS I said, we still have absolutely NO proof that the Assad government released these chemicals. NONE. All we have is an unconfirmed claim from the same people who told us that the Russians had hacked our election system and the DNC server. Perhaps the Syrian government was responsible,perhaps not. And, perhaps the release was accidental.

      To make it even more confusing, we have a televised report from our “friends” at RT, that the US was training Syrian rebels to release chemical weapons in a false flag attack to stimulate a US military response.

      Now, this is RT, but it opens all kinds of interesting possibilities. One is that the story was accurate. The other is that the story was a plant to provide cover for a Russian sponsored, Syrian government chemical weapons release either to frame the rebels or for some other reason. Or, it could all be coincidence.

      The point is, that the CinC DID go off half cocked. he prepared no groundwork for this strike. He simply did it. And, now he owns it, whole hog. If it turns out that the Syrian government was not responsible for deploying chemical munitions, then Trump owns that, too.

        Tom Servo in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 12:36 pm

        Oh I agree that Trump owns it. And it’s being cheered around the world, and a report just out put’s Trump’s popularity at a new all time high. And the never-Trumpers are stuck sitting in their basements and cursing the dark.

          Mac45 in reply to Tom Servo. | April 15, 2018 at 2:44 pm

          Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We still have not seen what response may be forthcoming from the Russians or the Iranians. We do not know how the Chinese will use this action. We do not know what response we will get from the millions of new terrorists now living in Europe. It might be a good idea to wait and see what transpires here.

        Barry in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        ” he prepared no groundwork for this strike.”

        Good Lord. You are a smart guy. But now you’re just making shit up. The military routinely plans for all type of offensive and defensive action.

        You have no clue what was planned or when.

          Mac45 in reply to Barry. | April 15, 2018 at 2:50 pm

          Yes I am a smart guy. I was speaking about POLITICAL groundwork for this strike.

          The military has contingency plans for almost everything that can be imagined. When they get a mission, they dust one off, tweak it for prevailing conditions and implement it.

          The President’s job is to build a political framework to support the desired actions. He has to make sure that he has sufficient support from the Congress, other politicians and the citizenry to provide political cover for his actions. In this case, he did not bother to do that. And, that could well prove problematical for him.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | April 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm

          “I was speaking about POLITICAL groundwork for this strike.”

          Certainly wasn’t clear in your comment.

          Now, pray tell, what exactly do you think he should have done differently regarding political groundwork?

          I’ll go ahead and pop some corn while waiting for that.

          Mac45 in reply to Barry. | April 15, 2018 at 6:15 pm

          Got your popcorn, Barry? Good.

          Launching a military attack upon any sovereign nation is a serious thing to do. It is even more serious is one is not at war with that nation. Why? Because the military attack is, itself, a long recognized act of war. So, a national leaser usually does a couple of things before launching the attack.

          The first is to build a consensus that the action is both necessary and reasonable, among other political leaders within the country. This to forestall any action which may be taken to depose the leader because of his actions. He shares his evidence as to the identity of the person responsible for the action that he opposing. he allows some debate in order to establish the consensus that the action he is contemplating is correct or reasonable. Then he makes a case to his people to gain their support. Sometimes there is no tie to do this, but in this case time does not appear to be a factor.

          The second thing that has to be done is to build a consensus among the leaders of other nations that the proposed action is both necessary and reasonable. The same conditions hold true for building that consensus as apply to the building of a domestic consensus. You have to male sure that other national leaders are going to support you. To make that work, those leaders have to build a consensus among their own politicians and people than the proposed action is both necessary and justified.

          We do not know what transpired between Trump and other national leaders. But, we have seen no evidence that the actions, which the US, UK and France undertook was ever presented to the people of those countries prior to the attack. What we are left with is a total lack of any verified evidence that the government of Syria released this alleged chemical attack.

          So, I guess we will have to HOPE that al-Assad released the chemical, intentionally. because only in that case is our action even mildly justifiable.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | April 15, 2018 at 9:03 pm

          The first is to build a consensus that the action is both necessary and reasonable, among other political leaders within the country. This to forestall any action which may be taken to depose the leader because of his actions.

          Since there is absolutely zero chance that Trump will be deposed over this decision, and if anything it increases his support, there’s no need for this. The consensus among domestic leaders already exists.

          Mac45 in reply to Barry. | April 16, 2018 at 12:02 am

          “Since there is absolutely zero chance that Trump will be deposed over this decision, and if anything it increases his support, there’s no need for this. The consensus among domestic leaders already exists.”

          Increases his support? Really? with whom? The Establishment? Not likely. Trump’s economic policies are costing the Establishment trillions of dollars. They will happily escort out the door. Deposed? How about at war? Are YOU willing to go to war over Syria? As for consensus among domestic leaders, BS. McCain, who wanted the strike, is trashing trump for making it necessary by threatening to withdraw troops from Suria. So, Trump has NO support among Dems. Little to none with Repubs. And now he is losing his base. Good call.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | April 16, 2018 at 1:44 am

          Yes, if anything it increases his support, with the public and with Congress. Of course it doesn’t guarantee he won’t be removed, but it it decreases the likelihood at least somewhat,

          Barry in reply to Barry. | April 16, 2018 at 2:04 pm

          Mac, not even going to take that apart bit by bit. It boils down to a very simple thing, the President sometimes needs to act quickly, for a variety of reasons. One, no need to spend hours debating while the enemy prepares. Two, quick action is often required to protect ourselves and allies, no time for your debate.

          You can decide neither was the case here, but I would disagree. There would have been endless time consuming BS making any action by the time it was taken, moot.

          Personally I would just get out of the ME and let it draw us into the nuclear fiasco that would eventually occur. And that is what will end up occurring IMO.

          Trump has already had a significant amount of success in changing the landscape in the ME. Perhaps it will bear fruit. I’ll give him a shot at it, at least he uses common sense. Iran will have to be dealt with, one way or another.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm

        No political groundwork? I guess the British and French attacks against a particular target set was just a coincidence?

          Mac45 in reply to DaveGinOly. | April 15, 2018 at 8:03 pm

          So, how many of the government ministers in either the UK or France vote i the US? How many of them represent the American people? Right NONE of them do. Read my response to Barry who asked what trump should have done, in this case.

          Bombing Syria was the easy part. Not only will the military carry out lawful commands of the President, but the military leadership has been trying to get back in the international politics game since we left Iraq. However, once the deed is done, then comes the justification phase. Trump skated on that last year. Largely because the Progressives and the liberals wanted him to attack Assad. But, sooner or later people are going to want to see proof that Assad was responsible. We can no longer simply take the unsupported word of the government for anything.

          Barry in reply to DaveGinOly. | April 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

          “We can no longer simply take the unsupported word of the government for anything.”

          In general I agree. OTOH, there is plenty of external support if you look. The Syrians had been bombing this place for weeks with no success. Eventually they do what history has proven they will do, gas ’em. The rebels folded the next day.

Rachel thinks the dead kids are a hoax conspiracy created by Alex Jones.

The idea of “Wag the Dog” assumes that an attack is made where without needing a distraction, one wouldn’t have been made.

I’m not sure what universe Maddow lives in where repeated use of chemical weapons on civilians doesn’t deserve retaliation.

    Mac45 in reply to Matt_SE. | April 15, 2018 at 11:26 am

    “I’m not sure what universe Maddow lives in where repeated use of chemical weapons on civilians doesn’t deserve retaliation.”

    The question still remains, retaliation against whom by whom? We still DO NOT KNOW who was responsible for the release of these chemicals and under what conditions. And, under what authority does the US have the right to militarily attack a sovereign nation with whom it is not at war?

      Tom Servo in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      obviously the most sensitive intelligence reports can’t be made public, since many of them probably come from the Israelis. But the Syrian’s Research Facility which was hit has been notorious for years, not only for making chemical weapons but for exchanging materials and technology with the North Korean regime, as well as the Iranians. They were also strong indications that they were working on developing bio-weapons for use in broad applications. (42 people dead a week back appears to have been a limited weapons test)

      This facility, and it’s associated storage facilities, should have been destroyed many years ago. We are justified in taking this out because this is a serious potential threat to American cities and American populations. Syria had promised to get rid of its chemical weapons, Russia had promised to certify that this happened. They lied, leaving a military response as the only action.

      AND if Syria had no remaining chemical weapons, then they didn’t need a chemical weapons research facility or chemical weapons storage sites anymore, did they?

      btw, it hardly needs to be stated that Congress abdicated it’s powers in this area starting about 75 years ago. When the only man you can find to agree with you is Bernie Sanders, you should realize you’re going down a real bad mental path.

        Mac45 in reply to Tom Servo. | April 15, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        The US has a stockpile of 5770 metric tonnes of sophisticated chemical weapons, mostly nerve agents. We also have several dormant processing plants to create such weapons. We also have a nascent bioweapons program. One of our government researchers was reportedly responsible for the theft of anthrax from one of our facilities back in the early 2000s. Should another bomb these facilities because they MIGHT be a threat to them? By your logic they should be considered targets for any country which may consider the US a threat.

        But, you are still ignoring the 800# gorilla in the room. That is that the US had NO authority under international law or “norms” to attack Syria. NONE. We just went ahead and did it. And, we did it without making even the smallest case for or evidence that the government was responsible. We really have seen no reliable third party evidence that any chemical release occurred. Also, I would never trust Israeli intelligence as far I could throw them. They have been known to provide disinformation for their own purposes. they even spied on the US, their supposed ally.

        What this is is a “feel good” attack on a far weaker nation, just like the one a year ago. It was done on the basis of unknown information. Not even the Congress got to see what intel it was based upon. IN fact, the Congress still has not seen the supposed intelligence upon which last year’s attack was based. And, people who want to simply feel good are falling all over themselves trying to justify this attack.

      Barry in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      “We still DO NOT KNOW who was responsible for the release of these chemicals and under what conditions.”

      Correction, YOU don’t know.

      Conditions? The Syrians had been bombing the area for weeks with no effect. In that case they do what they always do, use chemical weapons. It’s not a new thing, they’ve been doing it for years to maintain power.

      Take your head out of…

        Mac45 in reply to Barry. | April 15, 2018 at 3:18 pm

        Correction, WE DON”T KNOW anything, yet. Except that the US, the UK and France bombed Syria, a nation that none of them were at war with and which had not attacked them or their citizens.

        All we have are assumptions. And we all know what assuming does. The Syrian forces may ahve released chemical ordinance. Then again they may not have released any chemicals. The rebels might have released it. Then again they may not have. It might have been an accidental release when a rebel magazine was hit. Then again, it might not. It might not even have happened. Then again it might have. The problem is that the US did not wait for any proof, which could be released publicly, before we acted. And, we have no information that the response was in any way time sensitive. In fact, the Congress was not even informed of the “evidence” of Syrian responsibility or why the response had to be done within a week of the incident.

        What happened, is that Us committed an act of war against Surai without providing ANY evidence that Syria was responsible for any chemical weapon release. So, now, sooner or later, the US is going to have to prove that its action was justified. And WE are the US.

          Barry in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm

          No, we don’t have to prove anything. As it has always been, might equals right.

          “The problem is that the US did not wait for any proof, which could be released publicly, before we acted.”

          In other words, the USA cannot act until we have something that we can show publically, even though the information we do have cannot be released to protect sources and methods.

          9/11, then. In your opinion we could not act because we had no proof that could be released publically.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm

          Hey, if you want to live in a world where “might makes right”, then you should move to a third world nation such as those found in Africa. The rest of us prefer a world where the rule of law prevails.

          The rule of law provides that any action taken against another requires proof that such action was justified by the actions of another party. So, yes, you pretty much have to be able to publicly produce proof. Otherwise, you have an autocratic government. Again, something which I am not comfortable with.

          As for 9/11, the Bush administration did produce evidence which showed very strong circumstantial links between the hijackers and Al Qaeda, which was controlled by Osama bin Laden, at that time, before we invaded Afghanistan. The same was true of our invasion of Iraq. Remember, the Bush administration was not attacking Afghanistan a week after the towers fell.

          Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm

          There is no rule of law among nations. There is no world government, and no court with the authority to tell the US what to do. Whether you like to live in such a world is irrelevant; you’ve always lived there.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 16, 2018 at 12:07 am

          If there is no rule of law among nations, then what does the US use for justification for committing an recognized act of war against Syria? We used the excuse that Assad’s use of chemical weapons was outside the norm of behavior. But, if there is no rule of law, this is a lie. It is all a lie. Under your theory, there is no rule of law with a country either. It is all survival of the fittist. Remember that when you lose your possessions and your life to someone bigger and stronger.

          Might makes right is a nice concept, if you are the one who is mightiest. If not, well, you’re toast.

          Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | April 16, 2018 at 1:51 am

          It uses the ban on chemical weapons. You’re the one who insists on the “rule of law”, but in relations between nations there is no such thing, and can’t be. There’s no government and no courts, so how could there be a rule of law? There are only conventions and the willingness of various parties to enforce them. That’s how it is and has always been, and will be for at least the rest of your life. You have never lived in a world with a world government and you never will. If you don’t like it you can go hug your unicorn and…(aside: what’s that? really?) …oops, never mind.

      Matt_SE in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Gee, then I guess Assad is just a victim of circumstances. Maybe if Syria didn’t have chemical weapon stockpiles, the U.S. couldn’t falsely blame him.

      (although, of course he did it)

        Mac45 in reply to Matt_SE. | April 15, 2018 at 6:19 pm

        We do not know exactly how many chemical weapons Assad has or what type of weapons they are. We also do not know how many and what type of chemical weapons the rebels may have acquired from the Syrian government or from outside actors. After all the US has been supplying the rebels with munitions and funding for the last six years. And, during the civil war, both sides have used chemical weapons. so, i guess if the rebels did not have chemical weapons, then we would KNOW that this was the work of the government.

        Now, how about sharing your extensive amount of verified evidence that the Assad government was responsible for this incident with the rest of the country. Go ahead. barry has his popcorn.

          Valerie in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

          It all depends on whether we were looking, at the time.

          “Mattis, alongside Dunford, noted that “the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime,” including the April 7 attack on Douma in which the regime “decided to again defy the norms of civilized people, showing callous disregard for international law by using chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents.” ”

          Three targets were hit beginning at 9 p.m. EST: the Syrian government’s weapons-development Scientific Studies and Research Center and two chemical weapons storage facilities. Dunford said one facility west of Homs was assessed as “the primary location of Syrian sarin and precursor production equipment.”

          “Mattis said he’s “confident” Assad was behind the Douma gas attack, and is “not ruling out” sarin as one of the agents used in the assault. ”

          “State Department press secretary Heather Nauert told reporters earlier Friday that the United States, along with France and the UK, had proof of the chemical attack but was still determining the “exact” cocktail of chemicals used.”

          ““I’m not going to say which day we absolutely knew there was proof, the attack took place on Saturday, we know for a fact it was a chemical weapon, we know that there are only certain countries, like Syria, that have delivery mechanisms and those types of weapons,” Nauert said.”

          What would the proof be? For example, use of an airplane to deliver a chemical weapon. The Syrian government has airplanes, their opposition supposedly does not.

          If we were looking, and an airplane was used, we might have its serial number.

          Our surveillance, when it works, has been that good since before the 1st Gulf war.

          I, for one, do not really want to know what the exact means of obtaining proof is, if broadcast of that information would also carry new information to our adversaries about our surveillance capabilities.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 8:23 pm

          Well Valerie, there are a number of ways to determine whether one side of the conflict or the other released a chemical weapon. One way is to determine that the chemical agent used was available ONLY to one side of the conflict. Another is to produce a piece of the munition which was readily identifiable as being one belonging to and in the sole possession of one actor. Aircraft operating in the area can be used to produce a well founded suspicion that one actor dropped a chemical munition. But, if there were conventional explosives being dropped at the same time, this reduces the significance of an aircraft being the delivery vehicle. Eye witness accounts are always suspect, unless the witness is a very credible independent witness. In fact, eye witnesses who are part of on faction or are simply bystanders have more credibility than those associated with the “victims”.

          At the time of the attack on Syria, we had not even determined exactly what kind of chemicals were used. However, none of the protocols for dealing with victims of sarin gas were being followed in any of the videos of victims being treated.

          What we are seeing now is people who were highly critical of the US government hiding behind protecting intelligence sources and procedures when it was claiming that Trump was colluding with Russia and that Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC server and the US election system, using the same excuses to allow the government to make claims without presenting any proof. Really? Is this what our society has devolved to? If there is verifiable proof that the Assad regime deployed a chemical munition in this case, let us see it. GHell, at this point I’d like to see ANY evidence. Pictures of purported “dead” people don’t prove anything. They don’t even prove that these people are dead. It is not as though rebel groups have not fabricated photographic evidence in the past.

          All that I ask for is some verifiable evidence that the government of Bashir al-Assad actually committed this act. That is all. Shoe me. Of course, it would be nice if this evidence was presented to the CinC BEFORE he ordered the attack ion Syria. We’ll have to see what develops.

          One other thing to realize is that

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 15, 2018 at 8:33 pm

          By the way, here is a Newsweek article which addresses what we DO know about the 2013 and 20176 “chemical weapons” attacks in Syria.

        Milhouse in reply to Matt_SE. | April 15, 2018 at 9:24 pm

        Mattis did not say we have no evidence he used chemical weapons, he said we have no direct evidence that the chemical he used was sarin.

          Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | April 16, 2018 at 12:12 am

          No, Mattis said, before Congress, that as far as he knows, there is no evidence that the Assad government was responsible for the chemical release in 2017. And, no evidence has ever been produced that conclusively proved that the Assad government was responsible for the 2013 release, either. All people are asking for is to know what evidence exists that Assad released these weapons. Why? Because as we have found out, WE. CAN’T. TRUST. THE. GOVERNMENT.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 16, 2018 at 1:41 am

          He said we know beyond doubt that they used other chemicals, and we have good reason to believe — but can’t prove — it was sarin.