The Great Recession Blog
by David Haggith
What could be smellier and more tempting bait to get ISIS to launch a chemical-weapon attack than a US guarantee that “any” chemical weapon attack in Syria will be automatically blamed on Assad’s regime and will automatically result in the US attacking Assad and all of ISIS’s other enemies?
Today the White House offered ISIS that ironclad guarantee.
White House issues preemptive warning to Syria on chemical attack
Today, the White House issued a carte blanc guarantee to ISIS, pledging that the Assad regime will pay a heavy price for any chemical weapon attack that happens inside of Syria:
The Trump administration issued a rare, preemptive warning to the Syrian regime against launching any chemical weapons attacks, warning Damascus will “pay a heavy price” if it refuses to heed Washington’s red line. (The Washington Times)
The use of the term “red line” makes this more than just another line in the sand because of its historic overtones. Assad and everyone else in the world remembers the political price Obama paid for stating that a chemical weapons attack would be a “red line” for the US that Syria dare not cross. When an attack did happen, which Obama doubted was due to Syria, he refused to cross that line and was criticized for cowardice for years. I think everyone knows that Trump is not about to repeat that kind of retreat from his threat.
To make it even more clear that the US will interpret a chemical weapon attack in Syria as justifying an attack against Assad’s regime, the statement continued as follows:
“the United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack … similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017, chemical weapons attack.” (Italics mine.)
That statement ties the current threat to the last time the US attacked Assad based on the US government’s claimed belief that he used chemical weapons against the Syrian people, which set a precedent for future responses.
As the Washington Times article points out, the White House has revealed none of the particulars that it claims prove that preparations are being made by Assad’s military for such a chemical attack on the Syrian people. That is not unusual in that nations are reluctant to reveal their intelligence, lest it also provide clues as to how the intelligence was gathered; but it also calls to mind the unsupported claims made by the Bush regime that Saddam Hussein was making chemical weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam was not doing.
When evidence was provided before the entire UN for Saddam’s supposed weapons manufacturing, even I sat and thought, “That’s it? That’s all you’ve got?” I could see leaps to conclusions in every statement that Colin Powell made, and I wanted to believe him because I knew we were going to attack and because I had voted for Bush and because I respected Powell and because and I hoped that our nation would never go to war for illegitimate reasons. So, I greatly hoped to see that Powell would prove the case. By the conclusion of Powell’s presentation to the UN, however, I was certain we were going to war for illegitimate reasons. The leaps of logic were glaring, just as they are now.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley raised the specter of a wider war, threatening Syria’s allies in Moscow and Tehran.
Sounds like intended justification for a wider war to me! And the feared event hasn’t even happened yet. Since fear-mongering has always been a war-monger’s best tool, I have a question:
If this threat is so grave that it means we would have to take on the risk of a wider war that could involve Russia, and if our concern is humanitarian, why don’t we just selectively target the chemical preparations right now, blowing up the preparations facility where they claim the chemicals are being “mixed,” and, thus, save a lot of human suffering before it happens? Wouldn’t it be better, if our interests are purely humanitarian, to prevent the suffering, rather than put out a statement that could easily (even if not intentionally) bait ISIS into launching its own attack?
I’m sure we’ve thought all of this through because administration officials have even described the attack that hasn’t happened yet as ““another mass murder attack using chemical weapons.” (Hmm. We KNOW it is going to be another mass murder attack, but we’re going to let it happen?)
In other words, this attack that hasn’t happened yet (so does not yet even exist) is another one just like the last one that justified our strange attack against Syria, which seemed to accomplish nothing but distraction from the issues that were raging in the press about Trump colluding with Russia at the time. (What? We blew a tiny three-foot hole in a runway, and darkened some bunkers from which the planes had already been removed (but didn’t destroy either the bunkers or the planes). Much smoke, but not much fire? The problems were patched in half a day, and the airport was back up and running.)
Evidence that the White House is baiting ISIS into making a chemical weapons attack
Here is where it gets really interesting … and evil.
As if all the above were not suspicious enough, let’s look at another article that adds some clarity as to what the US ambassador to the UN pledged in advance of the attack that Assad is supposedly preparing:
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley in a tweet added that Assad’s allies would be responsible too.
“Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people,” she tweeted. (CNS News)
Whoa! Notice the use of the word “any.” Surely, US ambassadors choose their wording carefully, knowing full well the entire world will parse every word for its significance in trying to discern what the US will really do when the US promises to intensify its war. “ANY” further attack “WILL BE BLAMED ON ASSAD!”
This is the part that I said becomes a carte blanc promise to ISIS that any false-flag event it creates will be used as an excuse to attack Assad. The White House has already promised that it will attack Assad for “ANY” attack that it sees happen — presumably meaning any chemical attack, but even that isn’t clear. Just “any” attack. So, launch an attack, ISIS, because we are ready with a hair trigger to respond directly against Assad for anything we see!
Could the US offer smellier bait to ISIS than that if it tried? Even if you want to assume the cleanest of humanitarian motives on the part of the US regime, you would have to, in that case, assume an incredibly inept and fully stupid US administration because anyone can figure out that ISIS will smell this bait and do all it can to hit on it and bring about the promised response. If the Trump administration did not intend to bait ISIS, then they surely have to be stupider than any of the rest of us to not have seen that ISIS will now do everything it can to draw the US into a more direct confrontation with the Assad regime.
BUT THIS DOESN’T EVEN STOP THERE. Look at the all the rest of what the US ambassador said! She stated outright — no holds barred — that both Russia and Iran will also be held directly responsible for “ANY” attack that the US sees happen. This is a pledge to ISIS that, if they can pull this off, the US will also strongly attack their other greatest enemies, Iran and Russia!
The US ambassador even has the affront to say that Russia supports Assad in his efforts to kill his own people. It’s one thing to say that Russia supports Assad’s fight against ISIS, which they surely and unreservedly do, but she has claimed that Russia supports Assad’s goals of killing his own people. She states that the US will hold Russia and Iran, which we know the Trump regime is gunning for, as equally responsible for “any” attack that happens (presumably any chemical attack).
Could ISIS possibly be given stronger bait to launch its own false-flag attack than a promise that “the Great Satan” will go after Assad, Iran and even Russia if we see any attack happen against the Syrian people! This is an ISIS dream! The Trump administration has endangered the Syrian people by making such a brash promise that virtually assures ISIS will do everything it can to murder them. The event hasn’t even happened, and we’ve decided it’s another “another mass murder” just like the last one.
Iran, Russia and Syria respond
CNS News reported Iran’s response as follows:
Iran’s state-funded Press TV commented that the U.S. warning “risks sparking a major confrontation between parties to the Syrian conflict and complicating efforts aimed at resolving it.”
I hate to ever be on the side of saying Iran is right, just as I hated to be on the side of saying Iraq’s ambassador was right when he called Powell’s presentation to the UN “a dog and pony show,” but Iran is right. Of course the White House’s statement risks sparking a major confrontation. In fact, “sparking” is far too week of a word as is “risks.” It guarantees that ISIS will do all it can to create a major conflagration between the US and Russia and Iran — all of whom are its sworn enemies and all of whom it would LOVE to see embroiled in a hot war with each other!
Russia responded by calling the US statement what it is:
“White House Threatens to Murder More Syrians Over Imaginary ‘Chemical Weapons Attacks’”
Yes, it is the US that in encouraging the “murder of more Syrians.” How can any administration be so blatantly dumb as not to see that they have just given the ultimate pledge of support to ISIS if ISIS will just attack more Syrian people! Yes, the US has just officially pledged full-on military support to ISIS if it will murder the Syrian people by promising that “any” attack will be blamed on Assad, Iran and Russia!
This administration is either stupid beyond belief or evil beyond belief. They could not possibly have made any statements that would be more likely to cause the death of Syrian people than these. That presses me to conclude this administration has completely sold out to the neocons and the US military-industrial establishment by pledging itself to a more intense war with Russia and Iran if chemical weapons are used on the Syrian people. EVEN IF ASSAD IS PLANNING TO ATTACK HIS OWN PEOPLE WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS, WE HAVE VIRTUALLY ASSURED THAT ISIS WILL DO ITS BEST TO DO THE SAME!
This is an administration that wants a wider war with Iran and Russia! That is why Iran and Russia responded as they did.
Russia and Iran had already stated that any further strikes like the one that the US claimed was retaliatory last time would cross their own “red lines.” While Iran could easily be taken as mere saber rattling, that is not usually Russia’s approach. It’s a little more adult than that. As the CNS article reminds everyone, Russia already stated,
From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.
Russia has also warned that any US aircraft operating west of the Euphrates river will be treated as targets.
Syria has, naturally, denied that it is preparing a chemical weapons attack against its own people and just stated that this is an attempt by the US to initiate a broader diplomatic attack against Syria and possibly a military attack.
Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, accused the United States of “preparing a new attack on the positions of Syrian forces.”
The Kremlin also dismissed the White House statement, which had warned that Assad and his military would “pay a heavy price” if it goes ahead with the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov … also criticized the Trump administration for using the phrase “another chemical weapons attack,” arguing that an independent investigation into the April attack was never conducted despite Russia’s calls for one. (Zero Hedge)
In a word, Iran called the US warning an “escalation” and Russia called it “provocation.”
In an earlier article titled “Getting Trumped and Thumped in Syria,” I highlighted a few of the numerous reasons to doubt that any of the chemical attacks in Syria (even during the Obama administration) were orchestrated by the Assad regime:
Dr. Theodore Postol has won many awards as a professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. He specializes in ballistic missiles and chemical dispersion clouds. He helps the US government with its weapons program and trains other scientists in weapon technology. Postol debunked the 2013 claims that a chemical incident was caused by one of Assad’s missiles. Briefings, such as his, that countered initial information linking the chemicals to Assad are why Obama did not follow through with his red-line threat.
… Postol does not believe this year’s incident was a missile sent in by Assad, and he believes the site shows evidence of tampering. He notes many stunning errors in the reports that have tried to link both the 2013 chemical incident and the 2017 one to Bashar Assad: “the government’s new report [is] obviously false, misleading and amateurish…. What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true.”
That article cited several other analysts and their reasons for disbelieving that any chemical weapons attacks were carried out by Assad’s forces.
Why does the US want a broader conflict with Iran and Russia so badly that it seeks to elicit one?
We all can remember how well an attack against Syria back in April worked to terminate the national conversation in the press about Trump’s collusion with Russia when the US attacked Assad. That attack boldly proved Trump was willing to challenge Russia and proved Trump was militarily mighty … like Putin. As a result, the collusion conversation ended instantly (though Trump, true to form, couldn’t resist re-igniting the conversation with his tweets a few days later because he seems to thrive on chaos and lots of chatter about himself).
Also true to form this time around, and not at all surprising,
The overnight White House threat caught many in Trump’s own administration by surprise. Several State Department officials typically involved in coordinating such announcements said they were caught off guard, and it appeared the underlying intelligence information was known only to a small group of senior officials. Typically, the State Department, Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies would all be consulted before a White House declaration sure to ricochet across foreign capitals. (AP)
Why break with tradition? Especially when the element of surprise is key to military attacks, though usually it is used against the enemy and not against one’s own.
Speaking of past precedence, who cannot hear in the White House’s current warnings an echo of Trump’s words back then when he justified the airstrike he was about to launch in April:
When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal – people were shocked to hear what gas it was. That crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines.
We can also all remember how much Trump relished telling the story about how he was dining on scrumptious chocolate cake with the president of China when he informed President Xi Jinping in the middle of a mouth-stopping bite about how he was, at just that moment, attacking Syria.
The US president practically salivated as he artfully described the encounter. That “retaliatory” attack immediately became the high moment in Trump’s career as US president because even his loudest critics (wholly owned by the military-industrial complex as the mainstream media is) praised him for finally rising to become “presidential.” Nothing like a strong military attack to make you look presidential.
What a beautiful way to remove the heat of the press … then … and now.
Now that special investigator Robert Mueller is climbing all over Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — digging into every new hole he can think to explore, given his broad scope for investigation — Trump has more need than ever to create a more potent story to distract the press. However, he needs justification for taking bigger military action. Why not revert to what worked so well the last time?
Who cannot hear in the following words at the close of the Zero Hedge article an echo of that earlier event with President Xi Jinpeng?
As AP adds, also on Monday, Trump had dinner with Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and other top officials as he hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House.
I wonder if they were dining on chocolate cake.
Speaking of cake, the Pentagon is again bringing out the term “weapons of mass destruction” in describing what it believes Syria is about to do. Doesn’t that bring to the olfactory memory the delightfully fresh smell of yellow cake for you?
And the nice thing about retaliating against an actual chemical weapons attack — should one be successfully enticed into being — is that it provides US international cover for broadened military action against Iran and Russia because use of chemical weapons is banned under UN treaty. And you can say you did all you could to warn them not to do this!
Intriguingly, the new preparations for a chemical-weapons attack are taking place at the very same airport the US so strategically destroyed two months ago. Maybe that’s why we did so little real damage at that airport, even though we used up almost $50 million worth of our finest cruise missiles. We wouldn’t want to risk taking out the actual chemical-weapons plant or depot. We knew we would need that facility for a further excuse later on. So, don’t take out their capacity to use it.
For some reason, we did not take out the actual chemical-weapons production facility last time but just smoked a few bunkers that had been holding some jalopy fighter jets prior to our peculiar advance notice that we were sending our own missiles to strike the facility, thus allowing the museum-grade fighter jets to be lofted safely into the air prior to the arrival of our missiles. We didn’t want to needlessly snuff out any relics. That, and we made a chuck-hole in … not an actual runway, but a taxiway. Useful only as a photo-op and not a very impressive one at that!
For its part, the US military-industrial establishment — by which I include the Wall Street financiers, as well as the manufacturers of weapons — always wants a larger war to heat up its corner of the economy. However, I have never seen such a blatant attempt to create a “pre-emptive” excuse to broaden a conflict. Apparently, we are going to war with Russia and Iran in Syria where the war is safely off of US soil but can create a lot of demand for new US military hardware. (After all, even the war mongers don’t want to lose their own houses and factories.)
The battle is virtually assured. We just need to create sufficient cause. And, so, we wait only for ISIS to act now that we’ve assured them our retaliation will all be directed at their enemies!
We are either incredibly stupid … or incredibly evil!
Is not all of this another betrayal by Trump on his promises to his supporters, but will they care? As Michael Krieger has said on his Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Part of Trump’s appeal to many of his voters was, at least ostensibly, the idea that he would employ a less hawkish/neocon foreign policy than his opponent Hillary “We Came, We Saw, He Died” Clinton…. The lobbing of tomahawk missiles into Syrian based on the fairytale that Assad launched a chemical weapons attack was the first sign that Trump is easily manipulated and impulsive. In fact, the episode bothered me so much I wrote a post detailing the dire ramifications titled, Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire.
According to Krieger,
On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon…. Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president’s determination to ignore the evidence. “None of this makes any sense,” one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. “We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.
As I revealed on this blog, in an article titled “Hillary’s Wars,” attacking Syria was Killary Klinton’s plan from day one. It was, in fact, why we went to war to oust the Kadaffi regime from Libya as plainly revealed in Wikileak’s documents from Hillary’s state department. It was why the whole Benghazi thing happened and was covered up by Killary. (The embassy in Benghazi was attacked by Libya BECAUSE it was being used by the US as headquarters for US efforts to overthrow Libya’s government. That made the embassy a legitimate war target. All laid out in “Hillary’s Wars.”)
Attacking Syria is a masterplan of the military-industrial complex that goes back a long way. From the beginning, as I pointed out in that article, the Libyan and Syrian wars were all about Iran. Hillary, in her own delusional way, believed Russia would stay out of the conflict. Now, it appears we actually want a proxy war with Russia, too. What better way to use up a lot of military hardware and show our strength against Russia over someone else’s soil?
The US military-industrial complex needs to reposition from the tattered, dated and wearying war on terror to a new cold war with Russia. Better yet, a hot war with Russia on foreign soil, as neither nation will want to encourage the battle to come onto their own soil. At the same time, what better way for Trump to prove he is not a Russian collaborator and silence those endless accusations while moving the conversation to something more praiseworthy? Everyone wins. Well, everyone in the administration.
Looks like, no matter who you voted for, Killary Klinton or Trojan Trump, you ultimately get the same military-industrial establishment! Trump’s weakness has been found and is now being exploited by the deep state. Trump needs praise. It is his constant fuel. In the very least, he needs constant attention. To that end, even negative press is better than none at all. Thus, he reignites fires as quickly as he puts them out because he cannot handle more than one day’s silence about himself. Anyone who must have continual praise or attention is easy to exploit. As with many caesars of the past, the need for praise and attention is one of the worst weaknesses an emperor can have.
As Krieger quoted in is article on the end of American empire,
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.