Syria…Beyond the Red Line

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War is a dirty game replete with casualties. Collateral damage…as in civilian deaths…is part of the nature of war, but when it’s children who die only then does the world mourn. And when those children are gassed and die gasping for breath only then does it seem that the world gets a conscience and a will to fight back.

“The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead,” President Trump said upon hearing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had once again (allegedly) used chemical weapons against innocent civilians.

Using 105 missiles…double the number used last year after we took out targeted chemical warehouses after the gas attack at Khan Shaykhun…an attack never definitely proven to be the handiwork of al-Assad’s government forces…President Donald J. Trump announced on national television at 9pm EST last Friday night (see the announcement here: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5770144065001/?#sp=show-clips) that the United States had unleashed controlled and measured ‘hell’ on Damascus with the assistance of military jets from both Great Britain and France.

Striking several targets including the Barzah Research and Development Center (which is connected to both research as well as the construction and delivery of chemical weapons) located in Syria’s capital city, as well as the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site and the Him Shinshar Bunker Facility in Homs, the sudden but not unexpected attack lasted no more than 15 minutes. Designed specifically to minimize civilian casualties while visiting destruction on said carefully selected targets, this action was taken partly in retaliation for the April 7th chemical attack at Douma…an attack that tugged at the heartstrings of the world what with the non-stop barrage of pictures of dying, foaming at the mouth children.

Now also saying that the strikes were a direct result of Russia’s failure to prevent al-Assad from using chemical weapons, what these strikes really did was show the world that Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s ‘red-lines’ Syria crossed without so much as a blink of an eye were now ‘red lines’ President Trump actually erased…erased via what’s being called “proportional provisional coordinated strikes”…strikes also sending a warning to both Iran and North Korea that using weapons of mass destruction will in no way be tolerated.

“Right now this is a one-time shot.” So said Secretary of Defense General James Mattis regarding last Friday night’s military strikes in Syria.

And so Sec. of Defense Gen. James Mattis spoke to the press from the Pentagon regarding the strikes saying that he was “absolutely convinced” that al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack in Douma. Adding that Great Britain and France, our allies who joined in the strikes, were also convinced of al-Assad’s guilt, Mattis spoke of how the evidence provided by intel from said allies coupled with intel on the ground in Syria clearly pointed to al-Assad’s guilt. See the actual French declassified intelligence report on the Syria gas attack here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-france-intellige/french-declassified-intelligence-report-on-syria-gas-attacks-idUSKBN1HL0N1

But is it clear that al-Assad was responsible for the chemical attack of just more than a week ago?

Not to us…at least not initially…as reports coming from Syria were sketchy at best. Using photos from between one to five years old led us to question the accuracy of said reports. There were other questions we had as well…questions like why did most of the images published…images claiming to be from the week old attack…show mostly children but very few adults and even fewer women? And why did and still do the reports coming from Syria, as well as from other “sources” from around the world, continue to refer to the recent Douma gas attack as a “supposed,” or an “alleged” chemical attack?

And while we know that such “sources” are not always accurate nor are they adept at getting to the “scene” in a timely manner to capture all-important images as they happen…real time images from which the rest of the world can truly assess the situation…in their reports these “sources” relied instead on years old stock images in an attempt to pass them off as the current event, and they did so with no disclaimer to that affect. A ‘red flag’ indeed that points to something being both amiss and misleading. So why do this at all?

Then there’s the question of why would al-Assad unleash even a small amount of chemical agent so close to Damascus…his home base…as Douma is but 10 miles from downtown Damascus? But the most important question of all remains what would al-Assad have to gain by using chemical weapons against his fellow Syrians?

To answer the above stated questions one must speculate that a desperate dictator is apt to take desperate actions. And with the rebel stronghold of Douma sitting just on the outskirts of Damascus…as in it simply being a bit too close for al-Assad’s comfort…that still doesn’t really answer why he would not have used conventional ordinance or even ground troops rather than risking the world’s condemnation by deploying chemical weapons…condemnation he surely knew would come for while Bassar al-Assad is a brutal man the one thing he is not is a stupid man.

So, could the answer be something that most folks have overlooked…something that seriously needs to be considered as the last remaining Jaysh al-Islam “rebels” in Douma scurry off to the north to regroup (and know that this group whose name means Army of Islam is a Saudi-backed coalition of Salafist Islamist militants who are believed to have carried out many of the terrorist attacks in France)…could it be  that Bashar al-Assad at this point in time is actually not in absolute control of his own army? Could it be that someone in the Syrian army went “rogue”…for what is al-Assad’s government itself but a rogue regime of sorts…and that whomever said person might be ordered or even helped carry out the chemical attack without al-Assad’s approval or knowledge? Things like that have happened before in some of the world’s armies, but with al-Assad at the top of the chain of command he and he alone must shoulder the responsibility and be afforded the blame.

Or could it be that the islamic militant Jaysh al-Islam “rebels” were the ones who set off the gas as they cowardly retreated from Douma after the ‘supposed’ peace talks with al-Assad collapsed? Now wouldn’t that be a nice little gift to leave for one’s enemy…just something to really ponder over.

And while some might choose not to give these above stated possibilities little if any consideration or credence, just know that with Syria being in a true state of chaos it would not be surprising if some in the cast of characters started to cross over and infiltrate into the other side with ISIS plants now being in both the rebel forces and in al-Assad government forces as well. Remember, what are the rebels but tentacles of ISIS, al-Qaeda, el-Nusra and other assorted terrorist groups.

Something to think about we’d say…something that must be considered especially as Bashar al-Assad continues to say that neither he nor his forces gassed Douma.

So the bottom line, as we both see it, becomes that when looking for answers to both the questions and the many inconsistencies regarding the recent events in Douma, at this point in time we know that it was official intel gathered by U.S. agencies and operatives combined with intel from other government agencies and operatives around the world…intel that is not accessible to any but those at the highest levels of various governments…is always going to be intel more comprehensive and fact based than intel from a war-torn region where reporting is always somewhat suspect.

And with that said, the military strikes led by the United States in concert with our allies Great Britain and France leads us to believe that President Trump got it right in the actions he took, but that there might very well be more to those actions than appears on the surface. And regardless of the evidence we have seen and the evidence we may well never be privy to, one key fact remains…there can be no quarter given to any who use chemical weapons no matter the shadowy details. That of course now leads directly to questions regarding the strange alliances that are part and parcel of what’s going on inside Syria today.

On the surface it’s the al-Assad regime versus the “rebels,” but the truth is that it goes much deeper than that. The “rebels,” at least the vast majority regardless of specific factions, are the proxy force of Iran, and we, for reasons that simply are not clear, are backing the “rebels.” Russia, on the other hand, is backing al-Assad while at the same time maintaining an alliance of sorts with Iran…seemingly working both ends against the middle…with the middle being the key geographic and strategic point known as Tartus.

Tartus is a sea port Russia claims to be insignificant, although what Russia says outwardly on the matter of Tartus doesn’t meet well with reality as Tartus would become a key Mediterranean port of Russia’s navy if they can control it. And know they want to control it or at the very least have unfettered access to it regardless of who ends up securing power in Syria.

To that end Russia is hedging their military bets by defending both the al-Assad regime while also befriending and supporting Iran who, like we said, controls most of the various “rebel” factions within Syria. That way it doesn’t matter who comes out on top for no matter the winner in Syria, Russia will have access to or complete control of a very strategic Mediterranean port.

As for our part in the whole of things we’re backing the “rebels,” most of whom are Iran’s proxy and surrogate, even though with Trump at our helm we stand solidly against Iran. And that alone makes for one very convoluted situation, for no matter whom we backed in Syria we would find ourselves opposing someone or some faction that Russia favors.

Now to add to this so convoluted and quite confusing situation, two previously silent voices suddenly spoke up…two voices forming an unlikely alliance yet two voices who know and understand who the real enemy is…Iran. And to that affect early this past Saturday morning the Saudi Press Agency reported via China’s Xinhua News’ website Xinhuanet.com that the Saudi kingdom backs the airstrikes on Syria launched by the U.S., Great Britain, and France. In fact, an official from the Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that the operations were a “response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians and for its years of horrible crimes.” Continuing on by saying that the Syrian government was responsible for such a military attack and that the international community shares blame for not taking serious steps against al-Assad’s regime in the past, one has to wonder why this was first reported in a Chinese news agency instead of being issued directly from a Saudi news agency itself.

And then on Saturday afternoon a statement was issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in which BiBi said Israel “fully supports” the pre-dawn airstrikes on Syria and that, “A year ago, I made clear that Israel fully supports the decision by [US] President [Donald] Trump to stand against the use and spread of chemical weapons,” referring to American strikes against the Syrian regime in April 2017. And to that Prime Minister Netanyahu added, “Trump’s resolve and Israel’s support remain unchanged.”

Also, Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, who is a member of Israel’s Security Cabinet and a former Israeli general, gave his assessment of the situation. Saying that, “The American strike is an important signal to the axis of evil — Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The use of chemical weapons crosses a red line that humanity is no longer willing to accept,” what we take from his words is something not said but something that laid the foundation for the nightmare that is Syria today. And that foundation is Obama’s red lines deliberately crossed by Syrian factions that went unpunished and going unpunished is directly what led us to the situation we and our allies now find ourselves in.

And something to ponder in regards to said actions and statements issued is that contrary to media reports, Benjamin Neyanyahu was indeed informed of the soon to come Syrian strikes before they actually happened. And this leaves open the possibility that perhaps this limited strike was a test run that leaves the door open for a possible strike courtesy of a new U.S., Israel, Saudi alliance against Iran itself.

But that is down the road for the current situation could easily explode tenfold. In fact, also this past Saturday, our U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley addressed an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council who were called together to respond to both Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia’s “complaint” about the U.S. led airstrikes against Syria and to vote on a resolution condemning said strikes. Saying the U.S. will not allow the regime of Bashar al-Assad to continue the use of chemical weapons, Hally said that, “The time for talk ended last night.” And by her adding that, “We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will,” Halley let those assembled know that as per President Trump, “the U.S. is locked and loaded,” if al-Assad dared to cross that particular chemical red line again. You can see that speech here: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/haley-at-un-if-assad-uses-chemical-arms-again-u-s-is-locked-and-loaded-1.5995761

And as for the Russian “complaint” that the U.S. and “foreign intelligence services” were the ones that staged a “suspected” nerve gas attack on the Syrian town of Douma last Saturday and that the scientific facilities that were destroyed were only used for peaceful activity, sounds a bit too much like the Iranian rhetoric that they want nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes alone…something we know is not the case. Adding that Russian experts found no traces of chlorine when they investigated the “supposed” drop site, Nebenzia also claimed that the U.S. and its allies struck before the U.N.’s chemical weapons watchdog launched an official investigation.

But does any of that really matter for Syria as both al-Assad’s government and the rebel factions…factions also suspected of being in possession of chemical weapons… have been warned before not to use those weapons but said warnings went unheeded time and time again. And why…because those previous warnings were issued courtesy of useless red lines drawn by islamic condoning Barack HUSSEIN Obama and not by Donald J. Trump…a president who puts America’s interests first.

Now sending a decisive message to all the world’s rogue regimes, Iran and North Korea included, Friday’s strike also let Vladim Putin know that the U.S. is complacent no more as well as letting the world know that thanks to President Donald J. Trump America is back and leading not from behind but from the front.

Copyright © 2018 Diane Sori and Craig Andresen / Right Side Patriots / All rights reserved.

https://thepatriotfactor.blogspot.com/2018/04/op-ed-syria.html

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RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS…LIVE!
Today, Tuesday, April 3rd from 7 to 9pm EST on American Political Radio, RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS Craig Andresen and Diane Sori discuss the Syrian airstrikes and its ramifications in detail; and important news of the day.

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