President Trump launches missile strike against Syria
Listening to Trump reasons for bombing Syria I have to wonder about his intelligence reports and his conflicts with that community and if he is reacting properly to facts or is he just going by gut feelings. Anyway it is a serious thing to launch these missiles and I sure hope he acted appropriately.
The reason I'm a little shaky about this guy's judgements is how he is always blaming other people without proof and so I am reluctant to excepts his take on any matter. BTW I would welcome a good outcome to any of his actions and hoping for the best in the end.
Sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Let's see if Trump can come up with a cogent plan to deal with Assad that doesn't give the impression of a knee jerk reaction.Time will tell whether this is part of a broader plan or an attempt to raise sagging poll numbers.
LUHE: Okay let me see if I understand you right: Your position is that
- We don't know who made the gas attack, or even if it was some kind of accident
- Yet Trump is very right to attack Assad for the gas attacks
- Assad is a very bad person and war criminal...
- ...who we should work with...
- ...so the goal of the attacks is not to remove or severely weaken Assad...
- ...but rather to warn him in advance and blow up a few broken airplanes and other equipment he did not remove
- this will not remove Assad, or prevent him from carrying out more attacks (which we don't know if he did), but it is still A Very Good Thing
Did I understand you correctly?
Trying to work out why Trump bombs people is a bit like trying to work out why the Governing Body dumped the Book Study.
First they gave one reason. Then they gave a different reason. You suspect it might be an entirely different reason but people have conflicting theories and you can't be sure. The real reason might leak out one day. Or it might never leak out. In fact are they even clear about the reason in their own mind? Who knows?
SBF: At least with the book study, we don't have to begin with the discussion with an argument over whether it might not have been dropped at all.
We don't know who made the gas attack - at this stage, I think it's best to wait and see re who did the chemical attack.
Yet Trump is very right to attack Assad for the gas attacks - innocent children have died and Trump believes Assad did the attack. Then Trump did what Obama failed to do - enforce his predecessor's red lines.
Assad is a very bad person and war criminal - correct (and so are Islamists).
... who we should work with - Although I admire Trump for standing up to Putin, I'm not sure his actions will be good in the long-term. The West may choose to work with Assad because he is not as bad as the Syrian Islamist groups. Fighting against Assad and ISIS and hoping moderate rebels will make some kind of democratic state strikes me as unrealistic.
so the goal of the attacks is not to remove or severely weaken Assad - Trump struck in order to punish Assad for crossing the red line of using chemical weapons on civilians.
this will not remove Assad, or prevent him from carrying out more attacks (which we don't know if he did), but it is still A Very Good Thing - this chemical attack killed innocent children. If Assad did it, then Trump striking Assad can be thought of as a 'good thing'.
On one hand, I think that Trump did the 'right thing' (assuming that the chemical attack came from Assad); on the other hand, I think hoping for a secular, democratic Syrian state might be too much, so re Assad vs Islamists, Assad is the lesser of the two evils there.
These two opinions are difficult to reconcile but I'm allowed to have them. The situation in Syria is complex, with no good guys (except perhaps the Kurds?). So, I ask myself which guys are worse than others.
The Kurds are the nicest - if anyone can build a democratic, secular state, it could be them. The Islamists are the worst. Although Assad is a very bad person who runs a bad regime, he is somewhere in the middle, I think.
Now you lay out your position.
Okay so you believe that we can't know who carried out the attacks, but it is still right to attack Assad for carrying out the attacks?
Either we know Assad did it or he didn't. If he did it there is a reason for considering a military strategy, if he didn't no such reason. It's like saying: I don't know if he is guilty or murder, but it is good he is in jail for life. It does not make sense.
Then Trump did what Obama failed to do - enforce his predecessor's red lines.
Can you explain what that red line is?
"We will warn you and damage an airfield...somewhat!"
59 cruise missiles won't change anything. It never did.
Fighting against Assad and ISIS and hoping moderate rebels will make some kind of democratic state strikes me as unrealistic.
So the "strategy" is attacks which are designed not to remove (or weaken) Assad, or even prevent him from carrying out further chemical weapons attacks.
so re Assad vs Islamists, Assad is the lesser of the two evils there.
Russia approves of this framing of the situation in Syria.
Got it: Bomb Assad, with the goal of not accomplishing anything, for something you don't know if he did, with the goal of not accomplishing anything of lasting importance because we want Assad to be there. Presumably, bombing him a bit will make him a more reasonable partner later.
Now you lay out your position
I think Syria is lost, partly due to Obamas failure to confront Russia, which was born out of a political climate in the US where Russias involvement in the conflict was mis-understood and mis-represented -- what should be done now is to cut the losses, identify lessons and prevent a similar thing from happening elsewhere, most importantly to understand that Russia fought a proxy war with the US in Syria and won.
The most important lesson to be learned is to identify what Russia is likely trying to accomplish. Russia has been selling modern S400 anti-air systems to the Assad regime. Why do you think Assad wish to buy modern anti-air systems when the Islamic state does not have any airplanes and the regime's economy is likely stretched to the breaking point?
The ONLY party hostile to the Assad regime interested in flying aircraft over Syria is the US, and so Russia is selling these systems with the purpose of shooting down US airplanes. I think it is very clear that Russia is hoping to pull the US further into a proxy war over Syria where US aircrafts are potentially shot down.. with Russian military stationed across Syria such a proxy war would likely be unwinnable at this point given Russias airforce turned the tide against the rebels the past year (remember this was the moves you were applauding).
It takes little imagination to go from that view to an answer as to why Assad would risk a gas attack: Why not? What is the US going to do? Limited military intervention if this type, with a warning, will only strengthen the Assad/Putin bond and give Russia a better negotiation position. Remember Putin is ready to throw Assad under the bus any moment if it means lifting sanctions.
You asked me what should be done. I can't answer that exactly since I am not a military strategist and I do not know what is feasible at this point. I can say that the first thing that should be done is to develop a plan which any military intervention should be a component of; dropping 59 cruice missiles is not part of any plan I know.
Don't know if this has been covered in this thread but news is that Ivanka, who was very moved by the gas attack, may have moved her father to engage in the strike.
I think Syria is lost, partly due to Obamas failure to confront Russia, which was born out of a political climate in the US where Russias involvement in the conflict was mis-understood and mis-represented -- what should be done now is to cut the losses, identify lessons and prevent a similar thing from happening elsewhere, most importantly to understand that Russia fought a proxy war with the US in Syria and won - yes, I largely agree.
The US gov needs to learn lessons - under Obama it behaved poorly in Syria and allowed Putin to win.
Hopefully Trump will learn these lessons but I doubt it.
I also think the US should largely keep out of Syria, with the possible exception of bombing ISIS in Syria.
What do you think Putins objective in Syria is? Do you think Putin is interested in stopping the refugee crisis?
I am asking because for the past several months you have been closely aligned with the official Kremlin line on Syria, i.e. that Assad is the only alternative to ISIS in Syria, that the Russian intervention is about combatting ISIS, that US lead efforts were failing and not accomplishing anything before the Russian intervention, etc. etc.
Regarding my theory I posted yesterday that the gas attack was sanctioned by Moskow as a provocation against the US:
the following scenario appears very plausible:
Russia sell top-of-the line Air-defence systems to Syrian army (meanwhile ISIS has no air-defence), Russian airforce ensures coalition efforts to defeat ISIS/Assad fails, Russia watch passively as Syria use gas against civilian population however by previous moves, as well as by stationing troops requiring US to warn RU who will warn Syria, it has ensured US have few real options to respond, none which will meaningfully affect Assad...