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Did Syria use Chemical Weapons in Khan Shaykhun?

According to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Syrian citizens were exposed to sarin, a chemical weapon, in April of 2017 in the Khan Shaykhun area of Syria. The OPCW didn’t visit the site of the attack, but they did interview people and examine materials that came from the area.

The OPCW did not say who was responsible for the Sarin exposure. That wasn’t their job.

Ambassador Nikki Haley put out a press release saying the OPCW report is “… concluding that the chemical weapon sarin or a sarin-like substance was used in the attack.

Notice Haley’s replacement of “sarin” from the OPCW report with “sarin or a sarin-like substance” for her press release. That’s a tell. It means Haley has some reason to be skeptical that sarin was involved. If the OPCW is willing to call it sarin, why hedge? 

The OPCW does not offer an opinion on who was responsible for the exposure, or even that it came from an “attack.” Yet somehow Nikki Haley knows the chemicals came from a “chemical weapons attack.” Russia claims an airstrike on a nearby storage facility accidentally released deadly gas. But Russia is less credible than CNN, so that doesn’t mean anything.

Perhaps the United States has reliable evidence connecting the gas on the ground to an actual attack, but we citizens haven’t seen it. We did learn that a Syrian jet bombed the area at the time of the chemical exposure. But I don’t believe anyone found bomb fragments with sarin, or anything that conclusive. If so, we haven’t seen that evidence.

We are also asked to believe that Syria is planning “another” attack from the same place as the last one, while we watch every step of the way, using drones and whatnot. Does that sound like something a dictator does when he is on the brink of winning and – this is the best part – the only way he can lose from this strong position is by senselessly using chemical weapons?

Well, maybe. But Syria’s Assad and his Russian mentors don’t seem crazy to me. Brutal, sure. Liars, sure. But crazy? I haven’t seen evidence of that yet.

Apparently Assad has used chemical weapons in the past. If the event that leads to his demise is a manufactured story about his continued use of chemical weapons, I won’t feel any moral outrage. He has it coming. And I assume there is some military/strategic/negotiating advantage for the United States that comes from labelling Assad a repeat user of chemical weapons. So I still have confidence in the United States military leadership. 

But I automatically doubt any claim that comes from a war zone. This one is less credible than most. 

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Trump hosts a war criminal

Henry Kissinger, the globalist’s globalist, the architect behind most America’s lost wars for empire and world hegemony for the last 50-plus years, and instigator of the deaths of millions of people around the globe by the U.S. and U.S.-supplied weapons, made a surprise visit to the White House to see Donald Trump on Wednesday. So much for “draining the swamp.”

The post Trump hosts a war criminal appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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Trusting Your Government in a Time of War

President Trump’s critics and supporters agree on one thing: Our new president has a history of “stretching” the truth whenever there is some advantage in doing so, and sometimes even when there is not. You might say he is famous for playing loose with the facts. We all expect a high degree of “hyperbole” from President Trump, to put it kindly. He gets away with it because barely-enough Americans believe his intentions are in line with America’s best interests.

The odd exception to our universal understanding of President Trump’s mode of operation is his claim that he is totally certain Assad was responsible for the chemical attack on his own people last week. The President’s critics and most of his supporters believe President Trump when he suggests that our military can track any plane in Syria and know what that plane did to whom.

Do you believe that?

I have it on good authority that the United States can track and identify aircraft in Syria. But does that mean we are watching (or recording) every plane at every minute, and we also know what ordinance they dropped?

Do you believe, for example, that our military can identify Syrian jets doing a normal bombing run at the same time as a hobby-sized ISIS drone drops some sarin gas in the blast zone? Can our satellites see that?

Or suppose rebels lobbed an artillery shell with sarin into a village that was being bombed at the same time. Would our satellites and drones and AWACS pick up the incoming round?

Maybe.

But my experience of life is that literally nothing works that well.

Or to put it another way, if we could do shit like that, the war would be over in a week. We’d know who every player on the ground was, and what they were doing, at all times. Heck, if we can detect a hobby-sized drone with a gas canister strapped to its belly from outer space, we don’t need boots-on-the-ground to beat ISIS. We can kill everyone who needs killing from the sky.

Generally speaking, the information you get from a war zone is fiction. You wouldn’t want it any other way. The Commander-in-Chief has to simultaneously manage public opinion and a military conflict. In the context of war, misinformation can be a useful tool. History would give a free pass to any president who misled the public in the interest of national security. 

My view is that the public will never know for sure who was behind the Syrian gas attack. But I also think it doesn’t matter because most of the world believes Assad was behind it. And that created options for Trump to get an advantage in Syria while simultaneously “negotiating” with China, North Korea, Russia, Congress, the American public, world opinion, Iran, Israel, and anyone else who is watching.

Some critics have pointed out that launching 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles is expensive. But it is starting to look like a good investment, at least so far. That could change, of course.

It is entirely possible that Assad launched the gas attacks to test for a U.S. reaction. Perhaps our military does have 100% certainty about the source of the attack. All I’m saying is that war-related claims have no credibility by their very nature. And in this specific case, the truth is irrelevant. What matters is that the allegation of Assad’s guilt opened new strategic options at a reasonable cost, and President Trump jumped on them.

That’s all we know for sure.


You might enjoy reading my book because a hobby-sized drone could lift it.

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Syria is Trump’s calculated signal to Russia and China

Recently, after the bombing campaign in Syria, there’s a lot of talk about Trump deciding to lead us from the front as opposed to leading us from behind, as his erstwhile predecessor did regarding Syria and other military hot spots. But as an investor, my interest is more where we are being led to, rather than the position of the leader.

The post Syria is Trump’s calculated signal to Russia and China appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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