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Is There A New US Syria Policy? Is There One At All?

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What does the US administration want with regards to Syria?

The elements were clear just a few days ago. The US would split off the east and set up a Kurdish enclave which it would then occupy with the help of proxy forces. It would use the leverage to push for political regime change in western Syria. Israel would occupy another piece of the Golan.

While that looked somewhat favorable for the US in the short term it was bad long term strategy. US forces in the east would be surrounded by hostiles, cut off from the sea and under permanent guerilla attack from various opposing forces. But it looked at least like a viable short term way forward.

The new strategy, which may not be one at all, and the new US commitment is all over the place:
As various officials have described it, the United States will intervene only when chemical weapons are used — or any time innocents are killed. It will push for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria — or pursue that only after defeating the Islamic State. America’s national interest in Syria is to fight terrorism. Or to ease the humanitarian crisis there. Or to restore stability.
I don't get it. The cacophony of the last days does not make any sense. There is no viable endgame I see here that would be advantageous for Trump or general US borg policy - neither internationally nor domestically - neither short term nor long term. Trump is now losing the "America First" followers he will need to win another election.
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Iran the Destabilizer

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The real Donald Trump has been exposed. The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges. His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be confused.

The unconscionable attack on Syria based on the usual unsubstantiated allegations has shifted the playing field dramatically, with the “new sheriff in town” apparently intent on proving he is a real man who can play hardball with the rest of them. Last week Syria was blamed by all and sundry in the Establishment for an alleged chemical weapons attack just two days after the White House backed away from the Obama Administration demand that President Bashar al-Assad be removed. Was Syria dumb enough to use chemical weapons in a war that it is winning at a point when the overt hostility from Washington had been ratcheted down? Or was it staged by the so-called rebels?

And who benefits from weakening al-Assad of Syria? ISIS and al-Qaeda. Now that Trump has the bit between his teeth on how abysmal approval ratings can skyrocket if one starts a war, look forward to more of the same with my sources telling me that establishment of a no-fly zone is currently being discussed in the Pentagon. A no-fly zone would be toe-to-toe with the Russkies to see who would blink first.

Meanwhile an aircraft carrier battle group is making its way to confront North Korea, which is being warned with the good old “all options are on the table” rhetoric which will almost certainly produce a schizophrenic result of some kind. If I were a resident of Seoul I would be moving out of the city tout suite as it is within range of Pyongyang’s massed heavy artillery batteries along the DMZ.
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After Trump Bombed Syria, Are We All Neocons Now?

House and Senate Republican leaders McConnell and Ryan are praising President Trump's missile strike on Syria last week in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack on civilians, while when President Obama proposed the same thing in 2013 they strongly opposed the plan. Meanwhile, the mainstream media and even many "progressives" are turning pro-Trump after the US attack. Few are the true progressives like Tulsi Gabbard, who is questioning the claims that Assad gassed his own people. So are we all neocons now? Not so fast! While earning praise from the establishment, Trump's base and the opinion-makers around his base are furious. We discuss the changing political environment -- and whether the accepted narrative makes any sense in today's Liberty Report...
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After Trump’s Syria Attack, What Comes Next?

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Thursday’s US missile attack on Syria must represent the quickest foreign policy U-turn in history. Less than a week after the White House gave Assad permission to stay on as president of his own country, President Trump decided that the US had to attack Syria and demand Assad’s ouster after a chemical attack earlier in the week. Trump blamed Assad for the attack, stated that “something’s going to happen” in retaliation, and less than two days later he launched a volley of 59 Tomahawk missiles (at a cost of $1.5 million each) onto a military airfield near where the chemical attack took place.
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If you have time, Mr. President, Senator Paul can help you learn the Constitution means what it says

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A central concern of the Founding generation, when writing the Constitution, was to ensure that no one man, or one man and his clique, could take the republic to war. To that end, the Constitution delegates the citizenry’s power to declare war solely to its servants in Congress, and, in doing so, uses language that makes it clear that the Congress cannot delegate this power to the executive branch of the government. The ability of a president to order military action was — and is — tightly limited to instances in which the United States is attacked or, perhaps, if a clear threat must be preempted.

Since 1955, however, every president and every Congress have acted in clear and deliberate violation of the Constitution’s allocation of war-making powers. In 1955, the Congress passed a resolution — called  an “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” (AUMF)  — that allowed President Eisenhower to do what he wanted, when he wanted to do it, with U.S. military forces in the defense of Formosa (Taiwan) against Mao’s China. Later, the Vietnam war began with another AUMF, and every other U.S. war since Vietnam has started with one, save for those which the president started off his own hook — the Obama/Clinton Libyan war, for example, — without even bothering to seek an unconstitutional delegation of the war-making power from Congress.

Your 6 April 2017 attack on a Syrian military airfield/chemical-storage depot, Mr. President, is the latest example of this unconstitutional war-making. The barrage of 60 cruise missiles — worth about $5.5 billion — was, as usual for the U.S. military, a feckless exercise in concrete-smashing. As in Bill Clinton’s Serbia war, the national government attacked a state that had not harmed the United States, and in which the republic has no genuine national interests at stake. All of this was done via the decision and then orders of one man — advised by his unelected advisers — for the U.S. military to conduct an unconstitutional act of offensive war, as if the republic is an absolute and so lawless monarchy.
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Bomb the Usual Arabs

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It seems that every new US president has to prove his machismo…or make his bones, as wiseguys say…by bombing the usual Arabs.  By now, it’s almost a rite of passage.  The American public loves it.

So we just saw the US launch 59 or 60 $1.5million apiece cruise missiles at a western Syrian airfield to express President Trump’s outrage caused by seeing injured children allegedly caused by a Syrian government toxic gas attack.

But what, Mr. President, about all those Iraqi, Syrian and Afghan babies killed by US B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers?  Or the destruction of the defiant Iraqi city of Fallujah where the US used forbidden white phosphorus that burns right to the bone?

Washington claimed its radar had conclusively identified Syrian warplanes dropping chemical weapons.  This sounds to me to be unlikely.  Where was the US radar? Hundreds of miles away aboard ships? Was the info from Israel or Turkey, both with axes to grind?  Is US radar so sharp that it can tell the difference between a chemical and high explosive bomb at great distance?  Sounds highly fishy to me.
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Syria: New US Air Support On Request Scheme For Al-Qaeda

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On this day one hundred years ago the US joined World War I. Last night the US attacked a Syrian government airport in an openly hostile and intentional manner. The strike established a mechanism by which al-Qaeda can "request" US airstrikes on Syrian government targets. It severely damaged the main support base for Syria's fight against the Islamic State in eastern Syria. The event will possibly lead to a much larger war.

On April 4 Syrian airplanes hit an al-Qaeda headquarter in Khan Sheikoun, Idleb governate. Idleb governate is under al-Qaeda control. After the air strike some chemical agent was released. The symptoms shown in videos from local aid stations point to a nerve-agent. The release probably killed between 50 and 90 people. It is unknown how the release happened.

It is unlikely that the Syrian government did this:

In 2013 the Syrian government had given up all its chemical weapons. UN inspectors verified this.

The target was militarily and strategically insignificant.

There was no immediate pressure on the Syrian military.

The international political atmosphere had recently turned positive for Syria.

Even if Syria had stashed away some last-resort weapon this would have been the totally wrong moment and totally wrong target for using it. Over the last six year of war the Syrian government army had followed a political and militarily logical path. It acted consistently. It did not act irrational. It is highly unlikely that it would have now take such an illogical step.
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US Bombs Syria - National Security Or Aggression? With Guest, US Rep. Thomas Massie

President Trump sent 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria yesterday in retaliation for what he claimed was a chemical attack on citizens by President Assad. He sought no Congressional authorization and presented no evidence to either Congress or the American people to justify his actions. What happens next, as Trump opens wider the US military involvement in the Middle East. US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) joins today's Liberty Report in studio to discuss...
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WWI Anniversary: 100 Years Of 'Making World Safe For Democracy'

One hundred years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson went to Congress seeking a declaration of war on Germany. Thus started US involvement in World War One. More than 100,000 Americans were killed, but Wilson assured Americans that it was "worth it." We were making the world safe for democracy. One hundred years later, the war is still being fought. More on this unhappy anniversary in today's Liberty Report...
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Another Dangerous Rush to Judgment in Syria

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With the latest hasty judgment about Tuesday’s poison-gas deaths in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, the mainstream U.S. news media once more reveals itself to be a threat to responsible journalism and to the future of humanity. Again, we see the troubling pattern of verdict first, investigation later, even when that behavior can lead to a dangerous war escalation and many more deaths.

Before a careful evaluation of the evidence about Tuesday’s tragedy was possible, The New York Times and other major U.S. news outlets had pinned the blame for the scores of dead on the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. That revived demands that the U.S. and other nations establish a “no-fly zone” over Syria, which would amount to launching another “regime change” war and would put America into a likely hot war with nuclear-armed Russia.

Even as basic facts were still being assembled about Tuesday’s incident, we, the public, were prepped to disbelieve the Syrian government’s response that the poison gas may have come from rebel stockpiles that could have been released either accidentally or intentionally causing the civilian deaths in a town in Idlib Province.

One possible scenario was that Syrian warplanes bombed a rebel weapons depot where the poison gas was stored, causing the containers to rupture. Another possibility was a staged event by increasingly desperate Al Qaeda jihadists who are known for their disregard for innocent human life.
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