What if people have the war in Iraq backwards? What if George W. Bush and the U.S. military won it, and Barack Obama and the Democrats gave it away? Well, we don’t have to wonder what if, because Pete Hegseth, who served in Iraq, explains what happened.
Iraq and the failed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), FLASHBACK (August 2016)
Smack Down Galore!
(Above Video) The caller notes that the narrative is that the Islamic State would have still come to power even if we kept troops in Iraq. Which is true, they would have still come to existence, in Syria. But Iraq would not have lost any cities or territories if we still had a presence in Iraq. The caller mentioned a force of 10,000 troops, it would have been closer to 30,000 troops. And having a base of operations in country would have allowed the administration to deal more effectively with the Islamic State in Syria (flying sorties, and supporting quick reaction [spec-ops] units activity), and the like.
(Above Video) Megyn Kelly Destroys Jen Psaki who can’t get off talking points.
(Above Video) Larry Elder (and Paul Bremer) dismantle older as well as new mantras flying around via our friends on the left. In the interview that is the centerpiece of the segment[s] here via Larry Elder, Erin “Monkey” Burnett gets all of her talking points smacked down. The only thing Miss Burnett accomplished was showing her bias/sarcasm well.
Here Bremer educates Erin with facts she knew, but refuses to deploy in her logic because it would ruin her defense of her Master Obama, “The planning in 2011, leaked very heavily from the Pentagon and the White House was to keep 20 to 30 thousand troops after 2011, the White House leaked that it wanted to only keep 3,000 troops, then they said to al-Maliki not only do we want a Status of Forces Agreement but you have to get it through your Parliament. So for the first time, to my knowledge, since 1945, we have 84 SOFA agreements around the world, we were telling the host government how to they proceed in approving that Status of Forces Agreement. That put al-Maliki in an impossible situation.”
….A dandy little edit here by the Free Beacon, via Ace. I know I’ve linked it before but the piece you want to read as accompaniment is Iraq hawk turned dove Peter Beinart lamenting all the ways Obama screwed up post-Bush American policy in the country. O wants you to believe at the end of the video here that he pushed hard to keep a residual American force inside Iraq for counterterrorism (i.e. counter-ISIS) operations but it’s simply not true. He didn’t push hard for it; when Maliki initially resisted his demand that U.S. troops be granted immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, O took that as his cue to pull everyone out. And that wasn’t the only time he indulged Maliki’s dumbest impulses. The story of the U.S. vis-a-vis Iraq after 2009, writes Beinart, is a story of disinterest and disengagement:
The decline of U.S. leverage in Iraq simply reinforced the attitude Obama had held since 2009: Let Maliki do whatever he wants so long as he keeps Iraq off the front page.
On December 12, 2011, just days before the final U.S. troops departed Iraq, Maliki visited the White House. According to Nasr, he told Obama that Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, an Iraqiya leader and the highest-ranking Sunni in his government, supported terrorism. Maliki, argues Nasr, was testing Obama, probing to see how the U.S. would react if he began cleansing his government of Sunnis. Obama replied that it was a domestic Iraqi affair. After the meeting, Nasr claims, Maliki told aides, “See! The Americans don’t care.”
In public remarks after the meeting, Obama praised Maliki for leading “Iraq’s most inclusive government yet.” Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Saleh al-Mutlaq, another Sunni, told CNN he was “shocked” by the president’s comments. “There will be a day,” he predicted, “whereby the Americans will realize that they were deceived by al-Maliki … and they will regret that.”
And now the day has come. Remember that the next time O walks out to the podium and acts indignant about Maliki clinging to power.
One more bit, this from Dexter Filkins, on just how much of a fight O put up in demanding a residual troop presence:
President Obama, too, was ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq. For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis—like how many troops they wanted to leave behind—because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” Jeffrey told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’ ” At one meeting, Maliki said that he was willing to sign an executive agreement granting the soldiers permission to stay, if he didn’t have to persuade the parliament to accept immunity. The Obama Administration quickly rejected the idea. “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, the Iraqi member of parliament, said…
Between 50 and 70 members of the US Army Delta Force and Rangers flew in on six helicopters and surrounded al-Baghdadi during the overnight raid in Syria’s Idlib province, an official source told Fox News.
The JAMES FOLEY FOUNDATION released the following statement on Twitter about Bagdadi’s death: “I am grateful to our President and brave troops for finding ISIS leader Al-Bagdadi. I hope this will hinder the resurgence of terror groups and pray that captured ISIS fighters will be brought to trial and held accountable.”
The DAILY MAIL has the story that my wife pointed out was similar to the THREE AMIGOS (following headline).
‘He died like a dog’ Donald Trump addresses the nation and confirms that ‘coward’ ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by U.S. Special Forces and died ‘whimpering and crying and screaming’ after being cornered inside his Syrian lair and detonated his suicide vest
Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead
U.S.-led forces descended on al-Baghdadi’s lair in Idlib, Syria overnight
The president said al-Baghdadi ‘died like a dog’ after being run down a dead-end tunnel and cornered
Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children
Eleven children were cleared from the lair
Baghdadi’s two wives were killed during the operation without their suicide vests being detonated
Trump teased Saturday night that he would be making a ‘major statement’
Al-Baghdadi issued a chilling call to arms in 2014 declaring an Islamic ‘caliphate’
Under his leadership, smaller-scale higher-frequency attacks became the norm
Trump says he does not regret pulling U.S. forces from northern Syria
NED NEDERLANDER: “Tell us, ‘we will die like dogs’.”
EL GUAPO: “What?”
NED NEDERLANDER: “Tell us, ‘we will die like dogs’.”
EL GUAPO: “You will die like dogs.”
DUSTY BOTTOMS: “No we will not die like dogs! We will fight like lions! Because we are!…”
NED NEDERLANDER, LUCKY DAY & DUSTY BOTTOMS: “The Three Amigos!”
Sabastian Gorka had Mike Doran (WIKI) on his show (VIDEO) to discuss the Middle-Easts latest issue — which is the media’s infatuation with a splinter group within the PKK. See my other upload that this Doran audio sheds more light on (see below this audio). Good stuff… it evolved my understanding on the issue a bit.
HOWEVER, the IRA (Irish Republican Army) analogy is off a bit. It would be like us supporting the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), a faction of the larger IRA: SEEGRAPHICBELOW
Hugh Hewitt quickly summarizes the Kurdish conundrum the U.S. finds itself in in Syria. Brings some even keeled thinking to a topic ginned up by hawks (of which I am one).
Hugh Hewitt talks with Florida Congressman Michael Waltz (against the pull back to defensible lines) and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (for the pull back to defensible lines) about the Syrian issue with the Kurds and Turkey, impeachment, and China’s LOOMING threat.
Kurt Schlichter fills in for Hugh Hewitt and the beginning of the show focuses on his article titled, “Critics Aghast As Trump Keeps Word About No More Wars”. Kurt makes great points about the Kurds in Syria we were working with to defeat ISIS… and the endless type wars Trump promised to end. Good opener (and I included some of the back-n-forth between the producer and Kurt). See more about the PKK at WIKI.
Hugh Hewitt talks with Florida Congressman Michael Waltz (against the pull back to defensible lines) and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (for the pull back to defensible lines) about the Syrian issue with the Kurds and Turkey, impeachment, and China’s LOOMING threat.
(PREVIOUS UPLOAD) Hugh Hewitt quickly summarizes the Kurdish conundrum the U.S. finds itself in in Syria. Brings some even keeled thinking to a topic ginned up by hawks (of which I am one).
I am not a huge fan of ZERO HEDGE, but this was some good commentary on the actions:
Israeli strikes have hit an arms depot operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport, Syrian opposition sources told Al Jazeera. Witnesses said a total of five strikes occurred near the Damascus airport road, about 25km from the capital, early on Thursday. Syrian state TV quoted a military source saying rockets fired from Israeli territory targeted a military area in the southwestern part of the airport which caused explosions.
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the Turkish city of Gaziantep near Syria’s border, said opposition activists posted pictures online showing a huge fire near the area.
“We do understand that the Israelis have been carrying out strikes in the past. The last one was in January targeting the Mezze military base.
“In 2015 they also launched attacks near the capital Damascus and in the Golan Heights, killing two prominent Hezbollah commanders, including Jihad Mughniya who is the son of the top military commander of Hezbollah Imad Mughniya who was also killed in Damascus in 2008,” Ahelbarra said.
“The prime minister has said that whenever we receive intelligence that indicated an intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act.” Katz added. An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment.
This is the second Israeli attack on Syria in the past week: on Sunday, Israeli forces bombed a camp for pro-government forces killed three fighters near the Golan Heights on Sunday according to AFP. Two fighters were also wounded in the attack on the Al-Fawwar camp near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was inflicted by an air strike or shelling.
Israel’s army declined to comment Sunday on the attack. On Friday the army said it targeted positions inside Syria in retaliation for mortar fire that hit the northern part of the Golan Heights….
Some news about troop positions that I was not tracking with via DEBKA FILE:
Early Thursday, April 26, a mixed Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force embarked on a general offensive in southern Syria ready for a leap on Israel’s Golan border. They moved forward in the face of Israeli warnings that were relayed from Moscow to Tehran and Hizballah.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman arrived in Moscow Tuesday for a two-day international conference on Security. After meeting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Lieberman said that Israel would not stand for Iranian or Hizballah concentrating military forces on the Syrian-Israeli border. He praised the coordination mechanism between the IDF and the Russian Syrian command as working effectively and preventing unnecessary friction. Officers of the two militaries had so far met nine times. Lieberman will also meet Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shogun during the visit.
This latest warning was issued by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is visiting the Russian capital this week to attend an international security conference. After meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shogun, the Israeli minister stated clearly on Wednesday: “Israel will not allow the concentration of Iranian and Hizballah forces on its Golan border.”
By Thursday morning, it was evident that a decision had been taken in Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Beirut to ignore Lieberman’s warning.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that early Thursday, Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, alongside Hizballah troops, organized as the Southern Shield Brigade, launched their offensive at Mt. Hermon southwest of Damascus, on their way to the Syrian-Israeli Golan border in the region of Quneitra. The Syrian contingents taking part in this push are the Syrian army’s elite 42nd Brigade and elements of the 4th Mechanized Division.
Their first objective is to capture a string of villages held by Syrian rebel groups in the region of Hadar on the Hermon slopes. They are advancing towards the Golan along the Beit Jinn route.
There is no word yet on whether the warning issued by the defense minister from Moscow has produced a direct Israeli response to the provocation. Very possibly the five explosions and ball of fire they set off at Damascus international airport Thursday morning may prove to be connected to that response.
I wish to start out this post with a bit of a background on myself. As a reinvigorated Christian (recommitted Christian whilst sitting in jail many years ago), my early studies included eschatology. A subject that catches many newer Christians attention as the subject is an exciting, almost adrenaline boosting study — typically like a new Christians faith. So of course I got into the many books, literature, sites that spoke of a New World Order (NWO). One can view the very small sampling of the books I have read and still own in my library here (under the links).
At any rate, in 2000 I had a tri-fecta going on that shook me from the conspiratorial view of history more towards an accidental view of history – which was: listening to Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show,” where, on the full moon he would for the entire three hours of his show take calls on nothing else but conspiracies; second, all the people I was “into” warned of the dire consequences of Y2K, which never came to fruition; and third, and mainly because of the previous two, I revisited my past NWO type books and tried to confirm or disprove many of the references to historical event. This venture proved devastating for what was being proffered in these books. The most outrages statements about history were made based on the flimsiest of evidence.
AND THEN 9/11 happened… and all the weirdos came out with all their conspiracy theories. So my debunking many of the propositions laid out by the then popular “Loose Change” video for my son’s friends created an interest in getting to the facts. And so, here we are again… with all the crazy conspiracies coming out about Syria and the chemical attack by Assad.
May I say that I cannot believe I must rev-up this topic again, but so be it.
So the first indicator of the conspiracy theories surrounding the recent chemical attack in Syria that I was made aware of was this video by Ron Paul found over at ZEROHEDGE. In the video Ron Paul (a man who thinks America was behind 9/11 BTW) says there is ZERO CHANCE Assad was behind the chemical attacks. Ron Paul also said something that was echoed across the internet, which was this:
“It doesn’t make any sense for Assad under these conditions to all of a sudden use poison gases – I think there’s zero chance he would have done this deliberately…”
POLITIFACT notes this about Alex Jones and his site, InfoWars, and their take on the issue:
Chief among the skeptics was Alex Jones’ InfoWars website, which questioned the validity of the attack in an April 5 post that blamed a group called the White Helmets for arranging the attack for nefarious reasons.
So Soros is behind it according to “Alex Jones types.” Dumb.
Here is the John Birch Society magazine, THE NEW AMERICAN noting motives… like they are psychologists making informed claims (psychoanalyst) who have sat with Assad for months in private sessions:
Of course, even if Damascus did use chemical weapons on civilians, it would be unlikely to admit that. But a simple analysis of motives — a basic first step in any serious investigation — would suggest that Assad had every reason to avoid the use of chemical weapons at all costs. On the other hand, jihadist rebels on the verge of annihilation had every reason to use them. After years of fighting globalist-backed jihadists and terrorists, the dictatorship in Damascus was reportedly close to victory — at least until Trump intervened by firing dozens of missiles at Syrian targets.
(For the record, I stopped reading this magazine when they had an article saying CIA operative planted the explosives in the Murrah Federal Building.) In that article The New American notes that the “last time Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad supposedly used chemical weapons, the story quickly collapsed under scrutiny.” Unfortunately, this too is false:
The UN mission was not asked to ascertain who was behind the attack.
However, by examining the debris field and impact area where the rockets struck in Muadhamiya and Ein Tarma, the inspectors found “sufficient evidence” to calculate azimuths, or angular measurements, that allow their trajectories to be determined “with a sufficient degree of accuracy”.
When plotted on a map, the trajectories converge on a site that Human Rights Watch said was a large military base on Mount Qassioun that is home to the Republican Guard 104th Brigade
In other words, Assad has used chemical weapons before on his people. In fact, Ned Price, US National Security Council spokesman, said: “it is now impossible to deny that the Syrian regime has repeatedly used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people.” So when people talk about WHAT MOTIVE Assad (and his father before him) had in torturing, criminal subjugation, using banned and not banned chemicals on his own people over the many years… I suspect his motive now was the same then. The United Nations has blamed [prior to this attack] three of the four known chemical attacks during this 6-year conflict on the Syrian government. ISIS was to blame for one.
In one discussion on Facebook, this was said with no evidence to back up the belief:
I concur with Ron Paul on every point. It makes no political sense for Assad to do this. Assad had everything going his way. Al Quaida/ISIS was on the run–a good thing–whereas the Neo-Conservatives–McCain, Graham, Saudis, et al.–and Deep State constituents in the military needed to undo that to stay in the game. It plays right into the hands of the Democrats who have used the Neo-Cons to rid Syria of Assad for years. …
You know the saying, opinions are like butt-tholes, everyone has one. Well, that’s exactly what that is, a stinky, unfounded opinion. Emoting, really. AGAIN, it is like these people are well-trained psychologists who have sat with Assad for years in private one-hour sessions.
I discussed evidences for the attack originating from Al-Shayrat Airfield, using eyewitness testimony, satellite and other surveillance the U.S. is using on that region, operatives, the type of gas used, etc., etc. And then I came across this TWEET:
That Tweet brought me to some Russian news reports that needed translation that showed concrete evidence that Syria had weaponized chemical materials (WMDs) at the exact same airbase that the SU-22s flew their sorties from. I got better pictures than the above Tweet. Here IT is, and click on it to enlarge it:
The top picture is from Russian news agencies of the aftermath of the strike at Al-Shayrat Airfield… take note the chemical weapons barrels meant to store agents to be used in ordinance. The picture below that top one comes from a Russian journal about the Russian military disposing of some of their chemical weapons cache. They are identical.
EVEN AFTER ALL THIS, people are still stuck on Assad’s motives? I followed the most recent question in this regard with this:
He has done it before, from torturing and mutilating his own people to dropping chlorine bombs on them, to chemical attacks past and present. What were benefits and motives in all these other attacks? The same here… he only controls a third of the country and he wants this to be over — quick.
But, motives are not the question really at stake here. If you were a doctorate holding psychologist who has had many private sessions with Assad, you would be in a position to speak to motives.
What we can answer here is that there is concrete evidence that Assad’s military were the source of this (and past… sorry conspiracy theorists) attack.
For instance I would say Hitler’s motives were a mix of strict adherence to Darwinian evolution, occultism, power, etc. But when you are a polish Catholic sent to a concentration camp — motive is not important. If he were to escape and join the resistance, his only question is “who did this to me and others.”
As if madmen have motives worth calculating. Dumb.
Another person said those photos were photoshopped:
So if I understand correctly, you were part of the battlefield damage assessment team that visited the airfield after the attack and took the photos. Really that tells me that there are barrels in the photo, that photo could be one of the Syrian facilities or something from Iraq, wherever, whenever. It tells me nothing. I have two words for you, Tonkin Gulf.
Sigh. The photo’s were from Russian news agencies, as well as there being drone footage AFTER the attack. So I responded thus (I will add some thoughts in brackets):
So if I understand correctly, Russia placed these barrels there after the bombing of the airfield, then, invited Russian news services in to photo the damage [and the evidence for chemical agents] to show evidence that disputes their earlier claim that it was a [terrorist] cache [merely hit by Assad’s air-force]. [Also undermining their response to America’s “aggression,” and bringing the whole world to the side of Trump’s response.] I will use your thinking behind this: what motivation or benefit would this serve Putin?
So Russia is planting evidence to prove Trump correct? Grind me up an Advil so I can snort it.
The U.S. Military also intercepted communications by the Assad regime planning and speaking to the required experts needed in the operation of such an attack:
The US military and intelligence community has intercepted communications featuring Syrian military and chemical experts talking about preparations for the sarin attack in Idlib last week, a senior US official tells CNN.
The intercepts were part of an immediate review of all intelligence in the hours after the attack to confirm responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in an attack in northwestern Syria, which killed at least 89 people. US officials have said that there is “no doubt” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the attack.
The US did not know prior to the attack it was going to happen, the official emphasized. The US scoops up such a large volume of communications intercepts in areas like Syria and Iraq, the material often is not processed unless there is a particular event that requires analysts to go back and look for supporting intelligence material.
So far there are no intelligence intercepts that have been found directly confirming that Russian military or intelligence officials communicated about the attack. The official said the likelihood is the Russians are more careful in their communications to avoid being intercepted….
But “no, I will instead,” the typical conspiratorially minded person says, “listen to a guy who thinks the United States of America causes tornadoes in Oklahoma. (*Snort* WOW! That Advil goes right to your head!)
Satellite tracking of flights and airfield;
drone footage supporting this was the airfield the chemical weapons were found, to wit;
chemical weapons found at airbase;
Used them three times prior;
the type of chemicals used hint at Assad as well;
eyewitnesses and intercepted communications (both covert and witnesses hit with the ordinance — no secondary explosions);
Russian news services broke story about chemicals on base (not the deep state);
Obama officials admit they did not rid Assad of all weapons like these;
war has been raging for 6-years, Assad is desperate to keep his power;
the chemical cache on the airbase may have been from Iraq’s arsenal and so was not declared.
All this goes a long way to supporting the case that leans to the “most likely” category that Assad’s military was behind it, like the MINIMAL CASE for the Resurrection by Habermas. Since, however, EVERYTHING is explained via these theories… you can never get a concession on a point, like the meta-narrative of the Neo-Darwinian story.
GULF OF TONKIN and MORE
As for the Gulf of Tonkin incident mentioned by the above detractor, here is a quick run down of the evidence that negates the conspiratorial views of this matter (For a more in-depth dealing with this, see the U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE’S article on it that incorporates hundreds of declassified documents):
Myth: The rationale for US intervention in Viet Nam was based on a fraud.
Fact: The Tonkin Gulf incident was not a fraud. It was the motivating force behind the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.
This myth is based on the false belief that US involvement began with the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy “false” torpedo attacks, known as the Tonkin Gulf incidents.
North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap himself admitted that torpedo patrol boats attacked the USS Maddox.
The USS Turner Joy incident is more controversial, but multiple eyewitness accounts of professional sailors, both enlisted and officers, confirm the events of that night.
The testimony of sailors involved in the Turner Joy incident confirms the presence of at least one PT boat (visually sighted), one torpedo wake (visually sighted), one searchlight (visually sighted) and one PT boat sunk (visually sighted).
The Commander of the Destroyer Task Force, Captain John J. Herrick, testified before Congress that the attack on the Turner Joy occurred.
Captain Herrick recommended the Silver Star be awarded to the Turner Joy’s commanding officer, Commander Roger C. Barnhart, Jr. (He was awarded a Bronze Star instead).
The first US combat troops were committed to Vietnam in February, 1965, about seven months after the Tonkin Gulf incident.
Again, usually this is how it works… when one conspiracy theory is proffered and then found wanting… another is used as evidence that shows the previous true. However, these conspiracy theories are also found wanting. That same person said this as well:
It still doesn’t answer the question, why would Assad use these weapons when he has said he wouldn’t, and he is winning?
(*BUZZER SOUND*) No, Assad only has control of a third of his country. This battle has been raging for 6-years… he wants a quick resolution to this. And chemical weapons may be an answer Assad thinks he needs. Two thirds of his country are controlled by rebels as well as Islamic State radicals. Winning? For a dictator like Assad?
There are soo many layers of bad thinking involved in these theories that sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air. Like I am doing now.
Comments By Others
This comment comes via Facebook — by John S.
Ambassadors and others who have had dealings with Assad directly have found him to be a boldfaced liar. He is well known to lie to the face of an ambassador without any qualms. He is lying about this.
Do we find it hard to understand why he would use chemical weapons against Syrians? Yes, of course, but Assad has done this before. He is engaged in a war with many radical groups that seek to remove him from power or kill him and his family. He would do anything to stay alive and in power. He is trusting in the cover the Russians are providing for him. He could get away with lying to Obama, but now he learns that Trump is no pushover.
McCain is wrong to demand that we supply the rebels. Most of them are now affiliated with radical terrorists. The pressure to remove Assad also comes from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. This bombing was not meant to destroy Assad, but to send a message that if he wants to stay in power there are certain rules and using chemical weapons is forbidden.
If Assad was smart he would seek our help in fighting ISIS and connecting the dots between ISIS and Al Qaeda. And he should disavow any desire for aggression against his neighbors. But he is also a puppet of Iran and so is pressured from two sides. Right now he is trusting in his previous support from Iran and Russia. That will be his undoing.
…..“The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act,” Davis’s statement continued. “Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.”
A U.S. military official told USNI News that Russian forces in the country were given a “heads up” ahead of the launch of the missiles. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the U.S. did not seek Moscow’s permission for the strike.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves on the Senate foreign relations and intelligence committees, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this evening that “I don’t believe this is a message; I believe this is actually a tactical action that furthers an objective, which is important. My guess is, and I think you’ll see confirmation of it shortly, al-Shayrat Airfield, which is where these chemical attacks were launched from with fixed-wing aircraft a couple days ago, is going to be the target, and that is the airfield from which the chemical attacks were launched. It’s also a critical point in a part of the country where they’re battling rebels, non-ISIS rebels, in the northern part of Syria. So as I said, it’s an important and decisive step that was taken. It is not a message; it is an actual degrading of the capability of Syrian regime to carry out further chemical attacks against innocent civilians. This will degrade their capability to launch those attacks from the air, and I think it was an important step and hopefully it’s part of a comprehensive strategy moving forward to bring to a close this chaos that’s happening in Syria.”
Asked about the significance of this first attack in the bigger context of the ongoing situation in Syria, Rubio told Cooper, “I’m not saying this accomplishes everything, but I am telling you that this is the area from which those chemical attacks were launched and where we were going to see future attacks come from, particularly targeting innocent civilians in an area where the regime felt it was losing territory after making significant gains.”….
…Washington has NO DOUBT that the Syrian SU-22 bomber which Tuesday dropped a sarin gas bomb on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, killing up to 100 people, was a joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian gambit to divert the Trump administration from a comprehensive plan for Syria. As US President and commander-in-chief he could not ignore this provocation.
Our sources report that the new US administration’s plans for Syria center on an offensive to evict the Islamic State from its Syrian capital, Raqqa, a mission for which US military preparations have been going forward for the past two weeks at five centers. To this operation Moscow, Tehran and Damascus were not averse. But that operation was also designed to rid Syria of Iranian and Hizballah forces – to which they were.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that despite previous agreements, Syria had not surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile, and accused Russia of “failing in its responsibility to deliver on its commitment” to supervise the surrender of those chemical weapons. “Either Russia has been complicit or simply incompetent in its ability to deliver,” Tillerson continued.
The question now is whether Vladimir Putin will decide to hit back at the US operation. Russia did not retaliate for the Israel air strike on March 17 over the northern Syrian T4 air base. If Putin chooses to sit on his hands once again, the same question may be addressed to Iran and Hizballah.
Very possibly, Trump and Putin reached accord on the limits of the US punitive attack in Syrian in long hours of debate during the day between the US State and Defense Departments and the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries, which were first reported by DEBKAfile 24 hours ago. Pentagon sources report that Washington gave Moscow advance warning of the coming US attack on the Syrian Shayrat base where Russian air force units are also deployed.
Follow-up US military action may yet come after the US president asserted that for him, “many, many lines were crossed” by Assad’s chemical attack and his attitude towards Syria had changed….
Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump‘s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, bolstering the administration’s immigration ban.
According to a report out Saturday, at least 17 claimed to be refugees from those nations, three came in as “students,” and 25 eventually became U.S. citizens.
The Center for Immigration Studies calculated the numbers of convicted terrorists from the Trump Seven:
The Center’s director of policy studies, Jessica M. Vaughan, based her blockbuster report on a 2016 report from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born.
She received further information on many in the report to conclude that 72 of those convicted of terrorism come from the seven nations target by Trump.
In other words, she was against it before she was for it. I got this video from Mike Pence’s Twitter, it is amazing that Hillary can stand in front of two differing groups and tell opposite things to them. Like tellin Chelsea minutes after the Benghazi attack: yep, terrorists. Then days later standing in front of the American people and say it was a video tape. PLEASE!
Hillary in ’13 private speech: They can’t possibly vet all those refugees; don’t know if jihadists are coming in.
Hillary in ’13 private speech: They can’t possibly vet all those refugees; don’t know if jihadists are coming in. pic.twitter.com/9QAajDjXwP