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Discussion > President Trump

Supertroll: Now I know what you think, and know you didn't read the whole report including the report sent to Prof Postel by the white house. Here's what I know, the rebels aren't Syrians they are mainly foreign fighters, including Daesh, and Al Quaeda, and are currently on the back foot. I have now seen three videos of Syrians trying to explain to the US that they are seen as invaders by the Syrians, but in an age of fake news it's difficult to come down on one side or another without more evidence. I don't need more evidence to convince me that if Assad is removed religions other than Islam will be in great danger of persecution by the rebels

I know the US policy is regime change in Syria, and as in Iraq and Libya it will turn out to be a complete disaster. The US,Saudi Arabia and Qatar are currently funding the rebels in and effort to get regime change. I have no idea why that Obama wanted to see when the regime changed, but Iraq and Libya have been complete disasters.

Having come late to the party in trying to understand what this is all about I have concluded that the West would do well to stay out of it.

Assad is winning, he has no need to use chemical weapons and bring the wrath of the world down on him.

"You think the US Military and Intelligence community are so naive as to get suckered into believing the rebels could successfully hoodwink them into supporting a false air attack?" I don't know, but this was also convenient for Trump who was able to look like a strong president. The Intel he had was based on commercial satellites.

Apr 13, 2017 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

geronimo. You are correct. I couldn't find or open the material you suggested but I did google Postel and sarin, and read items from the first two pages (mostly about the earlier Damascus gas attacks). I was not impressed. But neither you nor I know the truth but, as I commented, Occam's razor is being severely blunted.

As to you knowing what I think, you don't because even I don't know what to believe. I do tend to disbelieve conspiracies, unless evidence is overwhelming. Naive perhaps but it works most of the time.

Apr 13, 2017 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll, I too tend to steer clear of conspiracy theories, but in this case there is no conspiracy, the US wants to effect regime change within a country that has been friendly to the US and even shared intel with them. That's a mystery from which we can conclude conspiracy theories. (My ex-boss in the US told me the day that Obama got elected that he was the Manchurian candidate, now that's a conspiracy theory)

If you had been able to open the intel used by the US you'd see for yourself it's crap. Postel is not known to me but he does seem to have had something to do with National Security, and his paper is based on interpreting the same intel as the US security services (if indeed they did interpret it). As I say I've trundled along believing Assad was some sort of monster (he may be) but over the last two weeks or so I'm getting a different picture. People who have been there say the Syrians back him, which is not surprising when you think that the vast majority of the rebels appear to be Jihadists.

What are the US doing siding with the Saudis and Qatar in toppling a the last secular government in the region?

Apr 13, 2017 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"What are the US doing siding with the Saudis and Qatar in toppling a the last secular government in the region?"

I have this suspicion that beyond Saudi and Qatari money enabling a nice lifestyle inside The Beltway the people running the policy would be hard put to give a convincing answer on that....

I don't know how secular it is but Israel seems to have a more functional democracy than all of its neighbours.

Apr 13, 2017 at 7:02 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Supertroll: "You think the US Military and Intelligence community are so naive as to get suckered into believing the rebels could...."

Well it worked in Iraq - with WMD and all that.

You have to put yourself in the position of a US or UK politician, you will be subject to continuous inspection by the media, the 24 hour rolling news channels constantly feed the narrative, always suckers for an emotive image, babies on a mediterranean beach, babies/children in Syria apparently gassed but no impartial observers, no raw footage can be seen, just nice packaged segments for 24 hour news.

The poor politician sees what the media pumps out, the public sees the same. NGOs and pressure groups then inundate the media and politicians demanding action.

If a politician stands up and says "I do not believe it", the media/pressure groups/NGOs turn on them and ramp up the social media attacks.

I can understand why a limp wristed politician like David Cameron wanted to bomb Assad on behalf of the rebels, who where all jihadi and shortly after Cameron lost the vote in the commons, they flipped into ISIS.

Remember Libya, we just "had to act to save lives" - look at it now, look at the lives lost in the Med each year now, as a result....

The yanks can tell the difference between an air launched..... sorry, there are no independent observers on the ground, so know one knows.

Last week the US announced that Assad can stay, why would Assad use CW after that announcement? No sense at all.

Apr 13, 2017 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Supertroll, tomo, Geronimo & Steve Richards

I presume (but don't know) that the US would be able to review satellite imagery and determine where the bombing aircraft had flown from, and flew back to.

When it comes down to the US, their intelligence and military capabilities have not changed since Trump took Office. There has been much media discussion about Trump and his administration's close ties to Russia, and Assad may have assumed this would give him "immunity" from retaliation. The media are not talking about Trump's links with Putin anymore.

I still do not understand why Putin continues his support for Syria. Russia can't afford it.

Apr 14, 2017 at 1:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Trump has just dropped big bombs in Afghanistan.

Apr 14, 2017 at 2:01 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Collosus MOABadocious,
How can it be it's atrocious?
What will it be,
Is Kim is kismee?
The Russkies and Chinks snarl ferocious.
=============================

Apr 14, 2017 at 6:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Ex-pe-alodocious Kim

M ore
O rdinance
A round
B abylon

Apr 14, 2017 at 6:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Not so ordinary ordnance
This time for instance.
===============

Apr 14, 2017 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

A hard hitting summary of the recent US political past:
Pointman: ZUGZWANG

Here is one of the links from the article, Trump's 'next weapon of mass reputational destruction, which looks to be the IRS having a hit list of right-wing people and organisations to be swamped under a deluge of oppressive tax investigations', indicating what might lie ahead:
Witness At IRS Hearing: 'I Will Not Retreat; I Will Not Surrender'

Apr 14, 2017 at 2:50 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Trump has now used Cruise Missiles in Syria against a bunch of bad guys, and has now bombed a load of bad guys with a single bomb in Afghanistan.

The North Koreans may have a rethink about their next missile firing.

Apr 14, 2017 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

So... why's BHO staying out of the way? - simply accepting that he's done his bit and it's time to work on his book, his golf and grooming Michelle for a White House run?

The Pointman thinks not - and puts together a well thought out and I'd say evidenced case that we've only been seeing movements on the chess board but not the strategy that ends up with Zugzwang

BHO was full of defiance for a while there resisting "Trump and The Russians"...... Now some of his people are refusing to appear in camera in front of The House Intelligence Committee and that witch who was running the IRS has aiui taken The Fifth.

Apr 14, 2017 at 10:23 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, I read Pointman's article. I would recommend it.

Once they have left office, it is normal for political leaders, Chief Execs etc to stay out of the limelight, in order to avoid accusations of back seat driving, sour grapes etc. In the UK, it is rare for senior Civil Servants to change with a General Election. In the US, the number of Unelected Political Appointments in powerful positions is far higher.

Most of the political noise and political accusations have been coming from Obama's political appointments, and "Civil Servants" who worked "closely" with Obama's team. Whether Obama is involved with some of their responses so far, is not clear. As Pointman notes, should anyone be arrested in possession of Team Obama's Dirty Laundry, bits of the Swamp are going to self-drain.

Progressive media organisations, the Democrats and Team Obama, have thrown every bit of mud possible at Team Trump. Team Trump have taken a lot of flak, and suffered casualties, and they will be keen to return the favour. The Republican Party would prefer to score big hits against the Democrat Party over the next 4 years.

The US Media is funded by advertisers. They want to sell their products to the majority, and not be associated with fraud and corruption. Some of the Democrat leaning media outfits may need to tone down their anti-Trump bias. They may also have run out of trustworthy sources.

Apr 15, 2017 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Good effort on Syrian Tomahawk business from James Corbett (YouTube short)

Apr 15, 2017 at 1:52 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Apr 15, 2017 at 1:52 AM | tomo

As more information comes out about Syria, the less reliable all previously reported information seems to become.

The combatants on the ground in Syria do know that they can't depend on air support.

The combative media and politicians, particularly in the US, are now learning that they can't trust the factual evidence that they have been depending on for years, and that it may have been deliberate misinformation to preserve the status quo.

IS have taken hits, and North Korea have found there is an NK in brinkmanship. They are not Happy Easter Bunnies.

Apr 15, 2017 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC: "Supertroll, tomo, Geronimo & Steve Richards

I presume (but don't know) that the US would be able to review satellite imagery and determine where the bombing aircraft had flown from, and flew back to."

There would have to be a Syrian bombing raid even if the insurgents released the sarin, otherwise Assad couldn't be blamed. If you have a chance look at the documoent I got from Steve McIntyre and put up here earlier. It's an assessment of the intel the USA had. Both the crater and the bomb look fake to me.

Apr 15, 2017 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

It isn't for want of trying geronimo; I put in Steve McIntyre and Syria into google, and got nothing.

Apr 15, 2017 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Apr 15, 2017 at 9:16 AM | geronimo

Thank you for the reminder, I too had also tried and failed previously to open your link, but have now succeeded.

I have had to do some investigations trying to work out what failed/went wrong/broke etc, and sometimes the sequence and scope of damage allegedly caused.

The evidence shown (if true!) does confirm that the sarin came from an improvised "pipe", ruptured by a small explosion that was NOT a component part of the Sarin containing pipe. The explosives were above the pipe, and it was all assembled and detonated on the ground, not Air Launched, or Air Burst-ed.

The Pipe has been crushed/compressed and split open (it has not been run-over) and has not been perforated by shrapnel from an anti-personnel device such as widely available hand grenades. Analysis of any residue from the explosion might identify the type used, but not who had made or supplied it.

The Sarin, in an improvised container, was released using basic explosives, in an improvised manner. Very simple, cheap, and low-tech. It could have been done by well financed and trained people, so that it would appear very crude.

Apr 15, 2017 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@gc

as I understand it - identifying the sarin's provenance is a fairly straight forward chemical assay - chromatography and mass spectroscopy will give some hard evidence about the manufacturing process used and the origin of the precursor chemicals.

Tumbleweed .... on that assay at the moment even though victims have apparently been transferred to hospitals outside Syria and samples taken both from the victims and the deployment canister... I'd have expected any analysis of the noxious contents to have been the subject of a published interim finding within 48 hours.

I was surprised at the apparently risible PPE on show during the sample taking. I'm also quite surprised there isn't a specialised drone configured solely to perform the risky task of detecting / sampling CW agents - a very obvious application of the latest "must have" military gadget.

Apr 15, 2017 at 1:23 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Supertroll, try the link in this post: Apr 13, 2017 at 9:09 AM | geronimo

tomo, it was the provenance of the explosive that I was thinking about. Simply confirming it was NOT of a type used in missiles etc, would be significant, and possibly conclusive that the explosion did NOT involve aircraft. This would not prove who did it, but would eliminate the Syrian Air Force and disprove the sources relied upon by Trump AND the media.

Apr 15, 2017 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

geronimo. I have repeatedly tried the link you suggested. It downloads, but will not open on my Kindle (I am seriously considering replacing it with an iPad). Why do you believe the material on it has not be doctored? Has there been any response to it by those who believe the atrocity was carried out by the Syrians?

Apr 15, 2017 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

@gc

I have read in several places that chemical weapons agents which have been used in Syria have been identified by factory and quite possibly by individual "cook" / batch due to the imprecise nature of the "backyard" chemical processing used to synthesise a brew of adequate toxicity.

Explosives are going to be more awkward since they can be bought to order and/or swapped around and improvised devices abound in Syria / Iraq - the same cannot be said of the equipment and chemistry expertise required to make nerve gas I think.

The delay in attribution is not helping things in this case.

@Supertroll Android has issues with pdf handling - if you've a gmail account that's the easiest way around it - otherwise you'll need to reset the file type associations and find an app that works with your version of Android ... This link might work.

Apr 15, 2017 at 5:53 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Explosives are going to be more awkward since they can be bought to order and/or swapped around and improvised devices abound in Syria / Iraq - the same cannot be said of the equipment and chemistry expertise required to make onerve gas I think.

Apr 15, 2017 at 5:53 PM | tomo

Yes, I agree (though not one of my specialists fields of knowledge!)

My point was that if the pipe and crater contain explosive residue, it may determine that it was/was not of a type used in air launched missiles.

The bent pipe does not look like regular ordnance. If you bodged together components that could be slung beneath a modern fighter/bomber, which could be armed and released by the pilot, it probably would not look like that.

Supertroll, the photo is of a 5inch diam metal pipe. It has been crushed by external force (explosion?), and has split. There was no explosion within the pipe. It does seem a slightly haphazard way to try to rupture a metal pipe, but people used to that sort of thing will presumably have experimented. It does appear that a smallish quantity of explosive was detonated, and the crushing and splitting was NOT caused by a projectile or shrapnel etc.

Apr 15, 2017 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Blinking heck you lot are on to page 30 of our 3 or 4th thread on on Trump ..it's like you are writing a novel

..Meanwhile probably 100,000 Africans have died in wars no one bothers reporting.

General principle is that you cannot understand something unless you experience in.

So we cannot understand Xland cos we haven't been to Xland
The people who live in Xland don't understand Xland cos they haven't got anything to compare it with (They can't see the wood for the trees)
.........................................................

It's a bit academic to band on whether Assad is a good/bad guy cos the Sarin might be fake.
..Cos we know he's broken the UN rules by using lots of barrel bombs etc.

But we know the UN is crap, makes rules and then never does anything about it

..Anyway look over there : An American on a plane in Chicago has got a bit of blood on his lips and will have to wait another day for his flight.
..ooh and over there someone has said about someone I have never heard of that his eyes stare similar to a gorillas ..Hope the police are onto that.

TV news is a soap opera ..not genuine education.

Apr 16, 2017 at 11:44 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen