The Trump Administration has succumbed to the Washington Swamp’s pressure for perpetual war.
On Thursday night 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean against a Syrian base allegedly used by the Damascus government jets that bombed the town of Khan Sheikhoun, held by Al-Qaeda and allied jihadist groups, where some sort of poisonous agent is said to have killed scores of civilians earlier this week. For the numerologists in RogueMoney's audience, as our esteemed Intelligence Insider W points out this evening, the attack was timed to the 77th day of Trump's presidency -- or 11 weeks since Inauguration Day. The attack also coincided with the 100th anniversary of the United States declaring war on Germany and entering World War I, plus the (non-Greek) old calendar Orthodox Christian holy day of the Annunciation.
Post-dawn reports on Syrian government forces casualties included a brigadier general, Sharaf Khalil Ibrahim, and six Syrians wounded from the U.S. missile strikes at the Al-Shayrat air base southeast of Homs. There were conflicting reports about whether Russian military advisers were present at the facility when it was hit overnight. The Pentagon denied targeting Russian military personnel, and the Russian Defense Ministry was quiet early Friday morning Moscow time. Reuters reported that the Russians had been informed via the deconflict-ion hotline to their headquarters at the Kheimmim air base of an imminent strike. However, it isn’t clear if the warning would’ve given the Russians sufficient time to move any helicopters they may have had at Al-Shayrat elsewhere; at least fifteen SyAF SU-22 or MiG-23 jets were reportedly destroyed along with ammunition and fuel stores.
So now we finally have the answer to the key question whether Trump was for real of a fake: he has just ordered a cruise missile attack on Syria. Words fail me to express my total disgust with Trump.
All I will say is this: this is a moment as crucial as the US/NATO aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999. When that happened, Evgeniy Primakov, then Prime Minister of Russia, who was in an aircraft on the way to an official visit to Washington DC, ordered his pilot to turn around.
Russia needs to cancel the planned visit of Rex Tillerson to Moscow scheduled for April 11-12.
This is not a time for business as usual. There can be no excuses.
-- The Saker
On Wednesday, the Russian military spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov had declared that a Syrian Air Force strike had detonated several chemical bombs in a warehouse controlled by the jihadists, while the Syrian government stated that the chemicals had been shipped into the country from Iraq, implying another false flag like the East Ghouta nerve agent attacks of August 2013. After that incident the Obama Administration infamously declared its ‘red line’ had been crossed and strikes on Syrian government forces were imminent, only to be backed down when the intelligence proved far shoddier than advertised and members of Congress voiced opposition, while the UK Parliament rejected a resolution to authorize any British attack on Damascus. At that time, then private citizen Donald J. Trump warned Obama not to attack Syria especially without Congressional authorization, in a tweet his recent golfing buddy Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky reminded the President of. Unfortunately, with a Republican President in the White House, there has been far less GOP opposition voiced to the U.S. getting deeper into the Mideast quagmire than in 2013. The steady drumbeat of hysteria over the Russians 'meddling in the election' among the Democrats and neocon dominated Republicans in Congress has done its poisonous work in prepping the American people for moar war with a Russian proxy.
Nonetheless, the White Helmets personnel who responded to the alleged sarin nerve agent attack depicted in photos shared on social media were noticeably not wearing protective gear of the type seen after verified sarin attacks by Shoko Asahara's cult on the Tokyo subway in the 1990s. The exact nature of the chemical agent unleashed in Khan Sheikhoun remained unclear, though the Turkish authorities who had access to victims’ bodies brought across the border for treatment indicated that it was some type of nerve agent. Some eyewitnesses apparently reported an oddly colored cloud of smoke before victims began succumbing to the agent, which is not consistent with odorless and colorless sarin, but could be more typical of the oily nerve agent VX.
Additional photos have been released by Syrian rebel groups, indicating ‘forensics’ were being done at the scene of the alleged chemical bombing by men wearing hospital masks in flip flops. Questions of how the rescuers did not themselves succumb to contact with the chemical on their exposed arms and hands or where the deadly agents originated have yet to be answered. The U.S. and Russia via UN inspectors had jointly certified the destruction of Bashir al Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal after a 2013 agreement that temporarily averted war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is sure to remind his counterpart Rex Tillerson of that agreement specifying the Syrian regime would not be attacked if it complied, IF the two men still meet as scheduled on April 11-12 in Moscow. As of this hour that meeting may be off.
Many confused if not feeling betrayed Trump supporters were asking on Twitter while the mainstream media presented any doubts of the Narrative as outrageous: why would Assad use chemical warheads now, when with Russian and Iranian support he’s been regaining ground since 2015? That was certainly a question Trump ought to have been asking before giving his speech declaring that there was no doubt Assad had unleashed chemical arms on children.
The only parties that would appear to benefit from Assad using chemical weapons are those powers behind the anti-Assad jihadists intent on carving up Syria: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and of course, Israel. The same country that, since the defeats suffered by the jihadis it helped arm by proxy, over the last few weeks has been ratcheting up the pressure on Assad through air strikes, including attacks near Palmyra where the Russians have troops to test how Moscow would respond. Thus far, Putin’s response has been sternly worded diplomatic protests, and Russian forces in Syria per agreements with the Israelis have made no attempt to target Israeli jets. There has yet been no response from Iran to Israelis targeting Iranian personnel inside Syria either, except for perhaps increasing covert support for the Houthis fighting the Saudi aggressors allied with Israel in Yemen.
A hint of pivotal talks that may be taking place behind the scenes emerged on the Moon of Alabama blog and at other sites late Thursday, when the Russian Foreign Ministry made the unprecedented announcement that it would consider, alongside Israeli recognition of East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, west Jerusalem and not Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel (students of end times prophecy will also declare that international recognition of Jerusalem as the Jewish State's capitol as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians is a precursor to the reconstruction of the ancient Jewish Temple and perhaps, appearance of the Antichrist). Recognizing the holy city as the capitol of Israel was one of Trump’s campaign promises, and a priority for Trump’s Jewish son in law Jared Kushner, whose portfolio in recent weeks has expanded to outsized proportions inverse to his actual competency in international diplomacy.
While the Israeli security cabinet is reportedly convening this Sunday to consider ‘humanitarian intervention’ of some sort on Syrian territory, the onset of Passover coinciding this year with the Western and Orthodox Christian calendar Holy Week would seem to make any imminent Israeli ground offensive unlikely -- though IAF air strikes following the U.S. raids to further degrade the SyAF’s ability to bomb the jihadists (including Al-Qaeda) are likely. The consequences are already expected in the form of renewed Al-Qaeda and ISIS offensives north of government-held Hama and east of Palmyra and Deir Ez Zor, where the terrorists may only have Russian rather than Syrian airpower left to oppose them. These moves could lead to significant gains for the terrorists thanks to Uncle Sam's missiles, a complaint Moscow is sure to make in public and to American military men regarding the wisdom of U.S. intervention against Assad's forces.
Assuming there were no Russian casualties to which Moscow will feel compelled to imminently respond, the question now becomes: having made his ‘point’ with a fusillade of Tomahawks, will Trump proceed down the path egged on by Sen. John McCain and other adversaries of occupying part of Syria, or even resuming the once abandoned goal of regime change in Damascus? Trump is said to have ordered the strikes which took place between 8 and 9 p.m. Eastern time after concluding a day of negotiations with the Chinese President Xi Jinpeng at his southern White House Mar a Lago resort in Florida. The Nixonian ‘madman strategy’ of appearing tougher in negotiations over the dollar-yuan balance and the South China Sea appears to have been taken to a new extreme. So too, has Trump’s desire to look tough on Putin to the point of potentially killing Russians to prove the Kremlin didn’t put him in the White House (as if proponents of the latter insane conspiracy-tardness like Louise Mensch will suddenly change their tune).
If there is one rule in politics that has endured since ancient times, it is that at its most basic the art of war -- Clausewitz's continuation of politics by other means -- requires distinguishing between friends and enemies. If the same people that were falsely accusing Trump of colluding with the Russian government during the campaign are now ecstatic about his attacks on Syrian government forces, as a 'deplorable' Trump supporter you know in your heart and gut something is wrong. Politically, Trump is now at risk of alienating large portions of his old line conservative and libertarian base who had hoped that he, after the defeat of ISIS, would withdraw the U.S. from disastrous Mideast wars pursued by the G.W. Bush and Obama Administrations. The so-called center and left of the GOP and the Democratic/Deep State alliance of the Washington Swamp are hardly likely to embrace DJT as a wartime president, the way G.W. Bush enjoyed a certain honeymoon of bipartisanship from 9/11 until the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry-backed invasion of Iraq. In the end if he is not willing to heed the neocons siren call of 'real men go to Damascus, or at least occupy the Euphrates valley' he may end alienating his electoral base, something the neocons most certainly desire, while failing to gain any real support among the D.C. Swamp dwellers.
The question of whether the Russians will expose the intelligence and latest chemical incident used to justify this strike as lies or a false flag operation also looms. After the 2013 East Ghouta attack and Seymour Hersh’s sources in the intel community spilling their suspicions that the ‘moderate rebels’ gassed their own people to blame Assad, several members of the Turkish opposition came forward to claim Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Saudis had a joint secret chemical weapons program. Other facts ignored by the legacy media, while it tries to manipulate viewers with horrific images of allegedly gasses and dead or dying children coming out of Idlib province: the thousands of children killed or starved to death by U.S. ally and Syrian jihadi supporter Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen.
One thing is for sure: the neocons and the Washington Swamp appear to have scored a major coup against Trump’s anti-war and American nationalist base. It remains to be seen if Trump, having made his point that he’s ‘tougher than Obama’ will back off, or go down the primrose path his political enemies have set for him into national unraveling and globalist damnation.
UPDATE 02:30 a.m. EST Friday, April 7, 2017: Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the U.S. strikes as 'aggression against a sovereign nation' carried out 'in violation of international law, and also under an invented pretext'. This followed reports that Putin had earlier in the week during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the trustworthiness of the claims that Assad's forces carried out the chemical attack advanced by jihadists known to fake civilian deaths and/or kill civilians themselves in order to blame the Syrian government. There are also reports by ABC News Friday morning citing alleged eyewitnesses that the base was partially evacuated before it was struck, but these appear to be contradicted by reports from Al-Mayadeen news and TASS citing the governor of the province that the missile strike caused both military and civilian deaths. Perhaps the Syrian officers killed were trying to fly out some of the jets to another base before the cruise missiles struck.
UPDATE 2 06:00 a.m. EST Friday, April 7, 2017: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated that there are no casualties from the U.S. cruise missile strikes to Russia's armed forces. State Duma Deputy Dmitry Sablin who leads the "Combat Brotherhood" veterans organization also confirmed that there were no reported Russian advisers or soldiers killed/wounded in the strikes. Lavrov added that he hoped the U.S. strike would not do irreparable damage to U.S.-Russia ties which had seemed to be on the upswing after Trump's election, though Putin through his spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated that they are at a cold war level or worse low point. According to Reuters:
"This is an act of aggression, on an absolutely made-up pretext," Lavrov told a news conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. "It reminds me of the situation in 2003 when the United States and Britain, along with some of their allies, attacked Iraq."
He said Russia would demand Washington explain why it conducted the strikes.
UPDATE 3 06:35 a.m. EST Friday, April 7, 2017: The first footage shot by Syrian and Russian journalists of the base has appeared online, and to the Russia Analyst's surprise the damage in some areas does not look consistent with being hit by 59 Tomahawk missiles, particularly those with bunker buster capabilities of the Tomahawk Bloc IV with the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS) to hit supposed chemical weapons storage at the base (chems the inspectors back in 2013-14 would've had to overlook).
It should be pointed out however, before we start discussing if something about this strike doesn't add up, that only very limited areas have been shown on Russian TV footage. Other images now emerging from the base show extensive blast damage:
The same Internet trolls who have insisted Trump is Putin's puppet may start arguing in a few hours that the whole thing was a hoax carried out by the Trump White House to make The Donald look tougher on Assad and the Russians than he actually is.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says the strike was obviously planned well in advance of the alleged chemical weapons use in Idlib province early this week, which she adds has not been properly investigated by any international body.