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The Tripartite Attack on Syria: “Mission Accomplished” or “A Tale Told by an Idiot, Full of Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?” – Part Two

April 30, 2018

Douma, Syria – a Damascus suburb liberated by the Syrian Army from ISIS, al Nusra forces this year, in 2018, the site of the latest false flag operation giving Washington a pretext to launch a missile attack against Syria

KGNU – Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues. April 24, 2018 – Part Two

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Part One

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Part Two

The more the situation is probed, whatever was intended, the attack turns out to be nothing more than a gratuitous and racist display of fire power, violence. Rather than accomplishing anything concrete from a military viewpoint, it was more of a symbolic gesture, reminding the world that the United States has a sophisticated military arsenal – more so than any other country in the world by a long shot – and that it can and will use them whenever Washington sees fit. So certainly rather than “mission accomplished” as President Trump claimed, Shakespeare’s quote seems to sum up the operation: “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Ibrahim Kazerooni: (continued). But to answer this question (was the mission accomplished” or was it just “sound and fury signifying nothing”) let’s go through various scenarios that have presented as an explanation for “why this attack?”

Number One: First of all, looking at the maps where both Russians and Syrians assert the United States focused on bombing, a certain picture becomes clearer. First the northeastern region of Syria was targeted as well as the far southern area of the country.

In both of these areas, the mercenaries are being pushed hard by the Syrian army and they are being continually routed out one after the other.

So “Number One Scenario” is that the reason for the bombing is to help the rebels (mercenaries) stabilize their positions and escape from the onslaught of defeat at the hands of the Syrian army. These bombings did not target ISIS, al Nusra but it is the Syrian army that was attacked. This scenario fits what the United States has been doing in the past – repeated attacking the Syrian or Iraqi army – whether in Iraq or Syria – to give ISIS or al Qaeda be able to run or re-organize with the key military planners (of ISIS, al Qaeda) withdrawn to fight another battle.

This is one scenario which is constantly put forward to explain the reason for this attack. It has nothing to do with a gas attack. The air attack focuses on an area where the Syrian army is concentrated, attacking mercenary forces (ISIS, al Qaeda) who are being routed out. The Syrian army is thus targeted using a gas attack as a pretext. Once the claim that the Syrian army has initiated a gas attack is believed, then the credible rational for bombing the Syrian army in response is established as well.

This is one scenario that is being presented.

Number Two: The area was bombed to make the possibility of a fact-finding mission impossible. Russia as well as some independent countries, Sweden and others, said they would send an independent fact finding mission into the area to find out what actually happened before Robert Fisk and a number of other independent journalists went in.

That is the second scenario

Number Three: Some journalists within the Middle East, particularly those who are militarily oriented, argue that the attack was deliberately done in cahoots with the Israelis to test the Syrian air defense system and if the Syrians had “engaged” with the United States (meaning that the Syrians would fire anti-missile missiles), to bomb Syria out of existence facilitating the return of the Israeli air force back into Syria because so long as Syrian air defenses are strong the Israelis are wary to do their own air strikes. They are afraid their own F-15s, F-16s will be shot down. This would also be a major embarrassment for the United States.

That is the third scenario.

Number Four: It is referred to as “the North Korean factor.” How have events played out? Trump bombed Syria and immediately thereafter begins talking to North Korea about de-escalating the crisis with North Korea.

Some Middle East analysts argue that the Syria bombing was an indirect message to North Korea: “Look, the United States is a rogue state; it doesn’t care about international law; it violates it whenever it wishes. When Washington says that “all options are on the table, including the use of the military,… look we did it in Syria and nobody blinked, nobody said anything. We can do the same to North Korea too.

I think the North Koreans got the message and immediately spoke of de-escalation. So this is “the North Korean factor.”

Number Five: There is yet another assessment, for what we call “domestic consumption.” We have seen this in the past, particularly during the Clinton presidency. When Clinton’s domestic popularity continued to decline, Washington bombed, either in Iraq or in Sudan. In the Sudan case, the pretext – this should sound familiar – was that a factory outside of Khartoum was manufacturing chemical weapons. But it was the only prescription drug factory in Africa – as Clinton well knew. But who cared? It it a matter of definition as Chomsky says. So whether it is the home of an elderly person, a pharmaceutical factory – as long as the American government labels it as a poison gas production factory, nobody’s going to ask.

Rob Prince: This fits well with the current moment when Trump’s ratings continue to seriously decline. So yes, there is a domestic component to the bombing. And on that score Ibrahim, it worked as Trump had hoped.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: I wouldn’t say that one factor was more important than the others; they all factored into the decision to launch the attack. At least these general ideas have been floating around to explain it.

Once we accept for a fact that there was no gas nor chemical attack the door is open to the above scenarios. This is a fact (that there was no chemical attack) because both independent journalists and an independent fact-finding mission has gone there have verified it; they have taken dirt samples, visited the nearby hospital and spoken to various doctors, families, etc. From this the conclusion at the moment – there seems to be a consensus: there was no chemical attack. Period. (see Seymour Hersh article arguing the same)

In light of that information we have to search for new explanations, to create an accurate narrative to replace the one that has been proven false. Now we have to ask the question: so what did that mission accomplish?

Rob Prince: Ibrahim, at this point I want to add an additional reason for the attack.

Right after the attack, Trump took to the air waves and became the number one salesman for U.S. weapons systems to foreign buyers, especially in the Middle East. He goes on television urging foreign government to buy this or that missile, this jet fighter, etc. As was widely reported, the stock of the biggest U.S. military contractors – Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop-Grumman – soared.

To what degree was this missile attack on Syria an obscene kind of reality show to sell weapons. In the past, foreign buyers would gather at some obscure place in Nevada or Utah to see weapons’ trials. But on April 13, they could see “the real thing” as the U.S., Britain and France bombed Syria.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: By the way George Bush (Sr. – the father) did the same thing in the 1990, 1991 attack on Iraq. After the destruction of the Iraqi military during the infamous 24 hour non-stop bombing, immediately George Bush Sr. went on a weapons’ selling campaign to the Kuwaitis, the Saudis and others.

So this was nothing new.

But prior to the present bombing incident, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman spent another $54 billion dollars buying U.S. weapons systems, including  $1.1 billion more on Salman’s recent two-week U.S. visit. So that possibility (that the Syria attack was publicity for U.S. military contractors) is always there.

I want to add just one more point here.

Trump has been going around saying that the United States is going to wind down the U.S. operation in Syria but there is ample proof that there is no such thing as “winding down.” As a matter of fact, exactly what the United States did during George Bush’s presidency concerning Iraq. We are asking private contractors with the Saudis and Gulf States footing the bill. Furthermore, the Saudis have indicated that possibly they might send their own troops. If this happens more than likely they will be routed out by Syrians and their supporters of the axis of resistance. The Saudi’s cannot even fight the Yemenis yet alone that they can have a military impact in Syria.

But what this indicates is that now we are going back to “Blackwater” type of subcontracting this dirty war with private armies that are coming in to substitute for American troops. But as Rob is going to discuss, Robert Ford (before the House Arms Services Committee) is not requesting a troop withdrawal but for more and more American troops to be sent to Syria as were the British prime minister and the French president.

Rob, know that we know that beyond a shadow of doubt that this Douma bombing was a false flag operation, that it was constructed to justify the tripartite attack, and we have discussed these various scenarios, probably all of which in one way or another help explain the rational for the attack from Syria, where do we go from here?

Rob Prince: Good question. Needless to say, given that the pretexts for the strike have been proven to be spurious, what then were the strategic and tactical results that actually were achieved? What are the long-range implications of the bombing?

There is the famous Clausewitz saying about war simply being an extension of politics, yet when analyzing this most recent missile attack on Syria in light of what you have elaborated Ibrahim, what stand out is that the strategic balance of power in the region was not effected whatsoever. It didn’t change anything.

Secondly, although you explained how tactically the bombing was meant to slow or neutralize the gains the Syrian army has made on the ground and permit the ISIS, al Nusra elements the chance to regroup in the northeast and the south of Syria, it is well-known from vast experience that tactical bombing has little to no impact unless it is accompanied by a troop offensive on the ground. So in the same way there was no longer term, strategic advantage to the attack nor was there any tactical advances made.

The more the situation is probed, whatever was intended, the attack turns out to be nothing more than a gratuitous and racist display of fire power, violence. Rather than accomplishing anything concrete from a military viewpoint, it was more of a symbolic gesture, reminding the world that the United States has a sophisticated military arsenal – more so than any other country in the world by a long shot – and that it can and will use them whenever Washington sees fit. So certainly rather than “mission accomplished” as President Trump claimed, Shakespeare’s quote seems to sum up the operation: “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

It’s also a warning to those who are trying to negotiate an end to this conflict – negotiations in which the United States has been sidelined – that Washington will not permit a settlement to the Syrian war that it cannot define or dictate.

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