Was Assad’s Gas Attack the New WMDs?
Dilbert has some interesting thoughts:
“According to the mainstream media – that has been wrong about almost everything for a solid 18 months in a row – the Syrian government allegedly bombed its own people with a nerve agent.”
“The reason the Assad government would bomb its own people with a nerve agent right now is obvious. Syrian President Assad – who has been fighting for his life for several years, and is only lately feeling safer – suddenly decided to commit suicide-by-Trump. Because the best way to make that happen is to commit a war crime against your own people in exactly the way that would force President Trump to respond or else suffer humiliation at the hands of the mainstream media.”
“I’m going to call bullshit on the gas attack. It’s too “on-the-nose,” as Hollywood script-writers sometimes say, meaning a little too perfect to be natural. This has the look of a manufactured event.”
“My guess is that President Trump knows this smells fishy, but he has to talk tough anyway. However, keep in mind that he has made a brand out of not discussing military options. He likes to keep people guessing. He reminded us of that again yesterday, in case we forgot.”
“So how does a Master Persuader respond to a fake war crime?”
“He does it with a fake response, if he’s smart. ”
Ok, but if it’s a false war crime, then who did it? I’m not sure what Scott Adams is saying. Is he saying there was no attack at all? That the pictures were fakes?
Or that Assad didn’t use a nerve agent? Adams does think it’s possible Russia had a hand in it:
“There is also a non-zero chance that Putin just asked Assad to frame one of his less-effective Syrian generals for going rogue with chemical weapons, and executing him just to calm things down.”
Ok, then. Why would Putin do that? There can be only one answer-to benefit Trump. To make it look like Trump and Putin have fallen out. To take the heat off of Trump.
In his next piece-written after Trump launched the Tomahawk missiles-Adams enumerates all the political benefits Trump gained from this alleged chemical attack.
“As I blogged yesterday, the claim that Assad ordered a chemical attack on his own people in the past week doesn’t pass my sniff test. For Assad to order a gas attack now – while his side is finally winning – he would have to be willing to risk his life and his regime for no real military advantage. I’m not buying that.”
“But let’s say the world believes Assad or a rogue general under his commandgassed his own people. What’s an American President to do? If Trump does nothing, he appears weak, and it invites mischief from other countries. But if he launches 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military air base base within a few days, which he did, the U.S. gets several benefits at low cost:
1. President Trump just solved for the allegation that he is Putin’s puppet. He doesn’t look like Putin’s puppet today. And that was Trump’s biggest problem, which made it America’s problem too. No one wants a president who is under a cloud of suspicion about Russian influence.
2. President Trump solved (partly) for the allegation that he is incompetent. You can hate this military action, but even Trump’s critics will call it measured and rational. Like it or not, President Trump’s credibility is likely to rise because of this, if not his popularity. Successful military action does that for presidents.
3. President Trump just set the table for his conversations with China about North Korea. Does China doubt Trump will take care of the problem in China’s own backyard if they don’t take care of it themselves? That negotiation just got easier.
4. Iran might be feeling a bit more flexible when it’s time to talk about their nuclear program.
5. Trump’s plan of a Syrian Safe Zone requires dominating the Syrian Air Force for security. That just got easier.
6. After ISIS is sufficiently beaten-back, the Syrian government will need to negotiate with the remaining entities in Syria to form a lasting peace of some sort that keeps would-be refugees in place. Syria’s government just got more flexible. It probably wants to keep the rest of its military.
7. Israel is safer whenever an adversary’s air power is degraded.
“On the risk side of the equation, we have the possibility of getting into war with Russia. I’d put those odds at roughly zero in this case because obviously the U.S. warned Russia about the attack. That means we knew their reaction before we attacked. And it was a measured response of the type Putin probably respects. I expect Russia to complain a lot but continue to partner with the U.S. against ISIS.”
“If it turns out that the sarin gas attack that sparked this military action didn’t come from Assad, it doesn’t much matter. President Trump will bank all of the benefits above even if the attack turns out to be a hoax. We know Assad had some chemical weapons at one point, and probably used them. No one will be crying for Assad if the attack was unnecessary. And realistically, the public will never be 100% sure who was behind the attack.”
So Adams believes:
1. The attack was in some sense a hoax.
2. Helps Trump.
But he doesn’t put this together and surmise that: maybe Trump was in on it from the beginning.
I do agree with Adams that this strike has helped Trump at least in the short term. It’s given him rare good press. This is part of the strange idiosyncrasy of the media.
The message to Trump is clear: the one way to the Beltway pundits’ heart is to bomb stuff. And there’s a lot of stuff to bomb:
For those who criticize ‘conspiracy theories’ we start from the fact that this so-called President is neither legitimate or at all trustworthy. And he literally campaigned on and still supported until two days ago that we should leave Assad to his own devices.
Even if you like what he did-I’m not sure about that-this 180 about face should worry you.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will