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Donald Trump's Dilemma in Syria

  1. crankalicious profile image92
    crankaliciousposted 7 months ago

    Here are a few statements Donald Trump has made:

    Sept. 2013:

    We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO

    Interview in Oct. 2016:

    “What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria. You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton. You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right?”

    Aug. 2013:

    What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.

    So, the question is: was he right when he made these statements or is he right now, having launched a military strike against Syria. Keep in mind that the U.S. concluded years ago that Syria used chemical weapons on its own people.

    1. GA Anderson profile image83
      GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

      Hi Crankalicious, Would you consider that then and now are different circumstances?

      My opinion is that the circumstances do make a difference, and that Pres. Trump's chosen response illustrates that. I see this strike as a punitive action, not an involvement action.

      GA

      1. crankalicious profile image92
        crankaliciousposted 7 months agoin reply to this

        How are the circumstances different?

        And are you effectively saying he was correct in both instances?

        1. GA Anderson profile image83
          GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, within the point of your grouped tweets, I am saying he was right in both instances.

          The differences in the circumstances, as I see them, are that this missile strike was not intended to assist the overthrow of Assad, as would be the supplying of rebel forces, or shooting down Syrian planes. It seems to have been chosen to represent a dual message; a punitive action to show such atrocities have a cost, and a national statement that we have both a bark and a bite.

          The world, through the U.N. barked its recriminations for such actions as chemical attacks, (as did Pres. Obama's Red Line). The U.S. was a member of that barking group. I would rather have us stand behind the ideals we declared, than just join another paper chorus of condemnations.

          GA

          1. crankalicious profile image92
            crankaliciousposted 7 months agoin reply to this

            President Obama did more than bark. He expressed his willingness for a military response, consulted Congress, as is required in the Constitution, and was firmly rebuffed.

            1. wilderness profile image99
              wildernessposted 7 months agoin reply to this

              Perhaps he wanted to do something Trump didn't then?  Because Trump satisfied the law without congress.

              1. crankalicious profile image92
                crankaliciousposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                Clearly, he wanted to make sure Congress agreed with a very risky military action that could drag us into a long conflict that might potentially involve Iran and Russia.

                1. wilderness profile image99
                  wildernessposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                  Guess he was all bark, then - wouldn't take action unless someone else (congress) covered his behind for him.  Or perhaps he knew what he had planned was the start of a war, not what is hoped to be a simple deterrent from repeating a gas attack.

                  1. crankalicious profile image92
                    crankaliciousposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                    Or because he wanted to follow the Constitution?

                  2. colorfulone profile image85
                    colorfuloneposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, implicated Secretary Clinton for approving a shipment of sarin gas from Libya to Syrain rebels. 
                    http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-cl … sh/5522647

                    "...that the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria;..." 

                    Kind of odd that Hillary came out saying she'd bomb Syria the other day like that was something that was in her heart to do.   And, perhaps she already knew what was going to happen and wanted to sound smart.     

                    "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."   


                    Obama, John Kerry, and Susan Rice (Jan 2017) all went on record to say all the chemical weapons were gone in Syria.  --  After 8 years of the Obama Adm. its hard to tell what is true sometimes.

                  3. crankalicious profile image92
                    crankaliciousposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                    Again, here's what Trump himself said in regard to Syria:

                    Aug. 2013:

                    What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.

                2. colorfulone profile image85
                  colorfuloneposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                  While Senator, AG Jeff Sessions was stunned when he found out from Obama's than Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the military took action authorized by the UN or NATO and by-passed the Constitutional  authority by the US Congress.  Which is a violation. 
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovuWJQrwpIw

                  Just saying, because you may not remember this or even hear about it.  Its easy to forget things with so much info coming at us quickly some days.

            2. GA Anderson profile image83
              GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

              We have differing opinions on part of that Crankalicious.

              As I understand it, presidents do have the authority to do what Pres. Trump did, and in similar circumstances, Pres. Obama had the same authority. I suppose the technical part of that is that the president is supposed to consult Congress within 48 hours of such action. (but, I am not completely certain of that statement - I will wait for a Constitutional reference, which will surely come if I am wrong, to amend my perception)

              Relative to the two presidents differing routes. I agree with both, because I saw Pres. Obama's request as one that would have included involvement. I do not see Pres. Trump's actions as the same. And I do not believe that is splitting hairs.

              GA

          2. Live to Learn profile image81
            Live to Learnposted 7 months agoin reply to this

            Well said.

          3. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 7 months agoin reply to this

            GA, the duplicity is undeniable:

            Following the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria August 2013:

            "The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria, fix U.S.A - (Donald Trump, Sep 5 2013)(1)

            Following the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria April 2017:

            "Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread of chemical weapons"(emphasis added) - (Statement from Donald Trump, April 06, 2017)(3)

            "These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the last administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing" - (Statement from Donald Trump, April 4 2017)(2)

            The Trump comments posted by crankalicious were just after the alleged chemical attack in Syria in 2013 also. They are responses to the debate about how the US should respond to the reported chemical attack.

            (1) https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta … 1473983488
            (2) https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of … ld-j-trump
            (3) https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of … rump-syria

            1. GA Anderson profile image83
              GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

              Don W., I understand the point you are trying to make, but I don't see anything in your comment to cause me to doubt my perspective.

              The circumstances are, to me, obviously different. So, the duplicity you see as undeniable is very much deniable by my perception of the differing situations.

              I also agree with the Trump tweet you referenced. It was "very dumb" of Pres. Obama to take such a public stance if he was not willing to hold that stance. The excuse that Congress rebuffed his request is not a valid one, as I see it. If his line was so "Red" then he would have found a way to hold to it.

              Pres. Trump did not declare a "Red Line," but he did declare a U.S. position. And on more than just our response to the chemical attack.

              Your speculation as to what his tweets "were very likely" a response to, are just that - speculation. You could be right, but then we would just be arguing about possibilities, and the universe is full of those.

              At this point, I will hold to my perspective. I liked his action. I thought it was appropriate, and when the stature of our nation is considered relative to our global adversaries, I agree that this event was in the realm of our National Interest.

              GA

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                He was definitely referring to the chemical attack when he said Obama should "NOT attack Syria" in 2013. That much is clear.

                So 2013-Trump didn't believe use of chemical weapons in Syria warranted a military response, but 2017-Trump does. Moreover, 2017-Trump says the previous president was wrong not to attack Syria, even though 2013-Trump publicly criticized the president for even thinking about doing so.

                If your perception can deny that is duplicitous, then I don't understand your perception. I suspect it lies in the "circumstances" you are referring to.

                P.S. I edited out "very likely" before I saw your reply. I don't think there can be any reasonable doubt that in August/ September 2013, Trump's remarks about Syria were about how the government should respond in the face of the reported chemical attack.

                1. GA Anderson profile image83
                  GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

                  You are right Don, it is my perception of the differing circumstances, and, my perception of the intent of the missile strike that allows me to hold the perspective that I have.

                  GA

      2. crankalicious profile image92
        crankaliciousposted 7 months agoin reply to this

        If true, this report would indicate the bombing did basically nothing:

        https://www.yahoo.com/news/jets-launch- … 38343.html

        1. wilderness profile image99
          wildernessposted 7 months agoin reply to this

          I wouldn't call 20 planes destroyed and an entire air base only able to put 2 planes in the air as doing "basically nothing".  At an absolute minimum, it sounds like more damage than the cost of the missiles; not too bad for giving 30+ minutes notice that it was coming.  Neither do I give and credence at all to the Russian claim that only half the missiles reached the base; if true, where are the rest of them?  Grounded without exploding?  Shot down by Russia (it would be interesting to see them say they could only handle half of what we sent)?

        2. GA Anderson profile image83
          GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

          Your article may be right, but our military is saying something different about the degree of damage. I think it is a bit early to determine the facts of the damage just yet.

          But, even if your link is correct, do you think the amount of damage inflicted was the point of the barrage? I don't.

          Consider this. News reports are saying the Russians were given an hour's notice, which means the Syrians were too. I think the message was the barrage, not the amount of damage it inflicted.

          GA

          1. wilderness profile image99
            wildernessposted 7 months agoin reply to this

            I can concur with this; the damage was almost incidental whatever the amount was.  The point was the action, and where it was directed to.

  2. ahorseback profile image72
    ahorsebackposted 7 months ago

    Something we all have to consider ;    Do we wait until  Serin gas walks across the southern border or comes into SF.  in a cargo container ship before we actually strike out , would that then be the appropriate time ,  Does the treaty against the use of gas from WWI  ring a bell with anyone ?   America is  the pansy for Nato , for the UN.    Will  Americans ever wake up to that fact .I doubt it , we're too busy hyper- anylyzing an unpopular  presidents  hair color .   Social networking diplomacy only tells the rest of the world how weak the American public can be  at times.

    America today  doesn't have the stomach to defend its own kids  ,say nothing about some other country babies?

  3. Gopal2292 profile image59
    Gopal2292posted 7 months ago
  4. ahorseback profile image72
    ahorsebackposted 7 months ago

    I urge  you all to find legitimate media sources that  don't feed your niave sense of right and wrongs of  bipartisan foreign diplomacy  ,    Looking at "National enquirer " like sources for justification  of a missile attack only makes you all look like  sophomore ,high school debate teams. When democratic congressional leaders support the over all attack - of  Pres. TRUMP   ;it kind of makes this opposition look politically brain dead.

  5. Kathleen Cochran profile image83
    Kathleen Cochranposted 7 months ago

    Don:  The difference in Trump's 2013 and 2017 statements comes down to where he was sitting at the time.

    1. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 7 months agoin reply to this

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. wilderness profile image99
      wildernessposted 7 months agoin reply to this

      Do you simply ignore/write off the promises of Syria and Russia that are now shown to be false?

      1. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 7 months agoin reply to this

        Just to clarify. I think you're saying essentially the same as GA. Trump 2013 and 2017 responses are because of differing circumstances. E.g. the fact that in 2013 Syria had not already avoided punitive military action from the US by giving assurances to the international community that it had destroyed its chemical stockpiles. Whereas in 2017 it had.

        I'm going backward and forward on this, but I think you and GA have a point here.

        What tips the balance for me is the part of the White House statement that says:

        "Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically.  As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies."
        https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of … rump-syria

        It does seem like the response to the latest attack was considered in the context of previous broken assurances. The conclusion being that although efforts to resolve the situation diplomatically in the past were worthwhile, the current Syrian regime is clearly unwilling to honor such agreements.

        1. wilderness profile image99
          wildernessposted 7 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, that's pretty much what I'm saying (last paragraph) and I assume it is for GA as well.  Circumstances were not what they were.

          1. GA Anderson profile image83
            GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

            Yep bud, your assumption is correct.

            GA

        2. GA Anderson profile image83
          GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

          Don, this has been an interesting conversation, as I view most of our exchanges, but, I hope you will allow me to play the devil's advocate and toss a monkey wrench into your thought process....

          Could the conspiracy theorists, (and the Assad government's position), declaration that it was a bomb hitting a rebel ammo cache of chemical bombs that caused the casualties, be a valid consideration?

          I wonder.... I have not researched this thought. I hold no position. But... considering the low number of casualties, (70+/-, (I believe I recall these chemical weapons bombs to be in neighborhood of  100 lbs. of chemical components)), would an airborne bomb drop have incurred more casualties? Does the low number of casualties possibly point to the Syrian government's story that it was a rebel ammo cache that was bombed and caused the damage?

          I really don't know. But, is this a thought beyond serious consideration?

          GA

          1. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 7 months agoin reply to this

            The Russian government tends to lie and obfuscate (even more than the US government does).

            Russian state translation of statement by Russian Major General Igor Konashenkov:

            "From 11.30am to 12.30pm local time, [8.30am to 9.30am UTC] Syrian aircraft conducted an airstrike in the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun on a large warehouse of ammunition of terrorists and the mass of military equipment"(1)

            But on the morning of the attack, Dr Shajul Islam Tweeted:

            "OUR HOSPITAL GETTING FULL FROM THE SARIN ATTACK TODAY. ANYONE THAT WANTS EVIDENCE, I WILL VIDEO CALL YOU."(2)

            The time-stamp for that Tweet was: 6:24am UTC

            So victims experiencing symptoms typical of exposure to chemical weapons were being treated two hours before the time of the airstrike the Russian MOD claims caused the damage.

            At 6:33am UTC a video that shows 9 dead children who were described as victims of the chemical attack was uploaded to YouTube(3). The fact this video was uploaded two hours before the supposed hit on the "warehouse of ammunition" indicates that the Russian MOD is frankly talking BS.

            Also, this would not be a first for the Syrian government.

            The UN Security Council established the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (OPCW JIM) in 2015 to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria. In a report from August 30 2016, it concluded:

            "Talmenes, Idlib governorate, 21 April 2014

            The Leadership Panel examined the existing information regarding the two impact locations in Talmenes on 21 April 2014. There is sufficient information for the Panel to conclude that the incident at impact location No. 2 was caused by a Syrian Arab Armed Forces helicopter dropping a device causing damage to the structure of a concrete block building and was followed by the release of a toxic substance that affected the population".

            Sarmin, Idlib governorate, 16 March 2015

            The Leadership Panel examined the existing information regarding the two impact locations in Sarmin on 16 March 2015. There is sufficient information for the Panel to conclude that the incident at impact location No. 2 was caused by a Syrian Arab Armed Forces helicopter dropping a device that hit the house and was followed by the release of a toxic substance, matching the characteristics of chlorine, that was fatal to all six occupants. The remnants of the device are consistent with the construction of a barrel bomb"(1).

            It also concluded that was sufficient evidence to conclude ISIS were responsible for using chemical weapons also.

            The explanation used by Russia is also unlikely because: ". . . the Syrian manufacturing process for sarin involves creating and storing two key components, both far more stable than the nerve agent itself. They are mixed to create sarin hours – or at most days – before it is used . . . So an airstrike on a storage facility would be unlikely to release sarin itself. And because one of the two components is highly flammable isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, you would expect a fireball, which has not been observed."(5)

            Casualties are reported to be 74 dead, 557 injured(6). This is more casualties than any of the chemical attacks in Syria that have been independently confirmed. So the number of casualties in this incident is not inconsistent with a deliberate chemical attack.

            I think the explanation Russia has given is very unlikely to be true.

            (1) https://twitter.com/mod_russia/status/8 … 4308973568
            (2) https://twitter.com/DrShajulIslam/statu … 0613833728
            (3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6rqgSGclUw [warning: upsetting footage]
            (4) http://undocs.org/S/2016/738
            (5) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ … n-sheikhun
            (6) http://syriadirect.org/news/idlib-town- … %E2%80%99/

            1. GA Anderson profile image83
              GA Andersonposted 7 months agoin reply to this

              Thanks for the information Don. As mentioned, my thought was posed as an exercise to address a remotely possible  potential doubt. Your information helped.

              GA

  6. colorfulone profile image85
    colorfuloneposted 7 months ago

    Bookmark:  I still need to find and read this article.
    "Was Hillary Clinton behind Chemical Weapons Transfer in Idlib?"

 
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