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By Kitty Testa
Tuesday morning the world received word that Syrian civilians were attacked with poisonous gas. Although the attack was just hours old, the official word was that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was to blame.
The New York Times went to press Tuesday with the story, noting that Syrian officials charged that it was the insurgents themselves who carried out the attack. At that time the actual poisonous agent was still unknown. And yet, the whodunit was solved by the American espionage cartel even before anyone knew what kind of poison gas was used.
The narrative that Assad was for sure and certain the perpetrator of the attack was challenged by some, including the Facebook meme fairies, Ron Paul, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Appearing on CNN, Massie stated, “I’d like to know specifically how that release of chemical gas, if it did occur — and it looks like it did — how that occurred. Because frankly I don’t think Assad would have done that. It does not serve his interest to draw us into that civil war even further.” (RELATED: My Tin Foil Hat: Attempting to Understand What Happened in Syria)
The New York Daily News, in reporting on Massie’s remarks, stated confidently, “There is no known reason for anyone to doubt the chemical attack — which killed more than 80 Syrians, including children — or that Assad oversaw it. U.S. officials and President Trump have explicitly blamed Assad for the carnage, as have numerous activist groups based in Syria. Assad also has a history of using chemical weapons on citizens during his country’s civil war, and has been repeatedly condemned by human rights organizations for it.”
Then I woke up this morning to learn that President Donald Trump hurled a slew of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base.
Well that was quick.
So I had a cup of coffee, read The Wall Street Journal, and then I put on my tinfoil hat. It’s a little uncomfortable, and certainly not flattering, but it’s what to wear when you are served up a barrage of information that seems sketchy, but is delivered with the kind of authoritative gravitas that can be impugned only by those who wear tinfoil hats.
I can’t help but agree with Rep. Massie that for Assad to have undertaken a strike against civilians which would be seen as ghastly and barbaric, so much so that it would require a U.S. military response, is really illogical. By all accounts, Assad—who reportedly has killed hundreds of thousands since the onset of the rebellion—was winning against the insurgents, and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, indicated recently that regime change in Syria was not a goal of the Trump administration. The chemical attack has caused Tillerson to make a U-turn, and he now states that plans for regime change are underway. Assad has many faults, to be sure, but stupidity isn’t one of them. He was able to make an alliance with Russia to discourage a direct confrontation with the U.S.
Still, I also find the idea that insurgents would gas their own families just to elicit the U.S. military response and a change in foreign policy toward Syria just a wee bit outrageous. I could be wrong, but that’s pretty extreme.
Given that neither Assad nor the Syrian insurgents had a rational motive for the attack, did it really make sense to foreclose on the conclusion that Assad was responsible? Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, favored an investigation by the international community to determine fault prior to taking any action. So much for that, Mr. Trudeau. May I suggest name brand Reynolds Wrap as opposed to generic tinfoil? (It holds its shape better.)
Even though the Obama administration was confident that it had declawed Assad by persuading him to give up his chemical arsenal, the American intelligence community attributed the attack on Assad immediately. If they knew that Assad still had chemical weapons, shouldn’t they have informed the president?
Ah, and now my tin foil hat is picking up vibes from the Deep State, the surveillance apparatus that monitors the world and advises our presidents. What do they really know? How do we know they’re telling the truth? WMDs. Benghazi. ISIS. Al Qaeda. Russia. Does any of us really know what’s going on?
So who does have a rational motive to attack civilians in Syria? Maybe we should ask Hillary Clinton, who was quick to suggest exactly the kind of attack that Trump executed against Syria last night. From her mouth to Trump’s ears. Who would have thought? And who is celebrating the airstrike this morning? John McCain and Lindsey Graham for sure—but then again they cheer every act of war as if is a sacred ritual of American superiority. A whole host of #resistors, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the mainstream media, and even the cast of MSNBC have praised Trump for the missile attack.
The Establishment favors escalation with Syria. Why? We can only theorize, or conspiracy-theorize, as the case may be. This is the same Establishment Trump ran against—and won. It is the same Establishment that is the bedrock of the #resistance movement against him. This is the same Establishment whose intelligence apparatus admitted that it was withholding information from Trump. This is the same Establishment that accuses him of being a dim-witted, irrational moron and a Putin puppet.
President Trump may think today that he has finally proved that he is not Putin’s puppet, but as Glenn Greenwald points out in The Intercept:
Yet here is Trump – less than three months after being inaugurated – bombing one of the Kremlin’s closest allies, in a country where Russia has spent more than a year fighting to preserve his government. Will any of this undermine or dilute the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin controls the White House? Of course not. Warped conspiracy theorists are not only immune to evidence that disproves their theories but, worse, find ways to convert such evidence into further proof of their conspiracies.
And while the Establishment praises Trump as the man of the hour, many of those who supported him—or at least accepted his presidency as legitimate and were willing to give him a chance—are hanging their heads in disappointment today. Trump himself advised Obama to avoid direct confrontation with Syria in 2013, and he should have taken his own advice. Yes, the Sarin gas attack against Syrian civilians was horrible, but it wasn’t against the United States. A true investigation to the war crime should have been undertaken before any military response, and any proposed action should have been presented to congress for approval.
It was a little too easy to turn anti-establishment Trump into a crusader of neocon proportions. Body-double?
(Takes off tinfoil hat.)