Listen up world, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Given the essayist style of this blog, it’s impossible to churn out a decent piece every day, which is what you’ve got to do to ramp up the numbers according to those in the know. I’m sure that’s true but since I’m not interested in the numbers game, it’s not a consideration. It comes down to me putting out one substantial piece once a week. There are advantages to that less than frenetic publication schedule – it gives me time to think of a topic with meat on it, but sometimes it’s the necessary pause for thought about some event that is hot news which everyone is commenting on as it’s unfolding.

News sites by definition have to do this but as this blog is not a news site, I can concentrate more on what is the meaning or the implications of the particular event. By its very nature, an honest analysis and opinion piece will provoke a certain amount of disagreement which is why I allow comments under each piece because they show me alternative interpretations. I stopped thinking of myself as infallible pretty soon into my early teens and I’m always interested in differing interpretations of events.

News reporting in general has gone down the tubes because the people jokingly practising the profession formerly known as journalism see no harm in themselves actively massaging the news for whatever political crusade they happen to be totally dedicated to. Given that mindset, it was both inevitable that fake news would become a widespread abuse and also that people would become increasingly cynical of any news coming from that type of source.

CNN is now a prime example of a media company’s catastrophic loss of trust in a business area whose very existence had been predicated on that very thing since its inception.

I’d like to discuss Trump’s strike against Assad. As is my wont, I’ll approach the discussion of the strike using nothing more than asking the question why, because beyond the certain fact that a strike did actually occur, the reportage on the details is highly suspect. Details are either being made up courtesy of “anonymous” sources, judiciously cherry picked or even in some cases God only knows accurate, but the waters have been so thoroughly muddied by now it’s impossible to trust any facts. I’ll leave you to pick your way through that particular wilderness of mirrors while I scout forward along the why path.

First off, why should Assad launch a chemical strike?

There are a number of things at work here. The traditional one is that every new president very early on in their administration gets a provocative test crisis from some raggedy-assed dictator. How they handle it will shape the whole course of foreign policy during their presidency. If they wimp out, they’ll get walked on for the next four years. If they man up, the minor players go into yessir mode and the major ones start to walk carefully in America’s presence.

The contrast between the successive Carter and Reagan administrations is the perfect example. Iran against all diplomatic conventions invaded the US embassy in Tehran and held the embassy staff hostage for over a year, totally humiliating Carter and dragging out the whole thing to seemingly bring the Great Satan to its knees on the world stage. Reagan, asked shortly after his inauguration what he was going to do about the Tehran situation, replied in a candid moment we get them back in ten days or we declare war. The hostages were released within the week.

The Iranians realised they were dealing with someone who meant what he said and had no problem using American military might. Their year-long bluff with Carter had been called.

Assad had eight years experience of dealing with a weak American president and made an assumption that Trump came from the same mould. Obama had sternly warned him not to use chemical weapons because that would be crossing what he called one of his red lines. Assad completely ignored him and his lines, used the weapons anyway and Obama as usual talked a great fight, dithered and actually did nothing. The ever helpful Vladimir Putin saw a golden opportunity and stepped in to negotiate an honest broker deal between America and Syria.

The shame of it, a postage stamp sized dictatorship treating with a superpower like America on equal terms and with the added insult to injury of Russia pretending to do the mediation. From then on, every toss-pot country and aberrant political grouping knew they could push Obama around and win every time. And they did.

The starting shot to take liberties was fired and things like Putin gobbling up bits of the Ukraine while America did nothing became the norm. Lots of people will tell you different, but that’s the basic reason America was entangled in a shooting war for every day of Obama’s eight year presidency. Never forget, those wars because of a lack of strong leadership needlessly caused the loss of American lives as well as others.

Syria agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons stockpile. Everybody was a winner. Obama was hailed a foreign policy genius at home by an adoring media, Russian influence in the Arab world increased immeasurably, Assad avoided some dreadful unspecified response from Obama which he knew was never going to happen and as every man and his dog knew, the Syrians didn’t destroy all their chemical weapons.

Everybody lied and deceived and they all knew it, but that didn’t matter because they all got away with it until last week’s chemical strike and a pile of bodies that revealed the ugly truth behind the face-saving lies.

Assad knew a centre piece of Trump’s administration was the complete destruction of ISIS, so anything he did against that deliberately blurred line of Syrian rebels and ISIS that he was fighting against for nothing more than the survival of his regime, Trump would turn a blind eye to. He was relying on that perennial curse of American foreign policy; the idea that an enemy of my enemy is a friend, regardless of whatever filthy domestic policies they pursue.

The biggest assumption Assad made was that Trump wouldn’t dare go beyond rhetoric because Russia was backing his regime, and he wouldn’t want to offend them. If his presidential campaign showed anything, it was that Trump wasn’t too concerned about offending people and all too often the people he offended turned out to be paper tigers who could safely be ignored thereafter.

The last and worst assumption was that Trump as a human being with the full power of the American military behind him, wouldn’t be appalled and angered by seeing the results of the chemical strike on civilians. The unknown that was Trump was thought to be just as cynical as Assad himself.

Every one of those assumptions proved to be catastrophically wrong for Assad.

There’s a new sheriff in town, he’s nothing like the old one and he responded with force within forty-eight hours. No warnings, no negotiations, no fucking around getting a mandate from an irrelevant and useless talk shop UN. Just fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles arriving out of the darkness and destroying twenty percent of your air force. You keep it up, he’ll keep it up and the audacity of the move demonstrates he doesn’t give a damn what anybody says.

Why hasn’t Putin made some substantial response beyond some formulaic statements by government underlings?

Basically he hadn’t much in the way of options on the day. By all accounts, Trump excused himself from a state dinner with visiting Chinese dignitaries to telephone Putin. The conversation I imagine was brutally simple once the niceties of diplomacy were stripped off it. Cruise missiles are already in the air and going to hit Assad’s air force base that launched the chemical attack. You’ve got half an hour before they arrive. I’ve given you fair warning, get your planes and people out of there. Clunk.

The base in question was protected by the Russian S400 Growler missile intercept system which is designed to take out anything moving up to a height of nearly one hundred thousand feet, which although a comfort to the Syrians was pretty useless at a cruise missile snaking at you at hundreds of miles an hour and contour hugging the nap-of-the-earth at no greater height than one hundred feet. There was nothing Putin or his Growlers could do which would prevent the strike.

Apparently the sight of Russian jets scrambling inexplicably into the night and their ground crews getting the hell off base provided a belated clue to the Syrians, who promptly started doing the same themselves, which explains the curiously low fatalities suffered in the strike.

In the aftermath, Putin’s responses were only limited to starting WWIII, which he’d never do over a shithole like Syria. He does a good show of being the strong man resurrection of the old Soviet state to both outsiders and domestically but the reality is it’s all piss and wind. When you consider Trump is increasing American defense spending by sixty-five billion dollars and that not too massive increase is actually bigger than the whole of Russia’s current defense budget, the realities start to sink in.

He’s not going to fire Russia’s clones of cruise missiles at Long Island, so he’s got to swallow the Syria strike and the resultant loss of face and rollback of Russian influence in the Arab world. Given Trump’s warning, there were zero Russian casualties in terms of men or material which gives him lots of political wiggle room domestically. He’s not going to do anything stupid beyond doing a fresh reappraisal of America’s new president.

Why did Trump do it? What was in it for him?

In a previous piece, I said Trump’s biggest problem would be restoring American prestige abroad after the cumulative disasters and systemic cowardice of the Obama years. In so many ways, this move addresses that Gordian knot at a single stroke, and Assad handed him that opportunity to do a heads up to the rest of the world that the old America was back in town and with both guns blazing if needed.

Assad knows that after losing twenty percent of his air force in one night and signally nobody rushing to his aid, he better stick to the usual brutality rather than the chemical type if he wants to hang on to that extremely frayed thread of grudging support from America simply because he’s fighting ISIS. He knows now that if Trump gives the nod, he’s gone and in most people’s reckoning in the aftermath of the chemical attack misjudgment, he’s probably gone already.

After some very direct and public chastisement, he’ll be a good boy from now on.

Putin realises he’s not going to be able to bully Trump around the way he did Obama. Those days are gone and I’d surmise he’s moved back to thinking about the creeping gains of ground he made under the push over Obama administration and how to keep them. He’s been stopped but like every bully he realises the probable next step on Trump’s part is retaking that ground, but either way he too has had his slap and will try his best to be a good boy from now on.

Nominally, those two nations were the direct recipient of the message Trump was sending but the real and substantial targets were Iran and North Korea. Let’s do North Korea first.

It’s essentially a mad dog state being run by an unstable megalomaniac who’s got nuclear weapons and whom many people fear thinks he’ll get away with dropping a nuke on South Korea or even Japan. He literally got away with murder under Obama’s reign and has to be reined in. In the immediate wake of the Syria strike, trump sent a naval task force steaming towards North Korea and it is being joined by elements of other navies.

At the same time, China, which shares a border with it has warned them to behave themselves or they’d strike too. They’ve also turned back ships loaded with coal destined for China. It’s the only thing North Korea exports. Against that lot, the added threat of South Korean forces is superfluous.

Such cooperation between such unlikely partners would suggest to me that a lot more pressing issues were discussed between Trump and the Chinese at that White House dinner than the rather trifling problem of Assad and Syria. Kim Jong-un is on the back foot threatening a nuclear response if they all don’t leave him alone to continue his dictatorship of famine and abject misery for his people. He’ll be a good boy from now on or he’s going to have everybody beating down hard on his flatulent ass.

Turning to Iran, the message is stark for them too. It’s patently obvious the phoney pay us and we’ll not go nuclear deal they bullied out of Obama is another sham face-saving accommodation from that era; they’ve taken the money bribe but never paused for a minute in developing the capability to deliver a nuclear missile strike against Israel.

While Trump can’t trash the deal Obama made, he can isolate them from the outside world and absolutely screw into the ground anyone even remotely suspected of supplying them knowledge or materials to reach their goal. And that includes anything from centrifuges right down to paper clips. That’s what is the intent behind the awkwardly named Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Act Of 2017.

If they don’t take on board the message to cease and desist with their nuclear development activities, they’ll get their very own rain of cruise missiles from Trump, and it’ll be followed by the same massive non-reaction the Syrian one got when the single remaining superpower decides to squash someone underfoot like a cockroach. Even for the fundamentalist idiots running Iran, that’s a wake up call. When all the bullshit bluster is cast aside, no one, whether Shia, Sunni or Russian will be lifting a finger to help you.

In terms of domestic reasons for giving Assad a very public smack on the ass, there are several. The first one is that all the Democrat crap congressional investigations into how Trump is some sort of secret agent for the Kremlin get kicked off the field, leaving at my last count about four of these very serious investigations now stranded somewhere between episodes of the Twilight Zone and Monty Python in one of its more surreal moments.

I think you’ll find all those congressional attention seekers who piled into those committees will be otherwise engaged from now on. Basically, he cut the legs out from under that whole rather infantile meme. They and the fake news machine will abort that whole strategy by simply never mentioning it again while they think up some other way to foment a revolution against Trump in a still conservative America.

Good luck with whatever that’ll be, though I’ve no doubt Trump will punt that one as well.

It’s a first step towards restoring American self-esteem which has been longed for all the way through the last eight years of Obama’s panty waist presidency that seemed to have spent those years apologising to the world for America’s mere existence and bending over and grabbing both ankles every time it got fronted up by some chick feed shit-heel nob that nobody had ever heard of and who should have been blasted away on first sight. There was never any need for America to voluntarily put itself in that position and making an example of Syria is the world’s wake up call that those days are well and truly over.

The veracity or not of various conspiracy theories about the chemical attack not originating from Assad are irrelevant. It’s all a win win for Trump either way, since even if Assad didn’t do it, Trump’s response could be seen as a cynical preemptive strike against whoever was going to test his resolve. I wouldn’t put that past him by the way. He has a habit of getting ahead of problems.

I think it was Ronald Reagan who said words to the effect that liberals know so much more than conservatives, but the problem is that so much of what they know just ain’t so. Trump is a lineal descendent of Reagan and those words cover their perception of Trump. They eat and sleep and know him not, though they think they do, and that arrogance has been their undoing all the way through the primaries and then the presidential election. It will persist all the way through his presidency.

When people misapprehend what I call a deep planner as an idiot, it’s just step one of that type of person walking you over a cliff. Yes, he comes with all that cheap golden glitz, the comb over, some serious up and down history, a glamorous younger wife, not the oratory skills of a Lincoln and no record of elected service and yet when you take the time to look carefully at him as an opponent, a few alarm bells should be going off.

He’s always in the public eye yet bleeds little or nothing in the way of hard information about himself. He’s commonly perceived as some sort of simpleton who against all the odds somehow manages to make a great winning move just by chance, and that move is always a minimal one which somehow manages to produce the maximum devastating effect.

When people are still reeling from it, he’s already proceeding with phase two of his own plan. He spends most of his rare interviews listening to people and after a good bit of praising them, makes a firm decision. Pick any of his interviews on YouTube and watch the body language.

When you add all those traits up, which is what I did at the start of last year while looking into him, you’ll get the same surprise I got.

He’s a perceptive intellect not afraid to be perceived as a buffoon, just as long as it advances him towards whatever aim he’s set himself, and like a bloody Terminator he never ever gives up. In the end I came to the conclusion that he was like the Frank Herbert character Count Hasimir Fenring in the novel Dune. It was said of him “a killer with the manners of a rabbit … the most dangerous kind.”

He’s not quite the manners of a rabbit type, but that essential ruse of offering himself up to being underestimated and despised made him President of  the United States. One after another, they all fell for it and to this day every man Jack of them still think it was all just dumb luck on his part, a complete fluke. However, when you put all those dumb lucky moves end to end, it starts to look a little bit too improbable to be just lucky. It’s simple Bayes theorem really, the probability of B given A, and when you start chaining the probable outcomes the odds become astronomic.

I looked into him over a year ago and it gradually dawned on me that of all those people groomed for their life for the job of president simply didn’t realise they were a bunch of bickering chimpanzees in a room who casually dismissed the three hundred pound gorilla in it, who was already thinking ahead about what he’d do to unfuck the nearly decade long decay of America’s reputation and foreign relations from the Obama years.

He’s a thinker and a planner and he thinks well ahead, which means he appears to play a very quick and decisive short game but that’s because he’s already been over that ground and is mulling over the resultant moves. By the time the cruise missiles landed in Syria, he already had a fleet steaming towards North Korean shores.

Above all, it was a move absolutely nobody saw coming, and that’s the scary thing for anybody outside of the tent. If you nodded your way through the bits of the above analysis, then putting all the elements together it was a brilliant move that at a stroke addressed so many problems simultaneously and most astoundingly done by a supposed clown who’d yet again and once more and unbelievably so stumbled on precisely the minimum strategy to achieve several maximum results.

With one simple move that involved nothing more than having the bollocks to order some cruise missiles to appear out of the darkness and crush a fourth-rate dictator, he reversed all those bad foreign policy decisions of his predecessor, slammed down a marker to the world that America was back and destroyed the credibility of some minor domestic political irritants. Unlike Obama who was all cardboard oratory and no bollocks, this guy thinks and then acts very decisively.

Make no mistake, the powers outside America have sat up and taken note. As the dawn came up after that strike, the sun shone down upon a world in which there had been a seismic change in power and it was very much back in America’s favour.

©Pointman

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Comments
45 Responses to “Listen up world, there’s a new sheriff in town.”
  1. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    What an absolutely ripper analysis. Not only does it have Trump’s Syrian/Russian moves on the chessboard, he’s now upped the ante by blowing the bejeezus out of the Taliban on the Pakistani border ….

    THE US military has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat, targeting an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan.
    US Forces Afghanistan said the “mother of all bombs” hit a “tunnel complex” in Achin district in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistan border, at 7.32pm Thursday (1.02am Friday AEST).

    http://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/us-drops-mother-of-all-bombs-on-isis-in-afghanistan/news-story/19565f20d5e0fa57517160b4dbec4b95

    Poor lumpy Kim Jong-un – his jowly head will be spinning and his many changes of underwear will be neatly folded in readiness. He’ll be burning incense and examining chicken entrails long into the night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. asybot says:

    Point man you wrote this: ” One after another, they all fell for it and to this day every man Jack of them still think it was all just dumb luck on his part, a complete fluke. However, when you put all those dumb lucky moves end to end, it starts to look a little bit too improbable to be just lucky.”

    They are still calling it that and now of course after the “MOAB” strike they will really go haywire on him. Great analyzes of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. brennan says:

    Very good analysis Pointy; I can’t say I disagree with you at all.
    Where we most agree though is your point about “not afraid to be perceived as a buffoon, just as long as it advances him towards whatever aim he’s set himself”. I’ve long thought this, as I was a supporter from early in the primaries and noticed his perceptiveness and because of my somatics training, I was well aware of the body language and the often disconnect between that and the words spoken. He’s well aware of what he’s doing.

    I’m going to send this to some lefties I know. I like seeing their heads explode.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JLC of Perth says:

    Your analysis is always interesting and often insightful. I think you have hit on some truths in this piece.
    At first I thought Trump was entertaining but possibly unsuitable to be president. Then I realised that he is no fool, and can profoundly change the rules of the game with quick and simple moves. Now I think he has the potential to be one of the greats.
    The next four years are going to be very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    Very good analysis. Of course the Left will gather together and claim that this proves Trump is impulsive and dangerous to peace. Quite what peace they mean won’t be clear.
    On the domestic front this will “play well” as they say. A lot of USA citizens are rather keen on being top dog. Note I said USA citizens, as there are a lot of Americans south of the border, and I wonder what the Venezuelan government is thinking as it becomes obvious that they either use massive force or be forced out of office. Probably “have we got enough foreign currency stashed away.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gwaigau says:

    Thanks for putting it all into perspective for me Pointy. I think it was JP McManus who when his luck was commented on said; “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”. Clearly The Donald’s outcomes are based on the same principle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That quote may have been by JP McManus but it reminds me of Gene Sarazen’s comment to reporters who called his double eagle on the 15th hole in the 1935 Master’s golf tournament “Lucky”. Sarazen quipped “The more I practice the luckier I get.”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Keitho says:

    Another good analysis Pointy. I cannot disagree with a word as is so often the case with your writings.

    It is beginning to feel like Trump has broken the Lilliputian bonds that the media has tied him down with and he is beginning to accelerate away from the howling pack. A bit like a good powerboat coming up onto the plane.

    All he needs to do now is get them pesky Republicans under control and we will see just how much of a force for good he can be at home as well as abroad. It gets more exciting everyday, and I mean that in a very positive way.

    Like

  8. Fiona says:

    Thanks Pointman. Trump’s instincts from the time he put his head above the parapet to this endorsement of yours sends the blood running back into my veins with hope for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. cdquarles says:

    I had issues with Trump before the election. A big one for me is character and philosophy. No human is perfect, and during my lifetime, there’s only been one President of the US that I was eager to vote for, Ronald W. Reagan. I started digging deeper into Donald J. Trump and realized that he was a lot like Reagan. I still don’t like the character and philosophical shortcomings, but I am very much happy that Donald Trump is our President.

    PS. I also noted how the “MSM” treated him very much like they treated Reagan and that both of them knew how to do an ‘end-around’ the “MSM” to reach the vast American people that don’t live in the big cities. These people saw in Trump, as the did with Reagan, a champion who really did know haw they felt and what they wanted from government (mainly, a lot less of it so We the People could make America Great (again ;)!).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. philjourdan says:

    Once again you dotted the eyes and crossed the Tees. Well done.

    I will only quibble a bit with one aspect. Did Syria use Chemical weapons? In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter to your essay. And Assad could have for the simple reason of the test (someone has to bait the new bear). But did he use them or did his air strikes merely expose an ISIS cache?

    For Assad, it probably matters. His ego and all. But for the rest of the world, it does not matter. The rest of the world just KNOWS Assad did it. Trump probably does not know, but he also knows of what you speak. So he took the opportunity to issue the first growl in a spectacular way, that involved minimal loss of life, and no collateral damage. Some of the Trump supporters are wondering why Trump did it. They forget that Trump is not a politician. He had a point to make, and he made it. Xi saw it. Putin saw it. And those are the 2 that count.

    So did Assad use chemical weapons? The answer is who cares. The point was made and effectively. And the rogue nations got the point.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ingvare says:

    At last an analysis worth the name! And putting the pieces together. I had some of them but this article really paint a complete picture.
    Brilliant

    Liked by 1 person

  12. johnrmcd says:

    I continue to be staggered by the US MSM and their vapourings about fear of Russian interference etc etc ad nauseum.
    You would think that they could check the GDP of Russia; it is (very roughly) the same as Australia’s. So their GDP per capita is 3/5 of 5/8 of SFA.
    Since no one appears to be fearful of Australia; why be fearful of Vlad?

    Like

    • catweazle666 says:

      “I continue to be staggered by the US MSM and their vapourings about fear of Russian interference etc etc ad nauseum.”

      Not just the US MSM either.

      The loonier end of their British MSM that supports the increasingly desperate and vituperative Remoaners (Remainiacs?) has been vapouring about the dreaded Russian hackers having influenced the EU Referendum result to ensure a Brexit victory, apparently that will benefit both President Trump and President Putin.

      Whereas AFAIK the only World leader to attempt to interfere in the EU Referendum was in fact the egregious Barak Obama with his threats about Global instability and the UK being at the back of the queue over UK/US trade deals, which went down like a lead balloon with the British electorate and did his cause no good whatsoever.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A couple of days ago Euronews had an interview with Assad (also shown on BBC), in which he denied ever using chemical weapons. He also questioned as to whether the video of the victims was faked. See http://www.euronews.com/2017/04/13/syria-s-president-says-claim-his-forces-used-chemical-weapons-is-100-percent for the interview.

    Basically, someone is lying. It seems pretty unlikely that chemical weapons were never used, given that Assad was forced to give them up because they’d been used. This means that either Assad is unaware of what his soldiers are actually doing (so he’s incompetent) or that he’s following the time-honoured tradition of telling lies to the enemy.

    Despite this, he seems to have a fair following in his own country and is the democratically-elected government. Before the troubles, he was seen as a peacemaker in the region, and Syria was an area of calm in the surrounding storm. We’ve seen what happened in Libya and Iraq when a strong ruler is deposed, and the alternative to Assad is probably worse than Assad staying there.

    What we should be doing is to hold our noses and support Assad against the rebels, in order to maintain stability in the area. At the least, we should not be supporting the rebels who are trying to topple him and install some sort of hard-line Islamic state there.

    As such, Trump’s previous attitude to Assad (that it was OK for him to remain) seemed logical, as was concentrating on getting rid of Da’esh. After the slap-down for using chemical weapons, I expect that Assad will no longer use them and that he will thus most likely stay in power once the mess is sorted out. It seems to me that there is a major cultural difference in the attitudes to death and suffering in Arab countries anyway, and that we don’t understand this viscerally. His people, however, do understand that and are OK with that. A lot of the people who emigrated because of the war would most likely go back if Assad was stably in power again.

    I hope NK and Iran received the message as well. I was watching the NK army parade all their soldiers and weaponry today, and thinking that a nice air-blast there would have solved the problem pretty well. But of course we can’t do that until they’ve struck first, can we….

    Liked by 1 person

    • catweazle666 says:

      “Basically, someone is lying.”

      They most certainly are.

      The film of the victims showed that the responders were not wearing any protective clothing whatsoever.

      Here is what the CDC has to say:

      GENERAL INFORMATION: First Responders should use a NIOSH-certified Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with a Level A protective suit when entering an area with an unknown contaminant or when entering an area where the concentration of the contaminant is unknown. Level A protection should be used until monitoring results confirm the contaminant and the concentration of the contaminant.
      NOTE: Safe use of protective clothing and equipment requires specific skills developed through training and experience.

      https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/emergencyresponsecard_29750001.html

      Those attending to the alleged “victims” were wearing no protection whatsoever, and were handling the alleged “victims” with their bare hands, so it is extremely unlikely that the alleged gas was in fact Sarin.

      Further, there would have been no tactical advantage to Assad’s forces to use such a weapon on a non-military target, and the high proportion of children amongst the alleged “victims” casts further doubt, the Muslim terrorists in the Middle East have considerable form for sacrificing children as both human shields and in black operations to damage their opponents.

      I would be very surprised indeed if Assad and his forces were in fact responsible for the attack, there appeared to be no evidence such as death in convulsions or frothy or bloody vomit visible on the victims, very surprising if they had indeed been exposed to a toxic gas attack.

      It looks to me as though President Trump has permitted himself to be seriously deceived over this matter.

      As to “given that Assad was forced to give them up because they’d been used”, once again there is no 100% clear evidence of this from any reliable authority – the United Nations is anything but – that he actually used such weapons in the first place, whereas it is demonstrable that ISIL did possess such weapons, captured Saddam Hussein’s arsenal and manufacturing facilities.

      Isis seizes former chemical weapons plant in Iraq

      The Islamic State extremist group (Isis) has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility north-west of Baghdad, where 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq has said in a letter circulated at the United Nations.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/09/isis-seizes-chemical-weapons-plant-muthanna-iraq

      Like

      • Catweazle – I wouldn’t put much weight on the White Helmets not wearing protective gear, since it seems likely they wouldn’t have any.

        I also see no tactical advantage for Assad in using gas on that target, so the likelihood of it being staged by the rebels does seem higher. I would however expect that those people and children did in fact die, though it’s not certain what gas was used – maybe it was that Sarin from the 1980s that had lost a lot of its potency. I don’t have the knowledge to make any sort of estimate.

        These days I look at the news and try to figure out where the lies are. Who gains. I can’t however see any gains for the West in destroying Syria and so I figure that a lot of what we’re told must be wrong. Or again, maybe I don’t know enough about the situation.

        Like

      • catweazle666 says:

        “I wouldn’t put much weight on the White Helmets not wearing protective gear, since it seems likely they wouldn’t have any.”

        Why? In fact, most/all military organisations belonging to all nations possess NBC suits these days, they are as much standard equipment as gas masks, all the forces that attacked Iraq during the Gulf War were so equipped, and much of the equipment would not have been taken back to the USA, it would not really be economical to do so.

        They would certainly have gloves and facemasks, or be capable of improvising such.

        Basically, if numbers of them were handling sarin contaminated material or bodies without, I would expect at least some of them would have become casualties, and I doubt very much they would have possessed the necessary atropine to treat them.

        When handling substances as toxic as sarin, failure to wear at least basic protection is not an option, nor to my knowledge do such organophosphorus agents deteriorate in storage, certainly the ones I’m familiar with retain their potency for decades.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. gallopingcamel says:

    Not too long ago I would have been inclined to believe whatever assessment emerged from our intelligence services, even the CIA.

    Since Obama politicized every government department I no longer trust any of our three letter agencies and few of our four letter agencies. I used to think the FBI were straight but the corrupt Comey has got me doubting them too.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pointman says:

    A happy and peaceful Easter to all.

    Pointy

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dadodeaf says:

    Easter is good. With all the clamor, thinking on something else is a good idea on days.
    U
    Thanks for the assessment as much of it is playing out. Sunday’s NK’s failed testing was entertaining.

    Like

  17. hoppers says:

    Sorry Pointman, but as a long time admirer of your work I’m afraid this one misses the mark with me.

    Trump watchers that I respect have noticed a change in Trump, which started at the “No Handshake” meeting with Merkel.

    It is as if the Old radical Trump has gone away, to be replaced with a compliant Trump.

    And so Obsolete NATO is no longer obsolete. “Terrible Job” Yellen can stay on at the Federal Reserve, new tax regime, well let’s see, the Military can act without Presidential approval and of course interference in Foreign affairs back on the table.

    Did Merkel deliver the message, or was it just a coincidence? Who knows, in any event it is my view that the “Swamp”, far from being drained has bubbled up and consumed President Trump.

    As for the supposition that Assad gassed his own people, I somehow doubt it. The story is falling apart by the day, and it was interesting to note the absence of the intelligence agencies from the War Room photo when the strike was delivered.

    I hear that they advised the President not to do it.

    Here’s an excellent summary in 4 minutes from James Corbett.

    For those of us who’ve been following the war on Syria (a civil war it ain’t)

    https://syrianperspective.com/

    http://21stcenturywire.com/

    are excellent resources.

    Still a fan, just not in this case.

    Hoppers

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      Hoppers, I’ve no problem with anyone here disagreeing or having a different opinion than me, just as long as its lucid, polite and honest, which your posts here unfailingly are.

      Pointman

      Like

      • hoppers says:

        Thank you Pointman. I have replied to your post below on the air force re-deployment.

        I should mention here that I have followed the Syrian War very closely since its inception.

        We are on a different page in this instance, but this does not mean that I do not enjoy reading your analysis of any given situation, whether i agree with it or not.

        I believe that you are right in the majority of your opinions, but I feel that you are missing the Elephant in the room on this one.

        Trump appears to have been turned. In this case by the McCain/Graham faction.

        There is talk out there that Ivanka/Kushner (representatives of the New York Liberal elite) are working to reverse his decision on the Paris accord.

        Should this be the case, I know that you will not stand for it, and I look forward to seeing your response at full majestic Pointman throttle so to speak.

        All the Best

        hoppers

        Like

      • philjourdan says:

        Hopper,

        I read your original objection and this one. You are looking at Trump as another politician. And those who do are constantly 6 steps behind him. Has he turned? Or is this just another stage in his negotiation strategy? I do not know. I will say I voted for him. And when he was elected, he fulfilled all of my expectations. Since he has been inaugurated, he has far exceeded them. So I have the luxury of not expecting, and merely watching and laughing.

        Are you correct? I do not know. Only time will tell. But for now, I am more interested in seeing how different he is from politicians, than trying to classify him AS a politician.

        Like

      • Pointman says:

        “Should this be the case, I know that you will not stand for it, and I look forward to seeing your response at full majestic Pointman throttle so to speak.”

        You can bet the house on that one Hoppers.

        Pointy

        Like

    • Blackswan says:

      News headline in Australia today …. “AMERICA’S STORY UNRAVELS: Armada never left Australia.”

      http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/world-given-false-timeline-about-us-aircraft-carrier-headed-for-korean-peninsula/news-story/76bc26365c9cb3922d1ac088686a4b53

      THE declaration last week that the US had sent an aircraft carrier barrelling towards waters off the Korean Peninsula put tensions with North Korea at boiling point. Except, that never happened.

      The MSM haven’t finished with Trump yet … anonymous “officials” supposedly speaking to the media on operational matters but the fact that the USS Carl Vinson and its escort sailed through Indonesia’s Sunda Strait heading north five days ago is an apparent after-thought.

      ‘False news’ for political advantage has become the New Normal, but when the world is dealing with a paranoid psychopathic dictator surely a modicum of caution is warranted.

      A headline like that is, for Kim, a straw to a drowning man.

      Like

      • dadodeaf says:

        Agreed, and sorry for passing a false flag like that. I also agree that news is anymore Swiss cheese, and moldy at that.

        A certain stink in the air ariseth.

        And that defusing a bomb with old and stale gunpowder requires a certain delicacy (though steely determination).

        We shall see.

        Like

  18. Laidback says:

    Awesome analysis, supported in the aftermath by empirical observation. And, re ‘journalism’, AP yesterday reported that the Fresno shooter uttered ‘ God is great’ when taken down by law enforcement. He actually said ‘ Allahu Akbar’ . I guess AP was merely helpfully translating.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pointman says:

    Syria Moves Most Of Its Combat Planes Next To Russian Base For Protection.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-19/syria-moves-most-its-combat-planes-next-russian-base-protection

    Pointman

    Like

    • hoppers says:

      A very sensible precaution.

      All evidence (away from the MSM) suggests that the Tomahawk strike may well have been pre-planned, apparently to make a point to visiting dignitaries.

      So who knows what comes next, or what the pretext for a further strike will be.

      Like

    • Pointman says:

      Hoppers,

      possibly me being too devious, but doesn’t the fortuitous and highly unlikely timing of the whole thing look just too bloody good? When Assad launches or doesn’t a chemical attack, Trump already has the military assets positioned within cruise missile range to launch.

      On the very night he has the Chinese dignitaries around for din dins, the missiles are already in the air, Putin can’t stop them, and the next day an armada is heading towards N. Korea and the Chinese are suddenly putting some serious pressure on the fat boy above the 38th parallel.

      I don’t believe in timing that good.

      Pointman

      Like

    • Santa's little helper says:

      Don’t you ever sleep?
      “April 20, 2017 at 1:55 am”

      Great analysis. Trump is a great ‘chess player’. Lets just hope he ‘walks quietly but only occasionally shows he’s carrying a big stick’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • hoppers says:

      No surprise that this lot would pitch in with the Assad Sarin Gas story falling apart to the extent that the US now has to resort to blocking any investigation into it.

      https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Washington_Institute_for_Near_East_Policy

      Consider the following.

      Removed from National Security Council:

      General Flynn (Manufactured Scandal) Anti-Intervention.
      K. T. McFarland (Shunted off to Singapore) Anti-Intervention.
      Steve Bannon (Fired) Anti-Intervention.

      Replaced by:

      HR McMaster -(Petraeus Protege) Hawk
      Gary Cohn (Goldman) Hawk
      Dinah Powell (Condoleezza Rice Protege) Hawk Described by Catherine Austin-Fitts as a woman who puts lipstick on Genocide.

      This is your Blog. I have no wish to try to hijack it or cause controversy on it so I will shut up now.

      You are welcome to email me if you want many links to more sensible research than WINEP nonsense.

      As an aside, the aforementioned Condoleezza Rice apparently visited the President on the day before the strike. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusion from that one.

      Like

  20. sstobysmom says:

    Reblogged this on trumptrain and commented:
    Thank You,I have not understood how one human being has taken more abuse than any person could handle.Daily abuse baffoon,crazy,idiiot,impeachment,not presidential
    But I am truly awed at the patriotic love of Country, it’s military, Vets, forgotten men and women and all Citizens even the evil liberals that haveven
    done and said the vilests and done evil displays of
    Disgusting atrocities for my President. I love Lou Dobbs who fights vigorous for him as well as Sean Hannity. Your incite is what is needed for those of
    Us who can’take stomach the abuse. My anger at the media, the liberals, and the Dems. When you pick on
    An 11 yr old child their rhetoric is from the pits of
    Hell.what they really need is retribution and WE fully

    Like

  21. sstobysmom says:

    Reblogged this on trumptrain and commented:
    I am so thankful to have come across your commentaries. I love President Trump and based on humanistic actions I am marveled how enemies from every Avenue and walk of life set out too ruin this President who only Wants good even from these sorry humans. I have to for give as a commandment of my faith. I do not
    Have to allow their nasty, lies, and character assaination of my absolute favorite President Trump. I was a child when Ike was president, so I am confident of that which I speak. I use to think Carter was our
    Worse President now I know without a doubt it is Obummer. I watched him cripple, destroy, and incur the
    Worse debt ever.I stand completely with President Trump
    And remain solidly withholding him. Thank you for a great shot in the arm with anticipation of a long fought battle WE can win. Your awesome.

    Like

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