Each Person Who Died in Syria Today Has a Story We’ll Never Know: I Don’t Know How to End the War, But We Must Accept More Refugees
As I write this, the death toll from today’s sarin gas attack in Syria stands at 82, with dozens thought to be children.
This is obscene.
The world is forever scarred.
Meanwhile, we have an administration that has twice tried to ban all Syrian refugees.
For six years, I’ve read all I can about the Syrian civil war and I know enough to know even top-tier military and diplomatic officials have different views on how the war can and should end.
I don’t purport to have better answers.
But I do know it’s morally paramount that we accept Syrian refugees, and that we accept even more than the Obama administration agreed to accept. As I understand, he had to fight the GOP Congress to agree to accept any Syrian refugees at all.
This isn’t–or shouldn’t be–about partisanship, but about our shared humanity.
When calling your elected representatives, discuss your views on Syrian refugees and remind them the U.S. has blood on our hands if we stand idly by.
France’s foreign minister said Wednesday that evidence proves that the sarin gas used in a deadly attack on a rebel-held Syrian town in April came from the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters)
The April 4 attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun left more than 70 people dead, including 20 children, some estimates said (Guardian)
Citing a French report on Wednesday, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters that forces loyal to Assad’s Syrian government “undoubtedly” used sarin gas in the attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Reuters reported. Read more (4/26/17 6:25 AM)
We learned this morning that DJT asked Steve Bannon to step down from his position at the National Security Council (NSC).
Administration officials insisted this was always the plan and that Bannon was merely there to “deoperationalize” procedures after Susan Rice’s tenure.
First off, what the fuck does that even mean?
Secondly, Bannon still has security clearance and can still attend meetings should he choose, so the day was rife with speculation as to what is actually transpiring. One widely touted theory, that he committed the ultimate transgression and crossed DJT’s venerated son-in-law and incest proxy, Jared Kushner.
What we do know: Bannon gets to keep his West Wing job as Chief Political Strategist. As such, he still wields enormous influence.
Bannon’s view of Syrian refugees is akin to Hitler’s view of Jews, and I say this without hyperbole.
When discussing Syria in recent years, on multiple occasions Bannon has invoked the hideous, dehumanizing 1973 novel, “The Camp of the Saints”, by French author Jean Rauspail. Rauspail considered dark-skinned persons not of European lineage to be dangerous, sexually voracious barbarians out to destroy Western Civilization by arriving on its shores.
Repeatedly, Bannon compares the Syrian refugees to the grotesqueries etched by Rauspail, ignoring, or more likely reveling in the fact that “The Camp of Saints” was widely condemned as a modern day “Mein Kampf” upon its release and has only found newfound popularity among virulent white supremacists.
This is the man advising DJT on Syria.
This is the man who sat on the National Security Council yesterday when Assad gassed to death at least 82 Syrians, dozens of them confirmed to be children.
My best guess?
Removing Bannon from the National Security Council was a cosmetic move to save face on the international stage.
But we won’t save lives until Bannon is removed from the administration.
And that won’t happen until DJT is removed from office.
Tonight they sleep with the blood of Syrian children on their hands.
You know who armed the Syrian rebels to start this war years ago when she was Secretary of State in order to oust Assad? You think that same person wouldn't escalate it much more than Trump?
Taking out Assad has always been the US position, and I never said Hillary wouldn’t have taken any action against Syria, including military, what I am saying is I don’t trust Trump - who is a pathological liar and lack any foreign policy knowledge and experience and constantly question intelligence he doesn’t like - to have launched this attack with the best evaluation of intelligence and best judgment, never mind having a clear strategy in Syria, which he doesn’t have.
No one is debating that the chemical attack in Syria is done by Assad to his people and that is a violation of international law. BUT YOU’RE KIDDING YOURSELF if you believe Trump did this - after directing his Sec of State and UN Ambassador to say US is staying out of Syria and banned Syrian refugees form coming into the US - coz he had a sudden epiphany and change of heart when he saw pics of children suffering and dying from a chemical attack.
It is more likely that he did this more because of his policy or intentions towards North Korea, and him doing this while the President of China is visiting is no coincidence.
It is also more likely he did this as his approval rating plummets and investigations on his connection to Russia escalates.
Even now his policy on Syria is unclear and lack no direction, and even GOP in Congress don’t even know what it is. The White House is saying this attack is just a one time thing, but they also are saying this is a start to take out Assad and calling on “civilized nations” to join America in doing so. It can’t be both.
While it is also a violation of international law, it still doesn’t give US permission to act unilaterally, not by the UN, not by any treaties, not by any AUMF given to the President by Congress. Executive power on launching military attacks since 9/11 has been murky to begin with, but any current AUMF only allows the president to act without congressional approval to fight terrorism against Americans, not to punish governments for using chemical weapons.
And we are still getting reports on what this attack actually accomplished, but Gen. McMaster himself has said this attack won’t prevent any future attacks to Syrian people by Assad. Russia, who was using that same base in Syria, where sarin was allegedly stockpiled and the chemical attack was launched, was given forewarning by US, and left before the bombs dropped. And I’m not making a point against allowing people to evacuate before launching an attack- civilian or military, but only Russia, who is complicit to the chemical attack and might even have direct involvement in it, is the only one that got forewarning and probably took with them any chemical weapons Syria might still have stockpiled in that base.
Part of hillary’s idea of taking out air fields is not just to destroy bases but to get rid of jets that Assad uses to either drop bombs or chemical weapons on his people. But so far, no reports on ANY SYRIAN JETS were taken out:
So you can’t convince me that Trump’s response to Syria did any good in the short term aside from a show of US military power and making a political statement, and in the long run won’t do any harm to Syrians, to the rest of the region (there are already reports that next time the US attack Syria, Assad will attack Israel).
YES the US and the international community should have done something to help Syrians five-seven years ago, it should do something to help Syrians NOW. But that doesn’t mean going to war to Syria or taking actions that puts our thumb in the Syrian civil war with no clear strategy aside from desire for political posturing and just so Trump can say he did something with his red line when Obama didn’t - which btw, the same action Obama wanted to take in 2013 BUT WITH CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL, but Congress DENIED him. Now it’s the same Congress praising Trump for taking action without much thought (HE WASN’T EVEN IN THE SITUATION ROOM!) coz it’s their guy in the White House and he absolved them from voting for another AUMF or a war.
Saudi Arabia’s and Turkey’s support of the “Islamic State” and the repression of the Kurdish resistance
The so called “Islamic State” (IS) is dominating the news for months. Its atrocities – killing thousands of innocents as well as destroying the Middle East’s rich cultural heritage – are resonating all over the world. The fatal mixture of religious fanaticism with military expertise and material are making them a tough enemy. Undoubtedly, this massive problem had to be addressed adequately. Many countries, including the West’s most powerful one, the United States, formed alliances to fight the IS which was expanding rapidly in Syria and Iraq. They relied solely on air strikes
– not a single ground offensive was launched. Recently, Russia has entered the conflict by almost indiscriminately shelling the “Islamic State” as well as various rebel troops. (Their goal
– besides the fight against the IS
– is to support the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, an autocrat suspected of attacking his own population with the extremely toxic sarin gas.)
However, it’s nearly uncontroversial that the biggest support for the IS is coming from Saudi Arabia, both materially and ideologically:
“Saudi Arabia is influential because its oil and vast wealth make it powerful in the Middle East and beyond. But it is not financial resources alone that make it such an important player. Another factor is its propagating of Wahhabism, the fundamentalist, eighteenth-century version of Islam that imposes sharia law, relegates women to the status of second-class citizens, and regards Shia and Sufi Muslims as non-Muslims to be persecuted along with Christians ans Jews.”(Patrick Cockburn, The Rise of Islamic State)
An interesting fact, too: around 95 percent of the school books used in the IS’s territory are the same as in Saudi Arabia – obviously, the IS has much in common with one of the most strongly supported countries.
But of course, the gulf monarchies are not the only supporters of the “Islamic State”
– Turkey, as well, is backing the terrorists. Although not as actively as the Saudis, Turkey’s
“most important action has been to keep open its 560-mile border with Syria. This gave ISIS, al-Nusra, and other opposition groups a safe rear base from which to bring in men and weapons.”
(Patrick Cockburn, The Rise of Islamic State)
In fact, nearly the only ones achieving military success against the “Islamic State” and other terrorist groups are the Kurds (notably the PKK and PYD, who are also establishing grassroots democratic institutions in their autonomous regions). As if the fight against the IS were not enough to deal with, the Kurds also have to struggle against Turkish repression, which is primarily a result of president Erdoğan’s imperialistic, nationalistic and fascist policies.
“In the course of the siege of Kobani it became clear that Turkey considered the Syrian Kurdish political and military organizations the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and YPG (People’s Protection Units) as posing a greater threat than the Islamic fundamentalists.
Moreover, the PYD is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984. Ever since Syrian government forces withdrew from the Syrian Kurdish cantons on the border with Turkey in July 2012, Ankara has feared the impact of self-governing Syrian Kurds on its own fifteen-million-strong Kurdish population. President
Erdoğan would clearly prefer ISIS to control Kobani rather than the PYD.” (Patrick Cockburn, The Rise of Islamic State)
This situation is alarming; but the only thing we can do is to show solidarity with the Kurds who are risking their lives for a better world. We condemn the Turkish repression and support our Kurdish comrades who are fighting against fascism and imperialism
– and for freedom.
Assad still denies using chemical weapons. Here’s more proof he does.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley holds a photo of a victim of the Syrian chemical attack during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters, April 5, 2017 in New York City. The international body that investigates the use of chemical weapons released a damning report this morning: The Assad regime in Syria used sarin in its April 4 attack on civilians, which killed nearly 100 people. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) finding is particularly worrying because of the specific chemical weapon that was used. Read more