6 April 1917 and 6 April 2017

As others have remarked, today is the 100th anniversary of the US’s entry into World War I. I recently began reading Robert Gerwarth’s The Vanquished. Gerwarth’s book focuses on how and why WW I never really ended, especially for those on the losing end of the war. Which led to almost 2 decades of civil wars, ethnic cleansing, revolutions, and acts of what we would now call terrorism. These events set the conditions for the rise of fascism, its racist offshoot of NAZIsm, and the spread of Bolshevism contributing to WW II.

I came across a reference to Gerwarth’s book in a post by Josh Marshall. Marshall’s referencing of The Vanquished spoke to me as I had just begun thinking through a report I’m working on in regard to how to set the conditions in Iraq and Syria to win the peace, not just the war, against ISIL. The President’s change of position in regard to Assad, including tonight’s limited strike on a Syrian military airfield, makes thinking of such things even more important.

Marshall highlighted one passage from Gerwarth’s book:

“Nazi Germany and its overtly exterminationist imperial project of the later 1930s and and early 1940s owed much to the logic of ethnic conflict and irredentism created by the Great War and the redrawing of borders in 1918-19.”

 

Marshall applied Gerwarth’s analysis to make this important point:

Cataclysmic and sustained violence is brutalizing and traumatizing to whole societies as much as it is to individuals. The victorious states at least had victory to justify what had happened. The defeated states not only lacked ‘victory’; the end of the conflict saw something approaching complete societal collapse. There was the collapse of states, recurrent revolutions, often followed by reaction and new rounds of violence. More than anything else there was a search to find some way to justify or create some value to justify the scale of loss. After a brief window of time where leaders tried to create democracies out of the collapsed states and thus become ‘victors’ against destroyed autocracies, the two most obvious channels were to build up cults of revenge or to strive to create new, ethnically pure states. In many cases, the two drives were combined.

One persistent theme of this story was that each ‘ethnicity’ had a state somewhere or was trying to create one that would vindicate and protect it and brutalize those communities which stood in the way of creating ethnically homogenous states. So Magyars were the brutalizers in one place and the brutalized in another – the same could be said for virtually every national group, albeit with the groups with new states generally having the whip hand. This story is most discussed in the arc of German history but Gerwarth places it in a broader, pan-European (at least all-East and Central European) context.

What connects WW I and today is that the US and its allies at the time failed to properly secure the peace at the end of WW I. The real strategic challenge facing the US led Coalition in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as the actions of the Assad government, is not how to conduct the fight. We are very good at this. With a lot of hard won knowledge accumulated over the past sixteen years. Rather the real strategic challenge is how do we, working by, with, and through our local partners set the conditions, as part of these campaigns, to win the peace and ensure that the people of Iraq and Syria post ISIL and of Syria post civil war have the opportunity and security to move forward in a peaceful manner. Rather than devolving once again into sectarian violence and/or civil war.

One of the most difficult pieces of the Syrian problem set is that no one in Syria on the ground, or among the exile Syrian groups involved with the Syrian Civil War, can articulate what happens after the Civil War ends. There is nothing even close to a consensus on who controls what. There is nothing even close to a consensus on who would replace Assad if he should go. There is nothing even close to a consensus on what to do if Assad doesn’t go. There is nothing even close to a consensus as to who gets to consider themselves Syrian or what that will even mean post Civil War. And there is almost no discussion about the on the ground reality that this is not simply Russian and Iranian backed Assad and the Alawite minority versus all the other Syrians. Assad has support from a cross section of Syrians, not just the Alawites. But Syriac Christians, Syrian Druze, those portions of the Syrian Sunni community that have benefited from his family’s rule and/or been coopted by the Assads through patronage. The Syrian Civil War, despite the best efforts of almost everyone, cannot simply be reduced to: Assad and the Alawites with the backing of Russia and Iran against everyone else. This is simply not true. To borrow Gerwath’s formulation, or Marshall’s interpretation of Gerwath: there are brutalizers and brutalized on each side of the Syrian Civil War. Breaking that dynamic, or, at least, working by, with, and through our local partners to set the conditions to do so, will be necessary to not just win the war, but to win and secure the peace.

279 replies
  1. 1
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Breaking that dynamic, or, at least, working by, with, and through our local partners to set the conditions to do so, will be necessary to not just win the war, but to win and secure the peace.

    That’s for wimps. Manly men use bombs.

  2. 2
    Seth Owen says:

    It’s a good thing President Trump is a nuanced thinker who can oversee the complex process of picking through all the competing interests to come up with a settlement acceptable to the key stakeholders. Bigly.

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Yeah, I’d say any chance of peace is smoldering in Syria at this moment.

  4. 4
    ThresherK says:

    If You want a weekly update in “real time plus a century” on The Great War, a neat series is hosted on YouTube by Indy Neidell.

    I am up to week 130, putting me a bit behind the times.

  5. 5
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    So what you are saying, is that there is no consensus.

    Funny, there is no consensus in this country on what the US should do about this issue, either.

    I don’t think any good will come of this.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: How’s the arm?

  7. 7

    I feel shitty right now. We have the worst imaginable leader [sic] steering us right now. I hope to God I’m wrong, but I can’t see this ending any way other than badly.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: These problems, which are really issues of state and societal formation and delineation, developed over many, many years. They are not easy to solve, let alone manage and mitigate. There are not easy answers or solutions to them. If there were, they would have been implemented by now.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    lamh36 says:

    I just can’t even right now…

    I joked, who’d be the first to start selling …welp…

    Sam Sacks‏ @SamSacks
    Guest after guest is gushing. From MSNBC to CNN, Trump is receiving his best night of press so far. And all he had to do was start a war.

  11. 11
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    How many Tomahawk missiles launched at Syria while I was at dinner out with Mr. Q? I think I read 59. The Saffron Shitheel sure knows how to distract from news that’s not good for him.

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Surgeon said the x-rays look “wonderful.” I got a smaller and lighter cast. I’ve been enjoying some libations as a result. But the pins stay in for another 2-4 weeks, so the arm still isn’t very useful. Tomorrow I’ll head to the gym and see what’s possible and what isn’t.

  13. 13
    lamh36 says:

    @CNBC
    Oil prices jump after US launches missile strike in Syria

    https://twitter.com/CNBC/status/850170015739506690

  14. 14
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I know. I was trying to be snarky. It’s the way I cope with bullshit like this.

    My last sentence in that post was sincere, though. We have practically no one in our top “leadership” that gets what you are talking about. Maaaaaybe Mattis and McMaster, but that’s about it.

  15. 15
    lamh36 says:

    @John_Hudson
    Many officials at State Department today were completely out of the loop, as were key US allies, about imminent US strike. #unilateralism

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): This was an over the horizon response. It was low hanging fruit and the least we could do. This is not an increase in boots on the ground. Frankly, other than a Special Forces raid, that would take months and despite the President’s stated preference for surprise, wouldn’t be one because it would become clear we were moving significant amounts of conventional forces. And it would require Congressional actions to appropriate the money for it, even if it was done as contingency funding. And that would, likely bring about debate on a new AUMF to cover this type of action.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sounds positive. We’re keeping good thoughts.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia) says he’s hearing there may have been Iranian personnel at the airbase, and Hezbollah (Hezb’allah?)

  19. 19
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Manly men use bombs cruise missiles.

    Gotta keep up with the times…

  20. 20
    mai naem mobile says:

    @lamh36: maybe this will make those Dolt 45 voters economically anxious so they’ll vote for him again.

  21. 21
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Trump desperately wants to be a war president. I don’t think the GOP in Congress is going to tell him no. It’s not like they’ll pay a political price for it, either. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we end up with boots on ground there.

  22. 22
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @lamh36:

    And all he had to do was start a war.

    Oh yeah… his Reichstag moment!

    Donnie’s acting so… so… commanderly… commanderish… commanderiffic!

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    David Chalian‏Verified account
    @ DavidChalian
    US Defense Officials tell @barbarastarrcnn that the US Military did contact Russians in advance of the strikes.

    Swear I just heard Hallie Jackson say McMaster said they did not

    ETA: Pentagon has released video of the missile launches, so Joe Lieberman and Marco Rubio and probably several million Americans can pump there fists and go “YEAH!”, cause war is a video game now.

  24. 24

    One of Nixon’s NSC staffers, Fred Ikle (pronounced “Fred E. Clay”) published his dissertation as a book, entitled “Every War Must End”. I have always thought that that was one of the top all-time handful of ironic titles, because no war ever has. The only way to end a war would be to erase the losers from the Earth and from history. Otherwise they spend eternity grasping for revenge, which really means that the war is still going on. We will start more wars — we may have started one today — but none will ever end.

  25. 25
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “Wonderful” sounds like a very good comment from your surgeon. Enjoy your libations (and lighter cast) and take it very easy with that arm. Which I know you will, but harriers gotta harry.

  26. 26
    lamh36 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I believe Malcolm Nance was on MSNBC before McFaul and brought up the possibiliy that casualties were also Iranian.

    Trump and Iran do NOT have the same relationship as Trump and Russia right.

    The reports are that Russia was notified before the strikes, which I guess isn’t “unusual”, but if the conspiracy theory was a Putin/Assad backed “wag the dog” scenario…where would Iran fit in.

    And if not part of this “loop” would Iran feel need for retaliation?

  27. 27
    BBA says:

    Let me be as callous and cynical as I can be right now: of course the US should never have entered the Great War. What business was it of ours if the European powers were going to reduce each other to rubble? As it stood, the Allied Powers thought winning meant they were in the right, when they were just an infinitesimally lighter shade of grey than their opponents. Fuck ’em. White lives don’t matter.

    Okay, enough of that. I don’t like being the person who says those kinds of things.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @lamh36:

    Sam Sacks‏ @SamSacks
    Guest after guest is gushing. From MSNBC to CNN, Trump is receiving his best night of press so far. And all he had to do was start a war.

    Not a surprise. They want to gush over him. Remember his speech to Congress.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: Secretary Mattis and LTG McMaster know their business. The problem is that Secretary Mattis has a thin to hollow Department of Defense. He has no Service Secretaries in place. He has no Deputy, Under, and/or Deputy Assistant Secretaries in place at DOD or the Services. He’s got no Directors, Deputy Directors, and/or Special Assistants at DOD or the Services. Basically it is him, whatever Obama appointed holdovers are still there, whoever was on the beachead team (who he didn’t pick0, the senior executives, the civil servants, uniformed personnel, and contractors. He’s missing two entire layers of management. He has no “Mattis Team”. This is the same problem that also exists at the State Department. Though State has the additional problem of having a Secretary of State who doesn’t seem to either understand his job and the job of the State Department. LTG McMaster is still trying to fill out his own team, but he’s got more personnel assets in terms of a team, even if some of them are Flynn holdovers, at his immediate disposal.

  30. 30
    lamh36 says:

    @mattyglesias 5m5 minutes ago
    More
    Is the stray remark about terrorism at the end of Trump’s statement an effort to stretch the 9/11 AUMF to cover this?

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That is, supposedly, where some of the Quds Force/Revolutionary Guards and Hezbullah are based.

    (As for Hezbullah – it is a transliterated word and there is no one right way to write it in English.)

  32. 32
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Two weeks ago he called it “a bag of crushed bone.” So I think this is a step in the right direction.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @lamh36: I was wondering about that.

    Adam, do we have separate legal authority to enforce the chemical weapons treaty?

  34. 34
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    At least Trump didn’t pick a fight w/ an unhinged loon w/ nuclear weapons…

    Just an unhinged loon with NO nuclear weapons…

    Any bets Republicans try to halt all and any investigations into Russian hacking while we’re ‘at war’?

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    Where’s today’s incarnation of Gen. Smedley Butler when we need him/her?

  36. 36
    Fair Economist says:

    I can see an outcome in Syria. Assad defeats the islamicist rebels (he was well on the way before this), and then turns on the Kurds and establishes complete control. Not a desirable outcome, but plausible.

    I don’t think Trump wagging the dog is a significant threat to Assad. Even assuming there’s no complex subterfuge going on via the Russians, he can just refrain from further chemical attacks without making any announcement and threaten to ignore Daesh if the US continues bombing.

  37. 37
    lamh36 says:

    And here we go…video footage released…cause nothing give pseudo-soldiers a boner like Call of Duty-esque war videos…smh. Prediction: Expect those quieted soft Trump supporters let out a vocal roar of “we gotta support our Cheeto Prez”

  38. 38
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account @realDonaldTrump

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

    Retweets
    1,961
    Likes
    1,928

    11:14 AM – 29 Aug 2013

    Donald J. Trump ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA – IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!

    Retweets
    12,040
    Likes
    12,764

    6:20 AM – 5 Sep 2013

  39. 39
    amygdala says:

    I think this is also an anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda.

    I wish I had some faith the SoS or someone in the WH knows how hideously complex the situation in Syria is. Make more refugees while we bolt our doors. Yeah, there’s a plan.

  40. 40
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @BBA: There are historians that agree with you. That we never should have gotten involved in WWI. I’ve also heard that we should have entered on the side of Germany, so, there’s that, I guess. I think that last part might be far fetched, though.

  41. 41
    lamh36 says:

    @RJSzczerba
    It’s difficult to claim the moral high ground when you bomb a country and then ban its refugees from entering the US. #Syria

    “morals…” um we are talking about Cheeto right?

  42. 42
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Pentagon has released video of the missile launches, so Joe Lieberman and Marco Rubio and probably several million Americans can pump there fists and go “YEAH!”, cause war is a video game now.

    No doubt, replete w/ dramatic cuts and pounding patriotic music…

    Actually, back when Shrubb was starting one of his wars, I saw a clip of him on the evening news, shot just as bombs were starting to fall… he actually did do a fist pump and shout ,”YEEESSSSS!”

    I think I threw up in my mouth a little, watching that…

    I’m no longer capable of not hating these people completely…

  43. 43
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I guess we go to war with the Department of Defense we have, not the one we wished we had./snark

    Fuck it, my snark meter is pegged. Thank you for your analysis, Adam.

  44. 44
    philadelphialawyer says:

    Another interpretation might be that it is impossible to win the peace in Syria, forthcoming “reports” to the contrary notwithstanding. Just as it was in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. So maybe we should go forego the war. Because it is unwise.

    A second reason to forego the war is that is contrary to international law. Assuming Assad used chemical weapons, that is an issue that should be raised at the UNSC. There is no UNSC authorization for the US missile attack. And no credible case for self defense on the part of the US either. Thus, the attack is illegal, as aggressive war making, under the UN Charter. According to the position of the US at Nuremberg, and at the trials of the Japanese officials, aggressive war making is a crime, and one which calls for the death penalty for the individuals who conducted it.

    A third reason to forego the war is that is immoral. I don’t think a case can be made under the Just War theory, or any other widely accepted moral theory of war, for this attack.

  45. 45
    Citizen_X says:

    @lamh36:

    Oil prices jump after US launches missile strike in Syria

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    Just out of curiosity, has any Congressional Republican made a peep about this totally unilateral action done without their permission?

    Compare and contrast with their screams of outrage when Obama took any action at all internationally.

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: He was a war president the day he was sworn in. We have been at war since October 2001. Hell, if you add it up, there’s only about fifteen years in total since the US was founded, that we haven’t been at war somewhere.

    As for boots on the ground. He may want to do that, but other than Special Forces, who are already stretched thin globally, it will take time. Just on the Army side, and as I’ve written in comments here before, we are at least one Corps light right now. We only have three of them. One is in Iraq right now running Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. One is currently preparing to relieve them later this year, which will be its second rotation to CJTF OIR within 2 years (they just got back last JUL/AUG). One is dedicated against US Army Pacific and US Pacific Command and will also have to do double duty as the Global Response Force while the returning Corps resets and refits and the other one is deployed. This also means that we are several Divisions short and even more Brigade Combat Teams. The difference could be made up with a Marine Ground Air Task Force (MAGTF/pronounced MAGTAF) for a while. We have the ability to place both a Command Element MAGTF in as the CJTF OIR, as well as a Ground Command MAGTF in as the Combined Joint Force Land Component Command (C/JFLCC), but only for a short time. The Marines don’t do logistics. They rely on the Army (for Land Operations) and the Navy (for Maritime Operations) for logistics and sustainment. In short: Marines fight battles. The Army conducts campaigns.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: You did. So, apparently, we have conflicting accounts. The question at this point is who, within the Administration, is Secretary Tillerson in contact with?

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: October 2001, right?

  50. 50
    lamh36 says:

    Journos today saw what happened to journos during last “war time” Prez GWB…so watch for those brave enough criticize President Cheeto…ON CAMERA and OUT LOUD!

    I’ll Wait…

  51. 51
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    It’s all agreed, let’s have a war
    It’s been so dull, let’s make some speeches
    Let’s get the voters off our backs
    They’d rather watch us storm some beaches
    And so we lose some of the boys
    At least we let ‘em die like men
    Take out a villain, make some noise
    And they’ll elect us all again

    We’ve got a leader with a plan
    The suffering one, he swears he’ll aid him
    If he can’t feed his fellow man
    He’ll blow him to the God that made him
    Get all the homeboys seein’ red
    A chance to even up the score
    Come home a hero, come home dead
    They’ll be no poorer than before

    There’s lots of boys will go to fight
    For what we say has been denied them
    Just keep it simple, keep it light
    There’s plenty more to die beside them
    How fie and fair they’ll run to die
    To earn their share of the spoils of war
    While rich and poor,the mothers cry
    Forever poorer than before

    And who is beaten and undone
    And who earns fame and who earns glory
    The last one left to hold a gun
    There’s no one there to check his story
    The winner’s free to shout and brag
    And gather up the spoils of war
    And drape his brother with a flag
    And come home poorer than before

    So on we run and on we roll
    We’ll make the foe drop down and kneel
    We’ll learn no lessons from the past
    We’ll go and reinvent the wheel
    And so we lose some of the boys
    At least we let ‘em die like men
    Take out a villain, make some noise
    And they’ll elect us all again

    That’s all this is about, Adam. No geopolitical thought, or goals. It’s bullshit, designed for distraction, and as always, it works.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: We did a pretty good job with WW II.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    A reminder that the price tag of each cruise missile is a million and a half simoleons.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Sixty cruise missiles? The fuck?

  55. 55
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You mean October 2001?

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lamh36: The vermin of the Village love the bombing of brown people. It’s great for ratings, it gives them stuff to pontificate about, it makes them seem important.

    The origins of the Syrian civil war have been criminally neglected by the Villagers; religious conflict is better for ratings that discussing a drought (oh noes, it’s that fake “climate change” again!) that drove hundreds of thousands from rural areas to the urban areas creating the conditions for people to decide they had nothing left to lose by resorting to violence. As Adam points out, there are plenty of groups in Syria who support Assad for a variety of reasons that complicate the portrayal of the conflict beyond the MEGO range of Villagers.

  57. 57
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    “I believe in a way she is more dangerous,” Susan Sarandon told The Young Turks on Thursday. “I don’t know if she is overcompensating or what her trip is. That scares me. I think we’ll be in Iran in two seconds.”

    The former “Thelma and Louise” star said voters are being “fed” a message that Mr. Trump is “so dangerous” – “I don’t know what his policy is. I do know what her policies are.”

    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONODE!

  58. 58
    lamh36 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Rubio on MSNBC…supporting. Oscar and Felix…I’m sorry, McCain and Graham also issued statement of support I believe

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax: So, we’re looking at what, nine or ten trips to Mar-A-Lago by Tangerine Titmouse?

  60. 60
    opiejeanne says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Good news for sure, but take it easy with that arm at the gym. Oh, you know that already, just ignore me. Glad you’re doing so well.

  61. 61
    lamh36 says:

    @joshrogin

    Rex: “You should not in any way extrapolate that [the strikes] changed our policy or posture on Syria in any way.” WOW.

    Ugh…Fuq it, I’m out…I’ll see ya’ll on the flipside may be…

  62. 62
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The origins of the Syrian civil war have been criminally neglected by the Villagers; religious conflict is better for ratings that discussing a drought (oh noes, it’s that fake “climate change” again!) that drove hundreds of thousands from rural areas to the urban areas creating the conditions for people to decide they had nothing left to lose by resorting to violence.

    THIS.

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    has any Congressional Republican made a peep about this totally unilateral action done without their permission?

    Hahahahahahahahahaha
    Hohohohohohohohohohohohoho
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: As I just said to an old army buddy who was with 2ACR in the Persian Gulf War, McMaster is the only person involved with this Admin in whom I have any confidence.

  65. 65
    patroclus says:

    The only way I even remotely think this is a good move is that, now that we’ve shown our “strength,” we ramp up our soft power and begin an aggressive diplomatic initiative designed to bring the Russians and all relevant parties (and that includes many) to agree to a cease-fire/armistice that can hopefully last long enough to begin serious negotiations to a peaceful settlement. Given the current deficiencies in that regard, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. So I predict that this will do little good, it will further de-stabilize the situation and make any settlement more complicated. Obama didn’t do much, but at least they eliminated ‘some’ chemical weapons after his efforts. I don’t see much, if any, good that this will do. And all the gushing by virtually all the media is just sickening and reminds me of the early days of the Iraq debacle.

  66. 66
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Baud: No.

    3. In cases where serious damage to the object and purpose of this Convention may result from activities prohibited under this Convention, in particular by Article I, the Conference may recommend collective measures to States Parties in conformity with international law.
    4. The Conference shall, in cases of particular gravity, bring the issue, including relevant information and conclusions, to the attention of the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council.

    That’s the compliance procedure in the treaty.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: I don’t know. Here is the list of all UN Security Council Resolutions regarding Syria:
    http://www.securitycouncilrepo.....038;page=2

    Here’s the link to the Chemical Weapons Convention:
    https://www.opcw.org/chemical-weapons-convention/

  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: @lamh36: Dems are being very cautious

  69. 69
    Tazj says:

    @Mnemosyne: I briefly saw Marco Rubio on television before I switched stations. No surprise, he supports this.
    Marco Rubio @marcorubio

    Be sure of this: “The wicked will not go unpunished” Proverbs 11:21 #Syria Chemical Attack

  70. 70
    lamh36 says:

    Ugh huh…

    @SteveKopack
    NEW from @nytimes: KUSHNER omitted meetings with Russians on security clearance forms

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    Real (ca. 1917) WWI ditty:

    Oh, oh, oh it’s a lovely war.
    Who wouldn’t be a soldier, eh?
    Oh it’s a shame to take the pay.

    We never, never learn.

  72. 72
    jl says:

    @lamh36: That was a Rex statement after the strikes? If so, the administration thinks that senseless randomness will be an effective approach to foreign policy?

    Edit: OK I asked a dumb question. And I used the word ‘think’ with regard to the Drumpf administration. My question makes no sense.

  73. 73
    Timurid says:

    The press and both parties are already lining up around the block to swallow the hook. For the cost of a few missiles. And there’s no shortage of missiles and shifty foreigners to shoot them at. If it’s this stupidly easy to shift opinion, these guys are going to win this and win it going away…

  74. 74
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your “powder” for another (and more important) day!

    Retweets
    4,596
    Likes
    2,396

    6:21 AM – 7 Sep 2013

    Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!

    Retweets
    15,744
    Likes
    8,698

    4:02 PM – 30 Aug 2013

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    @philadelphialawyer: Thanks!

    I recall that the fight against ISIS was based on a loose reading of the AUMF given some tenuous connection between Al Qeada and ISIS. Not sure what this is based on.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Consistency, small minds, hobgoblins.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tazj: Good christ (Nixon voice). They’re making it a crusade. Brilliant!

  78. 78
  79. 79
  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    I was out to dinner and later checked the news to see something about Trump giving the OK for a series of missile attacks against Syria. What the hell.

    Sadly, I can just hear Trump supporters cheering this. And somewhere some pundit is about to explain how killing Syrians sends a message to North Korea.

    And John McCain just had a missile orgasm.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah. Long day. Fat fingered typo. I fixed it.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Also, too, “Hodor!”

  83. 83
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: From the relevant UNSC resolution:

    13.Reaffirms its readiness to consider promptly any reports of the OPCW
    under Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the
    referral of cases of non-compliance to the United Nations Security Council;
    14. Decides that Member States shall inform immediately the Security Council
    of any violation of resolution 1540 (2004), including acquisition by non-State actors
    of chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials in order to take
    necessary measures therefore;

    In other words, if you think anyone in Syria used chemical weapons, tell us (ie the UNSC) about it. Ya’ know, like the Chemical Weapons Convention says you should.

    NOT: go ahead and start bombing if you think anyone in Syria used chemical weapons.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: Yes. Long day. Fat fingered typo. Have fixed it.

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: The “this sends a message to Kim” has already been tweeted by some Rethug asshole.

  86. 86
    Kropadope says:

    Apologies, but I’m having a bit of trouble interpreting this sentence

    The real strategic challenge facing the US led Coalition in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as the actions of the Assad government, is not how to conduct the fight.

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire:

    So what you are saying, is that there is no consensus.
    Funny, there is no consensus in this country on what the US should do about this issue, either.
    I don’t think any good will come of this.

    There’s close enough to a consensus on the right that when put with the left’s interventionists adds up to “enough of a consensus to, once again, get us mired in shit up to our waists.”

  87. 87
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Baud: yw
    eh, they can argue the aumf covers this too. but international law is another matter…

  88. 88
    NotMax says:

    @Brachiator

    McCain just had a missile orgasm

    Also too, Netanyahu.

  89. 89
    lamh36 says:

    @Gus_802 5m5 minutes ago
    More
    Once again. Apparently the message to Assad is you can keep on bombing civilians but just don’t use chemical weapons.

    @Gus_802

    Following
    More
    Kill 50 children with a conventional weapon and we’re good.

  90. 90
    hilts says:

    @lamh36:

    That’s our fucking media, a bunch of overpaid, useless dumbasses

  91. 91
    Culture of Truth says:

    @lamh36: Yep. all they needed was some bombings

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: Ooopsie.

  93. 93
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Steve Kopack @SteveKopack

    TILLERSON blasts Russia: Says in briefing that they were either “complicit” or “incompetent” in dealing with Syria & chemical weapons

    5 replies 35 retweets 33 likes

    Wow. This sounds serious. Tillerson might return his medal back to Putin Naaaah..

  94. 94
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They don’t need to say a thing.

  95. 95
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Kropadope: Being mired in shit is definitely no fun, but we do it time and again, don’t we? Le sigh.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    Oh, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. Who among us hasn’t met with the Russians? It’s so hard to keep track of.

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Actually the Iraqi government asked/invited us to assist them in fighting ISIL. The Syrian side is much, much more problematic.

  98. 98
    Timurid says:

    @Baud: Mainly ISIS stealing Al Qaeda’s brand. They have little else in common.

  99. 99
    jl says:

    @lamh36: As one who got several clearances including some weirdo high level ones, that is very unfortunate. In fact it is very bad. It is, or should be, a very bid deal for the poor little nepotite. I messed up on a form for one my security applications (carbon paper slipped, it was way back right out of college). It was fairly big deal, even though the guy in charge of my application said they knew exactly what happened, and happened often enough that they had a drill for it. But it was a big deal and considerable hassle, but a relatively calm, if lengthy, one. If I pulled something like that intentionally I think I’d have had everything yanked, and I would have been out of a job.

  100. 100
    Mary G says:

    @lamh36: Yep, we can expect to get the “America, love it or leave it,” and the “You’re a traitor because you don’t support the troops” stuff.

    It’s exactly what Clinton did to AQ, lob in cruise missiles and Republicans spent the rest of his term criticizing him for not doing enough, and started a ground war as soon as they had an excuse. No, two ground wars, both of which we are still wasting our young men and women on.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @philadelphialawyer: I’m aware. If you hadn’t noticed, I did not state this was a good idea. Nor did I say this was done under any form of legal cover. Whether under US law or international law. That wasn’t the point of the post. Nor of any of my comments.

  102. 102
    BBA says:

    @philadelphialawyer: You say that as if international law meant anything. Bush violated Article 8bis of the Rome Statute and nothing happened to him or any of his co-conspirators.

  103. 103
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Sam Sacks‏ @SamSacks

    MAGAs ripping each other 2 shreds over the strikes

    9 replies 5 retweets 36 likes

    #POPCORN

  104. 104
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kropadope: Seems simple to me. We know how to fight Daesh, but we don’t (as we totally have fucked up in both Iraq and Afghanistan) know how to secure the peace one “major combat operations” cease. This was THE problem in Iraq all along; the deserting coward’s minions sabotaged the Pentagon’s planning for winning the peace; von Rumsfailed specifically prohibited post war planning by the Civil Affairs experts.

    Cheeto-face has no clue about this, not one. McMaster and Mattis must know, but they’re understaffed and just scraping by and furthermore these things are surprises hatched in the Oval Office with no prior thought or consultation.

  105. 105
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: IKR….but Cheeto Prez says forget about that…look at me all tough authorizing missiles…smh.

    media too busy salivating over that sweet, sweet strike footage…smh

  106. 106
    El Caganer says:

    Is there any proof that this supposed poison gas attack actually happened? I don’t consider the White Helmets to be a particularly trustworthy news source.

  107. 107
    Shalimar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The administration seems to want a war with Iran, not Syria, so I suspect the specific choice of a target with massive Iranian casualties was not an accident.

  108. 108
    Ian G. says:

    I’m glad you mentioned WWI, because as much as Nazism and the Second World War were a direct outgrowth of the failure to secure the peace after the war, at least 21st century Germany is among the least problematic places on Earth (I sometimes daydream about fleeing there to escape Trump). Ditto Austria. In contrasting, the partitioned remains of the Ottoman Empire continue to be disaster zones of ethnic hatred and violence and continue to be black holes into which this country pours blood and treasure.

    We will never escape the shadow of the failed peace of the Great War.

  109. 109
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You said this:

    I had just begun thinking through a report I’m working on in regard to how to set the conditions in Iraq and Syria to win the peace, not just the war, against ISIL.

    Which sure sounds like you think we can win the peace, somehow.

    I agree you did not state that this particular attack was legal, or even a good idea.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ian G.: Perhaps if we live long enough…

  111. 111
    patroclus says:

    On the thread topic (i.e., WWI), I don’t think we’ll ever know whether U.S. intervention was a good thing. The guy who shot Archduke Ferdinand, before he died, clearly stated that he would never have done it if he knew what was going to result from it. The Congressmen who switched from long-time anti-interventionist positions (like Marvin Jones) to vote for it after the Zimmermann telegram was released and the Germans started unrestricted submarine warfare against unarmed merchant ships were also quoted as saying that they weren’t sure that they had done the right thing. The failure to ratify the Versailles treaties, the failure of the League and the break-up of all the old monarchies and states and the re-drawing of all the borders all stoked what was really continuous fighting which led to WWII. Which also never really ended – I’ve recently read a book called “The Fighting never Stopped” which is a lot like the book Adam recommends, only it focuses on the aftermath of WWII.

    If all we do is lob 59 Tomahawks at an airfield, maybe we won’t get so mired in the quagmire. Maybe we’ll launch a diplomatic initiative. I fear that we won’t and we will get bogged down and that this isn’t ever going to end.

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ian G.:

    Ditto Austria. In contrasting, the partitioned remains of the Ottoman Empire continue to be disaster zones of ethnic hatred and violence and continue to be black holes into which this country pours blood and treasure.

    This, this, this. The Brits and the French REALLY screwed the pooch; the assumption was that the colonial empires would never fall, when in fact they were all but history 40 or so years after the various post Great War treaties were signed.

  113. 113
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @lamh36: Sounds like Bannon is leaking damaging material on Lolita’s BF

  114. 114
    hilts says:

    Adam,

    Have you seen Michael Kazin’s NYT op-ed Should America Have Entered World War I?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/opinion/should-america-have-entered-world-war-i.html?_r=0

  115. 115
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    As I recall, Rummy consigned State’s reports and plans to the circular file without so much as a glance at them.

  116. 116
    jl says:

    @philadelphialawyer: Maybe one sliver of silver lining right now, is that if the GOP feels they need to get rid of him for fear of the midterms, we have another valid charge to add to the indictment, bill of impeachment, whatever it is called.

  117. 117
    Shalimar says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The message this sends to Kim is “really smart move by your dad accelerating your nuclear research so this won’t happen to you.”

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Caganer:

    There’s video footage if you’re morbid enough to Google it.

  119. 119
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @BBA: The US never ratified the Rome Statute.

    I would also point out that violations of international law do matter, even if there is no effective punishment. The status of the US in the world is not entirely separate from its reputation for compliance with the rule of law.

  120. 120
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    too many tweets to cut’n’paste, but my god it sounds like they’re all over the map. McMaster and Tillerson are contradicting each other, and in Tillerson’s case, himself. I haven’t seen any word from Mattis

  121. 121
    efgoldman says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    but international law is another matter…

    And Tangelo Torquemada knows or cares about international law, how and why?

  122. 122
    khead says:

    Holy shit MSNBC has a hard on for war. Mrs. Greenspan actually said “New sheriff in town”.

    I haven’t seen anything from the other cable channels yet – was out celebrating my wife’s birthday – but I’m guessing those are even worse.

  123. 123
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @efgoldman: He doesn’t. But I do. And I think we as a country should. My reference to IL was prescriptive/normative. Not descriptive of Trump and Co.

  124. 124
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Shalimar: Aye; this was the message of the idiotic “Axis of Evil” meme. Iran, too, wants nukes as a deterrent against US aggression, and that’s precisely what the second Gulf War was. No major power since 1939 was so blatantly in violation of prohibitions against aggressive war.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    Adam spends a lot of his time writing up sensible reports about how we can stop fucking up overseas in the full knowledge that nobody in charge will pay attention to him.

  126. 126
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Only attempt at denial I heard of in the news is from Russia and it’s pretty thin stuff. One, the whole thing was faked. I expect there will be solid evidence against that possibility soon. The other is that what really happened was that the rebels were storing sarin and a Syrian bombing raid blew it up and dispersed it. But I heard a technical expert this morning say that was almost impossible. Sarin is extremely corrosive so only its components are stored, and then mixed right before delivery. So almost impossible there were tanks of sarin lying around, or a bombing raid would have mixed the components in way that it would kill so many people.

  127. 127
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    I’m calling it a night, but Malcolm Nance offered some unsettling observations. Since there were Republican Guard personnel at the base, the US faces potential blowback from Iran as well as Syria. Also some of the bunkers had VFX and Sarin, so accusations that civilians were harmed as a result of dispersal are also possible.

    I may take a news-free day tomorrow. May you all be short on nightmares tonight.

  128. 128
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Mnemosyne: That may be. But I am skeptical that there is any “sensible report” that anyone can produce that can lay out how we can “win the peace” in Iraq or Syria. Or Afghanistan or Libya either.

  129. 129
    Kropadope says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Seems simple to me. We know how to fight Daesh, but we don’t (as we totally have fucked up in both Iraq and Afghanistan) know how to secure the peace one “major combat operations” cease.

    Well, if the best we can hope to accomplish is create a larger power vacuum, then we have no business getting involved. Even if the USA had a course of action available that would likely help the situation in Syria, I wouldn’t expect Hair Furor to properly identify and execute it.

  130. 130
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    How are The Russians doing in Afghanistan fighting ISIS alongside the Taliban?

  131. 131
    jl says:

    @khead:

    ‘ Holy shit MSNBC has a hard on for war. Mrs. Greenspan actually said “New sheriff in town”.’

    Those nice perky intrepid news media divas you see on TV are seriously depraved, aren’t they?

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @philadelphialawyer: I honestly do not know if we can. I’m trying to think through the problem sets and am not sure I’m even going to get to anything resembling a solution. At one level the exercise could be abstract enough to just go with: we need the equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Iraq and Syria, now plan backwards. But I don’t think that’s really of any real value to anyone. I’m not saying I have any real, or if I should come up with a real one, good answers to the strategic questions here. I am saying I’m trying to think my way through the issues and problem sets to see where that gets me. I’m not trying to think up knew or better ways to conduct a campaign. I am trying to think through how we might work with and support our local partners to reach a better outcome. To some extent the Iraqi side is considerably easier. The societal and sectarian divisions are clearer cut. The authorizations for us to be there are straight forward. Syria is what’s gnawing at me in a professional capacity. So I’m feeding it some brain cells.

  133. 133
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Should they really even be tweeting?

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hilts: I did. It is a provocative piece.

  135. 135
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: sorry– those are journalists’ tweets about what Tillerson, McMaster and various gov’t officials are making.

    ETA: Steve Clemons very sensibly (to me) discussing how much more difficult this is going to be because trump insists on acting unilaterally.

  136. 136
    jl says:

    @debbie: How else are they going to get the boss’s attention? They can’t be running over to Hannity or Fox ‘n’ Friends every other minute.

  137. 137
    khead says:

    @jl:

    Some nice lady on CNN just said – I’m paraphrasing a bit, but not that much – “Trump did it for the children”.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @philadelphialawyer: Who has suggested that we can?

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I have no idea.

  140. 140
    jl says:

    @khead: Oh Lord. Thanks for the info, I guess. I better go away from the intertube blogs and news for a while before I start gagging up my dinner.

  141. 141
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I know you are in good faith, highly intelligent, and well informed. I just think the task is impossible. It is not in our power as a nation to stableize Iraq, which I agree is somewhat less screwed up than Syria. It is not a matter of “good answers” and “professional capacity.” And I see no reason to extend the illusion that if we, somehow, could just come up with the right “plan,” and implement it, we can make an inherently unstable polity half a world away, with an alien culture, and with large population segments that have every reason to hate us, solid enough so that we can be said to have “won the peace.”

    Leave Iraq to the Iraqis. They got along fine without us for thousands of years. Much the same with Syria.

  142. 142
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Adam Silverman.

    “I had just begun thinking through a report I’m working on in regard to how to set the conditions in Iraq and Syria to win the peace, not just the war, against ISIL.”

  143. 143
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @Shalimar: A commenter over on LGM stated that CNN had an “expert” on who claimed that the Syrian planes escaped to Tehran.

    Someone, somewhere is gonna use that as their WMD 2.0 excuse.

  144. 144
    Kropadope says:

    @philadelphialawyer: In fairness, saying that you’re working on a problem doesn’t mean that the problem necessarily has a solution.

  145. 145
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Kropadope: Wow. That is some fine nit picking. But the hubris is in the trying.

  146. 146
    efgoldman says:

    @khead:

    “Trump did it for the children”.

    The dead ones? The refugees? The ones trying to live “normally” in free fire/free bombing zones? The ones who will die tomorrow and the next day and the next….

  147. 147
    Mnemosyne says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    Re-read #132 and stop digging. You look like an idiot right now.

  148. 148
    efgoldman says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    Leave Iraq to the Iraqis. They got along fine without us for thousands of years.

    That ship sailed when France and Britain partitioned the Ottoman Empire with borders of convenience, having nothing whatsoever to do with ethnic, religious, or tribal integrity.

  149. 149
    Timurid says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho:

    If we did kill a bunch of Revolutionary Guard or Hezbollah… those guys have much more capability for terror attacks against US interests, foreign or domestic, than the special ed kids from ISIS. Of course for Trump that may be a feature and not a bug.

  150. 150
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Good god, Brian Williams’ attempts at what he seems to think is eloquence, folksy eloquence, is aggravating. And of all people to try to sound like a military expert…

  151. 151
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Mnemosyne: Whatevs.

  152. 152
    Kropadope says:

    @philadelphialawyer: Hey, if he helps even a little bit, good on him. Give the man a prize.

    And there are a lot of problems out there that people didn’t solve for ages. They didn’t arrive at a solution by not trying.

  153. 153
    Another Scott says:

    I noted this tweet downstairs:

    Spencer Ackerman‏ Verified account @attackerman

    In 2017 as in 2013: if you seek to oust Assad & you win, you own Syria. If you attack Assad & leave him in power, you look weak. +Russia now

    12:43 PM – 6 Apr 2017

    Dumping $100M in ordnance on an airfield only makes sense if there is some sensible policy goal behind it. It is not at all clear that that is the case here. Assad going on TV to rally his troops and call Trump a “paper tiger” isn’t going to help the US’s standing in the world, and isn’t going to speed Assad’s departure.

    Syria (and much of the Middle East) is a huge mess. Too many players are much more interested in perpetual war than in actually addressing the problems.

    We know that Assad, like his father, has no qualms about killing tens of thousands of people, using any weapons he has available, to hold onto power. Craters in an air base aren’t going to change that.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but I have little confidence that anything Trump does will put the region on the road toward ending the war(s).

    As Attackerman (and Adam) says, it’s really easy to break things and blow up existing governments. It’s really, really hard (especially for outsiders) to put an effective government in its place.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  154. 154
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @efgoldman: That ship may have sailed a long time ago. But what remains to be proven is that endless Western intervention is going to solve the problem that Western intervention caused in the first place.

  155. 155
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Kropadope: Sometimes the best way to help is to respect other people’s autonomy, independence and ability to make decisions for themselves. And we are not talking about a math problem or tricky chess puzzle. Following a policy of non intervention is morally, legally and practically a better one, in my opinion, than the opposite. And that has nothing to do with how hard people work.

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @philadelphialawyer: Wow, you make me defend Kropadope. He was on point.

  157. 157
    amk says:

    Many officials at State Department today were completely out of the loop, as were key US allies, about imminent US strike. #unilateralism— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) April 7, 2017

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    I’m not the one who read the words, “I honestly do not know if we can” and went, See, he said he could solve it!

  159. 159
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Right, as if this was some abstract “problem” that working on has no downside. There is no solution. There is no way for the US to “fix” what it “broke.” The sooner that reality is faced, the better.

  160. 160
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Mnemosyne: Dude, he said he was working on a “report” for winning the peace. I think that is impossible, and hubristic. Quibble all you want about the disclaimers….

  161. 161
    amk says:

    JUST IN: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says the strike in Syria did not stop Assad's ability to carry out future attacks— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 7, 2017

  162. 162
    Kropadope says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    Sometimes the best way to help is to respect other people’s autonomy, independence and ability to make decisions for themselves. And we are not talking about a math problem or tricky chess puzzle. Following a policy of non intervention is morally, legally and practically a better one, in my opinion, than the opposite. And that has nothing to do with how hard people work.

    Hey, I’m with you, buddy. I think getting involved in Syria is a fool’s errand. However, given that interventionists always seem to get their way AND given that the non-intervention ship appears to have sailed, I’m perfectly happy to have someone at least attempting to answer the question “how can we make this better?”

    There are billions of people in this world, we can spare a few minds to this question. Besides which, if people earnestly trying to come up with an answer to that question conclusively arrive at an answer of “we can’t,” doesn’t that help bolster the argument for non-intervention?

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: Well, of course not.

  164. 164
    chopper says:

    @amk:

    well, duh. anybody actually think that chucking threescore tomahawks at an airfield is gonna accomplish anything like that?

  165. 165
    Timurid says:

    @amk: So more bombing. And more tearful babble about Syrian kids who will never live to have their school lunches taken away.

  166. 166
    Mike J says:

    The three defense officials told BuzzFeed News they believe Assad may have launched Tuesday’s attack to test the president, particularly after members of his administration had indicated Assad could stay in power. Most notably, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that: “I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.”

    At the time, many heard a new Syria policy, one that no longer called for Assad to leave power, as it had during the Obama administration.

    On Tuesday, as reports of the chemical attack became public, the White House stuck to its new policy. It called Assad’s grip on power, despite a six-year civil war, a “political reality,” and said it was up to the Syrian people to decide the country’s future.

    “You should not in any way extrapolate that [the strikes] changed our policy or posture on Syria in any way.”

  167. 167
    smintheus says:

    What connects WW I and today is that the US and its allies at the time failed to properly secure the peace at the end of WW I.

    Whatever Wilson may have wanted in 1918, he had no power to achieve it among the allies, especially Britain and France, who were not trying to “secure the peace”. They were aiming to (a) settle scores with the defeated, and (b) expand their global dominance. They scoffed at Wilson’s utopianism. There were almost no voices in London or Paris advising moderation or “peace securing”. The talk was all about grabbing everything that might be grabbed, as quickly as possible.

    So it’s not clear that there are important parallels to the current conflicts apart from the obvious big one: foreigner powers are once again getting involved in trying to carve up areas of the Middle East to their liking.

  168. 168
    Mike J says:

    @Timurid: There a lot of kids on the airbase?

  169. 169
    lamh36 says:

    Adm. Kirby on airstrikes in Syria: “We’re in now, … the pres. is putting his thumb on the scale in this civil war

  170. 170
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Good lord there’s a lot of tedious head butting tonight. Reminds me of law school when no one would ever concede a point or allow anyone else to have the last word.

    In better news, the flight crew just showed up and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

    Buuuuuuut not leaving until 1:47 am.

  171. 171
    chopper says:

    @Kropadope:

    to be fair to phillylawyer, there’s a big difference between “how do we make this better” and “how do we win the peace”. the latter seems to me to be an idiotic concept, like “how can I unfuck this chicken?”

  172. 172
    chopper says:

    by the way, “how do I unfuck this chicken” was rick perry’s senior thesis in “animal science” at college.

  173. 173
    Timurid says:

    @Mike J: Referring to Trump’s statements about kids killed by Assad. As in Trump doesn’t give a fuck about kids, any kids, unless it benefits him.

  174. 174
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    the flight crew just showed up and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

    Given your luck, I expect some small problem with the aircraft, and fixing it will take JUST long enough that the crew will have timed out.
    Also: I seem to remember in the deep dark past, an agreement between the Port Authority (which owns/runs the airport) and the East Boston neighborhood, severely limiting takeoffs after 1100pm. No, I’m not joking.

  175. 175
    chopper says:

    @Timurid:

    i’m doing this for the children! still no refugees tho. fuck them.

  176. 176
    hilts says:

    @khead:

    This is nothing new under the sun.

    Don’t forget babbling idiot Chris Matthews lobbied his bosses at MSNBC to fire Phil Donahue because he opposed the Iraq war.

  177. 177
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @philadelphialawyer: And he could end up saying “it ain’t possible.”

  178. 178
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @efgoldman: there would be a riot if someone tried to pull that. A riot of really tired middle aged white guys, but a riot nonetheless.

  179. 179
    Kropadope says:

    @chopper: If shooting for the stars only gets you to the moon, I’m OK with that. And his working concept for “how do we win the peace,” to my understanding, sounds multilateral and involving the legitimately interested parties. I think his heart’s in the right place and it’s not as though he’s personally setting our Syria policy. Cut him some slack.

  180. 180
    Steve in the ATL says:

    And Legal Seafood’s tv’s were evenly split between hockey and Fox News. Wtf?

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    It feels like there are a lot of lefty isolationists desperately trying to convince themselves that Hillary would have been worse. Pro tip: she wouldn’t have been. Trump is and always was worse, and all of his maunderings about staying out of problems overseas were lies, as I kept trying to tell these morons.

    Trump was ALWAYS going to be more hawkish than Hillary. Anyone who thought differently was lying to themselves.

  182. 182
    Kropadope says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    there would be a riot if someone tried to pull that. A riot of really tired middle aged white guys, but a riot nonetheless.

    So the only kind of riot that may see its demands met?

  183. 183
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Trump was ALWAYS going to be more hawkish than Hillary. Anyone who thought differently was lying to themselves.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLZZZZZZ

  184. 184
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Barry McCaffrey calling for a hot (short) war to destroy the Syrian air force.

  185. 185
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kropadope: Moi, I tend to be liberal interventionist and I think this was a bad idea. I apply just war theory and see how it comes out before saying okay to something. I don’t see how this fits.

  186. 186
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kropadope: fair point! You don’t mess with middle aged white guys, and I’ll bet we all have medallion status which makes us totally badass

  187. 187
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    A riot of really tired middle aged white guys, but a riot nonetheless.

    But think of all the new clients you’d have!

  188. 188
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kropadope: Don’t we have three years until the next RNC national convention?

  189. 189
    Timurid says:

    @Steve in the ATL: They’re only blowing up the whole fucking world at the moment. I wouldn’t mess with them either…

  190. 190
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I assume the other Georgians have long since gone to bed, but I’m reminded of a book by Atlanta newspaperman Lewis Grizzard entitled “if I ever get back to Georgia I’m gonna nail my feet to the ground”

  191. 191
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Barry McCaffrey calling for a hot (short) war to destroy the Syrian Russian air force.

    What could go wrong?

  192. 192
    Kropadope says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They gotta keep themselves busy until then somehow. Trump’s president, so as far as most of them are concerned, all is right with the world.

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I’ll bet we all have medallion status

    What that?

  193. 193
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Three of the longest years of your life…

  194. 194
    bluehill says:

    Funny to read all the tweets from repubs warning Obama about what Trump just did. Wonder if this will change their view of Middle East invention and Clinton’s use of cruise missiles against al-Qaeda and Iraq.

    So Trump warned the Russians. I wonder if Assad is realizing how quickly Putin will abandon him if it means keeping Trump in power. If he’s interested in self-preservation, Assad should consider a nice vacation home in Iran.

    From a purely cold political view, each broken Trump promise hopefully will peel off a few more Trump voters.

  195. 195
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @efgoldman: a guy I was drinking with earlier (at Lucky’s!) has a commercial door business in New Hampshire and is having labor trouble. He wanted my card, but alas I am in house and can’t freelance union bust. FML!

  196. 196
    chopper says:

    @Kropadope:

    Cut him some slack.

    if and only if he titles his report “how can I unfuck this chicken”. maybe then.

  197. 197
    goblue72 says:

    Here’s an alternative. F**k the War Dept. F**k the US military war machine. F**k “grand theory” jagoffs. F**k anyone trying to make lemonade out of this.

    There are those who oppose this unconditionally on one side. And on the other side is everyone else – who will be proven completely wrong in time (just like they were completely wrong about Iraq AND Afghanistan). I don’t expect them to learn anything. They all should be doing one thing this time around and that’s STFU. (And I fully expect the hippies to be sneered at for being “naive” and not being serious “grown-ups”.)

    And I see Clinton got up on stage today and demonstrated precisely why she lost.

  198. 198
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Christopher Hayes‏Verified account @chrislhayes 2h2 hours ago
    Tonight Trump is getting praise from the very same Establishment he ran against and whose approval he desperately seeks.

    Simon Maloy‏Verified account @ SimonMaloy 2h2 hours ago
    now Trump’s going to watch TV and see Morning Joseph and friends call him strong and presidential for bombing something and he’ll get ideas

  199. 199
    Mike J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I apply just war theory and see how it comes out before saying okay to something. I don’t see how this fits.

    I’m kinda ok with it, as long as it is limited to this strike. It seems proportionate. Take out 20-30 planes at the airbase that carried out the war crime.

    The funny thing is, if warmonger Hitlery had been elected, I don’t think there would have been an attack tonight, because I don’t think there would have been a gas attack the other day. Trump already told Assad he had no interest in their squabble and green-lit everything.

  200. 200
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @goblue72: maybe I’m too tired to think straight, but I agree with your entire post

  201. 201
    Kropadope says:

    @chopper:

    if and only if he titles his report “how can I unfuck this chicken”. maybe then.

    Will you settle for working title pending peer review?

  202. 202
    efgoldman says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    What could go wrong?

    I gotta’ assume Syria, being a Russian client state, uses Russian arms and aircraft. So, Barry, you’re so fucking smart, which ones do we takeout and how do we know the difference.
    This asshole was a fucking general? What, did he graduate from the academy one place behind Grandpa Walnuts?

  203. 203
    Kropadope says:

    @goblue72:

    There are those who oppose this unconditionally on one side. And on the other side is everyone else – who will be proven completely wrong in time

    I oppose war in Syria unconditionally, but I’ll take the folk who oppose it conditionally as part of my coalition. Hell, I’ll accept the mostly doubters and on-the-fencers I can get.

  204. 204
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @goblue72: Fuck off. And I think this attack was wrong.

  205. 205
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: he says straight up, it will result in US casualties and conflict with Russia and Iran

    @Omnes Omnibus: Dwight called for the assassination of police officers, by other people, of course. His commitment to non-violence is… questionable.

  206. 206
    Mnemosyne says:

    @goblue72:

    And I see Clinton got up on stage today and demonstrated precisely why she lost.

    You just keep telling yourself that Hillary totally would have been worse and Trump is going to become the isolationist of your dreams any day now.

    You wanted Anyone But Hillary as president, and you got exactly what you wanted. Congratulations.

  207. 207
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Eric the Fruit Bat over at LGF thinks that Trump’s launching the Tomahawks into Syria is the kayfabe to end all kayfabes.

  208. 208
    Kropadope says:

    @Mike J:

    The funny thing is, if warmonger Hitlery had been elected, I don’t think there would have been an attack tonight, because I don’t think there would have been a gas attack the other day. Trump already told Assad he had no interest in their squabble and green-lit everything.

    Quoted for truth solid inductive reasoning.

  209. 209
    efgoldman says:

    @Kropadope:

    Will you settle for working title pending peer review?

    Sure. You can find the president’s peers at any kindergarten in the country.

  210. 210
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mike J:

    I’m kinda ok with it, as long as it is limited to this strike. It seems proportionate. Take out 20-30 planes at the airbase that carried out the war crime.

    That would have been nice, but Trump told the Syrians’ ally Russia (unlike our own allies or the State Department) and the planes apparently flew to Iran.

    This was just theatre. Not intended to do anything.

  211. 211
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So Donny lobbed some missiles into an airbase to do exactly what? As it’s been pointed out, the planes were in Iran. This to show the MAGA we’re winning? Maybe give the Russians a good look at our current cruise missile capabilities?

    This seems less like wag the dog and more like dog chases car.

  212. 212
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @efgoldman: Yup… that was totally, utterly, and completely the point of my snark…

    Hell… as far as I remember, Obummer made Syria destroy its cache of WMD at one point, correct?

    So either ASSad lied and kept some of them… OR… somebody helped him reconstitute his weapons programs…

    Hmmm… I wonder which one is right?

    And even if ASSad simply hid some, I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that he didn’t have some sort of approval from the Russians to use that shite…

    Just sayin’…

    Perhaps ASSad simply found the WMD that Hussein spirited away in the middle of the night…

  213. 213
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Hence my “fuck off.”

  214. 214
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I figured. I just like to remind everyone what Dwight is, and remind Dwight that some of us remember.

  215. 215
    chopper says:

    @Kropadope:

    make ernie anastos second author and you’ve got a deal!

  216. 216
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kropadope: I didn’t support the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I thought, based on what was being reported, which has now been confirmed, that the planning was poorly done, that the national strategy and the theater strategy were a mess. And as was pretty clear to most folks at the time, the arguments were themselves bogus. But when the opportunity came to go and use my knowledge, skills, and abilities to try to make things a little better doing tactical and operational level work I did. There were a number of personal and a few professional reasons for that.

    The problem we have is that there is no serious potential candidate for President, from either side of wherever we’ve decided the center is on any given day, that is not going to be an interventionist. Whether soft to hard. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen a long, sustained erosion of Congress’s powers, or perhaps better stated, willingness to exercise their powers in these matters to rein the President in. This is the America we live in. I have been arguing since 2013 for a policy of containment, management, and mitigation via our local partners. Supporting them and helping them to help themselves rather than more military power. All told I’ve written several hundred pages that all drive to this. That seek to delineate the complexities in the related and overlapping problem sets – social, societal, religious, political, economic, ethno-national, sectarian, etc – so that decision makers have the fullest possible understanding of just what it is they’re dealing with.

    I’m not disagreeing with either you or philadelphialawyer that the people of Iraq or Syria have to work these problems out for themselves. That if we do it for them we’re going to get the same results we got as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom where as soon as we left the Iraqis decided to settle their lingering scores. Setting conditions doesn’t mean kinetic and lethal action. It doesn’t mean using military power. Or it doesn’t only mean these things. It does mean using diplomatic, information, and economic power to set these conditions as well. And often, and if done right, it excludes using any significant amount of military power, let alone military power at all. It may just mean trying to get everyone to the negotiating table and keeping them there. Or providing the Jordanians and the Lebanese enough foreign aid so they aren’t buried under the refugee crisis. And it certainly means taking more refugees and leading by example on that issue. And it most certainly means exercising a type of leadership that puts our local allies in the driver seat with us providing support, whether it is diplomatically or economically or, if it comes to it, militarily.

  217. 217
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Distract from his Russian problem in this country… hell, tweeting about Obama wiretapping him didn’t work… might as well try something else… I wonder how many of the crowd wearing MAGA hats could even find Syria on a map…

  218. 218
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @goblue72: Use the word “fuck,” you prude.

  219. 219
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @goblue72: I love you too!

  220. 220
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    So either ASSad lied and kept some of them… OR… somebody helped him reconstitute his weapons programs…

    This stuff is pretty low tech now when you get down now. Just need a insecticide plant to make it.

  221. 221
    Mike J says:

    @Fair Economist: I haven’t seen the flew to Russia story from anyone but you. Is that a keyhole in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

    We’ll see way more pics of the bombed airbase than we want to by tomorrow. Until then I’m not believe that it was perfect and surgical or that it was completely botched.

  222. 222
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And after this commercial break, a bit about flying pigs…

  223. 223
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @goblue72: Seriously dude, life isn’t a Che T shirt. You need more than black and white to understand things.

  224. 224
    Kropadope says:

    @chopper:

    make ernie anastos second author and you’ve got a deal!

    I’m just the self-appointed middle-man here, but I’m all for it if Adam agrees.

  225. 225
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: I’m not following. Please clarify.

  226. 226
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @efgoldman: How very fucking dare you. Kindergarteners are much smarter than Dolt 45. ;-)

  227. 227
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Boarding the plane! Farewell, bean town. Hope I don’t see you again for a while.

  228. 228
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Easy to make or not, I still find it hard to believe he didn’t have some sort of approval from the Russians to do something like that…

  229. 229
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sorry…

    Your comment made so much sense… I’m just so used to good ideas and smart people being ignored…

    In other words, ideas like you laid out will be taken seriously as soon as pigs learn to fly…

  230. 230
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    We can’t walk away.

  231. 231
    Kropadope says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Boarding the plane! Farewell, bean town. Hope I don’t see you again for a while.

    Nothing personal, but it seems almost obligatory to assert that the feeling is mutual.

  232. 232
    Shalimar says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: If the planes really did have enough warning to escape to Iran, isn’t that a pretty strong indication that Russia passed on our notification to the Syrians?

  233. 233
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kropadope: and don’t you dare mention the super bowl!

  234. 234
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: They’re not ignored. But ultimately the people they are for don’t have the final say.

  235. 235
    Kropadope says:

    @Steve in the ATL: IDGAF about the Super Bowl, but now that you mention it

  236. 236
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It just seems so many times, what could and would work doesn’t get the chance it deserves… we’ve been fighting in the ME for how many years now?

    And what sort of new round of horrors will today’s events kick off?

  237. 237
    Kropadope says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, you said it all. I’d say my work here is done if not for the fact that Netflix alone can’t hold my attention and the late night Halo Wars players are too good.

  238. 238
    GregB says:

    The fuse is lit. Little Donnie now knows he can use the militsry and mete out death on a whim.

    He will be hooked on the power.

    Now he’a gonna tell Ji Xinpeng that if doesn’t stop Kin Jong Un, he’ll do it.

    Cue The Doors.

  239. 239
    amk says:

    Brian Williams calls DOD video of missile strikes "beautiful", unironically quotes Leonard Cohen, "Im guided by the beauty of our weapons"— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) April 7, 2017

    and the war porn begins.

  240. 240
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: I was in the room the first time Brian Williams told his Iraq story. It was less than a month after it happened. He told it to suck up to the retired 4 star that was in charge of the conference. I was seated less than 15 feet from where Williams was standing and about 20 from the screen where he was showing the accompanying photos. I seem to recall at some point the sucking up was so staggering that I dropped my dessert spoon and got cake on the cuff of my trousers.

  241. 241
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I seem to recall at some point the sucking up was so staggering that I dropped my dessert spoon and got cake on the cuff of my trousers.

    My point exactly in the above comment…

  242. 242
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It does mean using diplomatic, information, and economic power to set these conditions as well. And often, and if done right, it excludes using any significant amount of military power, let alone military power at all. It may just mean trying to get everyone to the negotiating table and keeping them there.

    Of course it does; and while details may differ, any logical, thoughtful, informed people would be doing that.
    You see the problem, right?

  243. 243
    Kropadope says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t know if this story’s true and have no way of verifying, but I will continue to believe in it because” don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

    In fact, I honestly hope it’s not true because irony is oh so delicious.

  244. 244
    efgoldman says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire:

    Kindergarteners are much smarter than Dolt 45. ;-)

    Only the five year olds. The fours are right in his wheelhouse.

  245. 245
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kropadope: It is true. The first night banquet at the USMA West Point 50th Senior Conference in June 2003. It was the kickoff event for the newly opened Combatting Terrorism Center.

  246. 246
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I dropped my dessert spoon and got cake on the cuff of my trousers.

    And I’ll bet the crease was so sharp it could cut a 2×4.

  247. 247
    Kropadope says:

    @Adam L Silverman: C’est la vie. And I was wrong, that does make it more interesting. Also, I think Looking glass has the right read on Brian Williams WRT war porn.

    Nevertheless, we should totally be in the business of making up embarrassing Brian Williams stories.

  248. 248
  249. 249
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kropadope: What was sad was as bad as the brown nosing was with the original telling, the way the story changed and metastasized over the years into what got him kicked off the nightly news was just pathetic. It was bad enough when it was done to suck up to someone who really couldn’t do much for Williams one way or the other. It became worse when it because about self aggrandizing Brian Williams.

  250. 250
    amk says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: This whole thing was about that and the fifth columnist msm will gladly oblige him. The dead syrian kids were a convenient cover.

  251. 251
    Kropadope says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What was sad was as bad as the brown nosing was with the original telling, the way the story changed and metastasized over the years into what got him kicked off the nightly news was just pathetic.

    The natural pattern of the braggart.

  252. 252
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Kyle Cheney‏Verified account
    @ kyledcheney
    LIST of more than 100 lawmakers who said unilateral Obama strike in Syria would be unconstitutional:

    ETA: about 75% Republican

  253. 253
    Kropadope says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Psst, Mnemo ain’t no dude.

    It’s 2017, Mnemo can be whatever she wants.

  254. 254
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: IOKIYAR

  255. 255
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: I was in a suit and tie.

  256. 256
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @amk: That is what I am afraid of…

    Back when Trump got elected, I was making jokes about him awarding himself medals… the jokes don’t seem so far-fetched or funny now…

    Who could Trump find to award him a medal? It’d have to be a leader whose stature would be equal to his own… someone seen as an absolute autocrat in his own country… perhaps a country w/ a nuclear arsenal as.. uh… ‘big’ as Donnie’s…

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Aw, man, you blew my cover! 😂

    Next thing I know, you’ll tell everyone that I have cats. Or that I love Hamilton.

  258. 258
    joel hanes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Sixty cruise missiles? The fuck?

    THE DONALD : That Kim boy down the street thinks he’s something because he gets to set off rockets.

    Ha. I’ll show him. Thirty.
    No, four … make it FIFTY of our best rockets. The best ones.
    And be sure to get film ….
    Who? I dunno. Who are we mad at?

  259. 259
    amk says:

    Trump administration told Russia about its war plans before they told the U.S. Congress.— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) April 7, 2017

    and of course, paul, the pansy, has no problem with it.

  260. 260
    Ruckus says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    I don’t think a case can be made under the Just War theory, or any other widely accepted moral theory of war, for this attack.

    These clowns don’t need a case, don’t have any morals, and aren’t doing this because there is any justification.
    This is US politics, plain and simple. It’s red meat to the hungry.

  261. 261
    amk says:

    beebs

    Kremlin: ‘Aggression against a sovereign nation’

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has described the US air strikes on the Shayrat airbase as an “aggression against a sovereign nation”. Mr Putin sees them as an “attempt to distract the world from civilian casualties from US military action in Iraq,” and they “do significant damage” to US-Russia ties”, Dmitry Peskov said.

  262. 262
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @amk: Yeah, right, Vlad. More like distracting the vermin of the Village from the very real story of Russian interference in the US Presidential election to install his puppet, the tiny-fingered shitgibbon, in the White House.

  263. 263
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: Exactly so. Might makes right. Worked for Hitler, works for Donald.

  264. 264
    gene108 says:

    People have brought up Clinton’s use of cruise missiles in 1998. The big difference is Clinton had a goal in mind, with his attack: To kill Osama bin Laden.

    From what I heard about the attack, we just missed him, in Afghanistan by an hour or so and hit the base he had been at after he left.

    I have no idea what the objective of this attack is or how it fits into any broader strategy. From the reactions of guys like Tillerson, I am not sure people in this Administration understand exactly why this was done.

    Edit: One reason I can think of is Obama didn’t attack, when Assad used chemical weapons years ago and Donnie think this’ll finally give him one up on Obama.

  265. 265

    @Mnemosyne: Wait, you love Hamilton?

  266. 266

    I am put in mind of a remark Orwell made about Gandhi:

    And if, as may happen, India and Britain finally settle down into a decent and friendly relationship, will this be partly because Gandhi, by keeping up his struggle obstinately and without hatred, disinfected the political air?

    If one wants peace and prosperity these have to be the goals of policy: violence can at most be an adjunct and, I think, an unreliable one.

  267. 267

    Another thought: for some time now I have been saying that in the interconnected world, all war is civil war, with people on both sides of the conflict on both sides of the borders.

  268. 268
    TenguPhule says:

    Wonderful, we’re at war with Syria.

  269. 269
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    @Raven Onthill:
    I am a citizen of planet earth and a member of the human race.

  270. 270
  271. 271
    CM says:

    @gene108:

    You write: “I have no idea what the objective of this attack is or how it fits into any broader strategy… Edit: One reason I can think of is Obama didn’t attack, when Assad used chemical weapons years ago and Donnie think this’ll finally give him one up on Obama.”

    Irony number 1: Trump is on record in numerous tweets as opposing — in the STRONGEST LANGUAGE using the BEST WORDS — any military intervention by Obama in Syria.

    Irony number 2: Obama arranged with Russia to get Assad to give up chemical weapons; therefore, Trump had a chance to show just what an improved relationship with Russia could do in this case by going back to Russia and getting his buddy Putin to deal with a violation of that agreement, but Hair Furor dropped trou and took a gigantic dump (in the form of 60 cruise missiles) on that possibility.

  272. 272
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I am once again, finally, in the ATL. And this airport looks like a refugee camp. People sleeping everywhere, swaddled in red delta blankets.

    If I were catholic I’d be furious with the patron saint of travelers.

  273. 273
    amk says:

    Ryan on Obama in '13: "He needs to clearly demonstrate that the use of military force would strengthen America's security"

    Trump doesn't? https://t.co/uen101WYsA— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) April 7, 2017

    a scummy ass kisser.

  274. 274
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m thinking that Putin is beginning to think “oh S***! he’s too stupid to be maneuvered! I should have just made Hillary’s life miserable as president!”

  275. 275
    amk says:

    What is Trump's goal and larger plan with these strikes? Reporters must ask these questions. We deserve the answers.— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) April 7, 2017

  276. 276
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hilts: Wow. I didn’t know that. So he’s always been a douche.

  277. 277
    raven says:

    From Pat Lang

    Donald Trump’s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened:

    The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
    The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
    The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
    There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
    We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through “Live Agent” training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.

  278. 278
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @goblowagoat: Assholier-than-thou, as usual for you.

  279. 279
    Another Scott says:

    @raven: I don’t know about you, but I’ve become very suspicious over the years of “obvious” explanations like that.

    BBC:

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment, said it was “pretty fanciful”.

    “Axiomatically, if you blow up Sarin, you destroy it,” he told the BBC.

    Experts say the explosion resulting from an air strike on a chemical weapons facility would most likely incinerate any agents. Sarin and other nerve agents are also usually stocked in a “binary manner”, which means they are kept as two distinct chemical precursors that are combined just before use, either manually or automatically inside a weapon when launched.

    “It’s very clear it’s a Sarin attack,” Mr de Bretton-Gordon added. “The view that it’s an al-Qaeda or rebel stockpile of Sarin that’s been blown up in an explosion, I think is completely unsustainable and completely untrue.”

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

Comments are closed.