Shortest. Military. Conflict. Ever. If you were partying last night and slept late this morning, you missed it, but here’s everything that went down…
Last night President Trump working in conjunction with the British and French gave the order to strike Syria with an assortment of missiles, reports coming in that they were of the Cruise and Tomahawk variety.
As of this morning, it was mission accomplished:
So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
Of course, we remember the last time it was declared “mission accomplished”:
That was in 2003, and we still have troop inside Iraq today.
Regardless, here’s a recap of what just went down, from Zero Hedge:
Investigators from the OPCW have barely begun sifting through the evidence on the ground in Douma, but that hasn’t stopped the US, France and the UK from patting themselves on the back for a “job well done” after last night’s brutal bombing campaign in Damascus and Homs.
And true to form, President Donald Trump was up early Saturday (as he is most weekends) to fire off a gloating tweet about the coalition’s airstrikes, which purportedly targeted regime bases and facilities dedicated to the production of chemical weapons.
In a series of tweets, the president lauded the “perfectly executed strike last night” and offered a “thank you” to France and the UK for “their wisdom and the power of their fine Military.”
“A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”
And while Trump’s plan to eliminate some discretionary domestic spending from the “omnibus” spending bill passed last month has reportedly hit the rocks ahead of its formal release early next month, the president eagerly seized the opportunity to gloat about the passage of a bill that he had expressed major reservations about only weeks before.
Here’s the Pentagon discussing the strikes:
I applaud the President for taking military action against the Assad regime, and I am grateful to our British and French allies for joining us in this action. To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region. https://t.co/2xrHwVGYKK
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) April 14, 2018
Although according to McCain, it’s not “mission accomplished”. There is a long-run, which generally means many years if not decades:
“To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region. The President needs to lay out our goals, not just with regard to ISIS, but also the ongoing conflict in Syria and malign Russian and Iranian influence in the region. Airstrikes disconnected from a broader strategy may be necessary, but they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East.”
Russia is not happy with the strikes, and in fact considers themselves as threatened:
After the a joint force of US, French and UK fighter jets and ship launched an attack which as Mattis said, “used a little over double the number of weapons this year than we used last year”, and amid unconfirmed reports that the Syrian air force managed to shoot down one or more Tomahawk missiles, the question everyone was asking is whether Russia has responded, and if so, how.
The answer, for now at least, is that Russia has not activated a response, although that may soon change. Here is the statement from Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anataloy Antonov, posted on Facebook:
The worst apprehensions have come true. Our warnings have been left unheard.
A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.
All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.
Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible.
The U.S. – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.
China is not happy with the shortest armed military conflict ever, and for that matter, neither is Germany or Italy:
China was less diplomatic and shortly after the strikes began, Beijing voiced opposition to US-led air strikes against Syrian military targets on Saturday and called for talks, adding that the Western operation had complicated efforts to find a solution to the crisis.
“Any unilateral military action violates the United Nations charter and its principles and international law and its principles. [The strikes] are also going to add more factors to complicate the resolution of the Syrian crisis,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.
Beijing also called for an investigation into claims of a Syrian poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people, and prompted the Western action.
“The Chinese side believes a comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation should be conducted into the suspected chemical attacks and it should come up with reliable conclusions … Before this, no conclusion by any side should be made,” Hua said.
Hua also said the Chinese embassy in Damascus was in close contact with Chinese citizens in the country. “So far they are all safe,” she said.
Beijing was reacting to air strikes launched by the United States, Britain and France carried out on what the US said were three chemical weapons facilities – one scientific facility near Damascus and two storage facilities near Homs. A total of more than 100 missiles were fired and the air strikes lasted no more than 70 minutes.
As we first reported last week, Germany (along with Italy) refused to be an active member of the strikes. On Saturday morning, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the country won’t participate in military actions against Syria, according to an interview in news magazine Spiegel.
“This is not the role that we – in coordination with our partners – want to play in this conflict.” Although, he added that he understands the view of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said use of chemical weapons “crosses a line” and added that “The use of chemical weapons must stop and can’t be without consequences.”
Angela Merkel was similarly supportive: “We support that our American, British and French allies, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, have taken responsibility in this way,” the Chancellor said in statement… just not enough to take part in the strikes that she knew would prompt a response from Putin.
Italy also rushed to made it clear to the Kremlin it was not an active participant: Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a televised address that the reaction to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria was measured, and should not mark the beginning of escalation in the region. He then added that while Italy is an ally of the participants, the country didn’t participate; and while Italy usually gives logistical help, in this case Italy did not provide.
And perhaps the most unusual thing of all was that the people in Syria are “dancing in the streets” celebrating a “less than feared” military campaign:
And just like that, Trump’s second Syrian attack appears to have come and gone.
Sure, over a 100 cruise missiles were fired on Saturday morning local time at three mostly empty military installations, including one research and two storage facilities in airstrikes that last no more than 70 minutes …
Not if one observes the response of the targeted nations: on Saturday, Syria, Russia and Iran largely shrugged off the strikes by the United States, United Kingdom and France (but not Germany and Italy) against three Syrian chemical weapons facilities, which naturally drew angry condemnations but no indication that there would be a wider escalation.
Meanwhile, in the capital Damascus, there was defiance and relief as residents jolted awake by explosions at around 4 a.m. realized the strikes would be limited. Syrian state television broadcast scenes of citizens taking to the streets to celebrate and demonstrate their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. As WaPo Beirut bureau chief Liz Sly wrote:
Damascus is shrugging off the US strikes, which turned out to be more limited than feared. People are dancing in the streets, waving Assad’s portrait & saying Trump has failed.
“Thank God this was less than we had feared. We were scared of a bigger assault that could be devastating, but we are happy it was limited and less powerful,” Mayda Kumejian, a Damascus resident, told the WaPo by phone. She described being jolted awake by explosions and the sound of jets roaring overhead.
At a rally in Damascus today, celebrating their victory in shooting down American missiles. The Syrians I’m meeting are unbelievably friendly.. I talked to a soldier at the rally and when I said I was American, he beamed and said “welcome! We still love you” pic.twitter.com/czqXkuUxNv
— Pearson Sharp (@PearsonSharp) April 14, 2018
“This strike is only muscle flexing by Trump to show his power,” she said. “Assad’s regime is much stronger now.”
“We tell Trump, you can do nothing. Here we are celebrating to show that you are bankrupt,” said a jubilant woman interviewed on state television.
Paul Craig Roberts breaks-down the real reason for the attack:
It appears from the very limited US missile attack, most of which were intercepted and destroyed by Syrian air defenses, that the US military prevailed over the crazed John Bolton and carefully avoided a strike that would have resulted in a Russian response. No significant Syrian site appears to have been targeted, and no Russians were endangered. https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/in-depth-syria-stuns-world-thwarts-us-attack/
The US ambassador to Russia said that the US strikes were coordinated with Russia to avoid a great power confrontation. https://www.rt.com/news/424132-us-russia-syria-strikes/ Russia Insider concludes that the exercise was a face-saver for Trump https://russia-insider.com/en/out-whimper-trump-blinks-delivers-limited-strikes/ri23132
The main effect seems to be that Trump has further discredited himself and the US by violating the UN Charter and international law and committing an act of aggression, which is a war crime for which Nazi civilian and military officials were executed. Russia’s President Putin said that the wanton and illegal use of force by Washington has had “a devastating impact on the whole system of international relations” and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. China also condemned the illegal US attack. https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/china-says-us-led-attacks-against-syria-are-illegal-and-against-international-law/
It would be a mistake for anyone to conclude that common sense has prevailed and the conflict has been resolved. What has prevailed is the Joint Chiefs’ fear of a defeat. The next crisis that Washington orchestrates will be on terms less favorable to Russian arms.
Bolton, the neoconservatives and the Israeli interest that they represent will go to work on Mattis and the dissenting generals. Leaks will appear in the presstitute media that are designed to discredit Mattis and to foment Trump’s distrust. The neoconservatives will advance military men more in line with the neoconservatives’ aggressiveness to positions on the Joint Chiefs.
Syria is not about any chemical weapons use. Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, reported that all chemical weapons had been removed from Syria. “Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict, and this has been accomplished within very demanding and tight time frames.” https://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/06/24/last-of-syrias-chemical-weapons-removed.html
Syria is not about dictatorship or building democracy. It is not about the alleged 70 victims of chemical weapons. It would take a complete idiot to believe that Washington and its European vassals, who have killed, maimed, orphaned, and displaced millions of Muslims in seven countries over the last 17 years to be so upset over the deaths of 70 Muslims that they are willing to risk war with Russia.
Syria and Iran are an issue, because Syria and Iran supply the Lebanese millita, Hezbollah, with money and weapons. This support from Syria and Iran gives Hezbollah the capability of preventing Israel’s occupation and annexation of southern Lebanon, whose water resources Israel covets.
Twice the vaunted Israel Army has been chased out of Lebanon by Hezbollah. Israel’s military reputation cannot risk a third defeat by a mere militia, so Israel is using its control over US foreign policy and its rock solid alliance with the neoconservatives to use the US military to destabilize Syria and Iran as the US did to Iraq and Libya.
Additionally, there is the crazed neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony. The interests of Russia and China are in the way of US hegemony. Therefore, these two countries are defined as “threats.” Russia and China are not threats because they intend to attack the US, which neither has shown any indication of doing. They are threats because they are in opposition to US unilateralism which overrides their sovereignty. In other words, to be clear, the US cannot tolerate any country that has an independent foreign or economic policy.
That Russia and China have independent policies is the reason that they are “threats.”
It would be a mistake to conclude that diplomay has prevailed and common sense has returned to Washington. Nothing could be further from the truth. The issue is not resolved. War remains on the horizon.
So there you have it.
The politicians, pentagon and the mainstream are all saying that last night there was a military conflict between the U.S., U.K., France and the evil Syrian regime, but it’s all over now.
Paul Craig Roberts is giving us a different but just as important take on the sequence of events.
Regardless, the above-all message from the mainstream is: Everybody is a winner on all sides.
President Trump declared victory with “mission accomplished”, and the Syrians declared victory in a conflicting way by saying they shot down most of the missiles, and the ones that hit weren’t as bad or as feared as they would be.
So come Sunday, if this Friday Night Conflict is indeed over, look for the hammer to come down on gold & silver.
Because, you know, there’s now peace in the world.
Nothing to worry about and certainly no reason to go on out and get some gold (and silver).
That was so last week.
And just like the weekend “Turkey Coup” a couple years back and now this, it seems major military offensives can be carried out and wrapped up in mere hours.
If everything was just as easy as armed conflict between nations.
The world would be a much better place – That’s the message we’re being told today.
And that’s the world we live in.
– Half Dollar