The Trump Administration and Syria

I dunno, the first Iraq war had a very defined objective that was accomplished and then we left.

Then people bitched that we “didn’t finish the job” or some shit.

Yeah, but that wasn’t policy, that was a spasmodic reaction to someone else’s policy.

Exactly. The first Gulf War was not policy, but a reaction to a pretty clear-cut event.

Rex Tillerson: Steps underway to remove Assad
“Those steps are underway” Tillerson says when asked about removing the Syrian president. - BBC News

I gotta admit, Tillerson’s supremely foreboding statements are kind of cool, given they are directed at folks who deserve them.

It’s perhaps not wise… but I’ve been saying for more than a decade that we need to just say, “You know what North Korea? Fuck this shit. Let’s get it on.”

Because I’m pretty sure that we’re gonna be paying that piper sooner or later, and the cost is just earning interest at this point.

That’s a pretty ominous statement by Tillerson. As in like, what? Special forces on the ground? Cruise missile up the butt?

Tax cut for the ultra-rich which will trickle down to a new world where al-Assad is deposed.

It’s not quite as dire as the idiocy of this administration’s approach to North Korea, but such statements are worse than useless when they are not backed up by viable actions. And there are no viable actions that actually do anything useful. Killing and destroying is only useful when it leads to political, that is, lasting, changes, and there’s zero chance anything we’re willing to do will accomplish that.

I sort of sympathize, in a frustrated sort of way, but we have to accept I think that this may be one of those cases where waiting actually is better. Often, I’d agree that if something is inevitable you get it out of the way on as much of your terms as you can, but military conflict in Korea is not inevitable, unless either the North goes batshit crazy (possible, for sure) or we panic. We may have to eat some crow, and choke down a soft landing for one of the worst regimes in recent memory, but all in all that will be better than sacrificing tens or hundreds of thousands of South Koreans on the altar of US pride.

Trump: Please?
Putin: No.
Trump: Pretty please?
Putin: No
Trump: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
Putin: Go to your room.

My thoughts agree with this:

This was too good. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking something when I read this.

CNN has Hilary Clinton saying if she was president, she’d target Assad’s airfields. Which, really, isn’t much better than the weirdness coming out of the Ovaltine Office right now. I mean, it’s either, you’re going to war with the (no matter how it makes us gag) recognized government of a sovereign nation (however crappy a nation), or you’re not. Bombing airfields–never mind the whole Russian involvement thing and the tactical issues to be solved–is pretty much the same as bombing the presidential palace or what not.

Legally, yes, but not in real terms. You attack some airfield or some remote chemical unit hq, you’re sending a message in terms Assad understands and can deal with. He’s been speaking that language for the better part of 20 years. But if you attack Assad himself in his palace, you’re saying there’s no communication anymore, you just want him dead.

Yeah, my analogy wasn’t the greatest. But I think the point still stands, you’re still in effect going to war. As in, we start bombing their airfields, at this point, I do not think we can pull off the sort of graduated response/threats of escalation stuff of years past. Once we’re in, directly, opposing Assad, it’s either take him down or leave with our tail between our legs.

Maybe if we had done something like that three years ago, or at some point before the Russians got in there, yeah, but at this point IMO this is a no-win strategy.

Are there currently sanctions against Syria? I can’t see bombing airfields as being very effective in terms of punishment. It would certainly keep Syrian air forces grounded for a short period of time. Syria is one of those things that you constantly hear about in the news but just becomes white noise. I’m woefully ignorant about the situation over there.

Just got a Washington Post alert that the US has launched missiles at Syria! Shit!

The U.S. military launched cruise missiles at Syrian militarytary targets late on Thursday, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began six years ago.

Initial report was 50 at 1 airfield. Seems like overkill for the airfield, and not much of impact overall

Is Trump following Clinton’s suggestions? Lol