Absurdities Surround the Syrian Incident

This entire episode is filled with absurdities, but when we track them down, we find that they stem from fantastic U.S. government behavior.

It is absurd to suppose that Assad ordered a chemical weapons raid. Why would he do this when he’s been using conventional bombs for years? Why would he do this when chemical weapons are notoriously hard to control and use? Why would he do this when his chemical weapons stock pile has been removed from Syria? Why would he take the risk of being found out? Why would he do this when he’s winning using conventional weapons?

If it is absurd for Assad to have made this happen by his order, what is the explanation? The U.S. has offered no explanation for his alleged behavior. It has offered no motive. A crime typically has a motive.

It’s absurd to suppose that the U.S. would retaliate without evidence, but what is that evidence? Does the U.S. have a tape of Assad giving an order to drop chemical-laden bombs? If it did, it would have been mentioned if not released by now, or a transcript revealed. Does the U.S. have a way of spotting bombs that are fitted with chemical warheads? Such evidence has not been forthcoming and it is absurd to suppose that this is even possible or is collected by U.S. photographing and spying. Has the U.S. had access to the area bombed to find circumstantial evidence? The area is in rebel hands, and such inspections have not occurred. It is absurd given all this lack of knowledge that the U.S. would bomb Syria. It is absurd to think that a big bombing raid would be undertaken on the basis of photos and reports from within rebel-held areas or produced by people with rebel sympathies or produced by rebel puppets.

Nothing about the U.S. narrative makes any sense. It’s all entirely absurd. It’s impossible to believe. To make sense of these events, we have to make a radically different set of assumptions about what has actually transpired than the U.S. narrative.

There are further absurdities. The Pentagon is looking into whether the Russians participated in the alleged attack. This is totally absurd. It shows only to what lengths the U.S. has a warped view of Russia and reality and how far it will go to scapegoat Russia and make normal relations with Russia very difficult. That worldview and that aim are themselves absurd.

Nikki Haley always makes absurd statements, and so it’s within her parameters of discourse that she would blame Iran and Russia for the chemical attack.

It’s absurd that Trump would get all upset about photos of dead children and think that chemical weapons pose some sort of threat to America that’s so different than other threats that it requires bombing Syria. He’s already had killed numerous children. Trump said he bombed to “prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons”, but it’s absurd to think that the bombing accomplishes that aim. It no more accomplishes that than the prohibition of alcohol and drugs have stopped their production and consumption. It’s absurd to think that a president would believe this. It’s absurd to think that he’d say it in order to persuade Americans of the rightness and effectiveness of bombing Syria. It’s absurd that he’d alter his earlier-expressed anti-intervention ideas on the basis of one incident and lack of evidence at that. However, other presidents have expressed equally absurd rationales and made equally absurd attacks. They’ve also departed radically from their election-year rhetoric. Trump is not all that unusual in this respect. The U.S. government routinely does absurd things and talks about them in absurd ways.

We can attempt to remove the absurdity by positing that the office of president makes the man, so to speak. Let’s look at things as a president does. The “responsibility” that Trump mentioned really means that he feels like he must do something or else he’s not living up to the preservation of “something”. That “something” is vague. That something is the nation, the state, the country, their positions in the world, the world neighborhood, the empire, a generalized notion of right and wrong. The president feels as if doing nothing in the face of a perceived moral transgression is itself immoral. He feels impelled to act, or else be thought of as a weak man who abdicated his responsibility. He’s in hock to some sort of desire for approval in a moral capacity, and he’s ready to intervene with a sword to set things right. This doctrine leads to perpetual warfare and killing in the name of morality so as to enforce the American way. This doctrine is also absurd. Even if we bend over backwards to see things as a president might, we still find that bombing Syria is an absurd act.

Nothing about this episode makes sense unless we adopt a very different theory. I’m not speaking of the military being ready to attack and waiting for a pretext. The U.S. military has had missiles ready to fire at Syria for years. This is common knowledge, so that it was presented to Trump as an option the same way it was presented to Obama. That part of the story is unsurprising.

The theory I’m referring to is that the rebels had stockpiled chlorine and perhaps had made some sarin. This is not absurd. It is consistent with many other reports made over the course of many months. It is not implausible that Syrian bombs struck these stockpiles. It is also not implausible that the rebels chose to release chemicals coincident with a Syrian bombing.

There is one other possibility, which is that some renegade element in the Syrian armed forces took it upon themselves for whatever reasons, perhaps vengeance, to assail rebels in this way. Controls over weaponry within the Syrian armed forces may make this possibility absurd. I do not know, but for completeness I mention it.

The absurdities surrounding this incident all stem from the U.S. side. I cannot swallow the U.S. story. It contains too many absurdities. Perhaps that story will be bolstered in the future, but I’m not holding my breath because the U.S. record of providing details after various other past incidents and accusations has been abysmal.


10:41 pm on April 8, 2017