Hersh’s Latest Article Confirms No Assad Chemical Weapons Attack

The text of Seymour Hersh’s article about the alleged sarin gas attack is available. It is clear, unequivocal and strong. It adds important information that confirms earlier suppositions that Assad launched no chemical weapons attack. Hersh’s case is extremely strong, especially when he details the pre-bombing coordination among the Americans, Russians and Syrians, all of whom knew exactly whom they were targeting (as in al-Qaeda people) using a guided missile armament supplied by Russia. It was a conventional but sophisticated weapon that Russia sparingly doles out to Syria, controlling its use.

Trump comes off looking like a foolish and rash man, easily swayed by photos of the victims of what was a terrible accident, while ignoring the larger picture and cogent information he was being given. Nikki Haley comes off looking like a fool, condemning Assad at the UN for a chemical attack he did not do. Trump comes off stubborn for not listening to what he was being told.

Trump had to have ulterior motives, I believe, and I’ve outlined some suggestions back on April 8.

The flip side is that by acting the way he did, which may have been intentionally to show his willingness to use force by using it when it was not called for, Trump throws some fear into some quarters among those who will think twice before using excessive force against another people or their own. Trump can now threaten to use force credibly because he has already used it in what seems to be an irrational manner.

The world’s leaders will be reading Hersh’s article, which describes an amazing disconnect between Trump and the people around him. They were unable to make him see that Assad had not suddenly decided irrationally to launch a sarin gas attack. He didn’t act as if he even knew that Assad’s chemical stores were long gone from Syria under the Russian-brokered agreement that took place in 2013. Everyone will add this incident to their stock of knowledge about Donald Trump as president and try to figure out how it impacts their relations with him and the U.S. government.

Trump’s willingness boldly to lie to the American people is sharply etched by this incident. All presidents are big league liars. Trump needs no instruction or experience on that dimension of the job.

Trump is not yet worse than Bush 2 and Obama in terms of extending the use of military force. Bush 2 takes the cake at the moment because of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama comes in second, not far behind Bush, because of Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia while hesitantly attempting to cut out of Iraq and Afghanistan; also Obama has extended commitments in Africa and confronted China. Bill Clinton is a distant third for Yugoslavia.

So far, in 6 months, Trump is tip-toeing into his own distinctive forays in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen. Civilian deaths inflicted under his command are up and not trivial. They run into the hundreds and up. His hostility toward Iran is a known danger point, but he’s unlikely to make war there. He can’t use the Saudis as a proxy force. They’re bogged down in Yemen. He can’t start such a war without seeing Saudi Arabia’s oil threatened. The world economy would take a beating. The public reaction here against a war on Iran would be immense.


6:14 pm on June 26, 2017