“The White House, in a rare high-stakes gambit that took some national security veterans off guard, announced Monday it has evidence that Syria is preparing to launch another chemical attack and warned that it will ‘pay a heavy price’ for doing so.” (See here for one of many reports of this WH charge.)
Syria dismissed the allegation.
Syria completed the removal of its chemical weapon stores 3 years ago. (See here.)
I consider other alternatives more likely. One hypothesis is that the White House [WH] has manufactured a fake charge. It’s a version of a false flag. It has taken some unsubstantiated charge from someone in Syria or misread some intelligence and has largely fabricated the charge. It did this in April when it misread the term “special weapon”, as Hersh clearly explains in his article.
Why do this at this time? This WH charge, without publicly available evidence to support it, is coming directly after Seymour Hersh’s devastating article that substantially rebuts the April WH charge of a sarin attack made by Syria. It’s likely that this timing is not a coincidence. It’s likely that the WH wants to rebut Hersh indirectly by making a fresh charge against Assad. The effect of the new charge is that many media articles refer to the alleged new attack as a “second” attack, and they treat the first incident as proven fact, when it is not. The WH idea is to bury the truth using this trick.
A second possible reason is that the WH is preparing for greater use of American force in Syria. Alternatively, the WH wants to maintain the option of introducing more force when it wants to and by the means it prefers. These two possibilities are indicated by several armed clashes in the recent past in which U.S. forces attacked Syrian forces. The American position in the south of Syria, its base there, is now cut off by Syrian armed forces. The latter have crossed a desert area that links up to Iraq and secured a critical highway. The U.S. government is being eliminated from the Syrian game as Assad continues to win the war. The U.S. plans for a region it dominates within Syria are going out the window. Only by introducing more forces on the ground or increasing the air war can the WH alter this situation.
As against these reasons, Secretary of State Mattis insists that “We just refuse to get drawn into a fight there in the Syria civil war.” I’m skeptical for a number of reasons. One is simply that officials lie and misdirect, especially when making military plans. Then there is the excuse of chemical weapons that the WH is concocting. Then there are the already existing attacks on Syrian forces with the U.S. excuses of defense and arbitrary zones to protect. And last but not least, the U.S. is already involved! It may not be through continuous direct hostilities against Assad’s forces, but it is in many other ways. The CIA and Pentagon have been training antagonists to Assad’s forces; they’ve introduced advanced weapons; the U.S. allies have brought in rebels and arms. Clearly, the U.S. is against Assad. The “fight” that Mattis refers to is only one way of being involved.
One Syrian leader has said that the U.S. is preparing a diplomatic attack on Syria. Maybe so, but the WH by making a second false charge has cleared the decks for further military initiatives at its option. It can use the false flag excuse that it’s punishing Assad because of his chemical weapons. This, however, is or would be a BIG LIE, because the chemical stores were removed 3 years ago. Such a LIE is or would be an affront to all Americans.7:35 am on June 27, 2017 Email Michael S. Rozeff