Tag Archives: Assad Government

Reality Check: Lies Justify U.S. Air Strikes on Syria?

The U.S. seems to be stuck on repeat.

Our government and our media have been peddling lies to justify war, from WMDs in Iraq to humanitarian intervention in Libya.

The latest? A U.S.-led missile strike on Syria for the alleged use chemical weapons on civilians. This, just a week after President Trump said we were ready to get our troops out of that country.

Time and time again, history has proven that our government has made the wrong choice in its efforts to overthrow authoritarian governments in the Middle East, from Iraq to Libya, and now Syria.

But this time, the U.S. is meddling in a country where multiple countries are playing out a proxy war, including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Not to mention the heightened tensions from our president calling out Russia for its support of the Assad regime.

The big picture question: will we see this war escalate into a global conflict?

This is a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

So much has happened in Syria in the past two weeks: an alleged gas attack by the Assad regime, missile strikes blamed on Israel hit Syria and killed some 14 people, including Iranians, then President Trump announcing late Friday that the U.S. had launched its own missile attack on Syria in coordination with allies France and the United Kingdom.

Strong words from the president for not only Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, but also for his allies Iran and Russia.

As we reported last week, it was just a year ago that Trump authorized the first missile strike on Syria. So what did this new bombing involve?

Here’s what we know: the missile strikes hit just before dawn in Syria. They were carried out by manned U.S. military aircraft, and targeted an airfield, an alleged chemical weapons storage and manufacture facility, and command and control of the Syrian air defenses.

And while this barrage of air strikes is over, the pentagon did not rule out further strikes later.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis had previously stated that there was no evidence that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad used sarin gas on his own people. Now Mattis seems to be telling a different story.

To be clear, our government is claiming that there is evidence of a chlorine gas attack, and is framing this bombing as a retaliatory measure to stop Assad from gassing his own people, a humanitarian action.

Yet, as the financial times reported last Wednesday, it will take weeks to confirm if deadly gas was used, and by whom.

Again, Mattis said there is no evidence Assad used sarin gas on his own people. And why would Assad? What motive does the Syrian government have to gas attack civilians if it would only risk western retaliation?

Remember, the U.S., U.K. and France have been arming Syrian rebels bombing ISIS and putting boots on the ground in Syria for years. 2017 marked the first direct targeting of Assad’s government, and now this missile strike. Both labeled as humanitarian efforts.

But remember, the U.S. government has a history of taking humanitarian action without evidence.

Remember when Colin Powell and others in the Bush Administration said there was no doubt that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? He didn’t.

The lies continued, with claims that after our invasion of Iraq the extremists would be curtailed. Yet with some 4,500 American lives lost and $2.4 trillion spent, Iraq is still a mess.

And what about Libya? In an episode of Reality Check from early March, we covered the open market slave trade happening there as a result of U.S. intervention. Even former President Obama said the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was his greatest single mistake in office.

Our elected leaders never seem to learn from these mistakes. And the mainstream media is severely failing in holding them accountable.

Case in point, these latest strikes were authorized by the president, not congress. Congressional leaders were notified by the vice president shortly before the airstrikes were carried out. And many members of congress were angry at the president for not getting congressional approval before taking action against Assad.

Back in 2013, Trump criticized then-President Obama on Twitter for even considering striking Syria without congressional approval, saying:

“The president must get congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!”

What you need to know is that history tends to repeat itself, if we let it. Our government could very well be trying to do the same thing in Syria as it has done in Libya and Iraq.

And the trail goes back further. There’s a Wikileaks cable from 2006 detailing how to overthrow Assad, including radicalizing Islamists in the region.

Yet President Trump says this bombing was a targeted attack to stop the use of chemical weapons, that’s it. U.K. prime minister Theresa May took it further, stating that “this is not about regime change.”

It’s hard to believe when history tells a different story.

That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about that on social media.

 

NOTE: The flag used in the graphics for this episode should have been the Syrian Arab Republic flag with two green stars, not the Syrian Interim Government flag with three red stars.

Reality Check: Syrian Gas Attack Connected to Bigger Conflict?

Another devastating report from the Middle East: some 40 children hit by a gas attack in Syria, with Assad’s regime being blamed.

President Trump tweets Assad is an “animal,” but that Russia and Iran are responsible for backing him. And there’s a “big price to pay.”

Twelve hours later, missile strikes hit a Syrian air base, killing 14 including Iranians. Assad blames Israel, and Senator Lindsey Graham says Israel would have every right to do so “because Iran is very embedded in Syria.”

So, is there any evidence that the Syrian government is responsible for the gas attack? And what about the tensions between Israel, Syria and Iran?

There are major problems with what is being played out in the Middle East that other media are just going to ignore. But we won’t.

Let’s give it a Reality Check.

It is a difficult issue to take on. Largely because emotions around the issue are so high. Over the weekend, reports of another chemical attack in Syria, this one in the city of Douma.

Video has been released on ABC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and so many other networks shows the horrific sight of small children who have been gassed.

According to the Associated Press, “Suspected poison gas was used to attack the last remaining foothold for the Syrian opposition in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, killing at least 40 people, including families found in their homes and shelters.” These reports come from rescue groups and anti government forces in Syria.

Sunday, President Trump responded with a series of tweets:

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price… to pay Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”

President Trump went even further to threaten even more action against Assad, tweeting:

“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!”

It was nearly a year to the day when reports of another Syrian gas attack prompted the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes against a Syrian air base.

But as I reported only a few weeks ago, the U.S. Secretary of Defense now admits that there was actually no evidence in that case, or in any case that the Syrian government was the one that used sarin gas. And yet, that was the reason the U.S. gave for its the most recent airstrike.

So with no evidence, the U.S. previously conducted an airstrike against a Syrian air base. Now, President Trump is saying he will go even further. And the usual war cheerleaders in Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are pushing the president to do so.

For his part, Sen. McCain released a statement that attempted to blame President Trump for Sunday’s attack.

“President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria. Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma.”

All of this as the media continues to discount the idea that jihadists, including so called U.S. backed Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons in the past. “Even though U.N. Investigator Carla del Ponte, was unable to fulfill her U.N. joint Investigative mandate in Syria and withdrew in protest over the United States refusing to fully investigate allegations of chemical weapon use by ‘rebels’ who are actually jihadis, allied with the American effort to oust President Assad (including the use of Sarin by anti-Assad rebels).”

According to the Times of London, “Carla del Ponte, head of the independent UN commission investigating reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, told a Swiss-Italian television station that UN investigators gleaned testimony from victims of Syria’s civil war and medical staff which indicated that rebel forces used sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent.”

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and according to their report, of last week, which i have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,’ Del Ponte said in the interview, translated by Reuters. ‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities, she added.”

What you need to know goes back to what Sen. John McCain said about Syria doing this because the U.S. might withdraw, the opposite is likely true.

Consider this: a year ago, with no evidence, President Trump ordered the largest strike so far against Syria over claims of chemical weapon use.

So if now, the president signaled that he would withdraw from Syria, why would the Syrian government, before that withdrawal happens, use chemical weapons on its own people?

Strategically that makes no sense at all. Unless there’s a bigger strategy at play here involving the U.S., Israel, Russia and Iran.

But believe this: what is being sold in the media as to what is happening in Syria is not what it seems.

Would Israel and the U.S. attack Syria and Iran because of a chemical attack that has not been proven to be from the Syrian government? Remember, Israel recently admitted that it was behind the 2007 bombing of Syria’s nuclear reactor. And, just two weeks ago, the a joint military exercise between Israel and the U.S. played out a scenario of an Iranian attack on Israel.

Meanwhile the media shows you pictures of harmed children and avoids the bigger question, which is this: is the U.S. potentially being pulled into an all-out war with Iran and Syria?

That’s Reality Check, let’s talk about it right now on social media.