Idlib chemical attack: A sign no change of policy is on the horizon

Source: Idlib chemical attack: A sign no change of policy is on the horizon

The alleged chemical attack, reported yesterday, is the latest in a series of atrocities notionally carried out by the Syrian government (“The Regime”, in the partisan parlance of the press). There has not been time, as yet, to fully examine and analyse all the evidence – the claims and counter claims, the photographs and videos – but it would be a massive mistake to view it in a vacuum.

First, the situation on the ground needs to be considered. The Syrian government – with assistance from Iran and the Russian Air Force, have been making steady progress for months. Aleppo has fallen. Palmyra was retaken. The rebels are losing. So cui bono? What good does dropping chemical weapons on children do Assad, at this point? It is both strategically pointless, and a crushing blow to his international image. It would serve no purpose, unless he’s…

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  1. It appears to Tubularsock that with Trump as president that these chemical attacks are becoming less creative. Obomber at least drew a “line” which Trump and the MSM still hasn’t recognized that HE couldn’t cross because “our side” did the chemical attack! Why is the simple so complicated?

  2. “Why is the simple so complicated?”

    The establishment’s fall-back is always to dissemble about its intentions even when those intentions are obvious.

    It seems to me that some among those in power in America who decide on issues of life and death for the much less deserving think that the business in Syria should be concluded altogether before beginning the business in earnest with Iran, while others think that that business is already, to all intents and purposes, concluded, and that Iran is up next ( see that piece titled, Pentagon exercises free rein in global military escalation by Bill Van Auken — for example).

    As the title of Kit’s piece puts it, this latest of the ‘uncreative’ tactical chemical attacks is a clear sign that the policy of regime change for the Middle East remains unchanged. What we don’t know, not being privy to the behind the scenes ‘balance of American institutional power,’ is whether the Trump faction is being sidelined or calling the shots: it’s either/or, most certainly.

    In either case, the Middle East policy is unchanged, since Trump has made it clear — and now the chief of the US Central Command, too — that Iran is in the cross-hairs of “regime adjustment.”

    By implication, engaging Iran is an indirect attack on Syria since Iran is implicated on the ground in Syria. If there is a difference of opinion among the ruling factions in America, it’s certainly not over policy, but merely over questions of tactics, of “what, under the circumstances, should we do now?”

    For some it appears the focus should remain on Syria as the weakest point in the Iran-Syria-Russian alliances; for others the time appears ripe to engage Iran, leaving what’s left of the Syrian mess to be mopped-up later. On the other hand, maybe what is unfolding is all of a single piece.

    What is certain is that slaughter is nowhere near an end and may only be about to get under way in earnest.

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