In the matter of the U.S. attack on Shayrat air base in Syria, I urge caution. Much has been said, and I find that the more I read, the more questions I have. I do not have all the answers, nor, at this point, does anybody. I have many questions and an almost equal number of concerns, but I think it behooves us to step back for a few moments, to take a few deep breaths before we ascribe to one theory or the other, and identify the questions and concerns. I present my lists … please feel free to add to them as you see fit.
- Why did Assad use chemical weapons (reportedly Sarin) on civilians in Idlib?
- He had consolidated his power, the rebels were on their heels and the United States had just declared that ousting him was not a priority – why stir the pot? He had to know there would be a global hue and cry.
- Why did it take 59 Tomahawk missiles to do minimal damage?
- While six Syrian military planes were destroyed, the runways were undamaged. 59 missiles at an approximate cost of between $60 million and $94 million, and they couldn’t hit a single runway? Reportedly, only 23 of the 59 missiles hit their mark. Why?
- What was the cost of each Tomahawk missile?
- Estimates from reliable sources vary widely from $1 million each to $1.6 million each. This should not be rocket science. Their value is finite, not a moving target!
- Why did Fox News, the New York Post, and Breitbart, all right-leaning, less than credible sources, report ominously on Friday night that a Russian warship was “heading toward the US destroyers that launched Syria strikes”?
- No credible sources other than The Hill reported on this, and The Hill stated that there was no perception of threat, that this was not outside the normal. Was this an attempt to incite fear among the American people? All indications are that there is no reason for concern, if in fact this is not simply another ‘alternative fact’.
- Why does Trump suddenly care about the civilians in Syria who were killed or injured during the chemical attack on Tuesday?
- In 2013, when a much larger-scale chemical attack was perpetrated against the citizens of Damascus, Trump shrugged and claimed it wasn’t our problem and we should not interfere.
- Trump’s stalled travel ban would specifically ban Syrian asylum-seekers and refugees from entering the U.S. But now, suddenly, he is outraged at the treatment of the very people he has subjected to this treatment by turning his back?
- Who first proposed the strike against Shayrat?
- McMaster? Mattis? Or Trump himself? This may seem fairly meaningless, but I think it is an important question to which I would like an honest answer.
- Russia claims to be incensed over the attack, calling it an illegal act of aggression on a “made-up pretext” to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq, and claim that it will adversely affect U.S.-Russian relations. This seems strangely fishy … is this said, I wonder, with a “wink, wink”?
- There seemed to be an element of ‘ho-hum’ to this statement, rather than genuine anger.
- The timing is interesting and puzzling. The attack took place without time for a great deal of planning, just some 63 hours after the chemical attack that allegedly triggered the U.S. response, but more importantly, as Trump was entertaining China’s President Xi Jinping. Was there a message also being sent to Jinping about U.S. willingness to take a tough stance?
- And speaking of which, why is Trump meeting with Jinping at his Florida estate rather than the White House, costing the taxpayers millions of additional dollars for travel and security?
- This takes certain other serious issues, such as the ties between Trump’s administration and the Russian government prior to the election, Trump’s false claims of wiretapping, and other issues currently under investigation, out of the limelight. Is there an intent to do just that?
- Retaliation by Syrian allies, or by Russia if Putin was not, in fact, part of the plan from the beginning.
- U.S. involvement into the Syrian Civil War.
- Additional bombings at additional cost, that do nothing to help the humanitarian cause, but merely take more lives.
- A trigger-happy Trump could decide at some point to use nuclear weapons.
- Lastly, and this is in fact my main concern, will the fallout from this attack be used as justification to implement some sort of ‘emergency measures’ that place more power in the hands of the president and his minions? Can it happen? Certainly it can. Will it? I do not know.
Certainly there are more questions that should be asked, and more concerns that need to be voiced, but the hour grows late and Filosofa grows weary. Please, feel free to let me know your questions, concerns, comments. It will be some time before we get answers to our questions, assurances to ease our concerns, if ever. I would likely have fewer of both if I trusted the ‘man’ at the helm of this ship, but admittedly, I do not. He is not well-versed in the ways of the world, in international relations, foreign policy. His concern is first and foremost for himself. He is not a humanitarian and cares not a whit for individuals either in foreign nations or his own country. I strongly suspect there is a hidden agenda somewhere, I am just not quite sure yet what it is. Meanwhile, I leave you with a final word of warning: Do not believe everything you read or hear … stop, think, step back, and ask Ask ASK questions!