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Mandem
7/05/2017 5:22am,
Seymour Hersh, the award winning journalist who famously exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, recently wrote an article arguing, convincingly in my opinion, that available evidence does not support the theory that the Assad government used sarin gas in April.

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

I think everyone should read the whole thing, but for the benefit of lazy people here's a quick summary:

-The Russians informed American intelligence that the Syrian air force planned to bomb a building they suspected to house a meeting of high level jihadis on April 4th, the day of the alleged Sarin attack
-The strike was carried out with a Russian-supplied guided bomb
-A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement of the building; this would not have happened if there was a sarin bomb as such a bomb would not ignite secondary explosions
-Symptoms reported by MSF suggest there was more than one chemical agent involved, which would not have happened if a sarin bomb had been dropped.
-The range of symptoms is, however, consistent with the release of a mixture of chemicals, including chlorine and the organophosphates used in many fertilizers, which can cause neurotoxic effects similar to those of sarin.
-Various American military sources are quoted as saying there was no sarin attack
-There is also no clear motive for Assad to gas his own people
-Allegedly, Trump ignored the available intelligence and launched the missile strike anyway
-A review of the top 100 American newspapers showed that 39 of them published editorials supporting the bombing in its aftermath, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

This is pretty serious, because if this is true then the government lied and the media faithfully repeated that lie, and praised Trump for finally being "presidential", which I guess he was in the sense that he wasn't the first President to attack a middle eastern country on the grounds of non existent weapons.

(In the interests of this not becoming yet another "liberals vs Trump" thread I would like to emphasise that a) the liberal media were essential in taking the reports of a gas attack at face value and b) the Democrats have pulled **** like this in the past).

Thoughts?

MisterMR
7/05/2017 7:38am,
My rather cynical opinion: if Assad wins now, as Assad has close ties with the Russians and the USA clearly choose the rebel's side, the USA will have another geopolitical enemy in the middle east.
The USA then took the first possible excuse to attack Assad without looking too much as the bully.
The USA here could mean either Trump or the "deep state", or both.

Christmas Spirit
7/05/2017 8:18am,
My rather cynical opinion: if Assad wins now, as Assad has close ties with the Russians and the USA clearly choose the rebel's side, the USA will have another geopolitical enemy in the middle east.
The USA then took the first possible excuse to attack Assad without looking too much as the bully.
The USA here could mean either Trump or the "deep state", or both.

Please explain "deep state" and how you think it applies please.

MisterMR
7/05/2017 8:55am,
Please explain "deep state" and how you think it applies please.

Sorry, perhaps I used the wrong term. I mean that, other than the president, there are probably a lot of high level administration/military personnel, who follows a long run geopolitical policy. Since Trump was president only since a short time, and since containment of Russians/Assad was already part of the policy of the USA, I assume (stress on assume, since I have no particular knowledge of the inner policy circles of the USA) that this move was already more or less in the cards, and Trump more or less nodded to it.

Incidentially I always expected Trump to be a rather warmonging president, and I think that the idea that he was a pacifist was a big misunderstanding of what he actually said, I just went with the "deep state" line because of the short term in office.

Christmas Spirit
7/05/2017 9:21am,
Sorry, perhaps I used the wrong term. I mean that, other than the president, there are probably a lot of high level administration/military personnel, who follows a long run geopolitical policy. Since Trump was president only since a short time, and since containment of Russians/Assad was already part of the policy of the USA, I assume (stress on assume, since I have no particular knowledge of the inner policy circles of the USA) that this move was already more or less in the cards, and Trump more or less nodded to it.

Incidentially I always expected Trump to be a rather warmonging president, and I think that the idea that he was a pacifist was a big misunderstanding of what he actually said, I just went with the "deep state" line because of the short term in office.

Don't misuse words.
They lose their meaning, and in the case of its use in America, support bullshit right wing conspiracy theories.


deep state
noun
a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.
"the deep state and its policy of allowing extremist ideologies to flourish may be the actual issues of concern"



The concept of a deep state suggests that there exists a coordinated effort by career government employees and others to influence state policy without regard for democratically elected leadership.[1][2][3][4][5] The term, which was originally used to refer to sophisticated shadow governments in countries like Turkey and post-Soviet Russia, has also been used in American political science to refer to entrenched government institutions wielding power, without necessarily implying a conspiracy.[6][7] Detractors say this idea is a conspiracy theory.[8][9][10]
These shady deep state orgs like the EPA, FCC, FBI, CIA, and NSA ...




Donald Trump supporters have used the term to refer to intelligence officers and executive branch officials guiding policy through leaking or other internal means.[15][11] The term's conspiratorial undertone has made it popular on conservative and far-right news outlets sympathetic to the Trump administration, including Breitbart News,[16] but it has been discussed widely across the media spectrum.[17][18]

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, have both raised concerns about a deep state which they believe is interfering with the president's agenda.[19][20] Some Trump allies and right-wing media outlets have claimed that former president Barack Obama is coordinating a deep state resistance to Trump.[19][21] The growth of this narrative within the White House has been linked to Trump's unproven[22][23] allegation that Obama wiretapped his telephone during the 2016 Presidential campaign.[24]

While popular among Trump allies, critics of use of the term in the U.S. dismiss it as a conspiracy theory[25] and argue that the leaks frustrating the Trump administration lack the organizational depth of deep states in other countries, and that use of the term in the U.S. could be used to justify suppressing dissent.[26][19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_state_in_the_United_States

It is Fake
7/05/2017 9:31am,
Thoughts?

Meh believe who you want, this is what we do in the world now. All of those facts do somewhat ignore other findings and the strange changing story of the guided bomb, who they were attacking and poor surveillance by Russia and Syria. It sure does make sure to point out America's mistakes.


I see Italy, so I'm going to assume "pacifistic is a mistake." Trump has been a "bomb them back to the stone age" guy for nearly a decade if not longer. Ignore BFM he is a card carrying liberal Conspiracy Theorists. He isn't going to ask or see if you speak more than one language.

Bneterasedmynam
7/05/2017 10:11am,
I dont know why you guys are so upset over this, I mean it's not like misinformation has ever been used to start a war, especially in the middle East.

Christmas Spirit
7/05/2017 10:25am,
Ignore BFM he is a card carrying liberal Conspiracy Theorists. He isn't going to ask or see if you speak more than one language.

Thank you very much but it was my ignorance and english centric bias that started that post ... the wikipedia article is what got me all all excited and ready to get another stamp on the Conspiracy Card. I am like three more stamps away from a writing position at the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3830639/Is-crystal-pyramid-Bermuda-Triangle-Conspiracy-theorists-claim-structure-explain-planes-missing.html) (Crystal Pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle.)

lant3rn
7/05/2017 11:15am,
There is video footage of people after the attack happened bleached white and spazaming on the ground... even children and infants. But I have only seen the edited videos it is fucking horrific what Assad and his Russian allies are doing to the civilian population. I bet if more Americans saw this they wouldn't be so quick to call these refugees hidden terrorists.

MisterMR
7/05/2017 2:07pm,
I see Italy, so I'm going to assume "pacifistic is a mistake." Trump has been a "bomb them back to the stone age" guy for nearly a decade if not longer.

Apparently some people tought thay Trump was a sort of pacifist:

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/03/did-endless-war-cost-hillary-clinton-the

Mandem
7/05/2017 2:35pm,
There is video footage of people after the attack happened bleached white and spazaming on the ground... even children and infants. But I have only seen the edited videos it is fucking horrific what Assad and his Russian allies are doing to the civilian population. I bet if more Americans saw this they wouldn't be so quick to call these refugees hidden terrorists.
But, as explained in the article, the symptoms displayed by the victims do not match use of sarin.
It's still a horrific incident, and arguably Assads fault, but it's not what the media reported

Mandem
7/05/2017 2:37pm,
Apparently some people tought thay Trump was a sort of pacifist:

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/03/did-endless-war-cost-hillary-clinton-the

He never struck me as a pacifist, but he was unusually critical of US foreign policy and questioned the idea of the US acting as a global policeman, so I can see why people thought he'd be more isolationist.

lant3rn
7/05/2017 2:57pm,
But, as explained in the article, the symptoms displayed by the victims do not match use of sarin.
It's still a horrific incident, and arguably Assads fault, but it's not what the media reported
Well the united nations investigation found that he had done such a thing in the past. The article does offer another narrative for this bombing in april but doesn't not clearly refute the use of sarin since the symptoms are actually the same as to those found in the other confirmed instances of sarin gas use.

I would rate this as needs more evidence.

Because a good prediction of future behaviour is past behaviour

Mandem
7/05/2017 3:28pm,
the symptoms are actually the same as to those found in the other confirmed instances of sarin gas use.
So where did the chlorine come from?


Because a good prediction of future behaviour is past behaviour

True, but Assad's ability to do the same thing again would be severely hampered by the fact that

Everyone involved, except perhaps the president, also understood that a highly skilled United Nations team had spent more than a year in the aftermath of an alleged sarin attack in 2013 by Syria, removing what was said to be all chemical weapons from a dozen Syrian chemical weapons depots.

I would rate the sarin narrative as "needs more evidence" personally.

It is Fake
7/05/2017 6:02pm,
But, as explained in the article, the symptoms displayed by the victims do not match use of sarin.
It's still a horrific incident, and arguably Assads fault, but it's not what the media reportedSee, this is why I frustrate people. You do realize there is a new report out, which doesn't assess blame, that says there was Sarin gas or something similar used? Now, this goes back to what I alluded to about Russia, Syria and misinformation in my earlier post. It is why I said "meh." This is nothing new, it is just people freak out and complain when it is America. You have decided, as you continue to build your argument, to believe this article is true.

It may be interesting to you, but it is the typical "here's a theory watch me run with it" article full of passive America bashing. Yes, I read the entire article and I am still at "meh." For example:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/watchdog-sarin-khan-sheikhoun-attack-170630035811755.html


"Based on its work, the FFM (fact-finding mission) is able to conclude that a large number of people, some of whom died, were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance," said the report, parts of which were obtained by AFP news agency.
Turkey says sarin gas used in Idlib chemical attack

"The release that caused this exposure was most likely initiated at the site where there is now a crater in the road," it added.

"It is the conclusion of the FFM that such a release can only be determined as the use of sarin, as a chemical weapon."

Now, this doesn't prove anything about the machinations behind the attack. It also doesn't prove if the bomb carried the Chemical agents or if they were in a bunker like Assad and the Russians claim.

Mandem
7/05/2017 6:11pm,
See, this is why I frustrate people. You do realize there is a new report out, which doesn't assess blame, that says there was Sarin gas or something similar used? Now, this goes back to what I alluded to about Russia, Syria and misinformation in my earlier post. It is why I said "meh." This is nothing new, it is just people freak out and complain when it is America. You have decided, as you continue to build your argument, to believe this article is true.

It may be interesting to you, but it is the typical "here's a theory watch me run with it" article full of passive America bashing. Yes, I read the entire article and I am still at "meh." For example:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/watchdog-sarin-khan-sheikhoun-attack-170630035811755.html



Now, this doesn't prove anything about the machinations behind the attack. It also doesn't prove if the bomb carried the Chemical agents or if they were in a bunker like Assad and the Russians claim.

"Satin or something similar" doesn't necessarily exclude the secondary explosion theory, like you said, so we still have a situation where there's no smoking gun. I'm leaning towards Hersh's theory but I started off skeptical of it, and I'm arguing it largely for the sake of debate.