Nope, still not buyin' it
Wait a minute - Fox news? Aren't they the lapdog apologists for Hawkish Republican policy and the worst of Trump's public sycophants? What are they doing criticising the big push to make war against the Syrian regime? Something doesn't fit here.
Let's look again at the sources that are stating that Assad's forces launched this attack. Some are in my previous post's video and one of them, the White Helmets, are discussed in this video in greater detail and identified as actually being AQ & allied Jihadis. Listen to the comments on the apparently impartial "White Helmets" and watch their extraordinarily peculiar still-life video of the "rescue" of a "wounded man" after an alleged Syrian Army attack - that very short video segment follows the comments where I have queued up the interview. Can somebody please explain to me how we are supposed to view the White Helmets as at all credible after this?
Apparently there are also 52 documented cases of ISIS affiliated Jihadis using gas in attacks up to the end of 2016. Some points in the video are speculative & the source of this video itself will be held suspect by some, however there are too many unanswered questions here to base a potentially big war on IMHO. Can we please just verify before acting? Or is this a case where Goering is right again and a war can just be bullied into reality?
In contrast here is an article from a website that I like, but one that is also often strongly on the side of establishment Republicans. Take for example the extremely stigmatising introduction - an opinion which it seems may be shared by the Republican Senator in the interview below: "Man, we’ve taken a dark turn when Fox News is running Russia-friendly conspiracy theories that even Trump won’t bite on". So any question at all that Assad may not have initiated the gas attack is now a "Russia-friendly conspiracy theory"? That's a preposterous assertion. This article does though make some useful criticisms of the video below - for example the likelihood that General Mattis was merely unsure of what gas was used last year, not that he was unsure that it came from the Syrian government - but still there are gaping holes here.
For example, didn't Syria give up all its Chemical Weapons in 2013? Were we misled or was that the case? If it didn't happen why did we not follow through?
Last year after the previous allegation of a gas attack President Assad was interviewed (do watch it) and his arguments could be restated today. Note how he says the same things about the White Helmets as in the previous video. Before being deposed Qaddafi said exactly the same of his own opponents - and surely, given the resulting condition of Libya that statement can no longer be denied (you will note I hope, that I do not hold up either Qaddafi or Assad as moral examples, only that they were/are better than the alternative).
Libya & Egypt, were abysmal failures in the "Arab Spring" we might also add Yemen to the list. Let's also not forget the earlier results of intervention in Iraq & Afghanistan. In which of these countries can there be said to be any noticeable improvement? Egypt only improved after General Sisi and the Army ousted the Ihkwan leadership and returned the country to more or less what it was before the Arab Spring and the removal of Mubarak. Libya is a disaster and Iraq, the first domino to fall in this sort of foreign policy, doesn't look like becoming any kind of stable democracy any time soon.
What about the one possible success story from Western intervention, Tunisia? The United States Institute for Peace reports that Tunisia "has achieved a precarious stability. By many measures the Arab world’s only democracy, Tunisia remains hobbled by corruption, unemployment and violent extremism. ... nationwide, opportunity remains rare and public frustration remains high. The economy has stalled, World Bank figures show youth unemployment greater than 35 percent—and the latest street protests in Sidi Bouzid came only last weekend."
That is the prize winner among this group. It hardly encourages more of the same intervention.
And for those who still think I hate Muslims I ask this: how many ordinary, wretched Muslim Syrians will be killed by the West as they are considered yet more necessary collateral damage in the new venture to bring democracy? Under the doctrine of "responsibility to protect" over 30,000 Libyan civilians were killed as collateral damage in order to stop Qaddafi killing civilians. What was the point? Ah but we toppled Qaddafi! And then what happened? All the West did was destablise that country. Removing the strong men in Iraq, Egypt and Libya only unleashed the forces of chaos. Escalating the efforts to oust Assad will lead to suffering and death - and lots of it.
There is no really good option before us so what is the least bad option here? Reinstall, or support an existing strong-man regime that will be able to get peace through force. Sorry, that's it for now. As my Iraqi Muslim friend said to me a few months ago, Iraq won't be ready for Western style democracy for 2 or 3 generations & until then will need a dictator. Same with Syria.
The real destabilising forces in the region are the Sunni Jihadis backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and Shi'a Iran. Stop swatting the puppets and deal with the puppet masters.
An attack by the Western powers on Syria could genuinely lead to a very nasty Russian response and for what? On the flimsiest of pretences with only terrible outcomes possible we are risking a war between major powers. There is no "win" here for anybody but the Jihadis.
In comparison to the "forces of freedom" it is the Jihadis alone that seem to respect Einstein's dictum & understand our insanity.
Hey, it worked before, it'll work again.