Thursday, 26 April 2018

عودة ترامب إلى الاتفاق النووي


أبريل 26, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بعد لفٍّ ودوران منذ انطلاق حملته الانتخابية وتسلّمه الحكم، يعود الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب للتسليم ببقاء الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، بعد أن وضع في مناقشاته مع الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون سقفاً هو عدم تشقق الوحدة الأوروبية الأميركية. وبالمقابل ثبات الموقف الأوروبي على التمسك بالاتفاق، بصورة صارت أقرب للاستجابة لطلب أميركي لتبرير العودة للاتفاق منها، لتحدّي موقف أميركي يريد الخروج من الاتفاق. فواشنطن لم تستطع خلال عام من المحاولات لتغيير موازين القوى الدولية والإقليمية، تعرف أنه بدونها لا يمكن السير بإلغاء الاتفاق بلا بدائل، والقفز في المجهول، وتعرف أن هذا العجز نفسه هو الذي فرض على الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما القبول بالاتفاق. وهو عجز أنكره ترامب وأصرّ على اختبار فرص تغييره بنفسه.

– بالتأكيد لا يمكن توهم خلاف أميركي أوروبي، يصل حد تمرّد أوروبا على القرار الأميركي، ولا توهّم أن التمسك الأوروبي بالاتفاق النووي هو تحدٍّ لأميركا واستقلال عنها. فكل شيئ يقول إن أوروبا تقول ما تحتاج أميركا منها قوله لاتخاذه سلّماً للنزول عن شجرة التصعيد، تحت شعار وحدة موقف الغرب، ومنح المزيد من الفرص لتحسين شروط الاتفاق. وقد صار واضحاً أن الخطوة الأولى في هذا الطريق هي ما نطق به ماكرون ويبدو أنه صار خطة التموضع الجديدة لترامب، ومضمونه الفصل بين السير بالاتفاق بصيغته الراهنة وعدم تعريضه للخطر من جهة، وبين السعي لاتفاق مكمّل له يطال القضايا التي لم يتضمّنها الاتفاق، ويكون حصيلة تفاوض رضائي مع إيران، وقبلها مع روسيا والصين.

– يعرف ترامب الذاهب للتفاوض مع كوريا الشمالية أن التصعيد مع إيران وصفة مؤذية، وأن معيار صدقية الالتزام بالاتفاقات والمعاهدات التي ستكون على طاولة التفاوض مع كوريا تقدّمه التجربة مع إيران. كما يعرف أن حملته لنسف الاتفاق كانت مواكبة تفاوضية لمحاولته تغيير موازين القوى، التي ستنعكس في حال حصول هذا التغيير تفاوضاً وليس حرباً للحصول على تعديلات يريدها في الاتفاق. وأن الفشل في هذا التغيير يعيده للبحث عن مخرج معنوي مناسب يبرر العودة للاتفاق. وهذا ما على الصديق الأوروبي تقديمه والتباهي به كإنجاز للسياسة الأوروبية.

– حتى موعد البت بمصير الاتفاق في الثاني عشر من أيار المقبل، سيبقى الكلام الأميركي تحت عنوان الاحتجاج على النفوذ الإيراني والبرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني، والحاجة لتفاهمات تطالهما وتطمئن تجاههما، وسيبقى الكلام الإيراني مبشراً بما لا تحمد عقباه من أي عبث بالاتفاق الموقع ورفض أي تفاوض حوله، وسيخرج الأوروبيون يتحدّثون عن التمسك بالاتفاق دون تعديل، وعن الحاجة لإحياء صيغة الخمسة زائداً واحداً، وربما تصير زائداً إثنين بإضافة السعودية تحت شعار البحث بالملفات الإقليمية، وسيتحرّك الأوربيون والأميركيون نحو روسيا والصين طلباً للمعونة، ليخرج ترامب في الموعد المقرّر ويعلن البقاء ضمن الاتفاق وقبول المخرج الأوروبي بالسعي لاتفاق مكمّل لا يكون بديلاً بل متمماً للاتفاق القائم. والأكيد أن إيران التي ترفض إعادة التفاوض على برنامجها النووي سترفض التفاوض على برنامجها الصاروخي، ليصير التفاوض المتاح على المشاكل الإقليمية كإطار دولي يرعى تفاوضاً سعودياً إيرانياً مخرجاً مناسباً.

– في عهد أوباما كانت المعادلة أن لا بديل للاتفاق إلا الاتفاق. واليوم تعود المعادلة ذاتها.

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وهمٌ جديد يقود ابن سلمان: استشهاد الصماد سيشرخ «الحوثيين

 الخميس 26 نيسان 2018

لقمان عبد الله

وهمٌ جديد يقود ابن سلمان: استشهاد الصماد سيشرخ «الحوثيين»!

أدرجت بعض وسائل إعلام العدوان استشهاد الصماد ضمن «الصراع البيني» داخل «أنصار الله» (أ ف ب )

>توهّم قاتِلو رئيس المجلس السياسي الأعلى في اليمن، الشهيد صالح الصماد، أنهم بجريمتهم يسقطون عزيمة الشعب اليمني الراسخة، وإرادته في التصدي والصمود، أو يضعفون من إيمانه بالصبر والتحمل، وقدرته على الثبات في مواجهة العدوان. ومثلما تراءى لحكام السعودية سابقاً أنهم بشنّهم الحرب على اليمن يمكنهم إخضاع «أنصار الله» في بضعة أسابيع، وإجبارها على رفع الراية البيضاء، ها هو السراب نفسه يتجدّد اليوم، معيداً إنتاج نفسه بأشكال متعددة وأوصاف مختلفة طبقاً لمتطلبات كل مرحلة. لكن المستهجن أن الأوهام باتت هي لا غيرها الكلمة الفصل في سياسات ولي العهد السعودي، الحاكم الفعلي للمملكة، والذي تُعتبر بلاده ثاني دولة مستوردة للسلاح في العالم، وأن تلك الأوهام لا تزال تُخاض على أساسها الحروب. والأسوأ من ذلك أن صاحب المخيلة الخصبة هذه يؤمن بأنه بكلمة واحدة منه يسلك حلمه سبيله إلى التنفيذ، إلا أنه في كل مرة يُفاجَأ المنفِّذون بأنهم يسيرون وراء الوهم، وكلما اعتقدوا بقرب الوصول وجدوا أنفسهم في فخ خدعة السراب التي لا نهاية لها.

آخر أوهام محمد بن سلمان هو حلم «تفريق الحوثيين»، والذي كشف عنه في مقابلة مع «نيويورك تايمز» في ختام زيارته الأخيرة لواشنطن، حيث قال إن بلاده «تسعى حالياً لإنهاء الحرب في اليمن عبر عملية سياسية، من خلال محاولتها تفريق الحوثيين بالتزامن مع الضغط العسكري عليهم». وفي نهاية المقابلة، طالب ابن سلمان بمنحه فرصة لتنفيذ خطته، وهو ما حمل البعض على الاعتقاد بأن لدى الرجل خطة محكمة لإنهاك «أنصار الله» من الداخل، وتشتيت صفوفها، تمهيداً للإجهاز عليها. مع إعلان استشهاد الصماد، بدا أن الفرصة المناسبة قد لاحت لابن سلمان، إذ على الرغم من أن «التحالف» لم يكن على علم بمقتل الصماد، ولم يعلن عن عملية الاغتيال إلا بعد إعلان صنعاء نفسها، إلا أنه اتخذ الحدث مناسبة لبثّ الإشاعات، وتصعيد الحرب النفسية، وإطلاق إشارة البدء لتنفيذ خطة ابن سلمان. وقد تجلّى ذلك في أداء الآلة الإعلامية السعودية، والمنظومة الإلكترونية الضخمة التابعة لها، والذي يمكن تلخيصه بما يأتي:

* الحديث عن اختراق أمني لـ«أنصار الله»، والادعاء أن الحركة تخلّت عن الصماد، وجعلت ظهره مكشوفاً للعدو، والإلحاح في بعض الأحيان على إدراج عملية الاغتيال ضمن «الصراع البيني» داخل الحركة. وتم سوق تلك الادعاءات على مدار أيام، والإصرار عليها، على الرغم من معرفة أصحابها بأن حركة الشهيد الصماد علنية، وأن خطبه ونشاطاته تُبثّ مباشرة عبر القنوات الفضائية اليمنية، كما هي حال زيارته الأخيرة لجامعة الحديدة، والتقائه العلني مع الفعاليات والمسؤوليين المحليين في المحافظة، بالإضافة إلى جولاته المتكررة، التي تكاد تكون أسبوعية، لتفقّد جبهات القتال، ورعايته تخريج الدورات العسكرية.

أصرّ إعلام العدوان على ادعاءاته رغم معرفته بعلانية تحركات الصماد

* ادعاء قناة «الإخبارية» السعودية أن الناطق باسم «أنصار الله»، محمد عبد السلام، طَلَب اللجوء السياسي إلى سلطنة عمان. وهو ما رد عليه عبد السلام في تغريدة على «تويتر» قال فيها إنه لا صحة لما ورد في قناة «الإخبارية» من «ادعاء سخيف يعبّر عن حالة الإفلاس والفشل». والجدير ذكره هنا أن عبد السلام موجود في مسقط منذ شهرين لمتابعة مسار المفاوضات السياسية مع الأمم المتحدة.

* اختلاق حساب على «تويتر» باسم القيادي في «أنصار الله»، نائب وزير الخارجية في حكومة الإنقاذ، حسين العزي، وإعلان استقالة الأخير عبر الحساب الوهمي. لكن العزي سرعان ما نشر صورة للحساب الذي ينتحل شخصيته، مؤكداً أن هذا «الحساب مزور، ولا يمت لي بأيّ صلة». وخاطب الرجل مَن وصفهم بـ«المفلسين» بالقول: «أيها الجبناء، ليس لدينا مناصب كي نستقيل منها، لدينا مواقع عمل ومتاريس جهاد في سبيل الله والوطن والمستضعفين من الرجال والنساء والولدان». وختم بأن «أيّاً منا لن يتخلى عن مسؤوليته ما دام قادراً على العطاء والتضحية».

* حديث صحف خليجية عن «تصعيد مظاهر التحفز والانتشار المسلح لعناصر الميليشيا في شوارع وأحياء العاصمة صنعاء»، وادعاؤها أن ذلك يعود إلى «الخلافات الداخلية بين أجنحة الحوثي المتصارعة على السلطة في ما تبقّى من مناطق سيطرتها». غير أن الحقيقة أن صنعاء تعيش أوضاعاً طبيعية وهدوءاً كبيراً، لا تخرقه سوى غارات العدوان.

باستثناء الدعاية الإعلامية المفضوحة، والتي لا تجد لها أصداءً في اليمن، لا تمتلك قيادة تحالف العدوان أيّاً من الأوراق المؤثرة لتنفيذ خطة الفتنة الداخلية. ذلك أن المكونات السياسية والقبائل واعية لتلك المخططات المشبوهة، وهي ملتفة حول القيادة في صنعاء لتمتين وحدة الصف، وتعزيز الجبهة الداخلية، ورفد الجبهات العسكرية بمستلزمات الصمود والثبات. ولئن وُجدت بعض الأوراق المشتّتة هنا وهناك، إلا أنها كانت في السابق تُشكِّل مصدر إزعاج، أما اليوم، فهي خرجت إلى العلن، وأصبحت واحدة من مجموعة مكوّنات تأتمر بأمر السعودية والإمارات علانية، وما الرهان عليها إلا سبب في خسران المزيد من الوقت، واستنزاف الموارد والقدرات، وانتظار عبثي لحسم لن يكون مجدّداً إلا وهماً وسراباً.






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Trump’s “Smart” Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia

25.04.2018
The Russian military revealed wreckage of the intercepted missiles and showed at least one unexploded Tamahawk cruise missile. It also added that two unexploded missiles (a Tomahawk and a high-accuracy air-launched missile) had been delivered to Russia from Syria. FULL TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS BRIEFING
According to the April 25 press briefing by the Russian military:
  • only 22 US, French, British missiles hit their targets;
  • 46 missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defense systems covering the capital of Syria and Duvali, Dumayr, Blai, and Mazzeh nearby airfields;
  • 20 missiles were intercepted in three areas of the responsibility zone of air defense of Homs;
  • a part of the missiles failed to reach their targets by different, apparently technical, reasons.
SF recalls that according to the Pentagon’s version of the events the US, the UK and France launched 105 missiles on Syria and all of them hit their targets.
Thus, if the Russian military’s statement is true, we have the following picture:
  • 105 missiles launched (according to the Pentagon)
  • 66 missiles intercepted (according to the Russian military)
  • 22 missiles hit their targets (according to the Russian military)
  • 2 unexploded missiles were delivered to moscow (according to the Russian military)
  • 15 missiles did not reach their targets (according to the Russian military)
It’s important to note that according to an initial claim by the Russian military made on April 14 the Syrian Air Defense Forces had intercepted 71 missiles launched by the US-led bloc. [MORE ABOUT THIS HERE: “SUMMING UP RESULTS OF US-UK-FRANCE STRIKE ON SYRIA: STATEMENTS, FACTS AND SPECULATIONS”]
The April 25 briefing provided the updated numbers. The pictures below are translated slides and photos showed by the Russian military during the press briefing:
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
In response to the Russian military’s press briefing, the Pentagon denied that any missiles involved in the April 14 strike failed or weere captured in Syria. Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told Business Insider “both claims are completely and totally untrue.”
This is another example of the Russian disinformation campaign to distract attention from their moral complicity to the Assad Regime’s atrocities and the civilian carnage in western Syria,” Pahon wrote in an email. “The claims … regarding our target selection are absurd, as is the rest of the (TASS) article. On the Tomahawk, we have seen no proof, other than statements made to Russian state-owned media, that their claims are true. This is likely another smoke screen of propaganda to distract from the real issue at hand — the murder of innocent civilians by a murderous regime propped up by Russian backing.”
SF recalls that, according to the Pentagon, the 105 launched missiles hit the following targets:
  • 76 missiles – “Barzah Research and Development Center”
  • 22 missiles – “Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site”
  • 7 missiles – “Him Shinshar CW Bunker”
While it’s up to the Pentagon to claim that Russia released no evidence confirming the missile interceptions, it’s interesting to note that the Pentagon has released no videos showing the moment of the missile strike on the targets in Syria. The only proof released by the US is the following satellite imagery:
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image
Trump's "Smart" Missiles In Syria: Summing Up Evidence And Numbers Provided By Russia
Click to see the full-size image


MORE PHOTOS OF TRUMP’S “SMART” MISSILES INTERCEPTED IN SYRIA

Earlier on April 25, the Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference showing US President Donald Trump’s “smart” missiles intercepted in Syria. Two unexploded missiles were even delivered to Russia from Syria, according to the military. MORE DETAILS
Here you can find more photos showing the wreckage of the intercepted missiles.
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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Parts of the alleged Tomahawk cruise missile circulating in the Russian media:
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
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More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
More Photos Of Trump's "Smart" Missiles Intercepted In Syria
Click to see the full-size image
UPDATE: According to the April 25 press briefing by the Russian military:
– only 22 US, French, British missiles hit their targets;
– 46 missiles were intercepted by the Syrian Air Defense Forces;
– the rest of the missiles failed to reach their targets by different, apparently technical, reasons.
On April 25, the chief of the Russian General Staff’s main operations directorate Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy held a press briefing debunking the Pentagon’s version of the April 14 missile strike on Syria.
During the press briefing, the colonel-general showed wreckage of the intercepted missiles and said that one unexploded Tomahawk cruise missile and one high accuracy air-launched missile launched by the US-led bloc had been delivered to Russia.
He added that according to the updated data only 22 missile hits on targets in Syria can be confirmed.
Earlier the Pentagon said that the US, the UK and France had launched 105 missiles and all of them had hit their targets in Syria.
The Russian military says that 71 missiles were intercepted by the Syrian Air Defense Forces.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

John Bolton, the anti-Muslim think tank (#Gatestone) and Brexit

John Bolton, the anti-Muslim think tank and Brexit
President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, an NBC News review found.
From 2013 until last month, John Bolton was the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based advocacy group that warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.” The group’s authors have also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.
The group has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship. Another from February 2015 claimed the immigrants, for instance, Somalis in Sweden were turning that country into the “Rape Capital of the West.”
Gatestone is “a key part of the whole Islamaphobic cottage industry on the internet,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group. Hooper added that Bolton being associated with Gatestone, “and in one of the most powerful positions on the planet, is very disturbing.”
The NBC report also says: Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow who studies far-right populism and disinformation campaigns in the European Union, said Gatestone is “putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda” being spread by internet trolls and on social media.

Birmingham, England – The no-go zone

Gatestone has been a significant promoter of the disputed notion that “no-go zones” exist in the heart of major cities where Muslims rule by Shariah law. In January 2015, then-Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican, cited Gatestone’s research in a speech in London.
In September 2015, Fox News contributor Steve Emerson, who’s also written for Gatestone, said in an appearance on the network that the British city of Birmingham is a “no-go zone” for non-Muslims. The claim prompted the British broadcasting regulator Ofcom to find the network in breach of its broadcasting code. Emerson later apologized.

Churches in London

One of the retweeted stories that Gatestone instigated claimed that 500 churches in London have closed while 423 new mosques have opened, which went viral and was picked up by numerous websites including Breitbart News. The fact-checking website Snopes.com said Gatestone used “shoddy research and cherry-picked data” for the story, which was clearly not true.

Cambridge Analytica/Trump/Brexit

Gatestone is in part funded by the William Rosenwald Family Fund, which funds a host of pro-Israel groups including the Middle East Forum.
Gatestone has also received financial backing from Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire father-daughter team who have supported conservative candidates in the U.S. including Cruz and Trump. The Mercers also co-founded Cambridge Analytica, the data company being scrutinized for its activities that have allegedly influenced the Brexit EU referendum. The British High Court granted the Information Commissioner’s Office a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s London offices in March. There are now a number of court action and libel cases currently in play.
In an archived 2017 web page, Rebekah Mercer was listed as a member of the Gatestone Board of Governors.

Notes via MediaBias/FactCheckThe Gatestone Institute, formerly Stonegate Institute, is a “not-for-profit international policy council and think tank based in New York City” with a specialization in strategy and defense issues. Gatestone Institute is  anti-Islamic, pro-Christian and Jewish/Israel. Many of the articles will link back to sites that don’t say what they claim or make the same rash judgments, without proof. Example: Obama tells Christians to not protest in Egypt then has no quotes or sources saying he said that. (M. Allen 12/30/2016)

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Trump the Latest in Long Line of US Presidents Trampling on International Law

Trump, like many presidents before him, essentially argues that international law must be broken if it is to be saved. With the bombing of Syria, however, he violated more than just international law.


The U.S. missile attack on Syria in response to unproven chemical weapons use by the Assad regime once again puts America in violation of the international laws that we claim to support. The UN charter forbids such action unless it is in self-defense or approved by the UN Security Council, neither of which applies in this case.
 Ominously, the historical record shows that whenever a U.S. president takes the kind of action Trump did with his bombing of Syria this month, there is big trouble. Not only do many people die, but national economies, democracy, peace, and freedom all end up in the trash can.
Trump, like many presidents before him, essentially argues that international law must be broken if it is to be saved. With this bombing, however, he violated more than just international law. He, like his predecessors, also trashed the U.S. Constitution which gives the power to wage war to Congress, not to the president. There is no Congressional authority for any attack on Syria.
InternationalA Syrian soldier films the damage of the Syrian Scientific Research Center in Barzeh which was attacked by U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for an alleged chemical attack, near Damascus, Syria, April 14, 2018. (AP/Hassan Ammar)
Trumpian disregard for international and U.S. law when it comes to making war, unfortunately, adds nothing new to the pages of American history. Way back in 1898, President William McKinley, with no proof, said, after the destruction of the battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor:
“The naval court of inquiry, which it is needless to say commands the unqualified confidence of the government, was unanimous in its conclusion that the destruction of the Maine was caused by an external explosion—that of a submarine mine.”
McKinley went on to say this finding justified what he called “the enforced pacification of Cuba—in the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in behalf of American interests which give us the right and duty to speak and to act.”
The results: Four months of war in Cuba, four years of war in the Philippines (at the time another Spanish colony), the eventual seizure by the U.S. of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and occupation and rule over Guantanamo until this very day. Years after the McKinley speech, it was found that faulty munitions storage, not a foreign attack, was responsible for the sinking of the Maine.
What Lyndon B. Johnson said in 1964 about Vietnam also sounded a lot like what Trump said this month. In a speech to the nation, Johnson said:
“As president and commander-in-chief, it is my duty to the American people to report the renewed hostile actions against our ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin that have today required me to order the military forces of the United States into action in reply.”
The results: The U.S. dropped three times more bomb tonnage over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia than all sides had dropped everywhere in World War II. It is estimated that more than 350,000 tons of live bombs and mines remain in Vietnam today and that, at the current rate of removal, it will take 300 years to clear them away. Cluster bombs with hundreds of baseball size bomblets designed to explode near ground level are the most common type left all over the country—these are the ones children continue to find and play with until the deadly “toys” explode. These bomblets have killed some 40,000 Vietnamese since the end of the war in 1975 and maimed 67,000 others.
Separate from these bombs and mines, the U.S. dropped 18 million gallons of chemical herbicide, including Agent Orange, with our planes drenching an estimated 3,800 villages in the poison. To this day, Vietnamese babies continue to be born with grotesque deformities including misshapen heads, bulging tumors, underdeveloped brains, and non-functioning limbs.
During the My Lai massacre, an American contingent of soldiers called Charlie Company encountered a peaceful village whose inhabitants were having breakfast. The soldiers raped the women, burned the houses, and turned their machine guns on the unarmed population.
International
A brutal scene following the March 16 massacre in My Lai, South Vietnam. (Photo: Ronald L. Haeberle/U.S. Army)
“Once we got there, we began gathering up the people…. [We] fired round after round into the ditch (full of civilians) and tossed in a few grenades. Then came a high-pitched whining, which grew louder as a two or three year-old boy, covered with mud and blood, crawled his way among the bodies and scrambled toward the rice paddy. His mother had apparently protected him with her body. The commander saw what was happening and, according to the witnesses, ran after the child, dragged him back to the ditch, and shot him.”A U.S. Army private, Paul Meadlo, gave details:
In October 1983, Ronald Reagan made another of these speeches fit for Trump when he told the American people how 1,000 American citizens, students, and a medical school were threatened on the island of Grenada. Cuban troops were stationed on the island he said, busy establishing a Cuban-Soviet “colony.”
It turned out the students were never threatened, and the Cubans were there only to expand the airport for tourism.
The list continues.
President George W. Bush in October 2001:
“My fellow Americans. On my orders, the U.S. military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine, and supplies to the starving men, women, and children of Afghanistan. The U.S. is a friend to the Afghan people.”
The results: On July 6, 2008, a large number of Afghan civilians were walking in a wedding procession in an area called Kamala in the Haska Meyna district. When the group stopped for a rest, it was hit in succession by three bombs from U.S. military aircraft. The first bomb hit a group of children who were ahead of the main procession, killing them instantly. A few minutes later, the aircraft returned and dropped a second bomb in the center of the group, killing a large number of women. The bride and two girls survived the second bomb, but were killed by a third while trying to escape from the area. All told, 47 civilians had been killed, the BBC later reported.
The same George W. Bush in October 2002:
“My fellow Americans, tonight I want to discuss a grave threat to the peace and America’s determination to lead the world in confronting that threat. The threat comes from Iraq. Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction [it was later proven there were none] are controlled by a murderous tyrant.”
Credible estimates of Iraq War casualties range from 150,000 to 460,000. Disputed estimates such as the 2006 Lancet Study and the 2007 Opinion Research Business Survey put the numbers as high as 650,000 and 1.2 million respectively, with 1-3 million displaced from their homes and 2 million fleeing the country.
And once again, as in Vietnam, the use of poison remains an issue years after the war. Dramatic increases are reported in infant mortality, cancer, and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by U.S. Marines for much of 2004.
Iraqi doctors have been complaining about large numbers of serious birth defects, with as much as a 12-fold increase in cancer for children under age 14. Dr. Chris Busby, a visiting professor from the University of Ulster, said that “to produce an effect like this, some very mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened.”
Now we know they used weapons that included depleted uranium—all of course to show the Iraqi people too that we were their friends.
Then there was what President Obama said in March 2011:
“Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya. I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism, and patriotism. For generations, the U.S. has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. We are reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges, but when our vital interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in Libya over the course of the last six weeks. For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant—Muammar Gaddafi. Confronted by this brutal repression, we have a responsibility to act.”
InternationalA photo from 2011 shows buildings ravaged in Sirte, Libya where the U.S. military carried out extensive airstrikes. (AP Photo)
The results: The violence and instability stemming from the U.S. military campaign created a vacuum allowing Islamist fundamentalism to dramatically increase its reach and power. In March 2013, Sadiq Gharini, the Grand Mufti, issued a fatwa against the UN report documenting violence against women and girls in Libya. He condemned the UN report for “advocating immorality and indecency in addition to rebelliousness against religion and clear objections to the law contained in the Quran and Sunnah.”
As of February 2015, damage and disorder from the war has been considerable. There are frequent electrical outages in Libya, little business activity, and a loss of revenues from oil of up to 90 percent. Over 4,000 have died from the fighting, with as much as a third of the country’s population having fled to Tunisia as refugees.
And finally, President Trump in April, 2018:
“My fellow Americans, a short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The purpose of our actions is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States.”
The results and what happens next are, in large part, up to us.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!