More reason to believe that Assad did not gas civilians and that Trump has been duped or is even aware of the reality
Following the US cruise missile strikes against Syria, President Trump gave a short briefing on the matter in which he presented his reasoning for his actions. He stated:1
“My fellow Americans, on Tuesday Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children.
There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical weapons convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council.”
I take umbrage with Trump’s declaration that “there can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons” as the case that Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people is unverified at best and fabricated at worst. There are many reasons to “dispute” the mainstream conviction that the Khan Sheikhoun attack was a deliberate act by Assad. I have gone over some of these reasons in my previous post on this topic.2 Here are some more reasons to doubt the mainstream narrative that Trump has bought into hook, line, and sinker.
Assad is not mad
In addition to many others, such as Ron Paul and representatives Thomas Massie and Tulsi Gabbard who suspect that Assad was not responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun attack,3 Peter Ford, the former UK ambassador to Syria, has expressed his own suspicions. In his view:4
“There is no proof that the cause of the explosion was what they said it was. Remember what happened in Iraq…I’ve seen testimony alleged from witnesses who said they saw chemical bombs dropping from the air. Well, you can not see chemical weapons dropping from the air. Such testimony is worthless.
But think about the consequences because this is not likely to be the end of it. It doesn’t make sense that Assad would do it. Lets not leave our brains outside the door when we examine evidence. It would be totally self-defeating as shown by the results…Assad is not mad.”
This seems to be a point that many people are missing, even if you think Assad to be an evil person, who is capable of gassing civilians and who desires to do so, he is also a cunning leader who has under very challenging circumstances maintained himself in power. Gassing civilians will not solidify his power, but will undermine it. As Ford said “Assad is not mad.”
Prior use of chemical weapons by rebels and false flags
Another cause of suspicion is the rebels’ history of developing and using chemical weapons in Syria. As Walid Shoebat reminds us, in 2012 an internet video surfaced in which Syrian rebels from the Al-Rih al-Sarsar Chemical Brigade were shown testing chemical agents on rabbits.5 These agents, which came from Turkey, were intended to be used on “allies of the Syrian government.” So it is not far fetched to claim that Syrian rebels have access to chemical weapons and are willing to use them.
It is also interesting that on January 29, 2013 the Mail Online published an article entitled “U.S. backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime.”6 According to the article leaked emails between “two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence” showed “that the [Obama] White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.”
I am not sure what to make of this article, as a few days after it was published the Mail Online deleted it from their website. However it is consistent with claims involving the Ghouta false flag incident in 2013.7 If true it provides precedent that the US is willing to conduct false flag operations in Syria to target Assad, which should make us very suspicious about what occurred in Khan Sheikhoun and Trump’s response to it.
What US intelligence sources have to say
Although Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated the U.S. intelligence community (IC) had a “high degree of confidence” that Assad gassed his own people in Khan Sheikhoum, yet others in the IC have claimed otherwise.8 According to Robert Parry:
“One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek ‘regime change’ in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.”
Parry also wrote about former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, who gave the following assessment on the situation:
“The intelligence confirms pretty much the account that the Russians have been giving … which is that they hit a warehouse where the rebels – now these are rebels that are, of course, connected with Al Qaeda – where the rebels were storing chemicals of their own and it basically caused an explosion that resulted in the casualties. Apparently the intelligence on this is very clear.
People in both the agency [the CIA] and in the military who are aware of the intelligence are freaking out about this because essentially Trump completely misrepresented what he already should have known – but maybe he didn’t – and they’re afraid that this is moving toward a situation that could easily turn into an armed conflict. … They are astonished by how this is being played by the administration and by the U.S. media.”
If we are to believe Parry’s sources, the rank and file of the IC know that Assad most likely did not gas anyone and that the Russian explanation of the event is probably accurate, but that higher ups in the IC and some in the Trump administration are misrepresenting the situation so as to provide a pretext for going after Assad. Furthermore, it may be that Trump is not being duped but that he is well aware of the misrepresentation and okayed it, using it to counter the negative media attention he has been receiving, the narrative that he is in cahoots with the Russians and to boost his faltering approval rating.
Statistical analysis of the incident
For those into statistical analysis, one conducted on rootclaim has tentatively concluded that the Khan Sheikhoun attack was somewhat unlikely to have carried out by Syrian Arab Army (SAA).9 It was calculated that the latter possible had a 12% probability. The other two possibilities, that the SAA inadvertently caused a chemical weapons released or that the incident was a rebel false flag had probabilities of 36% and 52% respectively.
With all this in mind, I find it highly asinine for Trump to declare “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons.” It could be possible that Assad deliberately conducted the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack, but it is not irrefutable that this is the case and there is plenty to dispute.
Was sarin gas used?
Another potential problem with Trump’s speech was his claim that Assad used a “deadly nerve agent,” i.e. sarin gas in the attack. However, there is some reason to believe that sarin was not the main agent used. Although tests on victims by the Turkish Health Ministry point to sarin (I am not so sure we should be trust the Turks),10 Michael Savage and others have argued that if sarin was used, then the first responders who came to the aid of the gassed victims would have been poisoned by the sarin as they were not wearing any protective gear.11 For those unaware, sarin is highly toxic and can be absorbed through the skin.
This is not to say that people in Khan Sheikhoun were not exposed to a chemical weapon, just that it may have not been sarin gas or another nerve agent like Trump is claiming.
No evidence presented
It is also interesting to note that Trump provided no evidence to support his claim of Assad’s guilt. At least when Bush conned the American people into invading Iraq over non-existent weapons of mass destruction, to support his actions he presented a case, however flawed and fabricated, to the public and world. Trump, like some type of imperator, provides no evidence and does not even refer to the existence of such evidence, and just tells us there can be “no dispute,” even though there is plenty to dispute.
What has happened to Trump?
I think the problem with Trump is as Manuel Ochsenreiter writes:12
“The liberal and jihadist opponents of the US president exploited his greatest weakness: his quick, but unthinking reaction to events, his propensity for rapid opinion-making, which might bring advantages in the economic sphere but which can lead to refugee catastrophes and death in world politics.”
In effect Trump’s decisiveness and stubbornness are great qualities when he is right, as he will pursue a coarse of action regardless of opposition. However, when he is wrong, these qualities can be disastrous, as he can continue his actions, regardless of the potentially deleterious effects they may have or produce. In business making a mistake leads to losing money, in geopolitics it can lead to war.
Furthermore, Trump is not the nasty monster that the media made him out to be, to me he seems to be a genuinely caring and compassionate person. In this case, the neocons and the establishment, in addition to his bleeding heart daughter Ivanka,13 have taken advantage of his good nature, arousing his sense of outrage over the terrible suffering and death of innocent children and have convinced him that Assad is guilty and needs to be dealt with.
I do not think that Trump is trying to deceive people. I believe he really believes Assad is guilty, although if Philip Giraldi’s sources are correct this is not the case and he is more Machiavellian and duplicitous than I thought. Unfortunately he does not have the good sense needed, which I myself and others thought he had, to know when the establishment is trying to con him. And although it is possible that Assad did gas civilians in Khan Sheikhoun and maybe Trump has access to intelligence proving this that I and others do not have, it appears that he has been duped.
What is of great concern is that if he has been duped on this matter, then he can be duped on other matters. Already there are reports that the Pentagon is “carefully assessing any information that would implicate the Russians knew or assisted with this Syrian capability [i.e. the Khan Sheikhoun incident].”14 So those who want confrontation with Assad also want confrontation with Putin. Will Trump fall for this probable ruse as well?
We can only hope that Trump will listen to his base, to those who supported him from the beginning and who are now criticizing his intervention in Syria. Maybe he will come to his senses and realize that the establishment and many of the people around him are taking advantage of his good nature to further their militaristic neocon agenda. If he does not come to his senses the consequences could be dire.
April 6, the day that the US launched cruise missiles at the al Shayrat airbase in Syria, was also the 100th year anniversary of America declaring war on Germany in World War I. One hopes this is not a harbinger of things to come.
 https://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-likely-a-false-flag/ , http://theantimedia.org/cnn-congressman-syria-chemical-attack/ , http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/07/politics/tulsi-gabbard-assad-chemical-weapons-blitzer-cnntv/
 https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line , https://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin , http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clinton-approved-delivering-libyas-sarin-gas-to-syrian-rebels-seymour-hersh/5522647 , http://shoebat.com/2013/09/03/obama-an-accessory-to-war-crimes-in-syria/