President Trump has launched a missile strike against Syrian airfields. The pretext is the alleged release of chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhun the rebel-held Syrian Idlib province on Tuesday.
According to the BBC, the Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired from Navy destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross. They say they targeted ‘aircraft, aircraft shelters, storage areas, ammunition supply bunkers, air defence systems, and radars at Shayrat airfield in western Homs province’. You can follow the BBC’s ‘As it happens’ for the latest reports.
‘Big mistake’ not to get approval of Congress
Mr Trump said he had acted in America’s ‘vital national security interest’ to prevent the use of chemical weapons. That of course is complete nonsense. Whoever is responsible for the chemical weapons in Idlib, there is no threat to America’s interests at all.
The missile strike is illegal in international law. The President needed a UN resolution before such a strike. The UN Security Council had not even voted on how to send in International inspectors to verify the alleged chemical attack as we went to press. The missile strike is also illegal in US law. He needed Congressional approval. Indeed, in August 2013, Donald Trump tweeted this about President Obama in exactly the same circumstances (the link is Twitter; all our links open in a new tab automatically):
‘Stay out of Syria!’ Trump yelled in a series of tweets. That was Trump 2013. Three and a half years later, he is President and despite our prayers, he has been ‘got at’ by the Neo-Cons and the Hawks. He hasn’t ‘drained the swamp’. The swamp has drained him. He has, to use a British expression, ‘gone native’.
Contrast with Mosul
It all stinks. We have the speed of the events and the lack of any clear evidence against the Syrian government. Then we have the rush to bomb something instead of a measured dispassionate response. We have all the Western leaders ganging up. And still the ‘Cui Bono’ question remains. Who benefits from the gas story on the eve of peace talks and the Syrian reconstruction meeting in Brussels? Maybe the rebels. Certainly the war-mongers. Above all the armaments manufacturers. Definitely the bankers. Even the oil barons are pleased. CNN reports the price of crude has leapt in response to uncertainty caused by the missile strike.
Remember, the only evidence is photographic from the jihadists in Idlib. We know they lie to advance their aims. The suggestion that a rebel chemical weapons factory on the ground was bombed remains highly plausible. Another possibility is an Islamic State operation.
The Syrians say they warned the UN weeks ago that the rebels and IS were bringing in chemical weapons from Turkey. And in January 2016, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced all chemical weapons in Syria itself had been destroyed.
Contrast the speed with which Trump has leapt to blame and bomb Syria with the caution his administration expressed over the attack in Mosul. There, US warplanes killed 200 – 300 civilians. Even the New York Times reported that ten days later, US military officials were still ‘investigating whether it (the coalition) was to blame for the dozens of deaths there’. Note ‘dozens’ not ‘hundreds’.
Missile strike betrayal of Trump promises
However, the Russian Federation, reported here in Inews, says the attack was pre-planned. They said: ‘It is obvious that the US cruise missile strike had been pre-prepared. It is clear to any specialist that Washington made the decision to strike before the events in Idlib, which were only used as a pretext for a show of force.’
That makes sense. Both the Russians and NATO nations were informed in advance of the strike. That takes the planning phase back further than yesterday. In addition, the sheer speed with which European leaders condemned President Assad strongly suggests they knew the original story was coming.
Some of us prayed for a Trump victory rather than Clinton. That was precisely because Hillary is a stooge of the Hawks who would start World War Three. She was actually calling for a missile strike hours before it happened. Trump promised an end to interventionism and a reset with the Russians. His action is a return to neo-conservative warmongering in a complete betrayal of the promises he made on the campaign trail:
Intervention breaks election pledges:
Here’s the Guardian from December 2017: ‘Donald Trump has laid out a US military policy that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts and instead focus heavily on defeating Islamic State militancy. ‘“We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with,” the president-elect said on Tuesday night in Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina.
‘“Instead our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying Isis, and we will.”’
Here is RT’s take on Trump’s ‘Thank You’ tour: ‘Donald Trump has laid out a military policy which he says is aimed at ending “intervention and chaos” overseas. He promised to build up the “depleted” military, but said it would be done with prevention in mind, rather than aggression.
‘Speaking at the latest stop on his “thank you” tour of swing states, President-elect Donald Trump told a crowd in Fayetteville, North Carolina that he wants to “strengthen old friendships and seek out new friendships,” stressing that the US will “stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.”’
And here is Reuter’s confirmation: ‘President-elect Donald Trump laid out a U.S. military policy on Tuesday that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts and instead focus heavily on defeating the Islamic State militancy.
‘”We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with,” Trump said. “Instead, our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS, and we will.”
‘Trump’s rhetoric was similar to what he said during the election campaign when he railed against the war in Iraq.’
Trump ‘Showing he is not a Russian puppet’
Even Alex Jones of Infowars, one of Trump’s greatest supporters, has said: ‘If he gives in to this anti-Syria thing in order to show he is not a Russian puppet, they (the Hawks) won’t stop.’ And on the alleged chemical attack: ‘Why would Assad do that when he’s winning?’
Crispin Blunt MP, chair of the respected Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, agrees. He told the BBC the strike was a ‘carefully calibrated and appropriate response.’ Then he added a caviat: ‘so long as the information was correct’.
‘The reason I would have doubt and express doubt [over the information] is this doesn’t make any sense from the Syrian government. They would know this use of chemical weapons would get this response. The overall conflict is moving in their direction,’ he noted.
Nigel Farage condemned the attack saying Trump voters would be ‘worried’. UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said it was ‘rash, trigger happy, nonsensical and will achieve nothing.’
Even the UK government was calling this week for diplomatic action not military force in response to the chemical attack. On Wednesday, Downing Street played down the prospect of military action, insisting ‘nobody is talking’ about an armed response to what the BBC called ‘the atrocity’.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also criticsed the missile strike.
Mr Corbyn called for an ‘urgent independent UN investigation’ into the chemical attack.
But he said: ‘Unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people’.
Islamic State encouraged
Where does a missile strike knocking out a Syrian airfield leave the fight against Islamic State, said by Trump to be his ‘focus’? IS reportedly launched an attack on the Syrian army at the same time as the chemical story broke. On the run from Mosul, they will only be encouraged to step up operations in Syria. The UK- and US- backed jihadists will also be energised to fight on. That will set back the current Syrian peace talks in Geneva, which had been reported by Reuters news agency to be making progress.
However, the rebels’ EU-fueled demand for Bashar Al-Assad to step aside would mean devastation for Syria’s religious minorities. That’s the President’s own Alawite sect, Shia Muslims in general, Christians and Druze. All would be murdered and/or driven out of Syria by the Western-backed Sunni Muslim jihadists.
Perhaps the real ‘Red Line’ for the American Neo-Cons was Assad winning the peace and staying in power. Ron Paul, who ran for president, says they were ‘terrified peace was about to break out’. A few days ago US ambassador to the UN and Trump appointee Nikki Haley said there was a new policy. Under it, the removal of Assad will ‘no longer be a priority.’ Within days, after the chemical incident, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said there is ‘No role’ for Assad to govern Syria.
Even if the attack reports were genuine, and the Syrian government was responsible, s it any business of the US or the UK? We are not the world’s policemen. Last night’s US missile strike takes us right back into ‘Responsibility to Protect’. That Soros-invented doctrine means any pretext is used to topple world leaders with whom the elite disagree. If the destabilisation or the hostilities make money for the bankers, so much the better.
Russia maturity provides glimmer of hope
The only glimmer of hope in this crisis is the maturity of the Russian Federation. President Putin did not respond in kind when President Obama tried to sour relations for his successor by expelling 35 Russian Diplomats in December 2016. At the time President-elect Trump praised ‘very smart’ Putin. Now Russia’s government newspaper website Rossiiskaya Gazeta has reported that Russia will not hit back at the US strike. Despite condemning the US action, they say they will not escalate military action in Syria.
The deputy speaker of the State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, told the assembly at a full session: ‘How can we respond? Of course not by escalating military actions, not with Iskanders [type of short-range ballistic missile], though of course that’s an important part of our forces. Yet that’s not where our strength lies – our strength is in our own understanding of the logic of events.’
Mr Tillerson is due to visit Moscow later this month. He already knows Vladimir Putin. But UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has unaccountably pulled out of a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Pray for the Lord to over-rule and when such meetings go ahead, to oversee and direct.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
The heart of God is for peace between nations:
Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Let us pray therefore for peace and all that leads to it. The Lord is against those who profit from war:
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Psalm 140:1 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; 2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
Let us pray their dealings are exposed. As to our politicians, a sound mind is from the Lord:
2Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
So let us pray sense from the Throne of Grace comes into this overwhelming situation. Pray for President Trump, that the Holy Spirit will break in, convert him and have him stand against the warmongers. Scripture also says:
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
So let us pray also for the Christians in Syria, and pray for a political settlement that enables them to rebuild their businesses, homes, churches and families. Yes, that means praying for President Assad to stay in power. It also means praying for the defeat of the jihadists. And pray for our leaders, for honesty and maturity to break out.