MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

U.S. Launches New Military Strikes Against Syria

President announces retaliation for gas attacks, joined by France and U.K.

TrumpMark Wilson/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom(This post has been updated throughout.)

President Donald Trump tonight announced military strikes in Syria in response to the government's alleged use of chemical weapons against Douma. The U.S. is working in coordination with France and the United Kingdom.

Referencing the U.S. airstrike against Syria a year ago under a similar trigger, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, "These are not the actions of a man. These are the crimes of a monster."

Trump said that the purpose of the strike was to provide a strong deterrent to try to stop future use of chemical weapons and made it clear that this could be a sustained set of strikes and military actions, not just another barrage of missiles as we saw last year.

Trump also called out Russia and Iran for propping up Assad, asking "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?"

In a press briefing at 10 p.m. Defense Secretary James Mattis explained that the strike was justified as an important national interest in preventing the further use of chemical weapons. At the briefing military officials identified three targets that had been struck: A scientific research center in Damascus they believe was used to develop chemical weapons; a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs; and another nearby storage facility and Syrian military command post. Mattis said when the targets were selected, they had "gone through great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties."

Mattis further said that this was a "one-time shot" against these targets and destroyed important infrastructure Syria needed for chemical weapons manufacturing that would set them back for years. He said there appeared to be no losses among U.S. troops.

More coverage here. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) earlier today tweeted that 84 lawmakers sent the president a letter warning him that he couldn't engage in military strikes against Syria without congressional authorization:

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May put out a statement making it clear her military involvement is not about regime change, but about deterring Syria from any further chemical weapon use:

This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change. It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties. And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.

French President Emmanuel Macron also stated that the military strike were limited to stopping Syria's capacity to create and use chemical weapons.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    I'm commenting on Hit & Run in order to buy sex.

    Anybody got a problem with that? I'm asking you, FOSTA/SESTA!

  • Nardz||

    This bit got old a long time ago.
    A
    long
    time

  • Don't look at me.||

    Your money is no good here.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Trump said that the purpose of the strike was to provide a strong deterrent to try to stop future use of chemical weapons"

    A desirable and legitimate goal that is not nation building. Consistent with smashing ISIS as well. Destroying/deterring threats to international order.

  • Mezzanine||

    Is this sarcasm or stupidity? Hard to tell.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    It's stupidity. See username.

  • Mezzanine||

    Is this sarcasm or stupidity? Hard to tell.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Yep, the war starts and already "libertarians are making excuses for it. How about we just stop fucking bombing people, asshat?

  • Sevo||

    "Trump also called out Russia and Iran for propping up Assad, asking "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?""
    Not sure, but we have a supposed human who does so just above my post.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    What complete bullshit... How about we stop bombing people, GI?

  • Sevo||

    Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot|4.13.18 @ 10:11PM|#
    "What complete bullshit... How about we stop bombing people, GI?"

    But starving and shooting millions by Stalin and Mao was just ducky, right, scumbag?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "But starving and shooting millions by Stalin and Mao was just ducky, right, scumbag?"

    Since the US has never bombed either Russia or China, nor is anyone seriously suggesting we start doing so, I fail to see the relevance of Stalin's and Mao's crimes against their own people to a suggestion that the US stop bombing people.

  • Sevo||

    "Since the US has never bombed either Russia or China, nor is anyone seriously suggesting we start doing so, I fail to see the relevance of Stalin's and Mao's crimes against their own people to a suggestion that the US stop bombing people."

    Point, searching for Matthew!
    That was not a justification of anything. It was pointing out that our lefty scumbag is a hypocrite besides.

  • Mark22||

    I fail to see the relevance of Stalin's and Mao's crimes against their own people to a suggestion that the US stop bombing people.

    The relevance is that the guy is a hypocrite who is unwilling to engage in rational argument and unwilling to apply the principles he pretends to advocate to the ideologies he favors.

    Yes, we should stop bombing people

    Yes, RJSP is a war mongering hypocrite and apologist for mass murdering and war mongering regimes, someone who should be ostracized and excluded from any kind of political debate.

  • Mark22||

    Yep, the war starts and already "libertarians are making excuses for it. How about we just stop fucking bombing people, asshat?

    How about you stop being such a fucking hypocrite? You and the politicians you speak up for are war mongers of the first order.

  • Sevo||

    "A desirable and legitimate goal that is not nation building."

    Well, the aim may be "desirable", but it ain't "legitimate".
    Interfering in the internal affairs of other nations is pretty hard to justify as "legitimate", and added to that (like central economic planning), it's never worked.
    So it's a fail by both deontological and utilitarian criteria.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    I agree, getting killed by a bullet or good old fashion bomb is a much better way to die than with chemicals. Heck, I don't even like swimming in pools because of the chlorine but I love the smell of gun powder!

  • buybuydandavis||

    People should feel free to argue that the proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons is not something that the US needs to be concerned about any more than the proliferation of bullets, but that hasn't been US policy forever.

    1) Internal Affairs!
    No, the proliferation of these weapons is considered an international risk.

    2) Bombing, wah!
    When was the last year we weren't bombing in the Middle East?
    The targets are chemical weapons facilities. In the counterfactual world where we do nothing about those facilities, there's a good chance a lot of people would most fervently wish those facilities had been destroyed.
    Life is full of trade offs.

    Not a single person has responded to the issue of chemical weapons proliferation.

    That's why people don't let "libertarians" have nice things. Like power. They are unserious about the unpleasant facts of reality.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    "2) Bombing, wah!
    When was the last year we weren't bombing in the Middle East?"

    Is this fact supposed to support a "keep bombing" position? I would think it might suggest that our strategy of bombing our enemies until only our friends are left is not yielding appreciable results.

    Heck, that's practically some Orwellian justification there. "We have always been at war with ISIS."

  • SQRLSY One||

    Let's go to Syria and get shit-faced drunk and BOMBED, and shit!!!

  • Nardz||

    Why can't we just let the Syrian Civil War end?
    Assad is on the verge of victory - just let him defeat the jihadists.
    (No, I don't at all trust the French conclusion that Assad perpetrated the attack)

  • paranoid android||

    They told me if I didn't vote for Trump we'd be going to war in Syria, and they were right!

  • Moo Cow||

    Wag the dotard!!!

  • Get lit||

    Assad isn't aligned with us. He works against our interests and he's a mass murderer who is ultimately responsible for this war and the hell it has spawned. We have the power to stop men like Assad in some cases and in others we don't. Maybe we're just targeting chemical weapon stuff but I think we should force Assad to the table one way or the other.

  • paranoid android||

    Could you put a figure on precisely how many of other people's lives you're heroically willing to sacrifice to "force Assad to the table"?

  • Sevo||

    And what sort of criteria qualifies as "success"?
    Pretty sure the Iraqis are still trying to figure out who "won" from the US efforts there.

  • Get lit||

    I think our military has the best tools to manage those risks. We would do what we did to IS until Assad asked for peace. I'll play some fortnite and think on it.

  • Nardz||

    "I think we should force Assad to the table one way or the other."
    "We would do what we did to IS"

    And just who do you think Assad would be at the table to settle with?
    Hint: it would be IS, only under the name "Army of Islam"

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it's important for bad actors everywhere to understand that there are negative consequences for using WMD.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I should have written, I think it's [in the best interests of the United States and our security] for bad actors to understand that there are negative consequences . . .

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Gee, why am I not surprised Ken Shultz supports this military intervention.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I oppose any military action without getting express authorization from congress.

    How many times have I said that in this thread alone--not to mention over the years?

    Do you imagine that making up shit about people is okay because you disagree with them?

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.13.18 @ 10:05PM|#
    "I think it's important for bad actors everywhere to understand that there are negative consequences for using WMD."
    How many (other's) lives and how much (other's) treasure are you willing to spend to make the world pure?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not an anarchist. I think we have police to protect our rights against criminals domestically and a military to protect our rights against those who mean us harm internationally. The idea that we shouldn't punish criminals for violating people's rights is preposterous for a number of reasons, and one of them is that criminals need to be aware beforehand that violating people's rights is likely to have negative consequences.

    It's the same thing internationally. Everyone from North Korea to Iran needs to take the negative consequences of using WMD into account--even if the psychopaths in power see no other reason not to kill dissidents among their own people on an industrial scale, they need to know that they can't do that without paying a heavy price.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.13.18 @ 11:09PM|#
    Ken, cut it out:

    "I'm not an anarchist."
    Nor am I

    "I think we have police to protect our rights against criminals domestically and a military to protect our rights against those who mean us harm internationally."
    Uh, now you get to define how we are harmed.

    "The idea that we shouldn't punish criminals for violating people's rights is preposterous for a number of reasons, and one of them is that criminals need to be aware beforehand that violating people's rights is likely to have negative consequences."
    That claim is outright bullshit. It is an unlimited justification for worldwide 'adventures' wherever Ken find a moral issue.
    Here's the deal, Ken: YOU pay for it, and you got fight the battle. Tell us how it comes out, please.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Uh, now you get to define how we are harmed."

    Yeah, one of the reasons the thugs on the other side of town don't perpetrate home invasion robberies, murder us, rape our girlfriends, and burn our homes down is because there are negative consequences for doing that. In fact, there are millions of people who are in prison for doing things like that--as well they should be.

    If you don't want the U.S. and its allies to retaliate against you for using WMD, there's an easy way to avoid that. Can you guess what it is?

    P.S. It's not that you don't already understand the word "deterrence". It's that right now you don't want to understand what deterrence means. And why would I spar with someone in that state of mind?

  • Sevo||

    "Yeah, one of the reasons the thugs on the other side of town don't perpetrate home invasion robberies, murder us, rape our girlfriends, and burn our homes down is because there are negative consequences for doing that. In fact, there are millions of people who are in prison for doing things like that--as well they should be."

    Fail, Ken. Syria ain't 'the other side of town'
    You gonna start making an ass of yourself again regarding 'street cred'?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Fail, Ken. Syria ain't 'the other side of town'

    How is that even a relevant criticism?

    Are you drunk?

    The point is that consistent consequences for misbehavior have a deterrent effect on third parties regardless of whether we're talking about domestic crime or international actors using WMD.

    If you don't want to suffer retaliatory strikes by the U.S., the UK, and France because you used WMD, there's an easy way to avoid that.

    There, I made it easy for you with italics that time and everything.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.13.18 @ 11:55PM|#
    "Fail, Ken. Syria ain't 'the other side of town'
    How is that even a relevant criticism?"
    Are you stupid?

    "The point is that consistent consequences for misbehavior have a deterrent effect on third parties regardless of whether we're talking about domestic crime or international actors using WMD."
    If you don't want to suffer retaliatory strikes by the U.S., the UK, and France because you used WMD, there's an easy way to avoid that."
    Yes, there is. For the US to avoid getting involved in internal disputes.

    "There, I made it easy for you with italics that time and everything."
    There, I made it easy enough for a caveman to understand, Ken. Did you get it this time? It's not my responsibility to do so, nor is it possible.
    Here, dimbulb, here's your gun. YOU go save the world; let us know how it works.

  • Ken Shultz||

    One of the most effective means of self-defense is an alliance, and working within such an alliance to retaliate against those who target civilians specifically on an industrial scale is a way of deterring any such attacks against us or our allies and ourselves. The Constitution provides for a way to enter into such alliances, and while not all such alliances are good or desirable, the ones associated with enforcing norms on WMD are good ones for American security.

    Within the context of a discussion about whether a Trump request for authorization should be supported by congress, I agree that a retaliatory strike that doesn't include the commitment of any ground troops should be supported. Because I don't like the involuntary and socialist way that taxes are collected in this country certainly doesn't mean that we shouldn't defend ourselves against foreign actors who might violate our rights without a substantial deterrent.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.13.18 @ 11:10PM|#
    "One of the most effective means of self-defense is an alliance, and working within such an alliance to retaliate against those who target civilians specifically on an industrial scale is a way of deterring any such attacks against us or our allies and ourselves."

    I got your Garand ready for you right here, Ken; $500, and let us know how you do.
    Thanks,
    Sevo

  • Lachowsky||

    I don't think we are in any danger of having our rights violated by Assad, substantial deterrent or not.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Everyone from North Korea to Iran needs to take the negative consequences of using WMD into account . . .

    . . . doesn't mean that we shouldn't defend ourselves against foreign actors who might violate our rights without a substantial deterrent.

    Sometimes, when I write things plain as day, and people don't seem to understand what I wrote, I feel like I was insufficiently wordy. I know for a fact that I already addressed that point in this case. Subconsciously or otherwise, maybe you don't want to understand what I wrote?

    Is the idea that throwing armed robbers in jail might dissuade others from perpetrating armed robberies controversial to you?

    Have you never seen the word "deterrent" in print before?

    No, you're smarter than that, right?

  • Sevo||

    " . . doesn't mean that we shouldn't defend ourselves against foreign actors who might violate our rights without a substantial deterrent."

    Gotcher Garand right here, Ken. You go shoot down any foreign actors who "might" violate our rights.
    Let us know how it works.

  • Lachowsky||

    Where's the limit then?

    When a Foreign despot uses gas to kill citizens of his own country it then becomes the job of the U.S. to bomb the citizens of that foreign country to deter said despot from using gas again. That's your arguement.

    When a different Foreign despot uses other means to kill the citizens of his own country, does it then become the job the U.S. to bomb the citizens of that country too? If so, the U.S. has a whole lot of bombing to do. There are a lot of despots out there whose citizens need some U.S. bombs dropped on their heads.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Because you buy one stock, you have to buy all the others trading on the market, too. Doing anything else would be unfair to all those other companies!

    Actually, different situations call for different strategies. The only perfectly consistent thing is that what we should do should be in the best interests of the United States.

    Honest people can disagree about what's in our best interests in any particular situation--just like they can argue about which stock is in their best interests to buy.

    I argued against the Iraq War for various humanitarian reasons, but I also contended that it wasn't in the best interests of the United States. Disagree with that all you like, but please don't tell me you support it because of what's in the best interests of Iraq--unless that's somehow directly related to why the war is in the interests of the U.S.

    P.S. It's always in U.S. interests to obey the Constitution. The President should always get authorization from congress.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.14.18 @ 12:17AM|#
    "Because you buy one stock, you have to buy all the others trading on the market, too. Doing anything else would be unfair to all those other companies!"

    Yes, because buying stocks is exactly like choosing who to bomb.
    Ken, I'm guessing you are looking for an edit tab about now. If not, you should be.

  • Lachowsky||

    I will disagree that blowing up Syrians is in our best interest. I see nothing to gain and a hell of a lot to lose, and killing people for no gain is wrong.

    What do we have to gain. Maybe a future deterrent towards despots the world over against using gas on their citizens. I find this hard to believe. Didn't we shoot missiles into Syria just a year ago for exactly the same reason? That didn't seem to work very well.

    What do we have to loose? War with russia doesn't sound good to me. A weakened Assad could lead to a resurgence of ISIS. I don't like that either. I also have spent my entire adult life watching the U.S. military engage in middle eastern wars that have done absolutely nothing other than cost a lot of money and kill a lot of people. I have my doubts that thus time we will have a successful outcome.

  • Nardz||

    Ken, I'm a fan of your writing...
    but am dismayed by your lack of skepticism regarding the unanimous push for bombing Syria.

    The UK can bomb if they feel compelled to do so.
    France, the nation that claims to have "proof" of a gas attack perpetrated by Assad and former colonial holder of Syria, can bomb if they feel compelled to do so.
    The US has no justifiable business in Syria and its only use to "us" is an excuse to continue poking the bear (Russia).

    There are people (Western oligarchs) very much determined to get the US and Russia into open conflict. They are either exceedingly evil or exceedingly stupid and poor judges of human psychology/character. McCain and Clinton are merely their public faces. If they win, the rest of us lose.

    Death to the Global Socialists

  • Sevo||

    Nardz|4.14.18 @ 12:24AM|#
    "Ken, I'm a fan of your writing...
    but am dismayed by your lack of skepticism regarding the unanimous push for bombing Syria."

    You weren't here when Ken was pitching military action in Libya to establish "US street cred" among the Arabs.
    Ken luvs him some shoot-em-ups if the good guys win! Unfortunately, like those formulating 5-year econ plans, Ken never gets it right.
    Ken, tell us: When did one of your proposed military actions ever do what you hoped it would do?

  • Nardz||

    I'll say this: Ken is correct on the principles he's stated.
    - deterrence is useful and necessary at times to avoid greater conflicts
    - words must be backed up by actions, otherwise credibility (and deterrence) fly out the window
    I just don't think Syria is an appropriate situation for it.

    Obama really, really f'd up with his Red Line comment - not because he waited to act in Syria, but because he said it in the first place. Once said, action was necessary. My argument at the time was assassination, which would've "worked" but those were more naive times.

    Ultimately, my stance is this: ally with Russia and get 95% of the world's nuclear weapons on the same side. Closest we could get to world peace.
    Europe and China would be pissed, but fuck Europe.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Can you contrive a way in which our rights are violated by the actions in Syria?

    Or do you mean that it may lead to a situation in which our rights are violated? In which case, can you come up with any situation that would not justify violence?

  • Don't look at me.||

    What if trump turned int an Assad? Would you want someone else to do something about it?

  • Sevo||

    "What if trump turned int an Assad? Would you want someone else to do something about it?"
    Gotta be sarc. No way anyone stupid enough to be serious is capable of posting that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Can you contrive a way in which our rights are violated by the actions in Syria?"

    Is this a competition or something? Are we trying to see who can be the most obtuse?

    Because judges the world over sentence other people to prison for car theft doesn't mean I have to worry about getting caught?

    In your mind, is someone supposed to prove that consistently punishing people for misbehavior discourages that behavior in third parties--like really?

    This is what I was talking about yesterday. Because I support the right to buy AR-15s doesn't mean I have to pretend that AR-15s are better for deer hunting than a purpose built deer hunting rifle. And, yet, in the wake of a mass shooting, I found a whole thread of people who would insist that the AR-15 was far better at doing everything better than a purpose built gun.

    Don't go over the rational edge. Because you don't like what Trump is doing, if that's the case, that doesn't mean you have to pretend that deterrence doesn't exist--if that's what you're doing.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.13.18 @ 11:48PM|#
    "Is this a competition or something? Are we trying to see who can be the most obtuse?"

    Yeah, it's a competition to find out if you are willing to be honest or peddle your war-boner shit once more.
    Gettin' stiff, Ken? Havin' those orgasmic fantasies again?
    Fuck off. We (everyone but you and others willing to volunteer for your shoot-em-up fantasies) have no interest in your idiocy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, one of the reasons Obama's red line threat was so pathetic was that he didn't back it up. If he'd never said such a stupid thing, he might not have had to back it up, but the worst possible thing he could have done was exactly what he did--make a threat and fail to back it up.

    Assad might not have used WMD this last time if he hadn't been emboldened by Obama's inaction. In fact, Assad may have done this as a test case--to see if Trump would do anything at all or merely send a sternly worded letter from the UN like Obama did.

    If Assad doesn't use chemical weapons on the rebels to reclaim all the territory of his country, it certainly isn't because he's got a big, warm heart. With psychopaths, it's all about outcomes. He (and everyone else watching) probably needs to think that the consequences of using WMD will be worse than the benefits--if we want to make bad actors like him think twice before using WMD against us or anyone else.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|4.14.18 @ 12:07AM|#
    "Incidentally, one of the reasons Obama's red line threat was so pathetic was that he didn't back it up."

    Incidentally, he should have never involved us there at all.
    Just to make the point clear

  • Mezzanine||

    No, the worst possible thing he could have done was making a threat by mistake and then going through with the mistake.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Depends on what we mean by "mistake".

    Remember, I'm looking at this from a U.S. interests standpoint.

    If by "making a mistake", we mean invading and occupying Syria like we did Iraq, then avoiding that mistake was by far the most important consideration.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Oh gawd! This pearl clutching is so precious. Tell that WMD stuff to the kids still picking up landlines in Laos.

  • Sevo||

    "This pearl clutching is so precious"

    From a subhuman who finds Stalin and Mao just peachy!

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Guess what WMD is superior technology?? Nuclear! Which we have of course.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Pearl-clutching"

    WTF are you talking about?

    That doesn't even make sense.

    What's that shit supposed to even mean?

    The voices you're hearing are only in your head. Not mine.

  • buybuydandavis||

    A grownup rears his head.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Fuck off, slaver. Where is the proof of the chemical attack and who committed it? Where is the Congressional authorization? How many innocent civilians died in this U.S. bombing?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Where is the Congressional authorization?"

    Thank goodness you brought that up, or I wouldn't have thought to address it for a fifth time in this thread alone.

    If you guys really were having a competition to see who could be the most obtuse, Chipper Morning Baculum wins!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    My comment was a response to Get Lit, not you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Then I apologize.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "President Donald Trump tonight announced military strikes in Syria in response to the government's alleged use of chemical weapons against Douma. The U.S. is working in coordination with France and the United Kingdom."

    Is it still "alleged"?

    Macron said he had proof, but if a tree falls in the middle of the forest and the UN wasn't there to see it, I guess the tree only allegedly fell.

    Anyway, far as anyone can tell, it happened, and if it happened, and Donald Trump had brought a resolution to congress asking them to authorize this retaliation, I'd argue that congress should authorize it.

    I also think this might be the Capitals' year.

  • Nardz||

    Come on, Ken - you have to realize how thin the ice you tread on is when you type that final sentence...

    Anyway, there is little to no strategic or tactical value in gas attacks for Assad. There is a vast amount of strategic value in the specter of gas attacks by Assad for the jihadist rebels and their PR team (the White Helmets).

    Weird that Trump announces an intent to withdraw from Syria and immediately afterward "Assad" does just about the only thing he could do to justify Trump walking back that announcement.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Terrifying your subject population with chemical weapons has great strategic value.

    Particularly if you can get the US not to respond, proving to his people that no one will ever come to their aid to do anything to limit how much they are tortured and abused.

    If only Reason had their way, the Syrian people could be assured that the US would never ever to anything to limit their abuse by Assad.

  • Nardz||

    Right, Assad - not jihadists - has all the incentive to torture and abuse.
    You're repeating MSM talking points - unanimously approved by Fox, CNN, and WaPo! - but have you ever looked at other sources of info?
    For example, who created and funds the White Helmets?
    And why are they allowed to move so freely within jihadist territory? Reporters or inspectors get their heads cut off, but "humanitarian" white helmets go completely unmolested where even the Red Crescent (Islamic Red Cross) can't operate safely.
    Assad is winning. He has no motive to provoke the US immediately upon hearing Trump state plans for withdrawal.
    Remember who Obama's "moderate rebels" turned out to be (hint: they beheaded a 12 year old on camera)? Remember last year's gas "attack"?
    Narrative before evidence, because evidence can be buried months later.

  • Mezzanine||

    It was also claimed Saddam had them, how'd that work out?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, we argued for a year about WMD, and my argument was always that it was a terrible basis for opposing the Iraq War. I was as surprised as anybody when they didn't find vast stockpiles of the stuff--why would Saddam defy inspectors and practically ensure a U.S. invasion over something he didn't have?

    I guess megalomaniac psychopaths are irrational. Who knew?

    It's also important to remember where people's heads were at the time. People forget what they knew and when they knew it.

    "WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists' strike against this country.

    Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it's likely Saddam was involved."

    USA Today
    September 6, 2003.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....iraq_x.htm

    Six months after we invaded, almost 70% of the American people believed that Saddam Hussein was personally complicit in 9/11--presumably, a lot of that had to do with the anthrax attack, which history seems to have forgotten.

  • Mezzanine||

    It's important to remember that on March 7th Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspection of Iraq said in his report to the UN that "it will still take some time to verify sites and items, analyze documents, interview relevant persons and draw conclusions. It will not take years, nor weeks, but months." 13 days later the US invaded not even giving close to the time needed for the inspector to verify compliance by Iraq.

    Also, 70% of the American people believe there is an invisible man in the sky.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why believe Hans Blix or anyone else? Colin Powell went before the world and showed us photos of mobile WMD labs. So, who do you believe?

    Whom you believe isn't a rational way to decide whether to support a policy or a war.

    The Iraq War was still a bad idea--even if Saddam Hussein had possessed WMD. It was a diversion.

    They were looking for an excuse.

  • Ken Shultz||

    My opposition to Iraq wasn't about WMD because we couldn't know what was going on and whom to believe. And what were you going to do if they found them--suddenly start supporting the war and the occupation?

    Meanwhile, there was more than enough reason to oppose the war and occupation without referencing WMD. Humanitarian concerns are always valid, and there were huge strategic concerns about Iran in the region--a real state sponsor of terrorism with a real WMD program at the time AKA nuclear. In short, all the reasons Bush the Elder didn't invade and occupy Iraq were just as valid in 2003 as they were in 1991. WMD simply wasn't the issue. Once Bush the Younger convinced the American people it was the issue, the invasion became a foregone conclusion. Opposition to the war only gained critical mass once people became convinced that WMD wasn't the issue anymore.

    In Syria, it's different for two reasons:

    1) We're not talking about an invasion and occupation and nation building. It's more like a bombing raid.

    2) I'm not sure the question is whether WMD was used. The question might be who used them and why, but all those people are suffering from something, right? Something that happened on that one day, right? Something that concentrated on the rebels, right?

    etc,. etc.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Maybe Assad should build some nukes or, alternatively have Russia vet publicly announce they are lending him some.

  • paranoid android||

    AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!

  • NoVaNick||

    Considering that Syria is already a war ravaged shithole, its hard to see what any bombing will accomplish, other than continue to prop up Assad-but you gotta keep fellating the war boners.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Russia supports anything that will make natural gas pipelines more difficult to build. Most Americans don't understand that Russia's "golden goose" is piped gas to Europe and not oil.

  • Sevo||

    "Russia supports anything that will make natural gas pipelines more difficult to build. Most Americans don't understand that Russia's "golden goose" is piped gas to Europe and not oil."
    So?

  • NoVaNick||

    I believe this is what he is talking about:
    http://www.news.com.au/world/m.....b63a9afb74

  • Sevo||

    OK, so what?

  • Mauser||

    Unconstitutional war of aggression against the only leader capable of protecting the Christian minority in Syria. No tears are shed by the war mongers when Saudi Arabia indiscriminately slaughters civilians in Yemen. The American government isn't capable of balancing a budget and solving domestic issues let alone that cesspool of tribalism.

  • Sevo||

    Mauser|4.13.18 @ 11:22PM|#
    Unconstitutional war of aggression"

    All that matters.
    Stupid shit bleevers can kill each other until none are left as far as I'm concerned.

  • Mezzanine||

    Congress is too busy focusing on important issues; like interrogating Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Facebook is exponentially worse than opioids and WMDs.

  • The Metonymy||

    Fuckin use nukes. Syria can't make WMDs if there are no Syrians.

    Besides, if the Syrian people didn't like Assad they'd rise up against him themselves. Er.

    Yeah, stupid all around.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Syria can't make WMDs if there are no Syrians.

    We are halfway there. Half the country has left already. What a fucking tragedy.

  • Mezzanine||

    Trump has even lost Alex Jones. Alex feels Trump has betrayed him and isn't taking it too well.

    https://t.co/FkPt3xnok4

  • buybuydandavis||

    Deterrence of chemical weapons use. Like last time. And like last time, I don't expect the sky to fall.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Note that if Cankles had won, our full scale invasion of Syria would be months into operation by now.

    This massive reduction of bloodshed brought to you by the God Emperor and his supporters.

    You're welcome.

  • poipetcom||

    wow us launches new strikes to syaria, with that i hope no more war,
    war can be stop,
    peacee,
    visit too my website :
    live draw sd
    live draw sydney

  • Hank Phillips||

    Pix or it never happened!

  • prediksi hongkong||

    Mengapa kita tidak bisa membiarkan Perang Sipil Suriah berakhir?
    Assad berada di ambang kemenangan - biarkan saja dia mengalahkan para jihadis.
    (Tidak, aku sama sekali tidak percaya pada kesimpulan Prancis bahwa Assad melakukan serangan)

  • AddinaRaisa||

    who care ?

    Prediksi Bola

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online