Debunking Trump’s Casus Belli in Syria

by Philip Giraldi


Wars and rumors of wars have been dominating news cycles of late. No one should be surprised that there is a “former intelligence officer” subculture that is particularly noticeable in the Washington, DC, area. We stay in touch, communicate regularly, have lunches to discuss the “old days,” and sometimes organize to raise objections to some of the foreign follies pursued by the U.S. government. Though we often try to stay under the radar, making personal but discreet contact with sympathetic congressmen and journalists, we sometimes work together to get letters to the editor or articles placed in national publications. More rarely we appear on television or radio to discuss our own perspectives on current events.
There is an additional element that helps shape our perceptions—namely, that many of us are in contact with friends who are still in harness with the Intelligence Community or who are working as post-retirement contractors. Though current employees generally are highly cautious about what they are doing, and we are acutely aware that it is not a good idea to ask anything specific, frustration over specific governmental policies and actions is occasionally vented.
Recently, with the cruise missile attacks on a Syrian airfield, there has been a considerable loosening of the normal restraints that employees exercise regarding their duties. Even more than the invasion of Iraq, which was viewed skeptically by many in the community, the decision by President Trump to retaliate with force against Damascus has been met with dismay among many of those closest to the action in the Middle East.
Many officers have expressed frustration and anger over what has taken place—not to challenge national-security policy, which they leave up to the politicians, but because they are perceiving a tissue of lies, as in Iraq. They have expressed their concerns in very specific ways to former fellow officers and friends. For the first time, people on the inside of the process are really talking. And we have been listening, astonished at the level of anger.
The insiders note that no evidence has been produced to demonstrate convincingly that Syrian forces dropped a chemical bomb on a civilian area. U.S. monitors, who had been warned by the Russians that an attack was coming, believe they saw from satellite images something close to the Russian account of events, with a bomb hitting the targeted warehouse, which then produced a cloud of gas. They also note that Syria had absolutely no motive for staging a chemical attack. In fact, it was quite the contrary, as Washington had earlier that week backed off from the U.S. position that President Bashar al-Assad should be removed from office. The so-called rebels, however, had plenty of motive. Many intelligence officials have concluded that the White House is lying and concealing what it knows.
Some employees have even expressed a desire that a whistleblower might step forward to demolish the administration’s casus belli, though none has yet offered to do so. Most of all, those on the ground are alarmed over ongoing preparations for expanding the war, including seemingly active plans to establish no-fly zones and safe havens. The uncompromising demand that al-Assad must go will lead, in their opinion, to a rapid escalation of military activity that inevitably will result in conflict with Russia.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.


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Filed under: conflict zones, latest, Syria
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Apr 28, 2017 1:44 AM

United States of Amneasia is looking more like The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
Totally discredited ,baseless ,vacuous ,immoral ,corrupt racketeers and defenders of corporate raider capitalism, the modern day Robber Barons ., and we the Sheeple’s wage disparity statrs ecxeeding the levels of the Guilded age. Welcome to the Old world order

Apr 27, 2017 11:57 PM

I look upon what is happening more positively. After that solitary attack on the airfield, MSM let off on castigating Trump for being somehow in Putin’s pocket (a truly ridiculous insinuation, for sure!) with all applauding that Trump was asserting himself militarily. In addition, the Russian and Syrian military were apparently warned well in advance of the oncoming attack resulting in no casualties of their military personnel. Apparently, there were civilian casualties but this was because some of the missiles went astray and hit adjoining villages (which doesn’t say much for their accuracy!).
It seems to me like Trump just played the media well. It is all theatrics anyway. Every idiot knows that war with Russia, or China, is not an option. But, the president needs to look warlike to justify all the military expenses, which are important for the American economy. I think that is the crux of the matter.

Apr 27, 2017 4:34 PM

Comment on 21st Century article by Intel Vets:
‘Whadduh ya do when you’re 20 trillion in debt, your currency aint worth the paper its printed on, your drunk with your own hubris, and the only reason the rest of the world doesn’t call in their loans is because your big and drunk?
Answer: You punch somebody in the face…of course.
Then end up getting your ass kicked by someone who’s not drunk and had you pegged the moment you entered the bar. (think Putin).’

Apr 27, 2017 5:08 AM

If truth be told… I will be 70 in a few months, and I don’t remember a time when there were no wars and rumours of wars. In fact, when one reads history, this has been a constant for millenia.

Dead World Walking
Dead World Walking
Apr 27, 2017 1:29 AM

It’s pathetic really.
All these power plays just to be the toughest kid on the block.
And ‘kids’ they are.
No grown up would waste their time with such puerile posturing.

Apr 26, 2017 6:29 PM

Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet.

Apr 26, 2017 5:58 PM

Of course, the MSM propaganda parrot Guardian now says French intelligence ‘knows’ Assad dun it. Again without any convincing evidence being produced.
Got another begging email from the Gruan today, saying:
“With the growing influence of extreme right movements on the continent, the world needs progressive, independent journalism more than ever.”
I replied agreeing, but pointing out that sadly The Guardian was neither progressive nor independent, and more a publisher of CIA/GCHQ/MI6 stenography than journalism these day.

Apr 27, 2017 2:46 PM
Reply to  JJA

With regard to the French so-called intelligence which “knows” that Assad did it, one very interesting fact:

Apr 27, 2017 4:17 PM
Reply to  vierotchka

Add the time zone difference and you’re into April 4th at the correct time for the two sarin attack tweets. The chlorine tweet is another matter , but the opposition was complaining about chlorine attacks in surrounding towns in the days preceding the 4th.
People are also saying some of the early youtube videos are dated the 3rd , instead of the 4th , proving fakery , but the reason is that the date is determined by the timezone of youtube HQ.

Apr 27, 2017 4:26 PM
Reply to  Marko

The person who provided these tweets lives in Lebanon, i.e. the same time zone as those who posted these tweets.

Apr 26, 2017 5:41 PM

Choices, choices:
How We Would Fight China
The Middle East is just a blip. The American military contest with China in the Pacific will define the twenty-first century. And China will be a more formidable adversary than Russia ever was

Apr 26, 2017 6:29 PM
Reply to  Husq

Especially if Putin is still in charge, he is no fool. Any attempt to start a war with China will require Russia, by default, to weigh in on China’s side, because next on the US shit list will be Russia itself if China is defeated.

Apr 26, 2017 6:40 PM
Reply to  Husq

Far from being a ‘blip’ the middle east is central to the contest. And not least because it is driving Russia and China into an alliance which will last until the US gives up its hegemonic ambitions.
After all the US never came close to defeating Russia, it prevailed simply because it had-diplomatically-detached it from an alliance with China.
For a variety of reasons, with one being its stance towards Iran that no longer seems possible.
As to proxy wars-such as those that the US wages against Russia- they will soon bring their mirror images-armed militias waging guerrilla campaigns against US interests, and within US borders. That will be a signal for them to stop, if that is possible. It may not be and the international contest will morph into those Civil Wars which Marx predicted and are long overdue.