(Syrian Christian clergy)
1- The case for the Syrian government having illogically attacked with chemicals in Douma remains unproven although the language of certainty is emerging in the MSM. It should be noted that Senator Angus King (I) of Maine told Jake Tapper today on SOTU that no evidence has yet been presented to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the gas attack. King is a member of the committee.
2- The hundred odd cruise missiles fired into Syria were clearly the result of a compromise Trump decision on options with Mattis arguing for restraint in the absence of more than "social media" evidence of the attack while the ascendant neocon influence centered around John Bolton argued for fire and brimstone. Bolton has the political weight of AIPAC and the likes of Adelson behind him as well as the egocentric contempt that Trump has for experts.
3- I have done and/or supervised many Bomb Damage Assessments (BDA). The damage shown in the three struck facilities seems to me to be about right for the number of missiles that the Russians say got through the air defense.
4- These facilities were undoubtedly empty when struck.
5- It seems unlikely to me that Soviet era Syrian air defense equipment would have had much effect on this flotilla of cruise missiles. Therefore, if the Russian claim resembles truth, then something else caused the losses. I am not an air defense expert but it seems to me that some sort of advanced Russian air defense Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) may have been in play. Comments?
6- Heather Nauert, the State Department spokesperson says that Syria will have to confess to its crimes and declare its existing chemical weapons stocks before the US will "allow" Syria to participate in a political settlement of the war. This will be difficult for Syria to do if there are no chemical stocks and there was no attack.
7. Nikki Halley, (the sage of Turtle Bay) and VP Mike Pence (a man who believes that Homo Sapiens walked the earth with dinosaurs) have declared that US troops will not be withdrawn from Syria until US "goals" are reached.
8. The neocons are back, pilgrims. pl
More to come on this.