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What We Know About Syria

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The Civil War, the Nerve Gas Attack, The US Bombing…and How It Could All Lead to WW3.

Just in case our nation wasn’t divided enough, we now have the actions that were taken in Syria.  Every story has many different facets, so today, you can find the links I’ve collected this week in an effort to figure out what the heck is going on.

My personal beliefs are anti-interventionist and anti-war, as those of you who are regular visitors to the site are aware. I’ve tried to provide a broad overview without a minimum of personal bias.

This is why you’ll see conflicting sources in the collection of articles today. I hope you’ll find this information from separate sides of the many arguments surrounding this situation useful in forming your own analysis.

I strongly urge people to look for the common threads. Somewhere within those threads can we weave together the truth. Agree. Disagree. Just don’t blindly accept the official word on things. Don’t retreat into cognitive dissonance. 

Think.

How things got started

The BBC has a timeline of events leading up to the current crisis. (Source)

The Syrian Civil War has been going on since March of 2011 when relatively peaceful protests against the government escalated into violence. (Source) The conflict began shortly after “Arab Spring” and an effort to unseat Bashar Assad, the leader of Syria was begun by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Here’s a video that has a lot of enlightening information.

What Syrians Really Say About Their War – with George Salloum and Dave Pellowe But there were other players on the field, as you can see in this infographic from The Atlantic. When countries fight with each other via the politics of third parties, it’s called a “Proxy War.”

How the US got involved

The United States began by supplying the FSA with non-lethal aid, like food and other supplies. President Obama overturned a ban on arming terrorists, and the US began training the rebels. It was later admitted that the United States also armed the FSA via the CIA.

Here are the links I used to provide the summary above:

Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels

Presidential Determination and Waiver — Pursuant to Section 2249a of Title 10, United States Code, and Sections 40 and 40A of the Arms Export Control Act to Support U.S. Special Operations to Combat Terrorism in Syria

Obama Proposes $500 Million to Aid Syrian Rebels

C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition

US admits sending ‘lethal aid’ to Syrian rebels

NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government

Obama Administration Ends Pentagon Program to Train Syrian Rebels – This article that has been memory-holed by the New York Times (the original link here leads to a dead end), but I found it via The Wayback Machine. Screenshot below.

Arming Syrian rebels: Where the US went wrong  

The Nerve Gas Attack

Then, last week, horrifying video footage emerged of civilians dead or dying from a nerve gas attack that was said to be sarin. The United States government said that President Assad was responsible for the attack on his own people.

Syria Chemical Attack: Here’s What Happened

Civilians Treated After “Gas Attack” in Syria

Dozens die in suspected chemical attack in Syria – video report

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad

The Grim Logic Behind Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack

Death toll in Syrian chemical attack rises to 72  

But was Assad actually responsible for the attack?

Dr. Ron Paul said on The Liberty Report that there was “zero chance” that Assad launched the sarin attack. Here are some quotes from the interview:

“Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions,” the former Texas congressman stated. “Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run.”

“It looks like, maybe, somebody didn’t like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can’t let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad.”

“It’s not so easy though is it? What happened four years ago in 2013, you know, this whole thing about crossing the red line?” he posed. “Ever since then, the neocons have been yelling and screaming, a part of the administration has been yelling and screaming about Assad using poison gas.”

“It was never proven in fact,” agreed Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity executive director Daniel McAdams. “U.N. official Carla Del Ponte said it was most likely done by the rebels.” ​

“It makes no sense, even if you were totally separate from this and take no sides of this and you were just an analyst, it doesn’t make sense for Assad under these conditions to all of the sudden use poison gasses,” Paul continued. “I think it’s zero chance that he would have done this deliberately.” (Source)

Brandon Turbeville is an expert on the Syrian conflict. He’s been researching and writing about it for years. He is the author of The Road To Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault On Syria and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. As you can tell from those titles, he’s not a supporter of US intervention in Syria.

Here is his analysis of the gas attack. Some more links asking the same question: Remember […]

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