President Trump would like to have good relations with Russia. The Russian response was inflammatory but measured as was, according to many world leaders, the U.S. bombing as a response to the use of Sarin. Sarin is a deadly nerve agent that attacks the central nervous system and is lethal a high percentage of the time. President Trump said that it’s use crossed the line and that it had to be responded to.
The attack was disguised as a bombing. When it first took place, reports of civilians dying with symptoms synonymous with toxic nerve agents were almost immediate. Syria was accused to using chemical weapons once again, just as they had several years ago. Russia came to Syria’s defense and claimed that they Syrian Air Force did not drop chemical weapons on the town but hit a cash of Sarin stored by rebel forces. They cited the fact that all of Syria’s chemical weapons were destroyed as a result of a deal struck by Russia and the Obama administration to destroy all of Syria’s chemical weapons the last time the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own civilians.
That deal, as you may recall, was made after then Secretary of State John Kerry answered a question posed by a reporter in London a week after the incident. Kerry was asked what Syria could do to avoid U.S. intervention and potential war against Syria. Kerry’s response was “They should get rid of every last chemical weapon in their arsenal”. Within an hour Russia responded to Kerry’s outburst by stating that Syria was willing to do that.
At that point in time tensions between Russia and the U.S. were high and there was a strong possibility that the U.S. would escalate it’s military intervention in Syria. End of the world evangelists were filling the media and the internet with predictions of this being the beginning of World War 3 and the end of the world. With this as a backdrop, I sent messages to white house staffers suggesting that they get a message to Secretary Kerry to demand Syria get rid of all of their chemical weapons. Secretary Kerry made the statement a few days after my message was received.
President Trump expressed his feelings about the Obama not correctly handling the use of chemical weapons in Syria when they were in office. He didn’t want to make the same mistake. He also wants to preserve good relations with Russia. So, why did the U.S. launch the air strike?
I believe that the air strike was a calculated move to sow the world that the U.S, condemns the use of chemical weapons on civilians. I further believe that the U.S. has footage of the planes taking off from that air base, and dropping the chemical weapons on the town. I believe that President Trump had seen the video footage and told the Russian Government that he would respond but that he would not show the footage unless Russian reaction forced him to.
In this way, Russia saves face (they were the ones who claimed that the chemical weapons came from the ground and were stored by rebels and that Syria got rid of all of their chemical weapons). Russia, in response will issue some harsh toned rhetoric but take no further action. You might just see Bashir Al Assad quietly leaving office in the next six months, which could possibly be part of the deal that was struck this week. He would likely be replaced by a more moderate leader, loyal to and controllable by Russia, who will work towards negotiating a peace.
You could also see an increase in U.S. military intervention. It will all depend on the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and the ability of the world press to ferret through the rhetoric and read between the lines.
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