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Letter: US attack on Syria likely was driven by other motives

President Donald Trump just launched another missile strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, allegedly for using gas against insurgent rebels in Eastern Ghouta. Americans should know the truth before we take action, but nothing’s been proven. Unfortunately, no one in the news media is asking hard questions. 

Trump recently announced U.S. plans to withdraw from Syria. This announcement seemed more likely to alarm Israel than motivate Syria to use gas. The timing of the gas attack after Trump’s announcement appears designed to force Trump into keeping troops in Syria longer. 

Some analysts claim Trump had tweeted enough advance warning to allow Syria to reposition military assets ahead of any potential U.S. strike. However, it’s logical that if Assad was behind the gas attack, Syria would have repositioned its assets before the incident. 

To be thorough, we must consider the possibility that rebels had the gas. In this scenario, as the Syrian army advanced into Eastern Ghouta, the rebels would be forced to fall back. Eventually the gas would have to be disposed to prevent it being seized and providing proof that rebels had chemical weapons. In this case, it would be the rebels who ran out of options and were forced to deploy the gas to avoid its seizure and the damage that would do to the Western narrative which blames Assad and Russia. 

A previous gas attack in April 2017 was determined by an MIT professor to have been caused by Syrian rebels on the ground. The U.S. turned a tin ear to his findings and blamed Assad anyway. This is similar to the U.S. refusing to accept testimony from UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter indicating there were no unaccounted weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was blamed anyway, and Iraq was invaded.

We all know how that went. The U.S. stood on its head to craft a pretext to invade and occupy Iraq. This was the lie about WMD which hindsight shows Saddam did not have. We have repeatedly ignored our own experts to pursue an irrational agenda for war based on dishonesty and unfounded accusations. The first casualty of war is truth. 

The dark agenda for regime change in Arab states remains in effect. Without any legal or moral justification, the U.S. is protecting Islamic insurgents in Syria who seek violent overthrow of Assad’s government and ultimately his death. We pursued the same policies in Libya and Iraq, invading relatively stable countries and leaving chaos and suffering in our wake. For what? Is destabilization and sectarian division of Arab states our goal? 

Conservatives cynically suggest the U.S. has taken moral high ground to defend Syrian civilians from gas attacks. However, there would be no war in Syria if not for covert funding and support of insurgent militias by the U.S. and Israel, who insist Assad must go. 

If you want to know who’s responsible for violence and deaths in the Syrian civil war, please search and read “The Moral Argument for American Restraint.”

Bruce Vandiver


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