US Bombings May Have Derailed Any Investigation into Who Was Behind the Syrian Gas Attack
April 8, 2017
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Times of Israel & Sebastian Murdock / The Huffington Post
Two days after alleged chemical bombing that killed scores of Syrian, including 27 children, Western diplomats demanded full investigation. The United Nations Security Council went to work on a compromise resolution to begin an investigation of the suspected gas attack. An impartial investigation looks increasingly unlikely, however, because the US has attacked Syria while British and French officials were talking up war before any investigation could take place.
UN Seeks Compromise on Investigation Into Syria Gas Attack
Fate of Resolution Unclear After US Attacks
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(April 6, 2017) -- Reports during the day suggest that the United Nations Security Council was discussing a compromise resolution which would agree to an investigation of the suspected gas attack earlier this week in Syria.
Such an agreement was already a struggle, because US, British, and French officials were talking up war against before any investigation could take place, and Russia was planning to veto pretty much everything as a result.
What was difficult this afternoon may be impossible tonight, with US forces launching attacks against Syria this evening, firing scores of Tomahawk missiles at Syrian airbases.
This may obviate any resolution on the matter, both because the US clearly has given up on trying to sell its war to the UN and because Russia is almost certain to reject anything that gets US backing now because of the war.
UN Council Weighs Compromise on Syria Nerve Gas Probe
The Times of Israel
UNITED NATIONS (April 7, 2017) -- Seeking to avert a clash between Russia and the West, 10 Security Council countries on Thursday circulated a compromise resolution demanding a full investigation of the suspected chemical attack in Syria, diplomats said.
It remained unclear if Russia or the other four permanent council members would back the compromise presented as the United States was weighing military options in Syria.
Britain, France and the United States are pushing for a vote later Thursday on their draft text in response to the strike Tuesday on a rebel-held town in Idlib province that shocked the world.
At least 86 people — including 27 children — died in Khan Sheikhoun. Results from post-mortems performed on victims point to exposure to the deadly sarin nerve agent, according to Turkish health officials.
Britain, France and the United States are permanent council members along with Russia and China.
The 10 non-permanent members are Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Italy, Kazakhstan and Sweden.
Their compromise text would drop demands that Syria hand over information on its military operations on the day of the strike, replacing them with language from a previous resolution urging cooperation on chemical weapons investigations, diplomats said.
"There are efforts to find a way forward that might be a compromise," Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog told reporters.
"We are going to try to make sure we have a good discussion before there are any votes."
Russia has rejected the proposed Western-backed resolution as "categorically unacceptable" and put forward a rival draft that does not include specific demands that the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation.
The Russian text calls for an investigation but requests that the council approve the makeup of the team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) dispatched to Idlib, according to the draft seen by AFP.
Majority Of Republicans Said 'No' When
Obama Wanted To Launch A Strike On Syria
Donald Trump didn't seek Congressional approval
Sebastian Murdock / The Huffington Post
(April 7, 2017) -- Just 11 weeks into office, President Donald Trump has bombed Syria.
The president announced Thursday that he had launched a missile strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a deadly chemical weapon attack perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. The chemical attack, carried out earlier this week, left at least 70 dead.
In 2013, when a sarin nerve gas attack left more than 1,400 dead outside Damascus, President Barack Obama went to Congress to get approval to strike.
In a whip count from ThinkProgress, 183 Republicans were against bombing the country. Only 12 Republicans, including then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), sided with the president to launch a strike. Ultimately, Congress did not appear to approve the strike, with 243 Congressional members swaying towards voting "No." Obama ultimately decided to postpone the vote.
183 Republicans leaned against launching an attack on Syria in 2013. On Thursday, President Donald Trump did not seek Congressional approval before launching an airstrike on the same country.
In the past, Trump appeared as an anti-interventionist, criticizing Obama's choice to use force in Syria:
Donald Trump @theRealDonaldTrump
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
11:14 AM - 29 Aug 2013
But Trump declined to seek Congressional approval before launching Thursday's attack.
The president defended his actions in a statement issued from his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort.
"Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered at this very barbaric attack," Trump said of the chemical attack. "No child of God should ever suffer such horror."
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was one of the members of Congress who was against Obama's plan. But he didn't seem to have much to say in response to the news of Trump's strike:
Jason Chaffetz @jasoninthehouse
God bless the USA!
6:41 PM - 6 Apr 2017
Senator Marco Rubio quoted a Bible verse justifying the attack:
Marco Rubio @ marcorubio
"Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished" Proverbs 11:21 #SyriaChemicalAttack
5:44 PM - 6 Apr 2017
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) applauded Trump's decision.
"Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action," the legislators said in a joint statement. "For that, he deserves the support of the American people."
See the full list of lawmakers who were against Obama's proposed 2013 airstrike here.
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