Sy Hersh Strikes Again: on Syria

Famed investigative Journalist dissects the chemical event in Syria’s Idlib Province on April 4 and Trump’s impulsive order to fire cruise missiles two days later – never mind that he was told the event was not caused by Syria dropping a chemical weapon.  Hersh writes about how Trump’s yes-sir generals supported “retaliation,” lest they anger the President and lose their jobs.  No profiles in courage here.


Danger:  It is left to the Russians to figure out which is worse: a President controlled by “his generals,” or a reckless President (Trump) who shoots first, and asks later for “his generals” and national security adviser to fill in behind with a concocted legend to “justify” the shooting.  With Russia threatening to target aircraft flying in Syria west of the Euphrates, Putin may also choose to shoot first, and ask later who ordered the aircraft into the air – the President, or “his generals.”  Hold onto your hat.

Ray will be writing tonight on Hersh’s typically well-sourced, groundbreaking article, for which he could not find an outlet in English. Even the London Review of Books turned him down this time.  They were happy to let Hersh keep the money, lest they be “vulnerable to criticism for seeming to take the view of the Syrian and Russia governments when it came to the April 4 bombing in Khan Sheikhoun,” according to Hersh.  For, as is well known, if the Russians and Syrians say it, it cannot be true!  And if you agree, you are a Russian puppet.  Quid est veritas?

Whether it was seeing the dead babies on social media, or an attempt – successful, it turned out – to boost his approval ratings and show he is not “in Putin’s pocket,” Trump did not wait.  VIPS sent did send him this memo on April 11 — and it turns out to have been among the first – perhaps the first – to get it right, as corroborated now by Hersh.  But there is little reason to believe VIPS memos actually reach Trump.  And, in this case, he clearly was not interested in anything that might have made him think twice, or even once, before — or even after — shooting.