Police chemical weapons OK on Jan 20, yet Trump bombs Syria over chemical weapons

On Thursday, April 6, Trump ordered US forces to level the Syrian airbase from which the April 4 chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun was launched. An estimated 50 Tomahawk missiles were used. Trump said it was indisputable that Assad's regime had fired chemical weapons. Also indisputable is that Trump's Jan 20 Inaugural parade would not have reached the White House without wholesale use of chemical weapons by police against anti-Trump protesters. In both cases children and elderly people were hit by the chemicals in question. While Assad is believed to have fired Sarin and Trump's minions fired pepper spray, this is a difference of degree rather than the category of weapon.

That Trump would order the US military to wipe MPD's headquarters at 300 Indiana Ave off the map in response to their use of chemical weapons (on US citizens to boot) is inconceivable, but under the doctrine announced in his prime time TV speech on April 6 that is exactly what he would have to do to be internally consistant. The judgement applied by Trump to Assad for gassing children and elders also applies to the Metropolitan Police Department, to acting Police Chief Newsham (pronounced New-Sham), and to Trump himself after the fire hose size pepper sprayers used to blast already-trapped protesters awaiting arrest on Jan 20.

If the doctrine to be cited is not that the weapons were chemicals but that they were unusual, again what is good for the Assad goose is good for the Trump and MPD ganders. The high explosive devices hurled by police at protesters on Jan 20 were not shrapnel throwing "frags" intended to kill, but they were weapons never seen before in the streets of DC. They also had proven ability to maim as shown by the incident near Standing Rock where a woman's arm was nearly blown off by a similar police grenade.

The corporate news is reporting that the chemical weapon in question in Tuesday's attack in Syria was Sarin, but visible injuries shown in the Washington Post's most prominant photo of a wounded child appeared to be consistent either with ordinary bombing that could have been delivered along with chemicals, or with blistering agents such as mustard gas or some extreme varieties of tear gas. One injury appeared to be a shrapnel wound in the child's ankle, not something that sarin gas would be expected to cause. Regardless of the source these injuries indicate that Assad is a criminal, but Trump is citing chemical weapons specifically as the reason for his attack.

If weapons of mass destruction is the issue, it should be remembered both that the US and Russia are the main possessors of nuclear weapons, and that "weapons of mass destruction" was the excuse given by the Bush regime for the war in Iraq. If the Syrian attack remains limited to a punitive assault aimed at holding those who dropped the Sarin bombs personally responsible for what they did, it is unlikely to make things worse in Syria. On the other hand, full scale US intervention could reasonably be expected to produce no better results than it did in neighboring Iraq. One of those consequences was the rise of the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)," an al-Qaeda offshoot that ended up putting half of Iraq under theocratic rule.

Before ISI became ISIS, they created the Nusra Front, another al-Qaeda offshoot that hijacked many formerly secular militias fighting against Assad's butchery and torture. In 2014, ISI become the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" or ISIS and later became known by their Arabic acronym of Daesh. They took over half of Syria as well as half of Iraq, getting a reputation for extremes of torture and genocide in the process. Daesh is of the reasons so many Syrians who oppose Assad have decided they have nobody left to right for and have fled for Europe and the US. On top of all else, the very same Syrian children who Trump claims as the reason for his military attack on Syria are also the people Trump is trying to prohibit from entering the US under his Muslim Ban! Whatever the merits of delivering vengeance from the sky against those who bomb and gas children from the sky themselves, for Trump to be the one giving the orders is hypocritical on multiple levels unless Trump fundamentally changes his politics.

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