(ANTIMEDIA) — Trump administration officials have been making stunning admissions in the days following the recent military strike on the Syrian government.
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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer experienced a Freudian slip when he accidentally said America’s goal in the region was to “destabilize Syria” — before he realized what he had said and attempted to backtrack. Then, he accidentally said it again. And just one day before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left for Moscow, he told reporters the U.S. would come to the defense of innocent civilians “anywhere in the world.” Spicer elaborated on Tillerson’s sentiments.
“When you watch babies and children being gassed and suffer under barrel bombs, you are instantaneously moved to action,” the press secretary said. “I think this president’s made it very clear that if those actions were to continue, further action will definitely be considered by the United States.”
The reference to barrel bombs, something the U.S. has accused Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad of using for almost half a decade, is a new addition to an already complicated red line concocted by Obama and pursued further by the Trump administration.
When Spicer was pressed about whether the administration now believes more conventional modes of warfare may also constitute a red line, he replied:
“I think the president’s been very clear that there were a number of lines crossed last week … The answer is if you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president. That is unacceptable.”
However, the White House later said that Spicer was referring to barrel bombs carrying industrial chemicals like chlorine. But as the Guardian notes, this would still represent a substantial expansion of the U.S.’ rules of engagement in Syria.
No one seems to see the irony in the fact that Tillerson stated the U.S. would come to the defense of innocent civilians “anywhere in the world,” all while it massacres Iraqi civilians without so much as a blink from the corporate media. Or the fact that the U.S. is directly enabling Saudi Arabia to commit a war of aggression in Yemen, even though legal experts have warned that American contribution to the war makes the U.S. a co-belligerent in Saudi Arabia’s vast list of war crimes.
Instead of questioning Trump’s sincerity, much of the mainstream media is worshipping him for his militant stance on Syria.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials are clearly sneaking more pro-war rhetoric into their statements, establishing new red lines they know they can certainly document. Of course, if the evidence is lacking, they could just as easily manufacture the necessary evidence on the ground using the rebels’ sophisticated propaganda network.
Even if it is the case that Assad should be removed at all costs in order to bring peace to Syria, no one seems to be remotely concerned with the question of what comes after he loses power. In a country rife with extremists ranging from ISIS and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria to the 65,000 fighters willing and able to take ISIS’ place, no one seems concerned with who or what will replace him.
Would a puppet government installed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, and Turkey be able to hold onto power in Syria in the face of these extremist groups? Won’t the subsequent government have to use extreme violence to quell any uprising from these groups, as well?
Or will these groups make up the government?
No matter how you view the situation, this story does not have a happy ending. If Americans are naïve enough to believe the Trump administration cares about human rights and is motivated to take action based on humanitarian concerns, they probably deserve what’s to come.