Friday, September 13, 2013

Republicans Claim Obama Planned The Syrian Chemical Attack... And Other Related Conspiracy Theories

After watching President Obama address the country last week as to why America should attack Syria for it's use of chemical weapons I wondered why it is such a hard sell to the Republicans. I understand why the generally "dovish" Democrats would be against striking a country that had not attacked us first (see George Bush v. Iraq). Now in saying that I understand the progressives stance on the  Syria strike let me say that I am completely confounded by the Republicans take on the matter. To say that this kind of military action is the Republicans bread and butter is an understatement. This is where they live and breath. No one in the GOP has ever had any reservations about going into a war with a country that had not posed an imminent threat to us in any way. Under our last president (once again see George Bush v. Iraq) it was the definition of being an American to do so. Remember they even made up a new term calling it a "pre-emptive strike".

So why is it different this time around when we're not even talking about sending in troops?

I did some research to see what the Republicans really think is going on in Syria and I think I may have found the answer to my own question.

Let the conspiracy theories begin…
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Yossef Bodansky
Let's start with Yossef Bodansky. Bodansky, who in the 1980s served as a senior consultant for the Department of Defense and the Department of State, asked in an opinion piece "Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?" In his article he goes on to say "I've never thought Assad had anything to do with the chemical attacks.  He had absolutely nothing to gain.  In contrast, the Free Syrian Army really had nothing to gain by attacking civilians"

Bodansky then only referring to "numerous sources" without citing who they are says "There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the August 21, 2013, chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a pre-meditated provocation by the Syrian opposition."

In other words with the help of President Obama and his administration the people who were murdered by the chemical attacks in Syria gassed themselves.

* Just so you know Yossef Bodansky, is an Assad sympathizer who has previously suggested that "the 1995 Oklahoma bombing was orchestrated by Iran and that Saddam’s WMDs all ended up in Syria
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Rush Limbaugh
 Riffing off Bodansky's article, talk show host and celebrity walrus impersonator, Rush Limbaugh wondered aloud if Obama actually conspired with al Qaeda to gas innocent Syrians as a pretext for going to war against Assad.

Limbaugh's exact words were…

Now, if this is right—and I say “IF” in capital letters—if this is right, this is the setup of all time. At any rate, it looks like there was US intel involvement dating a week before the alleged chemical weapons attack in meetings that were anticipating a war-changing event. So we could be looking here at a frame job, a pretty big setup.”
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Andrew C. McCarthy
 Andrew C. McCarthy, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York notable for leading the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, once again going to the Bodansky well had a similar epiphany.

In the National Review Online McCarthy wrote...

"The debate on Syria continues to focus like a laser on exactly the wrong issue — whether Assad used chemical weapons… More disturbing, Yossef Bodansky lays out evidence that the Assad regime’s alleged sarin attack on August 21 was a deception engineered by the mujahideen rebels who, a week earlier, were already anticipating what he describes as “an imminent escalation in the fighting due to ‘a war-changing development’ which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria."
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Joe Wilson
 Taking another avenue Republican congressman Joe "You Lie" Wilson suggests that President Obama is only pushing the Syria strike to distract from the "scandals" of Benghazi, the IRS and Obamacare.

At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last week, where Secretary of State John Kerry was testifying, Wilson pointed to an April 25 letter from the White House that said U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded "with varying degrees of confidence” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces had used chemical weapons on a small scale. "Why was there no call for military response in April?  Was it delayed to divert attention today from the Benghazi, IRS, NSA scandals; the failure of Obamacare enforcement; the tragedy of the White House-drafted sequestration or the upcoming debt limit vote? Again, why was there no call for military response four months ago when the president's red line was crossed?"

Of course Wilson's point is made all the more laughable since all the supposed "scandals" had already taken place months and years earlier. What difference did a matter of 3 months make?
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Jeff Duncan
 Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) also brought up some of the House GOP's favorite bogeymen at the same House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

"I can't discuss the possibility of the U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war without also talking about Benghazi… The administration has a serious credibility issue with the American people, due to the unanswered questions surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi almost a year ago. When you factor in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the AP and James Rosen issues, 'Fast and Furious' and NSA spying programs, bottom line is there's a need for accountability and trust-building from the administration."

All Duncan's points were of course completely off base and irrelevant to the hearing. Fast and furious… Really?
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Marco Rubio
 Another tactic was taken by Tea Party favorite and Republican Senator for Florida Marco Rubio. His tactic included some ridiculous intellectual gymnastics.

You see two years ago Rubio called on the Obama administration to “stop dithering as innocent Syrians die at the hands of a merciless regime” that “directly acted against the national security interests of the United States”?

Only one year ago Rubio, said in a speech to the Brookings Institution, “The nations in the region see Syria as a test of our continued willingness to lead in the Middle East”? And “If we prove unwilling to provide leadership, they will conclude that we are no longer a reliable security partner”?

Yet on Sept. 4th (only a week ago) Rubio voted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opposing the use of force against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad telling told Fox News that he was “very skeptical” about any planned retaliation against the Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed 1,400 Syrians.

Rubio claims he changed his mind because now it’s just "too late" to do anything. At the same Foreign Relations Committee hearing where John Kerry Testified Rubio stated “What we’re seeing here now is proof and an example of when America ignores these problems, these problems don’t ignore us,”
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Glenn Beck
 Glenn Beck went completely off the reservation for his reasoning. On his internet/television program (whatever that is) Beck declared that proposed military action against Syria had nothing to do with the use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad against civilians, but was really all about "oil and money" and the desire to construct a pipeline across Syria on behalf of the nation of Qatar.

The very next day on his radio program, Beck had an entirely new theory about what is really going on and it turns out that the push for military strikes against Syrian is all about covering up for our gun-running operation through Benghazi. Beck explained that the United States was running weapons and missiles to the Syrian rebels through Benghazi and now is afraid that Assad is soon going to defeat the rebels and capture all of the weapons the US had supplied and put them on display for the world to see. As such, the Obama Administration is now claiming that Assad used chemical weapons to provide justification for our effort to try to destroy those weapons and cover up our involvement.

Leaving no stone unturned Beck also touched on the Yossef Bodansky conspiracy theory saying "Why would Assad use chemical weapons? Why? Maybe there's a possibility that he didn't. Maybe there's a possibility that some of the weapons that are being used to do horrible things are weapons that we either lost or helped smuggle. And so this whole thing is about covering the trail of the lost weapons from Benghazi"
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Neil Cavuto
As for Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto devoted an entire segment to the possibility that a United States attack on Syria could be a sign of the End Times and that as a result of strikes at Assad's chemical weapons Jesus Christ will return to face off against the Antichrist.

This Syria stuff is way old. I mean Old Testament old. That’s how old I’m talking about. Don’t laugh. Some biblical scholars say it’s all there in black and white.”

The Fox News host invited author Joel Rosenberg to weigh in on the link between the Syrian conflict and the Bible passages, which he said were “uncanny” and “kind of scary.”

These are prophecies more than 2,700 years old, some of them, but they have not actually been fulfilled,” Rosenberg said. “But this prophecy, as you just pointed out, talks about the complete and utter destruction of Damascus. That’s an End Times or eschatological prophecy.”

It’s a very sobering thought to think that a judgment of a city or a country could happen in which an entire city could be wiped out, but that is, in fact, what the Bible is predicting,”.

Cavuto responded with “Amazing. It’s in in there. It’s worth a read.”

Cavuto and Rosenberg did not speculate if one of the current world leaders could be the Antichrist.

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