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Friday, April 7, 2017

Bombing Syria: Updates for April 7

The latest below, updated frequently at the top, all times ET.   I've done this before, and wrote a rather influential book on Iraq and the media with this title:  So Wrong for So Long.

12:50  AP:  U.S.now probing if Russians were involved in the alleged chemical attack.

12:30  The Guardian: Global critiques and praise reveal divisions on the civil war.

11:45  That scene from my favorite movie, Dr. Strangelove, where President Muffley phones the drunken Russian premier about coming U.S. air strike.

11:30   Bernie Sanders releases statement on it being "easier to get into war than out of it" based on recent past.

10:35  Sen. Elizabeth Warren releases statement--Syria must pay but Congress needs to approve.   Sen. Mike Lee later joins her.

10:30  People are finding numerous Trump tweets from past that mock his current stance.  Just one from 2013:   "The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria--big mistake if he does not!"

10:20  The Atlantic's Andrew Exum on how "the fight against the Islamic State just got harder."

10:15:  ABC and others report that Trump warned Russia about coming attack, Russia warned Syrians, and Syrians moved key equipment and personnal away from attack.  Remember when Obama ripped notion of ever signaling enemy about a possible attack?

10:10  Trump's approval rating in the Gallup daily tracker cratered at 35% a week ago but had climbed to 41% before the attack.  Expect rise to near 50% by Sunday--unless it's true (which I doubt) that all of his alt-right fans oppose this. 

10:05   "BREAKING Russian military says it will help Syria strengthen its air defenses after US strike."

10:00  As I tweeted last night, liberal pundits on TV and print almost all back the Syria attack, from Nick Kristof to take your pick.  Brian Williams committed the sin of quoting Leonard Cohen's line about loving "the beauty of our weapons" (which Leonard did not take as an endorsement but Brian did).  Now Fareed Zakaria on CNN claims, "I think Donald Trump became President of the United States" last night.   Oh, I thought that happened when he introduced the widow of Navy Seal he killed at his State of the Union?

9:45 Juan Cole on the "supreme hypocrisy" of USA complaining about civilian deaths.  Also:  From my years of research: U.S. tried to cover up radiation effects of A-bombs in Japan fearing it would be (rightly) likened to "poison gas."

9:30  Unconfirmed, of course, but Syrian state news agency Sana reports: nine civilians, including four children, were killed by the strike.   No claims yet that Sarin or other poisons released in the strike.

9:00  @MalcolmNance, a leading intel and military expert for MSNBC, has been tweeting about the foolishness and risks of this attack and predicting more to come.  His latest:  MISSION FAILURE: US struck base deliberately avoided destroying chem weaps/killing crews. Warned Ru/Sy. Message? Kabuki lives.

8:45  Keep in mind, as always, that nearly every Pentagon reporter is simply a mouthpiece--they report claims as facts without the reminder, "of course, there is no way for us to confirm this and we may not even try." 

8:30  I've spent much of professional life since the early 1980s (when I became the editor of Nuclear Times and spent a month in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) to writing about the atomic attacks of 1945--and the fact that the U.S. has retained its first-use policy to this day.  My recent article (after hundreds of earlier ones) posted here.

8:oo. First things first:  Trump did not want to admit those dead babies into the U.S.....Did Trump think this attack through--Russians may not release info on his aides aiding their election hacking...

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