MSNBC’s Maddow, Nance Fret Trump Strike Will Cause Assad to Retaliate Against Innocent Syrians

MSNBC was in full spin mode Thursday night following the U.S. airstrikes in Syria, denouncing President Trump for an “awkward” speech and strikes that may not have been legal, but also chiding him for doing something that might embolden Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to retaliate by inflicting more pain on his own people.

Breaking news co-host Rachel Maddow contended that Assad’s Tuesday Sarin gas attack against his own people was “designed for an audience of one...to test this new President to see how he will behave in that region, in which case this has to have been anticipated as a potential response to what they did on Tuesday.”

Hinting that Trump may have fallen into a trap, she ruled that Assad and his murderous lackeys probably have “in mind what their return volley will be as well” and thus “we can expect it's not likely the U.S. military will be the target of that volley” but “Syrian civilians once again bearing the brunt.”

Former intelligence official and rabid anti-Trump analyst Malcolm Nance agreed, first noting that “we may not have just killed Syrians tonight,” “aircraft bunkers,” and “storage facilities,” but chemical weapons and other individuals (ex. Hezbollah and Iranian fighters).

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“Be prepared for the Syrians to claim that civilians were killed by that, by the dispersal of those weapons in the immediate area. So there are consequential actions which are going to have to take place after this. It comes down to what will Bashar al-Assad do,” Nance added. 

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He ended his first of many comments for the night by knocking Trump’s decision because it may cause more pain for innocent Syrians and even put American lives in danger:

Will he take this strike on the basis that the Russians believe that they'll just rebuild that base, and as Rachel said just earlier, they will take it out on the Syrian civilian population with an increased ground combat capacity, or will al-Assad feel he needs to send a message to the United States? And we have U.S. forces within scud, scarab missile range of Syrian forces and Iranian forces in northern Syria. It could get much more complex.

By Nance’s logic, we may as well put off fighting ISIS because it may harm Americans and others in the west because it could lead to terror attacks. Going further, how about the Israelis when the Palestinians attack them indiscriminately? Just some thoughts to consider.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from the MSNBC Special on April 6:

MSNBC Special
April 6, 2017
10:31 p.m. Eastern

RACHEL MADDOW: And Russia is a wild card here. The Syrian military itself is a wild card here. Bashar al-Assad is a wild card here. There remains intriguing reporting that it’s a least a minority view in the Pentagon that chemical weapons attack on Tuesday may have been designed for an audience of one. It may have been designed specifically to test this new President to see how he will behave in that region, in which case this has to have been anticipated as a potential response to what they did on Tuesday and that presumably means they've got in mind what their return volley will be as well. I think we can expect it's not likely the U.S. military will be the target of that volley. It will be Syrian civilians once again bearing the brunt. 

(....)

10:34 p.m. Eastern

MALCOLM NANCE: So we may not have just killed Syrians tonight. We certainly have the capacity to strike that base. I know we struck at least, my count, 25 hardened aircraft bunkers and at least 20 weapons storage facilities. But, you know, when you hit bunkers, triple-a positions, you're going to kill individuals. Also, we struck facilities that have Sarin nerve gas and Vx. Be prepared for the Syrians to claim that civilians were killed by that, by the dispersal of those weapons in the immediate area. So there are consequential actions which are going to have to take place after this. It comes down to what will Bashar al-Assad do? Will he take this strike on the basis that the Russians believe that they'll just rebuild that base, and as Rachel said just earlier, they will take it out on the Syrian civilian population with an increased ground combat capacity, or will al-Assad feel he needs to send a message to the United States? And we have U.S. forces within scud, scarab missile range of Syrian forces and Iranian forces in northern Syria. It could get much more complex.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Middle East Syria Military War on Terrorism Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Other MSNBC Video Rachel Maddow Bashar al-Assad Donald Trump Malcolm Nance
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