Is it any surprise that people on the fringe look for rational explanations for what appears to be irrational behavior (i.e. “conspiracy theories”) on the part of government and military officials?
Intensifying pressure on the Islamic State, United States warplanes for the first time attacked hundreds of trucks on Monday that the extremist group has been using to smuggle the crude oil it has been producing in Syria, American officials said.
For the first time?!?!?!
American officials have long been frustrated by ability of ISIS to generate tens of million[s] of dollars a month by producing and exporting oil.
For the first time?!?!?!
How many years has the US been bombing Syria? Which so-called allies have been benefitting from the low-cost oil, therefore delaying action? Rational people might wonder.
They have an excuse for the lack of earlier action:
Until Monday, the United States had refrained from striking the fleet used to transport oil, believed to include more than 1,000 tanker trucks, because of concerns about causing civilian casualties.
But what about the civilian casualties in a hospital? No concern there. A wedding? Nope, no problem.
In any case, weren’t these guys bright enough to find a way of warning the drivers and destroying the trucks?
To reduce the risk of harming civilians, two F-15 warplanes dropped leaflets about an hour before the attack warning drivers to abandon their vehicles, and strafing runs were conducted to reinforce the message.
They couldn’t have done this a year or two ago?
The area where the trucks assemble in Syria has been closely monitored by reconnaissance drones. As many as 1,000 trucks have been observed there, waiting to receive their cargo of illicit oil.
On Monday, 295 trucks were in the area, and more than a third of them were destroyed, United States officials said.
…116 tanker trucks had been destroyed.
One-thousand observed trucks, only 116 destroyed. How many of you remember the Highway of Death at the end of the first Gulf War?
Between 1,400 and 2,000 vehicles were hit or abandoned on the main Highway 80 north of Al Jahra (the "actual" Highway of Death). Several hundred more littered the lesser known Highway 8 to the major southern Iraq military stronghold of Basra.
The offensive action for which Highway 80 is infamous became controversial with some commentators alleging disproportionate use of force, saying that the Iraqi forces were retreating from Kuwait in compliance with the original UN Resolution 660 of August 2, 1990; and the column allegedly included Kuwaiti hostages and civilian refugees.
When they want to destroy trucks, they know how to destroy trucks.
You would have to wear a tin foil hat to take these stories at face value. As is the case with virtually every tale told and every action taken by government officials, something doesn’t make sense.
Or it makes perfect sense. Which story comports better with the reality, versions of the fairy tales like the one told above or the following?
· The United States and its allies have created, fed, and nurtured this beast now known as ISIS.
· The US and its allies have pretended to fight ISIS, all the while fighting Assad’s forces with the objective of taking down the current Syrian government.
· Russia enters the fight against ISIS and starts making serious headway, raising many unavoidable questions among western allies of the US.
· ISIS (according to the official narrative) conducts a coordinated attack in a major western city.
· As the bloodshed has been brought home, western allies decide this isn’t patty cake; they demand that the US gets serious.
· Oil trucks get bombed.
That’s my working theory. I readily admit it isn’t fully flushed out; it is still the early stages of this episode.
Break out the tin foil hat.