What happened to the missiles?

On April 14th, 2018, the U.S., U.K. and France fired over a hundred missiles into Syria.  Everyone seems to agree with that.  What they don’t agree upon, is whether most of the missiles were shot down by Syrian defenses using Russian weapons.  Some say they were (Ministry of Defense for the Russian Federation, Russia Insider, Moon of Alabama), some say they weren’t (The Times of Israel, The Drive, The DriveThe Telegraph), and some are undecided (The Guardian, The Aviationist).  (A side issue is whether the purported gas attack–the casus belli for the bombing–was a real event or a false flag event (Sputnik, Independent, OPCW)). This is not a case of subjective interpretation.  Somebody’s lying.  In fact, the official statement of some countries involved (if not all) is specifically intended to be disinformation.  This raises something of an epistemological quandary.  Even though something happened a certain way (and no other way), and, even though all of the key players in the militaries of the countries involved probably know what this way was, you and I will probably never really know the truth.  All of these key players are invested in their narrative of the story, so it does no good to imagine one side as ‘good guys’ (or as honest guys).  Oh, there may be a leaker by and by, but can you trust the leaker?  Who can you trust?  What can you do, other than pick the story that comports with your worldview and believe it?  For now, I think that’s the best we’ve got.

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