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06 May 2013

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b

From the original Reuters piece:

"according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
---

"from the way the victims were treated". They were treated with atropin which helps against Sarin but also helps in other cases. To jump to Sarin because of the treatment is a bit too far.

People at the scene of that incident spoke of chlorine smell and the insurgents had captured a chlorine factory just days before the incident.

So it may not have been Sarin after all but the casualties were on the government side and the people who used the stuff were insurgents.

DH

A lucky break for Obama.

turcopolier

b

Atropine is useful against a variety of nerve agent; Sarin, Tabun, VX. That last devil's brew works so fast in such small quantities that it may not be warded off by atropine. Atropine has no effect against blood agents; chlorine, phosgene, etc. pl

turcopolier

DH

you mean it buys him time by demonstrating that the rebels are not mala'ika after all? pl

DH

Yes. I'm thinking of a brokered peace, with Assad remaining in power and a chicken in every pot for the impoverished Sunni underclass.

turcopolier

DH
To get that, Obama will have to find a way to abandon "regime change" as policy. I doubt that his narcissism will allow that, but I have been wrong before. BTW, there are quite a lot of wealthy Sunnis in Syria when they are not at their villas around Nice. A lot of them are Baathi. pl

DH

Yes sir, and some in the Syrian Army, but I was speaking of the ones rebelling against their plight. It is the cosmopolitan aspect of Syria I hope Obama will latch onto in order to pivot.

turcopolier

All

State is denying the validity of the UN report. remember! State is a policy agency and regime change is the policy of the us. pl

The beaver

"BTW, there are quite a lot of wealthy Sunnis in Syria when they are not at their villas around Nice"

or Cyprus

Clifford Kiracofe

So next we will hear about aluminum tubes and yellowcake from Niger I suppose. Then maybe the White House can trot out some earnest Colin Powell type with photos and all that. Those little trucks with the tanks all full of nasty chemicals and bacteria and whatever. Tony Blair can launch hysterically about "45 Seconds!!!" McCain can foam at the mouth more and Lindsay Graham can do what McCain and the Neocons say and do his usual...

Clear Channel radio networks can broadcast some trashy song about "Freedumb" and "Democrazy", the corporate press can bring up the drumbeat, the pro-Israel TV networks can raise the decibel level of their vapid and oh so tacky talking heads.

Yes, the policy is regime change in Syria as stated by POTUS two years ago and restated over the last few days. What POTUS says is the policy and he said it not Kerry or Hagel.

WINEP through Dennis Ross has already outlined its "buffer zone" concept. So we shall see if this or some variant is what the administration does in the coming days. As Ross served the Administration it would seem that his current thinking would be well received.

The "Friends of Syria" coalition of the willing is designed to end run the UN. So pointing to them we will hear that it is the will of the "international community" to launch the next round against Syria.

I am very glad the woman from Switzerland spoke her mind. Bravo et courage...

walrus

If Atropin was used as an antidote, and it was effective, then the victims were suffering from an organophosphorous compound, either an insecticide, Sarin, Tabun or VX.

Do we need a white rabbit test specimen to be sure?

walrus

"State is denying the validity of the UN report."

..then if Carla Del Ponte persists with unhelpful discoveries she will accordingly be alleged to have committed multiple sexual felonies involving juveniles or blacks.

Matthew

"BTW, there are quite a lot of wealthy Sunnis in Syria when they are not at their villas around Nice." Pl

Day made.

turcopolier

Matthew

They also like Kent and the Dorchester Hotel in London. pl

Alba Etie

Is it true the Baathist were set up by various Western governments as a counter weight to Nassar Pan Arabism ?

mbrenner

"State is denying the validity of the UN report."

At the risk of being repetitious, I cannot resist asking why the administration doesn't shut up. They don't know what if any chemical agents were used in Syria or by whom. They don't know what the UN people know. They don't know exactly what the Israelis know OR want. They don't know what they themselves want to do, when or how. Yet they keep shooting off their mouths and picking verbal fights. This behavior is completely unproductive of any conceivable diplomatic purpose.

The image that comes to mind is that of the Marx brothers performing heart surgery while on skates - during a power outage.

Alba Etie

Prof Kiracofe.,
I am more hopeful that the BHO administration has learned well the lessons from the Iraqi disaster- and will not be going to Syria militarily at all ...

Alba Etie

Col Lang ,
I am hopeful BHO will not be bamboozled into the military option in Syria. And I since I am not a trained psychologist ; or a mind reader I do not see necessarily the narcissism that some say President Obama suffers from . I would in my own personal judgement look at the action undertaken by our current administration - the fact that the Likuds have been thwarted in Persia in my estimation indicates that this is a thoughtful and prudent administration . And WINEP mouth piece Ross, and Mr Christiane (Jamie Rubin ) Amanpour , may be in for a rude comeuppance when their advice is not heeded about the Syrian no fly zone . And the very fact that Sec of Defense Hagel is sitting there and not Sec of Defense Rumsfeld is also an action that BHO has taken that points against being quite so pessimistic about our foreign policy shift from the neocon agenda .

Matthew

Col: So true. I went to a "high tea" in London in February with my siblings and most of the other patrons were rich Arabs--all constantly pecking away at their iPhones. Never in human history have so many iPhones be used by so many for so few reasons.

turcopolier

Alba Etie

The Baath was founded in Syria by two Christians who sought to create a new paradigm of identity that would make them first class citizens as "Arabs" rather than be relegated to dhimmi status whether that status were legal or not. This paradigm shift in the context of a pan-Arab Nationalist party spread to Iraq and other places. In Iraq the party was very popular among the secularized Shia. pl

Mark Logan

mbrenner,

The image that's coming to mine is that of the neocon Keymasters...
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lq2hwpO1yR1r102j3o1_500.jpg

...and the RTP Gatekeepers just about to hook up.


Assad might want to consider getting rid of that stuff.

different clue

I wonder whether the last bit of deterrence the CWs can give Assad might lie in a threat to give them all to the most strongly al Quaeda aligned rebels as the last act of a falling government before it falls. " You want me out? You'll miss me when I'm gone."
If he and his government decides they don't even serve that purpose, the only people I can imagine him trusting and inviting to come pick them up would be the Russians. A "Russian pickup" might relieve a worried world about the possibility of someone else recieving them. I don't know how do-able that would be anymore.
And perhaps enough Russian ( and Iranian?) support and supply very fast might deny the rebels a victory even if they get heavy support and supply later.
And while the Israelis don't want Hezbollah to get Iranian missiles and stuff, I can't believe they want a victorious rebellion to inherit the CWs. So the Israelis may not even know what to want or hope for.

turcopolier

All

Having received a communication from someone calling herself "Melanie Freiherrin zu Gottberg" I would like someone to tell me who the "baroness" might be. pl

JohnH

They still haven't learned that reality isn't created in Washington...

So reminiscent of the way things were done under Bush the lesser.

Babak Makkinejad

Had you been correct, this policy would not have been initiated in the first place.

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