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23 August 2013


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Very unfortunately there are many more than "3 stooges" reporting this point of view.


Col: Doesn't all this presuppose that the Russians will just "take it"?


The reports that videos were uploaded before the supposed time of the attack (3.30 am local time on 21 August) may result from confusion about time zones. The reports appear to be based on a video at http://youtu.be/cO8_eZcZkNE where the web page shows a date of 20 August (presumably US time) but the feed shows an upload time of 03.40 UTC on 21 August, which is 6.40 am in Syria. So it's possible that the videos are genuine, even though it's highly unlikely that the Syrian government would have used chemical weapons just as the UN observers arrived in Damascus.

William R. Cumming

Is the US monitoring message traffic [electronic] in Syria and if so it must know whether the Russians are correct or am I missing something?


"Tell me."

No need to tell anyone. The Iraq group is the template. The Neocons paid what price for this?

You want to talk about lenient punishment for crime? This is rewarding crime.

Very similar to the banking system: We gambled, the general public paid for our mistakes, let's do it again!


As-safir reports that Russian satellites tracked the origin of the attack to a rebel held area:

"The Russian said that the rockets, two of the manufacture of domestic and carrying chemicals, set off from the area controlled by «the banner of Islam», led by Zahran Alwash, the most prominent forces of the armed opposition in Gota." [Google translate]

However, the West is sitting on this information, as it trashes their narrative about Assad using chemical weapons and would portrays rebel forces in a bad light.

old gun pilot

Next we'll be hearing of how the Syrian government is buying yellow cake from Niger.


Just wait, and there will be some Syrian Curveball coming Assad's way:

"My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Syrian because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Syrian people will suffer from this regime's oppression"

Or a Syrian Chalbi:

"We are heroes in error ... as far as we're concerned, we've been entirely successful. Our objective has been achieved. That tyrant Assad is gone, and the Americans are in Damascus. What was said before is not important."

The anti-Assad regimes in the West and Middle East don't bother becausde they are happy with everything as long as they can pin it on Assad. Doesn't need to be true as long as it sticks.

This is an opposition information operation, and on top of that, a war crime they have comitted against the Syrian civilians. Wer're speaking of really unsavoury people obviously. Did I say "what was said before"?

"That tyrant Assad is gone, and what was done before is not important."

no one

Who could imagine that head hunter cannibal jihadis might martyr some civilians in an attempt to save their losing cause? Unthinkable!

Yes. I would think that with all of the intelligence assets focused on the area, from satellites to signal interceptions to humint, it shouldn't be too difficult to ascertain exactly who did what to whom with regards to the chemical weapons attack. My guess is that the truth is already known to both Russian and the US governments.

William Fitzgerald

Pat Lang,

The whole thing is such an obvious scam that the only way the media could present it as factual is if they are being told to do so. It is quite reminiscent of the invade Iraq campaign of late 2002 and early 2003.


The beaver

Interesting argument :

"First, why would the Syrian government use chemical weapons on such a scale while there is a strong team of UN inspectors in Damascus? That would be foolish and reckless.

Second, why would the Syrian army use non-conventional arms when it had already gained the upper hand in Ghouta, a strategic suburb, in the past nine months? The town has been besieged and under constant attack by the Assad forces – they have recently launched a major assault to recapture on the suburb. A few days ago the Syrian National Coalition released a public statement naming Ghouta mintaqa mankuba [a disaster area] and calling on the international community to pressure Assad to allow food and medicine to be delivered to the besieged neighbourhoods.

Third, why would Assad utilise chemical weapons at this stage and bring about a potential western military intervention? His decision to allow the UN to investigate the earlier alleged chemical attacks was designed to neutralise the opposition's calls for direct western intervention."

I guess that since the Ramadan is over, the salons in those hôtels particuliers in Paris 16 must be buzzing with booze and how to get rid of Assad.
Fabius and his minions at Quai d'Orsay are working hard to go to war (need to sell those Rafales to these ME Sunni countries btw) - wonder what is happening in the hotels in London.


JohnH: If we have real press corps, someone would ask the President, "If the rebels used poison gas, are you going to attack the rebels?"

David Habakkuk

Would Assad and others who are shaping Syrian government policy trust the UN inspectors to be impartial?

Al Arabist

Yes the admin plays electorate for fools using Iraq playbook, the koolaid AND same ignorance of nationalism. Asad's role as nation guarder counts in Syria even if he goes on abusing his people like he does. He'll welcome enemies as long as is the only commander of Syria's armed forces, defender of borders.


I would suggest that the difference is that the Bush Administration, led by the president, was determined to go to war in Iraq, probably even before 9/11, and would use or manufacture any pretext in order to do so. There seems to have been little if any internal dissent on the end or the means. That isn’t true here; everything points to confusion on objectives and disagreement on the means. I don’t know if the Obama Administration would want to use that as a defense, however.

In both cases there’s arrant dishonesty on display, but it seems to me we’re not yet at “mushroom cloud” proportions. Emphasis on the “yet.”


Greetings Col Lang-


Yes, agree, their actions do much to reveal a glimpse of the actual structures of power, from a strategic theory perspective of course. Could it be that most of the noise we're hearing is outside the White House rather than in? The Neo-con's and R2P's last gasp before BHO kicks the can down the road yet again . . .


It is interesting to see how France and Britain have so actively been involved in both Libya and Syria. Given the economic conditions in both countries, I am curious to see what they desire by ousting Gaddafi and Assad.


@ William Fitzgerald

Yes, there was a 5 minute-long Assad-is-a-chemical-using-monster hatefest on msnbc at mid-morning, bolstered by the kind of certainty that can only come when newsreaders are reading from a government supplied script.

Lord Curzon


Old stomping grounds - the US has neither the language or the experience to walk into the crowd and achieve their aims.


We've been trying to eliminate Syria as being an ally of Iran for some time now; well before the Arab spring.


In summary, it seems that this is where we are:

1. We don't know what happened except that there were many casualties.

2. No one is in a hurry to find out what happened - except those parties who know what action they want taken or don't want taken.

3. There are a few neutral parties but they either are very slow to move (UN) or can't get access (a few competent, impartial NGOs).

4. This is frustrating



"Life is hard and harder when you are stupid." "Sergeant Striker in 'Sands of Iwo Jima')" I don't mean you. Don't kid yourself. Russia and the US know exactly who it is that did this, whatever that is. Russia has intercepts and satellite photography ansd so does the US. This is why the Russians are pushing for UN inspection of the location and why Obama is being so cautious. The CIA says that there is still a good deal of doubt as to what happened and who done it. I predict that at some point the NYT will have a hell of a story. pl


And as usual for the NYT, after the deaths and the damages are satisfactorily completed, they will report that story as a 4 year old retrospective of "errors were made."

Alba Etie

Col Lang
My belief is that every hour that goes by with the BHO administration not taking action on this alleged sarin attack - means that this administration , unlike the previous administration is not taking These United States to war under false pretenses. My further belief is that in not taking the bait of the alleged Sarin attack by Assad ; also means that BHO administration is still course correcting and in fact is climbing down from the Assad Must Go demand . To me it just 'feels' different then the run up to the Iraq invasion. I do not see or hear any one in my daily dealings with the public that even remotely supports a Syrian intervention . Rather I hear the majority of comments saying that this alleged sarin attack is a prevarication .We shall see.


The salafists have figured out they are losing but they (and or their backers) believe that they are perfectly capable of beating Obama enough to make him take action. That gives them more than enough reason for an arbitrarily high number of murders. The R2P crowd hasn't shown any concern about any of the Christian communities being attacked in Syria (what has Samantha Powers done to end that? Oh, yeah, nothing.) Why should the 'rebels' care about 'collateral damage' that gets the US to actively intervene? As you say, martyr's, unwilling ones though they be.

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