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23 April 2014

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Poul

Not the first time the rebels try to accuse the Syrian government of a gas attack. But given the Ukraine-situation it looks like an attempt of pay-back at Russia.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/03/us-syria-crisis-gas-idUSBREA321Z920140403

Quote:
"(Reuters) - Opposition activists again accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of using poison gas in Syria's civil war on Thursday, showing footage of an apparently unconscious man lying on a bed and being treated by medics.

The alleged attack on the neighborhood of Jobar in the capital Damascus comes a week after the Syrian government sent a letter to the United Nations claiming it had evidence that rebel groups were planning a toxic gas attack in the same area."

JohnH

Worse, most Democrats still trust and approve of the man. Talk about a delusional group!

steve

US foreign policy is out of control. Not much else to say, except I hope things end with a whimper and not a bang.

Wish I could be more optimistic, but the 2016 political crowd coming down the pike, with rare exception, seems to be just as bad.

Fred

Barrack Obama, change we can believe in:

"Ten years of American-licensed meddling combined with obliviousness to possible consequences has led to in excess of 100,000 dead Syrians and the introduction of large terrorist infrastructures into the Arab heartland, yet another foreign policy disaster in the making with no clear way out."

He should be glad they don't revoke Nobel Peace Prizes.

confusedponderer

Mr. Lang,
re: "Does it make any sense that Syria having been accused of using poison gas in the war and having come close to being bombed would now egregiously do it again?"

No it doesn't, and there are facts to support that scepticism: There is one known player in Syria who has fiddled with Chlorine and it isn't Assad.

Kerry then said that, because CW were used in Syria, that logically proved that it must have been used by Assad, because Assad has CW. Just as if he was the only one with that capability. He wasn't and he isn't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_bombings_in_Iraq

"Chlorine bombings in Iraq began as early as October 2006, when insurgents in Al Anbar province started using chlorine gas in conjunction with conventional vehicle-borne explosive devices."

Chlorine is easily obtainable in countries with a climate like Syria, since it is necessary for water purification. The Jihads have overrun a few water plants. It's a small step from spiking a bomb with Chlorine to just let off some gas cylinders downwind.

The Syrian opposition has the means (and low tech ones they are) and the Jihadis have a record of employing Chlorine as a weapon. It is known that these groups blur.

Blaming the Assad government, irrespective of any of that that, is plain ridiculous.

But then, they seize on anything and try to pin it on Assad, the strategy apparently being 'Be first and stay on message'. It's 'big lie' indeed.

What people hear first and hear reiterated afterwards, is at the end of the day what people will keep in mind. How else to explain the persistent delusion in US public opinion that Saddam was involved in 9/11?

He wasn't, but what does it matter - the meme served its purpose by allowing Bush to invade Iraq. He is dead now, Iraq is in shambles - and pro Iranian shambles - the Iraq of Bushes dreams never materialised, but, alas, if it was anybody's fault then Iran's.

And the lesson Obamaites read out of that mess was that the Bushies did it wrong, presumably because they weren't as 'smart' as the Obamaites - when the problem was not the 'How to do' but the 'What do do' (and 'What not to do').

The convenient liars were the US utilised to achieve their ends in Iraq, if one takes their self-description as proposed by Ahmed Chalabi, 'heroes in error'. Bush had his share of such tools, and Obama has his.

It's all about ends justifying the means, and while the truth is proverbially the first casualty of war, that applies doubly to the more covert and more secretive wars like the ones of the sort that Obama preferrs to engage in over Bush's 'big wars'.

If Seymour Hersh is right the Obamaites had the appetite for a biggie in Syria, considering that they wanted to use wings of B52s there.

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

I much admire Philip Giraldi, and find his development of the arguments made in Seymour Hersh’s LRB article fascinating. But there is a sentence in the LRB piece which seems to me to gloss over major problems. Giraldi writes:

‘Hersh reports how President Barack Obama had to back down from attacking Syria when the Anglo-American intelligence community informed him flatly and unambiguously that Damascus was not responsible for the poison gas attack that took place in Damascus on August 21, 2013 that was being exploited as a casus belli.’

In fact, the report from the U.K.Joint Intelligence Committee to our current Prime Minister – David Cameron – on ‘Syria: Reported Chemical Weapons Use’, which is dated 29 August 2013, unequivocally backs the position Obama clearly has wanted, and still wants, to take.

(See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/235094/Jp_115_JD_PM_Syria_Reported_Chemical_Weapon_Use_with_annex.pdf )

A key paragraph read from the summing up of what purports to be the collective wisdom of the British 'intelligence community' reads:

‘It is being claimed, including by the regime, that the attacks were either faked or undertaken by the Syrian Armed Opposition. We have tested this assertion using a wide range of intelligence and open sources, and invited HMG and outside experts to help us establish whether such a thing is possible. There is no credible intelligence or other evidence to substantiate the claim or the possession of CW by the opposition. The JIC has therefore concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility.’

Unless Hersh is barking up quite the wrong tree, it would seem that is a restricted range of possibilities. At worst, the JIC – and in particular its current chairman, the former long-serving MoD official Jon Day – are simply lying, at best, they are engaging in casuistry. In either case, there would have to be a clear intention to deceive.

The question then becomes, were they attempting to deceive not only the British public but also David Cameron – or were Jon Day and David Cameron complicit in a conspiracy to deceive the British public?

This is an important question, not simply for people in Britain, but for people in the United States.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

My understanding is that DIA told Dempsey there was no convincing evidence and he then went to Obama. At the same time the votes were not there in congress for an AUMF pl

Alba Etie

Mr Habbkkuk
At least no member of the the British IC was found dead in the woods this time out regarding falsification of weapons of mass destruction capabilities in another Arab country .

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