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28 August 2016

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LeaNder

Interesting journey, I agree. I love the Rhine Valley, pretty nationalist, I admit. Nightstalker on his way might need to take the Danube/Donau though, which admittedly I don't know as well. ;) ... But some on the steps on his route.

LeaNder

Ok, sorry, yes there must be. Obviously.

thanks to my old Greek dictionary on feet, I also got better in geography, within limits.

Anna

Mrs. Clinton is a religious fanatic bent on getting personal power. A sorry combination. She is a member of the infamous Fellowship, a secretive Capitol Hill nest of evangelicals:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/09/13/frat-house-for-jesus
"...the Fellowship’s more significant work was its invisible ministry to political leaders, dating back to the New Deal era. Through the years, small Fellowship-inspired prayer groups have held weekly meetings in the Pentagon, in the Attorney General’s office, in various congressional hideaways inside the Capitol, and in the White House itself. The Fellowship has offered succor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore, to Dwight Eisenhower and Marion Barry, and to many of the Watergate felons.... a sort of theocratic Blackwater, advancing a conservative agenda in the councils of power throughout the world."
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/09/hillarys-prayer-hillary-clintons-religion-and-politics?page=2
I agree that independent media in this country is going to be censured. This will only make the many problems deadlier.

Dubhaltach

In reply to Chris Chuba 28 August 2016 at 08:36 PM

"It has become conventional wisdom that Hillary is some sort of genius on foreign affairs "

For whom has this become conventional wisdom?

morgan

Maybe so, but I doubt he will appoint more Ruth bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court, like Hillary will.

pmr9

Syria diplomacy is likely to be set back tomorrow when the UNSC discusses the report of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) into who perpetrated alleged chemical attacks in Syria. Some notes on this may be of interest to the SST community. I had hoped that the Russian Foreign Ministry would have an effective rebuttal ready, but so far it seems they haven't.

The original remit of the JIM assigned by a UNSC resolution was to investigate all alleged chemical attacks in Syria, but somehow they have managed to exclude the 2013 sarin attacks (where, as discussed earlier on SST by David Habakkuk, there is now solid forensic evidence that the sarin did not come from regime stocks) and instead have restricted their investigation to the alleged chlorine attacks in 2015, together with some other incidents in which IS is alleged to have used chemical agents. The NYT and the Guardian have reported that the JIM report blames the regime for these alleged chlorine attacks.

As I described in a comment on an earlier post, there is fairly strong evidence that the alleged chlorine attacks in Syria in 2015 were a hoax, Specifically, at the ACLOS website we have examined the alleged attack in Sarmin on 16 March 2015 which was reported to have killed six members of one family. A video of family members dead or dying in hospital was shown to the UNSC by Samantha Power, together with the testimony of Dr Tennari, who claimed to have treated them in the emergency room.

I noted that:-

1. The clinical signs in the one-year old boy, who is allowed to die without respiratory support in the emergency room, are consistent with an opiate overdose, not with chlorine

2. Dr Tennari is not seen in any of the clinic videos though he claims to have personally treated the family. Other points in his testimony are inconsistent with the videos.

3. All original sources for the alleged attack, including the videos uploaded by the White Helmets, are closely linked with the Nusra Front which is in control of this area.

More recently (October 2015) an OPCW report has added some bizarre details to this incident:-

4. The red liquid seen in the family home and at sites of other alleged chlorine attacks is potassium permanganate. This was allegedly used in barrel bombs to generate chlorine by reacting with hydrochloric acid. A detailed drawing of an alleged barrel bomb based on this reaction is provided by the OPCW. This design is frankly preposterous (quantities all wrong, no chance for reagents to mix, reaction too slow). If the Syrian regime wanted to drop chlorine on people, it would just drop cylinders of chlorine. High explosive would be far more lethal than chlorine anyway. A best guess is that the permanganate reaction was used to generate chlorine at the site of the alleged attacks.

5. The barrel bomb which allegedly killed the family was 1 to 1.5 metres in diameter, and one of two such devices dropped from helicopters over the town that night. It allegedly fell down the ventilation shaft of the family's house, where it exploded in their basement.

johnf

I prefer direct action.

I could send my mum across The Atlantic to sort him out.

She's five foot tall, Glaswegian, with red hair and a foul temper. She's been dead 10 years but that wouldn't stop her.

CE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhine–Main–Danube_Canal

pmr9

Update on the above - Adam Larson has just posted a detailed summary of the chlorine story with links to original sources at
http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.nl/2016/08/terrible-flaws-in-opcws-syria-chlorine.html.

There's also a revealing quote from a US intelligence official in a Daily Beast article published last week.

“We weren’t getting enough political oomph when the chlorine attacks first came to light. So we figured the best option was to work through the slow UN process, get the Russians to a place where they’re cornered diplomatically,” the intelligence official said. Plus, the official added, finger pointing by the United States alone wouldn’t be nearly as effective as collective action. “You know the way the Russians treat anything Syria-related,” the official said. “If we bring it forward, the Russians would reject it out of hand. So we helped OPCW uncover it on its own."
Herb

Regarding Milosevic being "exonerated" by the Hague. You are seriously drinking war criminal, mass-murderer apoligist koolaid.That has not happened and never will happen, and the Hague has specifically refuted that claim. This is dangerous territory, the region could again slip back into conflict and rhetoric like this needs to be squashed like a bug.

http://www.rferl.org/content/milosevic-war-crime-deniers-feed-receptive-audience/27910664.html

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2016&mm=08&dd=19&nav_id=98957

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/08/slobodan-milosevic-hero-160823124808287.html

steve

Hillary is an awful campaigner. She could still easily lose. If she wins, I don't see her generating the enthusiasm for a wave election. The GOP keeps at least the House. Therefore, on domestic issues we will mostly have gridlock, like we do now. On foreign affairs she will have more freedom, but I think she would really have to go against the polls to involve us in any real adventures.Bill certainly watched polls and I would expect her to do the same.

Steve

turcopolier

steve

Bill is a self serving opportunist. She is driven by her destiny as well as her greed. She will be reckless. pl

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

Reading the ‘Borgist’ media, in Britain as well as the United States, in the wake of the Russian intervention in Syria, the depth of their commitment of ‘Assad must go’ became absolutely clear – as also their total inability to try to make any intelligible sense of what was driving Putin’s policy.

This does not seem to me totally irrational, in that I can certainly see reasons why Zionists see Hizbollah missile capabilities as ‘existential threat’, and so are desperate to destroy the ‘Shia Crescent’ their own folly did so much to create.

By the same token, the British ‘Borg’ at least have every interest in persuading others, and indeed themselves, to ignore the obvious fact: the ‘Shia Crescent’ is not an ‘existential threat’ to us, while jihadist terrorism is.

So they lie both to others and to themselves, and end up in a mental fog in which their capacity to assess the risks of the courses of action they favour is, to put it mildly, severely impaired.

I think that anyone who is confident that Hillary will avoid high-stakes gambles in Syria – or indeed in Ukraine – is fooling themselves.

rjj

Is she (The Mom) related to Tyler??? I figured he was Welsh, but....

Chris Chuba

I have a question for those who are familiar with chemical weapons. Assuming that the Syrian army does not have a shortage of conventional explosives, why use chlorine at all just as a practical issue?

Sarin, yeah, I can see that. It's a nerve agent, it looks pretty efficient in terms of killing. Mustard gas, crude, but it looks more useful than chlorine gas because it just requires skin contact. In WW1, it looks like they switched to Phosgene gas really fast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I#1915:_Large-scale_use_and_lethal_gases

I didn't read the report yet but in the one or two attacks that I saw in the news releases, the chlorine attacks had a relatively low body count. I don't see the logic in the Syrian Army using it given the drawback of possible foreign intervention and better alternatives.

If anyone has expertise on comparing conventional explosives to these home made chlorine weapons, I'd appreciate it.

ex-PFC Chuck

Paul Wolfowitz says he's likely to vote for Hilary. Oh, and he doesn't feel any responsibility for rise of IS. It's Syria's fault.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/paul-wolfowitz-says-he-will-likely-vote-for-clinton-a-1109639.html

Allen Thomson


>why use chlorine at all just as a practical issue?

IMO, having looked at this for a while, in current circumstances chemical and radiological weapons are mostly instruments of psychological warfare. And very effective ones too: people are very scared of them, and that's what makes them more effective than plain old HE for political purposes. Actual deaths per kilogram of weapon isn't really the point.

In other circumstances the answer might be different.

different clue

David Habakkuk,

I wonder if another co-motive is also at play among the Borgies. Assad was supposed flee whimpering at the first sign of protest in the streets. He did not do that. His defiant resistance must have infuriated the Borg over his impertinence at staying in power where Yanukovich folded and fled under similar circumstances. And his lasting in power till this very day moves the Borg from burning rage-based hate to deep fear that "American credibility" will be lost if Assad remains in power over any part of Syria, however small. Because if the Borg could not "regime-change" Syria, who else will the Borg not be able to "regime-change"?

Could there be anything to my suggestion of power-political and psychological motivations and drives in the Borg's comment to Assad Must Go?

johnf

I doubt it. She was a communist. But she did use to date American GI's during the war.

johnf

In reply to DH

David,

I do see certain signs of change. I've already pointed out the recent Torygraph article exposing Israel's role in the killing of British servicemen in The Falklands, and the Mail in the last couple of days (having already allowed Peter Oborne to report from West Aleppo on the horrors they are facing) published an article on a West Aleppo mother receiving a call from an al Qaeda member in East Aleppo (and they explain al Qaeda is the main force in East Aleppo) who had just beheaded her son, picked up his mobile phone, and phoned her to taunt her.

I do remember The Mail was the only peper to consistently oppose our taking part in the Iraq War.

Ghostship

Until the fighting is over that is a very high risk investment. After the surrender of Darayya there is a need to rebuild that and the area there about very quickly(as in Grozny after Chechen War 2) to rehouse people who have been displaced by the fighting so perhaps that is where the Chinese will spend their money.
As for the Chinese providing soldiers, I doubt it as they would be presented as an "occupying army" just as the Russians would have been. I'm still waiting for the Chinese to start churning out $25 JDAM knock-offs by the hundreds of thousands as Manbij seemed to show how more effective PGMs are than the Russian computerised bombing system. While they're about it the Chinese should do a JDAM-like device for Grad, Urugan and Smerch rockets and a cheap hunter-killer suicide drone.

The Beaver

Toivos

She will be surrounded by people like the social worker or Victoria ( doing the work for her clan) or smart--- like Neera Tanden who wanted Libya to pay back for the good work to bring peace and democracy to them:
https://mobile.twitter.com/jeremyscahill/status/662353069343133696/photo/1
These days she is on HRC transition team , should she become the next POTUS:
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/leading-democratic-think-tank-under-fire-legitimizing-netanyahu

The Beaver

Colonel

Have you ever seen her:HRC "private blog"?
Wonder how is maintaining and updating that blog.

https://still4hill.com/

Found it when I was looking for info on Neera Tanden

Dubhaltach

In reply to Chris Chuba 29 August 2016 at 03:38 PM

Chlorine munitions have a particular resonance in Iraq and in any country that took in a large number of Iraqi refugees either during Saddam's era (Gas attacks during Saddam's war with Iran). The horror of gas munitions is very fresh in Iraqi (and Iranian) minds and there was very vivid reporting throughout the Arab world. Syria was very generous to Iraqi refugees and hosted very large numbers of them so chlorine attacks or more properly the fear of chlorine attacks would resonate greatly there far more than they would in for example Egypt or Morocco.

During the American occupation of Iraq there were a fair number of attacks by Ba'ath fighters on civilian targets most were bombs but there were also number using chlorine gas. If you were to do a bit of digging through the reports you'd soon see that these attacks even when they succeeded in releasing gas (which they didn't always succeed in doing) didn't manage to kill very many people what they did succeed in doing was in spreading fear, alarm, and despondency.

Final point - chlorine is cheap and easy to produce so easy to produce that often have to take precautions against producing it accidentally. This is why, for example in hospitals, there are clear procedures for handling sodium hypochlorite to prevent just such an occasion arising.

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