Syria and the US's Motive

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  • polaris_xpolaris_x Posts: 13,556

    BS44325 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    and what are the apologists saying about the bomb attack on the buses leaving aleppo? ... the terrorists lured children out of buses with potato chips then bombed them ... these are the people the Syrian gov't is fighting on the ground ... THIS IS NOT A CIVIL WAR ... where in ANY of the news do you see an opposing syrian force!?? ... NONE ... only Al Qaeda and ISIS ...

    I don't think anyone has defended that horrific attack. Just because I hate the Russian/Syrian/Iran alliance doesn't mean I support terrorism. They all suck.
    sooo ... Syria is fighting these fucks ... why on earth would they drop chemical weapons on their own civilians? ... c'mon people!!
    Right because there's never been a dictator in history who has killed his own people... totally unprecedented. Boggles the mind, in fact.
    do you have proof syrian elections were fraudulent? on what basis do you identify assad as a dictator? ... the guy who took power within a dictatorship and then reformed the electoral process to free elections of which close to 80% of syrians participated ... why would a dictator bring in elections?

    aside from that - you continue to show very little rational ... if Syria/Assad are at war with invading terrorists groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS - why would he not have used chemical weapons against ISIS? or Al Qaeda? show me some reasoning ...
    Dictators hold elections. Putin has elections. Iraq had elections. Chavez.. more. The presence of elections is not evidence of a liberal democracy.
    Second, isn't Idlib a terrorist stronghold? You would have to agree to that if you are advocating the implausible theory that it was a weapons depot that held the sarin. Is it so far fetched that Assad would strike the area with sarin and consider the Syrian people collateral damage? Seems far more rational than the concoctions coming out of Russia.
    If Polaris can't even admit that Assad is a dictator, which is not even up for debate, then getting him to admit Assad used chemical weapons is pretty much an impossibility.
    Maybe I'm confused...am I to understand that there are people on here who support Assad?
    A known dictator who doesn't think twice about having his own citizens killed just for having different ideas?
    Seriously?
    give me some proof of assad as a dictator ... besides just people repeating it ... what constitutes a dictatorship and give me proof assad falls in that category ...

    the US has a long history of demonizing leaders of countries they seek to overthrow ... see, iraq, cuba, libya, etc
  • polaris_xpolaris_x Posts: 13,556
    the 59 cruise missiles trump launched cost $1.4 million each ...

    war is good business ... the military industrial complex is alive and well and americans are blind to war profiteering ...
  • polaris_xpolaris_x Posts: 13,556
    mrussel1 said:

    An American citizen who worked for RT but quit on air because of RT's lies about Putin, is a "defector"? Okay. Good one.

    (CNN)International chemical weapons inspectors have found "incontrovertible" evidence that Sarin gas, or a similar substance, was used in a chemical attack in Syria earlier this month that killed 89 people.

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) took biomedical samples from 10 victims of the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun and found indications that they had been exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.

    And yes, I don't read "state news" from a dictatorship. So keep posting RT propaganda and I'll keep shitting on it without reading or watching it.

    no one is disputing that a chemical weapon (either sarin or chlorine) was released on april 4th ... the issue is how did it get released ...

    syria has constantly asked the UN to send independent experts to investigate but the US continues to block that motion ... WHY!??
  • polaris_xpolaris_x Posts: 13,556
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syria-chemical-attack-al-qaeda-played-donald-trump_us_58ea226fe4b058f0a02fca4d

    more stuff for you guys NOT to read and to not offer constructive opinion on ...
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    here's additional evidence of fraud ...



    white helmets posts about attack well before attack actually happened

    So you are saying there was no attack... the UN inspectors just fabricated. Everyone's in on the ruse. Got it.
    un inspectors did not report the attack ... get some facts please!!! ...
    They confirmed that Sarin or sarin like material was used. They said it's incontrovertible. No where did I say that they reported it initially. Get some reading comprehension please!!!
    dude ... read your quote ...
    Please cut out where i say that. You're reading something not there. I'm saying that the implication of everyone reporting it before it happened is that it never happened. Therefore the UN must be in on the ruse.
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    polaris_x said:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syria-chemical-attack-al-qaeda-played-donald-trump_us_58ea226fe4b058f0a02fca4d

    more stuff for you guys NOT to read and to not offer constructive opinion on ...

    I read Ritter's piece when he wrote it. He's arguing the insufficient evidence angle if I remember properly. But he published this before the UN tested and confirmed it was sarin. Again, since we can agree, hopefully, there was an attack.. and the UN stated sarin... not chlorine..., evidence leads to the government since there is no evidence or history of the terrorists being able to store, mix, or release sarin.
  • Drowned OutDrowned Out Posts: 6,040
    mrussel1 said:

    An American citizen who worked for RT but quit on air because of RT's lies about Putin, is a "defector"? Okay. Good one.

    Thank god you realized it was a joke. I was worried you might not address the important parts of my post.
    mrussel1 said:


    (CNN)International chemical weapons inspectors have found "incontrovertible" evidence that Sarin gas, or a similar substance, was used in a chemical attack in Syria earlier this month that killed 89 people.

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) took biomedical samples from 10 victims of the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun and found indications that they had been exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.

    The OPCW didn't attribute blame, they only said sarin or a similar agent was used ( this was covered around 3:50 in the interview I posted).
    Regarding the OPCW missions....They are staffed entirely by Brits. Russia proposed the use of 'third party' investigators, but eventually backed down on this proposal, asking only that the mission actually go to Idlib. It was denied by the west. And they won't make public the time and place the samples were taken....reports indicate that the OPCW obtained the samples via Turkey.
    Sounds like the investigation is being steered. Why?
    Ya, air strikes were used as part of a strategic coverup....they used chemical weapons, then bombed the location. where are the tinfoil memes? I seem to see those often, but never when the conspiracy theory lends credence to US position. why not just bomb the location, why do both? Why incur the wrath of the international community, right when the US backed down on regime change demands?
    mrussel1 said:


    And yes, I don't read "state news" from a dictatorship. So keep posting RT propaganda and I'll keep shitting on it without reading or watching it.

    Is Chris Hedges always a commie propagandist, or only when presenting for RT? I realize he doesn't have the street cred of a terrorist kidnapper, but imo he writes a decent piece every so often. The MIT report had nothing to do with Russian media, but you wouldnt read that either either either either....
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    edited April 2017
    First..i never said the UN applied blame. I said they are positive it's sarin. Then i said the practicality and likelihood of terrorists either storing or being able to deploy the gas, let alone acquiring it, points back to Assad. Both you and Polaris seem to think I say things i didn't.

    Second, I did read the MIT report. So what? He is speculating without having access to classified US, French or English Intel. In other words, he's just a dude with an opinion. He may be educated in the subject but he is neither on the ground or privy to key information.
  • Drowned OutDrowned Out Posts: 6,040
    mrussel1 said:

    First..i never said the UN applied blame. I said they are positive it's sarin. Then i said the practicality and likelihood of terrorists either storing or being able to deploy the gas, let alone acquiring it, points back to Assad. Both you and Polaris seem to think I say things i didn't.

    Second, I did read the MIT report. So what? He is speculating without having access to classified US, French or English Intel. In other words, he's just a dude with an opinion. He may be educated in the subject but he is neither on the ground or privy to key information.

    I realize you never said that. The problem here is that no proof it was assad has been brought forward, and the US acted (and will likely continue to do so) against the Syrian government anyway. You want assad gone, so the stalemate of context works in the favour of all of the hawks who support illegal regime change (including you?)
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153

    mrussel1 said:

    First..i never said the UN applied blame. I said they are positive it's sarin. Then i said the practicality and likelihood of terrorists either storing or being able to deploy the gas, let alone acquiring it, points back to Assad. Both you and Polaris seem to think I say things i didn't.

    Second, I did read the MIT report. So what? He is speculating without having access to classified US, French or English Intel. In other words, he's just a dude with an opinion. He may be educated in the subject but he is neither on the ground or privy to key information.

    I realize you never said that. The problem here is that no proof it was assad has been brought forward, and the US acted (and will likely continue to do so) against the Syrian government anyway. You want assad gone, so the stalemate of context works in the favour of all of the hawks who support illegal regime change (including you?)
    Nowhere have I said that I support any military action against Syria. In fact, I'm against the action that Trump took. The primary reason is that it was aimless and unattached to any actual strategy that I can discern. It was a one off action. I'm not a fool and I know that Russia needs Syria for all sorts of strategic reasons, most linked to ports and such. So I have no illusions of Russia ceasing to support a Syrian state. However, if the US was smart, it would figure out a way to negotiate with Russia for the removal of Assad, and send him into exile in Russia. I don't want a power vacuum there anymore than anyone else, but Russia can likely facilitate a peaceful transfer.
  • BS44325BS44325 Posts: 5,954
    polaris_x said:

    BS44325 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    and what are the apologists saying about the bomb attack on the buses leaving aleppo? ... the terrorists lured children out of buses with potato chips then bombed them ... these are the people the Syrian gov't is fighting on the ground ... THIS IS NOT A CIVIL WAR ... where in ANY of the news do you see an opposing syrian force!?? ... NONE ... only Al Qaeda and ISIS ...

    I don't think anyone has defended that horrific attack. Just because I hate the Russian/Syrian/Iran alliance doesn't mean I support terrorism. They all suck.
    sooo ... Syria is fighting these fucks ... why on earth would they drop chemical weapons on their own civilians? ... c'mon people!!
    Right because there's never been a dictator in history who has killed his own people... totally unprecedented. Boggles the mind, in fact.
    do you have proof syrian elections were fraudulent? on what basis do you identify assad as a dictator? ... the guy who took power within a dictatorship and then reformed the electoral process to free elections of which close to 80% of syrians participated ... why would a dictator bring in elections?

    aside from that - you continue to show very little rational ... if Syria/Assad are at war with invading terrorists groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS - why would he not have used chemical weapons against ISIS? or Al Qaeda? show me some reasoning ...
    Dictators hold elections. Putin has elections. Iraq had elections. Chavez.. more. The presence of elections is not evidence of a liberal democracy.
    Second, isn't Idlib a terrorist stronghold? You would have to agree to that if you are advocating the implausible theory that it was a weapons depot that held the sarin. Is it so far fetched that Assad would strike the area with sarin and consider the Syrian people collateral damage? Seems far more rational than the concoctions coming out of Russia.
    If Polaris can't even admit that Assad is a dictator, which is not even up for debate, then getting him to admit Assad used chemical weapons is pretty much an impossibility.
    Maybe I'm confused...am I to understand that there are people on here who support Assad?
    A known dictator who doesn't think twice about having his own citizens killed just for having different ideas?
    Seriously?
    give me some proof of assad as a dictator ... besides just people repeating it ... what constitutes a dictatorship and give me proof assad falls in that category ...

    the US has a long history of demonizing leaders of countries they seek to overthrow ... see, iraq, cuba, libya, etc
    Demonizing? Those three countries were/are dictatorships. Fact. If you want to say you are ok with that fine but don't deny they are dictatorships. The Assad dynasty is a dictatorship.
  • Drowned OutDrowned Out Posts: 6,040
    mrussel1 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    First..i never said the UN applied blame. I said they are positive it's sarin. Then i said the practicality and likelihood of terrorists either storing or being able to deploy the gas, let alone acquiring it, points back to Assad. Both you and Polaris seem to think I say things i didn't.

    Second, I did read the MIT report. So what? He is speculating without having access to classified US, French or English Intel. In other words, he's just a dude with an opinion. He may be educated in the subject but he is neither on the ground or privy to key information.

    I realize you never said that. The problem here is that no proof it was assad has been brought forward, and the US acted (and will likely continue to do so) against the Syrian government anyway. You want assad gone, so the stalemate of context works in the favour of all of the hawks who support illegal regime change (including you?)
    Nowhere have I said that I support any military action against Syria. In fact, I'm against the action that Trump took. The primary reason is that it was aimless and unattached to any actual strategy that I can discern. It was a one off action. I'm not a fool and I know that Russia needs Syria for all sorts of strategic reasons, most linked to ports and such. So I have no illusions of Russia ceasing to support a Syrian state. However, if the US was smart, it would figure out a way to negotiate with Russia for the removal of Assad, and send him into exile in Russia. I don't want a power vacuum there anymore than anyone else, but Russia can likely facilitate a peaceful transfer.
    Ok, that's reasonable. But the last time I mentioned that Russia had offered to help negotiate Assad stepping down (in 2012 I believe), you said something along the lines of 'Russia doesn't negotiate', or 'they can't be trusted'....hence my confusion on your position. I would have no problem with Assad stepping down, and free democratic elections being held if it stopped the fighting. The problem there is trying to follow what dirty work was going on behind the scenes, by both sides.
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153

    mrussel1 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    First..i never said the UN applied blame. I said they are positive it's sarin. Then i said the practicality and likelihood of terrorists either storing or being able to deploy the gas, let alone acquiring it, points back to Assad. Both you and Polaris seem to think I say things i didn't.

    Second, I did read the MIT report. So what? He is speculating without having access to classified US, French or English Intel. In other words, he's just a dude with an opinion. He may be educated in the subject but he is neither on the ground or privy to key information.

    I realize you never said that. The problem here is that no proof it was assad has been brought forward, and the US acted (and will likely continue to do so) against the Syrian government anyway. You want assad gone, so the stalemate of context works in the favour of all of the hawks who support illegal regime change (including you?)
    Nowhere have I said that I support any military action against Syria. In fact, I'm against the action that Trump took. The primary reason is that it was aimless and unattached to any actual strategy that I can discern. It was a one off action. I'm not a fool and I know that Russia needs Syria for all sorts of strategic reasons, most linked to ports and such. So I have no illusions of Russia ceasing to support a Syrian state. However, if the US was smart, it would figure out a way to negotiate with Russia for the removal of Assad, and send him into exile in Russia. I don't want a power vacuum there anymore than anyone else, but Russia can likely facilitate a peaceful transfer.
    Ok, that's reasonable. But the last time I mentioned that Russia had offered to help negotiate Assad stepping down (in 2012 I believe), you said something along the lines of 'Russia doesn't negotiate', or 'they can't be trusted'....hence my confusion on your position. I would have no problem with Assad stepping down, and free democratic elections being held if it stopped the fighting. The problem there is trying to follow what dirty work was going on behind the scenes, by both sides.
    I don't think that was me. That doesn't sound like me. Russia is a rational player. I may despise them but I don't think Putin is a psychopath. He is extremely clever, cagey and manipulative. Crazy he is not. I'm not saying he can be trusted but it would be pretty easy to tell if Assad was there or not.
    I don't care that Syria is a vassal state of Russia. It's not changing any time soon. I want a stable country and I would like the US, Russia and Syria to coordinate to strike ISIS. That would all be ideal. I don't want innocent woman, children, etc. to be killed either. I think Assad bears significant responsibility for that so his removal should be a US objective. I would not trade Assad for a power vacuum though. Although I know Russia would bring down the iron fist to prevent that since it would damage Putin and his minions' economic interests.
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    BTW - regarding Russia's offer of removal, that was all back channel stuff. I'm not sure that was ever confirmed. My understanding is that official offer of a six month transition was rejected by Russia and Damascus.
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 6,072
    polaris_x said:

    BS44325 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    mrussel1 said:

    polaris_x said:

    and what are the apologists saying about the bomb attack on the buses leaving aleppo? ... the terrorists lured children out of buses with potato chips then bombed them ... these are the people the Syrian gov't is fighting on the ground ... THIS IS NOT A CIVIL WAR ... where in ANY of the news do you see an opposing syrian force!?? ... NONE ... only Al Qaeda and ISIS ...

    I don't think anyone has defended that horrific attack. Just because I hate the Russian/Syrian/Iran alliance doesn't mean I support terrorism. They all suck.
    sooo ... Syria is fighting these fucks ... why on earth would they drop chemical weapons on their own civilians? ... c'mon people!!
    Right because there's never been a dictator in history who has killed his own people... totally unprecedented. Boggles the mind, in fact.
    do you have proof syrian elections were fraudulent? on what basis do you identify assad as a dictator? ... the guy who took power within a dictatorship and then reformed the electoral process to free elections of which close to 80% of syrians participated ... why would a dictator bring in elections?

    aside from that - you continue to show very little rational ... if Syria/Assad are at war with invading terrorists groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS - why would he not have used chemical weapons against ISIS? or Al Qaeda? show me some reasoning ...
    Dictators hold elections. Putin has elections. Iraq had elections. Chavez.. more. The presence of elections is not evidence of a liberal democracy.
    Second, isn't Idlib a terrorist stronghold? You would have to agree to that if you are advocating the implausible theory that it was a weapons depot that held the sarin. Is it so far fetched that Assad would strike the area with sarin and consider the Syrian people collateral damage? Seems far more rational than the concoctions coming out of Russia.
    If Polaris can't even admit that Assad is a dictator, which is not even up for debate, then getting him to admit Assad used chemical weapons is pretty much an impossibility.
    Maybe I'm confused...am I to understand that there are people on here who support Assad?
    A known dictator who doesn't think twice about having his own citizens killed just for having different ideas?
    Seriously?
    give me some proof of assad as a dictator ... besides just people repeating it ... what constitutes a dictatorship and give me proof assad falls in that category ...

    the US has a long history of demonizing leaders of countries they seek to overthrow ... see, iraq, cuba, libya, etc
    I'm sure this will be disputed, but his biography pretty much speaks for itself. I'm not for the US being involved in another war and Syria is a complete mess, but defending Assad makes no sense.

    http://www.biography.com/people/bashar-al-assad-20878575

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/04/assad-chemical-attack-rebels-170420094244949.html
    It's a hopeless situation...
  • Drowned OutDrowned Out Posts: 6,040
    edited April 2017
    mrussel1 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    mrussel1 said:

    First..i never said the UN applied blame. I said they are positive it's sarin. Then i said the practicality and likelihood of terrorists either storing or being able to deploy the gas, let alone acquiring it, points back to Assad. Both you and Polaris seem to think I say things i didn't.

    Second, I did read the MIT report. So what? He is speculating without having access to classified US, French or English Intel. In other words, he's just a dude with an opinion. He may be educated in the subject but he is neither on the ground or privy to key information.

    I realize you never said that. The problem here is that no proof it was assad has been brought forward, and the US acted (and will likely continue to do so) against the Syrian government anyway. You want assad gone, so the stalemate of context works in the favour of all of the hawks who support illegal regime change (including you?)
    Nowhere have I said that I support any military action against Syria. In fact, I'm against the action that Trump took. The primary reason is that it was aimless and unattached to any actual strategy that I can discern. It was a one off action. I'm not a fool and I know that Russia needs Syria for all sorts of strategic reasons, most linked to ports and such. So I have no illusions of Russia ceasing to support a Syrian state. However, if the US was smart, it would figure out a way to negotiate with Russia for the removal of Assad, and send him into exile in Russia. I don't want a power vacuum there anymore than anyone else, but Russia can likely facilitate a peaceful transfer.
    Ok, that's reasonable. But the last time I mentioned that Russia had offered to help negotiate Assad stepping down (in 2012 I believe), you said something along the lines of 'Russia doesn't negotiate', or 'they can't be trusted'....hence my confusion on your position. I would have no problem with Assad stepping down, and free democratic elections being held if it stopped the fighting. The problem there is trying to follow what dirty work was going on behind the scenes, by both sides.
    I don't think that was me. That doesn't sound like me. Russia is a rational player. I may despise them but I don't think Putin is a psychopath. He is extremely clever, cagey and manipulative. Crazy he is not. I'm not saying he can be trusted but it would be pretty easy to tell if Assad was there or not.
    I don't care that Syria is a vassal state of Russia. It's not changing any time soon. I want a stable country and I would like the US, Russia and Syria to coordinate to strike ISIS. That would all be ideal. I don't want innocent woman, children, etc. to be killed either. I think Assad bears significant responsibility for that so his removal should be a US objective. I would not trade Assad for a power vacuum though. Although I know Russia would bring down the iron fist to prevent that since it would damage Putin and his minions' economic interests.
    Again, reasonable. And you're right it wasn't you, it was Jason P - apologies.
    The one thing I disagree with in your post is that Assad bears significant blame. I have no illusions about his atrocities. That said, under the current political and cultural climate of the Middle East, with all the ethnic / religious groups split unnaturally by arbitrary borders, foreign influence, and instability from a neighbouring failed state, its tough to imagine ANY leader not being a tyrant in an attempt to maintain some semblance of control...Assad's regime was secular, which is important in the region. I saw plenty of pics of Christians celebrating Easter in government controlled areas of Syria. The areas held by rebels have been cleansed of Christians....(IMO this is part of the regional big-picture regime change protocol - Balkanization, with ethnic cleansing of specific regions to re-draw border lines along ethno-religious lines per the Ralph Peters map. Curious to see how the break with Turkey and SA comes if that map is the true goal of western policy makers, as those countries would cede territory as well). Once the Syrian protests morphed into a co-opted insurgence (if they even really started as protests), with NATO/gulf monarchy backing and foreign fighters flooding the country, he was put in an impossible position. Stepping down and allowing that power vacuum was the only option he had that didn't involve military action within his own borders, and the resulting inevitable civilian deaths. And we know Russia wouldn't have allowed that to happen regardless.
    That shouldn't be viewed as defense of assad, but the facts need to be recognized - this war is a result of western imperialism....assad does shoulder some responsibility because he chose to fight, but I wouldn't call it 'significant'.

    Post edited by Drowned Out on
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    Not much argument here. If you recall, I emphasized very early on when I got involved with this thread, that the root of all of this was Versailles and the break up of the Ottoman Empire by the Allies. The borders weren't arbitrary per se, rather created for the economic advantage of victors. I also argued that a strongman was the only type of person that can hold these countries together...through fear and violence. This is true for Libya, Iraq, Iran, etc.

    The only place I would argue would be Assad's role and what he had to do vs. what he chose to do. I still believe the strong likelihood is that he released the sarin this month, for the reasons I stated earlier. Again, I'm not defending Trump because it was typical act first, think about it later decision making.
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 6,072
    I've been reading this thread for a while and refrain from comment because I lack a strong knowledge of Syria. I question the western world's influence and overall impact of shaping the current landscape in the middle east, but also don't believe there is a finger to clearly point at who is the source of the current conflict. As mrussel said above, this started a long time ago during WWI. Several countries' regime change influences and the economic woes in the last decade have led to a dictator trying to strong arm unity to keep control of the various factions who have become desperate.

    I'm sure the regulars understand this, but for anyone else, I found William's Polk's history of Syria from the Atlantic a few years back to be the most informative on the region dating back to the Ottoman empire.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/understanding-syria-from-pre-civil-war-to-post-assad/281989/
    It's a hopeless situation...
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 21,714
    For what its worth:

    3 Questions: Jeanne Guillemin on the recent chemical attack in Syria
    Jeanne Guillemin
    Security Studies Program expert on biological weapons discusses the April 4 attack on Syrian civilians that killed at least 80.

    Michelle Nhuch | Center for International Studies
    April 20, 2017

    On April 4, a suspected nerve gas attack killed at least 80 in Khan Sheikhun, in Syria’s Idlib Province. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and the current UN Security Council president, stated shortly after the incident that members "are hoping to get as much information” as they can about the event.

    Jeanne Guillemin, a medical anthropologist and a senior fellow in the MIT Security Studies Program, recently answered a few questions on the attack. Guillemin is an authority on biological weapons and has published four books on the topic. Her latest, "Hidden Atrocities: Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial," will be published by Columbia University Press in September.

    Q. What do we now know about the attack?

    A. The process of investigation will be difficult, given the ongoing war and secrecy on the part of Syria and others. It seems certain that the regime of Syria’s President al-Assad or some element thereof not only violated treaty obligations regarding chemical weapons but could be complicit in a major war crime.

    On a technical level, the chemical agent that caused more than 80 deaths and many injuries has been identified by the United Kingdom as sarin, which accords with medical records. The timing of the attack was April 4 at just before 7 a.m. local time, optimal for dispersal. Much less or nothing is reliably known regarding the munition and its source.

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the operational arm of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in The Hague, is the lead agency for investigating the nerve gas attack. The OPCW can count on assistance from the United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), created by the Security Council with all permanent members in agreement. OPCW investigations are kept secret until the final reports are released, which can take months, and their mandate does not extend to identifying perpetrators. The mandate of the JIM is broader and does extend to estimating perpetrators, which makes its eventual report important.

    Q. Based on your expertise on the historical use of chemical weapons, why would Assad strike now? Is he likely to strike again?

    A. The use of chemical weapons in war, starting in April 1915 with the German release of chlorine gas on Allied trenches at Ypres, has invariably been to break an impasse by targeting a defenseless enemy, those lacking protection such as gas masks or antidotes. For Syria, frustration with rebel holdouts in Idlib Province may have provoked the attack; one wonders, though, exactly what authorities reasoned that killing civilians with nerve gas could be carried out without controversy — and without jeopardizing the new potential for cooperation with the Trump administration.

    The political furor created by the social media images of the victims make it unlikely that President al-Assad, if he ordered or permitted the attacks, would venture any more. For years, though, Syria has been getting a pass from the international community regarding its less-than-complete compliance with the CWC, to which it acceded in October 2013. In 2014, the belief that Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapons contained gaps and inconsistencies prompted the Director-General of the OPCW to send a special team of technical investigators on 18 trips to Syria to do what proved impossible: to verify that Syria’s declaration was in accordance with the CWC. The UN Security Council was fully advised of OPCW reports, but no action was taken to bring Syria in line.

    Currently the Russian government is taking al-Assad's protestations of innocence at face value. At the same time, though, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has spoken strongly in favor of UN investigations and asserted that Syria will be forthcoming about its military activities in the region at the time of the April 4 sarin attack. If evidence points clearly to al-Assad’s forces, which the U.S. government has already publicly blamed, Putin will have to address the difficult problem of regime change in Syria — or risk his own legitimacy by supporting a Syrian president many feel is at best a loose cannon and at worst the murderer of his own people.

    Q. What are psychological and physical effects of this kind of attack, and how does one determine who was responsible?

    A. Follow-up information from the 1988 chemical attack in Halabja, Iraq, and the 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta, Syria, illustrates the terrifying impact of aerial chemical attacks on defenseless populations already under siege.

    In Halabja, the attacks with blistering mustard and with sarin, combined with conventional bombings, were part of Saddam Hussein’s punitive objective to eliminate the Kurds from Iraq.

    The unusual strikes on Ghouta and Khan Sheikhun seem more intended to terrify Syrian civilians, that is, to frighten survivors and witnesses (even those watching on the internet) into submission to the enemy aggressor, whose power to rapidly asphyxiate hundreds must seem mythic, especially when done with impunity, without legal repercussions.

    Over time, the criminal responsibility for the April 4 sarin attack might be put on Syrian officials, who may well be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The court’s statute contains language banning the use of poisons taken directly from the Geneva Protocol; the prosecution of murderous attacks on defenseless populations is, of course, central to the ICC mission, regardless of means. The broader responsibility for what has happened in Syria and for the extreme vulnerability of its civilian population throughout the war lies with the international community. This week, one hears the Chinese delegate to the United Nations calling for a political solution, rather than a military showdown between the United States and Russia. After this latest barbarism, is it too much to ask for international safe zones and a cease fire?


    What do you think Donny thinks?
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  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    ^^ So we have one MIT professor that stated he didn't believe it was Syria (prior to the UN declaring it so) and this MIT professor sees the evidence that points to Syria. I guess we can't use the first professor as evidence of the pro-Syria position since it is now offset by the other. Things are so confusing...
  • Drowned OutDrowned Out Posts: 6,040

    . This week, one hears the Chinese delegate to the United Nations calling for a political solution, rather than a military showdown between the United States and Russia. After this latest barbarism, is it too much to ask for international safe zones and a cease fire?


    What do you think Donny thinks?

    I think Donny wants 'international safe zones', which are the new 'no fly zone' by my understanding. And cease fires have been 'reload the terrorist' breaks for six years....



    Just read that at least 8 white helmets were killed in air strikes. Is it cynical of me to assume this will be used to justify more US strikes?
  • BentleyspopBentleyspop Craft Beer Brewery, ColoradoPosts: 6,701
    edited May 2017
    Yup
    Definitely not a dictator....

    State Dept.: Assad using crematorium to hide atrocities
  • CM189191CM189191 Minneapolis via ChicagoPosts: 4,607
    WI 6/27/98 WI 10/8/00 MO 10/11/00 IL 4/23/03 MN 6/26/06 MN 6/27/06 WI 6/30/06 IL 8/5/07 IL 8/21/08 (EV) IL 8/22/08 (EV) IL 8/23/09 IL 8/24/09 IN 5/7/10 IL 6/28/11 (EV) IL 6/29/11 (EV) WI 9/3/11 WI 9/4/11 IL 7/19/13 NE 10/09/14 IL 10/17/14 MN 10/19/14 FL 4/11/16 IL 8/20/16 IL 8/22/16 IL 08/18/18 IL 08/20/18
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    Yup
    Definitely not a dictator....

    State Dept.: Assad using crematorium to hide atrocities
    He was elected with like...85% of the vote.  How can he be a dictator??
  • JC29856JC29856 Posts: 9,617
    “I used to spend a lot of time in this room...back when it was a shit hole and I was a shit head.”
    big·otˈbiɡət/ noun: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
    big·ot·ryˈbiɡətrē/ noun: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

  • JC29856JC29856 Posts: 9,617
    newsworthy? = fake time magazine covers

    https://apnews.com/aed9ac01fd3c4e72a230b4e48cca972d

    Syria’s government and its ally Russia accused Washington on Thursday of concocting a “provocation” in Syria, which would then be blamed on President Bashar Assad’s government as alleged use of chemical weapons to justify an attack.

    In a statement carried by the official news agency, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said it rejects U.S. allegations that Syria was preparing for a chemical weapons attack, describing such accusations as “misleading” and “completely baseless.”

    “I used to spend a lot of time in this room...back when it was a shit hole and I was a shit head.”
    big·otˈbiɡət/ noun: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
    big·ot·ryˈbiɡətrē/ noun: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

  • JC29856JC29856 Posts: 9,617

    There has been much disingenuous criticism of those, like me, who question why the western corporate media have studiously ignored the latest investigation by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh on Syria. Hersh had to publish his piece in a German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, after the entire US and UK media rejected his article. There has still been no mention of his investigation more than a week later.

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-07-03/useful-idiots-who-undermine-dissent-on-syria/
    “I used to spend a lot of time in this room...back when it was a shit hole and I was a shit head.”
    big·otˈbiɡət/ noun: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
    big·ot·ryˈbiɡətrē/ noun: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    edited July 2017
    JC29856 said:0

    There has been much disingenuous criticism of those, like me, who question why the western corporate media have studiously ignored the latest investigation by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh on Syria. Hersh had to publish his piece in a German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, after the entire US and UK media rejected his article. There has still been no mention of his investigation more than a week later.

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-07-03/useful-idiots-who-undermine-dissent-on-syria/
    We already debated this theory when you were exiled.   Hirsch is reporting what RT and others had postulated right after the attack. 
  • Drowned OutDrowned Out Posts: 6,040
    edited July 2017
    The fact that a pulitzer winning american journalist - the guy responsible for breaking several massive stories that exposed american atrocities or contradicted US narrative - cant find a single decent north american rag to publish his investigative report on the attack, is beyond telling. Hersh provides his annonymous sources to publishers for verification. He claims the London Review of Books pulled the story after it was fact checked and ready for publication, for fear of being accused of taking a pro-assad/russian stance. 

    Front and centre all over US media the day Hersh's article was published was this white house statement: “The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including children'
    (emphasis added)
    Where is the fact checking on that claim? no fucking way that timing is a coincidence, right? or is that the tinfoil talking?

    Corporate media deserves pitchforks outside their doors as much as anyone in government.
    Where is the anti-war left? Still obsessing over Putin with the hawks and their crony talking heads, thats where. We'z fucked.


    Post edited by Drowned Out on
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 14,153
    Hersh has had his share of busts of stories so he's not unimpeachable.   Abu was a slam dunk because there were photos.   It's interesting to me that what he is reporting now is the same story that RT ran when the attack occurred.  The difference is that he's hedging on the parts that were impossible under the RT story.  For example... RT said that it was a terrorist depot of sarin.  Problem is the terrorists don't have the resources to manufacture or store sarin. So now,  Hersh said it was a mixture of fertilizer and other chemicals that act just like Sarin and evidently stable enough for terrorists.  On top of this convenient change of analysis lies two more fundamental problems..

    1. Hersh not only used an anonymous source but it was ONE source.  And the way it's described,  the persons title sounds like a contractor who previously worked for the govt.  Single source govt contractor story seems a bit sketchy. 

    2. There is still the problem with the fact that the OPCW believe it was sarin or sarin like. Are they in on the conspiracy too?


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