Syria and Chemical Weapons

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clando
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Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #1 by clando » August 26th, 2013, 5:30 pm

With the claim that Syria has recently used chemical weapons, there have been lots of conservatives rhetorically asking the question "Where did Syria get it's chemical weapons?" with the obvious inference being they had to have came from Iraq. It doesn't surprise me in the least that people would so intellectually lazy to infer this without bothering to research of even consider such an implication. Here is an interesting assessment of why this claim simply isn't very plausible, and this article came from July 2012 well before the most recent claims of chemical attacks by Syria on it's people.

Saddam Did No Such Thing Because That Would Be Ridiculous

First, it's illogical to think that in 2003 with the U.S. on the brink of invading, Saddam would give up the one thing that would raise the stakes of a U.S.-led invasion.

Second, let’s say that Saddam wasn’t so concerned about the Americans — a miscalculation that Saddam seems to have made. That’s actually not a rationale for transferring weapons to Syria. Just like in 1991, he faced the collapse of his regime. Except back then, he slaughtered jubilant Shiites and used chemical weapons on the Kurds. Why, in 2003, would Saddam give up the worst threat he could make against his people?

Third, the Iraqi Ba’athists and Syrian Ba’athists are far from allies. Syria’s Allawites are minority Shiites and proxies to Iraq’s arch-enemy Iran. They fought on the allied side against Iraq during Desert Storm. Why would Saddam turn over his deadliest weapons Iran’s best friend in the region? Remember: Saddam says he made his WMD threats to cower the Iranians.

Fourth, from a U.S. military perspective, the transfer would have been impossible to hide. I worked at U.S. Central Command’s Mideast headquarters before, during, and after the invasion, which gave me a good understanding of what was going on at the time. The region was blanketed by U.S. military assets. Operation Enduring Freedom was in full swing in Afghanistan, and Operations Northern and Southern Watch were still in place over Iraq. If something moved — like, say a convoy of Winnebagos of Death heading for Syria — it could be detected and killed.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2012/07/did-syria-receive-its-chemical-weapons-saddam/55142/

The underlined section is the most pertinent to this discussion of why something like this would not have occurred. But why would any of these people research and understand the regional politics before making claims like this.

Even if you were able to disregard ALL the reasoning provided above (some of which is subjective), the simple fact is you can't completely eliminate traces of chemical weapons. Even if Saddam was able to move them all out of the country just prior to the attack, he would have been unable to remove all traces of manufacturing and storage. None of which were found prior to the war by UN Inspectors or after the war. There simply is no OBJECTIVE evidence that there were any chemical weapons, in which to have moved to Syria.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #2 by John Thomas8 » August 26th, 2013, 6:48 pm

They will never stop trying to rehabilitate their frat boy.

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The Oracle
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #3 by The Oracle » August 27th, 2013, 8:18 am

I would assume Syria could make their own chemical weapons. At one time; the big fear of chemical weapons was their ease of manufacture.

Not that I hold Syria to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. We use weapons of mass destruction against our enemies (killing civilians as collateral damage) whenever we choose to do so. The double standard is just one reason why much of the world hates us.

It's sickening to watch the sabre rattling. Both by long time hawks. But also by the current President. We, collectively, are being marched straight into another war.

I don't doubt some form of chemical weapon was used. It's a third world weapon. Used by countries without the financial resources to build smart bombs, bomblets, space weapons, etc.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #4 by clando » August 27th, 2013, 8:26 am

I read somewhere that Syria received their initial chemical weapons from Egypt back in the last 60's. There is even a wiki page on Syria's WMD's where they outline that Syria have 5 identified chemical weapon sites plus another suspected site. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Facilities) I saw another interesting article that talked about how Syria had done a masterful job with regards to international politics in not ever being labeled a rouge state even though it was known they had chemical weapons. The article outlined how Syria had supported Western Countries just enough to stay on their good side and play a large enough role in Middle Eastern relations that the West felt they needed Syria more than they needed to address their chemical weapons.

The Oracle wrote:But also by the current President. We, collectively, are being marched straight into another war.
I wouldn't be so quick to assume that. Obama got us of Iraq and kept us from becoming directly involved in Libya. I think he has zero interest in getting involved in a ground war in the midst of a civil war. As with Libya I suspect we will provide air and naval support, but I doubt you find us putting troops on the ground.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #5 by mariaporter » August 29th, 2013, 3:50 pm

clando wrote: I think he has zero interest in getting involved in a ground war in the midst of a civil war. As with Libya I suspect we will provide air and naval support, but I doubt you find us putting troops on the ground.


Really? Sounds like it's practically a certainty from what I've been hearing.

“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/k ... z2dOCJX771


I wonder if he'll seek congressional approval before attacking, like SENATOR Obama seemed to think?

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."


http://reason.com/blog/2013/08/28/wasnt ... o-believed

Where's the anti-war left that was screaming about this crap when Bush was in office?
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #6 by mariaporter » August 29th, 2013, 4:01 pm

One more article:

The report, being compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is one of the final steps that the administration is taking before President Obama makes a decision on a U.S. military strike against Syria, which now appears all but inevitable.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nat ... story.html
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #7 by John Thomas8 » August 29th, 2013, 4:19 pm

Where's the anti-war left that was screaming about this crap when Bush was in office?


The only difference I can see is that in this instance there's concrete evidence of WMDs in existence and being used.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #8 by The Oracle » August 30th, 2013, 7:37 am

The anti-war left has been stupefied. There doesn't seem to be a candidate out there who (by their deeds, not their words) wants the kind of harmonic World Peace that is everlasting. Something the left wants above all else. A government who wants clean water, food, and air for the whole world. Clearly; we have a situation now where: it's all about money. And forcing the will of western governments on other cultures.

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I can't speak for the anti-war left. But assume that they've gone underground. Most probably feel that no action is necessary.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #9 by Bill Bryan » August 30th, 2013, 10:51 am

Hey, President Obama is doing the humane thing: If he came out in favor of clean water, food, and air ... Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones would be telling millions to stop eating and drinking and breathing ... forever! It'd be a disaster!
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #10 by mariaporter » September 6th, 2013, 8:17 am

This is the only military action in Syria I would approve of:

Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria

WASHINGTON—As President Obama continues to push for a plan of limited military intervention in Syria, a new poll of Americans has found that though the nation remains wary over the prospect of becoming involved in another Middle Eastern war, the vast majority of U.S. citizens strongly approve of sending Congress to Syria.


http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-m ... ong,33752/
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #11 by John Thomas8 » September 6th, 2013, 1:46 pm

:point: :-bd

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #12 by East of Here » September 6th, 2013, 9:05 pm

With regard to Iraq, it wasn't far fetched to believe that Saddam still had some chemical weapons. First, President Clinton had been telling us that Saddam still had them for years. Second, Saddam himself was still claiming to have them, in order to deter Iran. Third, we know he had them because Saddam had actually USED them on the Kurds. And fourth, as the story goes, WE (REAGAN) were the ones who gave them to him (for use against the Iranians). They had to go SOMEWHERE. If he had them, and he didn't use them all, and the remaining stocks aren't anywhere to be found in Iraq... But I digress - this is about Syria, after all.

In any event, this is what I can't figure:

IF (big IF) the Syrian government actually ordered the use of chemical weapons (which I can't see why they would take that risk at this juncture), AND it is 100% CERTAIN PROVEN AND OBVIOUS that they did order the use of chemical weapons - then why is Russia still backing them so vocally? And where the hell did the UK go? The UK was barking the loudest about the outrage of this, then they promptly voted themselves in favor of the gassing and out of any participation in punitive actions. You haven't heard a PEEP out of them since.

Subquestion:

When the hell did FRANCE suddenly drop a pair of balls? Hell, they wouldn't even fight for their own country! Shit fire - if FRANCE is willing to fight somebody, you'd think EVERYBODY would be on the bandwagon...

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #13 by clando » September 8th, 2013, 4:55 pm

East of Here wrote:With regard to Iraq, it wasn't far fetched to believe that Saddam still had some chemical weapons.
All you could do was "believe" because there was zero factual evidence they actually did have chemical weapons.

East of Here wrote:They had to go SOMEWHERE. If he had them, and he didn't use them all, and the remaining stocks aren't anywhere to be found in Iraq... But I digress - this is about Syria, after all.
Chemical weapons deteriorate over time. The last documented use of chemical weapons by Iraq was 1991.

This article is from 2003 and documents even back then how the chemical weapons provided to Iraq in the 1980's would have been unusable by the time of our invasion.

For weeks, we have been hearing breathless media reports of possible discoveries of chemical and biological weapons by U.S. and British troops in Iraq. Within hours or days, if one scours the back pages of the newspaper, he finds that it was merely another false alarm. But what is never mentioned is that these weapons, made five, ten or fifteen years ago, are almost certainly unusable, having long since passed their stable shelf-life, according to the Department of Defense's own documents based on a decade of international inspections, electronic surveillance and information supplied by spies and defectors.

According to Ritter, the chemical weapons which Iraq has been known to possess -- nerve agents like sarin and tabun -- have a shelf life of five years, VX just a bit longer. Saddam's major bio weapons are hardly any better; botulinum toxin is potent for about three years, and liquid anthrax about the same (under the right conditions). And he adds that since all chemical weapons were made in Iraq's only chemical weapons complex – the Muthanna State establishment, which was blown up during the first Gulf War in 1991 -- and all biological weapons plants and research papers were clearly destroyed by 1998, any remaining bio/chemical weapons stores are now “harmless, useless goo.”

http://www.alternet.org/story/15854/lies_about_iraq%26%23146%3Bs_weapons_are_past_expiration_date
So even IF Iraq gave their chemical weapons to Syria, everyone one of those chemical weapons would have exceeded their shelf life and be useless today.

East of Here wrote:IF (big IF) the Syrian government actually ordered the use of chemical weapons (which I can't see why they would take that risk at this juncture), AND it is 100% CERTAIN PROVEN AND OBVIOUS that they did order the use of chemical weapons -
It doesn't necessarily have to have been an "ordered" attack. It could have been a commander who had access to them and decided to use them for whatever reason. It doesn't have to have been an order from Assad himself. If I remember correctly the last chemical attack in Iraq wasn't ordered by Saddam but was carried out by one of Saddam's Cousin (Chemical Ali) on his own.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #14 by optimusprime » September 8th, 2013, 10:34 pm

Reagan, Clinton and Bush41 launched military action without Congressional action and Conservatives (mostly) were OK with it. I WAS ambivalent about the situation in Syria.

THEN I SAW THE VIDEOS OF DEAD AND DYING CHILDREN, GASSED BY assad's REGIME.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKn6wuZ7ZKs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGXmDIqG240

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLdSCNSergc

This is a VERY complex issue WHICH MUST NOT BE VIEWED ONLY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF POST-bush FOREIGN POLICY. nono2

This situation MUST NOT BE JUDGED MYOPICALLY.

Not ONLY is OUR President concerned with preventing this fate from falling on other innocent Syrians, but he HAS to send the message that ANYONE who is willing to use weapons of mass destruction WILL PAY A PRICE, least this become common practice and one day American children are videoed foaming at the mouth and suffering HORRIBLE deaths.
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #15 by 7rob7 » September 8th, 2013, 11:39 pm

[center]Syria chemical weapons attack not ordered by Assad, says German press[/center]
President Bashar al-Assad did not personally order last month’s chemical weapons attack near Damascus that has triggered calls for US military intervention, and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months, a German newspaper has reported , citing unidentified, high-level national security sources.

The intelligence findings were based on phone calls intercepted by a German surveillance ship operated by the BND, the German intelligence service, and deployed off the Syrian coast, Bild am Sonntag said. The intercepted communications suggested Assad, who is accused of war crimes by the west including foreign secretary William Hague, was not himself involved in last month’s attack or in other instances when government forces have allegedly used chemical weapons.
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #16 by The Oracle » September 9th, 2013, 7:43 am

Saddam did have chemical weapons. He used them on the Kurds.

Back in the day. It was reported that trucks of chemical weapons (binary or not, nerve agents or not, or family loot) were headed to Syria.

It was also reported that munition depots were left un-attended. Anybody could have gone and gotten both regular munitions or chemical weapon stocks. Some of those stocks went back to World War One. For all we know; some could have been binary chemical weapons that were long lasting and stable.

Clearly; a terrorist group could have obtained chemical munitions from unguarded stockpiles in Iraq. So what?

The USA uses drones, high explosives, bomblets, and white phosphorous at will. To kill whoever we deem a target. Whoever used chemical weapons crossed a line in the sand drawn by a global warmonger. Intent on forcing the will of the World Bank on everybody else in the world. The idea that a global hegemony can determine what other sovereign nations can or can't do is the ultimate issue here.

This situation MUST NOT BE JUDGED MYOPICALLY.


In my opinion. If we really want to NOT be myopic: then the decision to attack or not attack Syria should not be an American decision. Troops, planes, and warmongering should be from another country. Anybody but the USA. Anybody but the USA's money, military, or anything else American.

If you believe, like many others, that the USA should be the Worlds Police Force, then show me, where, in the US Constitution it says so.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #17 by 7rob7 » September 9th, 2013, 7:44 am

By the way...

[center]Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War — Is it One of Many Climate Wars to Come?[/center]
Climate change is already hurting the world’s most vulnerable populations. Those who live in areas hit hard by drought, severe storms or rising seas and can’t relocate because of economic or social factors bear the brunt of our planet’s increasing volatility.

One way the changing climate has already made itself known is through a devastating drought — and ensuing food shortage — in Syria; it created a powder keg, and played a significant role in sparking the country’s civil war. We can expect to see similar scenarios unfold in the future.

Moyers & Company’s John Light spoke with Francesco Femia, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security — a think tank with an advisory board consisting of retired military commanders and international affairs experts — about how climate change serves as a “threat multiplier” in volatile regions such as Syria, Egypt and Pakistan, and what America’s role should be in a world in which climate change increasingly exacerbates — and causes — international crises.
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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #18 by The Oracle » September 9th, 2013, 7:58 am

The real issue is the role of the USA as the Worlds police force. Above all others. Global hegemony. Other nations are fully capable of kicking the shit out of Syria if they wanted to do so.

If you believe our role is correct. Chemical weapon use is nothing but rationale to attack other sovereign countries and force the will of the USA on others. Because other countries do exist.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #19 by clando » September 9th, 2013, 12:47 pm

The Oracle wrote:Saddam did have chemical weapons. He used them on the Kurds.
Yes, in 1991 which was 24 years ago. Which is approximately 19 years and almost FOUR times beyond the shelf life of any of the chemical weapons he was accused of possessing. We invaded Iraq in 2003 which is 10 years ago and is TWICE the time period of the shelf life of the chemical weapons.

The Oracle wrote:Back in the day. It was reported that trucks of chemical weapons (binary or not, nerve agents or not, or family loot) were headed to Syria.
It was reported? Lot's of things have been reported, without factual evidence. Why again would Saddam give Syria, who is an staunch ally of Iran, all his chemical weapons?

The Oracle wrote:It was also reported that munition depots were left un-attended. Anybody could have gone and gotten both regular munitions or chemical weapon stocks. Some of those stocks went back to World War One.
Stocks going back to WWI? Munition dumps were simply left "un-attended"? Do you not recall that UN Inspectors were in Iraq for several years before the war and right up to the bombings? So we are claiming he left the single thing inspectors were searching for and his biggest deterrent completely un-attended?

The Oracle wrote:For all we know; some could have been binary chemical weapons that were long lasting and stable.
Any evidence that Iraq ever had the capability to manufacture binary chemical weapons?

The Oracle wrote:Clearly; a terrorist group could have obtained chemical munitions from unguarded stockpiles in Iraq. So what?
You have to ignore countless known facts to even allude such conjecture as you have provided here.

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Re: Syria and Chemical Weapons

Post #20 by The Oracle » September 9th, 2013, 3:05 pm

I do appreciate the questions. I shouldn't even have brought up an issue I consider secondary to the primary focus:

The global police world dominating military hegemony of the USA.


However; as far as chemical munitions and these chemicals: the concept of obsolescence is correct, except for one huge point:

Degradation of chemical munitions occurs. But the agents themselves are still highly toxic and lethal. Just not as lethal as they once were. Shelf life of chemical munitions may in fact be 100 years for many agents. Otherwise; the USA could just go into their stockpiles and throw them away at a dump.

Obsolete chemical munitions are highly lethal. For example in the Syrian instance: the killing range of non-old chemical weaponry might have caused 100 times more lethality. The entire town might have been killed. As well as all the animals.

The weapon used on these Syrians could have been 25 years old. It's a red herring. It could have come from a third party rouge country. And in either case; who are we to decide how others, in sovereign nations, kill each other?

Basically, the USA has decided....we're the deciderers! OK to use bomblets, swords, lasers, drones, torture.....

but not chemicals.......... :-bd

You have to ignore countless known facts to even allude such conjecture as you have provided here.


One fact remains above all else. We are the world deciderers. Corporations own the news, corporations deal out the facts. What we know amounts to what we are told.


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