The US lays out it's case that chemical weapons were used in Syria

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West Coast Greeny
The US lays out it's case that chemical weapons were used in Syria

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-intelligence-report-on-last-weeks-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-2013-8

  • A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children.
  • The Syrian regime has the types of munitions that we assess were used to carry out the attack on August 21, and has the ability to strike simultaneously in multiple locations. We have seen no indication that the opposition has carried out a large-scale, coordinated rocket and artillery attack like the one that occurred on August 21.
  • In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.
  • Our intelligence sources in the Damascus area did not detect any indications in the days prior to the attack that opposition affiliates were planning to use chemical weapons.
  • Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21.
  • Local social media reports of a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs began at 2:30 a.m. local time on August 21. Within the next four hours there were thousands of social media reports on this attack from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area. Multiple accounts described chemical-filled rockets impacting opposition-controlled areas.
  • We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N.inspectors obtaining evidence.
  • On the afternoon of August 21, we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations. At the same time, the regime intensified the artillery barrage targeting many of the neighborhoods where chemical attacks occurred.
  • Also, it's a bit difficult to believe that the opposition would be chemically attacking it's own strongholds...

     

    Unionist

    So I guess the U.S. shared its "findings" with the U.N., and then asked the International Criminal Court to file charges.

    Oh wait. The U.S. isn't part of the International Criminal Court (don't you wish you could opt out of the criminal justice system?). And it's never had much luck convincing the U.N. of anything.

    The only international body capable of and committed to saving the lives of brown-skinned strangers in foreign lands from each other is... the United States.

    Just imagine how many lives have been saved in Iraq from 1990 to 2013 as a result of U.S. assistance?

    And you haven't seen Iraq using any WMD since 2003, have you? Nothing succeeds like success.

    Right, West Coast Greeny?

     

    West Coast Greeny

    Quote:
    "Findings"

    You think the rebels obtained fairly large amounts of Sarin gas and then used it against thier own strongholds?

    Also, Syrians are Caucasian.

    Deckard Deckard's picture

    Will Obama and Holande be tired as War Criminals? (Since its probably not getting UN supprt.)

    Will the Nobel Peace Prize for War Criminals be revealed to be the abject pharse it is?

    Will they make a formal decraration of War against Syria before dropping bombs?

    Since thousands of Syrians are fleeing the country are terrorized by the treat of wanton US bombing parade, will the US and France add themselves to the list of Terrorist states?

    I wonder...

    wage zombie

    I don't trust what the US government says about other countries.

    I don't believe the US government acts ethically while conducting its foreign affairs.  If the US government is trying to do something internationally and uses "ethics" as the justification, I assume there must be some other motive.

    I don't trust the US government's facts when they are trying to justify military invasion based on weapon stockpiles or internal weapons use.  I think the US government's record of lies and incorrect predictions means that their current facts and predictions are not at all credible.

    I know that Syria's in an awful state right now.  I strongly suspect a military invasion would make things much worse.

    I know that Syria's in an awful state right now.  I strongly suspect that the US government's foreign policy has been a partial cause of the current condition.

    West Coast Greeny, I'm listening, but I'm not really hearing anything that speaks to me.

     

    Geoff

    We've been lied to so many times by western governments, I just can't buy their nonsense again.  There are websites that show you how to make all sorts of nasty bombs and such, so it's not a stretch to believe the rebels could have access to chemical weapons. 

    WCG says it's unlikely the rebels would attack their own strongholds, but the point is, they've been losing those strongholds to the government.  If they got desperate enough, the more extreme elements withing the rebel coalition might decide to use them as an alternative to simply watching Assad take over.  After all, what would happen to those rebels if they lost - it could get pretty ugly for them. 

    I'm afraid I can't accept what is very likely cooked up evidence from the CIA about what happened.  They've cried wolf once too often for me.

    Paladin1

    So Syrians using chemical weapons and killing children is outrageous! But Americans killing children in Afghanistan Iraq and Pakistan with drones (and making a new shiny medal for drone pilots in the process) is A-okay?

     

    Nice try.

    janfromthebruce

    I don't think killing any children is okay.

    Catchfire Catchfire's picture

    As usual, it pays to listen to Tariq Ali on this subject (apologies if one of these articles has already been posted). First, before the historic UK vote:

    Since Obama had said chemical weapons were the ‘red line’, the weapons were bound to come into play. Cui prodest? as the Romans used to inquire. Who profits? Clearly, not the Syrian regime.

    Several weeks ago, two journalists from Le Monde had already discovered chemical weapons. The question is: if they were used, who used them? The Obama administration and its camp followers would like us to believe that Assad permitted UN chemical weapons inspectors into Syria, and then marked their arrival by launching a chemical weapon assault against women and children, about fifteen kilometres away from the hotel where the inspectors were lodged. It simply does not make sense. Who carried out this atrocity?

    In Iraq we know it was the US that used white phosphorus in Fallujah in 2004 (there were no red lines there except those drawn in Iraqi blood), so the justification is as murky as it was in previous wars...

    The Iranians have reacted strongly and threatened suitable retaliation. It may be bluff, but what it reveals is that even with a new ‘moderate’ leader, praised by the Western media, the stance being taken is no different from that of Ahmedinejad. Tehran understands well what is at stake and why. Every single Western intervention in the Arab world and its surrounds has made the conditions worse. The raids being planned by the Pentagon and its subsidiaries in Nato are likely to follow the same pattern.

    Meanwhile in Egypt, an Arab Pinochet is restoring ‘order’ in time-honoured fashion, with the backing of the slightly embarrassed leaders of the US/EU conglomerate.

    And after:

    Rejoice. Rejoice. The first chain of vassaldom has been broken. They will repair it, no doubt, but let’s celebrate independence while it lasts. For the first time in fifty years, the House of Commons has voted against participating in an imperial war. Aware of the deep and sustained opposition inside the country and within the military establishment, members of parliament decided to represent the will of the people. The speeches of all three leaders were pretty pathetic. Neither the opposition amendment nor the war resolution could muster enough support. That’s all we needed. The thirty odd Tory dissidents who made British participation impossible by voting against their leadership deserve our thanks. Perhaps now the BBC will start reflecting popular opinion instead of acting as the voice of the warmongers....

    Its true that having been lied to once, people are less inclined to believe the government on these matters again. Cameron put on a passable Blair imitation, but the times they are a changing. He couldn’t convince his own party.

    It's hard not to see the seeds of 2003 flourishing in this remarkable string of events. Bravo to peace activists all across Britain for refusng to be led, as the US is being led, down another deadly action with inevitably tragic results.

    Unionist

    janfromthebruce wrote:

    I don't think killing any children is okay.

    Thanks for shining a bright light on the crisis in the Middle East. Now let's go hunt down the child-killers. Canada first, right?

    West Coast Greeny wrote:

    You think the rebels obtained fairly large amounts of Sarin gas and then used it against thier own strongholds?

    No - of course they couldn't possibly find where Assad has stored his stash - which, if I understand correctly, is more chemical weapons than the world has ever ever seen. And I can't understand how the "rebels", who are patriotic Syrians that have been demanding foreign soldiers and arms for over two years, could possibly organize a desperate diversionary slaughter in order to achieve their aims. No. It couldn't be. Thanks for making that so so clear to me.

    Quote:
    Also, Syrians are Caucasian.

    Whatever that means. I could have sworn the vast majority were Semitic - like, you know, Arabs, as a general national character. Weren't they even a founding member of the United Arab Republic?

    I spoke of brown-skinned people. Race and colour are in the eye of the beholder - they depend on prejudice and power. What do you think the Powerful White Christian Saints of the West think when they look at Syrians?

     

    Paladin1

    janfromthebruce wrote:

    I don't think killing any children is okay.

     

    I agree which is why I can't help but roll my eyes when I see western powers all excited and righteous about Syria alledegly using chemical weapons. US drones have killed way more children then this attack is supposed to have. I'm not saying that makes it okay but it's hipocritical in my books.

    Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

    Well there’s no doubt there was chemical weapons used in substantially large quantities in multiple areas at almost the same time; there’s no getting around that.  

    What “they” need to lay out are a few dozen spent chemical rocket casings from the attacks. So far I've seen none of that and I find that a bit strange (see post #580 in the War in Syria thread) seeing how that would most definably tie the use of heavy artillery as the means of delivery for the chemicals which would tend to point the finger at the regime as they have the numbers of rocket launchers and guns to deliver such large attacks.

    But, as of right now, for all we know those chemicals could have been sprayed from the backs of trucks driving around the area after a conventional (high explosive) artillery attack.

    Also it was announced today by the President that he is putting the attack to a vote in Congress. Tonight I’m formulating a cut and paste letter I’m going to send to all three of my members of Congress telling them to vote NO. We’ll see how that works out in a few days.

    Unionist

    [url=http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied... and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group. [/url]

     

    NDPP

    More re: Bandar, Saudis and Syria..

    Saudis Offer Russia Secret Oil Deal if it Drops Syria

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/1026695...

    "Saudi Arabia secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia's gas contracts if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime.."

    Paladin1

    Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

    Well there’s no doubt there was chemical weapons used in substantially large quantities in multiple areas at almost the same time; there’s no getting around that.  

    What “they” need to lay out are a few dozen spent chemical rocket casings from the attacks. So far I've seen none of that and I find that a bit strange (see post #580 in the War in Syria thread) seeing how that would most definably tie the use of heavy artillery as the means of delivery for the chemicals which would tend to point the finger at the regime as they have the numbers of rocket launchers and guns to deliver such large attacks.

    But, as of right now, for all we know those chemicals could have been sprayed from the backs of trucks driving around the area after a conventional (high explosive) artillery attack.

    Also it was announced today by the President that he is putting the attack to a vote in Congress. Tonight I’m formulating a cut and paste letter I’m going to send to all three of my members of Congress telling them to vote NO. We’ll see how that works out in a few days.

     

    The US announced that if chemical weapons were used then they would become involved more or less.  I find it very strange that knowing this the Syrian government would willingly use chemical weapons, all but inviting the US to become physically involved.

     

    Did rebel soldiers attack civilians and blame the Syrian government in order to get a response from the US?

    Did the Syrian government actually attack the civilians expecting the world to suspect US/Rebels doing it as a way to place guilt on the Syrian Government?

    What a crazy situation.

    janfromthebruce

    Paladin1 wrote:

    janfromthebruce wrote:

    I don't think killing any children is okay.

     

    I agree which is why I can't help but roll my eyes when I see western powers all excited and righteous about Syria alledegly using chemical weapons. US drones have killed way more children then this attack is supposed to have. I'm not saying that makes it okay but it's hipocritical in my books.

    Exactly.

    I follow Maher Arar on tweeter as I find him very informative and links to good articles. I posted a link in the War in Syria topic.

    Before the recent chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, more than 14 chemical weapons attacks have been recorded in the country, in addition to the deaths of 100,000 other Syrians who have been killed by conventional means since the uprising started. Should the US administration's claim that this specific event marked a "red line" be taken at face value, there needs to be some substantiation of what makes this moment different from the others. If, as Secretary of State John Kerry claimed in a recent speech, scenes he witnessed on social media compelled him to action, it stands to reason that he could have reached the same conclusion years ago, as similarly terrible scenes have been tragically abundant since the conflict started.

    Some related Maher Arar tweets:

    1. Maher Arar ‏@ArarMaher 31 Aug

      Crucial to understand that successive American admins have viewed ME politics through two prisms 1. Oil 2. Security of Israel. #Syria

    2. Maher Arar ‏@ArarMaher 31 Aug

      FYI: Assad does not need CW to kill 1000 ppl. He already killed 100,000+ with conventional weapons. #ChemicalWeaponsHoopla

      1. Maher Arar ‏@ArarMaher 31 Aug

        Syrians are caught up between two fires: Assad's brutality & world's hypocrisy. #Syria

    josh

    The intel document admits they cannot confirm that the Syrian government ordered the attack.

    Now Kerry is raising the spectre of Munich to try to browbeat congress to support an attack.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/report-john-kerry-tells-dems...