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Well there’s a turn up for the books. Carla Del Ponte, UN Human Rights commissioner, says that testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicate that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin.

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated. This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”

Last week it was Israel and the US hopping about because Damascus had apparently used sarin. McCain and Graham demanded war, Cameron was outraged according to script, and all agreed that “a red line has been crossed”.

Daniel McAdams has a few pertinent questions. Among them, what if our friends in Syria have “crossed the red line” instead of the bogeyman in Damascus? And where did they get chemical weapons from? Come to think of it, what if people on our goverment payrolls have colluded in this red line being breached by supplying the chemicals weapons, say from Libya, via Turkey?

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13 thoughts on “UN: THE SYRIANS REBELS USED SARIN GAS

  1. what “red line?”

    McCain and Graham are headline grabbers. Cameron “followed the script”, as you point out.

    Our squishy golf-playing narcissist for a President, Obama, just talks and talks. He doesn’t know what he’s doing – the “red line” is just rhetorical flourish.

  2. // And where did they get chemical weapons from? //

    Where does anyone get chemical weapons from?
    The UK and the US have manufactured and used chemical weapons aplenty (including after signing treaties prohibiting their use). You can be sure both countries still have ample stockpiles of them, even if their use is now verboten.

    (BTW, it’s interesting that when the western nations finally got around to banning use of CW, they declared that any attack on them with B or C weapons would be deemed nuclear attacks, and they would respond in kind)

    Many CW are relatively easy to produce, and there are still plenty of them all over the place. The SU was a main producer until quite late, and no doubt many Russian products found their way into Assad’s arsenal, whence they came into the hands of the rebels, etc.

    As for this latest twist, the West will do nothing against the rebels because there is really nothing that can be done. No matter which side the West backs or none, unless the different groups can come to some kind of arrangement as in Lebanon, there is going to be continued tribal massacre in Syria for some time.

  3. Petty – Obama’s red line:

    Moving or using large quantities of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and “change my calculus,” the president declared in response to a question at a news conference, to the surprise of some of the advisers who had attended the weekend meetings and wondered where the “red line” came from.

  4. BTW, one thing that can‘t be ruled out is an alliance between Israel and certain Islamist factions ( and it would be VERY funny to see how people here react if that ever happened.)

    Both sides could benefit from it.

    The rebels are certainly delighted with the latest Israeli bombings. When groups like the present opposition in Syria are in a desperate situation – and their situation is desperate indeed – they would take arms from the devil. The payback could be that they turn on Hezbollah, just as the Israelis once got the Lebanese Marionites to turn on the Palestinians.
    Israel may be thinking that a spell of Jihadists in power could be inevitable in the short term, and wish to influence events accordingly.
    It also wouldn’t be the first time; Israel also pursued secret dealings with Ayatollah Khomeni in Iran, hoping to influence developments after the revolution in Iran.

    That one didn’t really work out.

  5. I think it more likely that there could be a tacit alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia and other ( Sunni ) Gulf states.

  6. I am afraid your headline is a tad too affirmative, Del Ponte said suspicion of use and the UN has indicated nothing definitive (for either side).

    The problem in Syria is the awful Assad government is not merely opposed by people who are seeking freedom but also by people who may very well be as bad as he is. I don’t think arming any side is a great idea. There may be ways for the international community (read the US) to impose some sort of no fly zone but I am not sure how successful that would be.

  7. The US ruling class want a pliant Sunni regime in Damascus. This is to be achieved at the lowest possible cost. Good and bad don’t come into it for a second. It can be as reactionary as it wants (big shout out to Saudi Arabia) once it does what it’s told.

  8. let them all kill each other and save the rest of us the trouble. No western country has a dog in this fight.

    Noel put down the crack pipe….

    BTW, one thing that can‘t be ruled out is an alliance between Israel and certain Islamist factions

  9. Petr -I don’t think it is a matter of what the US wants, frankly I’d rather have a pliant Quaker regime in Damascus myself.

    The Sunnis make up the vast majority in Syria so I suppose it would not be unfair if a government there took that reality into account so long as minority rights (such as breathing) were protected.

    The place however seems to be quite enough of a mess without us, and I’d rather they sorted things out peacefully among themselves.

  10. Some of the insurgents are Al Queda, and would be -much- worse than the Assads have been were they to take control of a country.

    Petr

    Iran has been intervening in Syria in a major way. I haven’t heard you criticize that.

  11. //I think it more likely that there could be a tacit alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia //

    That already exists, and has existed for some time.

    As I said, if Israel believes Islamic states are going to be set up in Egypt and Syria, it wouldn’t be the most stupid thing if it tried now to influence certain factions in each country, and get them at least not to see it as their main enemy (which it isn’t).
    Despite what one could believe from reading the anti-Muslim nutters on ATW, for example, there is really no reason why that isn’t possible, at least for the short term. A kind of Middle-Eastern Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, with each side being allowed decide if it’s the Stalin or the Hitler.

  12. LOL

    No the jews no they are running out of time, and are starting to action. It’s as simple as that.

    Only a deluded mind would think that Bibi’s government would ally themselves with ANY islamic faction.

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