OT: Syria: Chemical Weapons Launched by Rebels?

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Submitted by paramount on September 3, 2013 - 10:54pm

Submitted by spdrun on September 4, 2013 - 1:22pm.

Wouldn't surprise me -- who has an interest in us intervening?

Submitted by SD Realtor on September 4, 2013 - 2:02pm.

It does make sense... I was wondering this from the beginning but with all the chaos out there... who knows. I do agree it is hard to believe Assad would have ordered this as it doesn't make much sense.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 4, 2013 - 2:05pm.

Yeah, Assad's military has had 8 months of incremental success.

Why did he order a chemical attack? He didn't need to.

Submitted by all on September 4, 2013 - 2:36pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
I do agree it is hard to believe Assad would have ordered this as it doesn't make much sense.

According to a mercenary general interviewed by NPR last week the opposition forces took down a couple of Assad's planes using Saudi-provided SA missiles, hence the response.

The general did not complain about a Wahhabi country handing SA's around, presumably because the systems are calibrated to take out Assad's military aircraft only - they can't be used against civilian airplanes.

Submitted by Want_to_Retire on September 4, 2013 - 2:49pm.

NPR interviewing mercenary commanders now - nice. I'm not saying Assad's regime didn't do it - but the stupidity of such an act would obviously be monumental. OTOH, many of the rebel factions are dyed in wool fanatics who think nothing of sacrificing civilians and other unfriendly factions in an instant especially if they are desperate. The conclusion - if we can't stay out of a fight as unpromising and unsavory as this, for whatever supposed reason (save civilians from chemical attack - uhuh) after the fine examples of Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Afghanistan, we are truly maniacs and we should commit ourselves to national psychological counseling. Yea, I know, it's our dear elected leaders' doing - well, for the umpteenth time, both Dems and Republicans will have shown that We the People are so low and despicable that our wishes and desires mean nothing to those in power.

Submitted by all on September 4, 2013 - 3:13pm.

Mercenary general - as in retired US military general currently employed by one of the institutes for peace, humanity and global understanding.

Submitted by Jazzman on September 5, 2013 - 11:31am.

If the gas was used by the Assad regime, he (Assad) may not have ordered the attack or even known about it. If the 'rebels' used it, then they are already in possession of a weapon of mass destruction, so we need to worry if claims are they could be used against the US? I hear no evidence the US is proclaiming the opposition as freedom fighters. I hear a lot of reservations about who they really are, and what might follow. This seems to have explained the delayed intervention. US polls suggest the public is against the attack, but is that war weariness, or this particular scenario that they don't like? Has the US angle been largely about protecting its own interests? Yes. Is there ever a case to argue for policy shaped by humanitarian causes. Probably, even if only measured by self interest. Damned if you do, damned if you don't so political risk becomes ambiguous. How so?

The attacks will only inflame insurgents, and draw more people to their cause. But putting that and interests aside, can the US stand by and watch if the region erupts into violence? 1) Yes, but there will be a price to pay when they are asked why didn't they, when they could have. 2) No, but there are always unintended consequences of taking sides.

One question that bothers me is how can the destruction of chemical weapons be contained, not just from collateral damage, but the expulsion of the gas from missile strikes?

Submitted by spdrun on September 5, 2013 - 11:50am.

^^^

As to releasing gas from missile strikes, I've heard that they use incendiary bombs that burn extremely hot (thermit?) and that it dissociates the gas into something less harmful. Nice theory, whether it will work in practice and get all the gas is an open question, since I've heard that nerve gas is fatal even in very small doses.

Submitted by CA renter on September 6, 2013 - 12:49am.

Thanks for sharing that video, paramount. Makes sense to me, too. There is very little reason to believe what we're being told by our govt.

Submitted by SK in CV on September 6, 2013 - 5:59am.

CA renter wrote:
Thanks for sharing that video, paramount. Makes sense to me, too. There is very little reason to believe what we're being told by our govt.

I don't know which version is accurate, but is there a reason to believe the Russian government over the US government?

Submitted by NotCranky on September 6, 2013 - 8:51am.

SK in CV wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Thanks for sharing that video, paramount. Makes sense to me, too. There is very little reason to believe what we're being told by our govt.

I don't know which version is accurate, but is there a reason to believe the Russian government over the US government?

If you don't believe the U.S government , since it's kind of a yes or no deal, that guides one to believe the Russian view. Even if the U.S. is closer to the truth they could be exaggerating quite a bit.

At this point I don't think most Americans want military action regardless of the facts. The warmongering is demoralizing to this country. It makes it look like we can not succeed on our own merits anymore and that begs lots of other questions...like why?

Submitted by SK in CV on September 6, 2013 - 9:05am.

Blogstar wrote:

If you don't believe the U.S government , since it's kind of a yes or no deal, that guides one to believe the Russian view. Even if the U.S. is closer to the truth they could be exaggerating quite a bit.

At this point I don't think most Americans want military action regardless of the facts. The warmongering is demoralizing to this country. It makes it look like we can not succeed on our own merits anymore and that begs lots of other questions...like why?

I agree with this, except the bolded part. I have no idea what you mean. Can you elaborate?

Submitted by NotCranky on September 6, 2013 - 11:58am.

Just an example of my tendency to extemporize I guess. I mean ,depending on war to thrive as a nation is a cause for concern about our country's condition and outlook.

Of course the violence is demoralizing too.

What is potentially demoralizing about the warmongering to you? How do you think that it is demoralizing to the country?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 6, 2013 - 12:55pm.

I don't think that people are demoralized by the violence. There is after all a strong shoot them up culture here.

People are demoralized by the losses. The public would feel differently if we had convincingly won in Iraq and Afghanistan

Americans just see the losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are afraid of a repeat. The public probably also ties the wars to the deepest recession in their lifetimes. Everyone knows someone who's lost a house.

There is a generational thing at work here, like what happened after Vietnam. The demoralization back then was stronger because of the draft and because our GIs were seen as baby killers. With Iraq, there is a religious anti-muslim tinge. Back in the 1970s Christian evangelicals were not as politically strong.

People won't openly admit it but they know that our soldiers fought in vain in Iraq. We turned Iraq into a friend of our archenemy, Iran.

People see that democracy in Egypt means a Muslim brotherhood government.

Submitted by Jazzman on September 6, 2013 - 2:56pm.

Wars always seem messy and complex up close. History tends to rationalize, or justify events into a digestible format. Imagine what post world war periods were like. All seems neat and tidy now. I don't think there was anything to win in Afghanistan or Iraq in a war sense. There were stated objectives which seem to have been partially fulfilled, but the underlying causes have been ratcheted up if anything. Whatever you think about US foreign policy, I believe they are the world policeman of choice at the moment.

Submitted by paramount on September 6, 2013 - 11:10pm.

Please, please, Watch this video (it's quick):

http://youtu.be/kB2lh6N0m4w

Submitted by CA renter on September 7, 2013 - 12:12am.

SK in CV wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Thanks for sharing that video, paramount. Makes sense to me, too. There is very little reason to believe what we're being told by our govt.

I don't know which version is accurate, but is there a reason to believe the Russian government over the US government?

I don't fully trust anyone who is in power, nor those who want to be in power. They have every reason to lie to the masses, so everything they tell us should be researched and confirmed or denied. More than that, we need to know the WHOLE story behind what's going on. This will sometimes require us to look back many years or decades in order to understand the sequence of events that lead us to the current situation. And we need to search through multiple sources of information, from different perspectives, in order to get even a hint of the truth.

We know for a fact that we've been lied to on many occasions in the past. The government and the MSM mouthpieces have lost credibility. We should not go to war unless there is ample, verified evidence that the American people, here in this country, would be endangered if not for military action.

No more wars for oil companies or the military industrial complex. No more wars that leave in their wake "collateral damage" where tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are left dead or maimed.

I always find it ironic that we don't have enough money for healthcare or Social Security, but there is never any hesitation to spend trillions of dollars on wars, drones, and killing machines.

Submitted by SK in CV on September 7, 2013 - 8:24am.

CA renter wrote:

I don't fully trust anyone who is in power, nor those who want to be in power. They have every reason to lie to the masses, so everything they tell us should be researched and confirmed or denied. More than that, we need to know the WHOLE story behind what's going on. This will sometimes require us to look back many years or decades in order to understand the sequence of events that lead us to the current situation. And we need to search through multiple sources of information, from different perspectives, in order to get even a hint of the truth.

We know for a fact that we've been lied to on many occasions in the past. The government and the MSM mouthpieces have lost credibility. We should not go to war unless there is ample, verified evidence that the American people, here in this country, would be endangered if not for military action.

No more wars for oil companies or the military industrial complex. No more wars that leave in their wake "collateral damage" where tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are left dead or maimed.

I always find it ironic that we don't have enough money for healthcare or Social Security, but there is never any hesitation to spend trillions of dollars on wars, drones, and killing machines.

I pretty much agree with all of this. I was only responding to what appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction rejecting what the US government says, in favor of what other, equally untrustworthy governments claims.

I don't think most ordinary people will ever really know the truth. The fact is, we will never know if what we're looking at is genuine evidence, and in many cases don't have the technical knowledge to evaluate raw evidence even if we did have access.

That said, I did find this pretty compelling:

http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/06/veter...

There are some names on that list that make me a little skeptical, though not all. And none of them make me near as skeptical as Brennan, Clapper and Alexander.

Submitted by CA renter on September 7, 2013 - 6:38pm.

SK,

We're in agreement about the inability and impracticality of us getting all of the information necessary, and being able to dissect and analyze it well enough to be fully informed about this situation...or any foreign policy issues where there are convoluted relationships with various parties that tend to go back and forth, not to mention a long history that often pre-dates even our own U.S. history.

This is why I tend to favor an isolationist and non-violent approach unless there is clear and compelling evidence that American lives, on our continent, are in danger.

Thanks for sharing that link, too. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. There are too many voices who oppose the "official" story being sold to us by people who have a history of lying. I sincerely hope we do not do anything stupid here.

Submitted by paramount on September 7, 2013 - 7:37pm.

It does seem we were misled on Fukushima as another example.

Submitted by Jazzman on September 9, 2013 - 11:51am.

SK and CA you are both spot on. Speculation, pontificating, and opining from the comfort of one's armchair may satisfy an inner need to understand, rationalize, and justify, but as you both mention the realities–whether deliberately misrepresented, or not–are missing so much detail the wrong conclusions are as likely to be drawn. It's a good habit to preface one's opinions with that admission, but then it's much harder to find any listeners.

Submitted by no_such_reality on September 9, 2013 - 3:55pm.

I'm stay waiting for someone to tell me what we gain by doing this?

Call me a cynic, but "what's in it for us?"

other than a feel good, 'we stopped a bad guy'. He'll just be replaced by another.

Submitted by Jazzman on September 10, 2013 - 11:49am.

I don't think it's always about, or should always be about "what's in it for us?" We are all part of humanity. If an old man drops his wallet on the sidewalk, by picking it up for him, you are not calculating what the gain is (I hope).

Submitted by paramount on September 11, 2013 - 10:08pm.

Wow, a Putin Op Ed in the New York Times!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinio...

Submitted by CA renter on September 12, 2013 - 2:44am.

paramount wrote:
Wow, a Putin Op Ed in the New York Times!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?_r=0

That was excellent.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on September 12, 2013 - 7:03am.

Lao tzu would probably say stay home, chop wood, carry water.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 12, 2013 - 12:15pm.

Doesn't anyone take exception to Putin's claim that Americans are not exceptional?

Submitted by SK in CV on September 12, 2013 - 12:22pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Doesn't anyone take exception to Putin's claim that Americans are not exceptional?

I'm sure someone does. I don't.

Submitted by no_such_reality on September 12, 2013 - 2:12pm.

Jazzman wrote:
I don't think it's always about, or should always be about "what's in it for us?" We are all part of humanity. If an old man drops his wallet on the sidewalk, by picking it up for him, you are not calculating what the gain is (I hope).

When you're dealing with it as a country, you should always understand what's in it for us.

Particularly, when contemplating messing in another country's civil war.

BTW, here's the people the let's do something crowd will support.

And yes, that's an execution.

Submitted by paramount on September 12, 2013 - 8:45pm.

Historically and speaking in terms of percentages, we are exceptional as far as freedom and wealth goes for the average Joe/Jane.

Freedom though ebbs and flows, I think it goes without saying that any American paying attention with critical thinking skills understands our freedoms have been under attack for probably a good 20 years or so, with attacks on our Liberties accelerating/intensifying post 9/11.

We may becoming less exceptional.

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