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View Diary: Radio intercepts convince German intel that Assad neither ordered nor approved the chemical attack (320 comments)

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  •  For any they authorized, they'd be responsible. (14+ / 0-)

    You could also make a case for negligence for any event that arose from not placing sufficient safeguards in place.

    The German intel casts doubt that Assad authorized a CW strike.

    •  Yesterday there was a diary advocating throwing $ (10+ / 0-)

      around to accomplish the diarist's objectives.  It's conceivable that $ were paid underlings to do this under Assad's nose to frame him.  It's also conceivable that the rebels did this.  

      Qui bono?

      The rebels did, not Assad.

      This whole thing should be thoroughly investigated, because it stinks to high heavens.  It's unconscionable that the US is arming these rebels who are affiliated with Al Qaeda.  We should be up in arms over this maneuver alone and investigate that aspect of this intrigue with a fine-tooth comb.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 05:54:58 AM PDT

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      •  We probably make an equal amount (4+ / 0-)

        of money regardless of which side we arm with WMDs. I guess that's the fair and equitable way in a free market system.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:09:59 AM PDT

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      •  stinks to high heavens (7+ / 0-)

        is the correct term. Many people seem blinded by "glittering" misinformation it seems.

        So, we choose to believe German intelligence which says that Assad did not order nor approve any CW attacks. This leaves us with someone else from military command. It can't be many for sure.
        Questions arise: Are they loyal to Assad or not?

        If still loyal, why would they disobey him? No strategic advantage in using them on such a small scale and in the particular area they were used. How would such an attack benefit the Assad side? The only thing that it would do (and did) was to activate direct attack from the US as this was (coincidence!!) the trigger set forth by Obama.

        What would be the consequence of a US attack? Possibly the end of Assad and his regime including the alleged perpetrators. What part of that makes any sense?

        If not loyal to Assad, then they belong to the other side which makes the moral dilema even worse. They used CW to frame Assad and I'm supposed to cheer them as freedom fighters?

        •  No strategic advantage on a small scale ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justanothernyer

          which leaves us with the conclusion that this was a feeler to see whether they could get away with using them. Assad carefully maintained plausible deniability by reprimanding the local commander after they used them.

          if they had gotten away with it without any adverse reaction on the world stage, they would have used them on a large scale.

          This is the only possibility that seems at all likely to me.

      •  Qui bono? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eglantine

        Assad certainly wasn't hurt. The nations that supported him before the attack are still supporting him, and any airstrikes the U.S. ordered would have been very limited and ineffective.

        One theory is that Assad had his generals use chemical weapons as a test to see whether he could get away with it without political repercussions. If he gets away with it, then he scales up the use of chemical weapons, which would have certainly benefitted him greatly. If not, then he claims that the commanders did it without his permission, and the situation will blow over quickly.

        This is an extremely smart gamble on Assad's part, especially if he is desperate and afraid he is going to lose the war.

        •  Chemical weapons are not militarily effective. (4+ / 0-)

          Even if it turned out Assad learned he could make wholesale use of them, it would not make much of a difference in the civil war.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:25:46 AM PDT

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          •  It has been reported (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo, cotterperson, eglantine

            that they made a big difference in the Iran-Iraq war.  I incline to think that makes sense.

          •  How Not? (3+ / 0-)

            If chemical weapons didn't bring foreign intervention, why wouldn't Assad use them? How is killing thousands with each attack from afar not militarily effective? In fact chemical weapons are among the only WMD that are militarily effective without prohibitive costs, especially if one side has a monopoly on them.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:29:33 AM PDT

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            •  They're unreliable. (4+ / 0-)

              Why Assad Won't Use His Chemical Weapons:

              But even these weapons have become obsolete for states. They are rarely strategically decisive, they have been obviated by advanced conventional arms (and, of course, nuclear weapons), and they are stigmatized. That is why all but six states belong to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the production and use of chemical weapons. Syria's weapons, produced beginning in the early 1970s with Egyptian assistance, have been intended to deter Israel's nuclear capability and to offset Syrian conventional inferiority. It's unlikely they could have served either purpose, but designed for use in large-scale, state-to-state warfare, Syria's chemical weapons are particularly unsuited for the urban fights that have characterized the civil war. Close-quarters combat renders chemical weapons not only ineffective but counterproductive; with sarin or VX, a simple wind shift could turn the deadly agent against the Syrian military.

              The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

              by lysias on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:29:51 AM PDT

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              •  War Is Messy (0+ / 0-)

                It's true that these weapons are treacherous to those who use them. But all of Assad's gambits have been risky - he's a risk taker, and rewarded with victories for it. Meanwhile there's good reason to believe he has no choice but to retain rule by force, no matter how much, because he has no escape anywhere - much like Kadaffy. And indeed the chemical attack we know of was militarily very effective, without literal blowback onto Assad's forces.

                Actual events have proven that using chemical weapons in this war costs only the possiblity that foreign powers will escalate unacceptably to Assad. The rest of the arguments against it have been disproved.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:42:36 AM PDT

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        •  His country, Syria, is destroyed by this invasion (4+ / 0-)

          of "rebels."  He has not benefited, nor has his country benefited by this so-called "civil" war.  

          Qui bono?

          Well, the folks who joined PNAC said they would like to see Syria in rubbles.  So, they benefit by the outcome.

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:15:14 AM PDT

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          •  Maybe if he hadn't started violently cracking down (0+ / 0-)

            on peaceful protests, there wouldn't be any "rebels."

            It's amazing to me how "progressives" that attack perceived "authoritarians" are so quick to fawn on murderous dictators in other parts of the world, so long as they oppose the US.

            All of the fawning over Putin (who, though not a murderous dictator, is pretty damn nasty) is making me sick as well. When the Snowden thing happened we had a lot of people praising Russia etc.

            You know the same Russia that disappears journalists, throws political opponents in jail or poisons them overseas, and throws people in prison for basically being LGBT.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:27:50 PM PDT

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      •  Assad Benefits (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eglantine

        Assad will now get to win his civil war without interference from the US/UK/France. Russia gets to keep its profitable client with the Russian Navy Mediterranean port. The rebels lose the chemical weapons stake the rest of the world had in Assad's defeat.

        Yes, honest investigations are necessary. The whole affair demands lots of "post mortem", especially considering the weight of so many mortems, plus the many more mortems we'd get (or still might) if disarmament weren't the result. We cannot ignore that the chemical escalation, however it occurred, was (hopefully) a fluke in Syria that will not likely get us out of these problems elsewhere. The entire Arab Spring of countries has similar no-win (for the US) conflicts, as does Pakistan, Afghanistan, and plenty of other places where jihad has been suppressed for generations by tyrants. If we don't develop a strategy for getting peace without tyranny in these many places, we will see at least one of them again escalate as the world continues to flood with terrifying weapons and people bent on using them.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:27:17 AM PDT

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        •  We make the weapons. (0+ / 0-)

          Assad has been weak for some time. There are umpteen factions in Syria fighting amongst themselves. Assad's forces may have been compromised by outside influence/bribery. Who ordered the attack? We may never be told the truth.

          Honest investigations? That won't happen.

          A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

          by onionjim on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:44:26 AM PDT

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      •  The US has not yet given arms to rebels (0+ / 0-)

        in Syria. Congress approved arms for Syrian rebels, but so far none have been delivered. That's been reported several places; you could google the question.

        “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

        by SoCalSal on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:17:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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