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Ake Sellstrom hands over report on Syrian gas to Ban Ki-moon
Ake Sellstrom, chief weapons inspector of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,
hands the group's report on Syrian gas to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Only a few people can have been surprised at the 38-page report today from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, concluding that there is "clear and convincing" evidence that chemical weapons were used to kill hundreds of people Aug. 21 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.

The investigators were not mandated to determine who launched the attack and their report does not include speculation in that regard. However, they identified the surface-to-surface rockets used to deliver the chemicals, their launching systems and their trajectories. Those findings strongly implicate the military forces of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad in the attacks. They also did not specify the exact number of fatalities. The Obama administration has said 1,429 were killed. Stated the report:

The environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used ... in the Ghouta area of Damascus.'

The conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic ... against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale.

Below the fold, you can read more.

Here's U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the report:

The team interviewed more than 50 survivors, medical personnel and first responders. It applied a rigorous and objective selection process designed to identify survivors who may have been exposed to chemical agents. It assessed these individuals’ symptoms and collected biomedical samples, including from hair, urine and blood.

The Mission also documented and sampled impact sites and munitions, and collected 30 soil and environmental samples – far more than any previous such United Nations investigation.

This is a war crime, and grave violation. [...] This is the most significant use of chemical weapons against civilians" since Saddam Hussein used them in Halabja in 1988 [...]

It is for others to decide whether to pursue this matter further to determine responsibility. It was a grave crime and those responsible must be brought to justice as soon as possible.

He said he has asked the chemical weapons inspectors to return to Syria "as soon as we have an agreement with the Syrian government."

While the focus is now on working out the sticky details of that arrangement agreed to by President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin to put Syria's chemical weapons under international supervision until they are safely destroyed, Ban Ki-moon reminded the world of broader issues in the Syrian conflict:

We should not lose sight of the broader perspective of the Syrian crisis. The terrible loss of life on 21 August was the result of one of many attacks that have collectively killed more than 100,000 people in Syria during the past two and a half years.

The UN Commission of Inquiry has reported that Government and pro-government forces have committed murder, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, rape and torture against civilians. It has also reported that anti-government armed groups have committed murder, executions, torture and hostage-taking. There has been indiscriminate shelling of civilian neighbourhoods by all sides. Yet arms continue to flow to the country and the region. [...]

The humanitarian situation is desperate. Food supplies are dangerously low in some places.  We lack access to many people in need.  People are living under siege.  Families face intolerable choices between the risk of remaining in place and the risk of taking flight.  Communities that once lived in relative harmony are now torn with sectarian tension.  One third of the country’s people have fled their homes -- the largest flows of refugees and internally displaced persons in many years, causing instability across the region.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has registered more than two million Syrian exiles in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, more than half of them children.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (134+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, annieli, Garrett, Trix, Hey338Too, Horsefeathers, Aunt Martha, Polly Syllabic, navajo, Brecht, Yoshimi, Matt Z, TomP, guyeda, jrooth, kimoconnor, Lisa Lockwood, whizdom, Russ Jarmusch, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, dibsa, JVolvo, antooo, fran1, NYWheeler, Johnny Q, Livvy5, AoT, Smoh, Mokurai, raptavio, edwardssl, eglantine, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, Chaddiwicker, elwior, Jim P, earicicle, belinda ridgewood, Brown Thrasher, jayden, CwV, cotterperson, Quantumlogic, Witgren, cocinero, Empower Ink, limpidglass, citisven, Deep Texan, flumptytail, rexxnyc, middleagedhousewife, AnnetteK, glendaw271, hulibow, Sylv, Sophie Amrain, SoCalSal, reginahny, enhydra lutris, Denise Oliver Velez, Catte Nappe, ontheleftcoast, Denver11, smartdemmg, Railfan, sewaneepat, Simplify, BachFan, blueoasis, vcmvo2, atana, blue aardvark, blackjackal, Yasuragi, rhutcheson, Texknight, anodnhajo, david78209, Larsstephens, CenPhx, citizenx, MKinTN, hardart, S F Hippie, Bob Love, Shockwave, MrLiberal, FG, jnhobbs, Assaf, Colorado is the Shiznit, scamperdo, kevinpdx, collardgreens, GoGoGoEverton, StellaRay, wishingwell, boran2, Burned, Ender, Desert Scientist, Tunk, chuckvw, pgm 01, onionjim, Eric Nelson, Dr Swig Mcjigger, congenitalefty, quill, Superskepticalman, bear83, Mr MadAsHell, tmay, Tamar, alice kleeman, luckylizard, ratcityreprobate, jck, high uintas, davehouck, stevenwag, majcmb1, MT Spaces, Just Bob, kerflooey, emal, just another vet, LinSea, bobatkinson, El Mito, ewmorr, julesrules39

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:04:22 PM PDT

  •  the smog of war (29+ / 0-)
    We should not lose sight of the broader perspective of the Syrian crisis. The terrible loss of life on 21 August was the result of one of many attacks that have collectively killed more than 100,000 people in Syria during the past two and a half years.
    The UN Commission of Inquiry has reported that Government and pro-government forces have committed murder, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, rape and torture against civilians. It has also reported that anti-government armed groups have committed murder, executions, torture and hostage-taking. There has been indiscriminate shelling of civilian neighbourhoods by all sides. Yet arms continue to flow to the country and the region. [...]

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:09:23 PM PDT

    •  God damn, I can't stand when people argue (22+ / 0-)

      that way.

      As in, here, on Kos, having to wade through endless bullshit about NO PROOF OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS USED!

      I am largely against intervention in Syria, but let's make intellectually honest arguments, not lame "YOU CAN'T PROVE ANYTHING!" type horseshit.

      •  Nobody has ever (16+ / 0-)

        argued no CW's were used, just who used them? Its still open for debate

        "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

        by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:26:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, how I wish this were so. (9+ / 0-)

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:31:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok maybe it has happened (6+ / 0-)

            but I peronsonally have not seen it. Ive seen plenty of discussion on who used them as that is still up in t he air air regardless of how confident some people are.

            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:33:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think this report (27+ / 0-)

              will put to bed any mumbling about whether CW were in fact used.

              It's also important to remember that the Aug 21 massacre was not the only time CW were used in this conflict, just the most deadly. There are fourteen known attacks with CW.

              I think it's plausible that government forces acting without authorization perpetrated these, but simply put the rebels do not have the capability to conduct strikes on this scale. The only plausible actors who could have done this would be Assad or forces within his government.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:40:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are also (9+ / 0-)

                reports of rebels using Sarin. And in 2012 US/European contractors were training the Rebels in targeting CW sites in Syria in order to 'secure' and 'handle' the weaponry. Google 'CNN, contractors, Syria, CW', it should be the first story up.

                "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:56:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                  •  And not with 50 liter payload capacity, either. (9+ / 0-)
                    •  It seems most likely (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT, LieparDestin, Johnny Q, bewild

                      that someone in Assad's regime did this. But I do reserve some small doubt as to who actually did it.

                      The act of firing these weapons into a neighborhood is unspeakable and fucking awful. Its a shame that this war has gone on and on. Assad needs to get his shit together.

                      And the outside mercenaries are out of control. This is a proxy war and a very bad situation all around.

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

                      by onionjim on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:18:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Because of the large payload it's clear (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        guyeda, VClib, askew, merrywidow

                        that it was the Syrians reponsible.

                        But Stephen Johnson, a former British Army chemical warfare expert who is now a forensic expert at Cranfield University, at Shrivenham, said if the estimate of a 50-liter payload was correct, only the Syrian government could have achieved such a large volume of production.

                        “That’s a fairly substantial amount to produce yourself and beyond the opposition in its wildest dreams,” he said. Suggestions that the Syrian rebels seized or secretly obtained such amounts, Mr. Johnson added, lacked credibility. “It’s more supportive of the argument that it was the government,” he said.

                  •  I think The Rebels Have Rockets (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Q, emal, bewild, protectspice

                    We do not know what Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Al Qaida, etc. has provided to the rebels in terms of weapons.  We also do not know what the rebels have captured from Syrian forces.  In addition the Rebels have been posting on social media some ot their ingenious creations of weapons to launch IEDs and other weapons to include chemicals.  

                    I do not put it pass Al Qaida or some of the other foreign fighters from the Caucuses providing the rebels with  weapons and/or sarin they have gotten from other battles in Iraq, Chechnya, Libya, and Yemen etc.. Syria has a porous border...these rudimentary weapons can be gotten anywhere and  re-engineered to launch sarin.  

                    I don't see the logic of the Asad regime launching a chemical attack...there was nothing to gain from that.  But I do see the logic of the Rebels and their Al Qaida cohorts using such weapons.  

                    Any way,  we do not have enough folks on the ground to make any conclusions on this issue...just need to keep an open mind.

                    CW was used but by whom?????

                    Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

                    by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:42:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Or you could link it yourself. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:24:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  But the article you mentioned (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Just Bob

                  isn't about 'securing' and 'handling' (with sarcastiquotes) but about actually securing the sites so the weapons can't be used.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:25:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it wasnt sarcastic quotes (4+ / 0-)

                    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/...

                    it was 'vague' quotes because I am at work and do not have the article at hand. But now on lunchbreak Ive found it for you and posted it above.

                    It  says the contractors are on the ground helping monitor and train for securing these facilities.

                    The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.

                    The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

                    Something very well could have gone wrong in an attempt to take a facility. maybe a general freaked and thought they were being overrun and acted out of terror. maybe they was a sheer asshole and did it on purpose. regardless there is a chance both sides inititated the invent.

                    I am not a fan of intervention oeither side. the videos on liveleak of the rebels beheading assad soldiers and vice versa makes me thing we should stay far far away.

                    I just am not so quick to buy the media/intelligence community line when it comes to pushing towards military intervention.

                    "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                    by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:32:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  But not the rockets (17+ / 0-)

                  The sarin was delivered by identifiable rockets. These are rockets known to be in the possession of the Syrian government but not known to be possessed by the rebels. Further, some of the rockets have serial numbers allowing their place of manufacture to be identified - the old Soviet Union.

                  I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                  by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:43:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So when Rebels (8+ / 0-)

                    overrun these Syrian air bases and other positions, they find nothing left behind?

                    "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                    by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:44:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You don't just "find a rocket, fire a rocket". (7+ / 0-)

                      These things take more than a little training to operate, you know...

                      •  Yeah, we've been (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mr Robert, Johnny Q, emal, protectspice

                        doing that training for months and months now. Now we're not only training them how to use them, we're delivering them.

                        Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as Turkey are all also providing arms and training.

                        http://www.globalpost.com/...

                        As well as:

                        http://www.globalpost.com/...
                        Syrian rebels have made use of the deadly nerve agent sarin in their war-torn country's conflict, UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte has said.

                        "According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas," del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, said in an interview with Swiss radio late on Sunday.

                        "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                        by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:58:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Spare me from Assad apologists. (6+ / 1-)

                          Clearly nothing will convince you that he is a monster well deserving of an early exit from the world stage...

                          •  No I believe he deserves to get (0+ / 0-)

                            obviously (like Saddam) he is a bad man. One of the worst of the worst. But at the present any 'solution' only makes the problem worse? Who takes his place? The guys eating lunks and chopping off heads in front of school children?

                            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:05:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I see nothing there that says anyone (10+ / 0-)

                          has trained the rebels in the use of the SM-14 launch system nor the 330 mm indigenous Syrian government rocket.

                          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:06:23 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Defectors? (5+ / 0-)

                            Trial and error? Im sure they are not going to go into details about what exact weapons they trained them with. Im surprised that CNN article even exists to be honest.

                            I don't really disagree with anything youre saying, I just say that the other sides arguments are just as compelling, and when there so much up in the air, maybe dropping bombs is not the best solution.

                            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:08:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The arguments are quite compelling (7+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, bear83, Yoshimi, Old Sailor, askew, Cedwyn, vcmvo2

                            Weapons which no one has ever claimed the rebels possess were fired from Syrian government controlled territory - in fact, likely from Army bases - into rebel controlled territory.

                            What could be clearer?

                            I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                            by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:10:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, which do you find more credible... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Oracle2021

                          ...del Ponte's group, which never set foot in Syria and did nothing more than interview 1500 refugees/exiles, or this report based on physical evidence from inspectors on the ground?

                          According to AFP (emphasis mine):

                          She [del Ponte] said there was "still not irrefutable proof, (but) very strong suspicions, concrete suspicions that sarin gas has been used. Assistance to victims shows this."

                          [...]

                          Set up two years ago at the behest of the UN Human Rights Council, the commission has so far been unable to gain access to Syria as Damascus has ignored repeated requests for entry.

                          Instead, it has interviewed over 1,500 refugees and exiles as a basis for its reports and its charges that both the government forces and their allies and opposition forces of carrying out war crimes in Syria, where more than 70,000 people have been killed since the violence exploded in March 2011.

                          We should recall the "information" given to the US by various Iraqi exiles, many of whom were jockeying for influence and (potential) power in a post-Saddam Iraq.

                          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                          by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:38:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Al Qaida and the other foreign figters (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        aliasalias, protectspice

                        Are trained and battle tested and therefore can fire those rockets.   Remember the Stinger Missiles in Afghanistan?  Remember the RPG's that were reversed engineered in Somalia.  Some of the Rebels have military training too.  So yes the rebels can use Asad's weapons.

                        Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

                        by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:47:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  You might find a rocket launcher (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bear83, Yoshimi, Old Sailor, askew, AoT

                      You might also find rockets.

                      You probably won't find anyone who will give you lessons in using the machinery.

                      You don't just drop in a rocket and point it at the target. And experiments tend to result in loud boom events with you nearby.

                      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                      by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:05:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thats where the whole (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        protectspice

                        'we're training the rebels' thing comes into play.

                        Go to liveleaks.com. you will see plenty of rebels using antiaircraft machinery, rocket launchers, mortars, etcetc.

                        "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                        by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:07:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No one is training the rebels in these weapons (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT, bear83, Yoshimi, Old Sailor, askew

                          Provide a shred of evidence. If you don't have one, you may as well assume as super-genius mutant who figures out complex weapons by looking at them.

                          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:11:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Aha! It's the Master from Doctor Who (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            blue aardvark

                            released from final death without regeneration yet again, in yet another plan for planetary and then galactic domination. All will be revealed in the 50th Anniversary Special in November, except for the bits that are kept secret for the Christmas Special. And the next season, of course, and then whatever else Moffat has cooked up in that bent Paisley-boy mind of his.

                            So, apparently the plan goes

                            • Training
                            • Poison gas attacks
                            • ????????
                            • Power! Unlimited, eternal, cosmic power! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

                            So the Master is a gnome. Who knew? But it explains so much.

                            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                            by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:22:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  It's done all of the time (0+ / 0-)

                        The jihadist have done this all the time in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Africa.  Wake up...Yes they can launch these rockets...

                        Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

                        by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:50:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  LP - the rebels have yet to overrun any of the CW (0+ / 0-)

                      stockpiles, which are heavily defended.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:23:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We do not know this for fact (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Johnny Q, emal

                        I would question that assumption...I believe the reason Asad wants the UN monitoring and destroying these sites is because he can no longer with certainty control these CW sites anymore. What a game changer for the rebels and Al Qaida if they have these sites under their control...what a peril for the world...Let's hope the UN can get in there quickly and gain full control of these sites...

                         

                        Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

                        by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:55:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Put to bed among whom? (4+ / 0-)

                Did the birth certificate put to be the CT about the President's birth?

                Among people of good faith, yes. Sadly, there are a lot of people who are more concerned with getting what they want politically than in good faith.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:28:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Unauthorized government use may be... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raptavio, aliasalias

                ...more than merely "plausible."

                The recent German intelligence disclosures were interesting in this regard.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:53:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

                  those are indicative, not probative. Definitely plausible though.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:56:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If one's standard is "completely probative"... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...what, then, is sufficient proof, in your opinion?

                    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:29:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Please don't put in quotes (0+ / 0-)

                      things you're not quoting, in a context where it seems like you're quoting someone. I didn't say "completely probative."

                      But to your question, I think the "reasonable doubt" standard applies. Beyond that, however, I prefer more direct evidence.

                      That, of course, may not be coming.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:39:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Apologies for misquoting... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        raptavio

                        Well, today's UN report has a good deal to assuage "reasonable doubt."

                        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                        by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:35:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  About the use of chemical weapons, yes, (0+ / 0-)

                          but not about who used them.

                          The available evidence points strongly to the Assad regime, enough to convince me that the rebels cannot be responsible for the Aug 21 attack. The question of whether it was Assad himself or a rogue element within the government remains, but either scenario demands taking the weapons out of Assad's hands.

                          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                          by raptavio on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:38:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  If someone else used them and controls them (7+ / 0-)

          how will Assad turn them over?

          Assad can't have his cake and eat it too.

        •  The Rebel forces broke into Assad's chemical (14+ / 0-)

          weapons facilities so they could use them on themselves?

             And how did they get the rockets capable of delivering those weapons?
             And why would they have fired from government controlled territory?

             I think it's time to give up this faulty reasoning and focus on the issues at hand.
           

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:39:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no they broke into the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mr Robert, JesseCW, Johnny Q

            CW facilities to 'secure' the weapons (per CNN article on Rebels being trained to target CW facilities). The generals freaked and used them despite being denied permission to use them (german intel),

            How did they get the rockets capable? From Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, The Us, captured Syrian gear, etc.

            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:59:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why not apply Occam's Razor (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              and be done with it? The most likely and most plausible answer is that the Assad regime did this, just like they did the other smaller ones before.

              Why the desperate clinging to any answer but the most logical one? What interest is furthered by not believing it was Assad's forces? I don't get it, why insist on CTs for this?

              And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

              by high uintas on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:14:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Occam's Razor isn't particularly helpful (0+ / 0-)

                in political situations. The idea that we should look at the answer with the most evidence supporting it as being correct should be a guide instead. In which case we can pretty convincingly say that Assad is responsible. But Occam's razor is something different. I don't know what the most parsimonious answer would be. That there was a mistake in the machinery and it accidentally fired.

                •  No (0+ / 0-)

                  It's that Assad's forces did this. He had the CW. He had the capability and he had the motivation. Simplest answer to what happened.

                  And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

                  by high uintas on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:38:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It is the answer with the most evidence (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    high uintas

                    Which is different than the simplest answer. There's a big difference. Once you start taking motivation and capability and other human emotions into play then you don't get anything simple.

                    And to be clear, I'm not arguing Assad isn't responsible. I'm saying that Occam's Razor doesn't help in these situations.

                    •  I'm not assuming that you are AoT (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      I just think that it is the simplest explanation, but I do get your drift.

                      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

                      by high uintas on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:38:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  The are different factions within the opposition (5+ / 0-)

            that would have no problem on using any arms they could get on each other. The growing turmoil within the various rebel groups has caused a sharp increase of infighting between them.

          •  Have you heard of Taqfir/Salafism (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, the Al Qaida rebels will use these weapons even against their on family if they thought it would provide a greater gain for their goals. After all, their family would just go to heaven anyway as Martyrs for the cause.

            Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

            by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:59:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Who used CW is open for debate (25+ / 0-)

          in precisely the same sense that Global Warming and Creationism are open for debate. We have multiple lines of open source evidence, not depending on secret intelligence intercepts, pointing to government forces, and only the lying Denialists from Syria, Iran, and Russia claiming, without evidence, otherwise. And Carla del Ponte of the UN, also without evidence and without authorization, for unknown reasons. Not even the wingiest of wingnut Republicans is saying so.

          The secret intercepts give us all of the operational details of three days of preparations for a live weapons drill, then the launches, then panic in the Syrian government as they tried to find out who ordered the launches and get them stopped. They point to Gen. Maher Assad, President Bashar's nastier little brother, as the one who authorized the attacks. This gets us past the only reasonable question about the launches: Why would the Syrian President be loony enough to do it? Well, he apparently isn't, and he didn't. Apparently he has been turning down requests from field commanders to authorize use of chemical weapons for more than four months.

          There is nothing worse for a dictator than to be seen to be losing operational control of his own forces. Hence the need to get the CW out of Maher's control.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:41:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No matter who, the weapons will now be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LieparDestin, Tamar

          secured and no one can use them again, the whole goal of intervention

          •  well... unless (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mr Robert, Lepanto

            the rebels did indeed get their hands on some. then that would open up a really interesting/difficult scenario Washington.

            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:21:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know it is RT (5+ / 0-)

              but still interesting:

              Turkish prosecutors indict Syrian rebels for seeking chemical weapons — RT News

              A court indictment by the Turkish prosecutors into the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian rebels has once again highlighted fears this week that sarin toxic gas was used by the opposition and not the Assad government.

              The prosecutor in the Turkish city of Adana has issued a 132-page indictment, alleging that six men of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham tried to seek out chemicals with the intent to produce the nerve agent, sarin gas, a number of Turkish publications reported.

              The main suspect in the case, 35-year-old Syrian-national Hytham Qassap has been charged with “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “attempting to acquire weapons for a terrorist organization.” The other 5, all Turkish nationals are being charged with “attempting to acquire weapons for a terrorist organization.”

              Read the European view at the European Tribune

              by fran1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:30:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is this to; (8+ / 0-)

                http://uk.news.yahoo.com/...

                Syrian rebels have used the deadly nerve agent sarin in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, according to evidence from victims and doctors, UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte said.

                "According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas," del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor and a member of a UN commission of inquiry on Syria, said in an interview with Swiss Italian broadcaster RSI on Sunday.

                "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:36:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  del Ponte's group never entered Syria... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...and based their "findings" on nothing more than interviews with refugees and exiles, as well as (apparently) physicians involved in relief efforts.

                  I think the UN report released today is more credible in pointing toward use of CW by government forces than is del Ponte's in pointing toward rebel use.

                  Both are important if one's goal is the removal of CW, but I think you go with the more credible information first.

                  The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                  by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:30:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  "Some" in the hands of rebels (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              merrywidow

              is quite different from "all" in the hands of a national military.

              I assume that we are talking about a few kilograms of precursors here and there, as opposed to thousands of tons in major weapons depots with launch facilities and an entire trained chemical weapons unit in the Syrian Fourth Armored Division, under the direction of Gen. Maher al-Assad, Bashar's nastier little brother.

              Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

              by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:00:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Not to the slightest degree (11+ / 0-)

          Read the report. They have determined trajectories for at least two missiles.

          Those trajectories lead back to Damascus, to government controlled territory.

          Although the UN report does not say who launched the missile, as that is not their job, I will tell you that it was the Syrian government. In fact, based on HRW's information combined with the UN report, it appears likely that the launch sites were on Syrian Army bases.

          Army bases. The one place you can be damn certain the Israelis or rebels or whoever did NOT get access to for a false flag.

          That debate may be closed. Either Assad ordered it, or permitted it after the fact, or he has lost control. In any of those cases, getting the CW out of Syria is vital.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:41:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think getting the CW out (7+ / 0-)

            of Syria is vital, I just didn't think cruise missiles would help the cause.

            I do think assad is losing control and I don't want his generals with those weapons, and I definitely do not want the rebels with them, after the videos I just watched of them beheading supposed assad-men in frton of a group of schoolchildren.

            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:47:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fran1, LieparDestin, Yoshimi

              There are no good guys in Syria right now, so not letting any of the assorted bad guys have CW seems smart.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:03:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are good guys (5+ / 0-)

                The left seems to completely discount the fact that there are most definitely groups in Syria that are in fact fighting a civil war against a corrupt regime and outside groups have taken the opportunity to come in and commit atrocities, in addition to the government perpetrated atrocities. That doesn't make everyone who is against the government a bad person. There are a lot of people who are protecting themselves and their communities from both the government and the outside forces.

                •  There are good guys; they just aren't winning (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tamar

                  I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                  by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:29:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You are too Optimistic (0+ / 0-)

                  There are no good guys in Syria...their are two main credible fighting rebel factions...all belonging or heavily influenced by Al Qaida and the so called moderates are joining them...If they get in charge they will be far worse than Asad...Review the 60 minute interview with the former Deputy Director CIA last night...he is spot on except with hoping we can provide enough support to some rebel faction to cause Asad to participate in a negotiated settlement.  

                  The Rebels are bad news and very good propagandists and liars...if you lay down with Al Qaida you are not a good guy...IMHO

                  Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

                  by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:08:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You don't know what you're talking about (0+ / 0-)

                    And you're buying the intelligence communities nonsense hook line and sinker.

                    The Rebels are bad news and very good propagandists and liars...if you lay down with Al Qaida you are not a good guy...IMHO
                    There's hundreds of rebel groups and not all of them have any connection to al qaeda. And the ones that do have one out of necessity. When you've got a regime with chemical weapons coming after you then you take what support you can get. That might be shitty at times but it isn't evil.
                    •  About all the rebels have in common (0+ / 0-)

                      is that they want to turn Assad into a bloody smudge.  Once that unifying objective is gone, they will turn on each other.   In some places this has already happened.

                      There probably are "good people" in the fight, but they are grossly outnumbered by the murderous assholes on all sides.  Most of them are caught in the crossfire amongst the bastards.  They are probably the majority of the refugees the fighting has displaced.

                      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                      by Johnny Q on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:15:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I keep hearing people say that (0+ / 0-)

                        most of the rebels are murderous assholes, and then I look at where they get there info. Why is it that no one trusts the intelligence services until they say shit they believe. This whole "OMG, they're all evil!" schtick is getting old.

                        •  The problem is (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT, protectspice

                          there are no trustworthy Intelligence Services.  They are tasked not only with finding out what's going on, but spreading bullshit to keep others from finding out what's going on.

                          It's best to consider what they say as self serving bullshit unless backed up with further evidence.  But they've spread so much bullshit, actually finding that evidence is next to impossible...

                          And the whole goddamn thing starts....all over...again.

                          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                          by Johnny Q on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:37:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Go to liveleaks (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          protectspice

                          and watch the rebel videos. You can get it straight from their own camera-phones.  

                          Or visit This link. Warning, very graphic.

                          The sword rests briefly on his neck as a blindfolded man kneels under a clear blue sky.

                          Moments later, the executioner raises his right arm, slashes downwards and the prisoner is dead.

                          The whole barbaric episode is watched by a crowd of jeering men, many of them armed.

                          And sitting on a low wall only a few feet from where the wretched captive died so violently is a line of young boys.

                          They were still there as the dead man’s head was dumped on his body. Another child, even younger, was led by the hand past the corpse.

                          Link 2
                          A Syrian Catholic priest has been beheaded by jihadist fighters in Syria, it has been claimed.

                          The death of Franciscan Father Francois Murad has been confirmed by the official Vatican news agency.

                          The gruesome killing has raised further concerns about the West arming rebels in the fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

                          "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                          by LieparDestin on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 05:06:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So, because there are videos of rebels (0+ / 0-)

                            doing bad things all rebels are bad. That doesn't follow. I never said all the rebels were good, never. There are a ton of different groups, a ton, painting them all with the same brush is frankly ignorant.

                          •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Johnny Q

                            there are good groups, but once assad is gone instead of everyone fighting him, it is going to be a free for all amongst everyone else. That's why Im concerned with Assad being taken out. If there was someone better to put in his place sure, but there is not. Its  kind of the same way Saddam held Iraq together. Asshole? Sure. But at least he managed to keep the different factions from beheading each other daily.

                            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                            by LieparDestin on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:54:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm pretty sure it's already a free for all (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LieparDestin

                            I'm opposed to intervention either way. I think a partition is most likely.

                    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                      ISIS (I believe is their name) an Al Qaeda based group specifically went to Syria to fight because they believe in fighting the US 'wherever they are killing muslims' (ill provide you the link to the excellent story I just read about them once I am no longer at work, you may find it interesting).  They are definitely evil and not fighting out of necessity.

                      "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                      by LieparDestin on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 05:00:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah there are good rebels (0+ / 0-)

                  but once Assad is gone, they are far outnumbered by the radical groups

                  "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

                  by LieparDestin on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 04:58:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Plenty of people here did. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP
        •  That is no way true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell

          There were scads of people arguing that it was trumped up war mongering here.  We saw it.   There is no denying the Assad regime has countless supporters here

          •  That gas was not used? (6+ / 0-)

            I saw lots of debate about who launched the attack but I didn't know there was a debate about gas even being used. The videos pretty much confirmed that,

            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:52:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Believing (7+ / 0-)

            the rebels did the attack does not equate to being Assad regime supporters. It means we believe someone is trying to draw us into the conflict and we are suspicious after a decade of rushed into wars. Assad is a bad man. So are many other men we have no problem doing business with,

            "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

            by LieparDestin on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:53:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You shouldn't make up a position on facts based on (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bear83, askew

              what would be the most convenient for your predetermined policy position.

              In the reality-based community, we figure out the truth, then determine a position based on that.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:36:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think that's exactly LieparDestin's point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LieparDestin

                Previous discussions about who was responsible for the attack were about determining the facts before choosing what action to take, or, as you said "we figure out the truth then determine a position based on that."
                Thanks for your excellent job of elucidating that.

                While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

                by Tamar on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:20:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I haven't seen any Assad supporters here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, Tamar

            I have seen plenty of doubters buying into the CT that Obama is as bad as W on trying to lie us into war. I have seen some HRable commentary on the motives of posters here.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:03:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  See, e.g., (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe from Lowell

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              That is just a quick search.  Plenty more of these

              •  That wasn't supporting Assad (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, Johnny Q, emal, aliasalias

                That was opposing intervention.

                •  And the "response" was nothing but (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Johnny Q, aliasalias, protectspice

                  right wing rhetoric.

                  The left is disgusting in its support for bloodthirsty dictators.
                  MANY of those still fighting on the side of the Government, in militias or the military, are doing so for fear that if the Government falls their communities will be ethnically cleansed.

                  That's reality.  Those are the people "Mindful Nature" wants the US armed forces to shred into bloody bits.

                  "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

                  by JesseCW on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:57:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  To the pro war crowd (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tamar

                  it's all the same.  I don't like any of the sides in this mess and i fear that any "good guys" will be first against the wall whoever wins.

                  You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                  by Johnny Q on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:01:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  And again, you claim that opposing YOU = (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q, Oracle2021

                "supporting Assad".

                "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

                by JesseCW on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:54:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't Support Al Qaida (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Johnny Q

                  One can also say If you are for the rebels you are directly or indirectly for the extremists (or Al Qaida), who by the way don't give one IOTA for Syria...they just want a base of operations as free as it was for them in Afghanistan and Yemen to launch attacks against apostate regimes in the Middle East, Africa and the West.

                  If these extremist get in power the Alawites, Druze, Christians and other minority groups will be slaughtered.

                  I don't believe anyone supports atrocities from either quarter but getting the US involved in this mess is not the answer.  

                  I defer to our Allies...who do not want to be involved...perhaps their intelligence is telling them something totally different...

                  Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

                  by Oracle2021 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:15:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Lots of Saddam supporters also. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, Johnny Q

            Some of these posts sure bring back memories....

          •  What.The.Fuck (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, AoT, emal, aliasalias, protectspice

            Why don't you link to a few of these "scads" who support the Assad regime?

            This bullshit has to stop. Now.

            Many kossacks have been open to the possibility that a general in the Syrian army took it upon himself to launch CW without Assad's authorization.

            Some kossacks have expressed the view that perhaps a rebel group obtained CW and the capability to launch them.

            NO REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR AT THE GOS SUPPORTS THE ASSAD REGIME. NOT. A. ONE.

            Link it, or the shut the fuck up. You're not the only one who's been making the toxic claim that some kossacks are Assad "supporters" or "apologists." All of you need to cut that crap out. I will HR every such claim I see going forward, and I invite other kossacks to do so as well.

            Stop it.

            This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

            by WisePiper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:37:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you start seeing stuff like this (0+ / 0-)

              in response to the "Rebels gassed themselves" conspiracy theories that you do see trotted around on this site--and in the comments to this very diary too.

              Doesn't make them Assad supporters, just very, very gullible.

              And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

              by Pale Jenova on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:12:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  It's one big passive agressive argument. (9+ / 0-)

        The writers could be much more affective if they wrote why they opposed an attack other than being an Assad apologist.

        •  There has been plenty of commentary (7+ / 0-)

          opposing the proposed and now abandoned attack on somewhat substantive ground. Much of it is based on incorrect assumptions, but we could discuss many of those. Some are only worthy of pointing and laughing, of course.

          • Pacifism. Fine. I approve of Quakers and Buddhists, for instance. Then get off your duff and help the refugees, and don't whinge about the other 100,000+ deaths, or about anybody not doing anything. Or work on global poverty and oppression. It doesn't have to be Syria by itself. And then tell us how you are doing it, and how we can help.
          • Rocketing the CW depots would spread CW or precursor chemicals far and wide, and risk looting of CW. Yes, we know that. That is why Obama and Kerry have made it explicit that they would not attack CW depots, but only Command and Control.
          • Civilian deaths. Could be, although the idea was to use precision-guided cruise missiles on strictly military targets. We can discuss their claimed error rates and possible precautions.
          • You can't destroy CW in a war zone. You can't even secure it. Probably you can't even find it all. So we will take as much as we can find out of the war zone in international military convoys for destruction elsewhere, and press on with further inspections. This is the announced plan in front of the UN, now that Syria has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.
          • We should have only ever used diplomacy. Been there, done that, didn't even get a t-shirt. Clinton, Kerry, the Syrians, and the Russians have been discussing getting rid of Syrian CW for years. There was no reason to expect a breakthrough now.
          • We can't afford it. Come back and talk to me about that when you have reined in the MIC and NSA, and gotten rid of carbon and ag subsidies, and also reined in Wall Street. Then I will explain to you about how our annual deficits have been falling ever since the Wall Street bailouts, the stimulus, and Obamacare kicked in.
          • Attacking Syria means that we are supporting Al Qaeda. Or John McCain and the Republicans generally. Whichever is worse.
          • Obama is lying us into war, just like Bush. You are on the wrong site to be arguing such bald CT.
          • But, but, but, Obama, anyway!!! Benghazi!!! The IRS!!! Putin!!! No, no, no, troll!!! Who are you? Darrell Issa's sock puppet? I don't think he even knows how to work one.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:35:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The most effective diplomat we have had (5+ / 0-)

            the last few weeks is the US Sixth fleet.

            Assad is talking to us precisely because he fears what we can do. That, and the fact that he appears to be losing control of his own army, in which case the 6th is a nice reminder to his rogue commanders that there are forces more powerful than Assad in play.

            I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

            by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:47:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And a screen of Russian ships equipped with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnny Q, aliasalias

              anti-missile defenses are the only reason we didn't attack.

              See how the "tough guy" thing works both ways?

              Two world leaders were wise enough to step away from the brink and not risk WWIII.  That's a good thing.

              But that doesn't mean bringing things to that point in the first place was necessary or wise.

              "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

              by JesseCW on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:59:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Most of the discussion I saw was about proof (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Johnny Q, Oracle2021

        of who was behind the attack. I've seen serious reports suggesting: 1) Assad; 2) People within the Assad regime but not authorized to do this by Assad; 3) Rebels by accident; 4) Rebels on purpose.
        The reports that seemed to have the most facts were the first 3.
        I doubt if anyone here is defending Assad. Even if the UN had reported that they found he wasn't responsible for this particular attack, there's no doubt that he is responsible for all sorts of other horrible attacks. He is, as my son would have said when he was 2 1/2, a "bad man."
        It was more a question of: if this crosses the "Red Line," we better damn well make sure it was Assad crossing it and not some f&#k-up caused by attacks on rebels who were in possession of the chemical weapons.
        My particular desire to pin it down better is because of our country's sorry history of making up reasons to go to war under both Republicans (Bush et al) and Democrats (Lyndon Johnson). I was in high school & college during the Vietnam War. I have reason to be skeptical.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:09:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Snark - yes? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trix
  •  sticky (18+ / 0-)

    and getting stickier:

    Russia has emerged from the talks in Geneva insisting there was no threat of force. Kerry disagrees.
    Update: Russia has already accused the US of misunderstanding the Geneva deal. Reuters quoted the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, as saying that calls for a resolution under chapter 7 show a "lack of understanding".

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:14:23 PM PDT

  •  But Putin and Assad said Syrian Military (21+ / 0-)

    didn't do it.   What am I to believe now?  I mean Putin is the ultimate truth teller, and President Obama, Sec. Kerry are full of bullshit liars and the US intel community makes shit up.  

    For the folks who said "Wait until the UN Report" - does this change anything?

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:17:36 PM PDT

  •  Explains Putin and Assad cutting deal... (9+ / 0-)

    because they knew the gig was up when the UN report came and they couldn't keep claiming US just has a hard-on for war and no proof.

    Greatly misjudged things though as Congress would have still voted down the AUMF.

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:23:20 PM PDT

    •  Congress would have still voted down the AUMF (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Laconic Lib, Dburn, chuckvw

      because there is no money for another war and no stomach for us to intervene.

      We have got to put on our grownup clothes and understand that we cannot fix everything in this world that is goddamned wrong. I am so sick of our government and its alleged supporters "giving a shit" about everyone except the Americans that they claim to govern.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:36:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Putin is so certain that it was the rebels (5+ / 0-)

    who made this attack, I'm sure that he will support a referral to the ICC to determine who is responsible.

    Yeah, right.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:37:58 PM PDT

  •  British intelligence reports indicated (5+ / 0-)

    approximately 350 people killed, while the French report confirmed 281 killed, allowing that there could be as many as 1500 fatalities.

    MSF confirmed 355 dead.

    Given that all of these groups bar one have their own biases and objectives, it seems reasonable to include more than just the claim of the American Government.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    http://in.reuters.com/...

    "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:39:52 PM PDT

  •  I guess I'm not sure what this changes (2+ / 0-)

    We knew that chemical weapons were used and that it was most likely Assad's military who perpetrated it, but there's still no conclusive proof. And even if there was, would it matter? How does this change the equation? Either Syria disarms or it doesn't, and we either go to war or we don't. I'm not sure that this UN report changes any of that, although I do appreciate the information.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:42:57 PM PDT

  •  The report confirms (17+ / 0-)

    1.  A large scale CW attack occurred
    2.  Suface to surface rocket munitions were the delivery system
    3.  The agent was identified as Sarin (not homebrew pesticide)
    4.  The attack was widespread and coordinated.

  •  Well, we now know what it was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, Laurence Lewis

    and where it came from.
    Still don't know who gave the orders to use it.
    May never know.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:48:52 PM PDT

  •  Wendy Pearlman discusses the views of Syrian (9+ / 0-)

    refugees in today's Huffington Post. The piece may be of interest to several readers.  Here is an excerpt.

    Encouraged by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Syrians dared to go out into the street in 2011 to call for freedom and dignity. Armed only with their voices, they faced a regime determined to crush dissent with bullets and tanks, and then missiles that dropped indiscriminately from the sky. People tell me that they got used to the reality that they could be killed anywhere, at anytime. Their only fear was being tortured or raped in prison.

    After several months of peaceful protests, demonstrators took up weapons. Poorly armed forces carried out defensive and then offensive operations. The Assad regime responded with the full arsenal of war. Iran and Russia intervened to support Assad politically, financially, and militarily. Various international actors offered more limited aid to different components of the Syrian opposition. These countries' contradictory interests fed fragmentation within rebel ranks and facilitated the emergence of Islamist agendas side-by-side the uprising's original call for a civil, democratic state.

    Another set of voices worth listening to.
    •  Just heard a report from the refugee camps by (11+ / 0-)

      journalist Max Blumenthal, who just visited the camp in Jordan.  He's personally opposed to US military intervention but reports that, "Everyone in that camp wants the U.S. to hit Assad as hard as possible."

      One man who survived the massacre that killed 1000 in Homs said "if you're not going to hit Syria, then hit us, because our life is unbearable here. We're dying every day."

      Another said, "if the army has parked tanks in my village, destroy them. We can rebuild our homes".

      The camp in Jordan has 120,000 people living in wretched conditions. Blumenthal described it as "an open-air prison run the Jordanian military". Yet, there are "tens of thousands" of refugees just across the border, still waiting to cross over but prevented by the Jordanians from doing so.

      These people don't want "better aid". They want to go home.

      Background Briefing, KPFK-FM, 09-Sep-2013
      Interview starts at 18:25

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:45:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No one except the most egregious (7+ / 0-)

    of disinfo artists (your Alex Joneses and your Mike Riveros) were pretending that "no CW was used, it was a Gubmint Plot!". The vast majority of those of us questioning were very, very clear in the need to know WHO did this.

    Not WHAT did it. No matter how many times a handful of you fall all over yourselves to pretend otherwise, any "rumbling" wasn't about "oh, no, no, CW never happened". People wanted to know EXACTLY WHO was responsible before we "went to war".
     

    The intellectual dishonesty among those advocating for bombs and blood and death here are toxic to any reasonable discourse.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:53:38 PM PDT

    •  I am going to assume that even though... (8+ / 0-)

      ...your comment is not connected to any specific comment it's not directed at the diary itself.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:03:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all, MB (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        It is directed at those who think this report is somehow a reason to start dropping bombs on Syria within the next 48 hours.

        Sorry if I didn't make that clearer :(

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:05:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not this report. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tempus Figits

          The intelligence.

          And not 48 hours. Enough time for Congress to debate and vote.

          There is nobody, nobody, NOBODY using this report to push for bombing now that Syria has signed the CWC.

          Please check your facts before posting nonsense to the Internet.
          Beable van Polasm, alt.religion.kibology

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:51:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not at all advocating war (8+ / 0-)

          But if you continue to maintain there is doubt that the Syrian government forces did this I shall snark upon you. The UN report even provides serial numbers on the M14 rocket used - traceable back to the factory in the USSR.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:53:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Then you should probably be directing this comment (4+ / 0-)
          It is directed at those who think this report is somehow a reason to start dropping bombs on Syria within the next 48 hours.
          to another website, cuz since the Syrian agreement to rid itself of CW weapons under UN oversight, I haven't read of anyone at DKos who think we should use this report to commence bombing "in 48 hours".

          And even if there is a smattering of such individuals here, they are woefully few and far between.

          Hardly worth the "tongue-lashing" you felt compelled to make to ... well, whoever the hell you were directing it to.

        •  You want intellectual dishonesty? (6+ / 0-)

          Tell it to the false flag conspiracy theorists.

          Tell it to the people who decided on August 21 - and not a day before - that chemical weapons were no worse than conventional weapons.

          Tell it to the people who've spent years insisting that al Qaeda isn't al Qaeda if they're in the Arabian Peninsula, but who now describe everyone fighting against Assad's government as bin Laden's twin brother.

          The anti-war advocates have absolutely no leg to stand on to decry intellectual dishonesty.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is a strawman. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83

          Who on this thread called for bombing?

    •  As I have pointed out numerous times (4+ / 0-)

      in many Diaries, the intelligence points to Gen. Maher Assad giving the orders, without authorization from above, and panic resulting in the highest levels of the Syrian government.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:48:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And now we know (9+ / 0-)

      The UN report provides missile types and trajectories.

      Those trajectories lead back to Syrian government controlled territory near Damascus proper. In fact, the HRW report I diaried about suggests they came from Army bases.

      The missile types are known to be in the possession of the government, but have never been seen in the possession of the rebels. There was sarin on the missile fragments handled by the UN inspectors.

      If this be false flag, it is someone good enough to sneak onto Syrian Army bases, load sarin onto their own rockets, fire the rockets in a barrage, and then escape undetected - and exactly how one fires a rocket barrage quietly is beyond me.

      I think the logical thought process is "OK, Syrian government forces did this, now what"?

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:52:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where do *I* mention "false flag"? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, WisePiper

        Honest to God, that's another example of "intellectual dishonesty"--lumping everyone who is not hip-hip-hooraying the arrival of this report into one big catch-all group of whackos.

        Seriously, I'd like you to point out where I called this a "false flag operation". Links are helpful.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:19:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it is not the Syrian government (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, citizenx, askew

          then it is someone else.

          If it is someone else they have gone to a lot of work to make it look like the Syrian government.

          That meets the definition of "false flag" even if you didn't type those words.

          Do you concede that Syrian government forces launched this attack? If not, you are relying upon a false flag argument regardless of your actual choice of words.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:31:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In other words, NO, I did not. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, WisePiper

            You simply engaged in the most comic of reaching to make your point:

            That meets the definition of "false flag" even if you didn't type those words.
            What  ridiculous, petulant nonsense...

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:09:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              citizenx

              I see from your sig line you are expert in the twisting of language.

              Carry on pretending that an attack staged by one party to appear as though it came from another is not a false flag - at least not when lunachickie is describing it.

              You didn't answer my question.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:27:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q

                I love how some of you try to make it about "another person" instead of "the subject at hand".

                What this is about is some of the comments around here alluding that we're all a bunch of wussies for wanting the UN (or any other objective party) to take a look at WHO did it and "was it worth it?". YES. IT WAS WORTH IT.

                So there we have it. Hardly CT to suppose such a thing, but if you think that little blog opinion somehow says otherwise, or if you think I owe you some kind of "explanation" for it, you can take what you get here or you can indulge yourself in another petulant round of pointless insinuation. It's still your opinion, which you're entitled to, even when it's demonstrably wrong.  

                This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:46:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Still not conceding the obvious that the (0+ / 0-)

                  Syrian army carried out the attacks.

                  Self-delusion is worst of all. Acknowledge the government did this or you won't be thinking clearly on this topic.

                  I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                  by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:01:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Point your authoritative demands (0+ / 0-)

                    in the general direction of someone who gives a damn what a stranger on a blog thinks of them, personally.

                    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                    by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:12:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You don't reply to my comments because (0+ / 0-)

                      you don't care. Blogging is always at least a little arrogant, no? You throw your ideas out there, as I do, in the hopes they'll be read.

                      I actually kind of like you most of the time, but sometimes you are annoying. This is one of them. If the Syrian government didn't do it, someone went to a lot of effort to frame them. That's what I call false flag, and I'm just surprised you don't think you at least implied that someone was doing that.

                      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                      by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:16:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I replied (0+ / 0-)

                        to your comments here to point out the folly of the CT argument painted with such a ridiculously broad brush. I was a little more specific here.

                        Really, I don't know what other kind of answer you believe you require, nor do I think it really matters at this point. If that doesn't float your personal boat, that's going to have to be your own cross to bear.  
                         

                        The vast majority of those of us questioning were very, very clear in the need to know WHO did this.

                        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                        by lunachickie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:02:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  at moment, this is (pragmatically) best outcome (3+ / 0-)

    no US attack (though threat remains)
    assad gives up CW
    russia and US working together

    once the CW are brought out of Assad control then perhaps, hopefully, US and Russia working on this can then take next practical good step, a ceasefire

    question of who should pay for the warcrime (of CW use) remains open - but that can be pursued on another track, by whatever court wants to assert jurisdiction (International Criminal Court I'd guess).  Sending 5 or 10 jerks to prison is less important than preventing murder of another 100,000 civilians (though of course imprisoning warcriminals should deter warcrimes)

  •  so now we have confirmation that CW were used (7+ / 0-)

    but still not who did it.

    And if even we did know and it turned out to be the Syrian government, it would not justify a unilateral attack by America.

    Meanwhile the war continues, and as long as Assad sticks to conventional weapons he can slaughter as many people as he likes without international outcry. Certainly neither the US nor the Russians have pushed for a peace settlement.

    No one is interested in stopping this war, which is now a proxy war between US, Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Caught between these forces, Syria will be pulled apart like a chew toy by a pack of snarling dogs.

    The CW issue is at the moment a political football, a sideshow. Assad makes a big show of disposing of the CW and buys himself some time to finish off the rebels (with Russian support). Obama hopes to catch Assad breaking the terms of the deal and thus find a stronger casus belli; he would never have agreed to the deal if he didn't think Assad would renege.

    Meanwhile both US and Russians smile through their teeth for the cameras while escalating the proxy war like mad, each jockeying furiously for advantage.

    It's supremely cynical.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:16:00 PM PDT

    •  The rockets used strongly suggest Assad forces. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, bear83, Matt Z

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We do know who did it (16+ / 0-)

      UN report confirms trajectories and types of rockets.
      Trajectories lead back to Syrian controlled territory.
      Types of rockets are known to be used by Syrian government, not known to be used by rebels.

      What else do you want?

      BTW, "Syrian controlled territory" per Human Rights Watch is on or near Syrian Army bases.

      These rockets make quite a racket when launched. So, either someone could launch rockets from Syrian Army bases without the Syrian Army noticing ... or they launched them. Choose wisely.

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:56:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What we know is what the overwhelming (0+ / 0-)

        evidence has made clear for quite some time prior to the release of the U.N. report - it is highly probable that Syrian military forces launched the CW, either with or without Assad's authorization.

        So, how about responding substantively to the comment you've attached yours to.

        What now? If the diplomatic track falls apart, are you or aren't you in favor of the U.S. unilaterally bombing Syria with cruise missiles?

        This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

        by WisePiper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:04:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm guessing that the attacks were authorized (0+ / 0-)

          by Assad's brother, not Assad himself.

          My next move if diplomacy falls apart would be to demand that Bashar al-Assad turn over those responsible to stand trial.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:05:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, under the threat of attack (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            for non-compliance?

            Are you in favor of the U.S. unilaterally attacking if Syria refuses to comply with whatever demands are made?

            This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

            by WisePiper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:09:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have never advocated unilateral attack (0+ / 0-)

              Still don't.

              The threat thereof, though, is a useful tactic. It concentrates Assad's mind wonderfully, and that of his subordinates.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:17:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's the thing, though. (0+ / 0-)

                A threat is meaningless if it's not believable.

                Polling of the American people still does not support a unilateral attack. Whip counts of the Congress show it's highly unlikely to be authorized. If Congress doesn't write an AUMF, it would be foolhardy for Obama to launch an attack.

                We all know this. You think Assad doesn't?

                In order to make the threat credible, support will have to be drummed up to demonstrate it's really on the table. Are YOU willing to play a role in drumming up support for that of which you disapprove?

                The threat is empty. We all need to be discussing ways of helping to get humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

                (If Obama does unilaterally attack, without the support of the citizenry and without Congressional and U.N. approval, he will destroy the remainder of his presidency. Seems to me that you (as a supporter of the President) might want to lend your efforts to an intervention here - i.e. making it clear to him that it's time to proactively move on to aid Syria, and drop all the bellicose threats that aren't believable anyway.)

                This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

                by WisePiper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:38:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the evidence is overwhelming (0+ / 0-)

                  that Assad and Putin think the threat is credible.

                  Because all the diplomacy in the world couldn't get Assad to even admit having CW until the 6th fleet showed up on his doorstep. Years and years of effort, and suddenly, deal!

                  I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                  by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:49:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Iran is wanting to talk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, lysias

    about disarmament.

     They just restored Facebook and Twitter access, closed down since 2009.

    There are opinions that even negotiating with Iran is to be avoided, and a military attack on Syria  might do the trick

    •  "There are opinions" Whose opinions... (6+ / 0-)

      ...are you referring to here?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:32:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Emily Landau for one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lysias, Meteor Blades

        Fred Kagan, Eliot Abrams, among others.
        John McCain, Lindsey Graham.  Joe Lieberman

        at least 44 Senators are on record as skeptics on the merits of negotiations

        "On the other hand, if the sessions in Moscow produce no substantive agreement, we urge you to reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists," they wrote.  "As you have rightly noted, ‘the window for diplomacy is closing.'  Iran's leaders must realize that you mean precisely that."

        The letter is also signed by Charles Schumer (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), James Risch (R-ID), Ron Wyden (D-OR), David Vitter (R-LA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), John Boozman (R-AR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Scott Brown (R-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jeff Merkeley (D-OR), Daniel Coats (R-IN), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Lee (R-UT), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Mark Begich (D-AK).

        44 Senators urge Obama to cut off Negotiations

        Another similar letter this August had 70 senators signing

    •  Not sane opinions (0+ / 0-)

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:15:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do the rebels have surface-to-surface rockets? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, highacidity, joe from Lowell, bear83
    •  Yes, but not 140mm multiple rocket launchers. (12+ / 0-)

      At least, according to this guy. I was googling around for info on the munitions and the trajectory information. Found this.

      In the 18 months I've been studying the arms and munitions in the conflict I have never seen either type of munition used by the opposition. The opposition has rocket artillery, for example the 107mm Type-63 multiple rocket launcher and the Croatian 128mm RAK-12, but I've never seen any sign of the 140mm systems (such as the BM-14) that would be used to launch the M14 artillery rocket.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:47:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not 330 mm rockets such as those used (6+ / 0-)

      in Ein Tarma. Those are BIG (5.5" across) and not the sort of thing one whips up in a garage.

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:58:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually 330 mm (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, whizdom, guyeda, citizenx

        is 13 inches. Perhaps you mean the 140 mm BM-14 launcher. That is 5.5 in. The government has those, but not the rebels, according to reports that I find credible.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:29:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The fins and canister are 333mm. The actual (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whizdom, guyeda, Johnny Q

        motor is a 104mm cargo rocket bolted inside a tube.

        http://brown-moses.blogspot.ca/...

        •  Slightly different than HRW (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          guyeda

          102 mm central tube versus 120 mm.

          Pages 8 and 9

          And the HRW report very explicitly states these rockets are manufactured with a high degree of reproducibility - that is, an actual factory, unlikely to be produced by the rebels.

          The launch system is Iranian made and not an easy thing to use. You don't just launch one of those from your shoulder like a MANPADS. The rebels are not believed to be in possession of the launch system.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:49:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Brown Moses shows rebels removing rocket (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            limpidglass, Johnny Q, protectspice

            motor from 333mm rocket tube on a dud to get at explosives. 104 rocket motor would fit inside 120 mm outside dimension tube (gives clearance for .25 wall thickness). The 330mm rocket is powered by a smaller diameter rocket fitted inside a tube. The HRW used the Brown Moses link as references for rockets.

            See: Brown Moses, “August 21st Chemical Attack,” gallery of photographs, August 24, 2013, http://imgur.com/... (collection of photographs collated by Brown Moses accessed September 6, 2013);, “Images of rockets which ‘delivered poison’ to Damascus,” ITV, August 25, 2013, http://www.itv.com/... images-of-rockets- which-delivered-poison-to-damascus/ (accessed September 6, 2013).(ITV).
            I'll wait until further reports to find out who fired these. It makes no sense for Assad to have done it. Look where it got him. Even more fucked than he was before. Assad may be a bastard but he's not stupid otherwise he wouldn't have lasted as long as he has.
            •  See my diary (0+ / 0-)

              It has to be the Syrian Army. We know what direction they came from, we know their range, and they come from largish launch systems. It defies belief that someone could sneak into government territory, set off fireworks, and escape - and the Syrian government would never mention it.

              That it is stupid for Assad to do this suggests that maybe it wasn't Bashar Assad - it was his nasty, brutish brother, who was passed over as heir precisely because he's got quite the temper. His temper got the best of him.

              Remember - not only do the rebels have to have and be able to use these somewhat complex launch systems, they have to be able to sneak them some distance into government controlled territory (in a war zone, mind), fire, and then escape.

              Oh, and then there's the government never mentioning that they chased rebels with launch systems on the night of the attacks. Which I would personally think they might mention, if it had happened.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:48:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll wait for confirmation to find out who's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q, protectspice

                responsible.

                The rebels have mastered firing tube lunched missiles. Don't forget about all the defections from the Syrian army. Many of these men brought their skills with them.

                Here's video of rebels firing captured BM-21 truck mounted grad missile launcher.
                http://www.youtube.com/...

                The regime rarely reports about their operations. I'm thinking that Assad's regime is falling apart which would give him even less incentive to admit this was done by someone from within his military.

                You have to admit that Assad agreed to have the CW put under UN control fairly quickly. It simply doesn't add up to him doing it. It smacks of a fifth column operation, possibly in coordination with parties connected to Bandar Bush. The Saudis are pushing very hard for US military intervention and even offering to pay for it according to Kerry.

                Cui bono... There are trillions of dollars at stake in a new gas pipeline to go through Syria not only for the Gulf countries but also for Israeli natural gas. There have been massive gas finds in the Levant Basin which is said to contain 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. All this gas needs a pipeline to Europe.

                •  First of all, pipelines are not enough (0+ / 0-)

                  We know that the Keystone pipeline won't create many jobs in the US, right? That's because pipelines are cheap and easy to build. And we know that.

                  If the pipeline is for Israeli gas than it makes more sense to go through Jordan and Israel.

                  Secondly, you can give the rebels every gadget they need, the gas, and perfect training. They still lack access to the launch sites. And, having access to the launch sites, the Syrian government has to not mention that launches were made from their territory by the rebels.

                  Unless you want to postulate rebels firing what are effectively cannon within a couple of miles (or on!) Syrian Army bases and going unnoticed. That's even more of a stretch.

                  The gadgets and the gas the rebels might get their hands on. The launches coming from the near vicinity of Syrian Army bases they cannot manage.

                  I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                  by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:48:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Gas pipelines are a very large factor (0+ / 0-)

                    Pipelines are not cheap and easy to build - especially ones that traverse nations in the ME and Central Asia. Pipeline are very hard to protect from terrorists. We are talking about 100's of billions of dollars and a wide consortium of players involved here.

                    One way for Israeli gas to get to markets in Europe is to connect with the proposed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline which starts at the Turkish border.

                    The other option is to connect with Russia's South Stream.

                    Both of these plans require the pipeline to go through Syria and into Turkey to make the connection to Europe.

                    The Arab Gas Pipeline route through Egypt, Jordan and Syria has already been bombed many times and the Israeli connection had to be shut down this year.

                    If Israel is to get it's trillions of cu ft of new-found gas to markets it must have very secure and permanent relationships with either Egypt or Syria. If that is not possible then it must resort to liquefaction and ship by sea which is costly.

                    There are also the competing Qatar and Iran gas pipelines from the South Pars gas fields (largest in world) which will be connecting to the above pipelines to Europe.

                    The one common factor in all of these pipelines is Syria. Who controls Syria is who controls trillions of dollars of natural gas that Europe wants. If there was ever any reason for war this is it.

                    Unless you want to postulate rebels firing what are effectively cannon within a couple of miles (or on!) Syrian Army bases and going unnoticed. That's even more of a stretch.
                    Both munitions were tube fired from portable launchers. The large 333mm fin stabilized rocket is of fairly crude design. It isn't even aerodynamic with spun nose cone and could be fabricated in any well supplied machine shop.  Both the regime and the opposition have such facilities available. The opposition also has considerable connections with various state actors such as the Saudis who have almost unlimited funds and resources available. These nations have already spent billions.

                    BTW, there have been some reports that the attacked sites were manipulated.

                    •  No nation will ever fight a war over a pipeline (0+ / 0-)

                      They are cheap and easy to build. In the MENA, in the USA, everywhere.

                      Cheap and easy.

                      There will never be a plausible case made that this war, or that one, is because of pipelines.

                      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                      by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:02:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Countries have been destroyed when it comes to (0+ / 0-)

                        energy resources in the ME. In fact the current conflict in Syria is directly related to the CIA instigated coup in 1949.

                        http://almashriq.hiof.no/...
                        TAPLINE

                        The Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company, a joint venture by Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso), Standard Oil of California (Chevron), The Texas Company (Texaco) and Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (Mobil), was a major factor in economic development of Lebanon after independence and especially in the emergence of the south, Tapline was an important industrial adventure in global trade, the petroleum industry and American - Middle East politics.

                        The company which started operations in 1950 was the largest oil pipeline of its time, transporting Saudi Arabian oil from the gulf fields to the terminal at Zahrani south of Saida, where it was shipped to the markets of Europe and the eastern United States seaboard. At the peak of its operations Tapline is said to have transported up to 30% of Aramco's production of Saudi Arabian crude*.
                        ...
                        Syrian parliamentary objections necessitated the CIA-aided 1949 coup in order to secure "right of way" over the Golan Heights. The end of pipeline operations were also instigated by sabotage and related problems with the portion passing over the Heights in the climate of political turmoil after the 1967 occupation by Israel. All oil transportation in the western (Syrian and Lebanese) portions of the line ceased in 1976.

                        They are cheap and easy to build. In the MENA, in the USA, everywhere.

                        Cheap and easy.

                        There will never be a plausible case made that this war, or that one, is because of pipelines.

                        That is absolute bullshit. Pipelines are not cheap and they certainly are not easy, especially when they cross international borders in the Middle East. The pipeline has to extend all the way from the Arabian Gulf to Europe. If you would have taken the time to look at the links I supplied you would realize the tremendous difficulties and expense required.
                        Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern

                        These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 - the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter's North field, contiguous with Iran's South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets - albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad's rationale was "to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe's top supplier of natural gas."

                        Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 - just as Syria's civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

                        The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a "direct slap in the face" to Qatar's plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that "whatever regime comes after" Assad, it will be "completely" in Saudi Arabia's hands and will "not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports", according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

                        •  Which means no nation has ever fought a (0+ / 0-)

                          war over a pipeline or ever will. They remain cheap and easy to build, and nothing you link to suggests otherwise.

                          The politics of getting permission are somewhat complex; any politics in the ME are complex. Russia also wants a monopoly on European natural gas.

                          That different nations have different interests in the matter of a pipeline is not disputed. What is disputed is whether or not anyone cares enough to fight a war.

                          You haven't linked to anything suggesting otherwise. And do you notice that the first link points out that the Israeli independence and concomitant turmoil caused the TAPLINE to survey several different routes?

                          Because it's pretty easy to route a pipeline somewhere else? Because it's cheap and easy to build?

                          It's like a railroad. It benefits the areas it passes through. There is money to be made. It's not a unique thing that can't be built somewhere else.

                          Any port from Alexandria to Constantinople will serve Qatar as well as the Syrian ports. Any of them. There's no reason for KSA / Qatar to instigate a war over a pipeline.

                          Because, as we know from Keystone, they are cheap and easy to build. All you need is the equivalent of "building permits".

                          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                          by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:47:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Nations have fought many "proxy" wars over (0+ / 0-)

                            rights to energy sources and routes. In fact this is the entire history of the ME since WWI when secured access to oil became a national security matter to the US and Europe.

                            And do you notice that the first link points out that the Israeli independence and concomitant turmoil caused the TAPLINE to survey several different routes?
                            The TAPLINE is no longer operational. It was shut down in 2002 by the Saudis. The current pipeline that served Israel is the Arab Gas Pipeline. The portion that connects Israel from Egypt has been blown up 13 times. It has now been shut down. Notice the section not built that runs through Syria.

                            Israel has found 122 trillion cu ft of natural gas in the Levant Basin so it is now self dependent. But Israel now has the opposite problem. It needs pipelines to ship product out. The only way out to Europe is through Egypt or Syria

                            Liquifying and shipping by sea has problems and extra costs compared to pipelines.

                            Because, as we know from Keystone, they are cheap and easy to build. All you need is the equivalent of "building permits".
                            That is complete bullshit and you know it. Just look at the crap going on in the US trying to build pipelines from state to state let alone crossing the Canadian border.

                            It is obvious you have no idea of the geopolitical ramifications of pipelines, eith historically or currently.

                    •  A good CT incorporates all contrary data and (0+ / 0-)

                      keeps rollings - so the HRW interviews with eyewitnesses who indicated which direction the rockets came from are dismissed, the physical evidence the UN inspectors relied upon is NOW discovered to have been manipulated (but no one reported that prior. Hmmmm), and so on.

                      GIVE IT UP.

                      Syrian Army did this, for their own reasons, having not one tiny bit to do with pipelines - which are cheap and easy to build.

                      And if terrorism is a factor, the one route that it can be 1000% guaranteed will not be used is one passing through Anbar province and then Syria. You'd be better off going through the Afghan - Pakistani border provinces and then taking a detour through Kashmir.

                      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                      by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:06:14 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  None of what I've written is CT. It is all fact (0+ / 0-)
                        the physical evidence the UN inspectors relied upon is NOW discovered to have been manipulated (but no one reported that prior. Hmmmm),
                        You obviously haven't even bothered to read the UN report. Hmmmm?
                        http://www.un.org/...

                        Limitations:

                        As with other sites, the locations have been well traveled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the Mission. Time spent on the sites was well used but limited. During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.

                        And if terrorism is a factor, the one route that it can be 1000% guaranteed will not be used is one passing through Anbar province and then Syria. You'd be better off going through the Afghan - Pakistani border provinces and then taking a detour through Kashmir.
                        The Iran/Iraq/Syria gas pipeline can easily skirt Anbar Province, especially if  there will be a tie in with the Russian South Stream. The other route is completely ridiculous to get the gas to Europe from the South Pars gas fields.

                        The other pipeline from Iran is the Iran Pakistan pipeline. Both of these would be targeted by US and GCC interests.

                        There are a number of proxy wars going on in Syria. Why do you think Saudi Arabia and Qatar are spending billions there? To bring fucking democracy to Syria?

                        •  Other people being there does not even (0+ / 0-)

                          begin to indicate that other people manipulated the evidence.

                          You are getting absurd.

                          KSA has shown lots of interest in having Sunnis win over Shia. It is, in fact, probably MORE important to them than selling natural gas to Europe, by several orders of magnitude.

                          Wahabbis do seem to care about that a fair bit, no?

                          Alawites: Shia. Most rebels: Sunni. Occam's Razor: stop looking for complicated explanations.

                          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

                          by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:32:31 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I simply used the UN's own words in my post. (0+ / 0-)

                            Here's what they said. Try reading it. Maybe they are "absurd".

                            http://www.un.org/...
                            Limitations:

                            As with other sites, the locations have been well traveled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the Mission. Time spent on the sites was well used but limited. During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.

                            The only thing the Saudis want is a government in Syria they can influence. Just as they wanted a government in Egypt which they had some control over. Qatar has been financing the Muslim Brotherhood which the Saudis hate.
                            Alawites: Shia. Most rebels: Sunni. Occam's Razor: stop looking for complicated explanations.
                            The obvious is security and control of energy resources in the ME. The value of these resources is in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. Everything else is secondary to this.

                            Were you one of those that argued the US invaded Iraq to prevent Saddam from using WMD's and to bring the people democracy?

  •  Reading into the report (23+ / 0-)

    they were able to determine the direction of flight for at least two missiles, one in each location.

    The M14 rocket which attacked Moadamiyah had a launch azimuth of approximately 215 degrees, which is to say, it was traveling 35 degrees south of west and was therefore launched from somewhere 35 degrees north of east, which is the direction of Damascus proper.

    The M14 rockets have a "donut" shaped range - they can't fly too far because they run out of fuel, but they also cannot be used too near the launch site.

    This donut places the launch site within Syrian government controlled territory.

    The 330 mm rocket which attacked Ein Tarma had an azimuth of 285 degrees, which is to say, about 15 degrees east of due south. This again puts the launch from somewhere within Syrian government controlled territory closer to Damascus proper.

    Human Rights Watch concluded that the attacks were likely carried out by the Syrian government based on knowledge of the missiles used.

    We can put alternative explanations to rest. This attack was carried out by the Syrian government. It's not a false flag by a warmongering Obama. It's not a the rebels trying to provoke a US response. It's not the Israelis feeding us false intelligence. Unless, of course, you wish to concoct a conspiracy theory clever enough to plant evidence on the order of missiles embedded in a soft ground impact crater, pointing back towards Damascus. In which case, why not speculate that Bashar Assad doesn't even exist?

    Either Assad ordered it, or he has permitted it, or he has lost control of key elements of his military. In any of these three possibilities getting the weapons out of Syria ASAP is a very good thing, for the people of Syria and the international community.

    I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:37:47 PM PDT

  •  Just wondering: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland, blue aardvark, Eric Nelson, guyeda

    Why is it NOT part of the mandate to determine who deployed the weapons?  Figuring out that they were in fact used seems to be the relatively easy part...

  •  maybe its time for Obama to tell the Arab (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    governments, you may want to start thinking about getting your military/defense going, because America no longer has the stomach for it in your backyard. In our yard, thats different, in yours, YOU take care of it.

  •  I hope investigation of Maher al-Assad is included (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai

    ..in the investigation.

    The investigators were
    not mandated to determine who launched the attack
    and their report does not include speculation in that regard. However, they identified the surface-to-surface rockets used to deliver the chemicals, their launching systems and their trajectories. Those findings strongly implicate the military forces of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad in the attacks. - emphasis added

    Reporting in the guardian - (Saturday 24 August 2013 16.43 EDT) has raised the question:

    Did Assad's ruthless brother mastermind alleged Syria gas attack?

    Syrian government forces may have carried out a chemical weapons attack close to Damascus without the personal permission of President Bashar al-Assad, Germany's Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday, citing German intelligence.
    . Maher al-Assad who is in command of the 4th division troops, one of the troops at the forefront in routing out the opposition with absolute ruthlessness, could have been acting outside the chain of command, and have a supply of CW independent from Bashars' stockpile

    So when inspections resume..

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

    ..He said he has asked the chemical weapons inspectors to return to Syria "as soon as we have an agreement with the Syrian government."

    - (blockquoted from this Dairy)

    ..will this be a part? Haven't heard much about Maher al-Assad's role and whether Maher has CW supply of his own.
     
    •  Maher al-Assad doesn't need a CW supply (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, citizenx

      of his own. He is the General in charge of all CW for all of Syria. The evidence is that he went rogue, and the supposition that follows is that older and not-quite-so-nasty brother Bashar has decided that he can't risk it again.

      The inspectors well have to do a pretty thorough job on Maher, since it is a reasonable supposition that he will try to hide some CW from them and from big brother Bashar.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:10:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Either way, if you give your brutal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, citizenx

        and possibly psychopathic brother control of all the chemical weapons in the country you don't get to plead all innocent when he uses them.

      •  For someone in possession of 1,000's tons of CW (0+ / 0-)

        he sure was frugal. He also seems to have wasted what he did use on killing civilians. Of course he might have been trying to terrorize civilians into hating the regime even more and creating even more rebels for him to fight. This is the same guy that supposedly targets civilians using limited aircraft and bombs "just for the hell of it".

        /s

        The inspectors well have to do a pretty thorough job on Maher, since it is a reasonable supposition that he will try to hide some CW from them and from big brother Bashar.
        For what logical or tactical reason would he hide this limited amount of CW for?
  •  I was at first skeptical of the "chemical weapons" (9+ / 0-)

    claim---mostly because throughout the second half of the 20th century there were dozens of claims of use of chemical weapons, and virtually all of them turned out to be unsupported baloney, either mistakes or misinterpretations or flat-out propaganda BS. It was easy to assume this one was as well.

    The initial reports also raised some questions for me, since the symptoms I saw in the first video clips did not appear to be consistent with nerve gas poisoning, and there were no reported indications of secondary contamination amongst people helping the victims.

    However, as with virtually all sudden catastrophic events like this, the initial reports turned out to be almost entirely mistaken--doctors at the scene DID report symptoms matching nerve gas, and there WERE secondary contaminations of first responders.

    So only the inhabitants of Infowars Cuckooland could continue to make the argument that there was no nerve gas, and it was all a faked plot something something to get the US involved involved something something blah blah blah.

    Sadly, the cuckoos never give up, so I expect they'll explain this report away too (it's probably part of the vast international conspiracy).

    The initial reports also indicated that the recovered weapons were small Qassam-type homemade rockets, similar to those used by Hezbollah, Fatah, Hamas, and other guerrilla groups in the Middle East for decades now. That indicated that the use of CW by the rebels was a realistic possibility.  Later reports, however, identified the weapons as much larger with bigger warheads--clearly they were military-grade weapons, not homemade Qassams.

    I'll leave a crack of the door open on the possibility that the rebels (some of whom were former Syrian military units who defected) may have some number of captured military-grade chemical weapons and may even have carried out some of the small-scale attacks that have been reported. But I think it remotely unlikely that they could do any large-scale attack like the one on August 21.

    I of course remain open to any new evidence. But at this point, the "false flag !!" hypothesis is pretty hard to defend.

    •  Nobody believed the false flag idea, I suspect. (0+ / 0-)

      It was used to sway opinion against intervention.  It did its job, and now everyone will deny having bought into it.  State actors aren't the only Macchiavellians out there.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:31:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No way some random General (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Yoshimi, citizenx

    makes the strategic and political decision to defy the U.S redline and deploy CW. Dictators like Assad have summarily execuated generals for a fraction of the magnitude of that type of disobediance.

     So either Assad ordered it and is engaging in plausible deniability or someone very high up on the food chain (like his brother) ordered it and he's not in a position to punish him.

    Either way Assad is culpable for the use of CW

  •  The munitions used are designed to break apart... (0+ / 0-)

    in flight.

    This provides a whole new meaning to the term "crack-pot theory."

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:20:54 PM PDT

  •  Is there ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... some way of using these weapons against only adult civilians?

    No, I didn't think so.

  •  It is clear (0+ / 0-)

    that a horrific humanitarian disaster is occurring in Syria, even before the CW use on civilians.  The CW attack ratchets it up a great deal, even to the point where it is in our National Interest to end it, or mitigate its effects.

    The question is what do we do, and how do we do it?

    An unbelievably small but not a pinprick message in a tomahawk doesn't seem right to me.

    Neither does adding more lethal tools into the mix.

    Calling for a cease fire, Assad's resignation, and a caretaker government until regularly scheduled elections occur in 2014.  

    •  That last sentence was awesome snark. (0+ / 0-)

      And no, I refuse to contemplate the possibility that it wasn'y.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:29:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hopefully some minds will change now... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen

    This was a mass atrocity intentionally committed by the Assad regime.

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:15:19 PM PDT

    •  Now that there's no consequence to Assad... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I'm sure people will have trouble assigning the blame where it belongs.  Consequences freak people out.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:28:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the nub of it... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluezen

        Without a threat of consequences, folks like Assad will remain unmoved.

        Right now, the anti-war movement has gone a bit far.  Burned by Bush, they have raised the bar too high for punishing human rights violators.  

        This will have consequences as to whether people listen to us when we talk about human rights globally.

        "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

        by FDRDemocrat on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:54:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank God Now Assad gives up his chemica (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    It's a relief to know that Bastard Assad will give over his chemical weapons and rather commit his genocide by conventional means.  Gassing civillians is not ok, just serve them hot lead and high explosives until the world finally can't ignore the genocide (we're pretty absent minded though it may take a bit.)

    Nobody in power gave a care about Bosnia because they were killing Muslims at first, and especially no one in power cares about Sudan's Janjaweed (because they don't have anything we want and can't have) and the news media bears most of that responsibility.  Don't let them trick you into turning your back on our repressed Syrian Brothers.  A no-fly zone and a few limited strikes should happen NOW, fuck Congress for the moment and STOP Assad from murdering his people with fancy toys we can see from space.  

    Obama couldn't have been handed a more just military action than this.  He didn't have any trouble tainting reputations (endangering them) of Vaccine people in the third world to get Osama,  yet stopping a dictator from indiscriminately killing his civillians en masse with fancy weapons he takes to Congress.  He will go down in History as Obama the OK.  

  •  Thanks to the progressive-troglodyte alliance... (0+ / 0-)

    ...against intervention in Syria, the killing can now go on indefinitely without troubling our well-earned sleep.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:23:54 PM PDT

  •  Article (0+ / 0-)

    Well, I for one have always thought that Assad was behind it and it's my opinion to have. But as the saying goes, what doesn't come out in the wash water will come out in the rinse water; time will tell!

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