Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 03, 2012

The Wired Syria WMD Claim Is False

Wired's Danger Room has a weird Exclusive story on alleged Syrian chemical weapons:
Engineers working for the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas, an American official with knowledge of the situation tells Danger Room. International observers are now more worried than they’ve even been that the Damascus government could use its nerve agent stockpile to slaughter its own people.
...
Sarin gas has two main chemical components — isopropanol, popularly known as rubbing alcohol, and methylphosphonyl difluoride. The Assad government has more than 500 metric tons of these precursors, which it ordinarily stores separately, in so-called “binary” form, in order to prevent an accidental release of nerve gas.

Last week, that changed. The Syrian military began combining some of the binaries. “They didn’t do it on the whole arsenal, just a modest quantity,” the official says. “We’re not sure what’s the intent.”

Seemingly for lack of knowledge the Danger Room folks are falling for very stupid "Arab country will soon use WMD" propaganda. Do we need to remind anyone that the same claims were made by "American officials" 10 years ago and turned out to be false?

In this case we cane be quite sure that the claims are indeed false. No one in Syria is combining binaries.

Just think of how binary chemical weapons actually work:

Binary chemical weapons or munitions are chemical weapons wherein the toxic agent is not contained within the weapon in its active state, but in the form of two chemical precursors, physically separated within the weapon. The precursors are designed to be significantly less toxic than the agent they make when mixed, and this allows the weapon to be transported and stored more safely than otherwise. The safety provided by binary chemical weapons is especially important for people who live near ammunition dumps.

The chemical reaction takes place while the weapon is in flight. Firing the munition ruptures the capsules. The munition spins rapidly in flight, which thoroughly mixes the two precursors, so they can react with one another. Finally, a bursting charge aerosolizes and distributes the chemical agent.

There is no need for the Syrian army to combine stuff and fill it up because the precursors are already stored in the ammunition when that artillery ammunition or aerial bomb is distributed to the units that are  supposed to use them. They precursors are stored in two separate chambers and the ammunition is safe for transport and storage. Only firing the ammunition or dropping the bomb will combine the binaries.

What the anonymous American official claims is not happening in Syria. If the Wired writers Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman, (an avid defender of Israel firsters some might note), had even some basic knowledge about ammunition engineering they would not fall for such a stupid claim some anonymous official makes.

The claim that "the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors" is definitely wrong. Whatever the Syrian army is doing or not doing with its strategic weapons, it is not what that anonymous "American official" claims.

Posted by b on December 3, 2012 at 02:33 PM | Permalink

Comments

Is Damascus a trap for the FSA

Al Monitor

Posted by: somebody | Dec 3, 2012 3:13:41 PM | 1

Wired, another glossy publication long since dropped over the edge of credibility. The comments are precious: all little Tony Starks, a-fightn fer freedom, you betcha!.

Our outside knowledge is winking out. In most cases believing the exact opposite of what we are told will lead us closer to the truth.

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 3, 2012 3:15:43 PM | 2

more demonsiation of Syria by the real demons....how many more lies can the US regime tell before ITS people awaken to go on their own crusade for freedom?

Posted by: brian | Dec 3, 2012 3:34:51 PM | 3

Wa Po, 3 Dec. 2012:

The United States will not tolerate any use of chemical weapons in Syria and will act quickly if that threat appears imminent, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday, as heavy fighting continued around the Syrian capital.

http://tinyurl.com/bu3m9uk

Guardian, Aug. 2012:

Clinton stresses the importance of setting up contingency plans in the event of chemical weapons being used in the Syrian conflict, making it clear that use of such weapons is a red line for the world

http://tinyurl.com/bq4fjg2

Global sec. newwire, Dec, 2011:

The United States is quietly but closely monitoring the status of Syria’s large chemical weapons stockpile amid fears the regime of autocratic ruler Bashar Assad ..

http://tinyurl.com/czsv23v

.......and on and on....

1913 intel, Feb. 2009:

Syria is rebuilding its chemical weapons capability, according to satellite images analysed by Jane’s Intelligence Review. Syria has maintained stockpiles of chemical weapons, including Sarin gas and blister agents...

http://tinyurl.com/cttm7py

......

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 3, 2012 4:04:40 PM | 4

A good rule of thumb is that whenever a story quotes an anonymous 'American official' or 'western diplomat' you are reading official propaganda.

Posted by: Gareth | Dec 3, 2012 4:54:26 PM | 5

1. There are various reports about Sarin and Syria, from "increased activity at Syria’s chemical weapon sites" to "Syria has begun mixing chemicals that can be used to make deadly sarin gas, a U.S. official told AFP Monday." The "combining chemicals" story has been picked up by many sources, including CNN and Telegraph. None of them have been confirmed by the US. SecState Clinton responded to a New York Times correspondent's question today without confirming anything. She simple issued a "red line" warning.

2. Syria's chemical site is Al-Safir — which, except for military and presidential facilities in Damascus, is considered the most guarded spot in Syria. Nobody -- nobody -- from the US is going to see people mixing chemicals there. That's silly. Wired frequently goes overboard on scary "Assad regime" stories, but this one is totally irresponsible.

3. The US formerly used the M139 bomblet sub-munition designed for use in warheads as a chemical cluster bomb. Each bomblet held a little more than one and a quarter pounds of sarin nerve agent. On August 3, 2001 the Rocky Mountain Arsenal confirmed the safe and complete destruction of the last of four M-139 Sarin bomblets identified by unexploded ordnance experts on the installation June 15. This is a photo of M139 Sarin bomblets packed into an "Honest John" (1960's era) warhead.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2012 5:00:12 PM | 6

Syria should prepare chemical weapons as deterrent, turkey is installing patriot missiles capable of intercepting Syrian missiles in the event of war, but it will not even work as well as Iron Dome against hamas' missles.

Posted by: nikon | Dec 3, 2012 5:53:45 PM | 7

The Israeli-Americans have been trying to get a new "Iraq has WMDs" propaganda scenario against Syria to take hold for a long time now. Like Goebbels, their hero, they will keep pushing the "big lie" and hope they can eventually bulldoze it through. The people behind the western media know full well what they are peddling is BS to justify war crimes and should be considered as criminals with the moral integrity of a Charles Manson.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 3, 2012 5:55:41 PM | 8

Good catch b. Some 20 years ago I consulted with the US Army on the storage of their chemical weapons and this story just jumped out as bizarrely stupid. It makes last week's energy density charts look sophisticated by comparison.

Wasn't it Wired mag that ratted out Bradly Manning? What utter pigs.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 3, 2012 5:56:54 PM | 9

Where is the US "peace movement"? The ones who want to have Bush prosecuted for war crimes regarding Iraq? Why the silence about Syria?

Posted by: revenire | Dec 3, 2012 6:50:58 PM | 10

This childish US vacuous puffery, dutifully parroted by the media, is a distraction from Russia's recent serious and valid criticism of the West.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western states on Saturday of trying to advance democracy abroad through "iron and blood", defending Moscow's refusal to join nations seeking the exit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Echoing comments made by Vladimir Putin, Lavrov made his sharply-worded address to a foreign and defence policy council meeting two days before the Russian president travels to Turkey where the war in Syria is expected to dominate talks.

"Russia is not opposing Western influence or putting a stick in the spokes of Western-initiated projects out of spite," Lavrov said, according to state-run news agency Itar-Tass. "The fact is, advancing democracy through iron and blood just does not work, and this has been made clear in recent months - the past year-and-a-half," he said.

He added "in most cases it produces the opposite reaction" and leads to "the strengthening of extremists and repressive forces, decreasing the chances of real democratic change." Moscow says Western and Gulf states are encouraging rebels seeking the overthrow of Assad while the United States and Europe accuse the Kremlin of shielding the Syrian president during 20 months of bloodshed.

Russia says Assad's exit from power cannot be imposed from abroad and has voiced concern extremists could gain the upper hand in Syria and other states following Arab Spring revolts, further destabilising the region.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, in a meeting with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, said the situation has been worsened by a "sharp increase in the activities of terrorist organisations" including al Qaeda. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Gatilov also repeated Russia's concern the conflict "is taking on a clearly expressed inter-religious element."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2012 6:52:38 PM | 11

I'm impressed by the attitude of the great American public. They've become so numbed by the Kardashians they're becoming immune to scare tactics.

Posted by: dh | Dec 3, 2012 7:00:57 PM | 12

"Yes. You can find them East, West, South and North of Bag... Damascus!" - Ronny Dumbsfeld.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 3, 2012 7:11:09 PM | 13

No responsible person in government has confirmed the scary statements from "U.S. official" and "senior U.S. defense official." Instead Obama and Clinton have warned about use of chemical weapons, which they have done before.

at today's State presser with Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner:

QUESTION: And also tell us why there is this increased concern now.
MR. TONER: The President said, I believe, “Any use or proliferation of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would cross a redline for the United States,” was his exact wording. So if you’re looking for clarification on that --
QUESTION: So it’s “use?”
MR. TONER: Use or proliferation of chemical weapons.
QUESTION: So they either have to use it or sell it before you guys would – or that’s the redline: using it, selling it, or giving it away?
MR. TONER: Correct.

During a recent interview, Information Minister al-Zouabi denied that Syria even has any chemical or biological weapons.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2012 7:44:26 PM | 14

You can bet next stop for Spencer "Israeli firster" Ackerman will be with these falsehoods will be on MSNBC's Rachel Maddows. She loves Spencer. He has been on her program quite a few times. Think that anonymous American official could be Clinton since she is soon leaving the Obama administration?

Posted by: Kathleen | Dec 3, 2012 9:17:05 PM | 15

My daughter who is a school teacher was driving home and said "looks like Syria is going to use chemical weapons" These falsehoods were repeated on NPR's All Things Considered tonight. But when it comes to Syria, Palestinians, Iran Robert Siegel does not need verification of the things he will repeat

Posted by: Kathleen | Dec 3, 2012 9:20:20 PM | 16

Kathleen, if you can access it, check out RT News. I am getting it on DISH, but I think they have a website too.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 3, 2012 9:32:21 PM | 17

The US is really a puritanical professed purist when it comes to ways of killing people, even though it matters little to the US-caused war-dead, of which there are many. High-explosive and cluster-bombs good, chemicals (except Whiskey Peter) bad. They cross the Red Line, and There Will Be Consequences. All Things Considered, I'll go with the Russian Federation on this one.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2012 10:34:56 PM | 18

Mahalo, b, I first caught whiff of the sheer f*ckery here...! Just had to post... ‘Concern’ Over Syria’s WMDs...

Posted by: CTuttle | Dec 3, 2012 10:38:11 PM | 19

Naive me, I thought that Noah Shachtman (but not Spencer Ackerman) was above this sort of government propaganda bullshit. I guess not. My first mistake this week. (but it's only Monday)

In other news, the Pentagon is banishing the term "strategic communication," putting an end to an initiative that had promised to streamline the military's messaging but instead led to bureaucratic bloat and confusion, according to a memo obtained by USA TODAY. --hah-- Strategic communication lives, via the efforts of the likes of Shachtman and Ackerman. This buys them access, which we pay for.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2012 11:13:27 PM | 20

The author (here at MOA) writes

" If the Wired writers Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman ... they would not fall for such a stupid claim some anonymous official makes."

I'm quite sure that this is mistaken. israelis do not "fall for stupid claims" - they make them up.

What - concerning Syria - worries me more is the situation as it indicates some yet undisclosed and quite probably larger scale plan unfolding.

Why?

While being equipped mostly with rather aged weapons, the Syrian military is quite large (~400.000) and considered well trained and amonst the most effective forces in the region.

Looking at the Syrian military, which for the largest part is/was loyal, the question arises why some hundred thousand well trained forces would have even the slightest difficulty with some thousand rebel troups, most of which were rather untrained and unexperienced, terrorists or plain deserters.

While I can't yet see the larger plan behind the events, the situation as it looks (and is usually put) at first sight, just doesn't make sense.
400.000 loyal, properly trained troups get besieged and outrun by a couple thousand hudlums and thugs? Surely not. And even less if one considers that Iran, without doubt a major (and regionally *the*) military force, is supporting Assad.

Some assume a powerful turkish hand in the game. I do not agree. Syria (and preferably a quiet Syria with Assad) is of strategic importance to Russia and Putin would without doubt not allow Erdogan to play games with it that ran seriously against Russian interests.

So the question is: Who might have an interest - and if so, which one - to let that ugly soup in Syria cook for that long?

Whoever it is, it must be someone with the power to make Assad go that way and so so rather calmly. It also must be someone who is very smart (which excludes the usa) and who can easily afford to let the european puppets if usrael a lot of noise, knowing well, that he can make them shut up whenever he pleases.

The only answer I can see (or rather vaguely guess) is one or another kind of alliance between Russia and China.
Funny (?) sidenote: Is almost seems as if Russia and China worked well together. With quite little noise and quite major effect. While China slowly but deadly drains japan, usa's major pacific ally, and at the same time slowly strangles the noisy usa in terms of influence and economy, Russia pushes europe towards the question, who, the usa or Russia, will be better and more important for their future, and shows a mostly quiet but very decisive presence in the near east.

For the moment I tend to think that it's about turkey. After effectively gotten thrown out of Irak and Afghanistan, turkey is a) an geostrategically extremely important (and rather badly threated) and muslim nato member and b) a major thorn in Russia's a..

Well, I's be interested to read some informed opinions on that matter. Because, again, one thing seems strikingly clear: If some hundred housand well trained Syrian troups give in, peace by peace, to some thousand thugs then there is a very solid reason and a plan behind it. The fact that israel is conspiciously quiet about Syria doesn't make it smell any better oder more innocent...

Thanks for your thoughts

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Dec 3, 2012 11:52:13 PM | 21

"400.000 loyal, properly trained troups get besieged and outrun by a couple thousand hudlums and thugs?"

It's called guerrilla warfare, like in Afghanistan, 104,905 NATO troops vs. 25000 taliban fighters

"For the moment I tend to think that it's about turkey. After effectively gotten thrown out of Irak and Afghanistan, turkey is a) an geostrategically extremely important (and rather badly threated) and muslim nato member and b) a major thorn in Russia's a.."

Turkey is a thorn for Iran, Russia and china

Posted by: nikon | Dec 4, 2012 1:27:43 AM | 22

Syriangirl Partisan shared a link.
4 hours ago
A citizen Journalist from Aleppo going by "Aleppo Guy" (Different to Mr. Aleppo) Video tapes how Syrians are surviving in spite of the NATO FSA rats. The old market was burned to the ground and many businesses destroyed, but instead of giving up, the people brought their wares to the areas protected by the Army! Never Say die! http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-situation-in-aleppo

Posted by: brian | Dec 4, 2012 1:35:56 AM | 23

so how many of the FSA videos are real?
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=388148087934762

Posted by: brian | Dec 4, 2012 2:30:59 AM | 24

how does israel attack gaza?
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=383166815099556&set=vb.131527516994690&type=2&theater

Posted by: brian | Dec 4, 2012 3:24:09 AM | 25

That assumes Syria does indeed use binary munitions. However older non-binary munitions required ready-made sarin poured into them before launch, and given that sarin has shelf-life of months, it would make sense to cook it from precursors shortly before the attack.

Do we know what munition type Syria uses?

Posted by: Andrey Subbotin | Dec 4, 2012 5:07:43 AM | 26

@Andrey Subbotin. Interesting question. I hope someone can answer this. How do you know about "older non-binary munitions"? If you do know what you are talking about, then please explain this in full. I'm sure most here know jack-shit about munitions, and frankly, I'm not about to star googling how to deploy sarin gas.

Posted by: DM | Dec 4, 2012 5:27:26 AM | 27

"Where is the US "peace movement"? The ones who want to have Bush prosecuted for war crimes regarding Iraq? Why the silence about Syria?"

They're too busy being stupidly distracted by "Occupy" - just like the PTB arranged for them to be

Oh and Obama is of course supposedly "Non-White" so he of course could never be as bad as Bush.

Posted by: ONS | Dec 4, 2012 5:41:48 AM | 28

b Iran: US ScanEagle drone 'captured over Gulf'

The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle - one of the smaller, less sophisticated drones employed by the Americans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20591336

But BBC also reporting Americans have denied this.

Posted by: johnf | Dec 4, 2012 6:08:57 AM | 29

@DM From Wikipedia, I am no expert


Sarin degrades after a period of several weeks to several months. The shelf life can be shortened by impurities in precursor materials. According to the CIA, some Iraqi sarin had a shelf life of only a few weeks, owing mostly to impure precursors
...
In binary chemical weapons, the two precursors are stored separately in the same shell and mixed to form the agent immediately before or when the shell is in flight. This approach has the dual benefit of solving the stability issue and increasing the safety of sarin munitions.

Note that Iraq apparently had some non-binary sarin weapons (there is no reason to store finished sarin otherwise). So could Syria.

Posted by: Andrey Subbotin | Dec 4, 2012 6:25:06 AM | 30

gosh.
"apparently" . . . . "could"?

They could have a secret regiment of crack genetically engineered zombie troops too. Perhaps we should send over an inspection team from the International Genetically Engineered Zombie Agency (IGEZA) ?

Posted by: ONS | Dec 4, 2012 7:03:37 AM | 31

one more thing
"Note that Iraq apparently had some non-binary sarin weapons"

you forget to add . . . "the ingredients for which were probably bought from the US" or the British or a host of other Western/NATO nations

Posted by: ONS | Dec 4, 2012 7:21:22 AM | 32

Iranian TV shows off 'captured US ScanEagle drone

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20591336

Posted by: johnf | Dec 4, 2012 7:32:55 AM | 33

As Syria is using Russian military equipment I am quite sure they have Soviet era binary shells for their 122mm artillery and for their scud ballistic missiles.

Posted by: b | Dec 4, 2012 10:31:01 AM | 34

"Ankara's request for Nato to deploy the anti-missile batteries came after intelligence assessments that Damascus was contemplating using ballistic missiles, potentially armed with chemical warheads, reports say."

So with the statements today about immediate action "IF" such weapons are used, means anyone with the view "immediate action" is desirable only has to fire off such weapon. Sounds to me this was not a statement but more of a "hint" maybe to those who have recently come into possession of a whole host of Syrian military equipment. Faux outrage and intervention to follow shortly ...

Posted by: Rod Brown | Dec 4, 2012 11:36:59 AM | 35

NPR this morning was reporting that due to the information about Syrian chem weapons NATO was authorizing patriot missiles on Turkey's border to protect Turkey from Syrian chem attacks.

So, the US floats rumor, then rumor is basis for attacks.

And Hillary and Obama play the roles Powell and Bush played. Is Biden playing Cheney's role? Not noticed by me.

All from President Noble Peace Prize!

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 4, 2012 11:54:39 AM | 36

RT - Russia Today

Russia, NATO agree that Syrian conflict cannot be resolved by armed force

­Russia and NATO agree that the Syrian conflict cannot be resolved by armed force, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a statement on Tuesday. The comment comes just before NATO announces whether it will honor Turkey’s request to deploy patriot missiles along its border with Syria. NATO says that any deployment will be for purely defensive purposes and will not support an offensive operation or no-fly zone. A decision from the 28-member alliance is expected later on Tuesday.

Lavrov would not make this up would he?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 4, 2012 12:20:25 PM | 37

the situation in Nile Street Aleppo

Posted by: somebody | Dec 4, 2012 1:09:54 PM | 38

@Somebody

I find it impossible to get any real perspective of the situation on the ground. News reports seem to be almost entirely based on unverifiable propaganda from both sides.

It's either the Syrian security forces are being overrun, or the rebels are taking a pounding.

But are instances such as the recent closure of Damascus airport a telling indication of rebel advances, or a fleeting attempt by the rebels to undermine the reality of their incompetence?

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 4, 2012 2:29:00 PM | 39

it is impossible to tell for sure. however by the sounds of it, I guess they are dealing in the backrooms.
and, I guess, the suffering of the people counts for none of the parties involved.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 4, 2012 2:36:15 PM | 40

Bio WMD (so called) can potentially kill many. There are some historical exs for very local decimation /incapacitation. But not easy, not certain, expensive, and thwarted, often, by simple measures.

(Not saying to ignore it.)

It is easier to kill or knock out ppl with carpet bombs, random shootings, concentration camps, poverty, dirty water, enforced semi starvation, destruction of the environment (agriculture, transport, education), disruption of society, destroying med. care, rape, displacement, breaking up families, co-opting the desperate to kill their own, etc. Prisons. Yeah, prisons.

These are tried n’ true measures and the ‘boffins’ who work on ‘bugs’ are a fancy side frill.

AIDS, tuberculosis, dengue fever, malaria, cholera, typhoid fever, and more such as various gastro from dirty water and rotten produce, kill staggering numbers - Anthrax or Sarin, practically nobody. The former are hidden, brushed away, normalized, while the latter serve as a scare factor.

Yes, bio-warfare has a long history. E.g. use of diseased corpses (black death) in Medieval Europe, that history remains to be written.

Mustard gas is most likely the biggest killer to date; yet today it sounds antiquated, new scares must be invented.

Wilfred Owen:

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And floundering like a man in fire or lime.
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.



In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.



If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html

The gas was ? chorine, phosphene or mustard gas, which was used by the Germans from 1917.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 4, 2012 3:55:30 PM | 41

The Wired story is the latest in the recent spate of articles pushing the Syrian WMD threat. The NYT had a Sanger/Schmidt article on Sunday. Israeli Army Reserve Corporal Jeffrey Goldberg followed that up with a piece at the Atlantic on Monday. The Wired, citing both of those pieces, adds more weight from unattributed government officials:

Engineers working for the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas, an American official with knowledge of the situation tells Danger Room. International observers are now more worried than they’ve even been that the Damascus government could use its nerve agent stockpile to slaughter its own people.

The U.S. doesn’t know why the Syrian military made the move, which began in the middle of last week and is taking place in central Syria. Nor are they sure why the Assad government is transferring some weapons to different locations within the country, as the New York Times reported on Monday.

All that’s certain is that the arms have now been prepped to be used, should Assad order it.

“Physically, they’ve gotten to the point where the can load it up on a plane and drop it,” the official adds.


Concerning the timing related to the Palestinians at the UN, Syria's internet blackout and the Turkish push for Patriots from NATO within this past week, I'm still thinking these "informed" officials are leftover neocon or neolib political appointees trying to get redrawing the map of the middle east back on track. Even if Dennis Ross is no longer the go to unnamed government source, there must be plenty of others in line.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 4, 2012 4:35:55 PM | 42

Also an event that got no press in the U.S., but would bother Goldberg & friends, another reason for a distraction, involved another UN General Assembly vote not in Israel's favor.

Times of Israel, Dec 4, 2012
UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities
Resolution urges Israel to sign non-proliferation treaty ‘without further delay’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Monday calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn’t take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on nonproliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.

The resolution, approved by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting “no” were Israel, the US, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.


This vote illustrates, among other things, that the Arabs in the Middle East fear Israel which has nukes, and not Iran which doesn't. That is clearly "anti semitic."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4, 2012 6:20:28 PM | 43

The US peace movement, face it, lacks support from the citizens. Without support there's no point in it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4, 2012 6:23:26 PM | 44

"If the Wired writers Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman,...had even some basic knowledge about ammunition engineering they would not fall for such a stupid claim some anonymous official makes."

They didn't "fall for such a stupid claim"! Geez, They're part of the group that is deliberately lying about this to discredit the Syrian state! They're lying, enthusiastic Hasbarbots - without a single original or creative thought in either of their stupid, manipulated, racist, hate-filled minds that hasn't been supplied by the sociopaths who control Israel.

Posted by: arthurdecco | Dec 4, 2012 7:12:34 PM | 45

It seems that the propaganda about the mixture pf chemical precursors had the purpose of getting the NATO vote on the Patriot systems for Turkey.

Nat that is done and the propaganda can be rolled back.

No evidence Syria mixing chemical agents, Pentagon official says

There is no evidence yet that the Syrian military has actually begun the process of mixing precursor chemicals to produce deadly Sarin nerve gas, a senior defense official told NBC News on Tuesday.

According to the official, despite the increased activity around several chemical weapons sites, including truck movements in and out, it’s not even clear that the precursors have been moved from separate storage sites to one location.

On Monday, US officials said the Syrian regime has ordered its Chemical Weapons Corps to “be prepared” which was interpreted to mean get all the precursors and pieces together to at least begin preparations for weaponization. The officials stressed the directive did not come directly from President Bashir Assad and did not order the use of chemical weapons. Those officials said yesterday, as the senior official repeated Tuesday that no evidence process has begun.

Posted by: b | Dec 5, 2012 1:27:20 AM | 47

Once again, some insane wishful thinking on French MSM for a few days.

Yesterday on France 2, there was even a 2-minute footage showing risks of sarin gas and how to protect oneself from it. Just like if we were a target for syrian weapons.
Declarations of "an American official" become "statement of Barack Obama himself" and "uncontestable proofs provided by US secret services", at the very same time Pentagon was evasive on the topic (and finally denying it as b wrote).

And again, that story of a never-ending never-stopping advance of rebels, while telling at the same time air traffic was resumed. There is also a voluntary confusion about "Damascus region" and "Damascus province". When there are fights at some remote area of the *province*, they are displayed as fights at some remote area of the *city*.

Disgusting.

Posted by: Rhysa | Dec 5, 2012 4:11:34 AM | 48

YouGov has a survey WRT to Syrian chemical weapons, basically asking if you are pro or anti in an attack of Syria if chemicals weapons are detected or "might be used"?

Posted by: hans | Dec 5, 2012 6:15:22 AM | 49

'Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western states on Saturday of trying to advance democracy abroad through "iron and blood", defending Moscow's refusal to join nations seeking the exit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.'

US has never sought to advance 'democracy' anywhere....it always seeks to bring into power persons who seve US interests.

Posted by: brian | Dec 5, 2012 3:45:26 PM | 50

I guess you really don't know anything about Binary munitions. They aren't stored within the delivery body.
They , the precursor chemicals, are stored seperately, for safety purposes, hence their design and implementation around 1983, and only loaded into the delivery munition: 155 mm howitzer shell, and other methods of delivery, just prior to their use .

This does in fact take some time to " weaponize" the delivery mechanism.

I have no problem with your skepticism, despite its erroneous bent, but at least know your subject matter before attempting to foster your " expert" opinion and erroneously attempt to educate the masses.

Posted by: Frank | Dec 5, 2012 11:48:42 PM | 51

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