Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 21, 2013

Syria: Another False Flag "Chemical Weapon" Attack

Whenever there is some international action with regards to Syria, a United Nations security council meeting or a G8 conference, the Syrian insurgents create and/or propagandize some "massacre" that they allege to have been perpetrated by the Syrian government.

On Monday UN chemical weapon inspectors arrived in Damascus to investigate some older claims of chemical weapon use. Just in time a new incident happens with the insurgents alleging use of "chemical weapons" by the Syrian government just some 10 miles away from the inspectors hotel:

Syrian regime forces fired intense artillery and rocket barrages Wednesday on the eastern suburbs Damascus amid a fierce government offensive in what two pro-opposition groups claimed was a “poisonous gas” attack that killed dozens of people.

The claims came as a 20-member U.N. chemical weapons team was in Syria to investigate three sites where chemical weapons attacks had allegedly occurred in the past. The timing raises questions on why would the regime employ chemical agents during a visit by the U.N. experts.

The government promptly denied the reports of Wednesday’s chemical weapons’ attack as “absolutely baseless.”

Videos of the incident show many people, including children, with respiratory problems. But non of the first responders and medical personal in those videos wear any protection against chemical weapons.

Real chemical weapons, like Sarin, are persistent agents. They stick to the cloth of the victims and any contact with those victims would practically guarantee to kill the people who try to help them unless those people take serious precautions. Whatever happened in Syria today is therefore unlikely to be the consequence of military grade chemical weapons. Many other chemical agents, like insecticides based on organophospate or some industrial process chemicals, could induce the observed symptoms.

It would of course be totally irrational for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons just the moment that chemical weapon inspectors arrive in the country. But it makes a lot of sense for the insurgents and their foreign supporters to create such an incident, as the did previously, and to use it to renew their propaganda campaign against the Syrian government. It is therefore no surprise that the British government immediately jumped all over the case.

Simply answer "cui bono?" and you will know who is responsible for this incident.

Posted by b on August 21, 2013 at 06:13 AM | Permalink

Comments
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It jut beggars belief that anyone would believe that Assad would allow CW inspectors into Damascus and THEN launch a CW attack on the outskirts of.... Damascus.

I mean.... helloooooooooooo.....

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 21, 2013 6:22:38 AM | 1

The UN investigators are not inspectors. This word implies a UN Security Council imposed inspection regime – like the one imposed on Iraq – with an unlimited and never-ending mandate to violate Syria's sovereignty.

See Adam Larson's (and my) comments on the issue in Global Research:
Was the Syria Chemical Weapons Probe “Torpedoed” by the West? – Adam Larson / Global Research, May 02, 2013

More on Syria and chemical weapons in our research wiki A Closer Look On Syria under
Chemical Weapons.
(How convenient for our service provider to go off-line just today!)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 21, 2013 6:36:07 AM | 2

The level of the western jihadist propaganda is so low that it seems they have concluded that western audiences are complete idiots. The problem is that they may be actually be right.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 21, 2013 6:45:05 AM | 3

I simply cannot comprehend that people are expected to believe the Syrian Army is responsible for this.

But I've lost the ability to care anymore.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 21, 2013 6:58:14 AM | 4

While I say it didnt happen, this is just getting pathetic. So when the inspectors have arrived Assad start to kill 600 people with chemical weapons? I mean this is so absurd.
I have no idea if it occured or not, but one thing that is true is that this attack was carried out by people that want intervention on Syria, maybe in collaboration with Israel.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 6:59:36 AM | 5

Damascus Media Office: 150 bodies counted in Hamouriya, 100 in Kafr Batna, 67 in Saqba, 61 in Douma, 76 in Mouadamiya & 40 in Irbin. #Syria
So the Syrian government can somehow release some chemical stuff in six different villages which are all occupied by al-Nusra insurgents?

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2013 7:56:26 AM | 6

Seriously, is Assad stupid enough to launch a chemical weapon attack when U.N. inspectors are around? The answer is obvious. But with headlines like "Syria conflict: 'Chemical attacks' kill hundreds" (BBC Website), people won't ask any questions and the West just got it's pretext for intervention.

Posted by: gregg | Aug 21, 2013 7:59:03 AM | 7

Of course another reason why Assad would not use CW's are that people winning wars would have no need to use such desperate measures. In the Eastern outskirts of Damascus, the SAA has been pushing the rebels further and further back for months Jobar, Barzeh and Al Ghouta are the 3 main areas where fighting is still taking place. All on the outer edge of the city.

This Map of Homs from August 14th shows that the situation in that city is also close to an end with SAA and Kurds holding almost all of the city except a surrounded rebel held central Homs. Whats more is that the SAA is currently fighting to take Bab Houd district, further shrinking the rebel stronghold.

Even if Assad was going to launch CW, he would likely use it in Aleppo where the fighting is fiercest and where the Army is struggling to hold its positions against the rebel offensive. He wouldn't use it Damascus or Homs where its basically just mop up operations and clearing the last pockets of insurgent activity.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 21, 2013 8:29:22 AM | 8

The usual "presstitutes" are frothing at the mouth as they loop through the videos on the morning network news......

Posted by: georgeg | Aug 21, 2013 8:54:44 AM | 9

Statement by the General command of the army and the Syrian armed forces 21 8 13
Army: allegations of sedition and channels that use of chem weapons in Damascus declared invalid and unfounded and desperate attempt to cover terrorist on Earth defeats August 21, 2013, Damascus, Sana said in a statement received by Sana"that channels the charm and deception and bloodshed as usual by the Syrian claim falsely that the Syrian army on Thursday used chemical weapons in Damascus."

The statement said the General command of the armed forces, "stressing that the allegations were false, and totally naked under the dirty media war led by some of the media against Syria stresses the complete national functions in the face of terrorism everywhere on the territory of the Syrian Arabic Republic pursuant to its duty to protect the homeland and the citizen".

The command said that its alleged terrorist groups and channels supported by the Syrian army's use of chemical weapons is a "desperate attempt to ascribe to the Earth and reflects the State of hysteria and confusion and collapse suffered by these groups and who is behind them."

The statement concluded that the General command of the army and the armed forces, reaffirming their determination to implement the constitutional duties of ridding the nation of barges armed terrorist groups "of carrying arms against the State to surrender to authorities to settle it before it's too late." (Translated by Bing)
قيادة الجيش: ادعاءات قنوات الفتنة والتضليل أن الجيش_العربي_السوري استخدم الأسلحة_الكيماوية في مناطق ريف دمشق باطلة وعارية من الصحة ومحاولة يائسة لتغطية هزائم الإرهابيين على الأرض
21 آب , 2013
دمشق-سانا
قالت القيادة_العامة_للجيش_والقوات_المسلحة في بيان تلقت سانا نسخة منه "إن قنوات الفتنة والتضليل وسفك الدم السوري قامت كعادتها بالادعاء كذباً أن الجيش العربي السوري استخدم اليوم الأسلحة الكيماوية في مناطق ريف دمشق".

وجاء في البيان إن القيادة العامة للجيش والقوات المسلحة "إذ تؤكد أن هذه الادعاءات باطلة جملة وتفصيلاً وعارية تماماً من الصحة وتندرج في إطار الحرب الإعلامية القذرة التي تقودها بعض الدول إعلامياً ضد سورية فانها تشدد على استكمال مهامها الوطنية في مواجهة الإرهاب أينما كان على تراب الجمهورية العربية السورية تنفيذاً لواجبها في حماية الوطن والمواطن".

وأضافت القيادة إن ما تدعيه هذه المجموعات الإرهابية والقنوات التي تدعمها حول استخدام الجيش العربي السوري لأسلحة كيماوية ما هو إلا "محاولة يائسة للتغطية على هزائمها على الأرض ويعكس حالة الهستيريا والتخبط والانهيار الذي تعانيه هذه المجموعات ومن يقف وراءها".

واختتم البيان إن القيادة العامة للجيش والقوات المسلحة إذ تؤكد إصرارها على تنفيذ واجباتها الدستورية في تخليص الوطن من رجس المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة "تدعو كل من يحمل السلاح ضد الدولة إلى تسليم نفسه للجهات المختصة لتسوية وضعه قبل فوات الأوان".

Posted by: brian | Aug 21, 2013 9:26:34 AM | 10

proof its a psyop:

Dylan @ProSyriana 7m
#FSA pages are using photos of #Rabaa victims in claims of chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta. #Syria #FSAcrimes 1/2 pic.twitter.com/qOzHNpwpnH (left is Rabaa)

Posted by: brian | Aug 21, 2013 9:27:25 AM | 11

Just as I said above - NYT: Syrian Rebels Accuse Government of Chemical Attack

Chemical weapons experts said the symptoms depicted in the video were inconsistent with the use of a conventional chemical weapon, like sarin or mustard gas.

Gwyn Winfield, editor of CBRNe World, a professional journal that covers nonconventional weapons, said the images suggested the possible use of a large amount of a crowd-control agent like tear gas in a confined space or a weakened form of a more powerful chemical agent.

In a statement read by a uniformed officer on Syrian state television, the army denied that chemical weapons had been used east of Damascus and said the reports were part of a “media war” designed to prevent Syria from fighting terrorists. The Syrian government regularly refers to the opposition as terrorists.

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2013 9:33:49 AM | 12

Readers and participants of sites such as this are a very very small contingent of humans. The majority, particularly in the United States, are misinformed and self-obsessed dolts, who swallow this shit hook line and sinker,(on the rare occassions they make any effort to look outside the window of thier own spheres).

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 21, 2013 9:34:35 AM | 13

Pentagon not interested in another open war:

Dempsey: Syrian rebels wouldn't back US interests

The Obama administration is opposed to even limited U.S. military intervention in Syria because it believes rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn't support American interests if they were to seize power right now, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote to a congressman in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2013 9:39:52 AM | 14

Moon of Alabama was down an hour ago, but now back up. Is there any explanation for this downtime? I am starting to suspect a DDoS attack timed and coordinated with the CW attack in Syria. A Closer Look On Syria is also down today. Two of the most important investigative sites following chemical weapons use in Syria being down at the same time does not look like a coincidence.

I asked our service provider at ShoutWiki for the reason for the downtime. They cannot explain it, but it is not related to any scheduled maintenance.

ShoutWiki: We're not really sure what is going on at the moment. DDoS seems like a feasible theory at this point in time, we're getting extremely high constant memory usage which is unnormal, especially for this time of day.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 21, 2013 10:22:25 AM | 15

Thanks b. This has been the 'rebel' pattern since the beginning.

P.S. I think you mean to say "perpetrated" rather than "purported." But I wish I could speak German even a tenth as well as you know English.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 21, 2013 10:35:31 AM | 16

b, as a tank person, is this real?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4b7_1377091682

Posted by: cloned_poster | Aug 21, 2013 10:47:52 AM | 17

#13

Why rule out Americans? Europeans are equally brainwashed these days.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 10:49:56 AM | 18

Moon of Alabama was down an hour ago, but now back up. Is there any explanation for this downtime?

It seems that Typepad which provides this blogging system and site was down. Other blogs running on typepad and unrelated to any Syria stuff were down too. Don't know yet why that happened but likely some technical problem.

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2013 11:23:19 AM | 19

Oh, good grief:

The SNC said at a press conference that 1,300 people had been killed as shells loaded with poisonous gas rained down on the capital's eastern suburbs of Douma, Jobar, Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma. George Sabra, the group's deputy head, told reporters in Istanbul the attack was a "coup de grace that kills all hopes for a political solution in Syria." The death toll he gave represented a vast increase from the figure of 213 suggested earlier by activists and medical sources.

I would have thought atrocity propaganda was one of the less intellectually demanding branches of psychological warfare, but it seems too much for these buffoons.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 21, 2013 11:32:29 AM | 20

The terrorists probably miss the soft PR touch of Qatar, compared to this ham handed Saudi-British stuff

Posted by: Crest | Aug 21, 2013 11:43:11 AM | 21

9/11 taught many ppl a lesson, all over the world. That is, manufactured events, to be effective, don’t actually require a high degree of credibility, believability. At the lowest level, it is enough (some think) to be reported in the media, to have some video, preferably of violence or horror, and to simply state that ‘it is so’. (See Karl Rove..) The outcome depends on how the event is received, who is ready to act on it, pretend to believe it, uphold the veracity, etc. A kind of parallel universe, which is nevertheless supposed to affect real-life events, or maybe even not, in some cases. Some of it is very reminiscent of TV reality shows, such as the underwear and shoe bombers. False flag, blaming an enemy, is naturally omnipresent. Creating the events, or even just making them up, but getting them on the media stage, is in itself a proof of power, importance...and credibility!

This event looks like it is 100% made up of whole cloth?

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 21, 2013 11:51:03 AM | 22

@17

Yes, I think the idea of American exceptionalism exists on both sides of the political spectrum.

Posted by: sleepy | Aug 21, 2013 12:05:30 PM | 23

One imagines that some here are not familiar with one of the most important photos of the last century:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-sEL3zj7C2w

It was a hoax, but "you provide the pictures, and I'll provide the war" is the phrase from Hearst.

What matters is firepower, as the people are braindead, and have no power. ZATO doesn't have the ability to get what it wants cheaply, so congratulations to the Syrians and their allies for holding off the Beast. Better seal the borders, though.

Posted by: Ozawa | Aug 21, 2013 12:09:00 PM | 24

Rowan

Wouldnt surprise me if FSA themselves did this to justify either weapons from west or intervention from west.
If not FSA, any other opposition group is obviously behind this.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 12:46:54 PM | 25

"the local co-ordination committees put the death toll at 1,360."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 21, 2013 12:54:59 PM | 26

Noirette (20) is absolutely right. It was confirmed by the news I heard on the radio "Assad killed 1300 Syrians" with some expert from Amnesty saying she never seen anything that bad since Saddam with the Kurds and don't forget that its not the 1st time Assad is using them. Quick conclusion are heard everywhere now in the mass medias.

In the best case scenario, its just a massive fake. In the worst case scenario, some crackpots killed many people only to get rid of Assad. And I still believe Bashar is not stupid enough to strike with chemical weapons with inspectors around.

Posted by: gregg | Aug 21, 2013 1:06:04 PM | 27

This must be the result of an agreement between Bandar and... somebody... who has Bandar been talking to? (apart from Putin, who presumably didn't agree to anything Bandar proposed to him).

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 21, 2013 1:18:32 PM | 28

Reading the news really give shows how ignorant people is - such hysteria - I cant read it, cant stand the warmongers, why do people never learn!?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 1:20:07 PM | 29

@cloned poster

b, as a tank person, is this real?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4b7_1377091682

Yes it is real. I have seen it. It is on a German weapon testing site (WD91) a few miles from where I was born. A sound absorber for artillery testing. Very effective too. When I was young we could hear them banging away a lot. Today it is more silent.

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2013 1:23:13 PM | 30

Apparently US will hold a press conference on Syria anytime soon now,
heres a live link:

http://abcnews.go.com/live

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 1:36:41 PM | 31

The idea that our elites care one whit about the Syrian people is laughable. Note how they support Both Moslem fanatics in Syria and Egyptian military which slaughters same.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 21, 2013 1:42:22 PM | 32

Note how the mainstream press refers to FSA terrorists as Syrian activists

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 21, 2013 1:46:15 PM | 33

@ Rowan

who has Bandar been talking to? (apart from Putin, who presumably didn't agree to anything Bandar proposed to him).

Sergei Lavrov got a phone call from him, probably yesterday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the Secretary General of the Saudi Council of National Security and Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan to discuss the conditions in Syria and Egypt as well as the Russian-Saudi questions of cooperation.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned that the call was in response to a Saudi request.

Source: Al Manar

Russia and Saudi appear to be having a lot of talk time over Syria. The Bandar-Putin meeting lasted 4 hours. Now this phone call between Lavrov and Bandar. Who knows what is going on. Was rumoured that Bandar offered to buy 20 Billion worth of miltary gear if Russia would stop supporting Assad in the UN. That shows that Saudi Arabia is at least aware its losing the war and is trying to bribe its way to victory.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 21, 2013 2:06:19 PM | 34

Only rt.com has reported the full quote (and the Swedish news agency?)
The UN expert and the head of the current mission to Damascus, Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, told news agency TT that while he had only seen TV footage, the high number of casualties reported sounded suspicious.

"It sounds like something that should be looked into," he told TT by phone. "It will depend on whether any UN member state goes to the secretary-general and says we should look at this event. We are in place."

He said that the high numbers of killed and wounded being reported are "suspicious."
http://rt.com/news/syria-chemical-weapons-un-775/

Posted by: Mina | Aug 21, 2013 2:20:27 PM | 35

Yeah, but I meant, who has Bandar been talking to on the proven anti-Assad team? That could include Turks, Israelis, Jordanians, British, French and US contributors (from Elliot Engel to Walnuts McCain). Bandar has an enviable ability to keep his movements & actions out of the media unless he wants them there. The only people we can be (fairly) sure he hasn't made some horrible deal with (a fake mass destruction event and a rapid invasion) are the White House and the Pentagon.

Now here's a goodie from the UK Telegraph to set against those instant experts who say the symptoms of the videoed victims are "compatible with sarin use":

"It does seem that some kind of attack did occur and it does seem to have been a poison gas attack in some form," said Dina Esfandiary, a WMD expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. But she pointed out one oddity. Assad's regime has three kinds of nerve gas: sarin, mustard and VX. The symptoms they inflict on their victims are, respectively, convulsions, skin blistering and immediate death. But many of the living victims in the footage display neither of the first two signs. Ms Esfandiary said there could be a simple explanation: the regime might have used a mixture of sarin and mustard gas for this particular attack.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 21, 2013 2:24:21 PM | 36

I realize there are few fans of Juan Cole here but I have found that he tries to be fair. (He was a big supporter of the Nato attack on Libya and supports the FSA today) But today he has lost all of his usual skepticism and is promoting this current chemical weapons attack story (with a few weak caveats).

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 21, 2013 2:27:17 PM | 37

Since Israel have sneaked into Syria territory before, could it be a drone by Israel that dropped this chemical bomb, if, this attack occured at all?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 2:28:54 PM | 38

@RB Dina Esfandiary is by no means a "WMD expert". She has political degrees and no scientific or military background.
http://www.iiss.org/en/persons/dina-s-esfandiary

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2013 2:34:02 PM | 39

The Russian Foreign Ministry, citing its sources, said that a homemade rocket carrying unidentified chemical substances had been launched from an area controlled by the opposition.

“A homemade rocket with a poisonous substance that has not been identified yet – one similar to the rocket used by terrorists on March 19 in Khan al-Assal - was fired early on August 21 [at Damascus suburbs] from a position occupied by the insurgents,” Lukashevich said. http://rt.com/news/russia-syria-chemical-attack-801/

Posted by: Mina | Aug 21, 2013 2:57:35 PM | 40

so israel blame Assad for attack, israel want intervention and I wouldnt be surprised one bit if them are behind this attack.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 21, 2013 4:20:40 PM | 41

On a whiteboard in some conference room in Langley is a timeline at the end of which is U.S./NATO intervention. Dempsey's junket and now this crass attempt to hijack Sellstrom's fact-finding mission in Khan al-Assal are both intended, I think, to create a no-fly/no-go zone in designated areas of Syria.

How much longer are decent reporters like Ben Hubbard for the NYT going to give priority to quotes from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 21, 2013 5:01:40 PM | 42

Well, the New York Times is not really buying it

While the veracity of the visual evidence uploaded to YouTube could not be independently established, chemical weapons experts told The Times that the injuries seen in footage from the region did not appear to be consistent with the effects of a conventional chemical weapon like sarin or mustard gas and that the deaths might have been caused by the use of a weaker chemical agent in a confined space.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 21, 2013 5:18:46 PM | 43

East Ghouta CHEMICAL attack never happened. An heroic Russian TV crew were on the ground at that time. http://anna-news.info/node/12226

Posted by: Mcdoo | Aug 21, 2013 5:48:43 PM | 44

Worst false flag evar.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 7:54:00 PM | 45

#45....

Naaaahhh. Actually 9/11 was. We just refuse to admit it. The "official story" they have fed us about the towers is every bit as ridiculous as this crock of shit is.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 21, 2013 7:59:40 PM | 46

Is the UN going to investigate every incidence of foaming at the mouth and inhalation of chemicals that are treated by inhaling onions? If so, I look forward to an intensive UN investigation and presence at the site of nonviolent protests on the West Bank, where the Israeli Army uses US-made tear-gas in a manner warned against by the manufacturer (confined spaces, canisters fired at demonstrators at pointblank range):

"People working in the field hospital are overwhelmed and unable to do anything for the wounded. There is a severe lack of medicines. The wounded are being treated using just water and onions," Abu Jihad, an activist in Irbin, told AFP via the Internet.

One photo purportedly taken by activists in Douma showed the bodies of at least 16 children and three adults, one wearing combat fatigues, laid at the floor of a room in a medical facility where the bodies were collected.

Syrian opposition activists claimed rockets with chemical agents hit the suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar in the Ghouta region.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Aug 21, 2013 8:22:54 PM | 47

I hear that the inspectors are tied to their mandate, effectively binding them to investigation of three different earlier possible incidents, without assigning blame to either side. A widening of the mandate would need approval of the syrian government; that being potentially overriden by a decision of the UNSC.

Posted by: persiflo | Aug 21, 2013 8:28:09 PM | 48

The obvious catalyst is the growing chorus of news suggesting that peace is about to break out with Iran.
A new President with a new negotiator on the nuclear "issue" and there are reports everywhere that this time an agreement with the US is possible.

That is the danger. Neither Israel nor the US gives a pinch of shit about Syria, the real enemies are Iran and Hezbollah the one state and the one resistance movement that defies them successfully.
Syria is the weak point, it always was: like Iraq it is a hinge between the two and it is being attacked to weaken both.
Last week a bomb in Beirut, this week a transparently fictitious gas attack in Syria.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 21, 2013 8:46:22 PM | 49

Of course these highly-paid Western UN "inspectors" will be sent to investigate "who fired the chemical weapons" instead of "why did the Syrian rebels murder the people they are supposedly protecting"?

It is truly bizarre. Millions spent on a trip to investigate a farce so obvious that even the ever gullible Western media practically paid to do so won't buy it, but nothing to end the deaths of innocent people.

Its not unlike the phony storefronts for the G20 meetings. It's a complete fraud that salves liberal guilt while the real crimes they are complicit in carry on unabated.

"I'm sorry sir, we're actually not here to look to investigate why your wife and children have been murdered, we're just here to make sure one side didn't kill them in a particular way. Because that would really be a tragedy." That logic must really fill the locals with confidence.

True mass insanity. How fucking infuriating.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 9:03:01 PM | 50

"I'm sorry sir, it seems your family was murdered by the wrong people and in the wrong way. There is nothing we can do about it. But you can have complete confidence that had they been murdered in the right manner by the right people, NOTHING would prevent us from taking action. We've drawn a red line that shall not be crossed!"

Fucking. Assholes. Truly the kind of heartless injustice carried out with the air of self-satisfied importance that makes people hate the West.

It was a similar act that nearly made justifiable the Taliban's destroying of ancient works of art because the west had sent money for their restoration while children were starving nearby. It doesn't make it right, but its hard not to understand where they were coming from.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 9:20:59 PM | 51

"The people of the United States are so sorry that your family has been murdered in this senseless act of violence, sadly there is nothing we can do.

You surely know from our solemn speeches and the promises of our paid pundits in the international media, though, that if your family had been murdered by the right people and in the correct manner, nothing would stop us from dropping as many bombs on as many cities as was necessary to make sure we live up to our responsibility to protect the lives of every dead Syrian. This is our commitment, Our president has drawn a red line on this.

And of course, after we've bombed your country, we'll make sure every Syrian, from all the refugees we'll surely have created down to every last member of your dead family will have the right to vote and a place in a free market economy. What's left of this country will be a democracy. That's us living up to our commitment to our values. Nothing would keep us from that."

Ugh.

This is exactly the kind of heartless injustice done with an air of self-satisfied superiority that makes one want to weep.

It is the kind of value-free "liberal" thinking that can nearly justify acts such as the Taliban destroying ancient works of art because the west had sent money for their restoration while children starved not far away. I'm not saying the Taliban was right of course, I'm just saying I can see why that might have done something like that out of pure spite.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 9:51:32 PM | 52

oops. triple post. wtf. I thought the middle one got lost.

Sorry all.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 9:53:10 PM | 53

ack. wtf, sorry for triple post. I thought the others were eaten.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 9:57:05 PM | 54

lol. fuck me...

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 9:57:59 PM | 55

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!? Those BABIES were just acting then were they?! Convulsing, crying and gasping for breath? Conspiracy theorists are already well known for being full on mental retards but this takes the piss!!

Posted by: wow | Aug 22, 2013 2:15:17 AM | 56

This video seems to indicate that there is a high chance the scenes have been doctored ( eg. administering injections to children that are supposed to be dead; corpses that seem to move from place to place)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbXbafI7cCw

Posted by: TimG | Aug 22, 2013 3:22:17 AM | 57

Deleted Daily Mail Online Article: “US Backed Plan for Chemical Weapon Attack in Syria to Be Blamed on Assad”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/deleted-daily-mail-online-article-us-backed-plan-for-chemical-weapon-attack-in-syria-to-be-blamed-on-assad/5339178

Posted by: brian | Aug 22, 2013 3:36:10 AM | 58

RT reports that France Foreign Minister threatens force, if UNSC fails to act, over alleged Chemical attack in Syria.

Posted by: tom | Aug 22, 2013 4:22:58 AM | 59

As the dust settles, I detect a hint of scepticism in the States - which is entirely absent in the UK, where editors consult with the Government.


NYT Images of Death in Syria, but No Proof of Chemical Attack

CNN Suffering in Syria is clear, but cause and culprits are murky

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 22, 2013 6:17:16 AM | 60

Fabius, as usual :D
He wants a "forceful reaction" but "no troops to be sent".

Le Monde jumped on that story, pushing the 1.300 death toll and citing anonymous experts telling "yes, this is Sarin" while at the same time showcasing some video where we can see people bare-arms walking among so-called Sarin victimes.
BS.

Posted by: Rhysa | Aug 22, 2013 6:37:21 AM | 61

Another massacre marketing made to order..How f*cking coincidental...Snowden linked-journalist is illegally detained and his computer smashed, Egypt is now back in the hands of Pentagon, UN team finally get the go-ahead to investigate previous Chemical attack..

SUDDENLY this...The warmongers and their self appointed "experts" are out there on tv all day since yesterday, frothing at the mouth for the next big actions and even accusing Obama for his "weakness" to "act".

Apparently, according to them, Syria's crossed all of Obama's "red-lines" (Whatever that means)..Since when did anybody elect the US as the leader/representative of Syrians????

Posted by: Zico | Aug 22, 2013 6:39:07 AM | 62

Reuters have that fabius story, here. Back in March he was pontificating about the arms embargo. He is a blusterer. He's also very irritating in his choice of words. He said that if Assad refuses to let the UN inspection team investigate the site, he will have been "caught with his hand in the till." For some reason, RT have watered that down into, if the Syrian govt refuses the inspection, "this will mean that it is guilty."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 22, 2013 6:41:54 AM | 63

Interesting perspective from Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert doing the rounds at the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK.

"I'm not aware that the rebels have that capability, so at the moment, until we know more, it is looking very much like it is a regime delivered massacre."

As a chemical weapons expert, thank you for going beyond your remit and giving us your irrelevant opinion as to where responsibity for the attack rests.

Guilty until proven innocent - the motto of the Iraq invasion.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 22, 2013 7:08:47 AM | 64

The following map dated 16 Aug 2013 is a pretty accurate depiction of the current status of the conflict in the Damascus area (and the individual who produced the map is a longstanding supporter of the government side): http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uPQv-bt3nwE/Ug5fnRcotuI/AAAAAAAAE9k/UyiCg7tRL28/s1600/watermarked-64495_10200282842454845_396147978_n.jpg

The map shows areas controlled by (a) the government, (b) the rebels, and (c) neither side. The areas controlled by neither side are almost completely depopulated of civilians and are the scene of daily fighting, every day for months. It is notable that the government's army has not succeeded in restoring security to these conflict areas despite a lot of hard work and heavy weaponry over the last months. With regard to the areas controlled by the rebels, the government's army has not ventured into those areas in year 2013, and lots of civilians remain living there. If the army were to take the fight to those areas it would cause a lot of displacement of civilians, and it would NOT be likely to restore security to them (in view of the experience in the areas with daily fighting). There is a commenter above at #8 who says the situation in Damascus today is "basically just mop up operations and clearing the last pockets of insurgent activity." He is badly misinformed.

The story that the government's army has used chemical weapons is a complete fiction, I know, and there are a handful of ways to know it.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 7:16:41 AM | 65

Fabius, what a F clown. So lets say rebels are behind it, will he then also send french planes to bombard rebels? No of course not, so much for the alleged concern for civilians and humanism!

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 22, 2013 7:40:11 AM | 66

@wow

There is real death and suffering no doubt. The attack was real but who did it?

Yet you come to what, defend the mutilation of innocents by those terrorists the west has sent?

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 22, 2013 7:57:20 AM | 67

@65 Parviziyi

There is a commenter above at #8 who says the situation in Damascus today is "basically just mop up operations and clearing the last pockets of insurgent activity." He is badly misinformed.

That's me and I don't think I'm misinformed at all. The map you included is great, always feel that maps like this of who controls areas can be as informative as whole articles. I think the map is fully accurate to what I've been reading on Damascus. At my comment at post #8 I said

In the Eastern outskirts of Damascus, the SAA has been pushing the rebels further and further back for months Jobar, Barzeh and Al Ghouta are the 3 main areas where fighting is still taking place. All on the outer edge of the city.

A look at that map you provided shows that the fighting has been pushed out of Damascus city and into the eastern outskirts amoung the "green belt" of Al Ghouta farms. The closest rebel held areas to the city are the relatively built up areas of Jobar, Barzeh and Harasta clustered along the North East and the current target of the new SAA offensive. While dislodging them from these areas will be tough the fighting in the farmlands of Al Ghouta should be a lot easier (in relation to rural combat with air support being easier than urban combat inside the built up areas).

Also you would have to wonder how much supplies are reaching the rebels Damascus front with most of the South and Central Syria under SAA control. I think I have an optimistic view of the Battle of Damascus versus your pessimistic view. On a related note the military advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader, a General named Yahya Rahim Safavi had this to say on Monday about where things stand on Syria:

Syrian terrorists have been almost defeated from the military perspective. What is left is the Geneva 2 conference. On one side there will be the US, Israel, France, England, Turkey and some Arab states, which supported the opposition. As a result of its domestic issues, Turkey has now realized its strategic mistake and left the front. Saudi Arabia is dealing with its Egypt project. The rest of the front is present but defeated.

But on the other side of this front, there reside Russia, China and Iran, which aided Syria. Of course, Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah aided Syria politically and internationally as they support restoration of peace, stability and tranquility to Syria.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 22, 2013 8:23:03 AM | 68

How do we know it wasn’t a Syrian Army attack by accident where rockets with chemical warheads got mixed in with a truckload of rockets with HE warheads?

Earlier attacks which seem to be much smaller could have been when either rebel captured a Syrian Army rocket and not knowing what they had used it. Or some Syrian Army or militia did the same thing when they came across some rockets.

Posted by: Bill Smith | Aug 22, 2013 8:26:15 AM | 69

The Axis of Evil, The UK, France and Turkey, are leading calls for a tough international response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23795088

"All red lines have been crossed but still the UN Security Council has not even been able to take a decision," - Mr Davutoglu said.

The BSBC article is full of pictures of men, women and children wearing respirators or/and gas masks.

Posted by: Caroll | Aug 22, 2013 8:28:39 AM | 70

@56

If it was Sarin... They wouldnt be gasping for breath. They would be DEAD.

Youre really easy to fool mate.

They may have been gasping from the dust caused by artillery shelling or something. There are infinitely many reasons for why the babies could be gasping.

Posted by: Massinissa | Aug 22, 2013 8:43:20 AM | 71

caroll

Where were turkey when the FSA used chemical weapons or massacres? Where were turks when the FSA feasted on human heart? Not a redline?
Complete idiots!

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 22, 2013 8:52:32 AM | 72

How do we know it wasn’t a Syrian Army attack by accident where rockets with chemical warheads got mixed in with a truckload of rockets with HE warheads? Posted by: Bill Smith | Aug 22, 2013 8:26:15 AM | 69
If there is any regular army artillery or rocket battery, anywhere in the world, which could make a mistake like that, even if their brigade sent them CW 'mixed in' with HE, which I'm sure it wouldn't, then the state it belongs to deserves to be declared 'failed' and drummed out of the assembly of sovereign nations. Anyway, what the hell would they have thought they were doing, bombarding family homes? It's a targeting error, irrespective of the type of shells or rockets.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 22, 2013 8:54:10 AM | 73

THe same people making a fuss about what is almost certainly a false flag chem attack, pretty much ignored reports of an FSA massacre of 400 Kurds recently.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 22, 2013 8:56:12 AM | 74

It's about time someone, possibly Russia, discreetly sent some special forces in order to swiftly clean out the vermin infestation in Syria.

Furthermore, I think that it's about time to strongly support (incl. weapons) the people in saudi arabia, qatar, etc.

Finally, a solid assortment of S-300 and Onyx should be stationed in Syria along with a clear message like "If israel just does so much as saying 'eek' it will be completely and utterly destroyed. Any nato members going against Russia will be destroyed too."

This whole thing gets more ridiculous by the day. Creeps and thugs running formerly important countries like usa, uk, france, which are hardly more than factually insignificant, (not only) financially rotten blobs, are ruining this planet and terrorizing every peaceloving country and the world just shrugs.

Nothing needs to be destroyed. It's fully sufficient to confront the zato-blobs and israel with "either you shut up and retreat or you fight. We mean it."

One exception: the vast majority of western "politicians" need to be brought before court and locked away like what they are, criminals.

Otherwise I find it funny. cameron, obama, fabius ... what a muppet show.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 22, 2013 9:29:17 AM | 75

@ Colm O'Toole #68: I remember, some months ago, roughly around March, you said on this board that the fall of Damascus to the rebels was looking likely to happen. You were misinformed then, and now that you've done a reversal in polarity in your mind you're still misinformed, says I.

I agree with your comment that the rebels in Damascus cannot be well supplied because the government controls the surrounding countryside. Relatedly, I agree with the following statement about Damascus from an anti-government Western journalist who was on the ground with the rebels in the area from April to June. (By the way what he says in this quote about Aleppo is defective, and I don't think he was actually an observer on the ground in Aleppo, at least not in the period applicable to his comment about Aleppo).

An independent Western photojournalist: "We were in Jobar district [in Damascus] from April 3-15 [2013], then Zamalka district [in Damascus] for three weeks. We spent the last three weeks in the suburbs east of Damascus [known as Al-Ghouta district]. We were mainly with the Tahrir al-Sham FSA brigade.... The FSA controls Ghouta and also a little area called Jobar, which is on the other side of the northern highway to Homs. It’s not like in the north where the FSA first controlled the countryside and had rear territories that allowed them to get ammunition, supplies and men. Around Damascus it’s the opposite: they don’t control the countryside, and there are lots of army bases all around. They are not in a strong position; Bashar is the strongest now. The Syrian army is really trying to cut off their supplies from behind. http://beta.syriadeeply.org/2013/07/photographer-crossed-obamas-red-line/

The Syrian army has always had that advantage in Damascus and its hinterlands. However, for all this year so far the army has been ineffective in its efforts to stamp out the rebels in the northern Damascus city area of Jobar-AlQaboon-Barzeh, and the southern Damascus area of Darayya, and it hasn't ventured into the eastern Damascus area. Bashar Assad said correctly a number of times this year that there is no place in Syria the army can't go if it really wants to. But one of the problems we're seeing is that the army is not effective at imposing itself and enforcing security in an areas after it goes in. (That's not counting a few non-Damascus areas where the rebels have opted to withdraw from, for tactical reasons). Where ever the rebels chose to fight, we see they are able to keep on fighting, keep on destroying security, despite being much outgunned. The rebels failed to penetrate into the heavily guarded inner Damascus, while the army failed and is still failing to enforce law and order in outer Damascus. It is an error to characterize the army's activities in outer Damascus as "mop up operations and clearing the last pockets of insurgent activity", becuase what's happening is the army is trying and failing to enforce itself in a few outer Damascus areas, while leaving other outer Damascus areas unaddressed.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 10:03:36 AM | 76

@ Colm O'Toole #68: I remember, some months ago, roughly around March, you said on this board that the fall of Damascus to the rebels was looking likely to happen. You were misinformed then, and now that you've done a reversal in polarity in your mind you're still misinformed, says I.

I agree with your comment that the rebels in Damascus cannot be well supplied because the government controls the surrounding countryside. Relatedly, I agree with the following about Damascus from an anti-government Western journalist who was on the ground with the rebels in the area from April to June 2013. (By the way what he says in this quote about Aleppo is defective, and I don't think he was actually an observer on the ground in Aleppo in the period applicable to his comment about Aleppo).

"We were in Jobar district [in Damascus] from April 3-15 [2013], then Zamalka district [in Damascus] for three weeks. We spent the last three weeks in the suburbs east of Damascus [known as Al-Ghouta district]. We were mainly with the Tahrir al-Sham FSA brigade.... The FSA controls Ghouta and also a little area called Jobar, which is on the other side of the northern highway to Homs. It’s not like in the north where the FSA first controlled the countryside and had rear territories that allowed them to get ammunition, supplies and men. Around Damascus it’s the opposite: they don’t control the countryside, and there are lots of army bases all around. They are not in a strong position; Bashar is the strongest now. The Syrian army is really trying to cut off their supplies from behind. http://beta.syriadeeply.org/2013/07/photographer-crossed-obamas-red-line/

The Syrian army has always had that advantage in Damascus hinterlands. However, for all this year so far the army has been ineffective in trying to impose itself and enforce security and stamp out the rebels in the northern Damascus city area of Jobar-AlQaboon-Barzeh, and the southern Damascus area of Darayya, and it hasn't ventured into the eastern Damascus area. Where ever the rebels chose to fight, we see they are able to keep on fighting, keep on destroying security, despite being much outgunned. The rebels failed to penetrate into the heavily guarded inner Damascus, while the army failed and is still failing to create law and order in outer Damascus. It is an error to characterize the army's activities in outer Damascus as "mop up operations and clearing the last pockets of insurgent activity", becuase what's happening is the army is trying and failing in a few outer Damascus areas, while leaving other outer Damascus areas unaddressed.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 10:11:35 AM | 77

Fred Engdahl, again not a military expert but an important voice in the independent anti-imperialist commentariat, notes on RT:

The region reported to be the site of the poison gas attack by Assad forces, Eastern Ghouta, was re-secured from Jabhat al-Nusra by Government troops in May as part of a major series of rollback victories against the insurgent forces, and is not currently a scene of any major resistance to Assad forces.

In support he refers us to this May article:
Following on from successes in al-Otaiba, Eastern Damascus countryside, Syrian troops are continuing to push eastward in an apparent attempt to secure the surrounds of Damascus International Airport and to protect the city itself from rocket attacks. The victories in al-Otaiba, al-Adra and other towns and villages in Eastern Ghouta follows string of successes by the Syrian Army and National Defence Forces in recent weeks. Both are on the offensive, securing areas on the outskirts of Damascus, the border with Lebanon and in the North of Syria where Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremist groups are very active.... (etc)

There is a useful little map of the 'eastern Damascus countryside' in that article as well.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 22, 2013 10:15:18 AM | 78

And notice how the actual massacres in Egypt are off limits to discourse by our Zionist media.
Our world is being destroyed so a bunch of racist paranoid wackos can live in their ever enlarging villa in the jungle,the jungle largely(of course Britain France and US bear some responsibility with their neolibcon corporate greed) created by the creation of their racist and aggressive state which thumbs its nose at international law,while its media arm propagandizes at will and incessantly.
What was that old chestnut:No man is an island unto himself?Well these arrogant humans,(#1,compared to the rest of us being 1a or 1b)who think there will be no payback for their 70 year record of criminality and hatred,will have another think coming,eventually.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 22, 2013 10:51:16 AM | 79

@77

I find your persistent and repetitive jibes at the Syrian Army annoying, but you are welcome to your opinion.

However, Assad himself was in Darayya two weeks ago. You can also follow the efforts (or 'failings') of the Syrian Army as they take the fight to militants in Al Qaboon here.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 22, 2013 11:07:20 AM | 80

b, that bbc article you linked claimed the rebels used sarin. You seem to be implying that the rebels dropped sarin on their own people as a false flag operation. But you had just made claims that it didn't look like sarin was used because no one was wearing protective suits. So by your assertion, the rebels couldn't have used sarin either.

Wouldn't a more plausible explanation be that one side used a chemical agent below military grade? These videos resemble videos from Gaza shown a few years back that indicated Israel's use of a chemical agent. That side could've been either side. The Syrian army using a below military grade agent not the concern of the inspectors would sound more plausible than the rebels staging a false flag operation.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Aug 22, 2013 11:21:35 AM | 81

@ Pat Bateman #80 : Daily fighting between army and rebels is still ongoing in Darrayya and Al-Qaboon. The army has been trying to eradicate the rebels from Darayya since December 2012. Early this Spring, pro-government commentators were pointing to Darayya as a success for the army and the army's methods. Today Darayya is not fit for human habitation because it's too insecure and there's too much fighting. It's still a war zone. In Al-Qaboon, the army has been fighting against the rebels all this summer. The army began an initiative in Al-Qaboon early this summer, which immediately reduced the number of rebels in the neighborhood. But the neighborhood is still a war zone today. In Darayya and Al-Qaboon the army greatly outnumbers the rebels in manpower and weaponry, but they are failing and failing and failing to defeat the rebels. That's a fact. And as I've said many times before, I do attribute the army's failings to ineptness on the part of the Syrian army. I say the Syrian army's performace is substandard. If this fight were going on in Russia, Germany, the UK, or Israel, it'd be much closer to over by now because of better marshalling of the security forces in those countries. The Syrian army has much room to improve the ways it marshalls or arranges its soldiers attacking on the ground, including the ways the soldiers are protected from the guerrilla riflemen.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 11:42:08 AM | 82

On Apr 1 of this year, Time Magazine ran an interesting piece about the chlorine factory seized by Jabhat al-Nusra in August of last year:

In August rebel forces took Sabbagh’s factory by force, as part of a sweep that also netted them an electricity station and a military airport about 30 km from Aleppo. Sabbagh, who has since fled Aleppo for Beirut, says his factory is now occupied by Jabhat al-Nusra. He knows this because his site manager has struck a deal with the rebels: they supply 200 L of fuel a day to keep the generator running so that the valves of his $25m factory don’t freeze up. The factory isn’t operational anymore, but this way at least, says Sabbagh, it might be one day in the future. In the meantime, he has no idea what has happened, if anything, to the 400 or so steel barrels of chlorine gas he had stored in the compound. The yellow tanks, which hold one ton of gas each, are used for purifying municipal water supplies.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 22, 2013 11:43:33 AM | 83

@ Rowan Berkeley #78: The reported neighborhoods of this reported chemical attack in the Damascus Al-Ghouta area are: Hammuriyah, Irbin, Saqba, Kafr Batna, Mudamiyah, Harasta, Zamalka and Ain Terma. Those are rebel-held areas and have been all this year. The stuff that you quoted at #78 is false and misleading because it's about al-Otaiba which is a government-held area further east, and al-Adra which is essentially a government-held area lying to the north. See the map linked to at #65.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 11:57:34 AM | 84

Petri @ 2 corrects b in the top post, saying b’s word use of UN inspectors is not right, nothing like the ‘inspection’ regime Iraq was put under (the word inspectors is used in the MSM, what a surprise) and that they are investigators.

But this is also incorrect, as they are officially speaking, observers.

Mandated to observe, which means collect testimony from ppl, see what you can, etc. and write reports on that.

So it is a kind of investigation, but considered personal, impressionistic, as most ‘observations’ on the ground, and the reports have no legal or other status, beyond the fact that the signatories are presumed sincere and to be detailing their experience.

Observers are the very lowest level of UN fact-finding missions, and can be suggested or mandated by any branch (afaik?), can only operate with full agreement of the host country, and can only request, never demand, to see x or y, to question a or b, etc.

So of minor importance in the present deathly turmoil, still I thought it was worth pointing out MSM distortions, the lack of UN engagement, the exaggerated importance accorded to the so-called ‘inspectors’...

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 22, 2013 12:08:37 PM | 85

@ Parviziyi, 84: Yes, I can see you're right. I've been looking at the sources used on the wikipedia page for this event. I've concluded that these are not so much 'villages' as suburbs of Damascus, which means they are more densely populated than villages would be, and that the inhabitants are mostly or all Sunnis and at least passive supporters of the rebellion. Of course, every statement about the qualities of the zones as targets is double-edged: exactly the same logic that suggests they would be logical targets for the government forces if they were feeling ruthless, also suggests that they would be logical targets for the rebels if the rebels wanted to frame the government. But I'm wondering about the strategic status of these zones. Can I take it that in fact the rebels have positions in these zones, such as machine gun nests, so that the Army cannot pass through them, and has to go round them to get in and out of Damascus from the east? If the rebels have positions in these zones, such as machine gun nests, then we can see a logical set of targets for the Army to bombard or rocket; otherwise, not.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 22, 2013 12:23:47 PM | 86

@Pat Bateman; you see, Parviziyi is a dude with an agenda.. he shows up all over the net doing exactly the same thing,i.e, denigrading the Syrian army and its performance and pretending the insurgents are not getting their butts kicked, which they are.
He writes long uninteresting and intellectually dishonest posts that should be just ignored.
For instance, for all his attacks on the Syrian army's performance, he CANNOT explain how the most lavishedly equipped and paid military, the US, has failed after a long war to defeat a few thousand lightly armed goat herders in Afghanistan. A good case for US failure could be made re Iraq as well. The Russians suceeded against the Chechens, but it took them 2 bloody wars to do it. Parviziyi's israeli heroes are only good at shooting children, women and old men and preferably from 25,000 feet. They were defeated by Hezb guerrillas and expelled from most of Lebanon by 2000. More recently were completely defeated by a much upgraded Hezb in 06, despite their massive firepower and menpower advantages. The israeli army is substandart and it has not really won any wars since 67.

Posted by: Luca K | Aug 22, 2013 12:57:02 PM | 87

Another expert cast doubt on the chemical attack, implies possible hoax.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh4GHMqONMo

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 22, 2013 2:36:24 PM | 88

@ Rowan Berkeley #86: The areas marked as rebel-held on the map have not had a Syrian army presence for a long time (I'm foggy about the exact time). During 2013 the army has not attempted to regain those areas for the reasons I mentioned at #65, i.e. it would cause a lot of displacement of civilians, and it would not be likely to restore security to the areas (in view of the experiences in the areas where the army has gone in fighting for control such as Darayya and Jowbar-Qaboon), and re-gaining them is not a strategic priority for the army this year. The army in 2013 has made eastward incursions along the Harasta-Irbin-Zamalka front (just east of the main northbound highway), but only as a supporting piece for its onslaught in the Jowbar-Qaboon area (just west of the highway). The army has not tried in 2013 to re-gain genuine control of Harasta-Irbin-Zamalka, and I think there's not a good reason to try until after Jowbar-Qaboon is genuinely secured. As for the rebels' defensive fortifications in Harasta-Irbin-Zamalka and the rest of Al-Ghouta, the rebels have no defense against government shelling except to spread themselves out thin and be mobile.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 2:57:23 PM | 89

Maniac Netanyahu cant stop dragging in Iran into every sentence coming out of his mouth. Now blaming Iran for the attacks.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israeli-pm-netanyahu-condemns-reported-syria-chemical-attack.aspx?pageID=238&nID=53074&NewsCatID=352

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 22, 2013 3:03:07 PM | 90

Japanese CW specialists who cleaned a metro station in Tokyo 8 hours after a small bottle of sarin was thrown in 1995
pic.twitter.com/JtnT8mIhNl

nothing like tbis in syria alleged attack

Posted by: brian | Aug 22, 2013 6:41:56 PM | 91

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22, 2013 11:42:08 AM | 82


use of word 'rebels' s not very helpful: it implies they are syrian

Posted by: brian | Aug 22, 2013 6:42:58 PM | 92

As the dust settles, I detect a hint of scepticism in the States - which is entirely absent in the UK, where editors consult with the Government.


Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 22, 2013 6:17:16 AM | 60

in UK: editors consult with Regime; in US: Regime consults with editors

Posted by: brian | Aug 22, 2013 6:44:25 PM | 93

#93 For reasons I cannot begin to fathom France and the UK want war with Syria. No fly zones, Nato troops, whatever. In the US, especially in the military, there is real aversion to going to another war. The mainstream press in all three countries reflect the government's desires.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 22, 2013 7:09:39 PM | 94

#91 - But do the rebel held suburbs have access to such suits?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Aug 22, 2013 7:30:42 PM | 95

Voice of Russia article: News of alleged Chemical attack published a day before the incident in question.

Posted by: tom | Aug 22, 2013 8:12:04 PM | 96

He said she said. Maybe the rebels(one of the inumerable groups either for or against assad,s gov) did it to blame it on the regime, maybe the
regime did it to blame it in the rebels.
Or maybe the regime did it so the rebels would look like they did it and are blaming the regime for doing it.
And on and on.
Down with dictators!

Posted by: micky9finger | Aug 22, 2013 8:33:28 PM | 97

I was amazed that this was water cooler conversation at work today. The media and propagandists like wow and Inkan1969 will get this war to surpass 200,000.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 22, 2013 8:39:46 PM | 98

"Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!? Those BABIES were just acting then were they?! Convulsing, crying and gasping for breath? Conspiracy theorists are already well known for being full on mental retards but this takes the piss!!"

This pisses me off so much.

Not only did NO ONE suggest that the attack was not real, the poster has the temerity to suddenly scream "BABIES" only when it is suitable to their "side". There is no interest in stopping the war at all - they don't demand peace, they seek only, from their comfortable lives far from the fighting, to bring the murder to the next level. They use the death of children to call for the death of still more children. Can there anything so sickening on the face of this earth?

All the other babies, starving in camps or orphaned, mean nothing until it can be used like cheap props in their shabby media melodrama - like the men in today's videos who are far more keen to shake the wounded child in front of a video camera instead of seeking help for it.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 22, 2013 11:14:32 PM | 99

@guest77 #99:

"WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREEEEEEEEEEEEN?" has been the disingenuous go-to response of the useful idiot for as long as there have been useful idiots. The shrillness doesn't even register on my charts anymore.

Posted by: Monolycus | Aug 23, 2013 1:25:51 AM | 100

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