US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that it was undeniable that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons earlier this month, killing anywhere from a few dozen to claims of more than a thousand dead. He accused the Syrian government of “indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.” He overtly threatened war.
When the Syrian government shocked the US and agreed to allow UN inspectors to investigate the alleged scene of the crime, the US government panicked, first pressuring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to call off the UN mission and when that did not work claiming that the inspection was meaningless anyway no matter what it found.
Verdict first, evidence promised later.
But the US/UK story continues to fall apart, with Western chemical weapons casting serious doubt on the claims that nerve gas was used as Kerry claimed.
Steve Johnson, an expert in hazardous material exposure at England's Cranfield University, is among an increasing number of experienced chemical weapons professionals to which the claims make no sense.
From the details we have seen so far, a large number of casualties over a wide area would mean quite a pervasive dispersal.In an editorial calling the Secretary of State's comments, "John Kerry's 'Colin Powell moment," one publication pointed out:
With that level of chemical agent, you would expect to see a lot of contamination on the casualties coming in, and it would affect those treating them who are not properly protected. We are not seeing that here.
While invoking the “moral obscenity” of indiscriminate killings with chemical weapons, the Obama administration continues to fund the Egyptian military junta, which over the last month has slaughtered thousands of unarmed protesters in the streets.But the most shocking news to come out, as the US attempts to shift decidedly negative opinion in the US and the rest of the world about Western war plans for Syria, is that, according to recently declassified CIA documents, the US aided and abetted the Iraqi government's massive use of chemical weapons against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Sarin gas was used with full US knowledge and assistance, and tens of thousands perhaps many more were killed.
The Russians are astonished at the transparently flimsy claims the US and UK governments are using to justify a Western attack on Syria.
Said Alexei Pushkov, chair of the Russian Federation State Duma's international affairs committee:
"To us, it looks as though [George W.] Bush, [Dick] Cheney and [Donald] Rumsfeld never left the White House. [...] It's basically the same policy, as if US leaders had learned nothing and forgotten nothing in the past decade. They want to topple foreign leaders they regard as adversaries,without even making the most basic calculations of the consequences. An intervention in Syria will only enlarge the area of instability in the Middle East and expand the scope of terrorist activity. I am at a complete loss to understand what the US thinks it is doing."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wonders why the US has presented no evidence of its claims, even as it is obvious to many that the alleged chemical attack smacks of a false front. He said Monday:
They cannot produce evidence, but keep on saying that the 'red line' has been crossed and they cannot wait any longer....
There is information that videos were posted on the internet hours before the purported attack, and other reasons to doubt the rebel narrative.
Those involved with the incident wanted to sabotage the upcoming Geneva peace talks. Maybe that was the motivation of those who created this story. The opposition obviously does not want to negotiate peacefully....
Given this push-back from the Russians, the examination of the claimed attack site by UN investigators, and the growing body of chemical weapons experts to whom the symptoms produced by the "attack" do not comport with their experience and understanding of the claimed chemical agents, the US has abruptly announced that it would cancel scheduled high level meetings with Russian government officials in the Hague on Wednesday.
The US claims this cancellation is due to the Administration's ongoing planning of a response to the alleged chemical attack. Perhaps. But perhaps the US side, which was set to include the "US special envoy to the Syrian opposition" Ambassador Robert Ford was about to hear an earful from the Russians. The consequences of the incredible recklessness and foolishness of the US government to go to war on so flimsy an excuse may well be regional and even global.