web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



NY Times: No Smoking Gun in Syria Chemical Massacre

What happened to the intelligence intercepts implicating the Syrian government in the chemical attack?
UN inspectors outside their Damascus hotel. So far, there doesn't seem to be hard proof of the Assad regime's complicity in the August 21 chemical attack. The most U.S. officials are able to say on the record is that Assad must be punished for the atrocities that took place on his watch.

UN inspectors outside their Damascus hotel. So far, there doesn't seem to be hard proof of the Assad regime's complicity in the August 21 chemical attack. The most U.S. officials are able to say on the record is that Assad must be punished for the atrocities that took place on his watch.

According to the NY Times, American officials said Wednesday there was no “smoking gun” that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the chemical attack in a suburb of Damascus August 21, when hundreds of people were reported to have been killed. The officials tried to “lower expectations about the public intelligence presentation,” cautioning it would not contain “specific electronic intercepts of communications between Syrian commanders or detailed reporting from spies and sources on the ground.”

This despite the news we read on Wednesday that the U.S. government possesses intelligence intercepts implicating the Syrian government in the chemical attack.

According to the online blog of Foreign Policy, American intelligence have recordings of a series of “panicked conversations” between an official at the Syrian Defense Ministry and the commander of a chemical weapons unit right after the attack.

According to the Times, Administration officials are saying that those panicked conversations are proof that the assault was not the result of a rogue unit acting on its own. But they’re not releasing the tape, and as the Times puts it: “It is unclear how much detail about these communications, if any, will be made public.”

If that tape had a real smoking gun in it, I tend to believe they would have released it.

But even without hard evidence tying Assad to the chemical attack, Administration officials told the Times, Assad bears the ultimate responsibility for the actions of his troops and should be held accountable.

“The commander in chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership,” State Department’s deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf asserted — even if, she added, “He’s not the one who pushes the button or says ‘go’ on this.”

What if it wasn’t his officers pushing those buttons? What if Assad’s seemingly ridiculous claims that he was framed turn out to be true?

The argument pushed by the Russians in support of this widely rejected idea, has to do with the reason evil despots—like Hafez al-Assad, the departed Syrian despot, and Saddam Hussein–choose to disregard all the international conventions in all the books and to use chemical weapons on their own people: they’re desperate. Tens of thousands of residents in some faraway region are pushing back your army and you need to cool things down quickly and decisively – you bring down the skin burning death on their poor souls.

But Bashar al-Assad is winning these days—goes the Russian argument—he actually has a chance, on paper, to take back much of his lost territory and to reestablish himself once more as the legitimate ruler of much of Syria. What reason does he have to sabotage his future relationship with the West through such a stupid violation of all that the West seems to cherish?

On the other hand, if you’re a desperate rebel army on the run, and the government army is reclaiming areas you’ve labored so hard to conquer – what simpler way is there for you to trap the enemy in a political quagmire from which he may never recover?

Unless the Administration doesn’t want a smoking gun.

In an interview on the PBS “NewsHour,” President Obama said he still had not made a decision about military action. He did indicate that, even if he gives the go ahead, the military strike could be a “shot across the bow, saying ‘stop doing this,’ that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are discussions going on between Washington, Damascus and, very likely, Moscow, as to which specific targets are going to be hit, and how many Tomahawks exactly will be spewing well coordinated hell-fire, and then everybody can go home, and the emergency will be officially over.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

6 Responses to “NY Times: No Smoking Gun in Syria Chemical Massacre”

  1. etabori says:

    DKurdistan JewishPress SaloumehZ The screwed up leftists of the NYT

  2. The US should not get involved in the Syrian mess, it can start the WWIII, let them kill each other, less muslims much clearer the world would be.

  3. The US should not get involved in the Syrian mess, it can start the WWIII, let them kill each other, less muslims much clearer the world would be.

  4. SaloumehZ says:

    etabori Amen!

  5. waynocook says:

    etabori DKurdistan JewishPress SaloumehZ Most of our newspapers are bemoaning their fall, not assoc. with their own views

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.
British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning
Latest News Stories
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.

UK Muslims are calling on ISIS to release British aid volunteer Alan Henning, whose life is now threatened by the group.

Axe confiscated from Arab terrorist suspect by Border Police officers who were operating near Beit Jala on Sept. 18, 2014.

Border Police officers blocked an axe-toting Arab man from carrying out a terror attack near Jerusalem.

A home was damaged in a Qassam rocket barrage from Gaza on Friday, August 8, 2014. Miraculously, no one was in the house at the time.

A Code Red incoming rocket alert was sounded for Gaza Belt and Ashkelon Coastal communities.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says former Pres. Bill Clinton is wrong about PM Netanyahu.

A massive sting operation hauled in 15 suspects and foiled a plot by ISIS to hold a public beheading in Australia.

A 3-hour strike at Ben Gurion International Airport at check-in counters has delayed thousands.

Have you seen Menachem Bodner’s twin brother Jeno, or Jolli Gottesman? He’s out there.

Iran scorns as “ridiculous” a US-led anti-ISIS coalition without boots on the ground.

A prison inmate on death row in Connecticut is demanding kosher food, though he’s not really Jewish.

Hamas claimed one of the bank’s clients owed them taxes…

Reports from Lebanon say that Israeli Air Force planes flew over the Marjayoun area in Lebanon, launching flares.

Despite previous claims, Hamas now denies they arrested any rocket crews. So, who do we believe?

Western Wall’s employees, remove thousands of handwritten notes placed between the ancient stones of the Kotel, the Western Wall, Judaism’s second holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem. The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival in the spring and at the Jewish New Year in the fall. The prayer […]

A memorial event with a special photo exhibition honoring the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took place on Monday.

The location of the gas chambers at the notorious Sobibor death camp has been revealed, Yad Vashem announced Wednesday.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ny-times-no-smoking-gun-in-syria-chemical-massacre/2013/08/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: