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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘chemical weapons’

Liberman: No Confirmation that Assad Sent Poison Gas to Iraq

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Israel has no information to confirm Syrian rebel claims that the Assad regime has sent part of its stockpile of chemical weapons to Iraq, Knesset Member and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Voice of Israel radio Sunday.

However, the regime still is planning to ship the illegal weapons to Iraq and to Hezbollah, Free Syrian Army (FSA) spokesman Luai Al-Mekdad told the London-based pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He claimed that Syrian President Bassar al-Assad is “returning the Iraqi chemical arsenal, which Saddam Hussein had sent to

Syria before the 2003 Iraq war.”

He also that Hezbollah “received the first batch of chemical weapons almost a year ago…and now is preparing to receive the second batch, which it will stockpile in areas along the border with Syria, as…in the Beqaa Valley.”

The rebels already have gained a reputation for spreading propaganda and lies just as much as Assad, but if Assad succeeds in transferring even a small amount of chemical weapons to Hezbollah, it would make mockery of Russian-Syrian agreement to turn its weapons over to international authorities.

The Saudis are Trembling – Quietly

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

These days, the Arab media are full of reports about diplomatic activities regarding the Syrian issue, and commentators’ articles dealing with this matter fill whole pages in the newspapers of the Arab world. They all try to ascertain if there will be an American military action, what its scope will be, how powerful it will be, what its goals will be, how long it will last, and especially, what the consequences of the action will be. But there is one important voice which is almost not heard at all in this whole chorus of analysts – the Saudi voice – and it seems that someone there – the king? – may have imposed a gag order on the commentators.

To get a deeper understanding of the reason for this, I contacted a Saudi colleague, with whom I correspond occasionally. He is a member of the royal family, but is not in the inner circles of decision making. Nevertheless, he is well acquainted with the way the Saudi leaders think, he is aware of the considerations and feelings that drive it and has a deep understanding of what is said and what is not said there. At first he refused to speak, and only after a “preliminary conversation” did he consent. This is how it is in the Middle East: everything is based on personal relationships, and Arabic is the entry bridge into the emotions of the region’s people.

He preferred to speak about “The Gulf,” not Saudi Arabia, in order to present a united front regarding the events in Syria and its environs. This is not exactly correct, because the positions of Saudi Arabia (which is the main supplier and supporter of the Salafi fighters in Syria) and those of Qatar (which stand behind the Free Syrian Army), are not identical, and the United Arab Emirates is much more active than Oman. But despite the differences in approach among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, their basic attitudes are very similar.

My colleague hinted at an important aspect of Middle Eastern character, which is “murou’a” – “manliness.” A man will always be sure to act according to rules of manly conduct, and will make every effort to avoid feminine patterns of behavior. Emotionality and whining are considered feminine qualities that express weakness, while a male is expected to keep a cool head and emotional balance and remain calm and functional even in difficult and complex situations. It seems that the Saudi government’s silence during the last few days stems from this characteristic. One could say that the greater the internal emotional stress, the quieter and more relaxed the Arab man will try to appear. It relates to the obsession with honor, because if a man sounds like a woman he is considered contemptible.

The longer the conversation continued, the more open it became, and the more my colleague complained about the Western world in general and the United States in particular. “You (he included Israel in the Western world) speak all the time about human rights, so why are you quiet about what is happening in Syria? After chemical weapons have been used ten times, you still do not manage to find a reason to eliminate Asad? Are two hundred thousand fatalities not enough to bring you out of your complacency? Is issuing condemnations the only thing you can do? Making threats without carrying them out? You have all of the proof you need to do what you said you would do, so why are you not doing what you promised?” And then came the knockout question: “Is the Libyan’s blood redder than the Syrians’? Or maybe Libyan oil is blacker than Syrian oil?” These things were said somewhat scornfully, because the coalition of Europe and America attacked Qadhaffi for less terrible things than Asad is doing.

I asked him: “So how should the Arab world deal with a mass murderer?” He answered with a rhetorical question: “Don’t you know what Saudi Arabia has done and is still doing for the Syrian people?” He was referring to what Saudi Arabia usually does: it gives money, lots of money, for purposes that it believes in. Saudi Arabia – and all of the other Gulf countries – have poured many billions of dollars into the Syrian rebellion to pay the fighters, to buy weapons, ammunition, communication devices and civilian aid, and even to bring women to Syria in order to “serve” the fighters. Saudi Arabia funds training camps in other countries that train fighters to join the fight against Asad in Syria.

Assad Has Scattered Chemical Weapons throughout Syria: Report

Friday, September 13th, 2013

The Assad regime has moved its chemical weapons to dozens of locations in the country to avoid detection, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In a separate report, a rebel leader said that Hezbollah, which has deployed thousands of its soldier in Syria to help the war against rebels, has gotten its hands on one ton of poison gas, banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

After being threatened with a military strike by the United States following last month’s deadly chemical attack, Assad has joined the Convention, another double-faced move, which with Russian support allows him keep the West at bay.

The Journal, citing American officials, said a secret military unit has been scattering the chemical weapons for as long as several months. Intelligence officials said they know where most of the weapons have been placed, but know “a lot less than…six months ago.”

Assad’s forces possess more than 1,000 tons of chemical and biological weapons, according to the newspaper report, but one senior U.S. official added, “There might be more.”

Syria has taken the position that it is now a legal member of the Chemical Weapons Convention. “Legally speaking Syria has become, starting today, a full member of the convention,” Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told reporters in New York.

Did Iran and Russia Just Save Israel?

Friday, September 13th, 2013

It would be ironic if true, but it may very well be that Iran and Russia (and Syria) just saved Israel (or God did, using them as proxies).

Obama stated on Thursday that he’s going to be pivoting his focus away from the international arena and instead concentrate on domestic issues and politics (God help America).

After having been burnt in Syria, and completely played by Russia and Iran, it’s as close to an admission of policy failure and incompetence as you can possibly get.

On the downside, it means the U.S. military may not be dealing with Iran if it tries to cross the nuclear red line, but based on what we’ve heard during the Syrian debacle, it seems unlikely they were going to do so in the first place.

A number of respected U.S. military commentators were saying outright that the U.S. could not financially afford a full-scale war with Syria. The U.S. would need to be prepared for escalation into a full-scale war, if they were going to undertake even a limited military strike.

So, if the U.S. wasn’t prepared or capable of running a small or full scale operation/war in third world Syria, how can anyone reasonably have expected that they would be in a position to do so in Iran?

The message here for Israel, is that Israel is going to have to turn directly to their true source of power for this one.

On the upside, if Obama feels burned by Syria, the Arab Spring, Egypt, Russia, and everything else International, then maybe, just maybe, he’ll leave Israel alone too.

Maybe this is the end of Obama trying to embed Hamas into Judea and Samaria, and trying to divide Jerusalem, trying to kick out Jews out of our homes, and trying to promote this latest “peace process”.

One can hope.

G’mar Chatima Tova

White House Briefs Reform and Conservative Rabbis on Syria

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Nearly 700 rabbis and other Jewish communal officials were briefed by a top White House aide on President Obama’s Syria plans.

The call Tuesday with Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, was organized by the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly and attracted 691 callers from all religious streams, according to Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the RA’s executive vice president.

She said that rabbis were eager to be briefed on Syria so they could better discuss the issue in their Yom Kippur sermons.

Rabbis on the call pressed Rhodes on the moral underpinnings of striking Syria, distinctions between responses to the use of conventional weapons on civilians as opposed to chemical weapons, what the administration’s endgame in Syria was, and on how its Syria considerations affected its relationship with Israel.

New Poison Gas Attack Claimed in Syria, but Has the Clock Run Out?

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Syrian rebels claimed on Thursday that the Assad regime has used poison gas again, this time dropping chemical bombs on the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus.

If Syrian President Bassar al-Assad indeed carried out another chemical weapon attack just as President Barack Obama pulled back at the brink of bombing his military bases, he is more devilish than the devil, which gets away with evil by manufacturing lies and then standing in the courtroom and challenging anyone to prove otherwise.

A report from the United Nations, due to come out on Monday, has been leaked and links Assad to last month’s chemical attack but does not directly accuse him.

The latest rebels’ claim of another attack may indeed be true, but their problem is that the rebels are as honest and adorable as Assad.

For all the atrocities of Assad and his goon squads during the three-year civil war, not to speak of the calmer days under his regime of kindness and torture, the rebels are a good match.

Videos smuggled out of Syria have showed rebels standing with rifles  over captured Syrian soldiers, who had clear marks of severe beatings. With the prisoners faces on the ground, a rebel commander and his goon squad killed the soldiers, one by one, with a bullet in the back of the head.

It is not beyond belief that rebels also have used chemical weapons, but the overwhelming evidence obtained by French and American official’s shows that Assad clearly is to blame.

What really is weird is that the world is outraged over the use of chemicals, which indeed can endanger the entire world, but has been sitting on its collective hands under its collective butts for two years while Assad’s’ jets bombed and starved civilians and rebels do, and while the rebels would have done the same if they could.

What started out as a romantic Arab Spring peaceful demonstration has turned into a barbaric war. On one side is Assad, correctly described by Pulitzer Prize winner Joel Brinkley as “the most dangerous man in the world,” and that was around the same time then- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was saying he is “reformer.”

On the other side are approximately 10 armies, each one easily classified in the category of “terrorists,” not the least of which is the Al Qaeda organization.

A United Nations panel, two years too late, has issued a report stating, “The perpetrators of these violations and crimes, on all sides, act in defiance of international law. They do not fear accountability. Referral to justice is imperative.”

The lack of leadership in the world makes one wonder if the 21st century of advanced technology is morally situated in the days before the Flood.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is just as guilty as Assad but gets off the hook just like a terrorist leader who sits comfortably at home while his worshippers send the peons to kills themselves and others.

The United States has blown its chance for true leadership time after time. It has been following events instead of leading them, refusing to get involved, only later to send humanitarian aid to the rebels.

It has refused to help the rebels, only later to give them logistical aid,

It has refused to send them weapons, but The Washington Post reported Thursday that the CIA has been funding shipments of weapons, not made in the USA, to Syria.

President Obama has repeatedly said he will not intervene in Syria unless chemical weapons are used. That red line was crossed long before last month’s chemical attack that killed more than 1,00 people. In fact, it was crossed half a dozen times, but Obama backed away because he wanted “positive proof.”

Last week he got his proof, but he blinked.

Now that chemical weapons allegedly have been used again, the world will get agitated again.

Clearly, if the United States and Russia let  chemical weapons be used, it could set the scene for as ghastly scene in the future in Israel, Turkey and anywhere else where the wind blows.

But even if the West attacks Syria, chemical weapons will remain. They cannot be bombed, because they would be released and cause a catastrophe. Assad obviously cannot be treated to hand them over, and who knows if the rebels and Hezbollah already don’t have chemical weapons?

The problem is the world has been too late for three years, and probably is too late again.

Another Dark Day for America

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

I think it’s fair to say that Putin spit in Obama’s face yesterday, and then rubbed it in for good measure.

Just the other day, President Obama made a Clintonian-like statement regarding a possible intervention in Syria, “First of all, I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.”

Um, except that Obama did set a red line.

On Aug. 20, 2012, Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime … that a red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

That’s a pretty pathetic attempt to extricate himself from a poorly thought out statement, but not unexpected anymore.

Obama painted himself into a corner, and he’s been trying to weasel his way out of it, ever since he realized that people were listening to what he said and trying to hold him to it.

And now Obama apparently believes that Putin has pulled his chestnuts out of the fire. Syria will (maybe) give up their chemical weapons. Russia and Iran(!) will be guarantors of the deal.

Of course, Putin wasted no time in using this victory to reposition Russia as the world’s new, undefied superpower. He announced he is going to complete the sale to Iran of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that he was forced to halt 3 years ago. He’s going to build another nuclear reactor in Iran. (And let’s not forget Snowden). Everything that America doesn’t (shouldn’t?) want to happen.

[ED: Putin is denying yesterday's reports that he will be completing the S-300 deal]

So, if you haven’t gotten the point yet, Obama just unilaterally demoted the US from being the sole global superpower. He just gave Iran a green light to do what they want without fear of reprisal, and he personally conceded world leadership to Vladmir Putin.

September 11 will once again go down in history as another dark day for America.

Peres Says Syria On Way to Being ‘a Number of Countries’

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Syria is ceasing to be its former self, and “the war and terror have divided that country into parts, into a number of countries,” President Shimon Peres said Wednesday.

Speaking during a tour of Israel’s internationally-marketed Plasson plastics factory, President Peres stated, “The world cannot remain silent regarding the bloodshed and murder of children that is taking place in Syria. Diplomacy is always preferable to war but the main issue at present is integrity and in particular the integrity of the Syrian regime.

“If Syria is honest and will take real steps to remove and destroy the chemical weapons in its territory, the US will not attack. If there will be a crack in Syria’s integrity I have no doubt that the US will act militarily.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/peres-says-syria-on-way-to-being-a-number-of-countries/2013/09/11/

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