web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘chemical weapons’

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.”

CIA Document: Israel Built Chemical Weapons Stockpile

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

A newly discovered CIA document indicates that Israel likely built up its own chemical weapons arsenal.

Intelligence circles in Washington believe that Israel amassed a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons decades ago to complement its nuclear arsenal, Foreign Policy reported Monday on its website.

Information about Israel’s chemical weapons production appears in a secret 1983 CIA intelligence estimate obtained by Foreign Policy.

American spy satellites in 1982 uncovered “a probable CW (chemical weapon) nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert,” the CIA document reported. “Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry.

“While we cannot confirm whether the Israelis possess lethal chemical agents, several indicators lead us to believe that they have available to them at least persistent and nonpersistent nerve agents, a mustard agent, and several riot-control agents, marched with suitable delivery systems.”

It is not known whether Israel still maintains the chemical weapons, according to Foreign Policy.

In 1992, the Israeli government signed but never ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans such weapons.

The report, which was declassified in 2009, mostly deals with allegations of Soviet use of chemical and biological weapons in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. Sections on the Middle East were largely deleted by government censors.

The document has come to light as the Congress debates whether to approve a limited military strike against Syria for using chemical weapons against its own civilians.

Why is AIPAC Suddenly Part of the Syria Strike Push?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

For weeks the political heavyweight, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, sat on the sidelines.  AIPAC refrained from taking a position on whether or not the United States should undertake a military strike against Syria.  Its silence continued, even following confirmation of Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians.  Then, suddenly, without warning, AIPAC announced it would come out swinging with both fists. And now we know why.

It was not a big surprise to watchers of major pro-Israel organizations that AIPAC remained silent on the question of whether the U.S. should use its force against a Middle Eastern dictator who – at the moment – was not directly threatening Israel.

At least one good reason why many pro-Israel organizations were reluctant to wade into this thicket is the inevitability that the story will then become that oh-so-popular refrain: the Jews are forcing American boys to die for them. Call that the Big Blame Theory.  We’ll get back to it in a moment.

But after weeks of silence and nearly silent no-committals from the AIPAC behemoth, the word came several days ago that AIPAC had entered the hard-core lobbying front on behalf of President Obama’s “limited, tailored” strikes on Syria.

So what happened?

What happened is politics.  No, not the Jews pushing the U.S. to fight Israel’s battles.  This one was Team Obama calling in its own chits, and asking, nah, insisting that AIPAC wind-up its many operatives and get them to start pushing hard on their congressional contacts to throw in their yes vote for the Obama strikes.

At least, that’s what 23-plus year AIPAC veteran Steven J. Rosen wrote in the article, “Pushed on the Bandwagon,” appearing in the September 4th edition of the Middle East Quarterly.

Rosen’s article was long on specifics but short on sources.

Nevertheless, it is hard to believe he would write those specifics without having very sound reasons to believe them to be true.  Rosen wrote about AIPAC’s desperate effort to ensure that no one would blame “the Jews” for pushing the U.S. into a war with Iraq: AIPAC never openly endorsed the authorization; AIPAC organized a letter from 16 members of congress swearing that AIPAC did not take an official position on the war and never lobbied them on the war; former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned George W. Bush that attacking Iraq was a mistake.

Of course, none of those efforts to prove non-participation bore any fruit.  The Jews, by whatever name people chose to use – the Israel Lobby, the Jews, or the Neocons – were and still are blamed for pushing the U.S. into a massively unpopular war with Iraq. That’s the Big Blame Theory.

And so AIPAC was going to definitely, positively, absolutely stay out of this fight.  As with Iraq, Syria is not the threat to Israel that Iran is.  And AIPAC has always (at least until now) refrained from using its mighty political strength for any fight in which Israel is not directly threatened.  But now all that has changed.

As Rosen put it,

Responding to a full-court press by the Obama administration — a call to Netanyahu, a direct message to AIPAC, and messages via congressional leaders — AIPAC has weighed in fully in support of the president’s call for intervention.

There are a myriad of responses to AIPAC’s appearance in the front line of the congressional battle on behalf of  Obama’s Syrian Strike. Many analysts see only bad results for AIPAC and the pro-Israel world, no matter what happens.

It’s a classic example of heads you win, tails I lose.  If congress authorizes Obama’s plan, and things go badly – who is going to be blamed?  The Jews.  If congress votes against Obama’s plan, AIPAC looks feeble, and loses credibility as well as having wasted political chits it would have preferred to save for when Israel is directly threatened.

Something Rosen doesn’t mention, but others do, is the awkward realization that although team Obama has apparently pushed hard on AIPAC to help bring in the votes for the president’s plan, other, more logical organizations have been immune from the importuning.

Russia Suggests UN Guard Assad’s Chemical Weapons

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Russia out-checked President Barack Obama Monday by suggesting that Syrian President Bassar al-Assad turn over his chemical weapons to international control for supervision and destruction, a move that would satisfy Americana demands to call off an attack

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came up with the idea only hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States would call off the planned military strike if Assad turns over chemical weapons to international control by the end of the week.

Kerry added, Assad “isn’t about to do it.”

However, that was before Lavrov spoke. Russia is Syria’s strongest and only, supporter in the Western world.Moscow said, “Boo” and Assad blinked.

Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the regime “welcomes Russia’s initiative, based on the Syrian government’s care about the lives of our people and security of our country.” The quick and positive response raises the possibility, if not probability, that Russian coordinated its proposal with Syria.

But how can Assad turn over chemicals weapons when he says he has none?

That should be no problem for him. All he has to do is report that his brave soldiers commandeered a rebel base in the middle of nowhere and confiscated the poison gas and other biological and chemical weapons.

The bigger problem, which Lavrov did not mention, is what happens if the United States rejects Assad’s claims that he has handed over all of the goods and is not keeping some stashed away for “safe keeping?”

Until the bridge has to be crossed, Lavrov first has to convince Assad to come clean, or at least half-clean.

Lavrov make it clear that Russia would try to convince Assad to turn over the chemical weapons on condition that it “would allow avoiding strikes.”

“We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons,” Lavrov said.

He added that he expects a “quick, and, hopefully, positive answer.”

The international control, presumably under the auspices of the United Nations, would take over the weapons and keep them out of the hands of rebels and Assad’s army.

If Assad agrees, then everyone could climb down the ladder for a while, except for that big problem of Assad’s likelihood to continue to walk straight as a snake and hold on to some of the weapons banned by international conventions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-suggests-un-guard-assads-chemical-weapons/2013/09/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: