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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.

Assad Warns US and Israel to Expect Chemical Attack (Video)

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Syrian President Bassar al-Assad told interviewer Charlie Rose that the United States, Israel and other American allies can expect to be hit with chemical weapons if President Barack Obama carries out his threat to attack.

Assad, who has denied that his regime used chemical weapons despite widespread evidence to the contrary, implied that Iran and Hezbollah or rebels could use chemical weapons to repel a military strike.

“It could happen…if the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have” chemical weapons, he explained.

The United States “should expect everything, not necessarily from the government,” if the United States attacks, he said. Assad added that Syria is “not the only player in the region” and that “you have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology.”

It would only take one or two deranged Al Qaeda terrorists, and not necessarily Assad’s soldiers, to use an American attack as an excuse to try to be the Great Arab hero who tried to destroy Israel with a “dirty bomb” or poison gas.

However, based on Assad’s previous actions and statements during the civil war, he used the interview to prepare the groundwork to use chemical weapons and blame others for it.

Rose is one of the few journalists allowed into the country and to meet Assad, dispelling rumors that he is hiding underground. Rose described Assad as “remarkably calm.”

As for the chemical attack on Syrian civilians last month, Assadcontinued to maintain a “What, me?” attitude in the interview, which will be aired in full on Rose’s PBS show Monday evening after excerpts were viewed Monday morning on CBS.

“Our soldiers, in another area, were attacked chemically,” Assad maintained. “But in the area where they say the government used chemical weapons, we only have video, pictures and allegations. We were not there, our forces, our police, our institutions, don’t exist.

“How can you talk about what happened if you don’t have evidence?”

While Assad was warning of a chemical attack, an Israeli official who has been briefed by Washington told Reuters that the Obama administration would give Israel only “hours” notice before attacking Syria.

That could mean two hours or 10 years. In either case, that is enough to rev up the F-16 engines but not enough to mobile troops.

Former Defense Ministry top honcho Amos Gilad, who has sounded suspiciously dovish and often has been dead wrong since leaving office, said in a speech at a counterterrorism center that Israel is totally out of the picture concerning if and when President Obama orders an attack.

There also is the possibility that the unidentified Israeli official who spoke with Reuters simply is lying and that the United States and Israel are cooperating closely towards a military strike.

If the Obama administration were not to give Israel enough notice to prepare for an attack, then Washington would have to take on the job of answering a lot of questions if Israeli civilians end up being killed.

It also is no secret that the American government relies heavily on Israel for intelligence information in the Middle East in general and in Syria specifically. Israel, and not the United States, has the human resources to plant dark-skinned Arabic-speaking agents in Syria.

Regardless of whether Israel will have no notice or plenty of notice before an American attack, President Obama already has given the world a least a couple of weeks to prepare for it.

The results have been panic. Russia has sent warships to the region and has threatened that Obama is laying with fire that will erupt into a regional war, or not a world war. Israel has deployed a battery of the anti-missile Iron Dome system around Jerusalem, and Turkey has placed anti-aircraft batteries along its southern border with Syria.

The rhetoric is great for headlines, and no one will say that Syria will throw out the welcome mat for an American attack.

But so far, Obama has one powerful diplomatic weapon on his side: Russia and Syria bear the burden to prove that the Assad regime did not deploy chemical weapons. No one believes Assad’s’ denials accept, perhaps, his properly British educated wife.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has given Assad the “exit option” of turning over chemical weapons in a week to the international community in return for President Obama’s pushing the “stop” button.

Kerry Says Saudi Arabia to Support US Attack on Syria

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Saudi Arabia has agreed to support an American-led attack on Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Sunday in Paris, where he met with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elarab and nine Arab foreign ministers.

He said “a number of [Arab] countries” are ready to sign a joint declaration blaming Syrian President Bassar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons.

Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah said that “foreign intervention is already present by several parties,” referring to Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. “We call on all other countries to intervene to protect the Syrian people,” he added.

U.S. Sen Foreign Relations Comm Queued Up to Vote for Strike on Syria

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

On Tuesday afternoon, September 3, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry went before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asking for its approval to launch a limited strike against Syria.

Kerry couched his request very clearly in terms of what it was not: it was not a request for approval to go to war. Kerry stated once again that “there will be no boots on the ground.”  What he was asking for was “the power to make clear, to make certain that the United States means what we say, that the world, when we join together in a multilateral statement, mean what we say.  He’s asking for authorization to degrade and deter Bashar al-Assad’s capacity to use chemical weapons.

The secretary of state made the argument in the plainest terms.  He compared what Assad has done – gassing hundreds of his own people, including hundreds of children – to the greatest evil most people recognize.  This administration is adamant that Assad be held accountable for committing a heinous act whose victims, Kerry and his boss insist, cry out for retribution.

So this is a vote for accountability. Norms and laws that keep the civilized world civil mean nothing if they’re not enforced. As Justice Jackson said in his opening argument at the Nuremberg trials, ‘The ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars, which are inevitable in a system of international lawlessness, is to make statesmen responsible to the law.’ If the world’s worst despots see that they can flout with impunity prohibitions against the world’s worst weapons, then those prohibitions are just pieces of paper. That is what we mean by accountability, and that is what we mean by we cannot be silent.

After four hours of debate in the Hart Senate Office Building, the committee will go into a closed session tomorrow and then, as early as tomorrow afternoon, may gave this administration what it is seeking: congressional approval to take limited action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The initial text of the resolution authorizing “limited and tailored use of the United States Armed Forces against Syria” was made available late Tuesday evening, Eastern Time.  The committee will vote on some version of the draft tomorrow.

The secretary of state was asked what the administration will do if congress refuses to approve the use of force against Syria. Kerry said, “We’re not contemplating that, because it’s too dire.”

The draft resolution provides that the resolution upon which the committee members will vote shall be called ” Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the “Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons.” It will

authorize the president to use the U.S. Armed Forces as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in a limited and tailored manner against legitimate military targets in Syria, only to (1) respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian government in the conflict in Syria, and (2) deter Syria’s use of such weapons in order to protect the national security interests of the United States and to protect our allies and partners against the use of such weapons; and (3) degrade Syria’s capacity to use such weapons in the future.”

In addition to Kerry, secretary of defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jack Dempsey also testified in support of the administration’s position.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) issued a statement Tuesday afternoon.  Boehner said that “All votes authorizing the use of military force are conscience votes for members, and passage will require direct, continuous engagement from the White House.”

The draft resolution provides for a 60 day period during which the powers granted may be used, with a single additional 30 day extension.

Obama Might Memorialize 9/11 with Attack on Syria

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The timing of President Barack Obama’s blitz to convince Congress to back a military strike on the Assad regime points to next Wednesday, September 11 and the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, as a possible date to strike.

Exploiting the 9/11 date would arouse emotions, patriotism and the ever-present  dream of returning America as the feared and fearless leader of the Free World.

Testimony by the Secretaries of Defense and State before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday left no doubt that the President has crossed the point of no return.

Whether one is for or against an American military strike, and whether or not President Obama has appeared to be an uncertain and weak leader , his brilliant oratory and management by control, like him or not, could turn popular opinion in his favor.

All polls show that America does not want to get involved in another war, especially one that is being fought by a madman against an assortment of equally deranged murderers who have made the world forget what the Arab Spring rebellion in Syria was all about more than two years ago.

The Al Qaeda attacks on Sept, 11, 2001, turned it into the blackest day in American history, a day when a group of terrorists used simple pen knives to bring might America to its knees.

Ever since, the United States has appeared to be a weakling, its shining armor forever pierced and rusted, its economy mired with grossly high underemployment, and its position as a world power mocked by the radiclal Islam movement, on which Russia has hitched a ride to lord it over America and bring back the Cold War of the 1950s.

Obama, right or wrong, has the opportunity to regain the stage for America to show the world that the sun has not yet sets on its role as the leader of the Free World and the supposed guardian of mankind.

One can imagine Obama speaking on Sept. 10: “My fellow countrymen, I know we are tired of wars. We don’t want war. We will not get into a war with Syria but instead will prevent war. If we don’t reduce Assad’s regime to ashes, the world – and God – will never forgive us for not having saved humanity from the unchallenged use of horrible chemical weapons as Assad’s forces have done in the past several weeks.

“Twelve years ago tomorrow, terrorists tried to destroy out great country. We did not surrender. We mourned our dead and pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps.

“I later ordered the elimination of  Al Qaeda leader Bin Laden and proved that we are defeating terrorism.”

For his clincher, Obama can declare, ”There is no better way to memorialize the nearly 3,000 loyal Americans who were killed in the 9/11 attacks than to strike back at the heart of terror. That is why I have asked Congress to support a military strike on the Assad terrorist regime.

“I know that that there are other equally animal-like terrorists who might take Assad’s place, but an American military strike will show them that they will meet the same fate if they carry out war crimes.

“9/11 is next Wednesday, the day we can turn into one that will be remembered – not for terror’s attack on America but rather for America’s victory over terrorism.”

And may God protect all of us, especially Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/obama-might-memorialize-911-with-attack-on-syria/2013/09/04/

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