Patterico's Pontifications


Chemical Weapons And That Line In The Sand

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:59 am

[guest post by Dana]

In 2012, Obama cautioned Assad against crossing a “red line” of using chemical weapons against civilians, something the administration and European allies accused the Syria military of doing last August. But Obama canceled his threat to strike Assad’s chemical weapons sites after reaching the deal with Putin.

With 92 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons handed over or destroyed, it unfortunately still left enough available to be used against the Syrian people. Again.

In comments to reporters Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there was strong evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons, including chrlorine gas, in 14 small-scale attacks since Syria agreed to join the world’s ban on such weapons last fall.

“We have at least 14 indications that show us that in the past recent weeks again chemical weapons in a smaller scale have been used,” Fabius said. “Right now we are examining the samples that were taken.”

Fabius said that the evidence suggests that Assad still can produce chemical weapons even though OPCW inspectors have said the equipment needed to manufacture and load chemical weapons has been destroyed. Most of Syria’s chemical weapons stores have been shipped out of Syria, but a small amount remains on a base in Damascus. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged Tuesday reports that the last shipment has been delayed because rebels control the roads leading to Syria’s coast.

John Kerry emphatically urged the international community to insist that Syria be fully compliant in its commitment to dismantle its entire stockpile,

We will remain vigilant until this is achieved.


23 Responses to “Chemical Weapons And That Line In The Sand”

  1. unexpectedly.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. the whole issue is/was ridiculous:’s generally accepted that one of the reasons so few NBC assets were found in Iraq is because we gave them forever & a day to move them out prior to the invasion in ’03. where were they moved to? the dictatorship next door; Syria.

    2. any modern nation state with even a rudimentary petrochemical industry can make all the chemical weapons it wants, at the drop of a hat. they may not be quite as efficient as the standard militarized compounds, but against an unprotected target population, that won’t really matter.

    once again, Bam-Bam’s bulldog mouth wrote a check his puppy dog a55 couldn’t cover. utter incompetence & hubris take the day, as usual with these clowns.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. 92 percent?

    I was under the impression that our only information about the whereabouts of these weapons comes from Assad himself. Independent inspectors were not permitted. And where does the figure that 92% of those have been destroyed come from?

    LTEC (857bcb)

  4. The White House needs to issue a new hash tag about this STAT!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. Chlorine gas was not included among the chemicals that Syria agreed to turn over, because chlorine has many many other uses. Only specialty chemicals were requiored to be turned over.

    This is not a violation of the agreement – it’s a loophole.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  6. So, MoAB the base. Make standing near chemical weapons hazardous duty.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  7. Chlorine gas, geeze. Is this some sort of 100th anniversary commemoration of World War I or something?

    Has anyone considered that Obama is color blind (not in the virtuous sense), and merely meant to draw a yellow line against the use of chemical weapons? Maybe based upon this news he’ll upgrade it to an orange line.

    JVW (60fabf)

  8. Remember when Vietnam fell within our sphere of influence?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  9. Anybody asked the Sauds about their chemical shipments and dumps?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  10. So, what is out policy in Syria, anyway? Has Kerry given it any thought, or is he sill working on an Israel-PLO peace treaty?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  11. we’ve given the Saudis pretty much free rein;

    till now

    narciso (3fec35)

  12. “We will remain vigilant until this is achieved.”

    Whenever that is.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (d3cdd0)

  13. 10- We have no policy on Syria, at least not one that is coherent.
    A Assad is free to thumb his nose at the US and UN, for he knows that the UN can’t enforce its edicts, and the US won’t.
    This is the Hope&Change/Fundamental Transformation of the US that the electorate voted for – twice.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  14. i’ve never understood the fascination with chemical weapons in the Middle East, seeing as how the generally prevailing environmental conditions make their use difficult from an effectiveness POV, at least against NBC/CBR trained and equipped forces.

    yeah, you can terrorize populations with them, but there is more than one way to do that, without having to deal with residual contamination, friendly force exposure, as well as other tactical, logistical and strategic considerations.

    the only reason i can see governments wanting to have them is for prestige/political considerations, but the potential downside to having/using them ought to be a restraint on rational/intelligent leadership.

    and, since we’re talking about the Arab world, therein lies the rub. 😎

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  15. askeptic,

    Obama actually does have a foreign policy.
    It goes something like this;
    His wife gets to vacation in China at taxpayer expense. His wife gets to vacation in Spain at taxpayer expense. His wife gets to vacation in Ireland at taxpayer expense. His daughters get to enjoy spring break at a resort in Mexico at taxpayer expense.
    And so on.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  16. Bam-Bam’s foreign policy:

    Do everything possible to weaken or destroy American interests overseas.
    Eliminate our ability to project power, now and in the future.
    Alienate friends & allies.
    As an alternative, give aid & comfort to our enemies.

    seems to me like everything is pretty much going as he wants.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  17. ES, yes, but he keeps letting them come home.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  18. Putin and the Iranians are laughing out loud…

    The US should screw up Russia’s ability to sell their natural gas and oil for about the next 4-5 months.
    See how that affects Putin’s budget for *bleeping* around

    steveg (794291)

  19. What? Are there no sheep unet?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  20. Correction: Actually, using chemical weapons does violate Syria’s agreements, but chlorine was not one of the chemicals Syria agreed to get rid of.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  21. Other Saudi dominoes are falling along with Prince Bandar:

    Saudi Defense Leaders Replaced By Moderates

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

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