U.N. chemical weapons experts visit a hospital where wounded people affected by an apparent gas attack are being treated, in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya, August 26, 2013 (Reuters / Abo Alnour Alhaji)
Nothing the US claims about what happened in Syria adds up. We are being asked to believe an illogical story, when it is much more likely that it was Israel and Saudi Arabia who enabled the Obama Administration to threaten Syria with war.
The Obama Administration’s intelligence report on Syria was a rehash of Iraq. “There are lots of things that aren’t spelled out” in the four-page document, according to Richard Guthrie, the former project head of the Chemical and Biological Warfare Project of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. One piece of evidence is the alleged interception of Syrian government communications, but no transcripts were provided.
Just as with the Obama Administration’s speeches which all fall short of conclusively confirming what happened, nothing was categorically confirmed in the intelligence report. Actually it comes across more as a superficial college or university student’s paper put together by wordsmiths instead of genuine experts on the subject.
Going in a circle, the report even depends on “unnamed” social media and accounts as sources of evidence or data. Lacking transparency, it states that “there are accounts from international and Syrian medical personnel, videos, witness accounts, thousands of social media reports from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area, journalist accounts and reports from highly credible non-governmental organizations.”
Chances are that these unnamed sources are actually foreign-funded insurgents, Israeli media, Saudi media, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – which includes fighters in the ranks of the insurgency and salutes Saudi Arabia as a model democracy – or the NGO Doctors Without Borders. These are the same sources that have been supporting the insurgency and pushing for regime change and military intervention in Syria.
Moreover, one of the main sources of the intelligence and communication interceptions that are supposed to be a smoking gun is none other than Israel, which is notorious for doctoring and falsifying evidence.
The US intelligence report also claims to have advanced knowledge about the plans to launch a chemical weapons attack several days before it happened. A leading expert on chemical weapons, Jean Pascal Zanders, who until recently was a senior research fellow at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies, asks why the US government did not tell the world about it and issue warnings about a chemical attack at that time.
An Israeli-Saudi-US conspiracy?
The US-supported anti-government forces fighting inside Syria are the ones that have a track record of using chemical weapons. Yet, Obama and company have said nothing.
Despite the anti-government forces accusations that the Syrian military launched a chemical weapon attack on Homs at Christmas in December 2012, CNN reported that the US military was training anti-government fighters with the securing and handling of chemical weapons. Under the name of the Destructive Wind Chemical Battalion, the insurgents themselves even threatened to use nerve gas and released a video where they killed rabbits as a demonstration of what they planned on doing in Syria.
According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, two brigades of anti-government fighters that were trained by the CIA, Israelis, Saudis, and Jordanians crossed from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon into Syria to launch an assault, respectively on August 17 and 19, 2013. The US must have invested quite a lot in training both anti-government brigades. If true, some may argue that their defeat prompted the chemical weapons attack in Damascus as a contingency plan to fall back on.
However, how they came by chemical weapons is another issue, but many trails lead to Saudi Arabia. According to the British Independent, it was Saudi Prince Bandar “that first alerted Western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime in February 2013.” Turkey would apprehend Syrian militants in its territory with sarin gas, which these terrorists planned on using inside Syria. On July 22 the insurgents would also overrun Al-Assal and kill all the witnesses as part of a cover-up.
A a report by Yahya Ababneh, which was contributed to by Dale Gavlak, has collected the testimonies of witnesses who say that “certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack.”
The Mint Press News report adds an important dimension to the story, totally contradicting the claims of the US government. It quotes a female insurgent fighter who says things that make a link to Saudi Arabia clear. She says that those who provided them with weapons ‘didn’t tell them what these arms were or how to use them” and that they “didn’t know they were chemical weapons.” “When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she is quoted.
There is also another Saudi link in the report: “Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a ‘tube-like structure’ while others were like a ‘huge gas bottle.’”
So it seems that the Saudis enabled the chemical attack while the Israelis provided them cover to ignite a full-scale war, or at the very least enable a bombing campaign against Damascus. Israel and Saudi Arabia have empowered the Obama Administration to threaten war on Syria.
Obama wants to change the balance of power in Syria
The moralistic language coming out of Washington is despicable posturing. The hypocrisy of the US government knows no bounds. It condemns the Syrian military for using cluster bombs while the United States sells them en mass to Saudi Arabia.
The UN inspectors entered Syria in the first place on the invitation of the government in Damascus. The Syrian government warned the UN for weeks that the anti-government militias were trying to use chemical weapons after they gained control of a chlorine factory east of Aleppo. As a precaution, the Syrian military consolidated all its chemical weapons into a handful of heavily guarded compounds to prevent anti-government forces reaching them.
Yet, the insurgents launched a chemical weapon attack against the Syrian government’s forces in Khan Al-Assal on March 19, 2013. Turning the truth on its head, the insurgents and their foreign backers, including the US government, would try to blame the Syrian government for the chemical attack, but the UN’s investigator Carla Del Ponte would refute their claims as false in May after extensive work.
Concerning the alleged August attack the Obama Administration has been lying and contradicting itself for days. They say that traces of chemical weapons cannot be eliminated, but that the Syrian government destroyed that same evidence that cannot be eradicated. They want an investigation, but say they already have all the answers.
The claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in the suburb of Ghouta defy logic. Why would the Syrian government unnecessarily use chemical weapons in an area that it controls and shoot itself in the foot by presenting the US and its allies with a pretext to intervene? And of all the days it could unnecessarily use chemical weapons, the Obama administration wants us to believe that the Syrian government picked the day when United Nation inspectors arrived in Damascus.
Even the biased and misleading state-run British Broadcasting Corporation admitted that there was something strange about the event. The BBC’s own “Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowenl says many will ask why the [Syrian] government would want to use such weapons at a time when [United Nations] inspectors are in the country and the military has been doing well militarily in the area around Damascus.”
The US is deliberately pointing the finger for the use of chemical weapons at the Syrian government.
American officials have a track record of lying to start wars against other countries. This has been the consistent modus operandi of the US from Vietnam to Yugoslavia, and from Iraq to Libya.
It is not Syria that is going against the international community, but the warmongers in Washington, which include the Obama Administration.
Washington is threatening to attack Syria as a means of prolonging the fighting inside Syria. The US government also wants to have a stronger hand in the country’s future negotiations by restoring the balance of power between the Syrian government and America’s anti-government insurgent allies, thus weakening the Syrian military and ending its winning momentum against the insurgency. If not softening Damascus up for the insurgents, America wants to level the equation and undermine the Syrian government before a final negotiation takes place.
Now is the time for the “responsibility to prevent war”—the real R2P—to come into play.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst.