Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin. This assessment is based in part on physiological samples. Our standard of evidence must build on these intelligence assessments as we seek to establish credible and corroborated facts. For example, the chain of custody is not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions. We do believe that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would very likely have originated with the Assad regime.
The US and its allies have declared the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government a “red line,” that if crossed would incur a direct military intervention which may include air and missile strikes, the establishment of a Libyan-style no-fly-zone, and perhaps even a ground invasion. Surely, the Syrian government would gain nothing from using chemical weapons if by doing so, would give the West a war it has been seeking with Syria and its ally Iran for over a decade.
Image: Chemical weapons were used extensively during the 8 year Iran-Iraq War during the 1980’s. Despite vast quantities of chemical agents being used, both mustard and nerve gas, these “weapons of mass destruction” would only constitute 2-3% of all of the war’s casualties. Not only has the West lied about Syria using chemical weapons, but they have once again lied to the world about the threat posed by such weapons in the first place.
Syria is Already Winning the War… With Conventional Weapons
Additionally, by all accounts, including now even the Western media, the Syrian Arab Army has turned the tide and is overrunning NATO’s Al Qaeda proxies across the country, including in areas considered “rebel held.” Idlib in particular has seen several stunning victories for the Syrian government, despite the province’s proximity to NATO-member Turkey, who is openly shipping torrents of weapons, cash, and terrorists over the border.
In the Independent’s article titled, “They may be fighting for Syria, not Assad. They may also be winning: Robert Fisk reports from inside Syria,” it was reported that:
The army believe they are at last winning back ground from the Free Syrian Army and the al-Nusra Islamist fighters and the various al-Qa’ida satellites that now rule much of the Syrian countryside. From Point 45 they are scarcely a mile and a half from the Turkish frontier and intend to take the ground in between. Outside Damascus they have battled their way bloodily into two rebel-held suburbs. While I was prowling through the mountaintop positions, the rebels were in danger of losing the town of Qusayr outside Homs amid opposition accusations of the widespread killing of civilians. The main road from Damascus to Latakia on the Mediterranean coast has been reopened by the army.
The Independent continues with a very telling remark (emphasis added):
Bashar’s Special Forces now appear confident, ruthless, politically motivated, a danger to their enemies, their uniforms smart, their weapons clean. Syrians have long grown used to the claims by Israel – inevitably followed by the Washington echo machine – that chemical weapons have been used by Bashar’s forces; as an intelligence officer remarked caustically in Damascus: “Why should we use chemical weapons when our Mig aircraft and their bombs cause infinitely more destruction?”
The True Nature of Chemical Warfare – Lessons From the 1980’s Iran-Iraq War
MiGs, artillery, and superior ground forces are indeed vastly more effective than chemical weapons used on any scale, especially in the minute quantities the US is attempting to accuse the Syrian government of using. For a Western population weaned on Hollywood movies, ridiculous TV shows, and an endless torrent of misinformation from their corporate media news outlets, chemical weapons have been portrayed as “weapons of mass destruction,” with even small amounts causing catastrophic devastation.
Under the best conditions and with vast amounts of chemical agents, large casualties can be produced. But history has shown that generally, anything less than these circumstances would be a waste of time, resources, and of course in Syria’s case, politically and strategically unjustifiable.
A document produced by the US Marine Corps, titled, “Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War” under “Appendix B: Chemical Weapons,” a comprehensive look at the all-out chemical warfare that took place during the devastating 8 year conflict is carefully documented. Several engagements are studied in detail, revealing large amounts of chemical agents deployed mainly to create areas of denial.
The effectiveness and lethality of chemical weapons is summarized in the document as follows (emphasis added):
Chemical weapons require quite particular weather and geographic conditions for optimum effectiveness. Given the relative nonpersistence of all agents employed during this war, including mustard, there was only a brief window of employment opportunity both daily and seasonally, when the agents could be used. Even though the Iraqis employed mustard agent in the rainy season and also in the marshes, its effectiveness was significantly reduced under those conditions. As the Iraqis learned to their chagrin, mustard is not a good agent to employ in the mountains, unless you own the high ground and your enemy is in the valleys.
We are uncertain as to the relative effectiveness of nerve agents since those which were employed are by nature much less persistent than mustard. In order to gain killing concentrations of these agents, predawn attacks are best, conducted in areas where the morning breezes are likely to blow away from friendly positions.
Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in WWl, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as “a poor man’s nuclear weapon.” While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.
According the US military’s own conclusions, the use of chemical weapons only enhance conventional warfare, but are not suitable for wiping out large swaths of enemy troops. Their effectiveness is such that the Syrian government could not justify their use, thus risk incurring direct Western military intervention. Therefore, for what strategic purpose would the Syrian Arab Army deploy chemical agents on a “small scale?” If the Syrian military already holds the initiative with far more effective conventional weapons, what purpose besides inviting the West to intervene militarily, could using quantities of chemical agents far too small to achieve any tactical gain serve?
A Desperate Fabrication – Remember “Curveball”
Conversely, it appears much more likely that such “small scale” use of chemical agents has been used to fabricate a badly needed justification for war with Syria, and open the door for the West to intervene on behalf of a devastated proxy force that is being finally swept away by the Syrian Arab Army.
Almost immediately after the US and its allies attempted to accuse Syria of using chemical weapons on a “small scale,” global backlash recalled similar allegations, which turned out also to be fabricated, in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
In the British Independent’s 2012 article, “Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all: Defector tells how US officials ‘sexed up’ his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion,” it was stated:
A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow.
“Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi’s lies used to justify the Iraq war.
He tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime’s oppression.”
The Independent continues:
But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.”
US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s former chief of staff. “I brought the White House team in to do the graphics,” he says, adding how “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy”.
How “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy,” indeed is the most important aspect of the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, and is without doubt what is being done in Washington, Doha, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv in regards to Syria now.
Those behind the current conspiracy against Syria hope that the public possesses no understanding whatsoever regarding chemical weapons and their true tactical utility as well as their many limitations. They hope that the public never fully realizes that “small scale” use is essentially an admission that the weapons were not used tactically, but at best, used to fabricate a pretext for war by the West and its terrorist proxies.
As the West realizes how politically unsustainable yet another war waged on a blatantly false pretense will be, it may turn to even uglier options in order to topple the Syrian government and to save face after a humiliating stand-down from their “red line.” The West’s legitimacy has long since been exhausted. Its reputation has been permanently disfigured by special interests that have commandeered and abused it.
While Syria and its allies continue to fight against this proxy-war of aggression, it is incumbent upon the rest of us to identify the corporate-financier special interests behind this war, boycott and permanently replace them with local solutions. If allowed to succeed in grave injustices against the Syrian people, these interests will be emboldened to abuse, exploit, and torment others, including those within their own borders.