Syrian uses chem weapons again?

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by TigersTailgating, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. TigersTailgating

    TigersTailgating Waterford Lesticles

    Apparently the U.S. and France have information that several areas have been hit with chlorine gas, and the Syrian Gov't is again blaming the rebel forces? So if it is determined that Assad is again using chemical weapons, where's that put the "red line" for this Admin?
  2. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Three comments.

    1. This is an allegation that is as yet unproven, there have been several of these already. The opposing sides are trying to make each other look bad. Much posturing is going on.

    2. Chlorine gas is not one of the militarized chemical weapons that were under discussion. It hasn't been used as a chemical weapon since WWI because it is not very effective compared to mustard gas and nerve gas. Chlorine is a commonly available industrial chemical used for thousands of industry processes and water purification. It is easy to obtain by almost anybody. It is difficult to use as a weapon however, especially over large areas because there are no warheads and artillery shells that use it. It can only be used by opening tanks of Chlorine upwind of the enemy and hoping the wind doesn't shift.

    It produces visible greenish cloud and strong odour, making it easy to detect. It is water-soluble, so the simple expedient of covering the mouth and nose with a damp cloth is somewhat effective at reducing the effect of the gas. It is not a persistent gas and is mostly an irritant that makes people want to leave the area rather than a killer. Chlorine requires a concentration of 1,000 parts per million to be fatal and that is difficult to achieve over anything but small distances making it almost as dangerous to the users and the victims.

    3. I suspect this is one side or the other, probably the rebels trying to make the Syrians government look like liars. But possibly it is elements of the Syrian military trying to get around the WMD destruction by using industrial chemicals that could reasonably be blamed on the rebels.

    If it is determined that Assad is responsible, there could be a retaliation of some sort because we really don't care if we piss off Vladimir right now and he has his hands full with Ukraine. On the other hand, we don't want to give Assad an excuse to stop the export of his WMD's.

    Of course, Syria is an implacable enemy and even the "moderate" rebels are not pro-US. Syrians killing Syrians is a delight to us and Israel. We don't have a huge motivation to want to end this thing because whoever ends up in control is not going to suddenly become a Jeffersonian democracy and a friend of America.
  3. gumborue

    gumborue Painfully Pessimistic

    dont minimize the danger of Cl2. it is easier to disseminate because its a gas, unlike mustard "gas". and it has a high vapor density (ie, the targets dont have to be downwind, just downhill). killed 9 in Graniteville SC a few years back.
  4. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    It is also easier to dissipate than persistent chemical weapons. I don't minimize its danger, I minimize it's effectiveness as a weapon, which is why it hasn't been used since WWI.
  5. gumborue

    gumborue Painfully Pessimistic

    there's that and there's also the CWC.

    just in...."Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday that he has seen “raw data” indicating that the Syrian government has used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon in a “number of instances” in recent months....On the subject of Assad’s purported use of chlorine gas, France asserted this week that there is credible evidence that the chemical agent has been used at least 14 times in Syria since October."
  6. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    If confirmed, chlorine gas will be added to the list of banned chemical weapons. But chlorine is a really common industrial chemical and essential for disinfecting public water supplies. It's not going to be as easy to identify and remove as weaponized chemicals.
  7. Winston1

    Winston1 Senior Member

    Here is a little more info Red. The state department thinks Assad is holding back his banned Chemical Weapons.
    Meanwhile, British, French and U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that Syria is probably hiding part of its arsenal that it failed to declare, including stocks of sarin and mustard gas, according to news reports . State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed last week that the United States has been skeptical about whether Assad has revealed the extent of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
    Finally, evidence is piling up that Assad’s forces have been dropping bombs filled with chlorine on opposition-held areas. France’s foreign minister told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that there had been at least 14 such attacks since October. Laurent Fabius, who said “things would have been different” had Mr. Obama not backed away from using force in response to a chemical weapons attack last August, said the “regime is still capable of producing chemical weapons and is determined to use them.”

    As the Washington Post says "In reality, Mr. Assad is being allowed to disregard his chemical weapons commitment with impunity not because there’s nothing the United States can do but because Mr. Obama chooses to do nothing."
  8. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    You guys are missing the point. They can drop Chlorine bombs all day long and about the most they will do is get peoples eyes to burn for a bit, sort of like opening your eyes under water at the city pool. Is it a chemical, sure, but it isn't going to cause a whole lot of damage. Look, no one hates those bastards more than I do, I'd be the first in favor of turning the whole damn region into a sheet of glass. Fuck em. But there is a HUGE difference between Chlorine and Sarin, or Mustard gas. HUGE difference. When they start messing around with the later, then we get involved. If they are just increasing the sale of Visine then lets just buy some stock.
    gyver likes this.
  9. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

    Its kind of like saying, "just the tip baby, just the tip".....
  10. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Imagine that! A president who thinks with his head instead of his balls. I can only repeat the obvious. Syria is an enemy and has been for a long time. The Syrian rebels are not friends of the US, they were raised to hate us. Most of them are radical islamists, who are also our enemies. No winner of this conflict is going to make Syria into a democracy and an ally of America.

    It's NOT . . . OUR . . . FIGHT! This is Putin's crisis, not ours. Syria is a long-time Russian ally and possesses the only overseas base that Russia has. But even Putin is not stupid enough to launch a war to protect his interests because he can't trust the Syrians any more than we can.

    It is entirely in our interests for Syria to be engaged in a debilitating Civil War. It will be a very long time before they are ever a threat to Israel or anyone else again. Islamists are getting themselves killed over Syria instead of attacking us. Syria no longer has chemical weapons with which to threaten Israel. Israel no longer issues gas masks to all citizens. Hezbollah is getting themselves killed fighting other islamists in Syria instead of attacking Israel. Iran is seeing billions of dollars in aid to Hezbollah and Assad being squandered while Israel gets stronger. Best of all no American troops are getting killed in another futile Middle eastern war.

    These are all good things.

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