Syria

Why would Assad gas his own people at this stage?
SLIDESHOW: Debunking Obama's Case for War on Syria. St. Pete for Peace

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Debunking Obama's Case for War on Syria
Barack Obama's rationale for war is simple: Assad gassed his own people.  But the chemical weapons attack in Damascus on August 21, 2013 was most likely carried out by U.S. supported al-Qaeda rebels, not by Assad.
But just like there was no evidence that Saddam had WMD, there is no evidence that Assad gassed his own people.

Obama is betting everything that people will believe his premise.  And most media outlets in the U.S. have continued to widely report Obama's assertions not as unsubstantiated claims, but rather as facts, just as they did with Bush's claims during the lead up to the Iraq war.

Virtually no one denies that a chemical weapons attack took place on August 21 in Syria, but the evidence points to the attackers being al-Qaeda rebels and not the Assad government:
  • Why would Assad order a chemical attack just days after UN inspectors arrived at his request ? Assad asked the UN to carry out investigations into alleged rebel usage of chemical weapons in Aleppo in the Spring 2013. Just days after the UN inspectors' arrival in Damascus, the chemical attack of August 21 took place.
  • The Syrian rebels DO have chemical weapons capability . The Washington Post noted in December 2012 that fighters from a group that the Obama administration has branded a terrorist organization were among rebels who seized a military base where research on chemical weapons had been conducted.
  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) stated: "The administration is asking us to go to war on the basis of a four-page document and a 12-page document and none of the underlying evidence."
  • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) stated: "Yes, I saw the classified documents yesterday (September 2). They were pretty thin . The case that can be made that actually Assad was the one who pulled the trigger is suspect."
  • Ron Paul stated : "The group that is most likely to benefit from (a chemical attack) is Al-Qaeda. They ignite some gas, some people die and blame it on Assad."
  • Pat Buchanan said : "I would not understand or comprehend that Bashar al-Assad, no matter how bad a man he may be, would be so stupid as to order a chemical weapons attack on civilians in his own country when the immediate consequence...might be that he would be at war with the United States. So this reeks of a false flag operation."
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin: "[T]here is every reason to believe [sarin gas] was used not by the Syrian army , but by opposition forces to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists."
  • U.N. commission member Carla Del Ponte stated that there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not incontrovertible proof" that rebels used the nerve gas agent sarin in the Spring of 2013.
  • Enrique Baron, head of Madrid's National Police counter-terrorist intelligence stated that Al Qaeda may have chemical weapons, "The Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb has acquired and used very powerful conventional arms and probably also has non-conventional arms, basically chemical , as a result of the loss of control of arsenals."
  • Syrian rebel groups sought sarin gas material , Turkish prosecutors say.
  • Who would gain from use of chemical weapons? In the months prior to the August 21 chemical attack, fractured Syrian opposition offered little resistance to Assad's forces . Using nerve gas would have been strategically unnecessary for Assad.
  • Whose sarin?  By Seymour Hersh
    Obama cherry-picked intelligence
    Like Bush and Iraqi WMD, Obama cherry-picked intelligence on the Aug. 21 chemical attack as a way to justify war on Syria.  One high-level intelligence officer called Obama's assurances of Assad's supposed chemical weapons attack a 'ruse' , and that the attack was not the result of Assad.

    Obama failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army was not the only entity with access to sarin.  Even though it knew the al-Nusra Front, al al-Qaeda affiliated group fighting against the Syrian government, had mastered the mechanics of creating the nerve gas in quantity.  But Obama cherry-picked the intelligence to justify a strike against Assad, in part, as a way to not lose political points for the Democratic party since he had set a "red line" on chemical weapons use.

    A former senior intelligence official told Hersh that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analyzed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident , when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along ?”’ 

    In trying to justify an attack on Syria, the White House claimed it knew about the sarin attack 3 days before it killed an estimated 1400 people.  If this were true, why did it not give any warning to the Syrian people?  After this question was raised, the administration retracted its statement saying that it did not know beforehand. (read)
The Obama administration needs to address the hypocrisy of being on the same side as al-Qaeda in Syria while concurrently saying that they are an enemy in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and other Muslim countries. It has been widely reported that rebels in Syria include al-Qaeda fighters: Gambling on the same strategy that Bush did with Iraq, the Obama administration is counting on media complicity to accept and report his unproven, illogical assertions as evidence-based fact.

History proved Bush's WMD claims to be wrong and the Iraq war to be a mistake. If Obama eventually carries out a war on Syria based on the "he gassed his own people" pretext, history will leave Obama and all of those in the media who acted as his stenographers in the dust.




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