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Latest on Syria question to US Congress

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In the past couple of days the US has declared that it had evidence which proved Syrian President Assad had ordered a chemical weapons (CW’s) strike on his own people and indeed his own Army.  A recent report states that US intelligence services have “high confidence” Syrian government forces used chemical weapons multiple times during the last year.  However, Washington cannot yet declare with 100 per cent certainty that President Bashar Assad’s regime was responsible for the poison gas attack on August 21 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, the report said.


Add to this the almost American Dad like comedy script which transpired over these few days. When firstly Secretary of State Kerry declared that “it was a slam dunk”, that the US has evidence proving that Assad used CW’s, which was then followed by a statement by one senior member of the intelligence community,  who told AP on condition of anonymity that there were noticeable Holes in US intelligence assessments, which the White House said would prove the Syrian government’s responsibility for the use of chemical weapons on August 21.  

According to an Office of the Director for National Intelligence report cited by the AP, the US evidence against the Syrian regime “is thick with caveats” and contains gaps that are getting in the way of putting the chemical weapon use directly in the hands of Assad.

 

The White House released a map of Ghouta, displaying the areas affected by the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack.

Syria map

The Pink areas denote Assad / SAA control whilst the Aqua /Blue areas denote FSA+ control.  The Green Variegated colour denotes contested areas and finally the Yellow bordered with Red denotes the areas reportedly affected by chemical attack.

Even to laypersons with limited knowledge of chemical weapons (CW’s) the above mentioned map clearly shows that 6 of the 12 areas that Washington cites as areas reportedly affected by the August 21st attack are in fact contested areas. In other words areas of conflict where Syrian Troops (SAA) are actively fighting FSA and other associated forces. Whereas the other 6 areas are FSA /Associated Force (FSA+) controlled.

Now when Gas / Chemicals are released they no longer have a master (so to speak), in other words once released CW’s cannot determine who the enemy is. Therefore, it would be of absolutely NO benefit to the Assad regime to release CW’s that would in fact kill their own troops as well as the enemy and the civilian population. One could of course argue that it would not serve the FSA+ to release CW’s in these areas either. However, it would (or could) serve the purpose of some of the factions within the FSA+, as the use of CW’s had already been alluded to by US President Obama as a red line that must not be crossed by the Syrian regime. The fact that Obama & co did not apply the same standards / restrictions to the FSA+ is to say the very least alarming.

Made ever more alarming considering the heinous crimes committed by the FSA+ against Syrian civilians, Priests, Monks, Journalists and regime forces as documented with pride by these factions via YouTube, which include beheadings, mass executions, and kidnappings, not to mention the FSA+ threat to use chemical weapons (The rabbit videos) and the documented case of Turkish authorities arresting FSA+ members actively trying to smuggle Sarin gas into Syria. The result of which is the almost worldwide scepticism / distrust of certain States and their leaders when it comes to claims of chemical weapons use.

 

US rejects comparisons between Iraq and Syria

US officials have rejected comparisons of the possible strike against Syria to the war in Iraq.

“We’re not considering analogous responses in any way… We are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Iraq war,”
US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters during a daily briefing.

“Nobody is talking about a large-scale military intervention,” Harf added, ruling out American “boots on the ground” in Syria, as well as “any military options aimed at regime change.”
The White House also asked not to draw analogies with previous US involvement in the Middle East conflicts, or the pre-Iraq war debate about intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction.  The possible military response to Syria would be “very discrete and limited,” and not an open-ended conflict aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

 

Those pushing for an attack on Syria use terms such as “Very Discrete and Limited” as mentioned in the report above. They also allege to have no desire to change the status quo claiming that in no way would an attack change the balance of the conflict. The terms used above are meant to make us believe that any strike/s would only hurt chemical weapons, would only deprive Assad of the use of CW’s. But the truth is that many Syrian civilians would be killed, most of whom would die as a direct result of the destruction of CW’s.

 

Obama seeks congress approval

The US House of Representatives will consider the issue of a possible military strike against Syria when it returns from recess, starting September 9, the Republican delegates announced Saturday.

“We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.

“In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th,” said the release. “This provides the President time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”

Reaction so far

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan@repmarkpocan 5h

In DC 4 emergency #Syria briefing-Not convinced compelling national security interest for attack largely born by US 1.usa.gov/14bBiBV

 

Candice Miller@CandiceMiller 4h

Received classified briefing on Syria; Case has still not been made to authorize use of force in the Syrian Civil War goo.gl/bQvAsc

 

Cong. Tim Huelskamp@CongHuelskamp 4h

I’ve seen no evidence of an American national interest in the Syrian civil war. Read my full statement @ on.fb.me/17t1UNJ #TCOT

 

 

Rep. Alan Grayson@AlanGrayson 6h

The case AGAINST attacking Syria. youtube.com/watch?v=DvY8b4 #DontAttackSyria

 

 

TJ @ Total World View

 

 

 

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