UN report: Syria still using chemical weapons

The most mobile red line in the history of Western civilization just moved a little again.  The United Nations issued a damning report that confirmed that Syrian president Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons at least twice since 2013, including one incident involving mustard gas.

Of course, this isn't possible.  President Obama made a deal with Vladimir Putin to take possession of all Syrian chemical weapons in exchange for pulling Obama's rear end out of a sticky situation where he would have to make good on his "red line" promise to strike Assad if he used WMD.

Politico:

Even after he supposedly turned over his entire stockpile of chemical weapons three years ago, Bashar Assad is still crossing Barack Obama's "red line," a U.N. investigation has found.

U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday that the probe had determined that the Syrian president and his regime were responsible for at least two cases of the deadly use of chlorine in the Arab country's civil war since 2013. Investigators also blamed the Islamic State terrorist group in an incident involving mustard gas.

The findings give ammunition to Republicans critical of the U.S. president's handling of the crisis in Syria, especially his decision not to militarily intervene in 2013 even after it became clear Assad was not heeding his warning that using chemical weapons would cross a "red line." The investigators' findings also could set up a showdown between the U.S. and Russia, which has long backed Assad, as the U.N. Security Council decides what to do in response.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, issued a stern statement on the report, condemning the "horrific and continuous use of chemical weapons by Syria."

"It is essential that the members of the Security Council come together to ensure consequences for those who have used chemical weapons in Syria," she said. "It is essential that all state and non-state actors immediately cease any chemical weapons use. We strongly urge all States to support strong and swift action by the Security Council."

The White House, however, issued a more measured response, that, while condemning the chemical weapons use in the "strongest terms," did not emphasize the need for an urgent reaction from the international community.

"The United States will work with our international partners to seek accountability through appropriate diplomatic mechanisms, including through the United Nations Security Council and the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]. We urge all U.N. member states and parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Russia and Iran, to participate in this effort," said Ned Price, spokesman for the White House-based National Security Council.

The last time President Assad was accused of using chlorine gas, the White House claimed – with a straight face that chlorine is not a chemical weapon.  While chlorine has multiple uses in industry, it's a chemical weapon when it is used as such the deliberate use of the gas to kill people.

No such weasel words are possible when it comes to mustard gas, a substance with no earthly use except to kill people. 

Few people are advocating that President Obama bomb Syria.  It's far too late for U.S. intervention to have any effect except to show how pathetically weak our policy has been.  Russia doesn't care if Assad gases his own people.  If they thought they could get away with it, they'd probably use them, too.  (They did in Afghanistan.)

No doubt our next move will be to send the dreaded "strongly worded letter" to President Assad, who will use it to light his cigar.  Assad is winning the war, and with Russia behind him, he can safely ignore what the rest of the world thinks of him.

The most mobile red line in the history of Western civilization just moved a little again.  The United Nations issued a damning report that confirmed that Syrian president Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons at least twice since 2013, including one incident involving mustard gas.

Of course, this isn't possible.  President Obama made a deal with Vladimir Putin to take possession of all Syrian chemical weapons in exchange for pulling Obama's rear end out of a sticky situation where he would have to make good on his "red line" promise to strike Assad if he used WMD.

Politico:

Even after he supposedly turned over his entire stockpile of chemical weapons three years ago, Bashar Assad is still crossing Barack Obama's "red line," a U.N. investigation has found.

U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday that the probe had determined that the Syrian president and his regime were responsible for at least two cases of the deadly use of chlorine in the Arab country's civil war since 2013. Investigators also blamed the Islamic State terrorist group in an incident involving mustard gas.

The findings give ammunition to Republicans critical of the U.S. president's handling of the crisis in Syria, especially his decision not to militarily intervene in 2013 even after it became clear Assad was not heeding his warning that using chemical weapons would cross a "red line." The investigators' findings also could set up a showdown between the U.S. and Russia, which has long backed Assad, as the U.N. Security Council decides what to do in response.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, issued a stern statement on the report, condemning the "horrific and continuous use of chemical weapons by Syria."

"It is essential that the members of the Security Council come together to ensure consequences for those who have used chemical weapons in Syria," she said. "It is essential that all state and non-state actors immediately cease any chemical weapons use. We strongly urge all States to support strong and swift action by the Security Council."

The White House, however, issued a more measured response, that, while condemning the chemical weapons use in the "strongest terms," did not emphasize the need for an urgent reaction from the international community.

"The United States will work with our international partners to seek accountability through appropriate diplomatic mechanisms, including through the United Nations Security Council and the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]. We urge all U.N. member states and parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Russia and Iran, to participate in this effort," said Ned Price, spokesman for the White House-based National Security Council.

The last time President Assad was accused of using chlorine gas, the White House claimed – with a straight face that chlorine is not a chemical weapon.  While chlorine has multiple uses in industry, it's a chemical weapon when it is used as such the deliberate use of the gas to kill people.

No such weasel words are possible when it comes to mustard gas, a substance with no earthly use except to kill people. 

Few people are advocating that President Obama bomb Syria.  It's far too late for U.S. intervention to have any effect except to show how pathetically weak our policy has been.  Russia doesn't care if Assad gases his own people.  If they thought they could get away with it, they'd probably use them, too.  (They did in Afghanistan.)

No doubt our next move will be to send the dreaded "strongly worded letter" to President Assad, who will use it to light his cigar.  Assad is winning the war, and with Russia behind him, he can safely ignore what the rest of the world thinks of him.