Putin's 'Blazing Sun' is a weapon of mass destruction
According to The Australian, Vladimir Putin's troops in Syria are using a weapons system "one step below a nuclear weapon" on the city of Aleppo.
The TOS-1A "Blazing Sun" fires a near simultaneous missile battery at an entire neighborhood and is designed to create an all-consuming firestorm on the target. It is the equivalent of a localized nuclear weapon, aiming to turn civilian as well as armed neighborhoods into oxygen-sucking infernos.
The technology now exists to create near-nuclear weapons that are called "conventional" but resemble small nuclear weapons in indiscriminate destructiveness. Such weapons should be prohibited by international treaties. Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago, nuclear weapons have not been used "in anger." Vladimir Putin is therefore breaching an important international taboo against weapons that are so undiscriminating and all-destroying that they are equivalent to nuclear weapons. Because Moscow's own existence is not threatened, this is not an "in extremis" use of WMDs. Putin has acted brutally before, and our feckless international "community" has ignored his actions. But this is a time when Putin must face international punishment.
Obama's retreat from stabilizing American holdings in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia has allowed aggressors to push previous tripwire boundaries. China has stolen immense seabed territories in the South China Sea. Russia is now allied with the primitive Iranian mullahs and involved in Syria's endless civil war. Our European allies are pathetic without firm American backing.
Obama's self-proclaimed "red lines" meant nothing. But what Putin has done now, coinciding with the most crucial U.S. presidential election in years, is to challenge a basic humanitarian and practical consensus on the use of WMDs.
This must not stand. in typical Russian fashion, Putin has been pushing all the boundaries, by simulated attacks on U.S. and allied forces, and by using WMDs in Syria and Chechnya.
If there was ever a time for the Obama administration to take a public stand, even at a diplomatic price, this is it.