Obama and Hillary’s deception on Syrian WMD revealed
We now know the reason why Obama’s so-called WMD red line in Syria was nothing but bluff and bluster: the ones using chemical agents there were the rebel groups and ISIS in addition to Assad’s forces.
When Obama, Hillary, and the congressional Gang of Eight tried to convince Americans to up the ante on U.S. involvement in Syria, they relied on exposing Assad’s use of WMD on his own people. That’s ironic, since the left constantly beat up GWB on Iraq’s supposed non-existent WMD stockpiles as his primary reason for Operation Iraqi Freedom and offered no apologies when the New York Times finally admitted that chemical weapons were present in the country.
In 2012, Hillary Clinton joined the push for more U.S. help when she spoke about Assad’s potential chemical weapons use after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels:
Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons, or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within Syria. We have sent an unmistakable message that this would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account[.]
There were a lot of qualifiers in Hillary’s statement, because in truth, it was at minimum an exaggeration if not a completely fabricated WMD story. This deception actually started to unravel in mid-2014. AT reported that an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspection team in Syria was attacked in rebel-held territory to investigate reports that Assad’s government had used chlorine gas on civilians. In other words, the inspectors were attacked by the very people trying to show the world that Assad used chemical agents on civilians. Either these were incompetent rebels or there was never any use of chemicals by Assad’s forces in that particular area in the first place.
The other inconsistency is that the use of chlorine gas is foolish by a state that had an advanced chemical weapons program. Assad would not need chlorine with inventories of sarin and VX nerve agents and sulfur mustard. Rather, chlorine is an industrial chemical agent of opportunity for insurgents and terrorists.
Wednesday, the hammer finally dropped. The New York Times received an advance copy of IHS* Conflict Monitor’s analysis and, via Asharq Al-Awsat, the assessment on chemical weapons use in Iraq and Syria, and the results are definitely not in agreement with U.S. administration propaganda:
The ISIS has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis. More than one-third of those chemical attacks have come in and around Mosul, the ISIS stronghold in northern Iraq[.]
The report also says Assad’s forces have conducted two helicopter chlorine bomb attacks and “many” other attacks. How many attacks is not mentioned, though given Assad’s chemical arsenal discussed earlier, the use of chlorine by a state military is still questionable in my opinion.
And since there is a sizable U.S. presence in Iraq again, a military spokesman has weighed in and agrees with the assessment. Col. John Dorrian said:
The coalition is concerned about ISIL’s use of chemical weapons … ISIL has used them in Iraq and Syria in the past, and we expect them to continue employing these types of weapons.
Colonel Dorrian also said:
ISIS’s ability to use chemical weapons is “rudimentary,” and that American, Iraqi and other allied troops are equipped to deal with the impact of these chemical attacks — typically rockets, mortar shells or artillery shells filled with chemical agents. The effects of these chemical munitions thus far have been limited to the immediate area where they land.
The U.S. air campaign has even targeted ISIS chemical agent production facilities. In September, Allied warplanes bombed a converted pharmaceutical factory suspected of manufacturing chemical weapons.
The question, of course, is how ISIS obtained the materials and the delivery systems to conduct these attacks. The report does mention the group possibly obtaining agents from Saddam’s old weapon stocks or from unaccounted-for chemicals in Syria. Or perhaps ISIS has acquired the knowledge to manufacture the agents themselves.
There are many possibilities, but there is one thing we can count on, and that is that the U.S. media (maybe with the exception of the NYT) will not be the least bit interested in this story in order to defend Obama’s and Hillary’s deadly legacy.
John Smith is the pen name of a former U.S. intelligence officer.
* IHS is the parent company of Janes Information Group.