UN Report shows Assad almost certainly responsible for chemical weapons

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by Row6, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    Some on TH had doubts about who might have employed the chemical weapons in Syria. The UN report was not charged with assigning blame, but the evidence they uncovered while verifying that CW were used - their task - pretty clearly shows it was Assad. Here's the case that exists in the details of that report:

    "1. Chemical weapons were delivered with munitions not used by rebels.

    The report concluded that whoever blanketed the Damascus neighborhood in chemical weapons did it with a specific kind of artillery shell designed for delivering chemical weapons. (Isn't technology grand?) The Syrian government is known to possess these shells. Syria-watchers say there is no evidence that rebels have ever used these munitions or even have access to the technology needed to launch them.

    2. The sarin was fired from a regime-controlled area.

    The report concludes that the shells came from the northwest of the targeted neighborhood. That area was and is controlled by Syrian regime forces and is awfully close to a Syrian military base. If the shells had been fired by Syrian rebels, they likely would have come from the rebel-held southeast. Human Rights Watch, which reached a similar conclusion, put together this map indicating where the shells came from:

    [​IMG]

    3. Chemical analysis suggests sarin likely came from controlled supply.

    The U.N. investigators analyzed 30 samples, which they found contained not just sarin but also "relevant chemicals, such as stabilizers." That suggests that the chemical weapons were taken from a controlled storage environment, where they could have been processed for use by troops trained in their use. This would seem to downplay the possibility that the chemical weapons were, as some speculated, fired by rebels who had stolen them from government stockpiles.

    4. Cyrillic characters on the sides of the shells

    The Russian lettering on the artillery rounds strongly suggests they were Russian-manufactured. Russia is a major supplier of arms to the Syrian government, of course, but more to the point they are not a direct or indirect supplier of arms to the rebels. Rebels have typically been supplied with arms purchased from, most famously, Croatian manufacturers. The Croatian language uses a form of Latin rather than Cyrillic lettering.

    5. The UN Secretary General's comments on the report

    This is perhaps the most circumstantial case at all, but it's difficult to ignore the apparent subtext in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's news conference discussing the report. While he made it clear that the investigation was not charged with determining responsibility, and that he would not name a likely culprit, he acknowledged that "we all have our thoughts on this." He certainly seemed to.

    Ban repeatedly stressed that "there must be accountability" and "no impunity" for the use of chemical weapons, which he said constituted a "war crime." He added that the "perpetrators ... will have to be brought to justice" and suggested referring them to the International Criminal Court. While it's possible that Ban meant for these comments to apply to rebel or regime perpetrators, his language and policy proscriptions would apply far more suitably to senior Syrian government officials than to informal rebel groups."​

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...l-weapons-report-is-pretty-damning-for-assad/
  2. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    Now NY Times has similar article:

    "U.N. Data on Gas Attack Points to Assad’s Top Forces

    In presenting the data concerning two rocket strikes — the significance of which was not commented upon by the United Nations itself — the report provides a stronger indication than the public statements of intelligence services of the United States, France or Britain that the Syrian military not only carried out the attack, but apparently did so brazenly, firing from the same neighborhoods or ridges from which it has been firing high-explosive conventional munitions for much of the war..."


    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/w...as-attack-points-to-assads-top-forces.html?hp

    Can we now discuss a proper response - if necessary - without the side trip on the possibility that someone else did it?
  3. Swampmaster
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    Swampmaster New Member

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    if he murders thousands with chemical weapons, how is that different than other countries that murder thousands or millions of their own people with other weapons? should the u.s. invade these other countries or launch missiles?
  4. HallGator
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    Why should we trust the UN anymore than we do the other "intelligence" we are getting?
  5. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    While it is certainly possible to murder more people using other weapons, consistency in non-enforcement of existing international law on chemical weapons is not preferable to inconsistency in enforcing what laws we do have. The law has been a pretty effective deterrent for 88 years.
  6. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    What? So everyone is in on the conspriracy, and you can choose to not believe anything of substance on the issue? Thanks for making that clear.

    Any one reasonable want to discuss it?
  7. fredsanford
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    fredsanford VIP Member

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    So said a lot of liberals in 2002. Funny how times change.
  8. HallGator
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    So I don't buy what you post right off and that makes me unreasonable? You have been pushing for military action and just because you find something to support it does not place it in the "reasonable" category.
  9. HallGator
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    By the way did you miss the "almost" in your own thread title?
  10. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    Then perhaps you should reflect longer before posting. That's your responsibility, not mine.

    My position on action was based on the strong likelihood that Assad was responsible based on reasons I gave then. This further evidence leaves pretty little wiggle room for doubters like you, so your argument now should reasonably be limited to other things than you don't think he did it. No one has a video of him pulling a trigger so you can always claim that, but how about being reasonable and moving on to the next phase of the issue.
  11. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    That's not right. Saddam's use of chemical weapons against the Kurds - and, BTW, there are plenty of sites claiming to have evidence that he didn't do it for the conspiracy minded - preceded the Gulf War I, and we didn't care about his earlier use in the Iran war. We didn't invade in 2003 as punishment for past actions but as supposed deterrent to his future use of "them", and in this case "them" meant nuclear weapons according to the adminstration. That was nonsense, but not many Americans would have signed onto that colossal overreaction to out of date mustard gas.
  12. G8trGr8t
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    some people will never believe what they do not want to believe. a few inconvenient facts

    nerve gas agents have to be kept separate and viable, not easy

    nerve gas agents have to be safely mixed and deployed within a limited time, not easy, if it was, don't you think terrorists would have done so in the western world already

    attacks were launched from within regime controlled areas with hardware that militants do not have. this is not in dispute

    areas attacked were heavily shelled by regime forces before they would let UN inspectors go in. this is not in dispute

    this has all been known since shortly after the attack.

    some people will be satisfied with nothing less than a live feed of Assad hitting the launch button

    only question left is do we stand by and let innocents be gassed like Hitler did or do we try and bring the decision makers to international justice.
  13. HallGator
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    I don't need to reflect on how much I trust the UN. Or did you not catch that was what I was referring to in my post?
  14. HallGator
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    Sure. Proper response is to stay out of it.
  15. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    Well, you have the US, France, Britain, and the UN all agreeing. You have Assad and Putin disagreeing. Is that a close call or are you waiting for some other source?

    BTW, the UN inspectors got Saddam's weapons right.
  16. G8trGr8t
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    like we did Germany when they were gassing people?? was that the correct response then??
  17. HallGator
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    Not the same. We still are not sure who did it in Syria plus there is a civil war going one with both sides committing atrocities. In the case of Germany it was an attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish population and who was doing it was not in question. Also the Jews were not in a war with the government.
  18. HallGator
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    Well then let Britain, France, and the UN have at it.
  19. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    1 What is done about it is a separate issue from the fact that there is no reasonable basis on which to think Assad didn't do it. That;s the subject of this thread and one which you have been leaning on for the entire argument. It's not there for you to lean on anymore.

    2 Like Britain, France, and the UN, our intelligence agrees that Assad did it. Why would you not include us in your suggestion?
  20. HallGator
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    Of course there is a reasonable basis to believe he did not do it. Just because you don't believe it doesn't make it a fact. There have been threads started that show this reasonable doubt and they are still on the forum. Our meddling has caused us more troubles than you can count and yet there are still those such as yourself calling for more of it. Don't you guys ever get enough?

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