The “Mushroom Shaped Cloud” is called Sarin this time


"The White House acknowledged Thursday the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale a number of times, according to a statement.
The administration also indicated it will increase the "scope and scale of assistance" to rebels in Syria following its acknowledgment that the Bashar al-Assad government has used chemical weapons in the civil war, according to the statement.
"  CNN


Ho hum.  I guess this means that the warhawks have won the argument inside the BHO Administration.

I thought it would take longer for the influence of Susan Rice and Samantha Power to take effect, and then, there is the pitiful spectacle of John McCain.  pl

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48 Responses to The “Mushroom Shaped Cloud” is called Sarin this time

  1. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang
    Until proven wrong I still believe that that this is Kabuki theater – perhaps to get the FSA to the peace conference .
    I just cannot see us militarily involving ourselves in Syria .
    The verbage scope & scale can mean lots of things. imo – but not a no fly zone or boots on the ground .

  2. Peter C says:

    My guess is a no fly with a squadron of Drone on the side, coupled with tons eastern block Berdan with up-to-date RPGs.

  3. Harry says:

    Utterly predictable. Utterly evil. And strikingly banal. Same old, same old. Give it 2 years and they will admit that “errors were made” but no one could have done better.

  4. Tyler says:

    Lying to Americans, spying on citizens, ‘unitary Executive’ power grab…
    Man history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure rhymes. If the ramifications weren’t so damn dire, I’d laugh my head off at the hypocrisy of the media. Its carrying Obama’s water in a way that it never did for Bush II.

  5. optimax says:

    Obama has to divert attention from various scandals he has accumulated.Clinton, the beloved of the Left, put pressure on Obama by calling him a chicken.

  6. Booby says:

    Here we go again. The needed intel appeared just in time. Years ago I was in a flag office at a combatant command. The red phone rang and the flag ushered me out saying, “Excuse me for a moment while I authorize the bombing of another sovereign country that we’re not at war with.”
    I don’t think that taking the Syrian Air Force out of the equation will have a major impact. Assad has plenty of arty & short range missiles for support of the ground forces. I just hope that we don’t pass out Stingers again. We should already be concerned about the Lybian SA-7’s that the rebels currently have.

  7. VietnamVet says:

    I am dumbfounded.
    What is America’s goal?
    The authorities know well what was needed to pacify Watertown after the shootout. Shut down Boston and flood the area with cops and militia to get one shooter.
    Yes, the majority of Muslims are Sunni but there are estimated up to 200 million Shias. America has started giving ground to air and anti-tank missiles to one side of a religious standoff that gone on for a millennium; longer than the Protestant Catholic Troubles in Ireland. The Free Syrian Army cannot overthrow Assad now that he has Shiite Iran and Hezbollah supporting him. The Syrian civil war will escalate. A no fly zone won’t end it like it did with Kaddafi. This is a religious war with unified and powerful adversaries. Hezbollah fought the Israeli Army to a standstill.
    Israel doesn’t want Hezbollah in the Golan Heights and the Elite want to make war profits. But, this is spinning out of control. The only way to pacify the Levant is to flood Syria and Iraq, again, with a million boots on the ground.
    Next stop Tehran and World War III.

  8. Jerry C. says:

    Every American president owes Israel at least 1 war for each term he is in office. BHO now needs to deliver his war dues for this term, so Syria must be attacked. The good news is that he’ll be done after this and can relax until his term ends.
    Next president will be required to attack Iran in 2016-2020 term. So the same debate will occur in 4 years again.

  9. fanto says:

    I was shocked myself when I heard this; but on reflexion I think this is half-hearted gesture of the President to save face and to satisfy the mushroomers/sariners. The Sarin story is IMHO similar to the Gleiwitz radio station attack story on Sept.1st, 1939.(not that I do not believe that there were real victims of such attack, but who did it is the question, no matter what the President’s usually reliable sources now say). Will see what will actually happen – and what the Russians and Chinese will do.

  10. The Twisted Genius says:

    “The White House said Washington would provide “direct military support” to the opposition but did not specify whether it would include lethal aid, which would mark a reversal of Obama’s resistance to arming the rebels.” (Reuters)
    How is this not providing material support to terrorism?

  11. Bill H says:

    I absolutely love the headline. Brilliant.

  12. kao_hsien_chih says:

    If anything, this is a creative way to cancel the planned talks in Geneva and keep the conflict going. Do we have the wherewithal, both material and political, to escalate the conflict (much) further, though?

  13. confusedponderer says:

    I read today that Bill Clinton said something to the effect that Obama looks like a wuss if he doesn’t intervene in Syria – usually that is being more gently put as Americas credibility being at stake.
    Now, before Obama loses face, quite naturally he has to smash Syria against the wall to show how tough he is, how tough America is I meant.
    That aptly shows the essential idiocy of formulating regime change as a policy goal. Such a policy is per se dysfunctional: In the end, as this case shows quite clearly, there is no alternative but to double down or lose face. Since the latter is never acceptable in the age of attack ads and lunatics like McCain and Liebermann, escalation is guaranteed.
    Declaring regime change as a goal is America’s gradual surrogate for a formal declaration of war.
    Now, US expanded support for the rebels won’t do much more than guaranteeing that Assad will get killed eventually, but since America personalises its conflict (Iraq = Saddam, Iran = Ahmadinejad; Libya = Ghaddafi; Lebanon = Nasrallah, etc pp) Assad’s head on a spike will do just fine as “victory” in America – with little consideration to who a US intervention will put into power afterwards.
    After all – there is no time to waste! Red lines have been crossed (or not, but who cares)! Speed is of the essence! Bombs away!
    There is this alien the idea that Syria’s Christian and Alawite minorities may object to that outcome, may want a word in their destiny, something that the Sunni nutters will certainly deny them … but doubt begone! Fuck’em if they can’t take a joke – since they’re obviously regime holdouts and sore losers. And the end of weakening Iran (or not, but who cares) overrides such trivial concerns anyway.
    For Grand Strategists of the neo-con, neo-wilsonian persuasions, the Syrians are not more than ants to stomp in order to weaken Iran’s and strengthen Israel’s position – and, quite weirdly, for the R2Pers also – who willingly sacrifice them on the altar of finally having their sovereignty corroding precedent.
    The irony is, and I bet that it will come that way, no matter what, because the one sovereignty they don’t dare corrode by setting precedent is the American one. The US will not invoke R2P as a mandate except in rhetoric. They will not use it legally. They’d be idiots to do so. The R2Pers won’t get their legal precedent, just what they will probably call a moral one.

  14. MartinJ says:

    And when the Christians and Allawites start to be ethnically cleansed and slaughtered, what will this administration do? What will the chicken hawks of R2P at Obama’s right hand have to say? Will they then arm them because they have become victims? Perhaps they will “urge all sides to show restraint.”

  15. jonst says:

    Spotlight on…..begin tap dancing this away Alba Etie…so we were not going to get involved because the “American people” did not want to. So much for their/our wants. Tap dance away…
    Bloodthirsty dogooders…..who will NOT be sending their kids. Make no mistake…despite St John McCain and Sen Huckelberry….at heart this is R2P intervention. The GOP neocons might be happy too…but this is a Democratic Party intervention.

  16. Pan says:

    Show us the evidence! Why all the secrecy about the evidence of Sarin use if we’re going to yell at the rooftops about it. The LeMonde report on that was a joke. The Syrian rebels they showed in the article had absolutely no MOPP protection, only gas masks. If it were sarin, they’d all be dead.

  17. Matthew says:

    Tyler: And don’t forget the greatest insult: Handling over a great Christian community in the Middle East to salafist head-choppers under the guise of “humanitarianism.”

  18. Matthew says:

    jonst: It’s a profanity to call this a “R2P intervention.” We are actually fueling a fire and I expect that we will predictably disclaim responsibility for the subsequent inferno. This is world-class evil.

  19. jonst says:

    sooth yourself with this song…

  20. Peter C says:

    Israel To Seek US-Backed Loan for Mega Arms Deal
    Hopes to Repay With Future Military Aid
    “TEL AVIV — Israel’s Defense Ministry is asking the US government to guarantee billions of dollars in low-interest bridge loans for a Pentagon-proposed package of V-22 Ospreys, F-15 radars and precision-strike weaponry that it ultimately intends to fund with future military aid from the US.” Over at Defense News, we are going to give billions to the Israel in advanced weapons technology. What the U.S. is giving a ton of stuff that in theory will be paid back by U.S. Military aid in the future. We should just get it over with and add a 51st state.
    What the U. S. gets in return is the privilege of some small arms and a few obsolete Red Eyes into Syria.

  21. Edward Amame says:

    Good luck with those midterms, Dems with the pres out there furiously screwing the pooch (specifically referring to PRISM and Syria).

  22. linda says:

    the double teaming by mccain and clinton was repulsive; and contemptible is obama’s cowardly response. christ, this country can’t even govern itself.

  23. Rd. says:

    confusedponderer said…
    “I read today that Bill Clinton said something to the effect that Obama looks like a wuss ”
    This is mr obama’s monica lewinsky moment.
    mr obama has been caught with his pants down re NSA and his intercourse with the Chinese not going well.. so here comes the diversion.
    Clinton’s lil’ diversion (missile firing) did a great deal of harm to US in the long run..

  24. kao_hsien_chih says:

    They’ll do what they did when Serbs in Croatia were ethnically cleansed: cheer on the ethnic cleansers, who were doing the ethnic cleansing for peace and human rights.

  25. kao_hsien_chih says:

    After all, those inscrutable Ay-rabs (or, will it just be Syrians?) don’t know peace, democracy, and human rights.. Tut, tut. It’ll be all their fault that things are going to blow up. Ancient hatreds and all that jazz…

  26. Edward Amame says:

    I am entirely confident that for one of the few (or only?) times in his 2 terms, Obama will have the full cooperation of both parties in both houses of congress with regards to arming the “rebels.” Nevertheless, I contacted my 2 senators and my congresswoman to urge a “no” vote to authorize.

  27. D says:

    Colonel.. some music while pondering the folly of the world.

  28. kao_hsien_chih says:

    One serious difference: Clinton’s troubles were just personal pecadillos; Obama’s problems are potentially serious public policy failures and/or malfeasance, most certainly serious breach of public trust. Someone who tries to cover up a personal scandal with a misguided foreign adventure is merely contemptible and despicable. Someone who tries to distract policy failures and wrongdoings with even more misguided wrongdoings is far more sinister.

  29. The beaver says:

    Check this article- makes me want to puke:
    “The United States, working with Britain, France and Israel, was able to compile evidence that Syrian officials had planned and executed a string of chemical weapons attacks in Aleppo, Damascus and two other cities.”
    Le Monde, Fabius , Israel, Mossad, UK – nice little group

  30. robt willmann says:

    Here is an article of today by Franklin Lamb about the Syrian situation including inquiries he made with some sources in the U.S. Congress–

  31. Stephanie says:

    Sam and Sue pushed a reluctant Obama into Libya and now he’s facing even greater pressure from all sides. He’s in a poor position largely of his own making, but as far as I can tell his resistance to doing more (and the polls showing the public is strongly against deeper involvement) is all we have as a bulwark against another war.

  32. Walrus says:

    This is Obamas ” how could anybody be so stupid?” moment that I predicted would appear in his Presidency.
    Make no mistake, this is not about Syria, it is all about Obama.
    His calculation is that a Syrian adventure will deflect attention from the recent discovery that Obamas stance on domestic spying, human rights and the Constitution is if anything more totalitarian than Bush. You are about to discover the depths of depravity that the sociopath is prepared to plumb.
    Clinton? I expect he is well paid for his stance on Syria, so are others.
    Russia allegedly has Three Air defence regiments who are engaged in or have just completed a forward deployment exercise in Southern Russia. What is Obama going to do if one or more of them are suddenly deployed to Syria with instructions to enforce a NATO “no fly” zone?
    What happens then?

  33. Tyler says:

    Oh totally. It’d be nice if the Vatican would stop with this Vatican II multicultural crap and maybe take the time to defend Christians instead of talking about how much we get along with Islam

  34. Medicine Man says:

    Pointing again to a much larger problem: that the warmaking authority resides-in practice-within the Executive branch. Congress should have the responsibility for making that decision, but they don’t want it.
    It is deeply worrying that the possibility of the US blundering into a mess like this hinges entirely on whether one man gets “rolled over”. Even if Obama exceeds people’s expectations of him, hold long does the US have before a more malleable office holder is enthroned to thrust the country into some future boondoggle at the behest of a pack of think tank jackals and media war-minstrels?

  35. fanto says:

    Walrus, I disagree with you on the assessment that it is ‘all about Obama’ – Obama is doing what is in his triangulating politician’s mind the best for USA; he is not a sociopath. He is a politician, he may not be a statesman we all wanted him to be, or to become during his term(s). His position in the middle of Washington DC political scene, which is dominated by our “allies” in the ME is what is dictating his decisions. The ‘arming of rebels’ is not going to be serious and it is only a lip service to the lobbies.
    I do like your comments otherwise.

  36. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang has banned snark from our discourse – which this borders on here. I suspect you are not American – therefore may not be qualified to be commenting on the American People and what we will and won’t do . But as of this date & this time we have not committed anything to al Nusra and Idriss besides small arms & some training. And unless and until we see actual proof of a buildup to go to Syria – you might consider refraining from ad hominen attacks on participants in this forum .
    And I may be forced to rat you out to the Snark Patrol if you insist on calling me a ‘tap dancer in the spotlight ” .

  37. CK says:

    Being called a “wuss” by Bill Clinton — that is a serious blow to the cojones.
    At least another 50K Syrians have to die for that stain to be kleenexed away.

  38. turcopolier says:

    All said was that I don’t want to see the word snark. pl

  39. Fred says:

    I happen to agree with Jonst’s take on this:
    “Bloodthirsty dogooders…..who will NOT be sending their kids.” I would add that in their decades of preaching R2P they haven’t put their lives on the line either. The majority of democratic leaders with meaningful military service are long gone.

  40. Mark Logan says:

    US Presidents must “manage” Israel in the manner much of the world must “manage” Washington? That may be the case here. We might also be so vain that we can’t stand being irrelevant in any situation, and this is a bid to acquire a chip so we may better pretend otherwise in Syria. Poor John Kerry has been laughed out of some rooms of late..including Putins office. If he is smart enough to know that has happened he must surely be pouting about it.

  41. jonst says:

    Tap., tap, tap, tap, tap. You remind me of lawyer seeing his initial legal theory of defense breached…stepping back and defending another, smaller line, as if nothing just happened.
    So we weren’t “gonna get fooled again”, you lectured loudly and proudly…and now the fall back, ‘oh, ok, we might get fooled again, but only with “small arms and some training”.
    And “unless you see actual proof” of a “build up”……” whatever those terms, “some training” and “actual proof”, as opposed, I presume, to ‘proof’, means in your eyes… keep moving the goal lines…and then defend each goal as if you never moved it.
    Would not it be easier, and more dignified, to simply say you were dead wrong? Instead of grasping for straws like “..[you] suspect I am not American’….” which makes you wrong on another topic. Just admit you were wrong. What do you think the Col meant when he wrote equated “sarin gas attacks” with “mushroom clouds”. He meant, I believe, EXACTLY that we are in the process of “being fooled again”. That was the point. I repeat, just admit it. Who the hell has not been wrong before? All of us…

  42. turcopolier says:

    Jonst is a a former Vietnam US Marine who is an attorney. pl

  43. Alba Etie says:

    We shall see. Meanwhile keep up the personal attacks it reminds me of high school, makes me feel young again.

  44. Alba Etie says:

    Thank you Col Lang .
    Btw the way do you agree with Jonst that we are going to intervene militarily in Syria because of the Sarin gas canard?

  45. turcopolier says:

    This “duck” is transparent but it may well “do.” pl

  46. jonst says:

    Alba…maybe I can end this. Look, the funny thing is we, you and I, are in basic agreement here on the much larger issue–to get deeper into Syria, or to stay out. We, you and I, want our nation to ‘stay out”…a rather imperfect term strategically speaking, but let’s leave it at that for the moment.
    Where we are in disagreement, rather sharp disagreement, is whether the nation will side with us, you and I. You think they will. I think what the nation wants matters little anymore. In matters like Syria.
    And this is the source of my anger…this wasting of resources, human and fiscal, by foppish fools. As far as I’m concerned. ANd by corrupt business types.
    And so once more into the breach….and once more only a tiny portion of the nation’s population at stake. Look, Alba, either myself, my brother, and my wife have been working with returning war vets for over the past 40 years. My wife is still doing…she specializes in PTS treatment. I still hear about things, nightly.
    I am angry. And if it came out on you…my bad. When I get in a fight the Marine and Lawyer in me come rushing out….for better or worse, like an old junk yard dog. Only this dog is capable solely of ‘comment combat’ anymore. (unless i can get my hands on something) Please accept my regrets if I have offended you. That was not my intention. I repeat, on the main point, we are in agreement.

  47. Alba Etie says:

    First I apologize for taking this personal, and regret doing so . I have never been in the military and have great respect & admiration for those who have served . And while I have not been working as a profession with veterans suffering from PTSD – I do have a small circle of veterans in my immediate network of friends and see the damage done everyday by our overseas misadventures . I have my own one man & E 350 passenger van charter service – now that it is the height of tourist seasons at Lake Travis am working seven days per week. As the van seats ten passengers ( took the last back seat out for luggage and or kegs) I probably see over one hundred citizens in a seven day work week. Of those one hundred plus I can safely say half if not more talk about Syria without me bringing up the topic -and every one of these citizens are against a Syrian intervention .
    That is my informal seat of the driver poll. I believe the Elites do understand how much anger there is out here in our comity-that is why I cling to my belief we will not intervene in the Levant . You and me can respectfully disagree about how much We the People will simply go along with another bloody ME conflict. Finally I understand a good bit about anger & its management , and I too share with you being of the age to having lay my hands on ‘something should things escalate’ . More importantly I also understand some other “stuff” too – such as HALT – don’t get to hungry ,angry ,lonely or tired – I had to put myself down for a long nap ;fifteen hour days , several in a row did make me very cranky . Thanks again Jonst for our civil discourse here – We can agree to disagree about where our collective comity comes out should we go to Syria . But ever the romantic I guess I still take cold comfort we haven’t joined the Izzies in bombing Natanz as yet -seems like this time last year it sure looked like we where going too …Finally I can’t help but have faith that Gen Dempsey & Sec of Defense Hagel can mitigate against Rice & Powers. We shall see.

  48. jonst says:


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