"US Secretary of State John Kerry has demanded Russia stop bombing the Syrian opposition, implicitly blaming Moscow for the collapse in peace talks……………..
………….Mr Kerry also said that both parties to the conflict — the rebels and the regime and its allies — must allow access to besieged areas for humanitarian aid.
Nearly 40,000 Syrian civilians have fled the latest regime offensive backed by Russian air strikes near Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The exodus began on Monday after government forces began an operation that has severed the main rebel supply route into the city and broke an opposition siege on two regime-held towns………….."
Erdogan is also quoted in the article:
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said the peace talks in Geneva were "pointless" while Russia and the Assad regime continued attacks in the country.
"Russia continues to kill people in Syria. Could there be such a peace gathering? Could there be such peace talks?" Mr Erdogan said in a speech in Peru, in comments published on the presidency website……………
……..In an environment where children are still being killed, such attempts do not have any function apart from making things easier for the tyrant," he said……."
It appears to me that Kerry and Erdogan now realise that the latest Syrian offensive signals the beginning of the end for their fictional moderate, democratic rebels who are not really jihadists, just misunderstood.
The Peace talks? They remind me of Napoleon III trying to "negotiate" with Moltke and Bismarck after the French were defeated at Sedan. What cards do the rebels have to play – "The gratitude of the Syrian people?".
What Kerry and Erdogan are now probably doing is contemplating what a reunified, jihadist free, Syria is going to look like along with a resurgent, sorry, I mean "emboldened", Russia, Hezbollah and Iran. My opinion is that they are going to remake the Middle East to the detriment of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The question then becomes whether Turkey and the U.S. are going to permit that. There are suggestions on another thread that Turkey may try to take military action in Syria under the "responsibility to protect" mantra. I do not see that as a winning military strategy unless the U.S. and NATO can be prevailed upon to support such a venture. Are we stupid enough to do that?
And as we watch the P + 6 continue to exterminate the Liver Eaters – Al Jezerra is just now reporting that KSA would like to join the US led coalition with Saudi troops on the ground in Syria to combat ISIS. If that is true does this mean we will have US led Saudi troops fighting only ISIS & with a real risk it would appear that there will be open clashes between the ‘our ‘ coalition & Russia and the other 6 ?
… WTF over ??
“Are we stupid enough to do that?”
If you mean the SST community, then the answer is Hell No.
As for the Civilian Leaders in the “West”, I am truly concerned that their answer is yes.
Doubt it. If we were stupid enough to do that, we would have done all sorts of other stupid things before now. In fact we have been trying to do as little as possible. Which sounds right give a range of options running from horrible to catastrophic.
I don’t know what Erdogan is capable of but I don’t think Obama will sign off on a move that reckless. Whatever his faults, including his willingness to allow all of this sabre-rattling carry on under his administration, he has so far been resistant to overreach of this type. Pres Obama seems determined to avoid committing historic blunders and throwing in against Russia over a distant civil war of dubious strategic interest surely qualifies as one.
Everyone knows that the Peace Talks are going Nowhere (but going there rather fast).
This is all diplomacy at its finest.
You cannot expect Kerry, Cameron, Fabius, Steinmeier to publicly show contrition and wear the proverbial sac cloth and ashes (although, I personally would greatly enjoy that sight.).
Nor can you expect them to publicly scream at Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Qatar – what for; they are very good customers who have gone off the reservation but will come back – as they have no place else to go.
Russians are hoping against hope for reaching an understanding with US and Iranian are there just to show the flag and indulge in a bit of showmanship.
The Arabs are losers – but then, that is not new either.
I certainly hope we are not stupid enough to do that, but it’s a good thing none of the Republican candidates is president now. I also that the Middle East would be better off with a diminished role for Israel and Saudi Arabia.
While the jihadi supporters in the West and their fellow travelers among the Turks and Saudis will whine and attempt to win what they’re losing on the battlefield through media manipulation, they’re not gonna get into a shooting match with the Russians. That’s a path of disaster. Especially after the Russians have demonstrated what they’re capable of doing.
We are watching a replay of 1914 all over again only in very slow motion thanks to nuclear weapons and there are no mass armies to mobilize to rush to the borders. That said, today is much more dangerous. A nuclear war is an extinction event. Anger, pride, humiliation, religious fervor and greed still drive mankind. You can say whatever you want about Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev or Richard Nixon; but, they were rationale and saw the world as it is. That is not the case now.
If Philip Breedlove, Victoria Nuland and Pierre Omidyar are calling the shots, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will heed the call to rescue his fellow Sunnis from murder by demonic infidels. On the other hand, Barrack Obama, David Cameron and Angela Merkel could be counseling the Turkish government not to invade Syria. But, there is no indication of this from the corporate information operation. Rather, it looks like the West will take on the Islamic State in Libya next.
“You cannot expect Kerry, Cameron, Fabius, Steinmeier to publicly show contrition and wear the proverbial sac cloth and ashes (although, I personally would greatly enjoy that sight.).”
You and me both, Babak.
I am somewhat surprised as to the spin that was put on Steinmeier’s visit just now to Iran, however:
“Visit to Iran: Steinmeier would like to greet President Ruhani [German spelling here] in Germany”
Mostly neutral-ish article, except for this tidy oversimplification of the conflict:
“Am Vormittag reiste der deutsche Außenminister nach Saudi-Arabien weiter. Ein Erfolg der Syrien-Friedensverhandlungen in Genf ohne die Mitwirkung des schiitischen Irans, der die syrische Regierung militärisch stützt, und des sunnitischen Saudi-Arabiens, das der weitgehend ebenfalls sunnitischen Opposition hilft, gilt als praktisch unmöglich.”
“Next, the German Foreign Minister travelled to Saudi-Arabia in the morning. A success of the Syria Peace Talks in Geneva without participation by Shiite Iran, which is militarily supporting the Syrian government, and without that of the Sunni Saudi-Arabia, which is aiding the mostly also Sunni Opposition, is considered practically impossible.”
Note the wording employed here. And why exactly downplay the very real military goods that al-Saud liberally threw at all comers, a common denominator of whom is their shared Salafiya ideology?
The Saker’s report on Russian deployment in Syria with speculation on having seen something in Turkish behaviour justifying upgrades:
“Russians are hoping against hope for reaching an understanding with US…”
True. But a positive outcome would be highly detrimental for MIC. Peace dividends are not in vogue in the US nowadays.
Not to be taken seriously as long as the Saudis are doing nothing about ISIS on their doorstep in Yemen and they are losing on the ground against the Yemenis. Maybe they thought it would encourage the US to consider boots on the ground in Syria.
Lavrov recently stated, I believe, that Russia has accepted that Washington is not interested in an understanding with Russia so Russia will now act in the way that best helps Russia achieve its objectives.
I believe Russia is in Syria for the long haul to drive ISIS and the other jihadists either out of Syria or underground – just cutting out a mini-country for the non-jihadis in western Syria doesn’t achieve Russia’s objective of creating a cordon sanitaire to keep the head choppers, and heart and liver eaters out of the Caucasus.
Personally, I think “to the detriment of Israel” is a very, very, very long time coming.
I will suggest the real question is are we (Obama) smart enough to read Turkey the riot act now. Its not at all clear that that is the case.
“US demands Russia stop bombing Syria’s opposition.” Sounds like a plea to let ISIS be. The kingdoms and sultanate, the main suppliers and supporters of ISIS, are producing certain noises and actions indicating that the Princes and Sultan are prepared to fight for ISIS’ survival up to the last mercenary in their disposal. The USA are currently in a position that brings to mind a famous fairy-tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
What kind of “great minds” in the US government have managed to reduce the US to this unenviable state?
There is also a steady unraveling of another US project, this one on the Russian borders: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/04/economic-minister-resignation-ukraine-crisis-aivaras-abromavicius
Those western “deciders” that have designed and initiated the ongoing projects in the Middle East and Ukraine are squarely the psychopaths.
“Are we stupid enough to do that?”
That’s a rhetorical question, right? I mean … we’re talking about US meddling in the Middle East. Most anything the US does there is guarenteed to be stupid.
I very much doubt that any incursion into northwestern Syria will occur. Doing so would mean full-blown war between Turkey and Syria and, by extension, NATO and Russia+Iran.
Clearly, after the rebels are defeated, R+6 will move on to ISIS.
The ‘Assad must go!’ Coalition have a short opportunity to secure ISIS territory in Iraq and/or Syria as per UNSC 2249. Turkey, USA, and KSA have now all made statements supporting a military action against ISIS. And British Foreign Secretary Hammond has all but done so as well.
In that light, Turkish build-up along the border with Syria is mostly a defensive precaution.
“Peace Talks are going Nowhere”
Yes, they were suspended yesterday.
To complete the thought: a “defensive precaution” made prior to a move against ISIS. I’d guess that ISIS puts up limited resistance to their Turkish and Saudi friends.
R+6 will not attack an international Coalition holding what was formerly ISIS territory. Negotiations over the return of that territory and/or establishment of a Sunni state to rule over the territory could take years. Meanwhile, ISIS and rebel harassment and terr0r!sm against Syria from Turkey and former ISIS territory would continue.
“R+6 will not attack an international Coalition holding what was formerly ISIS territory.”
They have to “take” that territory first. Trucking in SOF into jihadi areas won’t do, as R+6 will just keep bombing and the S-400 ensures an absence of air support.
A “International” Coelition will need more authorization than UNSC 2249, China and Russia will veto, and Germany will abstain.
With Obama’s term measured in days, the US is neither going to lead, or follow.
Basically White ISIS/DAESH will be “fighting” Black ISIS/DAESH”: how sincere do you think this fight would be and who will be stuck in the crossfire?
That is how I think of it as well; a Cordone Sanitaire that would follow the Southern boundary of the former Seljuk Empire through Persian Gulf and Northern portion of Afghanistan – insulating the coming decay in Central Asia from the rest of Muslim World.
This suits China as well – neither in Kazakhstan nor in in Chinese Turkestan there is a natural boundary to prevent Jihadi inclusion.
John Batcheror interviews Prof. Stephen Cohen: sobering.
Sorry for being off topic , but it’s an election year, people should know.
FYI – Democratic presidential candidate HRW was paid 675000 dollars by wall street mega firm Goldman Sachs for three speeches she made to them.
Does anybody know the length of these speeches, so one can calculate how much each word coming out of her mouth costs? Perhaps if we knew her words are this expensive, we would have listened more carefully.
I’m referring to ISIS territory in eastern Syria and Western Iraq.
The northwest of Syria is falling to R+6. Other areas in Western Syria will follow. Unless the rebels get AA capability, they will continue to lose ground.
“An International Coalition will need more authorization than UNSC 2249”
I’m not sure that is the case. And if Russia or China try to raise the issue at UNSC, US, UK, and France will say it is all they need and use THEIR veto. Stalemate.
The question is: what can be done now to have be able to exert most influence/pressure in Syrian negotiations that could last years? Possible answers seem to be:
1) Nothing, leave Jihadis, rebels, and ISIS to their fate;
2) Nothing in Syria; work on partition of Iraq;
3) Grab as much territory now as ‘safe haven’ (ostensibly for refugees) and continue to support anti-Assad forces.
Yes, it does look that the actually “acting” America is longing for war, so shall we trust the soothing discourse of reason or our lying eyes?
“You cannot expect Kerry, Cameron, Fabius, Steinmeier to publicly show contrition and wear the proverbial sac cloth and ashes (although, I personally would greatly enjoy that sight.).”
We had this discussion before. If you actually check what Steinmeier said in September 2015, then your conclusion would be different.
Since you went there anyway… there’s an excellent rundown on the Hillary email story from Stefan Molyneux.
You do have to wonder just how much of Putin’s excellent strategy came right out of those emails. Maybe he isn’t such a master chess player after all, just knows how to read.
Saudi Arabia Ready to Send Troops to Syria
“to Fight ISIS”
As someone has said, “it is a fight against reality”.
MSM is not on the side of reality.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia poised to send troops to fight Russia and Syria. That is a formula for WW!!!
Barish, I cannot remember I ever was as disappointed by Thomas Roth’s (Tagesthemen)presentation and his or his team’s choice of commentator, concerning our topic here, as yesterday.
How comes? His long time in Russia or shorter time in the US as correspondent. Hardly. The refugee crisis that dominates news since Cologne? Or simply the core idea that diplomacy trumps war? A rather uniform take by all news media plus agencies on the issue? A more fierce struggle in how to deal with sources? …
But then, could anyone have satisfied me concerning a basic “balanced view”, ideally one based on solid information the context and development of the Syrian tragedy, somehow reflected in the statements?
Personally, I would like to see the Shia – Sunni confrontation in matters–someone alluded to 4+4 as more correct than 6+2 around here–if not solved, then at least somewhat softened. In a similar way as the confrontation between Europe/Nato/US and Russia.
The underlying problems would demand it, beyond PR effective events staged for our representatives.
Jackrabbit, I agree, feels unlikely.
kooshy, I somewhat find that a moot point.
In these circles you are paid well. … Besides a pure dollar per word basis may only make sense for translators or freelance journalists. … and even there the less well paid majority.
That the financial industry is the biggest sponsor in the election circle we know anyway, don’t we?
I think Jackrabbit has a very good point in that the Saudis want international cover to invade and hold eastern Syria to “protect” the civilians from the horrors of war. I think what the Saudis and Emirates want most of all is a path for a natural gas pipeline to Turkey. Jackrabbit points out that any negotiations to return this area to Syria could take years. I’m sure that the gulf states would proclaim they were protecting the native Sunnis from the evil Shia. We have all seen how long the return of the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon has taken.
I think Turkey would want to protect the withdrawal of Turkmen fighters in western Syria but if it invades it will do so in the east where it will try and destroy those “terrorist” Kurds. That would be the rational. The obvious problem with this is the embedded special forces with the Kurds. The ultimate goal would be to annex this territory and conveniently link up with Saudi troops from the south, providing RTP for a natural gas pipeline to Europe.
The fact is that Germany took the lead in EU’s economic war against Iran.
This is the second time that Germany has taken action against Iran during the last 30 years – the first time was when she was helping Iraq with her chemical weapons.
Germany seems to hate Islamic Iran – I am not sure why. Does Islam rob the German Nihilists the wrong way? I confess that I do not understand Germany.
“I don’t know what Erdogan is capable of but I don’t think Obama will sign off on a move that reckless.”
Obama already signed off on a move which was and is far more reckless than Syria could be. It was his Admin, either by the virtue of utter incompetence or total loss of control of own cabinet, or, most likely, of both, which launched Ukrainian mayhem. That, unlike Syria, however important it is, has by far more important geopolitical and historic consequences than anything in the ME. In fact, it was Obama who launched successfully Cold War 2.0 which, unlike during CW 1.0, has a much higher potential to grow very hot and not just by proxies. So, Obama (or whatever and whomever he “represents”) had already committed a historic blunder of, truly, historic proportions. It is just that US media do not like to talk about it, or simply can’t due to them living in parallel universe of geopolitical and military fairy tales. Reality, however, is very serious and Obama is not the man to deal with it, neither is his “cabinet”.
“the Saudis want international cover to invade and hold eastern Syria to “protect” the civilians from the horrors of war. I think what the Saudis and Emirates want most of all is a path for a natural gas pipeline to Turkey.” The problem with that notion is that the Saudis lack the military capacity to do any such thing except perhaps in their musings deep in the mechanism pf the Great Arabian Dream Machine. Please keep reminding yourself that presser BS and reality are tow different things. pl
“taken action against Iran during the last 30 years – the first time was when she was helping Iraq with her chemical weapons.”
The US took care of your problem with Iraq by removing Saddam and overturning the social order of that society. It has been a disaster for the West.
You sadden me. The US did not help Iraq develop, manufacture or employ chemical weapons. You may want to participate in that particular fantasy, but I was in a position to know and none of that happened. pl
I don’t think so that this is the case entirely. Russia’s establishment, bar some uber-“liberals” in economic block, do not have any illusions re: contemporary US or West’s, in general, “elites” anymore. That is proven by today’s article by old fox Kissinger in TNI. The dynamics wasn’t always as dramatic as today, but it started from Yugoslavia in 1999 when the process manifested itself and ended with West’s cultural suicide in Russia in 2014 with the coup in Ukraine. What Russia does now is an effort to deescalate to the levels which will allow to avoid a real serious confrontation. Here is the problem, though, Russian power elites are conditioned by war, or continental warfare, American ones, with some minor exceptions, are not and that is a huge obstacle.
Babak did specifically point out German involvement with Iraq’s WMD-deterrent rather than that of the US. A ‘deterrent’ insofar as it somewhat offset the drastic difference in size of population, and hence potential manpower, Iraq suffered from when it was pitted against the vastly more populous Iran. Germany was mercenary enough to look past its history with chemical agents when it comes to this matter.
Somewhat more recently, in 2013, in connection with the question how to remove the chemical WMD-deterrent from Syria, then Foreign Minister Westerwelle afforded himself this gaffe here in “Die Welt” newspaper:
“Westerwelle offers Gas Destruction [“Gasvernichtung”]
Foreign Minister: “We have considerable experience.” Russia wants to work out plan with Damaskus.”
My guess as to why German intelligenzia and political circles in particular have a very hard time to let go of their world-view that the Islamic Republic of Iran alone is a global threat whereas Saudi-Arabia, somehow, isn’t a threat at all, likely has to do with a deep-rooted, misguided sense of “responsibility” for the security of the state of Israel. Time-lag is apparently still very much in effect among said German circles, as the Israeli govt. appears to have realized that the Jihadis liberally sponsored and egged on by al-Saud and its emir-clique do pose a very real threat to itself, far more imminent a one than any suspected campaign of conquest against Israel by Iran:
Say kooshy, do you know Flynt and Hillary Leverett up to these days?
The interview of Stephen Cohen that LJ linked, above, sounded like the kind of strategic analysis Flynt offers.
I did not say US – I said Germany.
I think there were 80 or so European companies that aided Iraq – some where Dutch even – some German.
It is inconceivable for me that the German Government was unaware of what was transpiring.
The issue that I am raising is this: What accounts for Germany’s behavior.
All this purported rationalistic geo-politics with is calculation of Gain & Loss; is that an accurate model of how decisions are made?
Or would a model at the primordial level of emotion and feeling is to a better fit?
Like what Nietzsche says: “UI can’t smell him.” – thus I hate him.
I always defer to Colonel Lang, TTG, and PB on military matters. But the propaganda war is revealing. I’ve been scanning the “Free Syrian army” twitter-verse and this tweet is fairly typical: https://twitter.com/RobotNickk/status/695610213370568704
Human rights watch never disappoints: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/695615442510077953
On a serious note, does anyone know if civilian pathway has been carved out of Aleppo? In that way, the civilians can leave, but the Rebels can’t take arms and fighting men out of the city.
I like your short list of three. I think the intention now is #3, with the understanding that the fallback may be #2, or may be #1.
In other words, the strategic thinking doesn’t (or isn’t) focused on achieving a clear endgame at this time, but rather on keeping opportunities open.
One of the opportunities is to create a mini-state based on sectarian division, which has been the stated goal of the Neocons for several decades.
This also fits into a strategy of maximizing pressure on the state of Russia at every point.
If the US demands Russia to stop bombing Syria’s opposition out of humanitarian concerns, then the US has no moral ground to make such demands. The ongoing slaughter of Syrians of all ages and religious denominations is due to the US policies.
“…it was WikiLeaks that revealed that the United States had long planned to overthrow the Assad government in Syria:” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44138.htm
“The US strategically schemed to cause unrest in Syria against the Bashar al-Assad government. Faced with the rise of ISIS, which the US was not only aware of but also encouraged, the US slides deeper into a complicated war it helped escalate in the first place…” http://www.globalresearch.ca/decoding-the-current-war-in-syria-the-wikileaks-files/5473909
“In the case of Syria, the cables show that regime change had been a long-standing goal of US policy; that the US promoted sectarianism in support of its regime-change policy, thus helping lay the foundation for the sectarian civil war and massive bloodshed that we see in Syria today…” http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/33180-wikileaks-reveals-how-the-us-aggressively-pursued-regime-change-in-syria-igniting-a-bloodbath
In reply to Jag Pop 05 February 2016 at 05:45 AM
If Saudi Barbaria sends some of its gendarmerie to Syria where they’ll encounter well-seasoned fighters my bets would be on the well-seasoned fighters and not on the gendarmes from Saudi Barbaria.
Turkish troops are I believe rather good.
But the USA did supply Iraq with chemical weapons. I gave the Senate Sub-Committee document detailing this, and printed by the Government Printing Office to a reporter about 15 years ago, so I can’t cite the exact title. The reporter was a retired Air Force Colonel who accused me of bullshit until I showed him the document. (He’d been involved with removing chemical weapons stored on the Marshall Islands, and had a keen interest in the subject. AND he was supposed to send it back to me after he copied it, which he never did.)
It was nearly 2 inches thick, as I recall. Senator Ted Kennedy chaired the committee. The doc was dated 1989, I think, maybe 1988.
Fully 3/8″ to 1/2″ at the end was a detailed listing of every chemical weapon we gave them, including Sarin, and a bunch of others this reporter whistled at when he saw them. There were three US sources:
(1) Some town near Atlanta.
(3) Salt Lake, UT. Could have been Provo, but I’m pretty sure it was Salt Lake.
The Texas source was owned by George Bush, Père. And, yes, that was identified in the report.
Since I didn’t get the book back, I contacted the Government Printing Office a year of two later, and they had NO LISTING OF IT. However, since you live in the DC area (roughly) there has to be a copy of it stuck in some library or archive, somewhere. Maybe in Ted Kennedy’s papers.
Don’t worry Fred.
It’s not the US. It’s the well established enemy.
Babak looks at time from a perspective in which specific trouble and problems or minor respective complications in time don’t matter on a higher collective level.
If he is not trying to lure me into a trap, that is. 😉
“So, Obama (or whatever and whomever he “represents”) had already committed a historic blunder of, truly, historic proportions.”
That would be the Chicago Area Central European Emigre Society with the Pritzker Family being the most prominent member. You could see their Boneheaded Blunder as an act of revenge against the evil Rus for “forcing” the patriarch to flee Kiev with the side benefit of commercial concessions in their favor.
Your point illustrates my concern, that an underling will just wing it by either giving words of encouragement to the Sultan or an actual authorization within their purview. Thus the short timing Presiding Professor is caught in another dangerous political trap with his backers saying “see it through if you want our cash for your post presidential career”.
A senate committee may have written such a document but it was incorrect. We did NOT provide them with chemical weapons. I used to know exactly which chemical plants in Iraq produced their war gases. You are simply wrong. BTW, I would not care if we had, but we did not. Several European companies participated in providing the technical expertise to manufacture the agents but not us. One of the things I learned back then is that it is not difficult to make this stuff. Basically, if you can make insecticides, you can make Sarin, Tabun Lewisite, etc. Hell, even the Libyans made war gasses with a little foreign help, not ours. pl
“In the case of Syria, the cables show that regime change had been a long-standing goal of US policy; that the US promoted sectarianism in support of its regime-change policy, thus helping lay the foundation for the sectarian civil war and massive bloodshed that we see in Syria today…”
It is not only in the case of Syria. It is MO of US foreign policy “consensus” for decades. Condoleezza Rice also insists that she told Saakashvili to tone it down on the eve of 08-08-08. Anyone believes her? I, certainly, don’t. At least not 100, or even 60, percent. Was it another “April Glaspie moment” (however speculative it is) or somebody (wink, wink) plain and simple encouraged Saakashvili, who is a pathological coward, I don’t know. But while international relations are hardly a precise science, coincidences are also not rare.
Thank you for your comments.
There was also the matter of glass canisters for chemical munitions; I suppose those We-are-for-a-lawful-international-order in EU supplied them to Iraq.
Thank you for your comments.
So we come back to one of my observations as possible cause: Religious Sentiment.
It is too funny when Nihilist support a Religious Cause – God must have a sense of humor.
“glass canisters for chemical munitions” No idea what you are talking about. pl
Please look at :
Weren’t some of the insecticides and base agents provided by a meryland company? though they may have had dual use.
The Borgist view on the state of the Syrian battlefield.
The level of fantasy over all this is remarkable. There was some degree of cooperation between the US Department of Agriculture and Iraq before the war as there was with many other 3rd World countries, but the feed stocks with which the Iraqis made war gasses were bought elsewhere or made in Iraq. you can buy that kind of stuff everywhere in the world. So, your theory along with MRW and other fantasists is that the US deliberately helped Iraq make war gasses? This would be laughable if you were not serious. pl
You don’t think the Iraqis of that time could make glass containments? Hell, they re-wired French built strike aircraft so that they could carry two exocets. They did that themselves. They built a two stage rocket that they successfully launched into space. These were not primitive people, far from it. pl
Iraq was more advanced than Iran, whether they could accomplish this or not is impossible for me to say.
Sorry, it was Johnston Atoll, not the Marshall Islands.
I am in a position to know as former head “hall monitor” for the ME that Iraq did all those things. pl
The US supplied helicopters, and those were used to deploy the chemical attack on the Kurds.
Admittedly, helicopters could be used for a lot of things, and the vendor cannot precisely control what happens. But in this particular case what they were used for is spraying people with poison.
There is of course plenty of “plausible deniability” and “dual use” and to be fair about it, Russia also supplied various bits and pieces of military equipment to a number of Middle Eastern dictators, as have the Europeans.
Glass coated mild steel is used in half of the hot water systems around the world, it isn’t exactly some amazing technology or anything. You just spray an enamel coating and bake it to vitrify the enamel.
Stainless steel tanks are better, they cost a bit more.
You are correct about Iraq in the late 80’s and early 90’s that they certainly were not technologically backward – at the time of the first Gulf War I was at university and quite a few of the post-grads studying nuclear physics, electronics engineering and engineering were from Iraq – an uncomfortable time for them, but no hostility from fellow students. As with Iran, Iraq capabilities were both overestimated and underestimated depending on which area you looked at, but scientifically they were up with the West given many of their engineers and scientists were western educated.
It is not true that US made agricultural helicopters were used to spray chemical weapons on Kurds. Iraqi chemical weapons were delivered by aerial bombs from jet fighters or by field artillery shells delivered by tube artillery. All of these were manufactured and filled in Iraq. As I wrote fore at least 95% of all Iraqi military hardware was provided in sales by the Warsaw Pact countries, China and France. research support for their chemical program was provided by German and Swiss companies. I was there and in charge of US intelligence on the subject. What is the basis for your claims? pl
What can I tell you, Colonel, this was a Senate Sub-Committee transcript of the proceedings investigating the issue in the late 80s with expert witnesses and their evidence. Gone now, however, according to the Government Printing Office.
Such proceedings are often carefully stacked with witnesses to suit the agendas of committee members. If you see people like Laurie Millroy, Richard Pearle or David Frum as witnesses the paper will, of course, be BS. pl
MRW, I appreciate activism in the field, but I tend to stay out of matters I have close to no background for. … Well strictly, it have none of the military either.
… the NYT in 2003, of all places in that year, suggested in an article that the main culprits were Germany and France.
Here a related graphic, see percentages concerning factory equipment, somewhat triggers the “infamous tubes”:
I no doubt shouldn’t feel comfortable concerning his charge. But (NYT expertise in 2003!!!) the extend to which Singapore surfaces, suggest at least the possibility some channels may be beyond official declaration or even appropriate custom declaration? What sources are they relying on? Complex UN documents?
In any case it seems to be beyond my voter chance to stop it, maybe even beyond the influence on the super secret chancellery connected circle in charge of deciding on whatever is defined as “arms export”. …
What is the latest international law on chemical weapons?
I am too lazy to look into some context Babak was involved in that could have triggered this.
I read Nietzsche’s Gay Sciene the first time in English somewhere between 1974 and 1976.
I have to admit, that I loved it. But yes, that was before I learned among many other things how the Nazi’s had used him with a little help by his sister.
Should we blame him for the misuse, by whoever claims to understand him? Look back on him as something like a main spiritual precursor?
“So, your theory along with MRW and other fantasists is that the US deliberately helped Iraq make war gasses?”
Just to be clear. I did *not* say that the US helped Iraq make gasses. I only reported on a Senate sub-Committee transcript I had in my possession for years, and which I read in its entirety, about bio-chemicals the US shipped to Iraq in the 80s.
OK, understood. The Iraqis bought most of their feed stocks for chemicals in India. We should remember that Iraq was then heavily involved in agriculture to feed its wartime economy. pl
Admittedly I only have news stories to go on, and they say various things. Also, there was more than one chemical attack.
Some of them mention helicopters, there’s an interview with Ali Zalme where he describes those helicopters as coordinating the attack. He says the actual delivery was by bombing from Mirage aircraft.
The Human Rights Watch report described bombing, without mentioning any type of aircraft, also blames Iran in places.
There are also other descriptions of helicopter gunships (probably Bell Iroquois) firing rockets into Kurdish towns which were part of the general repression of Kurdish independence but not specifically chemical attacks.
I accept that chemical bombs were used, and that your information on this is more direct than anything I have access to.
News management by the Israelis, their US friends and Iran (then Israel’s “friend” was as pervasive then as now. several big time US reporters of my acquaintance were flown to the scene of attacks and briefed by the Iranians. One of these was a little later flown up to the same place by the Iraqis. When he insisted that the area had been gassed with a persistent mustard agent, the Iraqi officer escort had the helicopter land, went into a house, came out with an apple and ate it. Don’t believe most of the crap in the newspapers. It is mostly IO BS. pl
Now I search further there’s an article by Kevin Dowling that points out more evidence for Iranian involvement:
“The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them. Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds.”
Iraq mostly was known to use mustard gas, which the Kurds also reported getting hit by, but mustard gas is not as lethal, most of the victims survive.
They also make the claim that Human Rights Watch were exaggerating the number of deaths, and that chemical deaths were a small proportion with most of the Kurds being killed by other means (20,000 casualties, with only a few thousand of those being by chemical attack).
OK, there’s a lot more angles to this, I doubt I will ever get a properly detailed picture of it either. The involvement of Iran in temporarily gaining control of Halabja as well as the presence of Iranian soldiers in the area at the time has not been widely reported.
I just gave you an account from a primary source, ME! At the time I ordered the technical intelligence analysts in DIA (in this case chemists)to study the identity of the CW attackers at Halabja. They produced a paper that said precisely that ITO Halabja was inadvertently gassed by both Iranians and Iraqis since there were blood agent deaths (the majority)and mustard injuries and deaths as well. After a few weeks the tech intel guys told me that they would no longer support their own paper. IMO what happened was that the AIPAC crowd “got to” the SES who headed tech intel analysis and frightened him enough to have him force his analysts back dow, Both Israel and Iran had made full use of the Halabja story for IO/propaganda prposes and they could not have DIA contradicting it. one of my assistant at that time was LT Col. (then Captain) Rick Francona. He has since said that the Iraqis must have done it. At the time he agreed with me. See Steve Pelletiere’s book on Halabja. pl
OK, thanks for speaking out. I understand that news stories are often manipulated and that journalists are under pressure from their editors else they won’t have a job to go back to.
I admit I did not know about the Iranian involvement and use of cyanide so next time the topic comes up I will be sure to mention your info.
They weren’t. Believe it or not, I already had a spidey sense about those people then. IIRC, some of the expert witnesses were people directly involved with the shipments and the contents.
Part of the evidence were Bills of Lading proving the materials were sent. Dull stuff like that. So some were people who could verify the accuracy of the papers.
The lists of the actual chemicals contained the official names, batch no, date of expiration, where it was shipped from, shipped to, stuff like that. The ret. Air Force reporter told me when he looked at it that the majority of the stuff was passed its due-date. It appeared to have been sent mid-1980s while the Iraq-Iran war was in full force.
I got the document at an ex-ret-military conference. It was being sold at a display table. I only went to two of them, both in Vegas. I flew in for both of them. One was the MACVSOG Conference in 1992 just after Hurricane Andrew, and the other was a couple of years later about I forget. The guy selling them told me it was explosive, so I bought it. Why not. Nothing more arcane than that.
Smoothie, or would you prefer x12, if I shorten?
My favorite passage, or whatever stuck on my limited surface memory, was a passage from Condi Rice in an interview in Germany. The larger context was that France and Germany didn’t want to become allies in the war against Iraq.
What she said in the interview, went something like this:
“After 1989 ‘everyone’ wondered, who would be our new enemies now, then 9/11 happened and everyone knew.”
Saakashvili to tone it down on the eve of 08-08-08
would you give me, without trying to sent me on a web search in trying to understand?
There are no doubt a lot of incidences related to the later surfacing Ukraine-Russia conflict that caught my attention on German ground.
if there is anything beyond this, that means: