Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. says, “Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria”. Our sources say moderate to high probability. Syrian oppositions say it’s 100% from their viewpoint.
Secretary of State John Kerry says “chemical weapons used in two places where 20 people were killed”. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says “The Regime likely used chemical weapons”.
“Republicans are pushing the Administration to establish a “Safe Haven” for opponents inside the regime. To protect them with a no fly zone, and provide weapons for the opposition fighters,” states Sen. John McCain. He goes on to say “the White House is demanding far more evidence. This is an excuse not to act”.
Senator Lindsey Graham chimes in saying, “I want an action plan to ensure that the chemical weapons are secured after Assad is disposed. We should neutralize the Syrian air force and tanks and the war ends pretty quickly then”. Both Senators stated they are not calling for troops to be sent to Syria yet.
Senator Ben Cardin, Foreign Relations (D-MD) weighs in saying, “I talked with the Syrian opposition and they are clearly looking for more leadership from the U.S. We are providing non-lethal aide. Question is whether it is getting to the right people and the right amount of support in order to accelerate the end of the Assad regime.” Question: What level of chemical weapons have been used? “The evidence is not conclusive, but certainly they might have in fact used them.” He goes on to say basically it’s a game changer if chemical weapons were used and that would get more International support to take action to make sure Syria doesn’t use this method. He also says no boots on the ground.
No boots on the ground, really? Here is the Foreign Relations spokesperson saying he doesn’t know if the aide we are sending is going to the right people and in the right amount. I say maybe if we had boots on the ground or utilized our 200 troops and advisors in Jordan to oversee our aide being dispersed we could discriminate who was who. Then we would be in position to extract the chemicals for later disposal.
Nothing is conclusive, they are looking to U.S. for leadership and support but until we know for sure 20 or more people died from Sarin nerve gas we aren’t going to increase the support. Senator Cardin that‘s the proverbial catch 22!
Do we really want to play around with this? Mild reaction to Sarin nerve gas: sweating, muscular twitching, pin point pupils, shortness of breath, dim vision.
Severe reaction: headache, cramps, nausea, vomiting, convulsion, coma, respiratory arrest.
The March 19, 2013, chemical attack suggests the victims suffered from pin point pupils and foaming of the mouth. This is a mild reaction which suggests Assad is testing the “Red Line” that Obama has laid out.
Do not think that the Iranians aren’t watching Obama’s lackluster action of his red line words to Syria. This is a profound example of how seriously they perceive Obama will handle their “Red Line”. Will his ambivalence allow them a test as well? Israel is also watching. They have their own “Red Line” boundaries, but are far more serious about immediately carrying out their promises of rebuttal and their enemies know that only too well.
What does this mean now? Ultimately we will need boots on the ground. American Troops are the only ones “qualified and trusted” enough to pick up, dispose of and make sure the deadly chemicals don’t fall into the hands of Al Quaeda. If we don’t dispose of them, then “Who” gets them, Russia? America should have this as a pre-condition.
Syria is abundant with chemical weapons, this is a known fact. Their arsenal contains Sarin, Mustard Gas, Cyanide and VX to name a few. Sarin was developed in 1938 as a German pesticide, it is a colorless, odor less liquid that evaporates and spreads into the environment. It is a quick acting nerve agent. This alone begs for an immediate plan and troop preparation to be in place when Assad falls.
• Syria has at least 600 Warheads capable of delivering Chemical Weapons
• Pentagon has established it would take 75,000 troops to seize Syria’s Chemical Weapons
• Israel describes Syria’s Chemical Weapons arsenal as “The Largest in the World”
• CIA Estimates Syria produces 100 tons of chemical agents per year
How does President Obama feel about Syria using chemical weapons?
He has repeatedly warned them it would not be in their best interests as documented in speeches on these dates:
August 20, 2012 “A Red line for us is seeing a bunch of chemical weapons being utilized or moved around.”
Dec 3, 2012 “Use of chemical weapons would change my calculus”.
March 20, 2013 “The broader point is, once we establish the facts, use of chemical weapons will be a game changer. If you make the mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences. You will be held accountable”.
This sounds pretty clear to me that he needs to do “Something”. However, I get the feeling that the President has different “Hues” to his Red Line. Which shade of red will instigate the White House to action in Syria?
Not enough evidence yet? Our own Secretary of State John Kerry, confirmed 20 dead Syrians from chemical weapons and we already know 70,000 have been slaughtered in the streets. I ask you, President Obama, how many more must shed their blood to darken your “Red Line” into action?