Chemical Weapons Used in Syria
March 19, 2013 § 6 Comments
Tomas Young is one of millions of victims of the Iraq war. He is a veteran of the war whose suffering has lead him to the decision to end his own life in April. Before he goes, he had a few words to say to George Bush and Dick Cheney. They were not kind words. Lining up with the ten year anniversary of the American attack on Iraq, he wrote an open letter to the two of them. Here is a taste of it: “I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder.” Anyone who wishes to see justice served to any and all criminals of war, regardless of their nationality should read the full length of the letter. It is scathing. Since the “Invade the Hague Act” will keep these plunderers out of the International Criminal Court, the only tool we have is our individual and collective rage. It seems that is more and more often the case these days.
On the topic of war crimes, it seems that the unspeakable may have finally come about today in Syria. The chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee said that there is a “high probability” that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. More specifically, there have been reports that twenty five people have been killed in a chemical weapons attack today in Aleppo. The rebels are saying government forces used the weapons today, while government forces are saying that the rebels used them. It may seem like a stretch for Assad to try to blame chemical weapons use on the rebels. However, as early as January 2nd of this year, Free Syrian Army spokesmen have reported to media outlets that the FSA has the equipment and the knowledge to assemble and use chemical weapons if necessary.
All the same, I’d bank on this being a chemical attack by the Syrian government. The reason that this matters is that in the past, Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons was a red line that, once crossed, would trigger American military involvement in Syria. I’m not sure why exactly twenty five people dying by chemical weapons is so much worse than 70,000 people dying by bombs and bullets, but there you are. The top U.S. Commander in Europe is apparently working with NATO countries on plans to end the two-year war in Syria.
It seems likely that chemical weapons were used. We’ll have to see if Obama will put his money where his mouth is. At the very least they should create a no fly zone over Syria to give the rebels cover. Let the Russians and the IRGC fume about it. If Obama created a no fly zone, however, or take any action that would tip the balance in the favor of the rebels, it is difficult to predict how the Iranians, with their ability to target American “interests” all over Southwest Asia, would respond. We’ll have to wait and see.