consultants are sandburs

Friday, September 20, 2013

Spinning Syria. Each side has a vested interest in painting the other as the bad guy.

Firedog Lake, "Guilty! UN Report on Syria Does Not Say What John Kerry Says It Said -- By: Peter Van Buren Friday September 20, 2013 5:52 pm," here; linking to the actual underlying document, the UN report, here. Firedog Lake reporting notes:

Kerry goes on to make his circumstantial argument:

We, the United States, have associated one of the munitions identified in the UN report, the 122-millimeter improvised rocket, with previous Assad regime attacks. There’s no indication – none – that the opposition is in possession or has launched a CW variant of these rockets such as the kind that was used in the 21st of August attack. Equally significant, the environmental, chemical, and medical samples that the UN investigators collected provide clear and compelling evidence that the surface-to-surface rockets used in this attack contained the nerve agent sarin. We know the Assad regime possesses sarin and there’s not a shred of evidence, however, that the opposition does.

Guardian, here, reports:

[Syrian regime spokesman Qadri] Jamil said that last week's UN report on the 21 August chemical weapons attack which killed more than 1,000 people was "not thoroughly objective".

He said Russia had produced evidence showing the rockets that were identified by the UN inspectors as carrying sarin were indeed Soviet-made. But he said they had been exported from Russia to Libya in the 1970s.

"They were loaded with chemicals by Gaddafi and exported to fundamentalists in Syria after Gaddafi fell," he said.

On Friday Vladimir Putin said he could not be sure that Assad would fulfil the US-Russian plan to identify and destroy his chemical weapons stocks, but "all the signs" suggested the Syrian regime was serious.

"Will we be able to accomplish it all? I cannot be 100% sure about it," said Putin, speaking at a discussion forum with western politicians and Russia experts in the north-west of the country. "But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen … I hope so."

Details of Russia's position on who should represent the opposition at Geneva Two have also emerged. Members of the National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, an umbrella group for several internal parties, met Sergei Ryabkov, a Russian deputy foreign minister, in Damascus on Thursday evening.

So, allegedly shipped to Lybia, from there ending in Syria, and people killed. That squares with Kerry's version like a square peg in a round hole. I was not there and cannot say who did what, and if there, would I have been gassed? Firedog Lake reporting is correct that the UN report drew no conclusion on who instigated chemical weapons use.

We should ask Colin Powell. He might hold definitive trailer photos.

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