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According to the Russians, yes.

McClatchy: Russia says it's compiled 100-page report blaming Syrian rebels for a chemical weapons attack

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

According to the article, the report was not released, but

had been delivered to the United Nations in July and includes detailed scientific analysis of samples that Russian technicians collected at the site of the alleged attack, Khan al Asal.
A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry,
said its investigation of the March 19 incident was conducted under strict protocols established by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international agency that governs adherence to treaties prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. It said samples that Russian technicians had collected had been sent to OPCW-certified laboratories in Russia.
The Ministry statement,
drew a pointed comparison between what it said was the scientific detail of the report and the far shorter intelligence summaries that the United States, Britain and France have released to justify their assertion that the Syrian government launched chemical weapons against Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21. The longest of those summaries, by the French, ran nine pages. Each relies primarily on circumstantial evidence
It noted that,
the attention paid to the Aug. 21 attack had diverted attention from the investigation into the March 19 incident, which was the reason U.N. investigators were in Syria when the more recent attack took place.

“Unfortunately, that investigation still essentially has not begun,” the statement said.

Read the article and decide for yourselves. There is supporting and conflicting information presented.

The point, to me, is that if this is true, it is another reason why we should stay out, and not choose sides, especially one that may have also used sarin, first, and hates us religiously.

In the end, as with the muhajadin, we may cut of our nose to spite our face.

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Comment Preferences

  •  cool (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Sunspots, richardvjohnson

    this means we have to bomb both sides in the civil war. After all, the world drew a red line...

  •  Probably. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Mr Robert, Sandino, lysias

    Only one side in that conflict has an incentive for a chemical attack to happen.

    Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

    by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:08:18 PM PDT

  •  Ah so it's gotta be true (4+ / 0-)

    If a government headed by Ex-KGB says so. That settles it.

    •  Do you know that it is not true? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, Sandino, CcVenussPromise

      I don't think that I said it was, but it was reported by McClatchy and the article offers different viewpoints.

      You do not have to believe it, but you seem to profess absolute knowledge.

      In fact, it appears that the UN was looking at the matter, so I would not be so quick to simply dismiss this for the reason you do.

      •  No I don't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper, Yoshimi

        But I think a good deal of scepticism is due here, considering the source and the timeing and the fact that they won't release the whole thing. Where did I say or imply that I had absolute knowledge?

        •  I detected more than skepticism... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, Sandino

          in the tone as I read it, and seem to have misunderstood.

          They did release it to the UN, they said.

          To me it's odd that just because I posted information about a news story, some act as if I am the Russian voice here, and advocating what they said. It was in that vein that I came across your comment.

          Apparently, some cannot even accept a topic to discuss unless it is to their liking, when it should be the opposite. This was a simple news story.

          Appreciate that you set me straight.

          •  I understand what you're saying, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger

            but I think part of the problem is that there have been so many on this site who seem to feel that it must have been the rebels who released the gas, simply because the US government says the opposite.

            So to some of us, when we then see a diary that says "But Russia says it's the rebels!", it seems like the implication is that the Russian government, who has just as much of a vested interest in keeping Assad in power as we arguably do in removing him, is somehow more trustworthy on this topic.

    •  Yes, that's right. Putin = boogeyman. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Sandino

      Pay attention to the boogeyman. Disregard the flaws in any intelligence claiming it was a government attack.

      Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

      by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:23:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it's called (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper, Yoshimi, sviscusi

        Realizing the Putey Boy's government might have just a little incentive to be dishoneset here, with the client state in trouble and all.

        •  And that makes their side different (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          . . . how again?

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:36:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The part about Syria (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lordcopper, Yoshimi

            not being our client state? Or that Obama never served as director of one of communist spy agency?

            •  Obama isn't the source of the allegations (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Sandino

              about Assad gassing civilians. The military/intelligence institutions that haven't changed since 2003---or 1947 for that matter---are the source. Furthermore, the rebels are most assuredly clients of the West. Proportionally speaking, they rely far more on sponsors than Assad does.

              Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

              by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:45:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't say he was [nt] (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lordcopper
                •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

                  You said their side was different because Putin is dealing with one of his clients, and he's a former KGB man which supposedly sullies every word he says.

                  If you were to read my comment carefully, you'll notice that doesn't make him any different than the people arguing Assad did it. There's a set of Western clients (the rebels and the feudal monarchs who fund them), and an intelligence community that a mere decade ago lied in a situation almost identical to this one.

                  That being the case, ranting about how Putin is such an awful KGB boogeyman strikes me as nothing more than an attempt to muddy the argument. McCain would be proud, to say the least.

                  Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

                  by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:38:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Could you try (0+ / 0-)

                    Being intellectually   honest for a change?

                    I never said that Putin's KGB work "Sullied every word he said." I said that that a career at the KGB is a reason to be skeptical of his words.

                    And when were Arab monarchs "Western?"

                    And far from being "nearly identical", this situation is almost nothing like the run-up to Iraq. Here the WMDs not only exist, but were used.

                    Other than that you seem to have a good understanding of this.

                    •  I was using hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

                      regarding what you said about Putin. If you're going to split hairs about what you exactly said each time I do so, then I'll stop.

                      Arab monarchs are Western clients, not Western period. I think that should be evident to everyone.

                      This is similar to the run-up to Iraq because the same military and intelligence institutions are lying to is. The fact that Syria has chemical weapons was never in dispute, and shouldn't have anything to do with the discussion. Syria has had such weapons for decades, and they provide a strategic deterrent against Israel. That, and no other reason, is why Hafez Assad acquired them---note that he never used them in the 1976-1982 uprising.

                      Whether they were used, again, is quite in dispute. We know a chemical weapons killed a number of people in Ghouta, but we have no idea if they came from Assad. Let me remind you that (1) you're taking at their word the same people who conjured up bullshit about "mobile weapons labs" and "yellowcake from Niger" if you believe Assad launched that attack, and (2) rebels and groups affiliated with them have already been found with chemical weapons.

                      Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

                      by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:48:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  No, but Saudi Arabia and Qatar are. (0+ / 0-)

              Unless we're theirs, of course.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:28:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It makes their side different (0+ / 0-)

            because when our government claims Assad did it, there are many here who have a knee-jerk reaction that they must be lying to get us into war.  But when the Russian government says it, it's "SEE?  IT WAS THE REBELS!"

            •  Skepticism is always indicated, (0+ / 0-)

              regardless of the side from which the self-serving propaganda emanates.

              Of course, skepticism is a piss-poor reason to go to war and kill innocents.

              YMMV, of course.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:34:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's really no good option here. (0+ / 0-)

                I agree that skepticism is a piss-poor reason to go to war and kill innocents.

                I would also argue that it's a piss-poor reason to allow more innocents to die.

                I'm really not entirely sure what I think we should do here.  What I do know is that I'm not comfortable with saying we should do absolutely nothing.

                I'm extremely glad I'm not involved in the decision-making here.  No matter what I decided on I'd probably lose sleep over it.

        •  Russia isn't the only country with clients (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          in the Mideast, and I would wager that the originators of the intelligence claiming it was a government attack have a great deal of incentive to lie, moreso than "Putey Boy".

          Of course, if someone has already dubbed one side a boogeyman, with nicknames and all, that may be harder to see.

          Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

          by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:41:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you are du (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lordcopper

            That makes a killing selling weapons to Syria.  Think that might be a bit of a reason to be deceptive?

            BTW: where did I dub one side a "boogeyman?"

            •  Russia makes a negligible amount of money (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              on Syria, because Syria has frankly never had all that much money to spend. If you really think this is all as simple as Russia protecting an arms customer, don't be ridiculous. They're rather conservative about exporting arms (guess who the number one exporter is), and they could find plenty of other places to sell the systems earmarked for Assad.

              You didn't use the word boogeyman. In practice, though, you're treating the Russian side of this situation as if it were some boogeyman hiding in your closet. You make the hawks happy, because that's one less psychological obstacle to agreeing that we should fire some missiles in that general direction.

              Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

              by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:50:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, just no (0+ / 0-)
                You didn't use the word boogeyman. In practice, though, you're treating the Russian side of this situation as if it were some boogeyman hiding in your closet
                I am treating the Russian side with due scepticism. Putin heads a very corrupt, tyrannical government. He is a small d democrat in name only. He was the lieutenant colonel in the KGB. I can only assume to rise that far, one would have had to learn a thing or two about decpetion. And the timing of this and the refusal to release the whole report are suspicious to say the least. If you want to take him at face value, feel free to do so, but ask yourself why you are doing this.
                •  Should the claims of Syria or the Rebels... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  garner any less skepticism?

                  The report was apparently made for the benefit of the UN to assist it in its inquiry. Perhaps it is not supposed to public for that reason.

                  Reports concerning the latest incident are far from being written, yet many seem to have determined responsibility.

                •  I don't take him at face value. If he's deceptive, (0+ / 0-)

                  or a broken clock, as it were, this would be one of the instances when the broken clock is right. I'm sure the chemical attack wasn't launched by Assad because that makes absolutely no sense for a variety of reasons. If Putin never said a word about it, that wouldn't change anything on my end.

                  Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

                  by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:29:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  So in other words, the ONE THING Obama had to do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    to protect US national security interests.... contain Syrian Chem/Bio weapons.... he had already FAILED to do, and now Jihadi terrorists have WMD's.

    All of us have our 4th Amendment rights turned inside out, but heaven forbid these worthless coward scumbags in the US Government actually do the second most important job the US Government has..... the first being guard, maintain, and secure our nuclear weapons systems.

    How long before some of this shit gets through AQ and into a western country's subway system, or other target of massive impact with nerve gas?

    Obama's administration is now officially as inept, pathetic, and incompetent as Bush was. Congratulations.

    Assuming..... the report of jihadi rebels getting a hold of and using Chem weapons is true.

    PS: Next time you're in a subway system, or other large public gathering..... be sure and HOLD YOUR BREATH.

    •  How do you contain the weapons belonging to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      the government that doesn't want them contained? Short of overthrowing this government, of course.

      •  Turkish police found sarin in al qaeda suspect's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, lysias

        home.

        Seven members of Syria's militant al-Nusra group were detained on Wednesday after police found sarin gas
        Today's Zaman:Report: Police foil al-Nusra bomb attack planned for Adana

        Adana's news in Turkish:Adana'da El Kaide operasyonu: 12 gözaltı

        A good horse is never a bad color.

        by CcVenussPromise on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:29:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  By sticking a shotgun in Assad's face and.... (0+ / 0-)

        ... making him an offer he can't refuse.

        We will pay all expenses for Syria to turn all Chem/Bio stockpiles over to the Russians for disposal. In return we will cover humanitarian expenses, and agree to provide no support to any rebel elements. IE: we'll stay completely out of the matter, so long as he eliminates the Chem/Bio weapons....

        YOU KNOW, the ACTUAL THREAT to US and EU security.

        OR, we'll just blow the living shit out of Syria immediately, ALL SIDES, and destroy the weapons where they sit.

        This was all relevant 2-3 YEARS ago. It is what a real leadership does when honestly and actually preventing potential terrorist threats to the US.

        It is completely pointless now, as the stockpiles have been overrun and gotten into AQ's hands.

        Here's a hint: Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is now the #1 threat to the US and EU and must be neutralized.... even if it means OBLITERATING Pakistan. Unlike Iran, they actually have 100+ warheads.... baby Hiroshima ones, but still. Time for the ultimatum.

        •  But given that we are not ready to blow the shit (0+ / 0-)

          out of Syria and everyone knows it why would he agree?

          •  We are ready to utterly destroy them. Always have (0+ / 0-)

            been, and Iran, and North Korea.

            Prepping these "surgical" strikes to send a message, THAT takes time to work out.

            We have the capacity to obliterate Syria in 48 hours not using nukes. Between the B52 force, most of which are in Diego Garcia on hair trigger for Iran, with stockpiles of tens of thousands of 500 and 1000 lb bombs on hand. And the B2 force ready to fly from Ohio at a moments notice, and 3 aircraft carriers within striking distance, and 100's of F15's and F22's at Turkish, Italian, and German bases. And vast forces sitting in SArabia and Qatar, again poised for instant action against Iran.

            Yes, we can OBLITERATE Syria any time. Playing nice and administering a wrist slap, that takes preparation.

            •  We have the ability for sure. No question about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Swig Mcjigger

              that. The question is about the will. Congress is likely to deny this authorization. What makes you think it will approve a much broader one?

              •  They wouldn't, but as a threat, can Assad... could (0+ / 0-)

                Assad have gambled on it?

                But that was all 2+ years ago, the milk is spilled, cat out of the bag, yada yada yada.

                It's too late now.

                Let's just hope that the Paris, Berlin, London, NYC D.C. Boston subways don't end up being the place where the "loose chems" end up. AQ is not imaginative, but they did watch the news from Japan, so.

        •  This is the most jingoistic load of crap I've ever (0+ / 0-)

          read on this site. There's no indication that the sarin came from the Syrian government, or that any of the Syrian Arab Army's chemical stockpiles have been overrun. Obviously, they've kept them close to the chest to avoid just the kind of intervention being proposed.

          Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

          by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:47:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The government does want them contained. (0+ / 0-)

        Don't be ridiculous. Syria's chemical weapons are a strategic deterrent against Israel. Why does it go without saying to you that the weapons must have come from the government no matter what?

        Warmongering has so penetrated this society that even at Daily Kos, most of the anti-war argument has already been ceded to the hawks to the point that most people are only a step or two from becoming pro-war already, if they aren't already. It's frustrating.

        Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

        by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:44:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why they had them in the first place, sure. (0+ / 0-)

          But that was before civil war. They don't look particularly contained right now.

          •  It was also before the 1976-1982 uprising, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            and they weren't used then either. The only thing that's changed is that Turkey and Jordan are now superhighways for rebel fighters---people who have already been found with their own chemical weapons.

            The idea that Assad has somehow lost control of his arsenal (he could just keep it all in Mount Qasioun with the Republican Guard Division, which is what he's probably done) is just a canard to make the pro-war stance not sound so bad to people. It's bullshit, just like Saddam's mobile weapons labs, and just like the fabled yellowcake uranium from Niger.

            Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

            by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:11:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Either he lost control of a part of the (0+ / 0-)

              arsenal and rebels got it or he fully controls it and uses it himself. No one except for Russians believes that rebels got it elsewhere or made it themselves.

              •  I suppose you believe (0+ / 0-)

                these rebels went through all the trouble to take "Assad's" sarin into Turkey in order to... take it back into Syria.

                Do you think sarin is some magical substance that can only come from national governments? Why is it impossible for you to comprehend that the same intelligence community that fucked up a decade ago is fucking up now?

                Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

                by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:06:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Strange but I can't help but feel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, Yoshimi, sviscusi

    a sort of admiration for those who can spew the most obvious bs with a straight face.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:21:55 PM PDT

    •  You are entitled to your opinion, but... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CcVenussPromise, Sandino

      the projection by people here, as you illustrate, is incredible.

      I am not spewing anything. This was a story in the news that, obviously, you do not like.

      What is your basis for saying it is BS?

      In fact, I presented this straight down the middle. I said nowhere that it was true because I do not know. But I was interested to see the reaction of people to the story.

      Regrettably, you show the worst here when it comes to communication.

  •  Chain of custody has not been proven (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, lysias

    as was requested by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    The US claims the Syrian government is responsible without ensuring "convincing evidence of the chain-of-custody."

    Ban made that statement in June after Susan Rice claimed without providing adequate proof that the Syrian government was responsible for two gas attacks.

    The July 10 2013, U.N readout (here) followed:

    The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Angela Kane, and Professor Sellström, have agreed to accept the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic’s invitation to visit Damascus ... to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.
    Turkish police apprehended 12 men who had sarin at their residence, al qaeda fighters, in May.

    Zaman news Adana'da El Kaide operasyonu: 12 gözaltı

    The rebels captured the artillery base near the northern town of Saraqeb last year. They have the weaponry to dispatch sarin.

    Reuters Nov 2012. Syria army quits base on strategic Aleppo road

    Associated Press Diplomat's letter: Syria used sarin twiceU.N. chief remains skeptical that regime has unleashed chemical weapons.

    The diarist has a point: Were inspectors [Åke Sellström, Head of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons]  in Syria?

    A good horse is never a bad color.

    by CcVenussPromise on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:22:11 PM PDT

    •  Actually, I was reporting the story... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CcVenussPromise, Sandino

      rather than making a point.

      More knowledge is better than less knowledge, although for some here that is not the case.

      The Russians made that point, however.

      •  Agreed. Both the U.N. and Russia's (0+ / 0-)

        U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin want tracking evidence. But the US asserts Assad is responsible vis-a-vas Susan Rice saying we are "very confident" in our assessment.

        The U.N. seeks

        Tracking chemical agents from the place they were used -- through soil, air, blood and tissue samples -- to the laboratories where they are tested to ensure against tampering.

        A good horse is never a bad color.

        by CcVenussPromise on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:52:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I came across this article (0+ / 0-)

    early today and I'm pleased to see that you took the time to write a diary because this is along the lines of what I've been thinking all along.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:33:01 PM PDT

    •  So much never sees the light of day... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      here, and the reactions of some shows why. Then they act as if they know so much.

      I am not sure who is responsible for what, and would rather we stay out because I would not be surprised if the Russian report is accurate.

      There are no good guys in Syria, so far as I can tell.

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