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PORTSIDE  December 2012, Week 2

PORTSIDE December 2012, Week 2

Subject:

Syria, Assad, & the Truth about Chemical Weapons

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 8 Dec 2012 11:28:08 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (118 lines)

Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and the truth about
chemical weapons and who may or may not have
them

    Bashar's father Hafez al-Assad was brutal but
    never used chemical arms. And do you know
    which was the first army to use gas in the
    Middle East?

By Robert Fisk
The Independent (UK)
December 7, 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/syria-bashar-alassad-and-the-truth-about-chemical-weapons-and-who-may-or-may-not-have-them-8393539.html

The bigger the lie the more people will believe it. We
all know who said that - but it still works. Bashar
al-Assad has chemical weapons. He may use them
against his own Syrian people. If he does, the West
will respond. We heard all this stuff last year - and
Assad's regime repeatedly said that if - if  - it had
chemical weapons, it would never use them against
Syrians.

But now Washington is playing the same gas-chanty
all over again. Bashar has chemical weapons. He
may use them against his own people. And if he
does.

Well if he does, Obama and Madame Clinton and
Nato will be very, very angry. But over the past
week, all the usual pseudo-experts who couldn't
find Syria on a map have been warning us again of
the mustard gas, chemical agents, biological agents
that Syria might possess - and might use. And the
sources? The same fantasy specialists who didn't
warn us about 9/11 but insisted that Saddam had
weapons of mass destruction in 2003: "unnamed
military intelligence sources". Henceforth to be
acronymed as UMIS.

Coup de théâtre

And now, the coup de théâtre. Someone from the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation called me up
this week to talk about the use of chemical weapons
by Hafez al-Assad in Hama during the Sunni
Muslim uprising in the city in 1982. Their sources
were the same old UMIS. But I happened to have got
into Hama in February 1982 - which is why the
Canadian was calling me - and while Hafez's Syrian
army was very definitely slaughtering its own people
(who were, by the way, slaughtering regime officials
and their families), no one ever used chemical
weapons.

Not a single soldier I saw in Hama carried a gas
mask. No civilians carried gas masks. The
dangerously perfumed air which I and my colleagues
smelt after chemicals were used by our (then) ally
Saddam against Iranian soldiers in the 1980s was
not present. And none of the dozens of civilian
survivors I have interviewed in the 30 years since
1982 ever mentioned the use of gas.

But now we are to believe that it was used. And so
the infantile new fairy tale has begun: Hafez al-
Assad used gas against his own people in Hama 30
years ago. So his son Bashar may do the same
again. And wasn't that one of the reasons we
invaded Iraq in 2003 - because Saddam had used
gas against his own people already and may do so
again?

Bunkum

Yes, the bigger the lie, the better. Certainly we
journos have done our duty in disseminating this
bunkum. And Bashar - whose forces have
committed quite enough iniquities - is about to be
accused of another crime which he has not yet
committed and which his father never did commit.
Yup, chemical weapons are bad news, folks. That's
why the US supplied Saddam with the components
for them, along with Germany (of course).

That's why, when Saddam first used gas on Halabja,
the UMIS told CIA officers to blame Iran. And yes,
Bashar probably does have some chemicals in
rusting bins somewhere in Syria. Madame Clinton
has been worrying that they may "fall into the wrong
hands" - as if they are presently "in the right
hands". But the Russians have told Bashar not to
use them. Would he piss off his only superpower
ally?

And by the way, which was the first army to use gas
in the Middle East? Saddam? Nope. The Brits, of
course, under General Allenby, against the Turks in
Sinai in 1917. And that's the truth.

___________________________________________

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on the left that will help them to interpret the world
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