Chemical weapons in Syria: winding up the war rhetoric

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baboon
Chemical weapons in Syria: winding up the war rhetoric
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Chemical weapons in Syria: winding up the war rhetoric. The discussion was initiated by baboon.
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baboon
chemical weapons

The news that a 2kg cylinder of sarin gas was found by Turkish police in possession of al-Nusra rebel fighters in the Turkish province of Adana has been largely ignored by the British media which is instead concentrating on the breakdown of proposed talks due to the provision of Russian missiles to the regime. It's similar to way the UN's Carla Del Ponte's report that the rebels have been using chemical weapons in Syria was sidelined and the author personally rubbished and indicates the direction towards intervention that Britain, France and the US is taking.

In the meantime the Turkish police has reportedly been dropping tear gas canisters on growing anti-government protesters from helicopters.

Fred
winding up the end of the world

Yes, in Turkey somebody -is it the maniac police?- is dropping tear gas canisters from helicopters. They want to disperse demonstrators who are supposedly, according to news sources, and the Turkish prime minister, just demonstrating against an architectural reorganization of Takrim Square!!! Turning it into a park or something. You'd wonder why this would spark such an aggressive demo, with such strong feelings involved - do people really get so upset over mere aesthetic considerations? - and why the government and police response has been so amazingly "over the top", and all over a bit of environmental titivation. No! There's clearly something else going on. 

 

According to Sky News, who keep repeating that the "environmental" issue is what it's all about, the demonstrators are sick of the authoritarian  and increasingly Islamist government. Sky News appears to like the anti-Islam element though, only flogging the environmental dead horse issue between film of mayhem on the streets. This is now the third day, they tell us, while showing shots of smoke from the falling cannisters weaving pretty patterns in the air.  The demonstrators are clearly very wound up however, and quite unprepared to heed the prime minster's order that they all go home, and that the redevelopment of the square will proceed willy nilly.  Does anybody actually care about the square? 

 

Who knows what's really afoot?  With Syria in turmoil, with those western powers that support "the rebels" running round like scalded cats, with Obama tight lipped as ever, with Israel longing to nuke Iran, and  with Iran longing to make its own nuke, with Russia wanting to arm the Assad rulers, and with cylinders of sarin gas falling into the hands of terror groups, it's as if the whole of this middle-Eastern bourgeois mess is totally mindlessly out of control, with nobody anywhere able anymore to find a way out.  Meantime, civilian populations try to survive it all, though they must sometimes wonder whether its worth the bother anymore.  There are now plenty of pathetic film clips of children and teenagers, wounded, or at the end of their tethers, as explosions go on all round them, and the very air is fogged with poisonous dust.  Does the bourgeoisie ever actually consider the unbelievable mess they have reduced the whole world too; and the incredible misery and unhappiness they inflict on us all?   I can only suppose they don't, else they couldn't go on doing it. Or are they too at the mercy of an unforgiving merciless system at the end of its reign?  

Fred
winding up the mayhem

Yes, in Turkey somebody -is it the maniac police?- is dropping tear gas canisters from helicopters. They want to disperse demonstrators who are supposedly, according to news sources, and the Turkish prime minister, just demonstrating against an architectural reorganization of Takrim Square!!! Turning it into a park or something. You'd wonder why this would spark such an aggressive demo, with such strong feelings involved - do people really get so upset over mere aesthetic considerations? - and why the government and police response has been so amazingly "over the top", and all over a bit of environmental titivation. No! There's clearly something else going on. 

 

According to Sky News, who keep repeating that the "environmental" issue is what it's all about, the demonstrators are sick of the authoritarian  and increasingly Islamist government. Sky News appears to like the anti-Islam element though, only flogging the environmental dead horse issue between film of mayhem on the streets. This is now the third day, they tell us, while showing shots of smoke from the falling cannisters weaving pretty patterns in the air.  The demonstrators are clearly very wound up however, and quite unprepared to heed the prime minster's order that they all go home, and that the redevelopment of the square will proceed willy nilly.  Does anybody actually care about the square? 

 

Who knows what's really afoot?  With Syria in turmoil, with those western powers that support "the rebels" running round like scalded cats, with Obama tight lipped as ever, with Israel longing to nuke Iran, and  with Iran longing to make its own nuke, with Russia wanting to arm the Assad rulers, and with cylinders of sarin gas falling into the hands of terror groups, it's as if the whole of this middle-Eastern bourgeois mess is totally mindlessly out of control, with nobody anywhere able anymore to find a way out.  Meantime, civilian populations try to survive it all, though they must sometimes wonder whether its worth the bother anymore.  There are now plenty of pathetic film clips of children and teenagers, wounded, or at the end of their tethers, as explosions go on all round them, and the very air is fogged with poisonous dust.  Does the bourgeoisie ever actually consider the unbelievable mess they have reduced the whole world too; and the incredible misery and unhappiness they inflict on us all?   I can only suppose they don't, else they couldn't go on doing it. Or are they too at the mercy of an unforgiving merciless system at the end of its reign?  

baboon
not out of the blue

There could be many reasons for the anti-government protests in Turkey and it's much too early to make any definite conclusions. But this weekend's protest has not appeared out of the blue. For months now there have been protests in Turkish towns along the Syrian border protesting against militarisation and the swaggering presence of gun-toting jihadis cosseted by the Turkish regime and the CIA. In mid-May, after two devastating car bombs, there were violent protests in the Turkish town of Reyhanli and other nearby towns in other border areas. There were also anti-government protests in Ankara, Istanbul and the border town of Antakya in May. There were also protests against the looming war in the mixed religious area of Hatay province. These protests have been building up since the beginning of the year and while they are heterogeneous, with Turkish flags being raised and the presence of leftists and nationalists, there's an element that is against the war and the role of the government. The US administration has realised the potential for this movement with its immediate warning to Erdogan.

baboon
red lines

If the sarin won't cross the red line then take the red line to the sarin - or better still get the rebels to carry the sarin across the red line.  As the US State Department has more or less admitted, any option now is a bad one for the United States and this is further evidence of a weakening imperialism. The real red line of course is the corridor opened up to Syria and Iran by Hezbollah through the town of Qusayr. Arms from Iran can now be transported to the borders of Israel - and this is probably one of the reasons for the visit of the director of Mossad to Istanbul last week.

They are going to direct the arms they say to the "right people" but they can't possibly keep the arms out of the hands of the jihadis - arms are a currency in this war. The "rebels" are already well-armed ($3 billion from Qatar alone) probably with ground-to-air missiles which accounts for the regime's limited use of helicopter gunships and its reliance on artillery and jet fighters. The jihadis have turned out to be formidable fighters and the battle-hardened Hezbollah troops had a job against them. It's not just al-Nusra, the Chechen-led brigades are well-armed and committed.

The bourgeoisie say that there's no question of "boots on the ground" but they're stamping about all over the region: leaving aside the special forces and secret services of France, Britain and the US in and around Syria, there's 4000 US troops undergoing military excercises in Jordan with British troops just out of Afghanistan - the Independent reports that a squadron of F-16s will be permanently based there; and the same paper reports that 4000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards are to join the fighters on the side of the regime.

jk1921
Also hearing reorts of

Also hearing reorts of militants streaming out of various European countries via Turkey to join the fight against the regieme. This will supposedly be a problem for the home countries when these battled hardened fanatics return home. Is there any veracity to this?

baboon
yes, I think so

About a month ago The Guardian estimated that there were around 700 European jihadi-types among the 6000 odd foreign fighters present. Sixty were tracked from Germany, through Egypt and into Somali training camps from whence they were transported into Syria via Turkey.

Kings College London undertook a year-long study which recently concluded that around 600 jihadis from the UK, Austria, Sweden, Spain and Germany were involved, with contingents from Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium making up greater numbers in relation to their populations.

I think that these "radicalised" brainwashed individuals will certainly cause problems down the line.

 

baboon
here we go again

It looks like the US, Britain, France, Israel and some Gulf states have agree on some sort of attack against Syria.

It could be that elements in the Assad regime have, rather stupidly, used chemical weapons - or it could be the "rebels" who have access to such weapons - but the "west" has decided to act. Two years on from the attack on Libya, this country has descended into a chaos of militias with central government absent and the flag of al-Qaida flying over some of its southern territories. It shows again how the "actions" of the ruling class only brings about still more chaos and danger. But that won't stop them.

The decision to intervene over the "red line" of chemical weapons comes in a week when declassified CIA documents of 25 years ago (RT today) shows that the US was aware of Saddam Hussein's chemical warfare against the Iranians and Kurds in the 80's. More than awareness, foreign equipment to facilitate chemical warfare was provided by Italy, Germany and Britain with US satellite imagery and intelligence providing the Iraqi army with details of Iranian troop movements which they knew would be attacked by chemical weapons.

jk1921
They have to attack Assad in

They have to attack Assad in order to save face, but its pretty clear nobody really wants the regime to fall too quickly, lest another situation like Libya develop. Baboon is right that this only shows the increasing irrationality of imperialist intervention. Already, the U.S. has created an Iranian influenced state in Iraq and, as he points out, Libya's territtorial integrity is under threat. One wonders if the intervention in Syria will only be symbolic in order to demonstrate military power, but keep the regime in place until a more reliable successor can be found or will they go full force and risk brining some truly scary elements to power or a descent into utter chaos? At least now the jihadist elements are distracted fighting Assad.