December 10, 2013

Updates On Syria [12.10]: Jihadist Terrorist Groups Have CW Capability Due To US-Saudi-Turkish Support, China And Russia Look To Expand Roles, CW Experts Express Doubts About Pentagon Plan To Destroy Syria's CW Stockpile At Sea

1. An excerpt from, "NATO's War on Syria Just Got Dirtier" by Tony Cartalucci, Land Destroyer Report, December 10:
Whitaker hails Higgins’ Foreign Policy piece arrogantly titled, “Sy Hersh’s Chemical Misfire,” but in reality, all Higgins does is point out specifics of the attack, some of which are confirmed, some of which are implied – all of which could either have been the work of the government or militants. The question Higgins fails to answer is what motivation would the government have had to carry out the attacks with the UN based just miles away and with government forces already decisively winning the war with conventional weapons? The only possible scenario that would lead to the Syrian government losing this conflict now would be foreign military intervention – and the best way to make that happen would be by using chemical weapons.

Of course, to call Al Nusra a nonstate actor is not entirely truthful. Al Nusra and other extremist networks inside of Syria have had the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel’s backing since at least as early as 2007. Since 2011, Qatar and Turkey have also played immense roles in supporting Al Nusra – with NATO-member Turkey providing them sanctuary and even logistical support. Higgins and his “expert” ask where the factories, waste streams, and skilled people are – the answer is most likely somewhere within one of the many axis nations supporting Al Nusra. They certainly have the capacity to both manufacturer the gas and transport it into Syria – or conversely – provide Al Nusra with the supplies and personal to do it inside of Syria.

Higgins and his “expert’s” attempt to make Al Nusra sound like cave dwelling simpletons running on a shoestring budget, when even the US State Department admitted by 2012 that the terrorist organization was operating at a national level, carrying out hundreds of attacks across the country. In an attempt to cover up the growing influence the Western-backing of Al Qaeda was creating within Syria, tales of vast “Twitter donations” were spun to explain how Al Nusra was expanding faster than so-called moderates who were receiving billions of dollars in equipment, training, vehicles, and weapons by the West and its regional allies. In reality, that torrent of cash and supplies was going intentionally into the hands of Al Nusra and other extremist groups.
The US, Turkey, Israel, France, England, and Saudi Arabia desperately want to distance themselves in the world press from the Al-Qaeda monster that they helped create in Syria, still failing to understand that the nature of the world press has changed because of the rise of the Internet and the decline of confidence in mainstream news. These dinosaurs are still stuck in 1979, when it was much easier to get away with supporting radical Jihadists in the Arab and Islamic world because of the power of the media. That has changed completely. The media can no longer dictate reality. But, good luck with the spin games.

2. An excerpt from, "US, region pivot to confront terrorist threat in Syria" Al Monitor, December 8:
Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, also speaking at the Al-Monitor-SAIS event, argued that there is a “different game” in the Middle East, where Russia, and eventually China, can be more instrumental in conflict management, as in Syria.“To some extent we need Russia. We need China,” Brzezinski said. “We need both of them to some extent more than we need Britain or France, the former colonial powers in the region. … All are likely to suffer if things blow up.”
China wants to sell missiles and other weapons to Turkey. Russia may get more involved in the Kurdish human rights cause. But, it is doubtful that China will take a serious geopolitical interest in West Asia, and Russia wants to maintain cordial relations with Ankara because of energy deals so any desire on its part to take an interventionist approach towards the Kurdish issue in Turkey and the region is just think-tank talk.  

3. An excerpt from, "China, Russia congratulate each other on Syria at APEC" by Massoud Hayoun, Al Jazeera, October 9:
The presidents of China and Russia congratulated each other at the APEC summit in Bali, Indonesia this week for coordinating a successful effort to prevent a U.S.-led military strike in Syria and developing their overall economic and geopolitical partnership.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lauded Beijing and Moscow's "coordinated decisions" on the Syria issue as a chief example of how the two powers are developing ties.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called his government's cooperation with Russia on Syria an example of how the two nations "are cooperating very closely to resolve urgent and acute international and regional issues."
4. An excerpt from, "Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons at sea" by Kristina Wong, The Washington Times, December 10:
Chemical weapons experts are criticizing the Defense Department’s plan to destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal aboard a U.S. vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, a proposal that Pentagon officials have described as low-risk.

The plan calls for neutralizing the liquid components of sarin, mustard gas and VX nerve agent via hydrolysis, a technology that has been used for decades to destroy chemical agents in the U.S. and abroad but never at sea.

“There’s no precedence. We’re all guessing. We’re all estimating,” said Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, who worked as a U.N. biological weapons inspector in Iraq in 1994.

“For example, you don’t know if the sarin is pure. The Iraqi sarin was rather impure, and had a lot of contaminants, and we don’t know if that’s amenable to hydrolysis,” said Mr. Zilinskas, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College.

Under the Pentagon plan, the toxic stockpile would be transported to the Syrian port of Latakia, loaded onto a non-U.S. vessel and shipped to a third country. From there, a U.S. cargo ship would take the arsenal to sea for destruction.

Richard M. Lloyd, a warhead technology consultant at Tesla Laboratories Inc. who tracks weapons being used in Syria, said he has little confidence in the regime’s ability to transport the weapons safely.

“The probability that rebels are going to attack is very high,” Mr. Lloyd said. “They want to get their hands on them, or destroy something or do something that’s not good.”
Jihadist roadside robbers with ambitions to carve out a radical Islamic emirate in Syria and cleanse the country of its religious and ethnic minorities; the Pentagon's track record when it comes to handing out chemical agents to thugs; the destruction of chemical weapons at sea is the first mission of its kind; a divided rebel coalition that is holding on for dear life and is still ruling out negotiations with Assad; a battered regime that acts too little too late; desperate regional players in Israel and Saudi Arabia who want to prolong the war and destroy Syria; a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood regime that has failed to make peace with its Kurds and continues to aid Al-Qaeda against them in the north; and on top of all this, Syria's chemical weapons have still not been destroyed and could end up in the hands of demoralized Jihadist terrorist groups who show no mercy to their enemies; what can possibly go wrong?