28 August, 2013

Jihad8: Before acting 'like a monkey with a grenade,' EU should get facts straight on Syrian poison gas attacks

Why is the United States rushing to take military action in Syria BEFORE it has ascertained the facts from the United Nations chemical warfare specialists? The US alleges that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has exploded chemical weapons with poison gas just a few kms east of Damascus at Ghouta in disputed suburbs of Jobar, Zamalka and Ein Tarma and possibly several others to the south. What will more deaths by US missiles achieve among those like al Nusra/Qaeda who say they 'love death more than life'?

There is no doubt, said US Vice-President Biden, that the Assad regime was responsible. They have the weapons and the means to deliver them, he said. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the US military was ‘ready’ to attack. ‘I think the intelligence will conclude that it wasn’t the rebels who used it, and there will probably be pretty good intelligence to show that the Syria government was responsible,’ he told the BBC. This conclusion was reached before the UN inspectors were given safe passage to view the site and collect materials. Secretary of State Kerry said on Monday 26 August that there was ‘undeniable’ evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack on several towns in the Ghouta area. U.S. intelligence, he said, strongly points to Assad’s government as the guilty party. Even if they have intercept correspondence, does this mean that only one side is responsible for poison gas? What are the facts?

1. The timing is suspicious. This latest chemical attack took place on Wednesday 21 August at the time when UN chemical warfare experts had just arrived there to investigate another alleged chemical attack dating back to March. Assad had agreed to talks with rebels. Now they are off. That does not appear to be to Assad’s benefit. The USA said military action was needed immediately. Then Assad agreed to open up the path for inspectors on the 21 August attack. This did not change US policy. The US and UK do not appear to want the results of the UN inspectors investigations.

2. The alleged culprit is dubious. Carla Del Ponte, member of the UN investigating panel on Syrian war crimes, former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, uncovered evidence from casualties and medical staff pointing to ‘strong, concrete suspicions‘ that the rebels, not Assad, were responsible for this March attack. ‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.’ A White House spokesman for President Obama disagreed. He said it was likely that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, not the rebels, were behind any chemical weapons use. After this debunking by UN Senior investigator Carla Del Ponte, the US ceased its insistence on a military attack as response to the loss of life by the poison gas attack.

3. Both sides have chemical arms. Assad’s ambassador told the UN in July that rebels had captured chemical stock. Russia supplied the UN with 80 pages of evidence that can be analyzed. Videos show the Free Syria Army using sarin or poison gas and Saudi chemicals uncovered earlier at Jabar by Assad forces.

4. Neither side are Sunday school teachers. They cheat, lie, and ruthlessly kill opponents. Christians are being crushed. The rebels include foreign jihadis, funded heavily from the Sunni oil States. EU-banned terrorists such as Lebanon’s HezbAllah and Iranian forces like the Revolutionary Guards help Assad while vicious, infidel-hating al-Qaeda groups like Jabhat al-Nusra lead the rebels. Qataris have poured some 3 billions dollars to aid the rebels and Saudi Arabia has supplied arms. The Saudis are now the biggest funder of the rebels. The Assad regime is non-sectarian and various religions have cohabited in Syria.

5. The haste is uncalled for. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin warned the West against acting like a ‘monkey with a hand grenade.’ The Russians also warn against action that has no known forensic evidence to condemn the alleged perpetrator and without UN Security Council accord.

6. Facts are weak. Estimates of fatalities at Ghutta are uncertain. They range from 100 to 1300 people. Why such a hugely uncertain body count? Where are the bodies buried? Russian Foreign Minister Lazrov criticized US impetuosity and scorn for facts: ‘They cannot produce evidence, but keep on saying that the ‘red line’ has been crossed and they cannot wait any longer,’ he said Monday, 26 August. Russian State TV has shown Syrian videos of actors playing the part of victims, being daubed with blood, before shots were taken of the ‘dead’.

7. The timing is politically suspicious. The outcome of this latest chemical weapon attack was the postponement of peace talks between Assad and the mixed-bag ‘Free Syrian Army’. It plays into the hand of the hardliners, paid for by Qataris and other oil-rich Sunnis who want to use every means to remove Assad and his clique. ‘No compromise’ plays into the hand of violent extreme jihadis.

8. The outcome could be catastrophic for Europe. The EU is the world’s largest economic power. It will be deeply affected by Jihadis igniting the Syrian-Lebanese tinder box which will then explode across Israel, Gaza and Egypt. Why has the EU not at least had proper debates in national, European parliament and in the United Nations? Western experts have diverse views on the video evidence some pointing to obvious fraud. The conflict has all the nature of a sectarian dispute between Sunnis, Shiites and the numerous Islamic sects that Jihadis cannot tolerate. These include Ismailis, Twelver Shias, Sufis, Druzes, Yazdis and Bahai.
Syria has a delicate balance of religious populations. The ruling clique is Alawite, a secretive Islamic sect associated with the Shiites. It makes up around 11 percent of the people.  However 60 per cent of the population are Sunni. Christians of various persuasions amount to 13 percent. The Jews which were numerous for thousands of years now reduced to a few hundred.

9. The motivation of the US is unclear. The American leaders are not religious illiterates. President Obama was raised a Sunni Muslim in Indonesia. His father and step-father were both Muslims. His brother Malik Obama is actively propagating Islamic ‘da’wa’ that is the conversion of infidels and infidel countries to Islam. He works with President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir, classified by the USA as a State Sponsor of Terror. Key figures in the Obama security administration have served in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.

It seems bizarre that the USA is rooting now on the side of just one faction in the Syrian civil war. That side involves Jabhat al Nusra a jihadist Sunni organization, a clone of Al Qaeda. Why on earth would USA support al Qaeda-led rebels against the Shiite Alawite regime of Bashur al Assad?

The EU is founded on religious tolerance, free speech that extends to critical analysis of religious opinions.

The Middle East has been devastated of its Christians from Iraq to the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the leader of the worldwide Anglican church, said we are living in ‘terribly, terribly dangerous times‘. He warned that military intervention could have catastrophic unseen consequences. There are ‘numerous intermediate steps’ between doing nothing and regime change, said Welby who has toured the Middle East and Africa seeking paths for reconciliation.
  • Western experts have questioned video that shows unreal white foaming at the mouth. They say that poison gas would produce a yellow retching foam or one covered with blood.
  • Victim do not show characteristic pinpoint eyes after poisoning. Sarin is doubted. Little evidence of convulsions or secondary contamination.
  • No people attending ‘poisoned’ people had protective clothing.
  • No doctors seem affected by poison gas with no reported fatalities among doctors or medical staff.
  • Some videos were, according to Russian authorities, broadcast before the  alleged time of the attack!
  • Body evidence and numbers remain untestified.

How can the EU cut through the disinformation to the real facts?
The European Community system set up by Robert Schuman initiated a scientific centre so that scientific facts can be distinguished from political and ideological narratives. Science is one of those supranational values on which the European Community is based. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has been called in to investigate frauds in all areas of European life. An escalating Syrian and Middle Eastern religious war will cost all Europeans dear. The JRC should be asked immediately to investigate fraud in video evidence, in medical evidence and chemical analysis. European citizens require this action!