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Eric Margolis writes: "Western governments and media that have become cheerleaders for Syria's rebels went into full trumpet mode, issuing dire warnings of Syria's 'threat of weapons of mass destruction.' Israeli and the US officials warned they might have to seize Syria's chemical arsenal lest it fall into the hands of Lebanon's Hezbullah. Shades of Iraq and Saddam Hussein's wmds."

Syria is threatening to use chemical weapons. (photo: AFP)
Syria is threatening to use chemical weapons. (photo: AFP)

Syria's WMD?

By Eric Margolis, Eric

28 July 12


he embattled regime of Bashar Asad just managed to shoot itself in both feet, provide ammunition to Syria's enemies, and give them yet another excuse to intervene in its raging civil war.

A senior Syrian government spokesman just confirmed his nation did indeed possess chemical weapons, and might employ them against a "foreign aggressor."

Western governments and media that have become cheerleaders for Syria's rebels went into full trumpet mode, issuing dire warnings of Syria's "threat of weapons of mass destruction." Israeli and the US officials warned they might have to seize Syria's chemical arsenal lest it fall into the hands of Lebanon's Hezbullah. Shades of Iraq and Saddam Hussein's wmd's.

The bumbling Damascus regime was too inept to explain that Syria had acquired a limited arsenal of chemical weapons over the past twenty years as a counter-force to Israel's tactical nuclear weapons. Western media barely mentioned this important point.

During the 1973 Arab-Israel War, Moscow informed Damascus that Israel was readying tactical nuclear-armed missiles, land mines, and bombs to halt what looked like a Syrian armored breakthrough on the Golan Heights. Damascus was also targeted by Israeli nuclear weapons. Syria determined to obtain a limited deterrent to forestall any future such nuclear threats.

Syria's arsenal of mustard, cyanide, and nerve gas is loaded into bombs, short-ranged Scud or SS-21 missiles, or short-ranged artillery shells. Chemical weapons are not weapons of mass destruction. They have limited killing power, unreliable, and are subject to weather conditions.

The cries of alarm by western media simply ignored this fact. As they did the point that lightly armed Hezbullah would likely be unable to obtain or employ such weapons even if it had them and decided to risk suicide.

In the kind of urban warfare now going on in Syria, chemical weapons would have little use. Far more effective and deadly would be the thermobaric fuel air explosives employed by Russia, US, and Israel that rip apart the lungs of soldiers fighting from cover in ruined buildings or bunkers. Israel has the Mideast's largest arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.

Israel's military establishment and righwing parties have made no secret of their yearning for revenge against Hezbullah, which inflicted a sharp defeat on Israel's army in southern Lebanon in 2006. Nor have Israel's expansionist rightists given up the ambition of former leader Ariel Sharon (who remains alive but in deep coma) of turning Lebanon into an Israeli protectorate ruled by Maronite Christian rightists. And diverting southern Lebanon's water to Israel.

As fighting raged in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak disclosed that he had asked the military to prepare for a possible attack on targets in Syria to secure strategic weapons in the event the Asad regime collapses. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a similar threat to attack Syria.

Israeli officials also threatened to occupy what's left of Syria's Golan Heights to supposedly prevent them from turning into a "terrorist haven." Today, Israeli heavy artillery on Golan is only 30 km from Damascus.

Is Washington giving Israel a green light to attack Syria as a consolation prize for delaying an attack against Iran? Certainly, overthrowing the Asad government has become an obsession in Washington. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus, chant US neoconservatives and many bellicose Republicans.

Further raising the temperature, Turkey is threatening to occupy a heavily Kurdish chunk of northern Syria which it claims is being used to launch attacks into Turkey. Why Turkey is thinking about acquiring more rebellious Kurds when it can't handle its own remains unclear. But formerly neutral Turkey is getting more deeply involved each day in Syria, arming and supplying anti-Asad rebels and now rumbling about "security zones" on the border. Ankara's machinations in Syria threaten to undo the success of its previous "no problems" policy with its neighbors.

The US, France, Turkey and Israel have all finalized plans for attacking Syria. The biggest winner in such a scenario would be Israel, as it was in the US war against Iraq. Sending Syria into turmoil would eliminate the most important supporter of the Palestinians resistance, cut off Hezbullah, leave it vulnerable to a final assault, isolate Iran, and cement Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan Heights. your social media marketing partner


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+11 # RMDC 2012-07-28 16:07
Right. Israel is the most heavily armed nation in the middle east. It has used its banned weapons many times.

all of the so-called Arab Spring is designed to benefit Israel and Saudi Arabia -- the two worst regimes in the region.
-8 # RightForAReason 2012-07-29 06:09
If I lived next to neighbors who preached my extinction in their churches, I would be heavily armed also. Israel used what "banned weapons"? Did they send homicide bombers onto buses of innocents? Use crappy rockets that cannot be accurately targeted, so they fall anywhere, killing at random, purely a weapon of terror? Do you have ANY facts to back up such an accusation? And I'm sure Israel and Saudi Arabia sat down and organized the Arab Spring. Enjoy whatever Kool Aid you are drinking.
+5 # Activista 2012-07-29 13:13
Do you have ANY facts to back up Israeli propaganda?
" Israel used what "banned weapons"?:
Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza
Human Rights Watch report claims Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells ..
crappy rockets that cannot be accurately targeted, so they fall anywhere, killing at random, purely a weapon of terror?
Israel is using US made bombs "accurately targeted":
Israel killed over 1400 Palestinians (mostly civilians) - 420 CHILDREN - 9 Israelis died (no children) due to "crappy rockets"
and check map of shrinking Palestine ..
-2 # rockieball 2012-07-29 07:47
Our troops do the dirty work, we get the blame and the hate. A new USA is born out of these countries.
UNITED SAUDI ARABIA. when all done we will find out that they had a secret agreement with Israel to control the Middle East.
+10 # RMDC 2012-07-28 20:04
Syria has every right to defend itself from a war brought to it by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Most newspapers outside of the US are reporting the open presence of al Queda in Syria organizing the rebels or Free Syria Army. Isn't it ironic that the US can fight al Queda all over the world -- Kenya, Sudan, Yemen, North Africa -- but in Syria the US is arming and providing intelligence to al Queda.

American newspapers are pretty silent on the team up of the US and al queda in Syria. the US backed terrorists are causing a lot of damage and killing a lot of people, but they are losing. That only means the US and NATO will have to escalate the war very soon. Look for some use of "WMD" that NATO just have to invade to stop.
+3 # Activista 2012-07-28 20:49
"The US, France, Turkey and Israel have all finalized plans for attacking Syria" and IRAN.
America is bankrupted by militarism - and AIPAC money. Economic depression and war on Iran starts after election REGARDLESS of WHO is elected.
Ron Paul makes sense ...
Please listen and comment - get out from your ideological cocoon and THINK.
-4 # RightForAReason 2012-07-29 06:02
And anyone who thinks Iraq didn't have chemical weapons can talk to the Kurds or the Iranians, both recipients of Iraq's chemical weapon attacks. Syria probably has Saddam's left overs.
0 # Activista 2012-07-29 14:00
Iraq - chemical weapons can talk to the Kurds or the Iranians?
This was another war on IRAN - US and Saudi supporting Saddam/Iraq against Iran.
US AWACS were marking bombing targets in Tehran - US Chemical companies were supplying material for chemical weapons. Chemical weapons were used to stop Iranian offensive against oil fields/Kuwait financing Iraq aggression. Pentagon (US Powell) advising to Saddam in using chemical weapons ....
US/Saudi/Israel started the Iraq-Iran war - the same as today.
+2 # winson 2012-07-29 07:58
The left/right box is very dangerous. The neocons are traitors and so Is Obama. He has supported the powers that be at every turn. They all sleep in the same bed. Open your minds and find a leader who can see the manipulations, such as, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson.
+3 # AshamedAmerican 2012-07-29 10:32
Yes, Obama, the Clintons and leading Democrats are in the same bed as those in the ruling class' other party. This much should be obvious to anyone with an open mind.
+4 # Majikman 2012-07-29 14:39
While you're opening that mind, why not trace the cause of the shared linens? Any politician defying the will of AIPAC is DOA. Given the plethora of dual Us/Israeli citizenship politicians, top bureaucrats, and media the US is Israel's handmaiden. The PNAC was written by such people.
0 # stannadel 2012-07-31 03:38
Yes, the International Jewish Conspiracy rules the world-- phooey!
+2 # Activista 2012-07-29 13:18
Syria's WMD? By Eric Margolis, Eric is the most in depth, knowledgeable, objective media article on the internet today.
Compare to Iran/Syria war mass media propaganda and one sees how brainwashed we are ..
+4 # heraldmage 2012-07-29 13:59
It's time we demand our government stop funding terrorism. In Afghanistan & Pakistan al-Qaeda is our enemy & the reason for the invasion.
Under USA law it is illegal to fund or aid terrorist. Yet our government is supplying equipment, intelligence & funds to al-Qaeda in Syria, Libya and probably Iraq. Our government is required abide by our laws & to not do business with nation who support terrorist including our allies & NATO.
The Syrian people have the right to choose their leaders & type of government without outside interference even if our government doesn't agree with their decision. The Syrian people have voted to accept Assad's reform plan & under the plan they have had multi-party Parliamentary elections.
This conflict isn't about democracy it's about Israel wanting the Golan Heights the USA wanting to stag troops for invasion on Syrian soil. The majority of Syrians appose both.
It is up to us to tell our government to stop wasting our money & our children's lives disrupting governments of sovereign nation for the financial benefit of the USA military industrialist. They have posted record profits while our nation's poverty level, bankruptcy & foreclosure all increase significantly.
If human rights & democracy is important why are the world's worst abusers, Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, our allies? Where are the demands to stop murdering protesters & implement democratic changes?
Money's more important. Change is up to us.
0 # Activista 2012-07-29 20:19
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta (on a way to Israel) says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's assault on the city of Aleppo will be "a nail in his coffin".
I thought that it was Damascus last week after suicidal bombers attack government. Sure the rebel terrorists will declare another tactical withdraw (to Turkey) and declare the victory -

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