Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Quick thoughts on those Syrian Rebel Sarin Use Claims

This is doing the rounds at the mo; reports of the gassing atrocities in Syria being on the rebel side (and an accident when they tried to move a... well, what? A shell? A canister? A bottle?). Call me a Neo-con stooge but my instincts call bullshit on this one.

To effectively use chemical weapons you need a sustained barrage. Sure, the rebels could acquire sarin gas but they can't deliver it: they have no heavy artillery (and if they did Assad would have counter-artillerised it by now; tech the Syrian government DOES have). And, yes, they could set a canister off after placing it but that would be utterly inefficient compared to conventional (and cheaper and far more available) explosives. They, or their foreign backers, would know this.

Look at a well-known use of Sarin- the Japanese subway attacks back in the 90s. Killed thirteen people. In a contained space. How, then, does a single canister kill hundreds, possibly thousands, of people over square miles in the open air? And, why, (according to Medicin Sans Frontieres, a neutral source on the ground) were the majority of bodies in cellars? Doesn't that suggest they were hiding from a shelling? A sustained shelling from a distant military force possessing long range battery capability and the expertise to conduct the highly complex act of effective chemical attack?

Don't get me wrong, I'm still as pissed off about misty WMDs and Iraq as anyone, but we are allowing that to colour our judgement. Personally, all I've learned from this story is that the 'alternative online media'--which is all the rage right now, Greenwald etc--hate modern warfare so much (which is very laudable) that they can't even get to grips with how it even works (which is sloppy and should be called out now before it festers).

That is all. If anyone wants me I'll be on Fox News.


  1. Huh, I suppose you want to brink back Saddam Hussein. He's the new Hitler of online arguments now, it's official. Tell you friends.

    1. "Do you wanna cup of tea?" "No thanks" "Yes, I s'pose you'd prefer a horseshit sandwich wouldn't you? Typical leftie!!!"