Here we go again. Obama, not wanting to be outdone by George W. Bush, is jumping on the bandwagon decrying the mythical use of Syrian Chemical weapons, specifically Sarin. The Washington Post helped spread the propaganda yesterday (Wednesday, 5 December):

President Obama warned Syria on Monday that deploying chemical weapons is “totally unacceptable,” after what U.S. officials said were new intelligence reports that the Damascus government is preparing such munitions for possible use.

Obama told the government of President Bashar al-Assad that “there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable” if it used any part of its stockpile of chemical weapons, including sarin gas, the deadly nerve agent.

A U.S. intelligence official said “we have pretty good visibility” into Syria’s depots, and a second U.S. official said intelligence gathered in recent days has raised alarms. The second official said it was unclear whether the Assad government planned to move beyond the preparation stage to deploying the weapons.

What a crock of fetid feces!

Pat Lang weigh’s in with his take:

1 – The same two propagandists from WINEP and ISW are quoted as the main sources of this article as in so many other propaganda pieces on this theme and subject. These two fellows have no sources of information that they will admit to other than rebel “news” releases. The level of enthusiasm for this information campaign is so high in the idiot media that these two “experts'” opinions are now quoted as evidence.

2 – Both the president of the United States and the Secretary of State have taken to making speeches threatening Syria with unspecified “consequences” if chemical weapons are employed in the civil war. Syria states that it will not do so.

3- It seems that the United States will soon recognize a coalition of rebel groups as the government of Syria in spite of the presence in that coalition of AQ related groups who are self-declared enemies of the United States.

4- It is the policy of the United States to bring about complete governmental change in Syria. There is no UN sanction for such a policy.

Pat is spot on (as always). Chemical weapons are first and foremost area weapons employed against massed forces. Such weapons, despite the Hollywood scare associated with them, are not terribly effective as a strategic weapon. We saw that first hand in the Iran Iraq War in the 80s.

First there is the problem of delivery. Those weapons must be delivered in massive quantity. It can be done via aerial bombardment or artillery. But we’re not talking one or two bombs. It must be several and must saturate an area. Then there is the issue of weather. Is the wind blowing? Which direction? Is there rain? Weather is unpredictable, which makes the effective delivery very difficult. When the Japanese tested these type of weapons in World War II their troops spent more time running from the cloud of gas they launched than pressing an attack. Even the Japs realized it was not very useful.

It is one thing to drop these weapons on a battlefield where the opposing sides are dug in–trench warfare. At least you have a captive audience and an open field. But in a city? As wind moves through a city, which has ten story buildings, the dispersal of the chemical is very unpredictable. The biggest effect is psychological.

Finally, there is the matter of target. The Syrian rebels are not organized in battalions and regiments. They are not moving en masse. Using chemical weapons on isolated pockets of rebels who can easily flee once an attack starts. Chemical weapons are essentially useless against rebel forces. They can be used to disrupt an invading force, but that’s not the situation in Syria.

The Obama Administration appears hell bent on ousting Assad. And replace him with what? The effective fighting force among the rebels are Sunni jihadists with direct ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq. This is insanity. If Assad goes are we so naive to believe that the jihadists will lay down their weapons and agree to a democratic solution? Yes, Obama is that goddamned naive. What is shocking is that Hillary is signed on to this madness as well.

We already see the results of our “success” in helping oust Mubarak in Egypt. Ditto Libya. We are helping create more instability rather than order. The mindless saber rattling of Panetta and Clinton vowing that the chemical weapons are a redline that we will not tolerate is idiotic. Are they really ready to commit more US troops to a new war in Syria? Do they really believe we can put troops into that country and the folks will come out with flowers and wine to welcome us? We have been down this road once before in Iraq–a trumped up invasion based on a lie.

Looks like Obama wants his own bite at that poison apple. Bon appetit.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.