Syria has been slowly but steadily spinning further and further into its own special darkness and that process is once again picking up speed. There have been reports from the United States and allies accusing the Assad forces of preparing chemical weapons by mixing the precursor elements to produce Sarin nerve agent. At the same time we have been informed by the Assad regime that some group of the rebel forces have captured a chlorine factory on the outskirts of Aleppo and now have the ability to use the chlorine gas as a chemical agent themselves. Both sides are pointing fingers while professing their sworn promises to never use such weapons on their fellow Syrians. With the trading of accusations we can expect that should either side resort to using the chemical weapons at their disposal that the ensuing accusations and counter accusations would only serve to muddy the waters. So, when the accusations are flying how are we to separate the excuses from the pure lies?
Fortunately, we will easily be able to differentiate between chlorine gas and Sarin nerve agent simply by viewing the victims. The aftermath of a Chlorine gas attack will produce badly burned bodies from severe chemical burns with the bodies having a blackened appearance. Victims of a Sarin nerve agent attack will reveal bodies rigidly contorted appearing to have been bent backwards. What will be more difficult is if the source is determined to have been chlorine or mustard gas then we will still not know for sure who was behind using this banned weaponized gas but should Sarin nerve agent be used we will know with relative certainty that it was deployed by Assad’s forces. One of the problems with determining who was behind a Chlorine or Mustard gas strike is that both sides currently have such weapons or their precursor elements within their arsenals. The fact that the Rebel forces are a fractured array of groups with at least two major factions, even if such a strike is determined to have been perpetrated by the rebels we still would not know which group.
What makes all of this even more complicated is the seemingly sudden realization that some of the rebel forces are also members of terrorist groups which the United States opposes or is actively fighting on other battlefields. President Assad’s claims that he is fighting against terrorists is not entirely propaganda or an excuse though it is not sufficient to explain all of the actions and civilian deaths and casualties from his soldiers’ actions. One still had to be at least somewhat suspicious that the United States and their allies have only recently become aware that some of those rebels forces in Syria and, surprise, surprise, also in Libya are actually members of terrorist organizations. We made that prediction immediately after it was announced that NATO forces were to enforce a “No Fly Zone” in Libya almost two years ago. We stated that Muammar Gaddafi was not entirely incorrect when he claimed that he was simply defending Libya and the Libyans from terrorist bands that were posing as rebels. For those who will want to read the actual article, it is titled <a href=http://beyondthecusp.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/our-new-friends-and-allies-in-libya-and-the-muslim-world/ target=blank> Our New Friends and Allies in Libya and the Muslim World</a> and it is right there in the second paragraph back on April 2, 2011. The shocked and surprised act from those responsible for supplying advanced weapons falling into the hands of terrorists is a little beyond belief, especially since their shock seems eerily similar to Attorney Eric Holder’s initial reactions to the Fast and Furious fiasco. Either the United States foreign policy is in the hands of fools or it is in the hands of people who may not be as interested in the future of the United States as some would claim or prefer. The fact that the rebel forces behind all of the uprisings of the Arab Winter, we still refuse to call it the Arab Spring, have just recently become something suspected as possible is beyond credulity for even the most trusting of thinking individuals, but still the mainstream press will echo the shock and simply nod in agreement like a bobble head in the window of a car on a cobblestone street.
Beyond the Cusp