Stepping up to the “red line”

| December 6, 2012

NBC News says that officials in the Obama Administration are admitting that Syria has loaded the precursor for their sarin gas weapons and they’re preparing to use it on rebels there. But, luckily, we have Hillary Clinton’s mouth on our side to warn the Syrians that they’re about to cross a “red line”. No, I don’t know what that means, either;

U.S. officials stressed that as of now, the sarin bombs hadn’t been loaded onto planes and that Assad hadn’t issued a final order to use them. But if he does, one of the officials said, “there’s little the outside world can do to stop it.”


Speaking Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Clinton said the Syrian government was on the brink of collapse, raising the prospect that “an increasingly desperate Assad regime” might turn to chemical weapons or that the banned weapons could fall into other hands.

Well, the western world is clearly to blame because it took them this long to recognize the problem. And we had people from our own government who gave Assad the confidence to think he could remain in power with their support. Remember? Back during the Bush Administration? Some folks said he was wrong to isolate Assad, so they took it upon themselves to hug up to Assad. If you forgot, here’s a reminder;

Assad allowed Hussein to move his weapons of mass destruction into Syria, like Iran had allowed him to hide his air force a decade before. Assad did nothing to prevent support for insurgents from entering Iraq from Syria. And we should have dealt with the problem then. Now we’re staring down the barrel of chemical weapons used against a civilian population with nothing we can do to stop it. I guess we missed our opportunity to destroy the stockpile of weapons when those weapons were inert.

And the Pentagon’s solution is 75,000 troops. MOPP 4 sucks, take my word for it, those of you who missed that training in the good old days of the Cold War and the initial invasion of Iraq in 1991.

So I guess this Arab Spring shit just got serious.

ADDED: For those of you who think that Syria’s WMDs didn’t come from Iraq.

Category: Terror War

Comments (55)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    @51, I agree with your last sentence. The lights are on in DC but nobody’s home.

    But to answer your question, it mattered less at the time. The report that came out of C-SPAN, which broadcast 24 hours a day for a while, was that getting rid of the means of delivery was more important, because the contaminant materials like yellowcake and chemistry for making chem weapons were not to be found anywhere. There were also reports that Saddam Hussein had hired a British engineering team to build a bunker for him in Baghdad, but no one could figure out where it was.

    As to why it actually mattered less to track down the raw materials, you got me. I have no idea.

    There was that hellfire attack (not the missiles, the action) on Saddam’s troops running back to Iraq from Kuwait, where they were literally blown to smithereens. There was the fire-bombing of Kuwait’s oil wells by Saddam’s troops as they ran back home. There was a video of Iraqi conscripts, not members of the elitist Imperial Brigade, who surrendered to American troops because they were freezing, dehydrated and starving to death in the desert, and when they returned home, they were executed by firing squads or by hanging. All of that distraction gave Saddam plenty of time to send his toys and their parts elsewhere.

  2. Hondo says:

    Ex-PH2: Bull’s gun was merely one of several WMD delivery systems Hussein already possessed. As you noted, SCUDs were another. As were fixed-wing aircraft – well, until day 2 or 3 of the air war, anyway (smile).

    Had Hussein wanted to, he could easily have loaded chem or bio weapons onto a SCUDs and fired them at either coalition forces or Israel. I have my own theory as to why he didn’t, and does involve a nuclear WMD program or two – just not Iraq’s. (smile)

    And the casualty count on the “Highway of Death” was later determined to have been vastly overestimated at the time. The vast majority of the vehicles destroyed there appeared to have been abandoned before they were struck.

  3. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @51. You ask good questions and I think that the answer may be the sure death of noncombatants. Yes, there is a chance, sometimes a near certainty, that noncombatants will be killed in the use of hot metal and concussive weapons but gas can’t be specifically targeted or confined and noncombatant gas deaths are certain. Hell, I don’t know, I’m just throwing it out there.

  4. streetsweeper says:

    I believe a need exists for people to separate or differentiate between two, very distinct weapons. Yes, before anybody looks down their nose, both weapons bring death one in a hyper-flash and the other via gas cloud. It is like the difference between a Volkswagon and a Mac Truck, each is designed for a specific purpose and not a fits all.

    And so, we have China, Russia, Germany and France plus a couple other nefarious misfits in bed with Saddam. The man that designs his delivery systems gets whacked in 1990. It is obvious that he knows way more than Saddam or either of his boys and are not willing too risk him being captured.

    Makes sense, next Saddam’s air farce gets a free pass into Iran when US forces start after him, so it makes sense that hey, lets move our nuclear stuff there all the while operating under the guise of being enemies. That has to be how Iran has been able to build up their nuclear program as fast as they are.

    On the other hand, China, Russia, Germany and France getting to toss their hands in the air, are able to maintain massive distance and look innocent.