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Israel stockpiled chemical weapons decades ago – CIA document

RT | September 11, 2013

Israel is believed to have secretly built up its own stockpile of chemical and biological weapons decades ago, reports Foreign Policy, citing a recently unearthed CIA document.

American surveillance satellites uncovered in 1982 “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert,” states the secret 1983 CIA intelligence estimate obtained by Foreign Policy (FP). “Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry,” the document adds.

According to FP, US intelligence agencies are almost certain that Israel possesses a stockpile of nuclear weapons that the Middle Eastern country developed in the 1960s and 1970s as part of its defense against a possible attack from Arab neighbors.

The FP report is based on a page from a secret, Sept. 15, 1983, CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate entitled “Implications of Soviet Use of Chemical and Toxin Weapons for US Security Interests.” Part of the document was released in 2009 in the National Archives, but the piece on Israel was extracted from that version.

For years, arms control analysts have speculated that Israel built up a range of chemical and biological weapons to complement its alleged nuclear arsenal.

Experts’ attention, in particular, was focused on the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) at Ness Ziona, located 20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. The highly-classified research center operated and funded by the Israel Ministry of Defense is alleged to be a military facility manufacturing chemical and biological weapons.  The IIBR was allegedly involved in several “accidents.” In one of them, according to the British Foreign Report in 1998, authorities were close to ordering evacuation of homes in the area before scientists discovered there was no threat to the population.

However, to date not much evidence has been published about Israel possessing chemical or nuclear weapons. The newly-discovered CIA memo may be the strongest indication yet, FP writes.

“While we cannot confirm whether the Israelis possess lethal chemical agents,” the CIA document is quoted as saying, “several indicators lead us to believe that they have available to them at least persistent and non-persistent nerve agents, a mustard agent, and several riot-control agents, marched with suitable delivery systems.”

image from http://www.foreignpolicy.comimage from http://www.foreignpolicy.com

The “non-persistent agent” mentioned in the secret document was likely sarin – a nerve gas that was allegedly used in the August 21 chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, FP writes. The US blamed the Syrian government for the attack and threatened to launch a military strike in response.

The 1983 CIA memo reveals that US intelligence was aware of Israeli alleged chemical weapons-testing activities since the early 1970s – when they learned from intelligence sources about the existence of chemical weapons testing grounds. It is almost certain that these test areas were located in Negev Desert, in southern Israel, FP writes.

Israel stepped up its research and development work on chemical weapons following the end of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, according to the CIA document. The war began when Egypt and Syria launched a joint surprise attack against Israel as the nation was celebrating Yom Kippur – the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar.

“Israel, finding itself surrounded by frontline Arab states with budding CW capabilities, became increasingly conscious of its vulnerability to chemical attack,” the document says. “Its sensitivities were galvanized by the capture of large quantities of Soviet CW-related equipment during both the 1967 Arab-Israeli and the 1973 Yom Kippur wars. As a result, Israel undertook a program of chemical warfare preparations in both offensive and protective areas.”

The report also claims that in January 1976, American intelligence detected “possible tests” of Israeli chemical weapons very likely to have taken place in the Negev Desert. FP cites a former US Air Force intelligence officer, who told the magazine that the National Security Agency intercepted communications indicating that Israeli air force fighter-bombers carried out a simulated low-level chemical weapons delivery missions at a bombing range in the Negev.

1NIE on Israeli Chemical Weapons

It is unknown whether Israel still keeps its alleged stockpile of chemical weapons. In 1992, the Israeli government signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws such arms. Crucially, however,  Israel has not ratified the agreement.

The author of the FP article claims that after a search on Google Maps, he found what he believes to be “the location of the Israeli nerve agent production facility and its associated chemical weapons storage area” in the Negev Desert east of the village of al-Kilab, about 10 miles west of the city of Dimona.

The Israeli embassy in Washington did not respond to FP’s requests to comment on the article.

The CIA document emerged as the US mulls over a possible “limited” military strike against the Syrian regime that President Barack Obama was pushing for following the chemical weapons attack last month.

On Tuesday, Obama the urged the US Congress to postpone a vote to authorize military action, and said he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the ongoing Syrian war. Obama cited the Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control among the reasons for the delay. Damascus has this week agreed to hand over its chemical weapons to international supervisors, and to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Obama’s Humiliating Defeat

By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report | September 11, 2013

It was a strange speech, in which the real news was left for last, popping out like a Jack-in-the-Box after 11 minutes of growls and snarls and Obama’s bizarre whining about how unfair it is to be restrained from making war on people who have done you no harm. The president abruptly switched from absurd, lie-based justifications for war to his surprise announcement that, no, Syria’s turn to endure Shock and Awe had been postponed. The reader suddenly realizes that the diplomatic developments had been hastily cut and pasted into the speech, probably only hours before. Obama had intended to build the case for smashing Assad to an imperial peroration – a laying down of the law from on high. But his handlers threw in the towel, for reasons both foreign and domestic. Temporarily defeated, Obama will be back on the Syria warpath as soon as the proper false flag operations can be arranged.

The president’s roiling emotions, visible through his eyes, got in the way of his oratorical skills. But then, he didn’t have much material to work with, just an endless string of prevarications and half-truths strung almost randomly together. Obama, who was reluctantly asking permission from Congress to violate the most fundamental tenets of international law – permission that Congress is not empowered to give – framed Syria as a rogue nation because it has not signed a treaty on chemical weapons like “98 percent of humanity.” This makes Syria ripe for bombing. The president does not explain that Syria’s neighbors, Israel and Egypt – both U.S. allies – have also not signed the treaty. He does not suggest bombing Tel Aviv or Cairo.

Obama claims that the U.S. has proof that “Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.” Not a shred of evidence has been presented to back up this narrative – which, under the circumstances, tends to prove it is fiction. On the other hand, there are credible reports (everybody’s reports are more credible than the Americans), that rebels under U.S. allied control were told to prepare to go on the offensive following an American retaliation to a chemical attack that would be blamed on Assad’s forces – a story whose logic conforms to what actually occurred and answers the common sense question, Who profits?

Obama will not for long accept diplomatic delays in his war schedule. On Tuesday night, he was already priming the public to accept Assad’s guilt the next time chemical weapons explode in Syria. “If we fail to act,” said the president, “the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons.” American and allied secret services will gladly arrange a replay.

Early in the speech, Obama raised the specter that, because of Assad’s mad chemical predilections, “our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield.” Moreover, “If fighting spills beyond Syria’s borders, these weapons could threaten allies like Turkey, Jordan and Israel.” At this point, the president was arguing for a punitive strike, and had taken on the persona of warlike Obama.

Near the end of the speech, Obama responds to those who want Assad “taken out” right away and permanently, rather than merely “degrading” his forces with calibrated strikes. Now speaking as the “moderate” Obama, the president makes the case that Assad has no “interest in escalation that would lead to his demise, and our ally, Israel, can defend itself with overwhelming force.”

The two Obamas are matched with two corresponding Assads. One Assad is a menace to the whole neighborhood and to himself, while the other Assad knows who to mess with and takes no risks with his own survival.

It would seem logical that the latter Assad, who is not prone to suicidal actions, would not launch a chemical attack just a few miles away from United Nations inspectors that had just arrived in the country at his government’s request.

The point here is not to argue with Obama’s logic, but to show how inconsistent, opportunistic and, at times, incoherent his reasoning is. He has not the slightest interest in truth or simple logic, only in what sounds right in the immediate context. Obama mixes his personas, and those of his nemesis, at the drop of a hat, because he is shameless and absolutely cynical – as befits a mass murderer.

Barack Obama pretends to believe – at least I hope he’s only pretending – that it was his idea to wait for a congressional debate before blasting Syria to smithereens. “So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security to take this debate to Congress.” He didn’t take the debate to Congress; the congressional detour was forced on the White House on August 31 when it became clear that Obama lacked both domestic and foreign support for a speedy strike. That was Obama’s first big defeat. The second was a knockout, after Russia and Syria seized on Secretary of State John Kerry’s “joke” about Assad giving up his chemical weapons, at which point Obama’s handlers advised him that his political position was, for the time being, untenable. He arrived in front of the cameras shaken, angry, and humiliated – with a patched together script and a mouth full of crow.

The president who claimed that he could bomb the sovereign nation of Libya for seven months, overthrow its government and kill its president, without triggering the War Powers Act – and, further, that no state of war exists unless Americans are killed – told his Tuesday night audience that he opposes excessive presidential power. “This is especially true,” said Obama, with a straight face, “after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president and more and more burdens on the shoulders of our troops, while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.”

In truth, it was the likelihood of rejection by American “people’s representatives” – just as British Prime Minister Cameron’s war plans were rejected by Parliament – that derailed Obama.

It took more than 1,500 words before Obama acknowledged the existence of the real world, in which he was compelled to “postpone” a congressional vote on the use of force while the U.S., Russia, China, France and Britain work on a UN resolution “requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control.” Syria has already agreed to the arrangement, in principle. Obama must bear, not only the bitter burden of defeat, but the humiliation of having to pretend that the UN route was his idea, all along.

Expect him back on the war track in no time flat. What else is an imperialist to do?

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Israel bars entry of Polish humanitarian worker, halts irrigation project

Al-Akhbar | September 11, 2013

Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a decision to bar entry to the Jewish state to a Polish humanitarian worker for having unspecified links to “terrorist elements”.

Although Kamil Qandil had a valid visa when he landed at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on September 2, he was refused entry by immigration officials and held at the airport as he filed an appeal.

Upholding the ban, Chief Justice Asher Grunis cited “new material which points to the appellant having contacts with terrorist elements, which was not known at the time when he was granted the visa,” without elaborating.

“I have done nothing which could have harmed the state of Israel,” Qandil, who has a Palestinian father and Polish mother, told the court during the hearing. Grunis responded that he was “perhaps not aware of his actions.”

Part of the hearing was held in the presence only of the judges and agents of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service.

“The hearing today and the court’s verdict did little to clear the mystery about the allegations against Kamil,” his lawyer, Yadin Elam, told reporters.

The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), which groups more than 80 organizations, said Qandil was detained on arrival to work on a project to supply water to Palestinians in a part of the southern West Bank under full Israeli control.

“He said that the biggest losers would be the villagers of the south Hebron hills where the project is located and…the Polish taxpayers who fund it,” a relative told AFP.

AIDA said PHA was seeking to refurbish rainwater cisterns on which Palestinian farmers depend for irrigation. Israel has demolished several refurbished cisterns, triggering a diplomatic response from Warsaw, AIDA said.

Shin Bet told Haaretz newspaper on Monday that Qandil was refused entry “due to security information that exists about him.”

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another War for Israel — Featuring America’s Newest Allies: al Qaida

Anthony Lawson · September 11, 2013

Those wonderful people who brought you The Big Mac, Mom’s apple Pie, Burger King and Kentucky Fried People are at it again. And all because Binyamin Netanyahu was able to tell his partner in war crimes, just what he needed to hear: The absolutely, without question, no doubt at all genuine, 100% verifiably true information, obtained by the Israeli Mossad (Motto: By Way Of Deception, Thou Shalt Do War) that Bashar al Assad was guilty of gassing his own people, in a situation where the Syrian leader knew that the United States navy was poised on his own doorstep to take action if he did anything so stupid as to gas his own people while the United States navy was poised on his own doorstep.

Also, compelling circumstantial evidence that Israel may well have been complicit in the 9/11 attacks on the United States and that seven Middle Eastern countries were on America’s hit list long before 9/11.

Excerpts from:
Gen. Wesley Clark, Democracy Now! interview, 2007
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSL3Jq…

Friends of Israel — Enemies Inside the Gates
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Untixe…

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Reason The NSA Needs To Go: It’s Been Doing What It Explicitly Was Told Not To Do

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | September 10, 2013

One of the key things that people quickly realized after last week’s revelation about the NSA putting backdoors into encryption, was that this was exactly what the federal government had tried to do with the Clipper Chip back in the 90s, and after a public debate, it was rejected. The battle over the Clipper Chip was one of the key legal/tech battles of the 1990s.

And then the NSA went and did it anyway.

Jack Shafer, over at Reuters, points out that there’s this pattern of the NSA not taking no for an answer, discussing the attempts to stop PGP and also the infamous Total Information Awareness program:

Zimmerman and his allies eventually won the PGP showdown, as did privacy advocates in the mid-1990s, defeating the government’s proposal for the “Clipper chip,” which would allow easy surveillance of telephone and computer systems, and again after 9/11, when Congress cut funding for the Defense Department office in charge of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, a massive surveillance database containing oceans of vital information about everybody in the United States.

But the journalistic record proves we can’t trust government’s white flag of surrender. In the case of TIA, the government abandoned the program’s name but preserved the operation, as Shane Harris and others reported seven years ago, giving it new code names and concealing it in places like the NSA. The documents Snowden stole from the NSA show the government capturing and analyzing much of what TIA sought in the first place.

Basically, this suggests that even if the NSA is told to stop doing the various things it’s doing, it’s only a matter of time until they do them anyway. One response to this — which many are taking seriously — is to look into re-architecting the internet to see what can be built, ground-up with security in mind, specifically making sure that the NSA can’t weasel its way in.

But there’s a separate issue as well. How do we stop basic government overreach after it’s been made clear that they don’t have a mandate to do what they’re doing? Yes, government officials and NSA defenders like to pretend that they did have a mandate here, and will point to the FISA Court or other aspects to argue that it’s perfectly fine — but when they’re explicitly doing exactly what they were denied a decade or more ago, those arguments ring hollow. But, if they’re allowed to get away with it, without any response, then they’ll never stop. No matter what they’re told not to do, they’ll just keep doing anyway, because what’s the worst that happens? People complain about it?

So it seems that there needs to be a very different system in place — on that involves real oversight, not the pathetic joke that is the Intelligence Committees of both houses of Congress and the FISA Court. And, frankly, it should be over a new organization. It seems clear at this point that you can’t reform the NSA. It’s rotten to its core. Yes, signals intelligence and other intelligence activities can be important and necessary, but it really seems like we need to breakup the NSA, and restructure the whole thing such that it can be built in a manner where there’s actual oversight, rather than having it do whatever it wants and pretending everything is fine any time anyone accuses them of anything.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Americans “Rethinking” 9/11?

Ben Swann · September 10, 2013

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment

UN Asks for NSA Help in Reopening Investigation of 1961 Death of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | September 11, 2013

Suspicion has lasted for decades over the mysterious crash of the plane carrying the United Nations’ top official more than 50 years ago. A new investigation of the accident says evidence may exist that could prove the aircraft was shot down, and that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) could possess some of this evidence.

In September 1961, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld set out to visit the war-torn Congo to help broker peace between the country’s Soviet-backed government and rebels supported by former colonial power Belgium and Western mining interests.

But the Swedish-born diplomat’s plane never reached its destination of Ndola. It crashed on September 18 into a forest in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.

An initial investigation cited pilot error as the cause of the accident, a conclusion rubber stamped by subsequent probes. But many observers suspected foul play.

Now, an international panel of retired judges looking into the incident has recommended that the UN reopen its investigation.

The Hammarskjöld Commission said it had uncovered new findings, and that the NSA might hold crucial evidence supporting the theory that the plane was shot down.

The judges claim a Belgian pilot confessed to firing on the DC6 carrying Hammarskjöld. Additionally, recently interviewed eyewitnesses claim to have seen other aircraft approaching the CD6 and firing on it. A similar account was given by the lone survivor of the crash, an American whose death in a local hospital also raised questions.

In her 2011 book, Who Killed Hammarskjöld?, British academic Susan Williams argues that British authorities covered up Harrarskjöld’s assassination by hardline Belgian colonialists who were angered over UN support for the Congolese government.

Swedish investigator Göran Björkdahl has no doubt the diplomat was murdered. “It’s clear there were a lot of circumstances pointing to possible involvement by western powers,” he told The Guardian. “The motive was there – the threat to the west’s interests in Congo’s huge mineral deposits.”

Because the NSA has long been known to monitor worldwide communications, the agency may have a copy of the radio traffic from September 18-19 that could shed light on what transpired.

“It is a near certainty not only that Ndola’s radio traffic was being monitored routinely by the NSA from Cyprus or elsewhere, but that one or both of the large USAF [United States Air Force] aircraft which had been flown in to Ndola on the crucial night and were parked throughout on the tarmac were there for the specific purpose of monitoring the local radio traffic,” the commission wrote in its report.

To date, the NSA has refused to turn over any documents or recordings sought by the commission, which tried to use the U.S. government’s Freedom of Information Act to request the materials.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli government closes case of killing of unarmed protester; cites ‘lack of evidence’

bassam_abu_rahme_3 Bassem Abu Rahme flying a kite (image from palestinechronicle)
B’Tselem – September 10, 2013

Four and a half years have passed since the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh by a tear gas canister fired at him directly from a short range. The death was documented by three video angles, but the Israeli state announced Monday it is closing the case citing lack of evidence

Military Advocate General (MAG) Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni decided to close the case file in the investigation of the circumstances of the killing of Bil’in resident Bassem Abu Rahmeh, citing lack of evidence. The MAG made this decision in late July, and it was recently conveyed to the Israeli High Court of Justice as part of an updating statement by the Office of the State Attorney in a petition filed by Subhiya Abu Rahmeh, Bassem’s mother, together with Bil’in Village Council and Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din.

According to the statement signed by Senior Deputy at the Office of the State Attorney, Att. Michal Michlin-Friedlander, and Assistant to the State Attorney, Att. Udi Eitan, also former Deputy State Attorney Yehoshua Lemberger had reached the same conclusion.

30-year-old Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a resident of the village of Bil’in, whose story was told in the film “Five Broken Cameras” nominated for Best Foreign Film in the Academy Awards, was killed in April 2009 after he was struck in the chest by an extended-range tear gas grenade during a demonstration against the Separation Barrier in his home village of Bil’in. Three video segments filmed during the demonstration prove that Abu Rahmeh was situated to the east of the barrier, did not act violently, and did not endanger the soldiers in any way. An analysis of the video footage of the incident, by visualization experts determined that the grenade was fired directly at Abu Rahmeh, in complete contravention of open-fire regulations.

In its response, the state did not explain the rationale behind its decision, limiting itself to the following laconic wording: “There is not enough evidence needed for criminal proceedings for adopting legal measures against any of the soldiers involved in the incident.” No information was given regarding the findings of the investigation, which the state argued had included “comprehensive and rigorous investigative actions,” or about the versions provided by the soldiers who had been questioned. Neither did the statement provide the contents of the opinions given by experts of the Israeli military and police and their interpretation of the findings disclosed by the video footage.

Ever since Bassem Abu Rahmeh was killed, his family – aided by NGOs Yesh Din and B’Tselem – has been continuously striving to have the truth of the incident brought to light and to have those responsible for their son’s death prosecuted. Their efforts have been repeatedly thwarted by the sluggish conduct of the MAG Corps. Due to the initial refusal by the MAG at the time to launch a Military Police investigation, the investigation was opened a year and half later than it should have. The foot-dragging and procrastination in the case have continued even once the investigation was launched over three years ago. Only a petition to the High Court of Justice finally brought about a decision in the case.

In response to the statement submitted by Office of the State Attorney, Att. Emily Schaeffer of Yesh Din’s legal team said: “The decision to close the file in the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh is unacceptable, particularly in view of the expert opinion that determined that the tear-gas grenade was fired directly at Abu Rahmeh from a close range. Despite three separate videos that recorded the killing of Bassem, the MP and police have failed to find the factors that caused the death of an unarmed demonstrator. The conduct of law enforcement bodies in this case is further proof of the feebleness of the authorities in cases of Palestinian casualties. Moreover, it seems that there might be no intention of finding out the truth or prosecuting the offenders even in extreme cases such as this, in which there is clear-cut and unambiguous evidence. Bassem’s family, together with B’Tselem and Yesh Din, will continue in its struggle to bring the parties responsible for his death to justice.”

Att. Yael Stein, Director of Research at B’Tselem, said in response: “The unbearable procrastination taken by the authorities in this case, and the fact that the MAG only made a decision due to a High Court Petition, once again demonstrate that the MAG Corps must adopt the recommendations of the Turkel Commission without delay. This includes determining a pre-defined schedule for each stage of the investigation, and ensuring that each stage is brief. Also, the statements made by investigative bodies about their decisions must include the reasoning underlying the decision so as to enable lodging effective appeals.”

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Questions on Syria’s Chemical Weapons disarmament

By Dr. Kaveh L. Afrasiabi | Press TV | September 11, 2013

Citing a “potential positive development” in the Russian proposal regarding Syrian chemical weapons stockpile, US President Barack Obama has put a temporary break on the express train of war on Syria and, simultaneously, accelerated the White House push for a congressional authorization for a military strike.

This new development, following a purportedly off-the-cuff press statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry, has been viewed as a potential game-changer that may result in a win-win scenario, whereby Obama can safeguard his reputation, heal the rifts with Moscow, avoid another US entanglement in Middle East conflicts, and simultaneously declare victory by resorting to “credible military threat,” an important consideration given the close links with the US’s Iran policy (of nuclear containment).

The Russian proposal, put forth by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, has two skeletal components respecting the international supervision and monitoring the Syrian chemical stockpile and the provisions for the destruction of that stockpile, yet to be fleshed out. The Syrian foreign minister has welcomed this initiative and so has UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who has warned that a unilateral US strike without the UN authorization would be illegal. Iran’s initial reaction has been positive as well, in the light of a statement by the Foreign Ministry spokesperson articulating the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In turn, a number of important questions have been raised as a result of this new development. First, how feasible and practical is the idea of international supervision of the chemical weapons stockpile in the present context of warfare in Syria? The likelihood of danger to the inspectors being relatively great, will they need to be accompanied by an international force and, if so, is the UN willing to risk its peacekeepers in a war zone?

Second, although the international community is correct to push Syria to join the Protocol on Chemical Weapons and to disarm, such a decision cannot be taken in the vacuum of regional realities, above all the fact that historically these weapons have served a deterrent purpose for the Syrian regime vis-à-vis Israel, which has reportedly amassed a huge arsenal of chemical weapons over the years; a recent CIA document confirms this by referring to Israel’s “nerve gas facilities” which went into production decades ago. Indeed, the deterrent value of Damascus’ chemical weapons capability have been demonstrated in the current crisis, whereby Israel has been forced to take several drastic steps such as mass distribution of masks, early installation of Iron Dome defense shield, etc.

Henceforth, Syrian disarmament without a parallel disarmament of the Israeli stockpile would, in strictly military terms, shift the balance in Israel’s favor. Therefore, it is important to explore the short and long-term implications of Syrian disarmament with respect to the long-standing territorial dispute between Syria and Israel. Perhaps Israel should pledge to refrain from the use of chemical weapons against Syria as a part and parcel of the Syrian disarmament agreement.

Third, what happens if the Syrian regime disarms but the rebels, who are reportedly in possession of chemical weapons, do not and resort to these weapons? The threat of chemical weapons by the Syrian rebels has so far been completely overlooked by the White House and, yet, must be taken into consideration in any agreement on Syrian disarmament. In other words, a total disarmament covering the rebels as well as the government, irrespective of the difficulties with respect to the leading rebel groups, which have known Al-Qaeda ties. In principle, this is the right approach that would not discriminate toward any group suspected of possessing and or using the ghastly weapons.

Fourth, a complicating factor is the role of certain regional states that support the rebels and may not consent to any such deal, which raises the question what happens if these sates are not brought on board the agreement on Syrian chemical weapons disarmament? The US should push for explicit and unequivocal endorsement of the plan by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Persian Gulf Cooperation Council member states.

Finally, the two issues of supervision and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons stockpile should not be conflated, and a preliminary investigation of the merits of the former without the necessity of the latter should be conducted. Given the stated concern of Obama and other Western leaders regarding the future use of chemical weapons, the stationing of international monitors on the ground will go a long way in terms of confidence-building that the regime will not use them. This more moderate approach is far more realistic than the issue of “control” that raises serious practical difficulties, such as interfering in the Syrian system of military “command and control.”

For now, however, a glimmer of hope against a US strike on Syria has sparked on the horizon that may not be long-lasting, if the disarmament issue is used by the White House to acquire a “yes” vote on the war power authorization and then attack Syria with the excuse that it has skirted its disarmament obligation.

Theoretically, it is now easier for Obama to lobby the US Congress, by nuancing the pitch in the name of the noble objective of chemical weapons disarmament. In that case, the potential breakthrough in the Russia disarmament proposal may only serve the ultimate US’s war aims which have been partly checked, ironically, by Syrian chemical weapons threats to Israel. By removing these weapons, the imminent threat of US strike may be put to rest and, yet, the paradoxical effect is likely to be a weakened Syria more vulnerable to foreign threats and pressures. In a word, a war-saving proposal adversely affecting Syrian national security interests may be an invitation to war in the future.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Offers No Evidence Assad was Behind Poison Gas Attack in Damascus

By Dave Lindorff | This Can’t be Happening | September 10, 2013

In what NPR called “perhaps President Obama’s last best chance” to make his case for launching a war against Syria, the president tellingly didn’t make a single effort to present hard, compelling evidence to prove that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had been behind the alleged Sarin Aug. 21 attack on residents of a suburb of Damascus.

Not one piece of evidence.

Instead, he continued the talking point of the past week, focussing on the admitted horror of seeing young children “writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor.”

Given that two thirds of Americans, according to polls, do not want the US to unilaterally attack Syria, and really do not want yet another war in the Middle East, it is truly amazing that the president didn’t try to make the case, at least, that Assad was the guilty party. He simply stated, as was done in the two-page propaganda article posted on the White House website, that “We know the Assad regime was responsible” for the gas attack.

Except that we don’t. As I have written (but as the corporate media have blacked out throughout this latest crisis), a group of 12 veteran intelligence officers has written to the president telling him that the intelligence does not point to Assad, but to the rebel forces as the source of the gas attack.

What Obama did instead was try to make a case that attacking Syria to punish the government for its unproven use of gas against its own people was a matter of US national security.

Here he pulled out an even more far-fetched version of the old “domino theory” than even Lyndon Johnson’s and John F. Kennedy’s crew came up with to justify the Vietnam War.

If the US didn’t act against Syria, the president intoned darkly, Assad might eventually feel confident enough to use poison gas against neighboring Turkey, Jordan or Israel. And “other tyrants” around the world, he went on, might decide, if the US didn’t respond in Syria, to stockpile poison gas weapons that might “over time” be used against American soldiers. Even worse, he warned, Iran might decide, if the US failed to bomb Syria for its alleged gas use, that it would be safe developing those nuclear weapons that the US insists Iran wants to build.

There is, in short, no limit to the horrors that could be visited on the world if the US isn’t ready to bomb the crap out of Syria, according to President Obama.

And just to close the deal regarding Syria’s existential threat to America, the president said that we needed to bomb Assad’s forces in order “to make our children safer in the long run.”

Talk about a stretch!

Oddly, he at another point belittled the idea of any threat posed by Syria, saying that “the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military.”

There was another striking omission in this address. The president initially declared gravely that Assad’s regime, in using poison gas weapons, had “violated the laws of war.”

And yet he surely knows, as a Constitutional scholar, that he himself has already violated a more serious law of war — Article 51 of the United Nations Charter — by threatening Syria, a country that he himself admits poses no imminent threat to the US, with attack — and not just verbally threatening, but by assembling an armada in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf ready at a moment’s notice to fire hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles into the country. Such a threat is termed a Crime Against Peace, and carries a maximum punishment of execution.

Apparently, to this president, as to presidents before him, other countries are bound by the Geneva Convention and by the United Nations Charter, on pain of unilateral attack by the US, but those rules to not apply to what he called this “exceptional” nation.

Obama made a slight reference to Russia’s peace bid, under which Syria has agreed to sign the chemical weapons convention (which Israel’s Knesset has yet to ratify, incidentally, and which the US itself has yet to comply with, as it still maintains significant stocks of poison gas and even smallpox virus), and to turn over his chemical weapons and manufacturing facilities to international control for eventual destruction. But he said only that he would ask Congress to postpone a vote on authorizing an attack on Syria, not that he would drop the idea.

In closing, the president claimed that the US,for seven decades, has been the “anchor of international security” and he insisted that “the world’s a better place” because of that role. It’s an appallingly ahistorical statement that the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, who lost upwards of three million civilians to American bombs, gas, napalm, anti-personnel bombs and bullets, the people of Iraq, who lost over a million civilians to US weapons, and who are still suffering massive birth defects from the depleted uranium that was callously spread across their land by US forces, and that the people of Afghanistan, whose country has been ripped apart by 12 years of US occupation and war, would certainly find repellant.

No, the world is decidedly not a better place because of America’s endless, unilateral and criminal wars and depredations, and Syria will fare no better following an American assault.

The real obscenity of this address was recalling at the end that the man giving it has somewhere on a wall in the White House a Nobel Peace Prize medal hanging.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

False-flag meme goes viral on 9/11 anniversary

By Dr. Kevin Barrett | Press TV | September 11, 2013

On the 12th anniversary of 9/11, everyone is talking about false-flag operations.

Pat Buchanan, a leading American conservative, says that the Syria chemical weapons incident “reeks of a false flag operation.” Buchanan says he cannot believe that Syrian President Assad would be so stupid as to order a chemical strike with no military purpose except to invite the US to bomb his country.

Assad’s opponents, on the other hand, would have every reason to launch such a strike and blame it on Assad.

Ron Paul agrees, saying: “I think it’s a false-flag.” His son Rand Paul adds: “There is a great incentive for this to actually have been launched by rebels, not the Syrian army.”

Rush Limbaugh suspects a false-flag with Obama’s complicity. Limbaugh cites Yossef Bodansky: “The rebels nerve gassed themselves in order to engineer a response that takes out Bashar, putting the US on the side of Al-Qaeda.”

Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, went one step further. Citing sources in the intelligence community, Wilkerson said the chemical weapons attack was an Israeli false-flag operation. Wilkerson explained that “Israel is in a very, very dangerous situation right now. Netanyahu is clueless as to this. I hope that President Obama gave him a lecture into geo-strategic realities.”

Wilkerson’s statement that Israel is in a “very, very dangerous situation” seemed on the surface to refer to the turmoil in the Middle East. But Wilkerson may have been conveying another message as well: By orchestrating a barely-disguised chemical weapons false flag designed to force Obama to attack Syria on or around the 9/11 anniversary, Netanyahu showed he is “clueless” about one very important fact: More and more senior members the US military and intelligence establishments, including Wilkerson, know that Israel also orchestrated the 9/11 false flag operation. And they are ready to push back.

These senior US decision-makers are unhappy that Israel orchestrated the murder of almost 3,000 Americans on 9/11 in order to drag the US into endless wars against Israel’s enemies. They are seething about Israel’s continuing deception of the American public through its domination of the mainstream media. They are furious about the Israel lobby’s influence over Congress via bribery and threats. They are disgusted at the way Israel’s false-flag attack on 9/11 led to the evisceration of both the Constitution and the national treasury, drowning America in debt to the international bankers and destroying the nation’s economic future.

Wilkerson was saying (between-the-lines) that if Netanyahu thinks he can drag the US into yet another major war for Israel, by staging a transparently obvious false-flag attack close to the 9/11 anniversary, he is treading on very dangerous ground.

Dr. Alan Sabrosky, an ex-Marine and former Director for Strategic Studies at the US Army War College, is more forthright than Wilkerson: “I have had long conversations over the last two weeks with contacts at the Army War College and the headquarters, Marine Corps, and I’ve made it absolutely clear in both cases that it is 100% certain that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. Period. The Zionists are playing this as an all-or-nothing exercise. If they lose this one, they’re done.”

Dr. Sabrosky, who says he expresses his Jewish identity through cuisine not foreign policy, explains what he means by “they’re done”:

“If these Americans and those like them ever fully understand just how much of their suffering – and the suffering we have inflicted on others – is properly laid on the doorsteps of Israel and its advocates in America, they will sweep aside those in politics, the press and the pulpits alike whose lies and disloyalty brought this about and concealed it from them. They may well leave Israel looking like Carthage after the Romans finished with it. It will be Israel’s own great fault.”

This is what Wilkerson means when he says Netanyahu was “naïve” to launch the Syrian false flag chemical attack: Naïve Netanyahu imagines he can keep on fooling the Americans forever. He thinks he can get away with rubbing Israeli false-flags in America’s face just in time for September 11th. He is putting Israel in a “very, very dangerous” position.

Naturally, Israel’s American fifth column is trying to save Netanyahu from the consequences of his own folly. They are pushing back hard against the rapidly-rising awareness of false-flags.

Example: Netanyahu’s American megaphone for liberals, the Daily Beast, has published an article attacking the false-flag “conspiracy theories” about Syria.

The Daily Beast is owned by Jane Harmon – who while in Congress was caught by the FBI spying for Israel – and Hollywood Zionist mogul Barry Diller. The Daily Beast’s latest attempt to nip false-flag awareness in the bud is headlined “Enough Already: Syria Wasn’t a False Flag Operation.”

Author Jamelle Bouie admits “there’s no hard confirmation that Assad gave the order to use sarin gas against civilians.” Since there is no evidence implicating Assad, Bouie conjures up “the logistical complexity of setting up the attack and a subsequent cover-up.”

But this “logistical complexity” implicates Israel, not Syria. Israel’s spy service, the ruthless and reckless Mossad, has as its motto: “By way of deception thou shalt do war.” The Mossad is undoubtedly the world’s most experienced intelligence service in the field of logistically-complex false flag deceptions.

Playing dumb, Bouie pretends that Wilkerson cannot explain why Israel would stage such a false flag attack. Since Israel has no motive, Bouie claims, it cannot have perpetrated the attack. But wait a minute – a few paragraphs earlier, Bouie ridiculed those who said Assad had no motive, so he probably didn’t do it!

In fact, Israel does have a motive. Netanyahu has been working overtime in his efforts to drag Obama into war against Syria and Iran. AIPAC and the rest of the Israel lobby are the only significant political force in the US that wants an attack on Syria. And that attack could not possibly happen without a chemical weapons incident attributed to Assad. Obviously, Israel is the prime beneficiary – and the likely culprit.

When someone like Lawrence Wilkerson warns Israel to stop using false-flag atrocities to drag America into ill-advised wars, the Israelis had better listen. When the American people finally wake up to these deceptions – especially 9/11 – Israel could end up, as Dr. Sabrosky suggests, as a smoking pile of rubble.

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment