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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Obama on Syria this week: Like I've been saying...

On Thursday, 14 May 2015, President Obama held a Press Conference at Camp David. Since it immediately followed the Gulf Cooperation Council summit with representatives of five Arab governments, he couldn't entirely avoid the subject of Syria. This is what he had to say:
... with respect to Syria, we committed to continuing to strengthen the moderate opposition, to oppose all violent extremist groups, and to intensify our efforts to achieve a negotiated political transition toward an inclusive government --without Bashar Assad -- that serves all Syrians.
There are those on the "Left" and the Right that will use these words to say Obama is still moving forward with his regime change plans for Syria. I wonder if they also believe the many other fine words in Obama's speech, like his "urgent need" for a Palestinian State, or do they just selectively decide that he tells the truth about his plans for Assad? 

This YouTube video, published on 8 May 2015, will give you a clue about how much Obama really is supporting the moderate opposition in Syria, and BTW they are only training Syrians to fight ISIS, not Assad. They make that abundantly clear.

Why Is The US Military Training Only 90 Syrian Rebels?

In the Q&A that followed the press conference Michael Viqueira asked a question about Syria:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. On Syria, one of the reasons we're here is because many of the nations in the region were upset that more than two years ago when Bashar al-Assad deployed chemical weapons, there was no military response as you appeared to promise, no retaliation on the part of the U.S. Now there’s a possibility that Assad has once again used chemical weapons. What did you tell these leaders here who were disappointed last time? And will you use a military response if it's confirmed that he used chemical weapons again, once again deployed them?
Never mind a quarter million Syrians murdered since he took over leadership of the "free world," clearly President Obama resented having to answer a question about Syria in this press conference that focused on the Middle East. This is what he had to say:
First of all, Michael, I don't know why you're here, [!!] but the reason I’m here is not because of what happened in Syria a couple of years ago. The reason I’m here is because we’ve got extraordinary challenges throughout the region -- not just in Syria, but in Iraq and Yemen and Libya, and obviously, the development of ISIL; and our interest in making sure that we don't have a nuclear weapon in Iran.

With respect to Syria, my commitment was to make sure that Syria was not using chemical weapons, and mobilizing the international community to assure that that would not happen. And, in fact, we positioned ourselves to be willing to take military action. The reason we did not was because Assad gave up his chemical weapons. That's not speculation on our part. That, in fact, has been confirmed by the organization internationally that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons.

And I don't think that there are a lot of folks in the region who are disappointed that Assad is no longer in possession of one of the biggest stockpiles of chemical weapons of any country on Earth. Those have been eliminated.

It is true that we’ve seen reports about the use of chlorine in bombs that have the effect of chemical weapons. Chlorine itself, historically, has not been listed as a chemical weapon, but when it is used in this fashion can be considered a prohibited use of that particular chemical. And so we're working with the international community to investigate that.

And, in fact, if we have the kinds of confirmation that we need, we will, once again, work with the international community and the organization charged with monitoring compliance by the Syrian government, and we will reach out to patrons of Assad like Russia to put a stop to it.
In a recent post, 3 May 2015, I wrote:
Just Wednesday we have a new report of two chlorine filled barrel-bombs being dropped from helicopters in the village of Sarmin in Idlib Province. Idlib city recently became the second provincial capital to slip from Assad's control. Reports say as many a 20 were killed in this attack.

Human Rights Watch issued a report on use of chlorine gas bombs by the Syrian Government almost a year ago and the United Nations passed a resolution opposing their use on 6 March 2015. These mean nothing to Assad.
Apparently these reports means nothing to Obama as well.

Apparently Obama's intelligence when it comes to WMD is pretty much of the calibre we've come to expect from an American President, except that whereas Bush saw WMD where they didn't exist, Obama refuses to see them even when they are killing people by the thousands.

He may think he has been successful in getting Assad to give up his chemical weapons, at least if you don't count chlorine, but "the organization internationally that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons" certainly isn't "confirming" Obama's illusions. Just this week, Reuthers reported that Assad has been lying all along:
Weapons inspectors find undeclared sarin and VX traces in Syria

8 May 2015
Anthony Deutsch
International inspectors have found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at a military research site in Syria that had not been declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

Samples taken by experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition and Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in December and January tested positive for chemical precursors needed to make the toxic agents, the sources told Reuters on the condition of anonymity because the information is confidential.

"This is a pretty strong indication they have been lying about what they did with sarin," one diplomatic source said. "They have so far been unable to give a satisfactory explanation about this finding." More...
The Times also reported this story and while US Assad supporters on the "Left" and the Right, have been quick to point out that precursors still have to be mixed to become weapons and traces probably aren't enough to kill many people, the important point here is that they were found at sites that had not been declared by the Assad Regime. Since Assad was only forced to give up chemical weapons he admitted having, Obama's claim that "Assad gave up his chemical weapons" depends on the honesty of a known liar and mass murderer. What a sad joke.

Now, in addition to the chlorine, Assad is experimental with new unknown "designer" CW that technically might not be illegal. CNN is reporting:
Choking agents mark new Syria low

14 May 2015
Zaher Sahloul
[Dr. Zaher Sahloul is the president of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a nonprofit organization that represents more than 5,000 Syrian American physicians in the United States. The views expressed are his own.]

(CNN)"I tried to scream, but I couldn't take a deep breath. No one noticed when I tried to scream -- everyone was overwhelmed by the number of victims."

I sat with my colleague Moustafa, a nurse in his early 20s, at a field hospital in Sarmin, Syria, as he described the chaos in his hospital on March 16, when barrel bombs filled with chemical gas struck.

At around 9 p.m. that day, the hospital received a wave of people experiencing chemical exposure symptoms -- difficulty breathing, burning eyes, mouth secretions. He described washing and desperately trying to treat a small boy, Mohammad, who was foaming at the mouth. His sisters lay dead on top of their dead grandmother nearby. Moustafa says that as he treated the boy, he began to cough and was struggling to breathe. He rushed outside to breathe fresh air, but the air smelled like bleach. He passed out and woke up inside the hospital, receiving oxygen.

He survived the chemical exposure. Baby Mohammad did not. He died along with his two sisters, his grandmother, and his parents.

I decided to take the dangerous trip last month to Sarmin and Binnish in the suburbs of the northern city of Idlib, a major battleground in recent months, to speak with the brave doctors and nurses there. There are believed to have been at least six more similar attacks since the one in March, in addition to daily bombing and shelling using "conventional" weapons.

Barrel bombs filled with choking agents have not been as deadly as those filled with shrapnel and explosives, but are particularly dangerous in that they spread fear, panic, and confusion. More...
In spite of all the focus on chemical weapons, the majority of Syrians are killed with the conventional weapons Obama signalled were allowed in his famous "red-line" statement, and in spite of Obama's focus on the terrorist group ISIS, a much greater number of civilians are killed by Assad's "Death from Above" as in this case:

18+ people killed in regime air strike on local market in Saraqeb, Idlib | 16 May 2015

Only a pawn in their games....

For most on the Left, Syria is neither a tragedy worthy of much attention, nor a political struggle against a ruthless fascist dictatorship worthy of much support. It is a game. A point which Vijay Prashad, the Connecticut professor, made in the very title of his most recent piece on Syria, 15 May 2015, "Manoeuvres on the Syrian chessboard". His piece mentions neither Assad's barrel bombs nor his poison gas attacks, but then why should he? After all, the people Assad is slaughtering are "the proxies of Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar and Turkey" who started what Assad now says is “a war, not a battle”, "when the 2011 uprising in Syria took to the gun." Never mind they only started shooting back after Assad's army insisted on the continued slaughter of peaceful protesters.

These folks are now revising history to cover their tracks, Consider these confirmed facts, from Before Its News about the sarin attack of 21 August 2013:
Likewise, the chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta were initially blamed on Assad and the Syrian government but later found to be the work of the Western-backed terrorists who had gone so far as to capture civilians from Lattakia and use them as human stage props for video footage and propaganda purposes.
So for the pro-Assad crowd, the wildest theories about who killed 1400 people, or even if they died at all, are now regarded as facts. Meanwhile Obama is still "investigating." And the Syrians? They are still being murdered.

Like I've been saying:
How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
Obama's Real Syria Policy: Endless War
The Courtship Continues: Obama stopped French strike on Assad
The Courtship Continues: Obama's New Gift to Assad
How Obama Helped Assad Kill with Poison Gas in Syria
Win-Win for Assad as Obama Response to CW Mass Murder Put on Hold
Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
Obama's Dilemma and Assad's Opportunity
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad Exposed!
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring
More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy
Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?
Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria
How Obama helps Assad: US tried to start war between FSA & al Nusra Front

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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