09.09.2013 08:24 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: war’s casualties

Saying that truth is a casualty of war isn’t new. It’s the world’s oldest declaration, you might say.

Syria is no different. Monday, Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad gave an interview in which he casually acknowledged chemical weapons may have been used in Syria — but, if so, by his enemies, not him. “There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people,” he told Charlie Rose of PBS.

Asked if he possessed chemical weapons, Assad again argued in the alternative. If he did, the Syrian dictator told Rose, they were under “centralized control.”

Got that? Sounding irritated that Assad was being given airtime to spout bald-faced lies, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry erupted. “I just gave you real evidence of a chemical weapons attack,” he said. “I’m confident about the state of the evidence. Read the unclassified report on whitehouse.gov — what does (Assad) offer?

“This is a man who has just killed 1,000 of his own citizens. This is a man without credibility.”

Credibility is indeed the issue. Various governments have confirmed Assad used chemical weapons against his own people on the morning of Aug. 21 in a suburb of Damascus. Fifteen hundred were killed, one-third of them children.

Doctors Without Borders, who many (including this writer) cited in the days following Aug. 21, issued a statement confirming Syrian civilians had experienced “mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent,” and this was “a massive and unacceptable violation of international humanitarian law.” The group added it lacked the ability to assign blame, something missed by many (including this writer).

Doctors Without Borders was the first international aid group to issue a report on the Aug. 21 gassings. As such, the New York Times reported, “its report appears to lend credibility to other accounts by witnesses and to the opposition’s estimates of the dead.”

But is that really credible? Well, for those of us who have said we favour limited military action against Assad for his use of chemical weapons against his own people, various counter-arguments have been offered up. That military involvement can sometimes be a slippery slope (true), that the opposition rebels are worse (after Aug. 21, untrue), that the real motive for a strike is oil and money (untrue).

Mostly, however, those who are unmoved by the victims in the Aug. 21 attack — those who are indifferent about our collective obligation to punish the use of chemical weapons — have simply said one thing, over and over: Prove it happened. “I doubt/deny it happened.”

This line is Zundel-like in its simplicity. No matter how much evidence is marshalled, deny it is sufficient. Insinuate that it has been forged. Then go back to sleep.

For this, we can thank George W. Bush and his illusory weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. WMD has given genocide-deniers a useful excuse for inaction for generations to come.

There is a striking symmetry to the positions of the genocide-deniers and Bashar al-Assad. The ghastly implications of that are apparently lost on the former.

But not on the latter. He remains grateful the real truth remains a casualty — along with the hundreds murdered on the morning of Aug. 21.


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Mary says:

    It’s worse than that. No WMD in Iraq, but the US public realizes the invasion would have been a mistake even if there WERE WMD in Iraq. Saddam wasn’t using them against the US…

    The US is understandably war weary. Why doesn’t Canada engage in the limited, punitive, measures being planned? It should be within our capacity.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Bluegreenblogger says:

      I beg to differ. Had Hussein been building nuclear weapons as the Bush administration claimed, then the war would have been no less unpleasant, but the cassus belli would have withstood scrutiny. It was the lie and subsequent attempts to downplay the non-existence of nuclear weapons materials that de-legitimised the Iraq war in much of the Worlds eyes.

  2. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    dave says:

    I understand the ‘evidence’ this way:

    1. Syria has lots of chems (likely some bios, too) because Israel has nukes (as well as assortted chems)
    2. Syria has the capability, the rebels do not.
    3. Somebody was gassed…therefore, Syria did it.
    4. USA and governments wanting to attack Syria say they have telephone intercepts that say Syria did it.

    1. Rebs might have used chems in May says UNO’s investigator.
    2. Rebs are supplied with weapons by USA/UK/Fr/KSA/Qatar/Turkey, and they have chems.
    3. USA said if chems used, they would act…Syria is winning, has nought to gain by chems attack on civilians,a non military target….has nought to gain by provoking USA…has nought to gain using chems on day and in city as UNO chem inspectors are arriving.
    4. Rebs have everything to gain…don’t want to use chems on themselves, so use them on civilians.
    5. USA et al have been itching to knock back Syrians militarily.

    So, for me, evidence as to who did it is at least even, or weighs more against the rebs.

    Yet, all mainstream media rhetoric assumes Syria is the perp, they start with that premise.

    Consider, if rebs did it to allow a USA attack, that is, are rewarded for using the chems, what happens next?

    Obama, Kerry, Harper, et al claim to speak for the world…and they do, other than China, Brazil, India, Russia, South America, Africa, and considerable people in their own realm…they speak for the world.

  3. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Brenda Malone says:

    Root Causes

    The Halabja massacre was a genocidal chemical attack against the Kurdish people, March 16, 1988. The attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people and injured 7,000 to 10,000 more, most of them civilians, many of them children. It remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history.

    Despite this and numerous other atrocities, liberals and Marxists the world over decried the attempt to dislodge the Ba’athist regime of Sadaam Hussein along the standard line of “American imperialism,” “big oil,” and the like. The failure to find weapons of mass destruction was taken as absolute proof that they did not in fact exist. Liberals and Marxists also couldn’t tolerate notions such as that of James Clapper, now the Director of National Intelligence, who said he was “unquestionably sure” that Saddam’s WMDs had been moved out of Iraq. Top Iraqi generals stated that the WMDs had gone to Syria. But all that fell on deaf ears.

    Now liberals/democrats, many of whom have made entire careers around trying to discredit absolutely everything about the Bush regime, the Reagan regime, even out to and including willfully ignorant but politically correct critiques of the entire cold war, are now surprised at the difficulty in suddenly reversing the decades long direction and thrust of their own propaganda. In this vein, one rarely reads any critique about China, Russia, Iran, and/or Hezbollah – Assad’s main backers – as if this all occurred in some geopolitical vacuum and all failures past and present are entirely the fault of America.

    In the context of China, if Liberals are really so concerned about the Syrian people, why not get on the blower to UN poster boy Maurice Strong and get him to try to convince the CCP to get China to sign off on a UN mission? The amoral CCP will trade with anyone (historic backer of the Khmer Rouge, Robert Mugabe, etc.) – boycott is an unknown word in their vocabulary – yet, a worldwide boycott of Chinese produced trade goods might go a long way. It should be understood that the pernicious roots are deep: Pierre Trudeau’s defense of Maoism was broad; he visited China four times between 1960 and 1979 and was apologist to Mao Zedong and his heirs; in 1973, he defended Mao’s policies in Canada’s Parliament willfully blind to a system responsible for the deaths of some 80 million people. No volume of historical evidence, however huge, could awaken him to the truth. Nor do the Conservatives want to disrupt their Mugabe-style mining contracts with the CCP after years of gross financial mismanagement e.g. Senate expense scandal. This may prove to be Canada’s most venal hour. The pigs do indeed walk on hind legs.

    In terms of the Soviets, liberals dragged their feet through the entirety of the cold war; were against helping the Afghans; against staunching Communism in Latin America, etc. In 1981, Trudeau expressed sympathy for Poland’s General Wojciech Jaruzelski – he banned Solidarity and jailed or sent into hiding its leaders, including Lech Walesa. In 1983, Trudeau declared in Parliament that he simply “couldn’t believe” the Soviets would knowingly destroy a commercial airliner – this was after the Kremlin finally admitted knowing that Korean Air Flight 007 was a passenger plane, and justified shooting it down along with its 269 passengers because it was “spying” (one recalls Lenin’s maxim that, “Soviet propaganda can and ought to be carried on from within the bourgeois parliaments.”) And of course, the Trudeaus’ lifelong admiration and friendship with Cuban Marxist-Leninist dictator, Fidel Castro. Again, no amount of historical evidence can waken those comatose in Marxism. Russophilia seems to have hindered Canadians ability to assess the Chekist Putin with any accuracy. If everything seems frozen in some kind of cold war time warp like crumbling Havana, blame the above.

    For an Iranian metaphor, Alexandre Trudeau’s documentary “The New Great Game” was produced with the help of Iran’s state-funded and Holocaust denying propaganda arm Press-TV, along with anti-Israel broadcaster Al-Jazeera Arabic, and the Media Education Foundation (producer of the anti-Israel film “Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land” found by CBC Radio-Canada’s ombudsman to be propaganda that never should have aired). Trudeau did not mince words when it came to presenting Israel as a bellicose nuclear-armed threat when he remarked: “While there is no proof that Iran has even made the decision to start a nuclear arms program. Israel’s nuclear arsenal will largely out-gun whatever weapons Iran might acquire, but from the vantage point of Iran, it is the one being threatened not the one doing the threatening.” If Canada’s first family can’t get intelligence right why are we surprised when the people are error? Iran is a grotesque theocracy that should have been neutralized long ago – the left, liberals, Marxists of course perennially root for the Islamists just as they rooted for the hunters of Salmon Rushdie and all other critics of the prophet. If there is an American intervention, rest assured the propagandic machinery above will be right there to hinder any American efforts.

    Indeed, liquidating the Israelis seems the standard line among much of left. Listen in on any gathering of the chattering classes at 3am after a night of white wine and craft beer (two products that are ironically forbidden in Shariaville) and one might as well be sitting around your typical white nationalist bonfire when it come to the “Jews.” The dark truth is that there are legions of muddle headed liberals and Marxists out there who are at least inwardly pulling for Assad, Hezbollah, Iran, and by extension, the Dr. Frankensteins of the world, China and Russia – they are true believers that “cleansing” the land of the Zionist and crushing the Great Satan America is the way to go. Ironically, these flabby liberal arts degree types will be the first to be liquidated if that scenario is allowed to blossom. But as always, this is Jonestown (the KGB had their feelers out for that one too!) on a national scale – hence the zombie like indifference. The enemy is within as much or more than he or she is without.

    When courageous Liberal pundits like Warren Kinsella go out on a limb and write, “Rallying support for military force is, as noted, no simple task. No one likes it,” it is the bitter fruit of decades of compromise and collusion with subversive systems and their thought terminating propaganda. Many Canadians have simply lost their ability to think clearly. Ridding the world of evil should be as instinctual and instant as Atticus Finch shooting the rabid dog in to Kill a Mockingbird. It is an unpleasant task, but those with the skill and the weapons to do it should be supported. The children must be kept safe.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Jeremy says:

      This is fascinating analysis, raising so many questions. Let’s start with just one. Where are these legions of Marxists, whose deep inward desires you have discerned?

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Kaspar Juul says:

      Tl:dr rant

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      KP says:

      Maybe try breaking the Prozac in half. It’ll make it easier to swallow.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      dave says:

      What irks me about the liberalmarxistbachelor of arts zombies is that when Chelsea manning revealed ot everyone that an American unit had murdered an entire family, including toddlers, in Iraq, and called in an air strike to cover what they had done, the flabby willed liberal/marxist/bachelor of arts people gave her only 35 years.

      Good idea, though, to make lots of extensions, so that we can identify the world of evil, and shoot it, the way a fictional character would shoot a rabid dog.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Brendon says:

      Someone actually puts together a factual account of events the the best you people can do is tell her to split the prozak in half?? No wonder onone cares what liberals think anymore. You are not interested in facts.

      Also, Warren, blame Bush. Oh, right, you did. How predictable.

  4. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Arnold Murphy says:

    I guess it depends upon which press or media you listen to, but if the UNHRC has heard evidence to this effect I imagine the media will catch up to the truth sooner or later. And now to BBC where the reporter is about to announce that building seven has collapsed, a little early. All I can say is that whatever the truth is it will be known sooner or later, and if these crimes come to light as nothing more than intentional false flags those responsible and their tentacles are about to become redundant in the worst sense.


  5. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    davidray says:

    For what it’s worth dept.
    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
    H.L. Mencken
    Warren. I understand the urge to act but have a problem with the term “limited military action.”
    This is a fancy term for state murder so let’s call a spade a spade. There are two limited things the US military can do. It can blow up all the jungle gyms, canisters and airports or stick a missile up Assad and his trophy wife’s ass. I can’t help but believe the target acquisition dude sitting in his silo in Colorado or on-board a sub in the Mediterranean doesn’t know exactly where Assad is. Then what. Assad is dead. One shot. One or two dead along with some bodyguards and a big hole in the ground.
    Now then.
    As far as Im concerned George Bush and the other actors in the Irag invasion horror show are just as evil. Haliburton via Cheney has committed just as many war crimes.
    So how do you feel about Russia sailing into the Gulf of Mexico and putting a missile up Cheney’s ass. Now that’s realpolitik. One side used Sarin while the other left Uranium all over Iraq. So who’s the more evil.
    A pox on both their houses.

  6. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Ian Howard says:

    Whether it happened or not is irrelevant. Assad has done more than enough to justify intervention. But without a realistic strategic goal intervention will solve nothing. Eliminating the tactical use of Syrian air power will either prolong the conflict or give victory to radicals unfriendly to Israel and the west.
    If you feel your sense of outrage demands retribution identify,equip, and train opposition forces with the necessary means to counter Syrian air power .
    It is in no ones interest for Assad to fall before a viable alternative is in place. You risk greater involvement by Iran and Hezbollah. Do you really want a failed state in Lebannon? Only cold reason will allow for the possibility of an outcome that promises any hope for Syria. Outrage and action may momentarily satiate your primal need for retribution but it risks far too much.

  7. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Bluegreenblogger says:

    There need not be such a rush to arms. The UN will be reporting on the chemical attack soon enough. That will be a good time to decide where the truth lies. I believe the Americans for now, but I recognise that a lot of people do not. That is why the UN is there in the first place.

  8. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Nothing will get through the Security Council. We know that in advance. Ditto about the testing results which will be positive.

    The votes in Congress are useful but basically irrelevant. Obama may be able to risk a loss of face by backing down on strikes but the United States cannot be seen as having zero credibility by friend and foe alike. U.S. interests require that the Administration proceed without undue delay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.