World View: France Promises Military Response to Syria's Chemical Weapons Attack
- France promises a military response to Syria's chemical weapons attack
- President Obama continues full-scale Syria sales campaign
- China fears destabilization of Afghanistan, as NATO pulls out
- Drone strikes decreasing sharply in Pakistan
- Never smile at a crocodile
France promises a military response to Syria's chemical weapons attack
Bashar al-Assad smiles on Monday at a meeting where he's presumably celebrating the number of Sunni women and children civilians he's torturing and killing (Reuters)
It was just a week ago when it was thought that Britain, France, and
the United States would form a coalition for military action against
the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in response to the
regime's use of chemical weapons. But then Britain's parliament
rejected any involvement, and President Barack Obama reversed his
position, delaying any strike and leaving the decision to Congress,
putting American foreign policy into chaos.
This week, it appears that France is leading the effort. France says
it is building a coalition to back military action against the regime.
According to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Monday:
This act cannot be left without a response. It's not
for France to act alone. The president is continuing his work of
persuasion to bring together a coalition without delay.
France is determined to penalize the use of chemical weapons by
(President Bashar al-)Assad's regime and to dissuade with a
forceful and firm response. The objective is neither to topple
the regime or liberate the country.
On Monday, France issued a nine-page report on Syria's chemical
The Syrian chemical program began in the 1970s with
import of chemical munitions. Since the 1980s, Damascus undertaken
to procure the materials, products and know-how the establishment
of an independent national production capacity and mass in this
The nature of the Syrian chemical arsenal With more than a
thousand tons of chemical warfare agents and precursors Damascus
has one of the world's largest operational stocks without
perspective programmed destruction.
Syria for years has been intensively developing chemical weapons and
delivery technology. The report details hundreds of tons of mustard
gas, VX gas, sarin gas, and a wide range of artillery and missiles with a range up to 500 kilometers, capable of accurately delivering
hundreds of toxic agents.
The report confirms "a massive and coordinated use of chemical agents
against civilians on August 21," with half the victims being women and
children. The attack could only have been made by the regime itself because of the quantity and sophistication of the weaponry required to
carry off this massive attack.
The Russians have said that al-Assad would have to be "crazy" to
launch such an attack, because they were already winning the war.
This assessment is contested by many analysts, but the report makes
al-Assad's motives quite clear:
Our information confirms that the regime feared a
large scale attack on Damascus by the opposition during this
period. Our assessment is that the regime sought to loosen the
grip of the opposition, and to regain strategic control of the
Finally, we believe that the Syrian opposition does not have the
capacity to lead a chemical weapons operation of such
magnitude. No group belonging to the Syrian insurrection has, at
this stage, the ability to store and use these agents, let alone
deploy them in a size similar to that used on the night of August
21, 2013 in Damascus. These groups have neither the experience nor
the know-how to implement them, in particular by the means used in
the attack on 21 August.
Reuters and France 24 and France declassified National Intelligence (Translation)
President Obama continues full-scale Syria sales campaign
President Obama met with two Republican Senators, John McCain and
Lindsey Graham, who have repeatedly urged military action in Syria.
The meeting is part of Obama's full-scale sales campaign to get an
affirmative vote from Congress on military action in Syria. The
Senators are complaining that the president has no coherent policy,
but is just reacting to one crisis after another with no strategy.
After the meeting, Graham said:
The President really has no one to blame in many way
but himself, about the lack of public understanding of what's at
stake in Syria. We talked about the past, the present and future.
Twoyears ago, we had an opportunity to get Assad out, when there
were dozens of al-Qaeda only in Syria. Now there's thousands, a
year from now there are going to be tens of thousands. Two years
ago, there were not 600,000 refugees in Jordan, compromising the
Kingdom of Jordan. Time is not on our side, so we urge the
president to up his game.
Graham was responding to a threat by Bashar al-Assad that any
military action could cause the region to "explode." Lindsey's point
is that inaction is already causing the region to explode. As I've
written in the past from the point of view of Generational Dynamics,
the region is going to "explode" with or without military action.
Military Times and TV transcription.
China fears destabilization of Afghanistan, as NATO pulls out
On Monday, Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen dressed as Afghan police
attacked a U.S. base near the Pakistan border, setting dozens of
parked NATO supply vehicles on fire. Reports indicate that the
vehicles were to be transported across the Pakistan border overland to
the sea port of Karachi as part of the massive logistics effort
required to remove ten years worth of military equipment from
Afghanistan before NATO's final departure next year. Taliban suicide
attacks have been on the increase as NATO forces have been leaving.
China's president Xi Jinping is visiting Afghanistan on Tuesday at a
time when China is concerned that Nato's withdrawal will free up
jihadists to head elsewhere, including China itself. "The worry is
the withdrawal of US troops will have a spillover effect," according
to a Chinese analyst. Arab News
Drone strikes decreasing sharply in Pakistan
Drone strikes in Pakistan, 2005-2013 (SATP)
Despite increasing terrorist attacks near the Afghan-Pakistan border,
American drone strikes in Pakistan have been sharply decreasing since
they reached a peak in 2010. Although the drone strikes have been
extremely effective in eliminating terrorist leadership from al-Qaeda
and the Taliban, they've experienced increasing public opposition
because of collateral damage. In May, a court ordered drones entering
Pakistani airspace to be shot down, calling them a war crime, a
violation of international law, basic human rights, and the
territorial sovereignty of Pakistan. The US worry over safe and
secure withdrawal from Afghanistan has forced it to bend before
Pakistani pressure and the steep decline in drone attacks is the
natural fallout. South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP)
Never smile at a crocodile
A tourist visiting an island in Australia was unable to leave the
island because a monster 20 foot crocodile kept stalking him every
time he tried to leave the island in his small canoe. He was trapped
on the island for two weeks and was running out of supplies when a
local man going by in a boat spotted him by chance and saved him.
There's no word on whether the tourist tried to coax the crocodile
into swallowing an alarm clock so that he could listen for the ticking
of the clock to know whether the croc was getting close. Daily Mail and Related YouTube video
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Bashar al-Assad,
Jean-Marc Ayrault, France, John McCain, Lindsey Graham,
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban, NATO,
China, Xi Jinping,
Australia, Peter Pan
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