Thursday, April 6, 2017

Why Am I Doubting That Assad Used Sarin?

There is a Turkish report circulating today that three victims were chemically poisoned by sarin gas. Link

The report falls short of chemical identification, instead hedging with evidence of symptoms which look like sarin poisoning. Yet sarin and sarin metabolites have distinct chemical fingerprints and isotopic signatures. The preferred method of detection is called GC/MS and it can detect very low quantities of the substance with absolute certainty. Of course, samples could be spiked with sarin, but even that would require sophistication.

I don't trust the Turks. Their President recently threatened friendly European governments with floods of refugees. Europeans fought the Ottoman Turks for centuries. We entered a war against Turkey's ally 100 years ago today. The Turks are no friend of democracy and are constantly harassing the Greeks.

Exactly who used or triggered chemical weapons last Tuesday is important. I am not impressed that our President has already made up his mind on both the types of weapons used and who used them. Trump has been proved right in the past. Perhaps he will be vindicated again. We shall see. There are many ways forward on how to gather more facts about this important matter. We should discuss them.

36 comments:

Methadras said...

This very well could be a created hoax. There is already indications that Syrian actors are being used to take death selfies and then popping up later on taking selfies together.

edutcher said...

The Turks have taken more than a few nasty turns under Erdogan.

most of the people we have over there are spec ops, so we'll know what's going on soon enough.

ricpic said...

The U.S. just fired missiles, 50 I think, at a Syrian airfield.

rcommal said...

Fox is saying 43, so far, on at at least one base, and there is reporting that there were/are? plans to go after another one.

rcommal said...

Upped to 60, but I'm a bit on delay in watching (paused satellite to take a call).

rcommal said...

Couple of different stations reporting that Russia was warned due to proximity of some of its personnel etc. So far I'm not hearing definitive confirmation of that.

chickelit said...

Well, it's about time the media stepped up their anti-Trump rhetoric. Maybe more people will listen this time.

rcommal said...

chickelit: Just for purposes of clarification, no snark intended, are you suggesting that's what I'm doing here?

Leland said...

Sad

chickelit said...

Not at all. In fact, I'm glad you're here. You typically have the best news sources. I am dead serious.

chickelit said...

(my last comment was for rcommal)

chickelit said...

Two people have come back at me (Ron on Twitter) and Inga on Althouse saying "does it matter what poison was used?"

They are missing my point unless they believe that both Assad and Syrian rebels -- AKA ISIS, have sarin. I contend that they both do not, based on technical issues.

edutcher said...

It's still up for grabs what IS may have. They overran a lot of Saddam's weapons dumps and we know they've been trying to use some of it.

PS Inga's still around?

I thought she'd staked her life on all that free health care.

chickelit said...

@edutcher. Inga never left. She fessed up to multiple ID's.

chickelit said...

To clarify: I am not saying that rebels launched a chemical attack with missiles; I'm probing the idea that Tuesday's missiles hit chemical stores.

This exact issue came up during the chemical weapons crisis when Obama was in office. It was never resolved who did what.

Why is that?

And if Assad goes out, who goes in? ISIS?

chickelit said...

I am feeling like "the madman" -- not the one in Lem's masthead but the one in Nietzsche's parable.

chickelit said...

I guess I'm awaiting the sort of Damascene conversion that the President had.

Trooper York said...

President Trump has made a horrible mistake. Horrible.

He has no business getting involved whether it was Sarin gas or clown farts.

What a horrible horrible horrible error.

I hope he changes his mind about this nonsense.

I am extremely disappointed.

Methadras said...

If he is simply taking out infrastructure, then I can understand the strike. If it's a function of softening the target for an invasion, then I'm not in favor of that at all. I'm curious to know what his actionable intelligence is in this case. He knows something we don't.

ampersand said...

Did the Congress declare war on Syria? No? Then we have no business there.None. We have been at war in the region for 27 fricken years with no declaration of war. Trump really stepped on his dick. A good deal of his support was to stop doing this.

ndspinelli said...

This is why Bannon is getting the bum's rush by the liberal Trump clan. Bannon said no to this involvement.

chickelit said...

Meth wrote: He knows something we don't.

He must. Because based on what I know, he looks really stupid.

chickelit said...

ndspinelli said...This is why Bannon is getting the bum's rush by the liberal Trump clan. Bannon said no to this involvement.

I hate to say it, but that was Inga's take last night.

William said...

Military action, especially in the Mideast has unintended consequences. On the other hand, passivity also has unintended consequences. I hope this works out. Reagan's strike on Qaddafi worked out. Hillary's not so much.......You can bet on the probabilities but the probability in that neighborhood is that someone will do something improbably self destructive and stupid......I thought Assad was winning. Why would he use chemical weapons? Why would Saddam pretend to have a nuclear program?

Methadras said...

Chick, I look at it like this. The United Nothing has lived up to its reputation as a feckless and cowardly organization of parasites. They pass resolution after resolution. Russia, China, Europe, or anyone else was or is going to do shit about Syria. Especially not with Trump basically pivoting and seeing the horrible imagery coming out of there, whether faked or not. If this happened under Urkel's watch, we know what he would have done. Nothing as usual.

So this is a much larger play on a strategic level. Trump can enforce UN sanctions against Syria as a signatory to not using WMD's/Chemical weapons against its own people, which Assad has done before, by targeting their ability to launch such strikes. It sends a clear message that this shit will stop or there will be consequences. Trump showed that he isn't fucking around. Good for him. The second is that Premiere Xi is here in the US when this strike was launched. The optics of that is not lost on either the Chinese, the Iranians, or the DPRK. It makes XI think twice on certain issues and gives Trump a distinct negotiating advantage in that whatever concessions Xi was willing to make, he will have to come up with a new strategy in light of this attack on Syria, which by the way, China does profit from along with Russia.

It gives Trump some leverage against China against the DPRK to show the little fat lunatic what could be in store for him if he thinks of doing more stupid shit. It also makes China think twice about laying claim to the South China Sea and potentially curtailing some of their expansionist ideas. Maybe. This has to play out and so far it appears that Trump is fairly content to simply launch this strike against a Syrian Air Base.

People think this is stupid. Fine, but it appears that a lot of the Islamocrat Proglodytes are on board.

Chip Ahoy said...

All the hotspots we read about everyday and then suddenly this out of the blue?

It's too abrupt. From nothing to something just like that.

Why does Trump bust such a provocative move so suddenly?

It feels like the thing addressed directly with 60+ Tomahawk missiles, the airstrip, the airbase, the compound, whatever, is not the only thing being addressed, not the real thing going on. Obviously Russia leadership suddenly stands up erect poked from behind by the TRUMP DICK!

With China leadership right there at Mar a Lago. And North Korea leadership testing and behaving badly. And Iran leadership provoking American battleships, to name a few provocateurs outside the direct conversation but nonetheless intensely interested, mostly in Trump's difficult to measure motivations and observably strange behavior that's somewhat irrational on surface appearance sometimes.

Trump's response is impressively robustly serious but not just for Assad and for Syria. This is global attention on Trump's fitness to lead the U.S. and the whole planet.

Have you noticed, the 3-D chess games are weird? They increase board area, battle terrain, into new dimensions, but they do not increase playing pieces. Don't you think you should have bigger armies when the terrain is expanded like that with hills and dales? You need a lot more support. I looked at them. They're absurd.

I like having the other world powers unable to predict how Trump will react to provocation. They think they can read him, that they know him. In their way, all such things are tests. Intended as test or not these events still test now the whole world must refigure, recalculate their own positions and actions with this new and important Trump fluctuation.

Other powerful nations appear to achieve so much with so little comparatively. While we achieve so little with so much, apparently, and to our satisfaction. We're looking to Trump to achieve maximum affect with minimum expenditure.

60 + Tomahawks is a high expenditure. I think.

Duckduckgo Images [tomahawk missils]

[tomahawk missile explosions] Eh. Kind of small explosion for all that smartness.

AprilApple said...

I thought it was brilliant. Enough with the cowardly limp wristed responses.
Red line was crossed long ago. You do something. Also - agree with what Meth said @ 3:08.

AprilApple said...

Anyone else see the PBS Frontline show in North Korea the other night? (yeah I know... PBS) Surprisingly the show was interesting and did not make excuses for what most leftists who write for Frontline would normally support.. (communism) It was critical of the North Korean rulers and showed under-cover footage of the masses who all live in fear. Both the "haves" and the "have-nots" live in constant fear. The orphans living on the street, starving with nothing but dirty clothes to wear... heart breaking. If you are caught breaking a law or saying something against the regime, you will go to prison and you will be beaten. They will take your entire family to prison, for the crimes of one member. Under Jong-Un, satellite photos show prison buildings and complexes growing in sheer numbers to house all the "law-breakers."

If you try to escape by crossing the border, and they catch you - prison and harsh beatings. North Korea is not a communist paradise, it's a Potemkin Bizzaro world where everyone lives in fear. Kim Jong Un killed 50% of his father's inner circle of high ranking officials after taking power. The guy is a total psychopath. He was raised to be a psychopath.

AprilApple said...

("on" North Korea - not "in") typo

chickelit said...

It's heartening to read about American's concern for children. It certainly trumps their overbearing concern for pets and animals. Now if they'd only start caring about American children.

Methadras said...

chickelit said...
It's heartening to read about American's concern for children. It certainly trumps their overbearing concern for pets and animals. Now if they'd only start caring about American children.


Trump has already intimated that the kids in Chicago getting killed will require a more federal response than what Emmanuel is willing to put out to make it stop. How that's going to happen, I'm not sure since those legal requirements are probably vastly different than launching Tomahawks in a sanctioned move against an already known state sponsor of terror.

Sixty Grit said...

Hmm, that's so crazy it might just work!

I mean it stopped the Gangs of New York, right? Gunboat diplomacy FTW!

Methadras said...

I personally wouldn't mind seeing tomahawks launched into the chicago terror hot beds of gangs. You have to save them by burning them down. Works for me, but then again I'm a totalitarian when it comes to criminality.

chickelit said...

Four days counting and still no proof that sarin gas was deployed by Assad. There's only the incidental Turkish report.

Putin warned that further gas attacks may happen. ISIS are the types who would not only deploy gas weapons -- they'd film an innocent forcibly inhaling off a tank of poison just to make their point.

rcommal said...

wtf. as if it doesn't take a whole lot of time to analyze remnants from, for example, clothes.

chickelit: what ever happened to your ability to be patient in terms of the sort of chemical analysis such as that?

Well. I guess. It must be. That you got not no use for the likes of me, my husband, my son, on account of your deciding to entirely embracing others entirely unlike we.

rcommal said...

we still care about facts and, therefore, patience is a valuable thing.