Gas, Gas, Gas!

That’s way we were trained to say in the Marine Corps in the event of a chemical attack — after donning and clearing our masks, of course.

And that’s what “activists” [read: Supporters of the rebellion against Syria’s Assad regime] keep yelling too. Once again, they’ve claimed that the regime carried out a chemical weapons attack, this time on the town of Al-Tamanah.

Are they telling the truth? Who knows? Not me, but I do see a couple of problems with their story as related in the Telegraph:

  • The attacks apparently use a combination of chlorine and ammonia. That’s not a typical military chemical weapons configuration. Anyone who’s worked in industrial sanitation knows better than to mix bleach and ammonia — in my old factory job, I once had to enter an area where an accidental mixing of the two had taken place, to assist someone OUT of that area. It was quite unpleasant and if things had gone only slightly differently could have been fatal. But the thing is, it sounds like a “field expedient” chemical weapon … something that the rebels would come up with rather than something the regime’s armed forces would keep on hand.
  • The story says that “The regime is the only party in the civil war that possesses helicopters.” This is just flat false. Among the parties to the “civil war” are the United States, Turkey and even likely Israel, all of which have helicopters. And Turkey has been implicated as a likely “false flag” attacker in at least one previous “chemical weapons attack” incident.

As for the supporting video footage, it shows no attack. It shows two people being treated at a hospital or aid station. One of the two is coughing in a way that does indeed remind me of what happened when I was exposed, and saw other people exposed, to the chlorine/ammonia mixture … but it “proves” nothing either as to what happened or as to who, if anyone, used chemical weapons.

Why is any of this important to Americans? Because the US government seems to still be looking for something, anything to use as a casus belli that would allow it to go whole hog, entering into open — rather than covert — war in Syria. The American people continue to tell President Obama “no,” but he doesn’t like being ordered around by mere mundanes. So the order bears repetition: NO WAR ON SYRIA.

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