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What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria…and Does It Matter?
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Inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have finally arrived in Douma, Syria, to assess whether a gas attack took place earlier this month. It has taken a week for the inspectors to begin their work, as charges were thrown back and forth about who was causing the delay.

Proponents of the US and UK position that Assad used gas in Douma have argued that the Syrian and Russian governments are preventing the OPCW inspectors from doing their work. That, they claim, is all the evidence needed to demonstrate that Assad and Putin have something to hide. But it seems strange that if Syria and Russia wanted to prevent an OPCW inspection of the alleged sites they would have been the ones to request the inspection in the first place.

The dispute was solved just days ago, as the OPCW Director-General released a statement explaining that the delay was due to UN security office concerns for the safety of the inspectors.

We are told that even after the OPCW inspectors collect samples from the alleged attack sites, it will take weeks to determine whether there was any gas or other chemicals released. That means there is very little chance President Trump had “slam dunk” evidence that Assad used gas in Douma earlier this month when he decided to launch a military attack on Syria. To date, the US has presented no evidence of who was responsible or even whether an attack took place at all. Even right up to the US missile strike, Defense Secretary Mattis said he was still looking for evidence.

In a Tweet just days ago, Rep. Thomas Massie expressed frustration that in a briefing to Congress last week the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense “provided zero real evidence” that Assad carried out the attack. Either they have it and won’t share it with Congress, he wrote, or they have nothing. Either way, he added, it’s not good.

We should share Rep. Massie’s concerns.

US and French authorities have suggested that videos shared on the Internet by the US-funded White Helmets organization were sufficient proof of the attack. If social media postings are these days considered definitive intelligence, why are we still spending $100 billion a year on our massive intelligence community? Maybe it would be cheaper to just hire a few teenagers to scour YouTube?

Even if Assad had gassed his people earlier this month there still would have been no legal justification for the US to fire 100 or so missiles into the country. Of course such a deed would deserve condemnation from all civilized people, but Washington’s outrage is very selective and often politically motivated. Where is the outrage over Saudi Arabia’s horrific three-year war against Yemen? Those horrors are ignored because Saudi Arabia is considered an ally and thus above reproach.

We are not the policemen of the world. Bad leaders do bad things to their people all the time. That’s true even in the US, where our own government steadily chips away at our Constitution by setting up a surveillance state.

We have neither the money nor the authority to launch bombs when we suspect someone has done something wrong overseas. A hasty decision to use force is foolish and dangerous. As Western journalists reporting from Douma are raising big questions about the official US story of the so-called gas attack, Trump’s inclination to shoot first and ask questions later may prove to be his downfall.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Syria 
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  1. c matt says:

    Russia/Syria: Send weapons inspectors because we have nothing to hide

    US/Britain/France: Bomb the sites before weapons inspectors arrive because we know there are weapons.

    Which seems more plausible?

  2. Jimmy Dore shows what happened there:

  3. “They” know that we know that they are lying. So they don’t even bother to make up a believable story. Disproving their lies is a waste of time and money that should be spent destroying “Them”.

  4. KenH says:

    No, it doesn’t matter because if the inspectors compile evidence that contradicts our fake narrative we’ll just claim the inspectors are marionettes of Putin and Assad. The (((media))) will say they are “Putin stooges” or accuse them of collusion. If that doesn’t work then they’ll charge some of them with anti-semitism.

  5. Svigor says:

    Israel has nukes, and they do stuff like shoot unarmed protestors in the back; shouldn’t we impose some kind of sanctions on this rogue state with WMD?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  6. Erebus says:

    “What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria…?”
    They found this:
    “… and Does It Matter?”
    No, it doesn’t. “… none of these people’s testimony will make it into the “official record” as it currently stands… the OPCW has already interviewed six alleged Douma witnesses brought to The Hague , and they won’t interview any more. “

    Damn lucky, I’d say, that the first six gave them what they wanted to hear. The West’s in-your-face blatant hypocrisy takes one’s breath away. They’re simply destroying the remaining credibility of international institutions in an effort to turn the tide that’s now lapping at their doorstep. Obviously, the West’s political elites see their situation as hopeless, and are burning the antique furniture for a few hours of warmth before the cold waters sweep them away.

    I knew it was coming, but didn’t think it would come so swiftly. That the events driving the decline of the West are being ushered along by such an astonishingly mediocre band of hypocrites and liars beggars belief. Though perhaps I should have, I had no idea that history in the making would play out as a tawdry, humourless farce. I guess my only solace is that I’ll see the worst, and maybe the end of it in my lifetime.

  7. Erebus says:

    … shouldn’t we impose some kind of sanctions on this rogue state with WMD?

    Who’s “we” Popeye?

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