Top Israeli intel official: Yep, looks like Assad’s forces crossed Obama’s chemical weapons “red line”

posted at 4:41 pm on April 23, 2013 by Allahpundit

Not just once, either. Repeatedly. That makes not one but two close U.S. allies whispering that Assad’s gone and done the thing that the leader of the free world said he Must Not Do.

It’s intervention time.

Israel’s senior military intelligence analyst said Tuesday there was evidence the Syrian government had repeatedly used chemical weapons in the last month, and he criticized the international community for failing to respond, intensifying pressure on the Obama administration to intervene.

“The regime has increasingly used chemical weapons,” said Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, research commander in the intelligence directorate of the Israeli Defense Forces, echoing assertions made by Britain and France. “The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction,” he added, “is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate.”…

The Syrian attacks killed “a couple of dozens,” the military official said, in what Israel judged as “a test” by President Bashar al-Assad of the international community’s response. He said the government had deployed chemicals a handful of times since, but that details of those attacks were sketchier.

“Their fear of using it is much lower than before using it,” the official said. “If somebody would take any reaction, maybe it would deter them from using it again.”

Netanyahu allegedly told John Kerry he couldn’t confirm the claim (which is odd, if Israeli military personnel are talking publicly about it), but the IDF’s intelligence arm thinks the weapon of choice was sarin based in part on photos of the victims foaming at the mouth with shrunken pupils. How they can be confident about that, though, I’m not sure: This Times piece is a nice quick tour of the difficulties of confirming that chemical WMD were used if you don’t have access to the scene or the victims and there aren’t lots and lots of bodies to prove that something unusual occurred. British intelligence allegedly got hold of a soil sample from the site of one attack that was smuggled out of the country, but how do you trust the provenance? Could be the rebels cooked up the sample somehow to try to engineer western intervention, or maybe they overran one of Assad’s chemical facilities and scraped it off there. (On the other hand, check out this photo of dead animals, all apparently killed bloodlessly near the site of one attack.) It’s surreal that U.S. entry into the war may hinge on sarin attacks that have killed “dozens” when conventional warfare killed more than 500 Syrians in one Damascus suburb over the past week alone, but there you go. That’s the “red line” calculus at work, to maintain the WMD taboo for other bad actors.

Chuck Hagel dropped a big hint last week that the White House might be preparing for action. Here’s another little nudge from Kerry:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged NATO to prepare for the possible use of chemical weapons by Syria and called for alliance members to boost their assistance to the Syrian opposition.

Attending his first meeting of the alliance’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, as America’s top diplomat, Kerry said contingency plans should be put in place to guard against the threat of a chemical weapons strike. NATO ally Turkey borders Syria and would be most at-risk from such an attack. NATO has already deployed Patriot missile batteries in Turkey.

“Planning regarding Syria, such as what (NATO) has already done, is an appropriate undertaking for the alliance,” Kerry told NATO foreign ministers. “We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat.”

I’m interested in the gamesmanship here by having a top Israeli military intel official go public with this while Obama’s trying to decide what to do or whether to acknowledge that a chemical attack happened at all. Is that Netanyahu playing an angle, formally denying any knowledge himself while getting the IDF to twist O’s arm by announcing this publicly? Or is this being done in concert with the White House, with O encouraging the Israelis to release the info as a test of U.S. public opinion? If there’s a big Do Something outcry, then he may have to act; if not (and there won’t be), then he can keep looking the other way for awhile. The problem with that theory, though, is that it assumes the public won’t blame the White House later if O refuses to act now and then there’s a mass-casualty attack in Syria involving sarin or something similarly foul. Just yesterday, Hagel insisted that WMD use in Syria would be a “game changer” (Obama has used those words himself), but what kind of game is being played here?

Speaking of which, here’s ABC pressing Carney today on whether Obama still considers chemical weapons in Syria a “game changer.” He’s … noncommittal.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Obama is busy defending Islam, no really. See media question and his answer.

Idiotic media can’t even follow up, after he snookered them on the answer.

“Islam is just a tenet of muslumism” — Brennan

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Why do ABC videos create script errors?

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

The Red Line just moved.

Jabberwock on April 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Hooo booooy, Barky, bet you wish you hadn’t said those words huh? See that’s the problem with acting and talking all tough, you better be prepared for someone eventually calling you out to prove it. Dog Eater isn’t prepared, not at all.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Carney goes full Nathan Thurm.

aquaviva on April 23, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Why do ABC videos create script errors?

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

It is maddening. If a thread has an ABC video, I need to avoid it.
Get caught every once in a while.

Like now.

Jabberwock on April 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Hooo booooy, Barky, bet you wish you hadn’t said those words huh? See that’s the problem with acting and talking all tough, you better be prepared for someone eventually calling you out to prove it. Dog Eater isn’t prepared, not at all.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Obama’s own narcissism precludes him from watching his mouth. Future ramifications of their own words are never a consideration.

Easy out: “We have no evidence of our own, so we’re not going to jump to conclusions.” And the lapdog media will praise him for his ‘cool head’ and ‘thoughtfulness.”

And the band played on…

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 4:50 PM

The last thing I want is Obama taking us into yet another needless Democrat war, this time with Syria.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

“You didn’t weaponize that.”

This is not on Barry’s second term agenda. It will have to go.

NoDonkey on April 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

It usually takes 0 several weeks to respond or even acknowledge. Benghazi, BP oil spill just to name a few.

tommer74 on April 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Not holding my breath.

Red Cloud on April 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM

It’s intervention time.

First a round of golf, and then a vacation.

rbj on April 23, 2013 at 4:54 PM

“Fore!”

mojo on April 23, 2013 at 4:55 PM

at this point,………….

rob verdi on April 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

What the heck is a “red line” anyway?

Just another Obama throw-away catchy mis-use of English?

Obama has authorized hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent on “anti-regime” forces in Syria…but who are those forces?

Had an ambassador out in Libya who knew.

He’s dead. So not much he can provide on the subject.

What’s Obama gonna do?

Not one damn thing that might upset Iran.

Not one thing that might upset the jihadis, either.

But, providing covert weapons and training to potential “lone wolves” that’s perfectly OK.

As for US intervention in Syria. The time for that has long since passed. Coulda told Assad to get the hell out of Dodge a couple years ago…that’s all that it would have taken.

Right now, let the entire place burn to the ground.

Whomever is still standing after…well…then, maybe, we might take a look at them. After all, our “intervention” in Libya, and in Egypt, turned out soooo well, didn’t it?

coldwarrior on April 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

OT: AP, are you going to do a post on the Benghazi report that came out?

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Action? From President Wuss? Not a chance.

22044 on April 23, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Why do ABC videos create script errors?

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I have been getting the same errors on every ABC video for quite some time.

I am running old school. Windows XP with Internet Explorer 8. Thinking that IE 8 might be the culprit.

weaselyone on April 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

OT – America, today

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Going in to Syria could be a golden opportunity to win hearts and minds among the freedom fighters. The American soldiers will be fighting shoulder to shoulder with Al-Q, Chechens, Ben Gazzara dudes from Libya and Muslims of many nations. Everywhere you turn there will be a chance to reach out earnestly as long as you don’t expect a reach-a-round in return.

Operation TarBaby VI baby, get your kefeya dry cleaned and ready for action. And for those about to die, small price to be of service to Islam and the Saudis isn’t it?

BL@KBIRD on April 23, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Hooo booooy, Barky, bet you wish you hadn’t said those words huh? See that’s the problem with acting and talking all tough, you better be prepared for someone eventually calling you out to prove it. Dog Eater isn’t prepared, not at all.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

You didn’t notice the date stamp on that tough talk, I guess. On the other hand,if you don’t buy that, President Sibilant Esses didn’t really say what you think he said. It was much more nuanced than what you’re capable of understanding. Or, alternatively, his position has evolved to a more noble view.

Take your pick.

Curtiss on April 23, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Assad thugs are killing jihadis and jihads are killing Assad thugs, and we want to stop this?

And, come an intervention which could possibly help end the loss of innocent civilian lives, will it matter to anyone? Or will it be more “Amerikkkans killing brown people in a far away land!!!!1!”

Aquateen Hungerforce on April 23, 2013 at 5:08 PM

At this point – what difference does it make???

Let Muslim kill Muslim….that’s the only way the earth will be rid of this filth.

redguy on April 23, 2013 at 5:08 PM

“ok…ok…ok….ummmm…..as long as they don’t invade Poland….”

29Victor on April 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Let’s just move that line a little further
-dear leader

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM

How come there is never anything positive on this blog? Every single post is meant to get the fringe right angry and b!tchy. Glad im not on your team.

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

OT – America, today

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I figured every pertinent agency employee and their Muslim handlers would be out for sea trials during the crisis but I wasn’t expecting this.

BL@KBIRD on April 23, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Action? From President Wuss? Not a chance.

[22044 on April 23, 2013 at 5:01 PM]

Now, now. Obama needs time to consider this new information, assess the ramifications, model out the consequences of various responses, consider all this with an eye to US and international law and our overall interests. In brief, he needs time to consider and deliberate and a decision shouldn’t be rushed. We must not let passions get the better of us, either, so a cooling off period is understandable. This could take a long time.

We ought to learn from this very wise man. In fact we should emulate it by applying it to the immigration reform bill now before us, too.

Dusty on April 23, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Let’s just move that line a little further
-dear leader

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Abbott and Costello…

Lou draws a line in the dirt and dares the bully to cross it.

The bully crosses it.

Lou says, “Now you’re on my side!”

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 5:17 PM

No doubt if Pantload acts…

… he will send in brave troops, without bullets or weapons, and when they come under attack and try to defend themselves, he will order any help to ‘stand down’, will go to sleep, then fly off to a fund raiser.

No doubt…

:(

Seven Percent Solution on April 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM

In a sane world, USA would not be aiding and arming and financing the jihadies in Syria against Assad.
In a sane world, Israel would be encouraged to take care of threats to it’s people .
In a sane world .

burrata on April 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Tell us a leftard tale how this news has anything positive attached to it? It is an opportunity for America to do what?

BL@KBIRD on April 23, 2013 at 5:20 PM

President Paper Tiger…

dpduq on April 23, 2013 at 5:22 PM

“Present!”

Another Drew on April 23, 2013 at 5:22 PM

How come there is never anything positive on this blog? Every single post is meant to get the fringe right angry and b!tchy. Glad im not on your team.

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

The place would be a lot more peaceful without you libs invading the place with your endless invective. Not a one of YOU, for a week after Sandy Hook, ever once grieved with us. Instead, you liberals went off against us, calling ‘crocodile tears’, and bragging about how you were finally going to get our guns.

Yeah — you liberals are all kinds of happy!

I have seen you people argue about the palate-cleansers. You liberals are the ones who find fault with everything, ARGUE no matter the thread and no matter the subject.

Hey! how about this…?

How about the next time you invade, start off with, “Hi, everybody!” Just that for your first post, and nothing more.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 5:22 PM

President Pantywaist will get to that just after he classifies the Boston attack a result of “Islamic extremist terrorism”.

Don’t hold your breath.

Philly on April 23, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Halt – or I’ll yell “halt” again!

CycloneCDB on April 23, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Jason Chaffetz ‏@jasoninthehouse 36m #Benghazi Here is the interim report on Benghazi. Much more to come. http://chaffetz.house.gov/sites/chaffetz.house.gov/files/Benghazi%20Report.pdf

Seven Percent Solution on April 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Assad, “I call your bluff.”
Pres Obama, …..

LincolntheHun on April 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Liam
Heh

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:25 PM

+1 dpduq

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Just another wonderful gift from the Satan’s Kenyan spawn.

acyl72 on April 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM

OT: This is something I will definitely skip: Moon Unit and the Antichrist. Sounds like a winning combination.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/04/cnn-in-talks-with-newt-gingrich-stephanie-cutter-for-162439.html

Philly on April 23, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Good one 7%

The lsm will just sweep it under the rug

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Bark: “I’m not bluffing!”

Assad: “Fine. I have a royal flush.”

Bark: “Yeah? Well…I have a…uh…go fish!”

Assad: “LOL what?”

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Liam
Heh

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:25 PM

The latest tack I’m seeing from the trolls is that they are trying to decide what threads are ‘worthy’. It’s a new kitsch among them.

Gosnell? Too much, ‘sensationalizing’.

&etc.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Lol Bishop

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

“… but what kind of game is being played here?”

Checkers…

… it’s easier than Chess.

Seven Percent Solution on April 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Interesting liam
They’ll sit in on the bombers…. gotta defend the young kid

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

How come there is never anything positive on this blog?

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Name one thing positive about having your country destroyed right before your very eyes.

antipc on April 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

In a sane world, USA would not be aiding and arming and financing the jihadies in Syria against Assad.
In a sane world, Israel would be encouraged to take care of threats to it’s people .
In a sane world .

burrata on April 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM

That^

Mimzey on April 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

AP Tweets 2 explosions in WH, Obama injured.

Of course, the AP twitter account was hacked.

BobMbx on April 23, 2013 at 5:35 PM

How come there is never anything positive on this blog?

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Obama can’t run for re-election in 2016. Hows that for happiness?

BobMbx on April 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

It’s intervention time.

Nope.

Most likely a sternly worded letter…

socalcon on April 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

The only thing the Obamabots are going to do is bloviate. There won’t be any military action.

n0doz on April 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Liam….tingles is actually talking about gosnell

He’s worried because they are talking the death penalty…. he’s worried about him awww

Smerconish defending him as well

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Interesting liam
They’ll sit in on the bombers…. gotta defend the young kid

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

If liberals got their wish, that all Conservatives just vanish, they’ll end up arguing with each other. That mindset was cause of the rift between Red China and Stalin that lasted years. Mao called the Soviets the worst thing you could call a Communist or a liberal: “Revisionist”.

The same with the Sunnis and that other big Moslem group. If they got what they wanted, Islam still wouldn’t have peace until one side or the other is wiped out. Then would come the hunt for ‘heretics’ that would go on forever.

Man always calls for peace. But it is not in his nature to bring it about for eternity.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 5:39 PM

you have the right to remain silent. The MSM always is on stuff like this…

kirkill on April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I can hear them typing that strongly worded memo now.

The Rogue Tomato on April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Glad im not on your team.

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

So are we. Your team lost the vote of college graduates in 2012, and so was forced to greatly increase its share of the high school dropout vote from an already record 70% to 80% or more just to win the game.

F+

Del Dolemonte on April 23, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Liam….tingles is actually talking about gosnell

He’s worried because they are talking the death penalty…. he’s worried about him awww

Smerconish defending him as well

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

People like Matthews have over-thought themselves out of any kind of true human compassion. It’s politics for them now, not humanity.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 5:43 PM

you have the right requirement to remain silent. The MSM always is on stuff like this…

kirkill on April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

FIFY

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Indeed liam

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Words. That’s all the poseur in chief is full of, empty threats, empty promises, empty rhetoric, empty actions, empty results. They call it “commander” in chief for a reason. He doesn’t take command of anything.

scalleywag on April 23, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Just yesterday, Hagel insisted that WMD use in Syria would be a “game changer” (Obama has used those words himself), but what kind of game is being played here?

One we want to watch from the bleachers. We do not need another costly, objectiveless foreign war that will only gain us hatred and revilement, no matter what we do. To paraphrase Bismarck,

das ganze Syrien is nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen arkansischen Artilleristen wert.

The whole of Syria is not worth the bones of a single Arkansas artilleryman.

Tzetzes on April 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM

It’s time for a strongly worded memo to Assad. Maybe throw in a few four letter words to emphasize our resolve, but of course we will want to end it on an upbeat note as not to offend him.

MarkM on April 23, 2013 at 6:08 PM

How come there is never anything positive on this blog? Every single post is meant to get the fringe right angry and b!tchy. Glad im not on your team.

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Well gee, moron, what exactly is going on with Obama’s America that’s cause for celebration?

* We just had the first successful jihadi attack on US soil since 9/11, and the perp just got a lawyer. Liberals are looking for a motive.

* The economy is in the crapper and Obama’s blocking a major oil pipeline (amidst news from even liberal rags reporting that the planet hasn’t warmed in the last 15 years)

* Obama has become the biggest spender in the history of mankind and is out community organizing against a ~2% decrease in an increase in spending levels

* Syria is laughing at Obama’s red lines

* Poverty levels are at the highest levels since the 60′s

* Gas prices are at all-time highs

Oh, I guess the stock market is doing great only because lenders are giving away money.

crrr6 on April 23, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I am always amazed to read that most HA posters are glued to their Fox News 9-5 when every other productive member of the society is at work.

Maybe most work as night security guards

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 6:15 PM

The REB will create a strike-force of bureaucrats from the EPA to parachute into Syria and find out why these dangerous chemicals were spilled onto the ground, and recommend a United Nations Superfund program to manage the cleanup.

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 6:20 PM

He’s never been held accountable for anything that’s run out of his blow hole for his entire miserable existence…

Why would anyone start now???

BigWyo on April 23, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I am always amazed to read that most HA posters are glued to their Fox News 9-5 when every other productive member of the society is at work.

Maybe most work as night security guards

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Fox News, the one that just topped all Cable Network news shows for the 1st time since 2005 this past week, that network? Moron.

hillsoftx on April 23, 2013 at 6:25 PM

crrr6 on April 23, 2013 at 6:10 PM

The whole world is laughing at Obama’s red lines.

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 6:25 PM

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Or busy texting on they Obama phones!!

Oh, wait….

BigWyo on April 23, 2013 at 6:27 PM

AP Tweets 2 explosions in WH, Obama injured.

Of course, the AP twitter account was hacked.

BobMbx on April 23, 2013 at 5:35 PM

But why did the stock market drop?

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 6:28 PM

It’s fun to watch the Israelis taunting and ridiculing 0, but in reality I hope we never get involved in Syria. Let them kill each other.

jimver on April 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Glad im not on your team.

HotLips on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

…because you want to give fellatio to each and everyone of us…and it makes you tired?

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Glad im not on your team.

HotAirLib on April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

so are they.

aceinstall on April 24, 2013 at 2:44 PM