Video: White House “highly skeptical” of UN’s finding that Syrian rebels, not Assad, used chemical weapons

posted at 4:41 pm on May 6, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Greg Hengler. Like former NYT chief Bill Keller, I can’t see any pitfalls ahead from the White House being at odds with the UN on WMD while it plans war against a Middle Eastern regime.

Further to Ed’s post this morning, here’s a crafty theory I saw floated somewhere on Twitter last night to possibly explain why the rebels, rather than Assad, are suddenly tossing chemical weapons at their enemies: What if an Assad ally, like Iran or Russia, gave it to them? The longer the war drags on, the greater the risk of western intervention; if, like Moscow or Tehran, you’re rooting for the regime, that intervention is an unhappy prospect. The only way to force the west to keep its distance might be by making the rebels so politically toxic that the White House simply can’t sell a partnership with them to the American public. You would think the fact that the rebel ranks are teeming with jihadists would be enough to ensure that, but no: The administration will find someone among the opposition with whom it can do business, or rather someone it can point to for purposes of domestic politics as someone with whom it might potentially do business. Phase two, then, if you’re pro-Assad/anti-intervention is to ratchet up the taboo another way — maybe by feeding a small amount of chemical weapons to some of the nuttier elements among the rebels and hope that they sabotage their western support by using them.

Lots of flaws in that theory, though. For starters, Assad and his allies wouldn’t need to hand the weapons over to the rebels. They would use them themselves in a staged attack against their own side to “prove” that it’s the regime that’s being targeted by WMD, not vice versa. (Which reminds me: Why exactly is Carney “highly skeptical” of the UN report? Does he think the witnesses they spoke to are lying, or is he endorsing some sort of false-flag theory in which Assad used WMD but tried to make it look like the rebels had?) For another thing, without absolute smoking-gun proof that the rebels are the guilty party here, realistically nothing’s going to deter the White House from blaming Assad. Not even a UN finding will steer them away. This is no longer about WMD deterrence, after all, it’s about Obama having to protect the credibility of his previous statements, from the dumb “red line” that he may or may not even have meant to draw to his own well-publicized statement in Jerusalem that he was “highly skeptical” that the rebels, rather than Assad, would use chemical weapons. The new UN claim pointing the finger the other way makes him look like a sucker, and Israel’s airstrikes on the regime over the weekend make Obama look weak and ambivalent about countermeasures by comparison. No wonder he’s doubling down by blaming Assad today.

Speaking of quixotic western interventions, the new Libya continues to develop about as well as expected.



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ALL in Syria are the enemies of the US.

Some are Obama’s brothers. They proceed, apace, and he will find a path to enable them. He’ll use Israel as the scapegoat and claim “it’s for the good of our best allies…the Israelis”.

Goebbels will soon marry his coffin. Obama’s propaganda fulfills all of Goebbels’ dreams and imaginations.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

The Obama White House is good with Taqiyya.

I think there is another term besides Taqiyya that allows you to lie to non-believers?

Oil Can on May 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

I hope our POTUS realizes that even the legendary the Dutch kid who kept sticking his finger in the dike didn’t try to be on both sides of the wall. Or let guys wearing his color of jersey drown…

IlikedAUH2O on May 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

The only thing the Sunni and Shi’a hate arguably as much as the west, is each other. Somehow I don’t see Iran helping the Syrian resistance out in any way.

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

The muzzie brothers succeed, apace, enabled by Obama.

Name one nation which is free/freer, due to Obama, I triple dare you.

verbaluce named Iraq and the USA. It was risible. Try others.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

The Obama White House is good with Taqiyya.

I think there is another term besides Taqiyya that allows you to lie to non-believers?

Oil Can on May 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Kitman. Taqiyya is primarily a Shi’a thing though, so … don’t think it’s real big in Indonesia.

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Further to Ed’s post this morning, here’s a crafty theory I saw floated somewhere on Twitter last night to possibly explain why the rebels, rather than Assad, are suddenly tossing chemical weapons at their enemies

It’s not really all that ‘crafty.’ Similar theories have been made regarding the Zimmermann Telegram in WWI, the Gleiwitz incident, the Battle of Trindade, Operation Greif, Operation Trust, the Mukden incident, etc, and it is indisputable that at least some of these (we know for sure with Gleiwitz) were false flags.

If you asked any Alex Jones listener, it is more likely than not that he will say that Syria’s rebels are engaging in false flags in order to get the US to takeout Assad. I would normally ignore such claims by the Troofer Brigade, but this case isn’t so easily racked up as tinfoil hatism.

While it is tempting to dismiss claims of false flags out of hand, the truth is that there have been some in history and you don’t have to be a Troofer to understand the benefits such could produce for the Syrian Rebels.

Resist We Much on May 6, 2013 at 4:55 PM

All Obama wants is to get rid of Asaad. He doesn’t care if he’s replaced by AlQuida or the muzzie brotherhood. Heck, he’d love the latter.

Wake up America!!! NO blood and treasure for Obama and his brothers.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Obama’s Arab ‘Spring’ is a wintry nightmare for America and the ME and parts of Africa.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM

whenever I read anything on Syria, my immediate question is why do we give a rats behind?

I couldn’t care less, to be honest. Its not a US problem, we should not interfere period unless our self-interests are implicated.

nonpartisan on May 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

[Carney:] “Obama never said what action he’d take if that ‘red line’ was crossed”.

[What the world heard]: Obama’s going to use military force.

[What Obama was thinking]: I’m going to go out and buy that new driver before my next round.

WisRich on May 6, 2013 at 5:03 PM

nonpartisan on May 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Make sure to write that tall handsome fellow in the White House.

CW on May 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Of course, O doesn’t want to admit that the rebels did this…………….he wants to get rid of Assad so his
AQ buddies can take over Syria….

avagreen on May 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Can both sides lose?

Illinidiva on May 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM

What I wouldn’t give to have -at the very minimum- an adult occupying the White House.

BKeyser on May 6, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Nonpartisan as you are too lazy:

CNN asked Hillary Mann Leverett; Joseph Holliday, a former U.S. soldier turned foreign policy analyst; and Robert Zarate, a geopolitical strategist with Capitol Hill experience, to explain why Americans should care about Syria.
1. Geography. Think of Syria as the Middle East’s core. When it’s weak and destabilized, the body is susceptible to serious injury. Violence in Syria could easily spill into bordering Iraq, where the United States recently ended a war that ran from March 2003 to December 2011 and where U.S. troops and American civilians still work.
Beyond Iraq, Turkey, a U.S. ally, borders Syria as do Jordan and Lebanon. If Lebanon is shaken too badly by conflict in Syria, Lebanon could fall into a civil war as it did decades ago, Holliday said. That kind of conflict would spark yet another serious political and diplomatic problem that the United States would inevitably have to address.
2. Al Qaeda. The United States’ No. 1 enemy would appreciate another failed state from which to operate in the Middle East.
3. Iran. Syria supports Iran. Iran has had a contentious relationship with the United States for decades. Remember Bush’s “Axis of Evil”? That trifecta was Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
“Syria is Iran’s arm in the Middle East,” Zarate said. “Iran has used Syria as a staging ground to train and support militants who have crossed into Iraq to hurt our troops and to train for other terrorist activities.”
Each expert CNN spoke with pointed out that Iran has a nuclear program. Whether it has capabilities for nuclear weapons is something the United States and most of the world doesn’t know.
4. Oil prices. Though Syria produces far less oil than Libya, for example, violence in Syria could affect global oil speculation and prices, Leverett said. Ultimately, that affects how much American consumers pay at the pump.
5. The economy, stupid. Leverett and Zarate note that many in the United States may not think about the Iraq war now, but they say it’s important not to forget that war cost an estimated $1 trillion. Whether one supports or opposes military intervention in Syria, the costs incurred by any approach will affect the American economy.
6. Global reputation. “People around the world are looking for some kind of consistency in our foreign policy, and we’ve been criticized for not having that, not having anything close to consistency during the Arab Spring,” Zarate said.

CW on May 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Seems like they should be totally down with it since it gives Zero an easy way to back away from the thin red line.

stvnscott on May 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Here is how it is shaping up…

If he intervenes Comrade O will be doing it on less evidence that Assad used WMDs than GWB had that Saddam still had WMDs when he intervened in Iraq. Of course, in one case the issue is use and in the other possession. But if used as a casus belli shouldn’t evidence of use be even more conclusive than evidence of possession? Comrade O has never threatened Assad over possession. He concedes possession and has never made plans to do anything about it. Now he is saying Assad has used them based on spotty and disputed evidence. Saddam’s possession of WMDs was unacceptable because there was indisputable evidence he used them and he had agreed to disarm.

Further, the UN inspectors thought it probable that Saddam still had some WMDs hidden away. As did most of the US Senate including Hillary. As did everyone else. In this case UN officials are saying it is the rebels who used the WMDs, not Assad. At least the UN more or less agreed with GWB about Saddam’s likely possession of some WMDs. In this case the UN disagrees with Comrade O.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 5:16 PM

whenever I read anything on Syria, my immediate question is why do we give a rats behind?

I couldn’t care less, to be honest. Its not a US problem, we should not interfere period unless our self-interests are implicated.

nonpartisan on May 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Frankly, I’m a bit stunned. That may be the smartest thing you’ve yet posted here. Perhaps there is hope for you after all. :)

That said, when Obama does make a decision on this, you’re going to agree with it, whatever it is, probably. We shall see…

Midas on May 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

If/when Syria goes full-on failed state status, it will matter in the same sense Afghanistan did, which is to say, it will become a 3rd world hellhole that shelters and exports terrorism, except this time in a much more critical location in the ME.

Not arguing for intervention right this minute / ever, but it’s a bit more complicated than “not my problem, nanananana i’m not listening”.

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

We should be bombing the ten AQ camps in Libya. And then leave.

HICON on May 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I’m highly skeptical that anyone in this administration knows their azz from a hole in the ground…even if they did, they would lie about it.

glcinpdx on May 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Is it possible the “rebels” (how overly glorified is that moniker?) used gas as a way to try and draw the US in with at least some air strikes against Assad? Or help replenish weapons?

That we’re even treating the Syrian situation with any diplomatic effort at all seems nonsensical. I can’t imagine there is a single trustworthy individual within its borders, and I can’t imagine there is consensus anywhere within our intelligence community on anything happening there.

All we get is CYA politics. There seems to be zero integrity among anyone in the administration.

BKeyser on May 6, 2013 at 5:21 PM

If we do intervene, I hope we just pave the place. No boots on the ground, just airborne eradication.

Nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure. And then that site over there. Oh, and that one over there. And bring our people home, after having sent an indisputable message that we *can* and most assuredly *will* wipe you and yours from the planet if necessary.

Midas on May 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Hmmmm…

“A UN commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria has distanced itself from comments made by one of its investigators indicating that Syrian rebel forces have used chemical weapons, saying on Monday that it had “no conclusive proof”…”

http://www.france24.com/en/20130506-un-no-proof-syrian-rebels-used-chemical-weapons

workingclass artist on May 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

That said, when Obama does make a decision on this, you’re going to agree with it, whatever it is, probably. We shall see…

Midas on May 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Whatever Obama does NonP will have one of the President’s nuts firmly planted in its cheek.

CW on May 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

We should be bombing the ten AQ camps in Libya. And then leave.

HICON on May 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Those aren’t AQ camps, those are spontaneous demonstrations.

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

BTW. Shouldn’t Comrade O be seeking approval from Congress before intervening?

Apparently the rules are different for Presidents with a D after their name.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Those aren’t AQ camps, those are spontaneous demonstrations.

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

What difference does it make?
/

CW on May 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Midas on May 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

51st state, or Greater Israel. Either one could run the place better than it’s been run, and we’ll be accused of imperialism anyway, so why not just embrace it?

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Any rational person would be “highly skeptical” of anything to come out of the 0bama regime.

jukin3 on May 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

If we intervene, and it goes badly, you know who will get blamed for it, don’t you?

McCain and the Pubs, for ‘pressuring Obama to act when he didn’t want to’.

Liam on May 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM

If we intervene, and it goes badly, you know who will get blamed for it, don’t you?

McCain and the Pubs, for ‘pressuring Obama to act when he didn’t want to’.

Liam on May 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM

“Fox news made us do it”

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

51st state, or Greater Israel. Either one could run the place better than it’s been run, and we’ll be accused of imperialism anyway, so why not just embrace it?

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Only if the plan is to drain it dry of oil, and *then* level it. ;)

Midas on May 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

That 2nd Carney video; Wow!

“It’s simplistic” to think that Red Line means anything other than it causes Obama to change his thinking on the issue.

It’s his personal – how to think about things – Red Line. Nothing else.

Think about how Obama-centric that process is.

aquaviva on May 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

“Fox news made us do it”

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

“Honest Injun! Obama really, really, really, really didn’t want to get involved!”

Liam on May 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Everyone is our enemy in Syria until we can determine which group is not a pack of al Qaeda sympathizers. Good luck with that.

Stay out of it.

I’m all for striking the AQ camps in Libya, though.

Philly on May 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

The WH has been wrong on almost everything so why not this?

rplat on May 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

“It’s simplistic” to think that Red Line means anything other than it causes Obama to change his thinking on the issue.

aquaviva on May 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

In other words it was a meaningless threat. Great leader there!

CW on May 6, 2013 at 5:42 PM

What were those rules on intervention that the Dems repeatedly lectured everyone on for the last six years of the Bush admin?

Didn’t they include things like having a clear national and unambiguous national interest, clear and unambiguous objectives, and a clear plan, including an exit plan? And something about having UN Security council approval beforehand? How would Russia and China vote on Syria? And about having a clear and unambiguous vote in Congress beforehand?

I guess all that only matters when the President has an R after his name.

farsighted on May 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

It wouldn’t surprise me if we end up acting to actually prolong the conflict, and keep what is essentially the 2 worst actors in the ME occupied with one another for as long as possible. Can’t last forever though.

rightmind on May 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

I’m tellin ya it’s complete deja vu of the Sarajevo market bombings. The jihadis gained a new Muslim country in Europe using the tactic of bombing civilians to get the US to bomb their enemy for them. Would they just abandon their most successful tactic ever?

Maybe the most deja vu part about it is that the UN initially reported that it was the Muslims who bombed the Sarajevo market and then changed it under pressure from the US Democrat administration at the time, which was Clinton.

Buddahpundit on May 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Only trouble with ‘waiting for the US’. Barry is President.

It’s going to be a lonnnnnng wait.

GarandFan on May 6, 2013 at 6:45 PM

“Nah, we want it to be Assad.” -Caney

Akzed on May 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I seriously doubt Assad wants to do anything to drag in NATO air power on the side of Al-Qaeda.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 6, 2013 at 10:45 PM

The Syrian Rebels are Muslim Brotherhood operatives that hijacked the movement just like they did in Egypt. They are the buddies of Barry, so good ol’ Jay must deflect the truth. Would not want it to be found that the weapons the rebels are using came from Libya that Barry sold them.

booger71 on May 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM