Syria: The US is lying about use of chemical weapons

posted at 9:21 am on June 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Well, what did anyone expect them to say? “All right, coppers, you caught us” in full Edward G. Robinson mode?  Not that this denial will make much difference on intervention, as key NATO partners backed Barack Obama yesterday, but the pro forma response isn’t aimed at the West anyway:

The Syrian government on Friday dismissed U.S. charges that it used chemical weapons as “full of lies,” accusing President Barack Obama of resorting to fabrications to justify his decision to arm Syrian rebels. The commander of the main rebel umbrella group welcomed the U.S. move. …

“The White House has issued a statement full of lies about the use of chemical weapons in Syria based on fabricated information,” a statement issued Friday by the Syrian Foreign Ministry said. “The United States is using cheap tactics to justify President Barack Obama’s decision to arm the Syrian opposition,” it said.

The commander of the main Western-backed rebel group fighting in Syria said he hoped that U.S. weapons will be in the hands of rebels in the near future, noting it would boost the spirits of the fighters on the ground.

“We hope to have the weapons and ammunition that we need in the near future,” Gen. Salim Idris told Al-Arabiya TV.

“This will surely reflect positively on the rebels’ morale, which is high despite attempts by the regime, Hezbollah and Iran to show that their morale after the fall of Qusair deteriorated,” he said, referring to the town near the border with Lebanon.

You can take that with a large grain of salt, too.  One reason that the White House is moving now on the red line, long after everyone knew it’d been crossed, is because the West fears that the rebellion will collapse.  The US and NATO want to use the rebellion as leverage to get Bashar al-Assad to leave in order to break Iranian power on the Mediterranean, which would be a lovely goal if the only real alternative wasn’t a fractious collection of radical Sunni terrorist militias.

The only way to get Assad to conduct talks for his eventual departure is if he’s losing.  Ironically, Assad had agreed in principle to attend the Geneva talks already; it was the rebels that balked at his involvement and refused to attend.  Will an infusion of American arms convince them to talk peace?  Hardly, but both sides in Libya — excuse me, Syria (they look so much alike) — are busy playing three-dimensional chess while we’re playing checkers.

For that matter, what exactly will be the American infusion of arms?  No one knows, and Obama won’t have a plan until at least next week.  That stunned Charles Krauthammer, who points out that the White House has had months to plan out its moves:

“The red line is officially crossed. You would think they would have actually considered what you do on the day the red line is crossed. You don’t think it anew on the morning of the announcement.”

On Obama’s apparent timetable? “In a week? In a week Hezbollah is amassing outside of Aleppo.”

Like I said, it’s checkers to chess, just as it was in Libya.

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I expect they will carefully filter Christians out of any US refugee program.

slickwillie2001 on June 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Yep.

They’ll have to use the catholic network…if they can.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Obama = neocon

blink on June 14, 2013 at 10:09 AM

He’s no neocon. If he was though, it would certainly be an improvement over being a community organizer.

UltimateBob on June 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Calling Obama a neocon is giving him too much credit.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 14, 2013 at 12:16 PM

All in Syria are the enemies of the US.

Schadenfreude on June 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Wow. You just called onefortyseven’s in-laws enemies of the United States. Maybe you know something about them he doesn’t? I’m going to venture a guess that they are not and ask you to be careful with those sweeping generalizations.

Christien on June 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM

So the United States Government at the direction of the President of the United States will be giving arms to rebels who have pledged loyalty to Al Quaeda.

Again.

Someone please tell me what newspaper has this as a headline…..

Somebody?

Bueller?

Tenwheeler on June 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM

One reason that the White House is moving now on the red line, long after everyone knew it’d been crossed, is because the West fears that the rebellion will collapse.

Maybe … seems more like the need to distract the country away from the domestic issues – on that front “the West” fears the rebellion will begin.

ignatzk on June 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

HiJack on June 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I am not making any more posts on our POTUS or military until I achieve a therapeutic blood level of lithium and seroquel.

Or a few of them do.

IlikedAUH2O on June 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

… because the West fears that the rebellion will collapse

Sorry, I call BS on this one. “Wag the Dog” anyone??? We really need a juicy war to get everyone’s attention off of the IRS, NSA, FBI, Justice Dept, et al.

Who cares how many American pilots get shot down? We gottat make the effort to show that our buff, war hawk POTUS gets his just chops.

Sheesh!! Let them kill each other all they want but please, please please stay out of this mess. It will only cause pain, loss, and trust me, will eventually bite us in the ass……

E9RET on June 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM

All in Syria are the enemies of the US.

Schadenfreude on June 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Wow. You just called onefortyseven’s in-laws enemies of the United States. Maybe you know something about them he doesn’t? I’m going to venture a guess that they are not and ask you to be careful with those sweeping generalizations.

Christien on June 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Schadenfreude makes a common error…That all residents in these countries are muslims.

Negating of course the history of the region…which includes ancient communities of Jews and Christians that predate the Muslims.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Wait. Hold on there.

So… When Hussein Sr. (Iraq) used chemical weapons against Kurds (FACTUAL DATA not questioned by anyone) and killed a few hundred thousand of them in the process, we somehow STILL TO THIS DAY insist that he had no chemical weapons.

But… Now that “chemical weapons” narrative fits Hussein Jr.’s agenda of arming Al Qaeda and Hizbolla even more openly (see Benghazi and Stevens elimination as witness) WITHOUT ANY ACTUAL PROOF OF CHEM WEAPONS we are all gung ho on the idea of not only re-arming our worst enemies, but then providing HOME to them on our own soil.

Yeah, I see logic in liberals’ ways. Ignore facts and act on suppositions and agenda. Where is this “proof” of chemical weapons used?

Just curious, how in hell will we filter those Syrian refugees that are, well, refugees, from those who are using this ruse to easily enter our borders? Been done before (see Tsarnaev and Co.). I say plenty of Islamic countries around the world that could/should help their brethren. After all, Kuran teaches helping others in need, right? Why is it that non-Muslims are the only ones helping them, time and again?

riddick on June 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Schadenfreude makes a common error…That all residents in these countries are muslims.

Negating of course the history of the region…which includes ancient communities of Jews and Christians that predate the Muslims.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Not that he needs defending, he is usually spot on, but can you two please tell us just how many JEWS and CHRISTIANS reside in Syria TODAY? Out of the 1.5 MILLION of supposed refugees now wanting to invade EU and USA on the pre-text of persecution?

Numbers please.

riddick on June 14, 2013 at 3:39 PM

You would think they would have actually considered what you do on the day the red line is crossed. You don’t think it anew on the morning of the announcement.

Charles, Charles — you want the President to make a plan before he knows what the actual political situation is going to be when (he announces that) the red line was crossed?

I’m not surprised that there weren’t any plans in place for when Assad decided to ignore Obama. I certainly wouldn’t want to enter into any agreement with him and his selective leak machine if I were a foreign leader.
Are the geeks accessing your e-mails the only ones in this government with IQ’s over 80? We are so screwed!

yesiamapirate on June 14, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Or maybe the administration had some plans but didn’t come up with one that matches the current circumstances.

Or maybe they fired, demoted, and demoralized enough of the people in charge of making plans that nothing was ever done.

If the Americans were smart, with the recent discoveries of large natural-gas supplies in Ohio and Pennsylvania, we could liquefy natural gas at American seaports and ship it to Europe, thereby breaking Gazprom’s monopoly on Europe and helping our own “balance of payments”. Europe wouldn’t need Arabian gas, and we could let the various players in the Middle East sort through the Syrian situation on their own. …

But that presupposes that the Americans are smart, which is an oxymoron with Obama in the White House. Or maybe without the oxy.

Steve Z on June 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Something to think about, given the rabid negative response of Obama and the Left to drilling for our own gas (or oil). What if they don’t want to break the Russian hold over Europe, or the Saudi hold over us?

MaiDee on June 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Interesting points.

Do any of you remember the Gulf of Tonkin? “our” government lied and over 50,000 of our fine young men died.
harvey1 on June 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Indeed. (This should also be remembered when evaluating whether or not the NSA, CIA, DOJ, etc are doing a bit of prevaricating of their own.)

AesopFan on June 14, 2013 at 4:26 PM

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