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Subject: Syria and The Red Line rss

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J
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The White House has sent a letter to Congress (excerpt):

Miguel Rodriguez wrote:
Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin. This assessment is based in part on physiological samples. Our standard of evidence must build on these intelligence assessments as we seek to establish credible and corroborated facts.

Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned from our own recent experiences, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient - only credible and corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making


The president has previously said that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would constitute the crossing of a "red line" and be a "game changer". Israel has already come out saying they believe that Syria has used chemical weapons.

The New York Times is reporting that the CIA has been in contact with a Syrian opposition commander and requested soil, urine and hair samples for testing.
 
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Agent Emme
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Far better to verify it than to rush head-first into the conflict. Iraq anyone?

I suspect we will hear the term "The Red Line" thrown around quite a lot by all the talking heads and pundits in the upcoming weeks.
 
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Liam
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My understanding was that the Syrian regime had already used chemical weapons on a few occasions during the conflict, though these incidents remained unconfirmed and were on a limited scale.

I'm pretty sure Chanel 4 (UK) ran a report a couple months ago asking questions about a bomb's payload dropped by air close to Aleppo that reputedly caused effects similar to the Sarin nerve agent that's use is now being officially advanced.

Either way 'the red line' is going to be the new buzz word for the next while. It's better than 'smoking gun', IMO.
 
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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Miguel Rodriguez wrote:

Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned from our own recent experiences, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient - only credible and corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making


Families of drone strike victims across the middle-east are so much happier now.
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Scott Russell
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I predict a sternly worded note of disapproval to be let loose any time now. That will show them.

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CHAPEL
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jmilum wrote:
Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin.


Yeah, we've heard all this before.
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J
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MWChapel wrote:
jmilum wrote:
Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin.


Yeah, we've heard all this before.

Yeah, but not the next part:

Quote:
Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned from our own recent experiences, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient - only credible and corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making


I believe they are gathering more evidence to be able to make a case before the UN Security council that even Russia won't veto.
 
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William Boykin
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The Syrians have (very probably) been using chemical weapons for a long time now.

They're just being cagey about it- only use enough to get a tactical advantage, and don't use the ones that are easily detectable.

Interesting that they've upped the ante from stronger variations of CS gas to Sarin, a nerve agent.

Ultimately, however, all of this is just posturing until the Turks decide that they'll help us intervene in Syria. Without Turkish support, there is very little that we can do, due to a complete lack of usable ports for logistical support. We can't send supplies through Israel; and the Iraqis aren't stopping Iranian overflights into Syria- do we really think that they'll allow us to come back INTO Iraq even if we promise we're heading off to Syria?

Erdogan, now that he has gotten his apology from Israel over the seizure of their boat a few years back, seems to be shifting more to help the US. This announcement that NOW we've got evidence against Syrian use of chemical weapons is probably being utilized to further facilitate that shift by Turkish leaders into open support for a US intervention in Syria.

Given that Israel has declared that they'll intervene with air strikes if they get any indication that Assad is moving his chemical stockpiles or giving them away to Hezbollah in Lebanon, there is a bit of a need for a rush on this. It is possible that events are getting ready to ratchet up and spiral completely out of control, very quickly now.

Darilian
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Scott Russell
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This situation reminds me of a scene in Happy Days.

The Fonz has coached Richie into talking tough because that will make some bullies back down. When they aren't backing down, the Fonz says something like, "I forgot one thing, at some point you have to have actually hit someone."

Since our current President only redefines conflicts ends inherited wars, he doesn't have much credibility in applying force. Although maybe he could threaten to commando raid Assad. He has a successful track record there.

Ironically, despite the fact that all anyone mentions among Bush's several reasons for going into Iraq are the WMD's, one of his stated goals was to establish US bases there so that there would be a credible threat on the other side of the red line. Even he backed off that goal, which was one of the ones that made the most sense.
 
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William Boykin
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Shit is going to get real very soon now.

Quote:
JERUSALEM (AP) — A former Israeli defense minister alleged Monday that Syria's chemical weapons are "trickling" to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. It was the first such claim by a senior politician in Israel, but he did not supply evidence to support his assertion.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a retired general who is now a lawmaker from the opposition Labor party, told The Associated Press: "The process of weapon transferal to Hezbollah has begun."

He told Israel Radio that he "has no doubt" that Syrian President Bashar Assad has already used chemical weapons and that that "these weapons are trickling to Hezbollah."


http://news.yahoo.com/israel-lawmaker-hezbollah-getting-chem...

If Israeli officials confirm this, things are going to heat up in Syria very, very quickly.

Darilian
 
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