Militants tell AP reporter they mishandled Saudi-supplied chemical weapons, causing accident
Paul Joseph Watson
August 30, 2013
Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press journalist Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.
“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.
Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra.
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.
His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”
Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of an opposition rebel, also told Gavlak, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” The father names the Saudi militant who provided the weapons as Abu Ayesha.
According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.
“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government,” writes Gavlak.
If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR).
The website on which the story originally appeared – Mint Press (which is currently down as a result of huge traffic it is attracting to the article) is a legitimate media organization based in Minnesota. The Minnesota Post did a profile on them last year.
Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.
“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar allegedly told Vladimir Putin, the Telegraph reports.
The Obama administration is set to present its intelligence findings today in an effort prove that Assad’s forces were behind last week’s attack, despite American officials admitting to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” that directly links President Assad to the attack.
US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk.”
As we reported earlier this week, intercepted intelligence revealed that the Syrian Defense Ministry was making “panicked” phone calls to Syria’s chemical weapons department demanding answers in the hours after the attack, suggesting that it was not ordered by Assad’s forces.
Economic Collapse Blog
August 30, 2013
If Barack Obama is going to attack Syria, he is going to do it without the support of the American people, without the approval of Congress, without the approval of the United Nations, and without the help of the British. Now that the British Parliament has voted against a military strike, the Obama administration is saying that it may take “unilateral action” against Syria. But what good would “a shot across Syria’s bow” actually do? A “limited strike” is not going to bring down the Assad regime and it is certainly not going to end the bloody civil war that has been raging inside Syria. Even if the U.S. eventually removed Assad, the al-Qaeda affiliated rebels that would take power would almost certainly be even worse than Assad. Even in the midst of this bloody civil war, the rebels have taken the time and the effort to massacre entire Christian villages. Why is Barack Obama so obsessed with helping such monsters? There is no good outcome in Syria. The Assad regime is absolutely horrible and the rebels are even worse. Why would we want the U.S. military to get involved in such a mess?
It isn’t as if it is even possible for the U.S. military to resolve the conflict that is going on in that country. At the core, the Syrian civil war is about Sunni Islam vs. Shia Islam. It is a conflict that goes back well over a thousand years.
Assad is Shiite, but the majority of Syrians are Sunni Muslims. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been pouring billions of dollars into the conflict, because they would love to see the Assad regime eliminated and a Sunni government come to power in Syria. On the other side, Iran is absolutely determined to not allow that to happen.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have no problem with using Sunni terrorists (al-Qaeda) to achieve their political goals. And as a very important ally of the Saudis, the U.S. has been spending a lot of money to train and equip the “rebels” in Syria.
But there was a problem. The Syrian government has actually been defeating the rebels. So something had to be done.
If it could be made to look like the Assad regime was using chemical weapons, that would give the U.S. government the “moral justification” that it needed to intervene militarily on the side of the rebels. In essence, it would be a great excuse for the U.S. to be able to go in and do the dirty work of the Saudis for them.
So that is where we are today. The justification for attacking Syria that the Obama administration is giving us goes something like this…
-Chemical weapons were used in Syria.
-The rebels do not have the ability to use chemical weapons.
-Therefore it must have been the Assad regime that was responsible for using chemical weapons.
-The U.S. military must punish the use of chemical weapons to make sure that it never happens again.
Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the world is not buying it. In fact, people are seeing right through this charade.
The U.S. government spends $52,000,000,000 a year on “intelligence”, but apparently our intelligence community absolutely refuses to see the obvious. WND has been able to uncover compelling evidence that the rebels in Syria have used chemical weapons repeatedly, and yet government officials continue to insist over and over that no such evidence exists and that we need to strike Syria immediately.
Shouldn’t we at least take a little bit of time to figure out who is actually in the wrong before we start letting cruise missiles fly?
Because the potential downside of an attack against Syria is absolutely massive. As I wrote about the other day, if we attack Syria we have the potential of starting World War 3 in the Middle East.
We could find ourselves immersed in an endless war with Syria, Iran and Hezbollah which would be far more horrible than the Iraq war ever was. It would essentially be a war with Shia Islam itself, and that would be a total nightmare.
If you are going to pick a fight with those guys, you better pack a lunch. They fight dirty and they are absolutely relentless. They will never forget and they will never, ever forgive.
A full-blown war with Syria, Iran and Hezbollah would be a fight to the death, and they would not hesitate to strike soft targets all over the United States. I don’t think that most Americans have any conception of what that could possibly mean.
If the American people are going to stop this war, they need to do it now. The following are 25 quotes about the coming war with Syria that every American should see…
1. Barack Obama, during an interview with Charlie Savage on December 20, 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
2. Joe Biden, during a television interview in 2007: “The president has no constitutional authority … to take this nation to war … unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof we are about to be attacked. And if he does, if he does, I would move to impeach him.”
3. U.S. Representative Ted Poe: “Mr. President, you must call Congress back from recess immediately to take a vote on a military strike on Syria. Assad may have crossed a red line but that does not give you the authority to redline the Constitution.”
4. U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader: “I see no convincing evidence that this is an imminent threat to the United States of America.”
5. U.S. Representative Barbara Lee: “While we understand that as commander-in-chief you have a constitutional obligation to protect our national interests from direct attack, Congress has the constitutional obligation and power to approve military force, even if the United States or its direct interests (such as its embassies) have not been attacked or threatened with an attack.”
6. The New York Times: “American officials said Wednesday there was no ‘smoking gun’ that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the attack, and they tried to lower expectations about the public intelligence presentation.”
7. U.S. Senator Rand Paul: “The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States.”
8. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine: “I definitely believe there needs to be a vote.”
9. Donald Rumsfeld: “There really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation.”
10. Robert Fisk: “If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.”
11. Former congressman Dennis Kucinich: “So what, we’re about to become al-Qaeda’s air force now?”
12. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem: “We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves.”
13. A Syrian Army officer: “We have more than 8,000 suicide martyrs within the Syrian army, ready to carry out martyrdom operations at any moment to stop the Americans and the British. I myself am ready to blow myself up against US aircraft carriers to stop them attacking Syria and its people.”
14. Khalaf Muftah, a senior Ba’ath Party official: “We have strategic weapons and we’re capable of responding.”
16. Ali Larjiani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament: “…the country which has been destroyed by the terrorists during the past two years will not sustain so much damage as the warmongers will receive in this war.”
17. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “Starting this fire will be like a spark in a large store of gunpowder, with unclear and unspecified outcomes and consequences”
18. General Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards: (an attack on Syria) “means the immediate destruction of Israel.”
19. Israeli President Shimon Peres: “Israel is not and has not been involved in the civil war in Syria, but if they try to hurt us, we will respond with full force.”
20. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We are not part of the civil war in Syria, but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.”
21. The Jerusalem Post: “The lines between Hezbollah and the Syrian regime are so blurred that Israel will hold Damascus responsible if Hezbollah bombards Israel in the coming days, Israeli officials indicated on Wednesday.”
22. Ron Paul: “The danger of escalation with Russia is very high”
23. Pat Buchanan: “The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians in rebel-held territory appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.”
24. Retired U.S. General James Mattis: “We have no moral obligation to do the impossible and harm our children’s future because we think we just have to do something.”
25. Syrian refugee Um Ahmad: “Isn’t it enough, all the violence and fighting that we already have in the country, now America wants to bomb us, too?”
August 30, 2013
Is Obama the President … or the “Concluder”?
Already Thursday, more than 150 members of Congress have signaled their opposition to airstrikes on Syria without a congressional vote. House members circulated two separate letters circulated that were sent to the White House demanding a congressional role before military action takes place. One, authored by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), has more than 150 signatures from Democrats and Republicans. Another, started by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), is signed by 53 Democrats, though many of them also signed Rigell’s letter.
Quite a few Congress members have pointed out that launching a war without Congressional approval is unconstitutional.
Britain – which didn’t pass the Constitution – let its Parliament decide.
Congressman Amash said today:
After the vote, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted that such a motion “would fail in Congress, too.” He later tweeted: “UK Parliament votes on going to war. Congress votes on critical things, too, like renaming post offices.”
The American people are as opposed to a strike on Syria as the Brits.
But in the same way that Bush called himself the “Decider”, Obama is now acting like the “Concluder” regarding war with Syria.
Indeed, Obama – like Bush – has proven that he’s not very interested in following the Constitution.