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What is the sole justification the Obama administration and some key members of Congress have for bombing Syria?
They admit the following:
- It’s not to force regime change;
- It’s not to tip the scales in the civil war between the Muslim Brotherhood rebels and the Syrian-Iranian axis;
- It’s not to achieve stability in the region.
So what is the one and only compelling justification they use for this attack?
It’s because the Syrian regime must be punished for its use of chemical weapons.
There are several interesting aspects to this rationalization, not the least of which is the fact that there is at least as much evidence of chemical weapons use by the U.S.-supported rebels as there is by the Bashar Assad regime.
But there’s one I haven’t seen anyone else address. I think it represents checkmate on the hypocrisy of Barack Hussein Obama, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel. All of them, at one point or other, opposed the Iraq war that toppled Saddam Hussein. Obama opposed it from the start. Kerry and Biden were for it before they were against it. And Hagel opposed it from the start.
What’s wrong with that?
Nothing, except if you believe that the use of chemical weapons by a regime mandates a military response from the U.S., which they all now claim it does.
You see, no one since Adolf Hitler in World War II used chemical weapons more than Saddam Hussein. (That’s right, Chris Matthews, Hitler not only used chemical weapons on a massive scale against concentration camp prisoners, but also against the combat soldiers in the Battle of the Bulge.) So intellectual honesty and consistency require Obama and company to explain why they opposed the war in Iraq despite extensive chemical weapons use both in Hussein’s own country against the Kurds and in Iran during an eight-year war that took the lives of about 1 million people.
By contrast, even the administration doesn’t allege that Syria has extensively used chemical weapons or killed massive numbers of people with them.
Let’s review, for the sake of history, the record of Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons:
The Iran-Iraq War ended in August 1988. By that time, according to the Iraq Survey Group Final Report, seven U.N. specialist missions had documented repeated use of chemicals. Iraq admitted it used almost 19,500 chemical bombs, over 54,000 chemical artillery shells and 27,000 short-range chemical rockets between 1983 and 1988. Iraq declared it used about 1,800 tons of mustard gas, 140 tons of Tabun and over 600 tons of Sarin. Almost two-thirds of the CW weapons were used in the last 18 months of the war.
There were tens of thousands of victims of these attacks – both Kurds and Iranians.
Here is list of just some of the documented cases:
- August 1983: Haij Umran – Mustard, fewer than 100 Iranian/Kurdish casualties
- October–November 1983: Panjwin – Mustard, 3,000 Iranian/Kurdish casualties
- February–March 1984: Majnoon Island – Mustard, 2,500 Iranian casualties
- March 1984: al-Basrah – Tabun, 50-100 Iranian casualties
- March 1985: Hawizah Marsh – Mustard & Tabun, 3,000 Iranian casualties
- February 1986: al-Faw – Mustard & Tabun, 8,000 to 10,000 Iranian casualties
- December 1986: Um ar-Rasas – Mustard, thousands of Iranian casualties
- April 1987: al-Basrah – Mustard & Tabun, 5,000 Iranian casualties
- October 1987: Sumar/Mehran – Mustard and nerve agent, 3,000 Iranian casualties
- March 1988: Halabjah & Kurdish area – Mustard & nerve agent, thousands of Kurdish/Iranian casualties
- April 1988: al-Faw – Mustard & nerve agent, thousands of Iranian casualties
- May 1988: Fish Lake – Mustard & nerve agent, hundreds or thousands of Iranian casualties
- June 1988: Majnoon Island – Mustard & nerve agent, hundreds or thousands of ranian casualties
- July 1988: South-central border – Mustard & nerve agent, hundreds or thousands of Iranian casualties
According to the CIA, the attacks began in 1982 – increasing from riot control CS gas to mustard agent. In 1983, Iraq began using nerve agents against Iranian troop concentrations, at first limited to a few artillery shells, as is the allegation against Syria, and escalating as the partial list above illustrates.
So here’s the question that no one is asking the administration rationalizers: Why is the disputed use of chemical weapons by Syria enough to justify an immediate military response by the U.S. when extended, widespread use by Saddam Hussein through the late 1980s was not enough to justify military attacks on Iraq?