[Marxism] WMD: Should Syrians feel safer because the Left hears echoes of Iraq?

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Sun Dec 16 17:14:22 MST 2012

At 15:34 12-12-12 -0800, Clay Claiborne wrote:
>More from Linux Beach on the situation in Syria.
>This is my latest......
>WMD: Should Syrians feel safer because the Left hears echoes of Iraq?

Thanks Clay for some thoughtful words in contrast to the (by now familiar) 
stock responses by much of the left when there is a supposed imperialist 
threat against a supposedly anti-imperialist regime, based on nothing more 
than analogy. Another thoughtful piece in this regard was written by Pham 
Binh recently:
     “Red Line” or Empty Threat? How the Left Gasses Itself on #Syria

Personally I don't claim to know at all whether the chance of chemical 
weapons (or "WMD's") being used by Assad is large or very small. But unless 
someone truly knows that the chance is zero, then I have very little regard 
for those who just brush off the question as an absurdity simply because it 
has recently been raised by our enemies, or discussed in the bourgeois media.

But in regards to analogies, with WMD's in Iraq for instance, one would find 
that the analogy doesn't hold at all. Take three cases: 1) Iraq 2003, 2) 
Iran 2012, 3) Syria 2012.

1) In Iraq, Bush decried the (false) POSSESSION of WMD's by Saddam Hussein 
and insisted that Iraq be "disarmed." Along with faked intelligence, this 
was the justification for the 2003 invasion, since it couldn't be proven 
that no WMD's existed (until it was too late).

2) Likewise, Israel and the US have decried the Iranians INTENTION of 
developing nuclear weapons, and Israel already has a consensus in favor of 
war with Iran, for which they feel justified given that Iran cannot prove 
that it has no such program.

3) On the other hand, there is little question that Syria DOES POSSESS 
chemical weapons (as admitted by a government spokesman, the reported reason 
for his being fired), and has NOT denied any INTENTION of ever using them, 
but according to Obama all that doesn't matter. Syria, unlike Iraq, unlike 
Iran, has ONLY crossed a "red line" when it actually USES them. So unlike 
Iran and Iraq which were or will be attacked for doing NOTHING, in the case 
of Syria they will be SAFE if they do nothing. That is, nothing beyond the 
brutality that continues day after day after day........

I have already mentioned in a previous post two reasons that one may 
reasonably worry about Assad resorting to chemical weapons. First, that 
(practically) no ruling class has let itself be defeated without employing 
its entire arsenal in desperation. Second, that unlike virtually every other 
government or entity in the world (not that they are to be trusted), the 
Syrian regime hasn't ruled out using chemical weapons altogether. On the 
other hand, I could strongly argue that Assad would not use chemical weapons 
because it would be universally seen as beyond the pale (and which the US 
further denoted as a "red line") and any remaining international support for 
him would evaporate, making that action counterproductive (for him). That 
would seem to outweigh any other concerns. But there is still the 
psychological factor: if Assad sees no other hope and decides to "die in 
Syria" (as he has vowed) then he might just as soon take as many of his 
enemies down at the same time (he hasn't shown the least bit of remorse for 
the last 40,000 victims killed!).

So in summary there are strong reasons that it will happen and strong 
reasons it won't happen. But just rejecting the possibility because of who 
you first heard it from, is utter foolishness.

- Jeff

>*I*n the *Village of Now* there once was a young boy named Jimmy that
>thought it was fun and games to run out of the woods crying *"wolf,"* so
>later, when Johnny came running out of the woods with a nasty bite on his
>thigh and blood streaming down his leg, crying *"wolf,"* many on the Left
>said *"remember Jimmy? ha ha!"*
>Not only did they refuse Johnny any first aid, they completely ignored his
>wounds in their efforts to imply he was lying about the wolf.

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