[Marxism] WSJ.com: Missteps Before Syrian Chemical-Weapons AttackDoomed Civilians

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Sun Nov 24 16:31:40 MST 2013

At 14:10 24-11-13 -0800, Red Arnie wrote:

>story from The Wall Street Journal. 
>Missteps Before Syrian Chemical-Weapons Attack Doomed Civilians 

Thanks, this was a very interesting read! Though its title (surely tacked
on by the WSJ editors) is quite misleading.

And it isn't of much current importance in relation to the Syrian
revolution especially now that the issue of chemical weapons has been
bypassed by an international agreement (in which the Syrian opposition had
no say) but the article contains lots of detailed information that is new
(to me, at least) but also provides good context regarding the notorious 21
August attack and issues around chemical weapons use. It repeats what we've
known about requests for gas masks and antidotes being refused by the US
(though it claims that the French supplied or enabled the shipment of
these, and that Aleppo had solid preparations against a chemical attack).
And that the US and Israel had intercepts indicating preparations for the
attack 3 days earlier, but supposedly didn't manage to translate those in
time to issue a warning (haven't we heard that excuse before......?).

And although this isn't really surprising, the article states that the
Syrian government promptly received alarming calls from Russia and Iran
(and also from within the Syrian military) who obviously had no doubt about
what had occurred, even as so many on the left were content to play with
denialism and victim-blaming conspiracy theories for weeks and weeks
thereafter. Surprisingly, it mentions that Hezbollah fighters operating in
the area were also affected by the gas (didn't say whether they died)
since, unlike the Syrian government troops, they hadn't been privy to the
plans for using such weapons. Lot's of other interesting details to read.

- Jeff


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