Dennis Trainor explains that “It is growing increasingly possible that public outcry might make the Imperial force of American Exceptionalism, with its humanitarian war sights set on Syria, back down- or at the very least delay. New evidence is surfacing about just who might be behind the chemical attacks, the latest view being that the Saudis could have supplied the Rebel forces with chemical weapons and, in the untrained hands of the rebels, they detonated in a tragic accident. This, of course, flies in the face of the thesis put forward by Obama, who claims that the Assad regime was so brazenly violating international norms that he needed to be dethroned, or at the very least, sent a very strong message visa vie hellfire missiles reigning down from a US lead coalition of the willing. That the drone commander in chief does not see drone strikes in countries that have not declared war on US to be something with the set of acceptable international norms should be an impeachable offense in and of itself, but I know I fighting an uphill battle there. Especially considering the US has such an influential coalition of the willing standing at the ready to march in lock step with whatever our next move on the Armageddon chessboard that is the Middle East might be”.
Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, writing for the ‘independent online news organization providing in-depth, thought-provoking analysis’ Mint Press News, indicate that “[r]ebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group” and that, as a result. “the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit”. Could it be true that the rhetoric employed by leaders like Obama, Biden and Cameron is nothing but a ruse to seduce global public opinion into supporting a military intervention, the scope of which seems uncertain and its goal unclear??? The British public and parliament have decided that they will not be led astray by a gung-ho Prime Minister this time around. After losing the vote in the House of Commons, David Cameron said placidly that “It is clear to me that the British parliament . . . does not want to see British military action”. Tony Blair’s example ten years ago was apparently enough to persuade British MP’s that some measure of scepticism was in order in 2013. And, according to the Minneapolis-based MPN, the fact that Assad did not act in such a rash and irrational fashion, particularly keeping Obama’s oft-pronounced “red line in the sand” argument in mind, appears to be plain and obvious. As I suggested some two years ago, the war in Syria could very well be seen as a new chapter in the never-ending Cold War, pitting the U.S. and the West against Russia, China, and Iran with each side supporting their own champions. According to the interviews cited by Gavlak and Ababneh, the Saudi Prince Bandar has been supporting the “rebels” and also provided the chemical weapons, which led to the massacre reported in the global media. But rather than a government-orchestrated killing spree, hapless civilians were killed because the “rebels” were not really aware of the kind of weapons they were handling which led to a deadly accident, a deadly accident that is now being used to bolster the case against Assad. The MPN piece quotes a female fighter named ‘K’, who said that “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”, adding that “When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them”. The MPN piece also states that ‘[m]ore than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government’. Gavlak and Ababneh then note that in “a recent article for Business Insider, reporter Geoffrey Ingersoll highlighted Saudi Prince Bandar’s role in the two-and-a-half year Syrian civil war. Many observers believe Bandar, with his close ties to Washington, has been at the very heart of the push for war by the U.S. against Assad. Ingersoll referred to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks alleging that Bandar offered Russian President Vladimir Putin cheap oil in exchange for dumping Assad. “Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” Ingersoll wrote. “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,” Bandar allegedly told the Russians. “Along with Saudi officials, the U.S. allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise,” Ingersoll wrote. “Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy,” he added. According to U.K.’s Independent newspaper, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first brought allegations of the use of sarin gas by the regime to the attention of Western allies in February. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the CIA realized Saudi Arabia was “serious” about toppling Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar to lead the effort. “They believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout,” it said. Bandar has been advancing Saudi Arabia’s top foreign policy goal, WSJ reported, of defeating Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies. To that aim, Bandar worked Washington to back a program to arm and train rebels out of a planned military base in Jordan”.
Prince Bandar is also a good friend of George W. Bush . . . and his role in the U.S. decision to invade Iraq remains nothing but an open mystery. Whereas now, ‘Saudi National Security Council Secretary and Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has spent tens of millions of dollars to persuade the US political and security officials to launch a military strike on Syria, [an unnamed] source said. Prince Bandar has spent a sum of $70 million to encourage the American officials to attack Syria, a Saudi security source, who asked to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of his information, told FNA in Riyadh on Wednesday [, 28 August]. The US and Saudi Arabia are considered as among the main actors in the Middle East and many strategic regional parameters are formed by them and their interactions in the region. Prince Bandar has recently played an increasing role in the security developments in the region. Prince Bandar who was appointed by Saudi King Abdullah as the National Security Council and intelligence chief after 8 years of ambassadorial job in Washington has played a key role in Washington-Riyadh relations over the past decades’, as reported by Iran’s IRIB World Service.
Now President Obama is talking about a limited and precise intervention in Syria: “In no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign, but we are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act that would help make sure that not only Syria but others around the world understand that the international community cares about maintaining this chemical weapons ban and norm”. With already more than 100,000 Syrians dead as a result of the ongoing civil war, it seems somewhat hypocritical to now invoke the moral high ground on account of the “use” of immoral weapons like Chemical agents . . . Writing in the Telegraph, Peter Oborne tells us to “[c]onsider this: the only beneficiaries from the atrocity were the rebels, previously losing the war, who now have Britain and America ready to intervene on their side. While there seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons were used, there is doubt about who deployed them. It is important to remember that Assad has been accused of using poison gas against civilians before. But on that occasion, Carla del Ponte, a UN commissioner on Syria, concluded that the rebels, not Assad, were probably responsible”.
PS: Sadly, my footnotes did not make it into the main body this time around . . .