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Chemical Experts Begin Destroying Syria's Chemical Arsenal

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    and now Assad can go back to murdering civilians using more conventional means! it's a win-win!

    • Re:excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by macson_g (1551397) on Monday October 07, 2013 @07:08AM (#45057049)
      Using drones seems to be the only acceptable way of killing civilians these days.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        1. Assist overthrowing a foreign government by whatever means (sell weapons, train militia, etc)
        2. Install a dictator based on some underhanded incentive deal made with said dictator
        3. Then assassinate that dictator for not doing what he was told
        4. ??
        5. Profit!

        • Re:excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NoKaOi (1415755) on Monday October 07, 2013 @07:39AM (#45057211)

          4. ??

          4. Get campaign contributions from stakeholders of large defense contractors in exchange for awarding them bloated contracts for weapons we don't need.
          4a. Blow shit up using weapons we paid way too much for.
          4b. Get campaign contributions from stakeholder of large contracting companies in exchange for awarding them bloated contracts to rebuild the country that we blew up.

          5. Profit!

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      He gets to hold back the foreign take over by US backed "freedom fighters".
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10311007/Syria-nearly-half-rebel-fighters-are-jihadists-or-hardline-Islamists-says-IHS-Janes-report.html [telegraph.co.uk]
      Same nice crew now in Libya :)
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Which is why all I can figure is Obama and pals must have gotten some really big checks from the MIC as it makes ZERO sense for the USA to get involved here, just as it made zero sense to do anything in Libya. There really ain't ANY "good guys" here, on the one hand you have a bloody dictator, on the other militant jihadists that will turn the country into another terrorist haven, so we really need to stay the hell out of the whole thing.

        The only other way i could see it making any sense is if the crazy b

        • The US appears to be staying out of the Syria mess. When Obama asked for approval from Congress for military action and took public opinion into the decision making process he effectively handed the whole mess over to Russia and in some small part China as well. He could have ordered the attack using his presidential authority and was not required to get Congressional approval for a military strike. He also appears to be trying to improve the US-Iranian relations regardless of what the other countries in th

        • by cusco (717999)

          This seems to be deliberate a move to replace secular governments with religious fanatics, although I really don't understand the point. Iraq, Libya, Egypt (yes, the military has taken over, but they haven't removed any of the religious rules put in place), and now Syria. I'd be very nervous if I lived in Turkey or Jordan now, they're the only non-theocracies left in the region (although Jordan is probably safe, since they bow and kiss the ground every time Israel looks their general direction.)

    • If you were Syrian would you root for your oppressive regime, radical opposition to that regime, or a completely foreign superpower who did so well in restoring democracy in iraq?
      I'd probably put a sign out of the house saying "Whatever color you are, enter here to win! Prize: bullet to the head"

    • One of the major objections to intervening against Assad was that the state might collapse and chemical weapons would be seized by non-government groups including terrorists.

      If this chemical weapon destruction is successful and complete (a big if), then it will be less complicated to intervene in Syria in the future.

    • Re:excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by i kan reed (749298) on Monday October 07, 2013 @09:48AM (#45058013) Homepage Journal

      Anyone who supports the death penalty supports governments killing their own citizens. I'm not saying that's you, I'm just saying there are some mighty fragile glass houses around in the U.S.

  • Good luck (Score:4, Informative)

    by GrandCow (229565) on Monday October 07, 2013 @07:08AM (#45057051)

    Sadly there will always be some doubt that there's still a hidden cache of it somewhere, just waiting for the day.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday October 07, 2013 @08:22AM (#45057423) Journal

      Sadly there will always be some doubt that there's still a hidden cache of it somewhere, just waiting for the day.

      I'm sure that there are clever mechanisms for extending the shelf life (probably purchased from Hostess Snack Cakes' military contracting arm); but chemical weapons don't always store well. Shit-grade Sarin can be good for as little as a couple of weeks on the shelf. Hiqh quality binary munitions might actually be worth burying for future use.

      Some of the more retro agents keep better (some of the WWII-and-before sulfur mustards we dumped into the ocean as our foolproof disposal plan formed these neat clumps that are inert on the outside but still have a delicious toxiny filling...), and I certainly wouldn't volunteer to be the lucky guy who gets to scrub out even 'degraded' sarin; but it's not nearly as easy as just putting the stuff on the shelf and expecting it work a decade from now (the storage vices of any delivery components, rocket motors, guidance systems with oddball proprietary batteries, artillery shells with corrosive propellants, whatever, are an additional nuisance, if a much better understood one).

      • Sadly there will always be some doubt that there's still a hidden cache of it somewhere, just waiting for the day.

        Yeah, that fact is not being disputed.

        From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
        "The United States ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention which came into force in April 1997. This banned the possession of most types of chemical weapons"

        "According to the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency by January, 2012, the United States had destroyed 89.75% of the original stockpile of nearly 31,100 metric tons (30,609 long tons) of nerve and mustard agents declared in 1997."

        So when are the US going to destroy the rest of their stockp

        • by cusco (717999)

          Notice the "declared in 1997", as well. No way in hell that the Pentagram declared all of their stocks, and it's almost impossible to believe that they haven't made/acquired more since. Remember what they did when President Clinton told them to stop all work on biological weapons? They changed the program's name and moved the budget to another column. Didn't even bother to move it to a new facility. That was a direct order from their supposed Commander In Chief, not an international body.

        • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

          It appears that you can do arithmetic, so it shouldn't be hard to figure out approximately how much longer it will take.

    • by tinkerton (199273)

      Sadly there will always be some doubt that there's still a hidden cache of it somewhere, just waiting for the day.

      I'm sure some people will think that way, and the issue will come up with the next chemical attack. The main error there is to think in terms of principle (1 sarin rocket is enough) instead of amounts(how militarily significant is the remaining stock). Part of the campaign on Iraq was with obfuscating that difference. Scott Ritter's analysis before the war was just about that: if there's anythin

  • Stopping people make and/or deploying chemical weapons = good. Destroying chemical weapon stockpiles after a well publicised atrocity and somehow selling it as a victory = disingenuous.
    • Stopping people make and/or deploying chemical weapons = good.

      So they can't hurt innocent people?

      Destroying chemical weapon stockpiles after a well publicised atrocity and somehow selling it as a victory = disingenuous.

      So they can't hurt more innocent people?

    • I still have not seen convincing evidence that it was the Assad government that did this. The "attack" was in an area of no importance and Syrian military was not in a position to exploit the attack. I find the claims that it was the rebel fighters mishandling chemical weapons or artillery hit a store of industrial chemicals to be quite convincing given the limited information available. I don't know either way.
      • by cusco (717999)

        Besides which, when the UN inspectors were escorted onto the site by Syrian military they had to withdraw because of excessive sniper fire. It wasn't the Syrians who wanted to prevent them from a timely inspection.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      how about supply a despot with equipment and billions of dollars to make them, and watching while he gasses Iranians and Kurds, and then continuing to do business with him as our bestest pal? is that good too?

      how about giving a country white phosphoruos bombs to dump on babies and mothers, is that also chemical weapon and goodness too?

  • ...it's the only way to be sure. Actually, in this case, Soviet Russia [wikipedia.org] concurs with Yelena Ripleyova, so the memes are teamed up for this!
  • They'll be dragging him off to the Hague now, will they?
  • by nimbius (983462) on Monday October 07, 2013 @08:20AM (#45057409) Homepage
    this is despite the many cynical posts ive seen so far excellent progress. the civil war in Syria is complex, with numerous parties standing to profit from the downfall of the government (including the United States.)

    not going to war was good. Once again America had no credible, publically audited evidence to support its war. that the government used chemical weapons at all was suspicious at best, and unresearched in the UN report.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24130181 [bbc.co.uk]
    the analysis includes relevant information about rebel captured syrian weapons depots as well, which would in fact arm rebels with nerve agent.

    Instead of putting the brakes on the war machine, the california senator Barbara Boxer simply insisted she'd seen the evidence and declared it very very bad. Russia presented its evidence to the UN.
    but perhaps the most damning hypocrisy is that the united states routinely uses chemical weapons in its warfare. in vietnam, and both iraq wars, white phosphorous was used liberally and without regard for the Hague conventions.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 07, 2013 @08:49AM (#45057581)

      Look I'm all for the solution we've now reached but the evidence was pretty solid that the Syrian government committed the atrocity.

      As for "Russia presented its evidence to the UN.", no it really didn't. It said it was going to present it's evidence to the UN which turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of opinions. Compare and contrast that to evidence from western nations and independent researchers alike who have released information openly and it's pretty damning.

      I don't know how one can really side with Russia's closed accusations, the demonstrably doctored videos and so forth that supposedly showed the launch, the delay in letting the inspectors out there and so forth. It's pathetic. Russia could tell you anything and you'd believe it.

      Not striking seems to be a reasonable option, but if your reasons for supporting it are "Russia said!" and "But America has used them in the past too!" then you're supporting it for the wrong reasons.

      You may want to read the very article you linked all over again, because you seem to have pulled out a very small section of it and come to a conclusion based on that without reading the entire article and accompanying links.

      You talk about publicly auditable and then you ignore the plethora of evidence from a variety of sources including from even extremely objective nations on the issue like some of those in South America and India that explains exactly why it's almost certain Assad was responsible and then you take the closed evidence from Russia which no one's sure even exists because we've never actually seen it and only heard them talk about it. We've just seen bullshit statements like in this news article which no evidence actually seemed to surface from:

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/russia-syrian-rebels-chemical-weapons [theguardian.com]

      Don't pretend you like to base your understanding on facts and evidence when you're ignoring the facts and evidence and feeding straight into bullshit with no evidence to back it up.

      • by nimbius (983462)
        My apologies...your citation:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Ghouta_attacks#Government_attack [wikipedia.org]

        A Russian defense expert said that the code found by the UN investigators on the M-14 munition showed it had been produced in 1967 by a factory in Novosibirsk for a BM-14-17 multiple rocket launcher. He said that these weapons had been taken out of service by Syria some time ago, and replaced with BM-21s, and suggested that "the insurgents could have found this ancient junk after capturing some military storage depot.".[141] Journalist Robert Fisk said that it was rumoured in Damascus that the unpublished Russian evidence included export papers for these missiles showing that they had been sold to South Yemen, Egypt, and Libya. Fisk noted that since the fall of Ghaddafi in 2011 Libyan weapons have been found in Mali, Algeria and the Sinai, and that the Syrian government had long alleged that Qatar, which supported the rebels against Ghaddafi, had helped ship weapons from Libya to Syria.[142] The OPCW said in September 2011 that Libya's chemical weapons stockpiles had remained secure since February 2011, when its inspectors had to leave due to the Libyan civil war.[143] Libya's declaration to the OPCW of chemical weapons to be destroyed did not include sarin, although it did include sarin precursors.

      • Look I'm all for the solution we've now reached but the evidence was pretty solid that the Syrian government committed the atrocity

        It's like Americans learned nothing, not a damned thing from the Iraq invasion. At least Bush presented actual evidence that Saddam was pursuing chemical and nuclear weapons. The evidence was made up shit, but it was presented.

        Obama hasn't bothered to even go that far. He just makes assertions in a serious sounding voice and people believe him.

        I don't know how one can really

    • There was no doubt that chemical weapons were used in Syria, there were moments of doubt about exactly who used them. That issue is behind us.

      White phosphorus isn't considered a chemical weapon, it is an incendiary weapon. As to Vietnam, the US only used the equivalent of weed killer to thin out the jungle, and some tear gas, and that's it. The US didn't use lethal chemical weapons in Vietnam.

      • by iggymanz (596061)

        the issue is not behind us, the lies of the war mongering Nobel Peace Prize winner need addressed. his arming of Al Qaeda and affiliates.

        White phosphorous produces toxic fumes that can maim and kill, sometimes days later. here are some words from the CDC for you: "Systemic toxicity from white phosphorus exposure is classically divided into 3 phases. The first phase, the gastrointestinal phase, occurs a few minutes to 8 hours following white phosphorus exposure. Shock during this phase may be severe enough

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        White phosphorus isn't considered a chemical weapon, it is an incendiary weapon. As to Vietnam, the US only used the equivalent of weed killer to thin out the jungle, and some tear gas, and that's it. The US didn't use lethal chemical weapons in Vietnam.

        So when we use chemical compounds that kill and maim and cause birth defects for generations, they aren't "chemical weapons". That's only the bad guys, who aren't using the same chemical compounds, so they are chemical weapons. Typical hypocritical hackery

    • by fnj (64210)

      Barbara Boxer simply insisted she'd seen the evidence and declared it very very bad

      She was right. The evidence was very poor.

    • Not arguing FOR the war, but on the suspicions about chemical weapons, remember that truth is the first casualty of war. With something like the chemical weapons attacks, there never would be any solid evidence obtained from the middle of a war zone. The fact the government allowed such a situation to develop, whether they were the ones who used it or whether, say, Islamic cultists stole the weapons and used them against secular rebels... that still seems like a situation where some outside force would hav
    • Why do you assume that any of the Hague conventions, especially any protocols that the US is party to applies to white phosphorus?

      The 1980 Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons deals specifically with the Use of Incendiary Weapons, and their use against civilians. The United States is not a party to this Protocol. ...
      Paragraph 1 of Article 2 states that the civilian population as such and individual civilians or civilian objects may not be made the object of attack with incendiary w

  • Almost sold out!

    Almost all chemical weapons destroyed!

  • by fredrated (639554) on Monday October 07, 2013 @09:11AM (#45057709) Journal

    Without bombing and strafing and killing, something just doesn't seem right! No good can come of this.


  • Let's face it, europeans complain of the inhumanity but are not willing to do something about it. The bitch and moan that the US is the world police but of course are shocked that the US will not bankroll an expedition to liberate Syria.

    No with a US that has bark but no bite due to the Russian/Chinese muzzle we can just nod and smile as the only solution remaining was achieved. The solution?
    The line that cannot be crossed was trampled so in response we'll tell them they were naughty and take away some o
    • The bitch and moan that the US is the world police but of course are shocked that the US will not bankroll an expedition to liberate Syria.

      You use that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means...

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      not the US problem or concern. there are terrorists on both sides. chemical weapons not illegal, there is a treaty about them but Syria not a party.

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