21st Century Wire says…
As the White House finds itself in a myriad of scandals with no end in sight, its old friend “war” is here to sweep those unfortunate incidents under the rug.
Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser to President Obama declared Thursday that the Syrian army has used sarin gas on its own people. These claims have been unsubstantiated, just one month ago, Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria concluded it was rebel forces inside Syria that had in fact used chemical weapons. The U.N.’s findings were supported by medical staff and victims after a recent chemical attack. So why the sudden rush to judgment?
Is the White House “highly confident” of the chemical weapons narrative because it provides easier access into Syria and to its oil and gas reserves?
The timing of the White House declaration couldn’t be more dubious, given that there has been zero evidence to conclude Assad’s army responsible for chemical agents during this two-year war waged by the West. Even more troubling is that we saw this same kind of “kinetic military action” in Libya and a decade ago in Iraq.
Both of those countries are now mired in destruction from false claims . Will the U.S. use the same label to start a full-scale invasion in Syria?
How will China, Russia and Israel respond?
In the wake of these revelations, the tense situation in Syria will add fuel to the fire during the G8 talks, especially since Moscow has dismissed the White House chemical findings claim as “unconvincing.”
US looks to G8 summit to build consensus over Syria
By Dan Roberts, Miram Elder, Richard Norton Taylor, Angelique Chrisafis
The White House will use next week’s G8 summit to seek international support for further intervention in Syria that may go beyond the limited military assistance announced on Thursday night, in an attempt to force the Assad regime and its Russian allies into meaningful peace talks.
Discussions are under way between the US and key foreign allies over a range of options, including a no-fly zone, and are likely to come to a head during the G8, when Obama is also scheduled to have bilateral discussions with President Putin.
As apparent US plans to provide small arms to rebel forces met with a disappointed reaction among commanders on the ground, attention is shifting in Washington to building consensus for more radical options.
“This is a fluid situation so it is necessary for [Obama] to consult with leaders of the G8 about the types of support that we are providing for the opposition,” the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said in a press conference on Friday.
However, the option of using western air power to impose a no-fly-zone is still seen as fraught with difficulties, according to diplomats in Washington, who say the US and Britain remain wary of becoming embroiled in an escalating military conflict.
Hopes of swiftly persuading the Russians not to oppose such a move were also dashed on Friday when Moscow said it did not believe new US claims of chemical weapons use by Syrian government forces and warned that even arming the rebels with guns would jeopardise peace talks.
Yury Ushakov, foreign policy adviswr to Vladimir Putin, said American officials had briefed Russia on Assad’s alleged deployment of chemical weapons. “But I will say frankly that what was presented to us by the Americans does not look convincing,” he said. “It would be hard even to call them facts.”