Syria Intervention Plan Fueled by Oil Interests, Not Chemical Weapon Concern

oil-barrelNafeez Ahmed writes:

On 21 August, hundreds – perhaps over a thousand – people were killed in a chemical weapon attack in Ghouta, Damascus, prompting the U.S., UK, Israel and France to raise the spectre of military strikes against Bashir al Assad’s forces which, they say, carried out the attack.
To be sure, the latest episode is merely one more horrific event in a conflict that has increasingly taken on genocidal characteristics. The case for action at first glance is indisputable. The UN now confirms a death toll over 100,000 people, the vast majority of whom have been killed by Assad’s troops. An estimated 4.5 million people have been displaced from their homes. International observers have overwhelmingly confirmed Assad’s complicity in the preponderance of war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian people. The illegitimacy of his regime, and the legitimacy of the uprising against it, is clear.
But the interests of the west are a different matter.
Chemical confusion
While the U.S. and Israel have taken a lead in claiming firm evidence that the latest attack was indeed a deployment of chemical weapons by Assad’s regime, justifying a military intervention of some sort, questions remain.
The main evidence cited by the U.S. linking the attacks to Syria are intercepted phone calls among other intelligence, the bulk of which was provided by Israel. “Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus,” reported Foreign Policy, “an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people.”
This account is hardly decisive proof of Assad’s culpability in the attack – what one can reasonably determine here is that Syrian defense officials do not seem to have issued specific orders for such a strike, and were attempting to investigate whether their own chemical weapons unit was indeed responsible.
On the attack itself, experts are unanimous that the shocking footage of civilians, including children, suffering the effects of some sort of chemical attack, is real – but remain divided on whether it involved military-grade chemical weapons associated with Assad’s arsenal, or were a more amateur concoction potentially linked to the rebels.
Many independent chemical weapons experts point out the insufficiency of evidence to draw any firm conclusions. Steven Johnson, chemical explosives experts at Cranfield Forensic Institute, pointed to inconsistencies in the video footage and the symptoms displayed by victims, raising questions about the nature of the agents used. Although trauma to the nervous system was clear: “At this stage everyone wants a ‘yes-no’ answer to chemical attack. But it is too early to draw a conclusion just from these videos.”
Dan Kaszeta, a former officer of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps, said: “None of the people treating the casualties or photographing them are wearing any sort of chemical-warfare protective gear, and despite that, none of them seem to be harmed… there are none of the other signs you would expect to see in the aftermath of a chemical attack, such as intermediate levels of casualties, severe visual problems, vomiting and loss of bowel control.”
Gwyn Winfield of chemical weapons journal CBRNe World said it was difficult to pin down a specific chemical from the symptoms seen in footage, but suggested it could be either a chemical weapon or a riot control agent: “The lack of conventional munition marks does suggest that it was a non-conventional munition, or an RCA (riot control agent) in a confined space, but who fired it and what it was has yet to be proved.”
Other experts cited by Agence France Presse (AFP) concur with these assessments – either disagreeing that the footage proved military-grade chemical weapons, or noting the inadequacy of evidence implicating a specific perpetrator.
What little evidence is available in the public record on past deployment of chemical agents has implicated both Assad and the rebels – not the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as a whole, but rather militant jihadist factions linked to al-Qaeda and funded by the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
In March this year, a major attack on the predominantly Shi’a town of Khan al-Assal killing 26 people including civilians and Syrian soldiers was apparently committed by rebels “with al-Qaeda sympathies.” U.S. weapons experts suspected that the victims were exposed to a “caustic” agent such as chlorine, not a military-grade chemical weapon but “an improvised chemical device.” As the Telegraph reports: “There has been extensive experimentation by insurgents in Iraq in the use of chlorine.”
Indeed, in May 2007, al-Qaeda in Iraq had attempted a series of suicide attacks using bombs built from chlorine gas containers. Last year, Syrian jihadist groups led by the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusrah Front, linked to Iraqi al-Qaeda forces, captured several Syrian military bases stocking Scud and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as a chlorine factory near Aleppo.
Yet eyewitness reports from victims and doctors have also alleged many other instances of chemical weapons attacks attributed by locals to Syrian government forces.
Just three months before the most recent attack, however, former war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte, an independent UN war crimes investigator on Syria, told Channel 4 that evidence derived from interviews with victims, doctors and field hospitals confirmed that rebels had used the nerve agent sarin:

“I have seen that there are concrete suspicions if not irrefutable proof that there has been use of sarin gas… This use was made by the opponent rebels and not from the governmental authorities.”

 According to Channel 4, “she had not found evidence of sarin’s use by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”
Meanwhile, the latest UN report released in June 2013 confirms several allegations of chemical weapons attacks but concludes it:

“… has not been possible, on the evidence available, to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrator.”

 Further complicating the matter, Dave Gavlak, a veteran Middle East correspondent for Associated Press, cites interviews with “doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families” who believe that “certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack.” The arms were reportedly given by al-Nusrah fighters to ordinary rebels without informing them of their nature. “More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.” Gavlak’s report comes with the caveat that some of its information “cannot be independently verified.”

Could it be disinformation planted by Assad agents in Damascus, as happened with the Houla massacre?

Read more here.

, , , ,

  • howiebledsoe

    I’m not trying to pretend that I understand the deep economic or political play thats going on here, but look at it like this:
    Iraq gave us alot of oil. But the military deployment in Iraq used a shedload of oil, too.
    Same in Afganistan. See, we get the oil, the military uses it, and the tax payer foots the bill. It IS about oil, but that oil ain’t for us. If it was really about oil, we would be all the fuck over Venezuela right now. It would be a cake walk compared to the Middle East. So why are we really there? It can’t be about oil. I don’t prefess to know, but I know for sure that it isn’t about oil. Religion? Minerals? Military bases? Actually, screw it. The people who are in command are so far gone that there is no need to try to rationalize their intentions. I just feel bad for the poor souls caught in the crossfire.

    • Cortacespedes

      We are all over Venezuela. You don’t think we control the Fedecámaras? The failed coup in 2002 was just a momentary setback. The “powers” are merely biding time. Venezuela “plays ball” to a great extent, skimming only a fraction of their oil revenues for “socialist” purposes. They are the least of the CIA’s worries at the moment. I believe the thinking is it’s easier to pull of a “Pinochet”, than risk military intervention in Latin America.

      These past few decades are just the opening salvos of the wars to come. Where resources that fuel the rapacious mechanisms of “modern” living become scarcer and more difficult to come by. The short sightedness of our “industrial complexes” (be they military or the more domestic criminal incarceration) put me, you and everyone we know,(unless you hobnob with frequent visitors to Davos for the WEF) in the cross hairs.
      We’re just fodder; pawns on Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard”.

      Opting out, is the only solution. Even if it’s only in small ways to begin with. It’s worth the effort.

      • Anarchy Pony

        Right the fuck on!

      • howiebledsoe

        Thanks for that! It’s hard to know your ass from your elbow in todays convoluted newspapers. Maybe info overload, I don’t know. You should get a job as a journalist!

      • bsackamano

        Remember the CIA tried to give Castro “cancer” in the 50s-60s? I think they were successful with Chavez. Now they have, or will have soon, a puppet in there to replace the operative Chavez after he disobeyed them. No different than Saddam. Brz’s Central Asian tactics are only part of the NWO strategic plan.

  • Juan

    Anyone who thinks this is about any kind of “humanitarian intervention” because the Assad regime used chemical weapons is a fucking moron.
    Whatever the reall reasons, geopolitical maneuvering, a pipeline through Syria from Qatar to Turkey, the fact that Sryria has a central bank independent of the parasites of New York and London, part of a grand strategy to clamp down control in the region, don’t matter. The bastards are gonna do all they can to get their way.

    • Opinionated

      I think you are the moron. Truly analyze the situation. If this were about oil, don’t you think this would have been done long ago? This guy is a tyrant and has killed thousands of people, mostly children. You really think this is about something else? This civil war has been going on for 2 years and the US is is only now concerned about it? You’re stupid if you think that. The world can’t go on allowing dick holes like assad to just murder his people with chemical weapons. If it were just about oil and politics, why do you think that most of the world is against this and is demanding action? Pay attention. You might just learn something

      • Anarchy Pony

        Does it pay well to be a sock puppet? Or are do you just have the geopolitical savvy of a 14 year old?

      • Rhoid Rager

        Holy shit….People like you still exist?

      • Mike Notlisted

        fuck you

      • DrDavidKelly

        Dad? I thought I told you not play in the big person’s forums.

        Jeez where to begin with this? Wait a minute are you one of them troll-people? You’ve got to be havin a laugh.

      • Bob has bitch tits

        It’s not about oil…It’s about natural gas. That plays a big part in the motivation of many of the players, I’m sure.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Well more generally, it’s about domination and geopolitical maneuvering and control of trade routes and strategic resources.

      • Juan

        Thanks for the laugh:)
        Edit: if your post is sincere, then I truly hope you start to wake up soon. If it’s not genuine, then good try . . . but I ain’t biting.

      • Andrew

        Try reading the article.

      • moonmad

        Just how is ” most of the world demanding action” ? you seem almost criminally naive.

      • BuzzCoastin

        The world can’t go on allowing dick holes like assad to just murder his people with chemical weapons.

        so let’s let the US kill them instead
        brilliant logic

      • Jin The Ninja

        a- the US should not be world police; has no moral or political legitimacy to enforce militarily any set of values political, cultural or economic. when it does, it becomes imperial in nature. sovereignty in xchange for mcdicks.

        b- US foreign policy has backed literally hundreds of dictators, coups, tyrants, etc etc etc. not mention they formerly backed assad. what does that tell you?

  • zeroe1

    This article would make sense, if Syria had any oil…..

    • Jin The Ninja

      syria is geographically situated for an OIL pipeline in line with the rest of US middle east interests. to control syria is to control SOME oil; helps destablise iran; as well as, provides a geo-strategic center for shell and the others to build refineries and pipelines. shell previously worked WITH the regime ( and only left because of sanctions), call me naive, but i doubt shell’s interests are non-profit development.

      • Calypso_1

        Jin, completely off topic, but have you seen Tai Chi Hero/Zero?

        • Jin The Ninja

          i have not. but i have copies of both films. did you? i don’t know why, i like steampunk, i love HK cinema, martial arts films, internal martial arts, and girl fighting…

          • Calypso_1

            Just got around to it. Enjoyed them more than any Kung-Fu films I’d seen in years. Let me know what you think.

          • Jin The Ninja

            i will watch the first one tonight.
            i also owe you a reply on a different thread, but i’ll probably post it here.

      • Adam’s Shadow

        “call me naive, but i doubt shell’s interests are non-profit development.”

        This, right here.

        Let us also extend this line of thought to, I don’t know, every major multinational corporation? Which I’m certainly not accusing you of, Jin, it just boggles my mind (boggles!) that many people throughout the world, particularly in the U.S., still think of large corporations in terms of a B&W 1950′s public-service commercial.

        • Jin The Ninja

          i’d second that extension, and forward it to our dominant/only economic system.

          i really do not understand why people trust in an economic model focused only on profit- corporations et al- it is obviously not in an individual’s or communities’ interest (best or otherwise) to entrust responsibility or well-being in a multi-national that will f*ck them even with heavy oversight. ‘social responsibility’ is the new corporate propaganda- and it really amounts to nothing- in fact a way to do the opposite while being praised by starbucks latte/macbook hipster sh*theads on facebk.

  • bsackamano

    Israel, a very very dishonest and treacherous country, should NEVER be trusted by anyone for anything. Their “elite” soldiers, Mossad, are pledged, like the Jesuits are, to be absolved for doing anything to anyone. They will kill, torture and worse and are programmed to think it’s a GOOD thing. Their other “elite” “soldiers” are the international bankers, Rothschild lead, that rob and steal everywhere they go. This IS about oil and it IS another false flag operation. The end result is WW3 then a NWO ruled over by the Zionists. The rest of us, non-elites, will be simply cannon fodder and servants.

  • Aipeed Teaitchse

    It’s about WATER. Don’t kid yourself and believe the lie that our politicians give a shit about civilians in Syria getting attacked with chemical weapons – they do backflips to make sure Monsanto can poison American civilians with total impunity. And this article did nothing to make the case that it’s about oil – pipeline politics sure, but there are 34 countries that produce more oil than Syria.

    Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since 67 which gives them full access to the upper Jordan River. A huge drought in the middle east played a major role in the buildup to Syria’s civil war, which is now encroaching on the disputed territory along the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. Water is also one of the core issues of the Israel-Palestine conflict and Palestinians have also been severely impacted by this drought which has lasted the better part of 7 years. With that in mind, check out this recent article from Israel Today.

    http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/23833/Default.aspx

    Any politician getting kickbacks from AIPAC, including the President and his cabinet is gung ho about this war. Still wondering why?

  • BuzzCoastin

    war is fueled by greed and lust
    the objects of that greed & lust are subject to change
    but at the heart of every US war is greed & lust

  • Guest

    It’s about WATER. Obviously it has nothing to do with our leaders giving a shit about civilians in Syria as they don’t even give a shit about civilians in their own country. Otherwise why would they be doing backflips to allow Monsanto to poison American civilians with impunity? Oh yeah, and their idea of helping is dropping bombs all over the place. And this article doesn’t make a valid argument for why we would go to Syria for oil – pipeline politics sure – but there are 34 countries producing more oil than Syria, so that argument doesn’t hold water. Oh and speaking of water, it’s about the fucking water.
    Since 1967 Israel has occupied the Golan Heights giving them access to the Jordan river. Over the past 7 years the middle east has been experiencing a major drought, which is one of the major causes of the outrbreak of civil war in Syria, which has reached the disputed territory on the Israeli border. Water also plays a major role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well. Israel Today published an article in May predicting a mega drought in 2015 that could last 20 years. I posted this about 6 hours ago but apparently it wasn’t approved, perhaps because I included the link to the article – so look it up yourself and take a good look at the disputed border on a map while you’re at it as you wonder why all the politicians who accept donations from AIPAC are gung ho about this war.

  • moremisinformation

    James Corbett gives a pretty solid breakdown of the complexity of the situation here: http://www.corbettreport.com/episode-279-who-is-really-behind-the-syrian-war/

    Like Corbett reports and anyone who actually read the article that was posted would understand, ‘oil interests’ actually means natural gas (the author could’ve saved some confusion). Syria is not in line for an oil pipeline – it’s natural gas, Iranian natural gas.

21