12 thoughts on “Syria Has No Monopoly on Chemical Weapons – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. All biological weapons have the potential to be a two-edged sword, Typhus especially so.

    Himmler’s ostensible motive for asking the British Army to advance and take over the Belsen Labour Camp (which killed a higher proportion of its inmates than the extermination camps did) was that he was told that a typhus outbreak in the camp was threatening the surrounding population.

    The Japanese may have experimented with it at camp 731: they seem to have tried all the worst horrors they could obtain, but Britain and the USA decided to concentrate on weaponizing Anthrax, because the spores could be treated almost like a super-potent chemical weapon that wouldn’t stray too far beyond the area bombarded with it, whereas agents like plague and typhus might, if given a strong start by deliberate infection, spread over continental distances.

    The British and American armies did spend a lot of money on planning how to contain Typhus outbreaks (and making sure every division had a manual about it), though, and in the light of Belsen, it’s just as well they did.

    In 1948, as now, the Palestinians were proxies for the German population that Israel’s founders had no power over.

  2. What recent news reports claim that Israel may be preparing to intervene in the Syrian civil war? I have not seen that reported anywhere. Can you provide a source on that?

  3. I dont think that the IDF will play a role… Perhaps speical elite units (like Sayeret Matkal) will be sent in to help secure the sites but thats about as much as we would/should expect to see from Israel. This is more an internal Arab matter and the arabs/turkey will have to take a cantral lead role in pacifying any WMD’s… and israel did not sign the geneva convention untill 1949… not thats its an excuse for them trying to use biological weapons… but at that point there was not a strong central government in Israel to make sure such acts were forbidden…

  4. The allegation that Syria has chemical weapons is just too similar to the accusations the US levied against Saddam Hussein to justify invading Iraq. Where’s the proof?

    1. The Assad regime is not really denying that it has them: this has been known since 1973, in fact, but it is strongly denying that it would use them against its own people, and merely holds them as a threat against outside interference.

      It’s worth remembering that what really convinced the world that Saddam still had WMD, was that he had USED them, to horrific effect (and against Iraqi citizens as well as the Iranian military and IRG) and that he went on threatening neighbours and internal enemies with them, long after, as we subsequently found out, he had either decommissioned or removed his chemical weapons. He was trying to have it both ways, in that he was trying to convince the major powers that he had disarmed, but he didn’t want the Kurds, Shias and Iranians to have confirmation of that fact. He gave weapons inspectors a constant run around, not because he had any weapons to hide, but because he thought (probably correctly) that he wouldn’t survive five minutes if his enemies ever got a confident confirmation from the weapons inspectors that he was disarmed.

      With hindsight, and if Bush and Blair had been capable of sophistication rather than sophistry, they could have simply declared that Saddam had complied fully with UN demands and that he had no WMD. He’d have been dead in a week at no cost in blood or treasure to any of the Coalition powers.

      By the same token, the one thing Assad simply cannot do, is say he has no chemical weapons, and his propagandists have therefore been forced to lie with one hand tied behind their backs, because they dare not say he has no chemical weapons: not just because he does and this is accepted and confirmed by a much wider circle of experts than Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair, but because being widely believed to have them available at short notice is the only thing keeping his head on his shoulders. A nerve gas strike on a population centre is the only thing he can do, which Turkey need be afraid of. Now we’re into cold weather and wearing nerve gas protection is no longer an ordeal for Turkish soldiers, Assad’s weapons would barely even slow the Turkish army down.

      It would be interesting to see what would happen if Israel’s nuclear power status was ever to be doubted: Bibi might be forced to stage a nuclear explosion to confirm what Israel has always been ambiguous about.

  5. If chemical weapons are used (if I believed, I’d say ‘God forbid’), how would we know they were not used by, eg., foreign Wahhabis, eg. Libyans? The NATO-installed regime in ‘liberated’ Libya has used mustard gas on its citizens. No second ‘no-fly zone’ yet though.

  6. Is there an English language translation of the Yediot article somewhere? When was it published? The only google references I can find link to this blog.

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