The Stupidity Of Chemical Weapons As Justification To Attack Syria

BY Herschel Smith
3 years ago

So let’s deal with objections right up front.  If chemical weapons aren’t adequate justification to attack Syria, then they weren’t justification to attack Iraq either.  Right.  And I didn’t agree with or support Operation Iraqi Freedom Phase I, while I did support OIF II and OIF III because I watched as 80-100 jihadists per month crossed the Syrian and Jordanian borders to fight us inside of Iraq, and because leaving would have had catastrophic consequences once the eggs were broken.  Briefly said, once there we had to stay and finish the job, however horrible it was.

But the horror of chemical weapons is being trotted out as justification for degrading Syrian capability to make those weapons, or deliver those weapons, or something.  It isn’t clear.  How that horror is different from what preceded it, I wonder?  Bashar Hafez al-Assad and his father before him were and are brutal dictators who rule by the use of fear.  Torture, beheadings, imprisonment of political opponents, assassinations and all manner of horror has been perpetrated on the Syrian people for many years.

And even now, anti-regime terrorists in Syria (our would-be allies) are actively working their horror (via Mike Vanderboegh).

Al-Qaeda linked terrorists in Syria have beheaded all 24 Syrian passengers traveling from Tartus to Ras al-Ain in northeast of Syria, among them a mother and a 40-days old infant.

Gunmen from the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant stopped the bus on the road in Talkalakh and killed everyone before setting the bus on fire.

According to media reports, the attack was carried out because the passengers who were from three different villages in Ras al-Ain, supported anti-terrorist Kurdish groups which were formed recently to defend Kurdish population against anti-Syria terrorists.

Bodies of a mother and her 40-days infant were also seen among the dead, which were recognized by their relatives.

So what about chemical weapons?  Michael Fumento gives us the straight scoop in a different context, i.e., the chlorine attacks in Fallujah, Iraq, in the spring of 2007.

Insurgents launched three more chlorine truck attacks in Al Anbar province on March 17, killing two and sickening an additional 350. Is this a disturbing new trend? No. Had those trucks been filled with high explosives, each could have killed around 100 people. Instead, combined, they killed two. Probably all those sickened will recover with little or no lasting damage, as opposed to losing limbs and eyes. Chemicals have never lived up to their reputation as weapons.

That’s why even though the Germans invented Sarin gas, which is vastly more deadly than chlorine, they decided not to use it. Hitler didn’t forego its use because he was a nice guy. Rather, his generals convinced him that high explosives are far more effective in causing deaths, not to mention that all the poison gas in the world can’t destroy material objects. That said, gas is a good terror weapon because most people have a more innate terror of being gassed than of being blown up or shot. But that’s primarily or exclusively because gas is such a rare threat. The more the terrorists use chlorine, the less the terror effect will be.

I remember this vividly since my son was deployed in Fallujah in 2007.  When the Marines finished taking over the industrial area of Fallujah from al Qaeda in the summer of 2007, they found many thousands of gallons of chlorine, all unused – unused because it was completely, tactically ineffective.  And I am on the record concurring with Michael’s assessment here and here.

If your desire is tactical effectiveness, you use conventional ordnance.  In other words, as horrible as it sounds, you blow people and things up.  And it is horrible, just as horrible as killing far fewer of them with chemical weapons.  And it is just as horrible as your supposed allies in Syria shooting and/or burning infants to death.

I have my own views of the administration’s case (or lack thereof) for any strategic value in Syria, but whatever else one may believe about the situation, the use of chemical weapons as justification for military action is either ignorant or disingenuous.



  • Mark Matis

    http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/151261/russia-asks-turkey-for-info-on-sarin-terrorists.html

    It ain’t the Syrian government using it. And the Muslim in Chief and all his toadies damn well know it.

  • Paul B

    The problem is our own president and his hidden objective. I don’t know what they have on him, but we are being black mailed into war. What kills me is McCain is on board as well.

    I don’t know what sort of incestuous snake pit Washington has become but I am all for moving the capital.

  • http://SANITY Tom Pearson

    Back during the 96 some hours of Desert Storm, our Arab Muslim “allies” went from the goal of getting rid of Saadam at the start to the Infidels (the USA) are killing our Muslim brothers (the supposedly hated retreating Republican Guard),causing the attack to come to a skreeching halt and letting the Republician Guard excape to cause trouble later. That was a quick change from enemy to brother but in the Muslim belief, it is all of them united as brothers against all others (us the infidels). OK for a Muslim to slaughter someone from anothe sect of the faith but horror of horrors that is not allowed to have a infidel kill a “brother” muslim no matter how bad that “brother” was/is. This is a no winner for the West (us) as no matter what we do we will be ultimately wrong in the eyes of the Muslim world’s peoples as we are infidels.

  • Mark Matis

    There’s a fairly quick solution to that problem, Tom Pearson, but this country’s “leadership” has not had the guts to use it since WWII. Not that such differences might have had anything to do with why this country has not won a war since then.

    Just exactly what do you think would have happened to the German civilians in the area had a US soldier been attacked after the war ended? Contrast that to Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan…

    And then contrast THOSE Rules of Engagement to the ones this country’s “Law Enforcement” observe when dealing with Mere Citizens…

  • tjbbpgobIII

    “Just exactly what do you think would have happened to the German civilians in the area had a US soldier been attacked after the war ended”?

    This actually happened in Germany after the war. A group of former SS soldiers (I don’t know if the regular army was involved) began guerilla activities against civilians and allied soldiers. It was not tolerated any more than it should be today. Our occupation troops did their duty, and by occupation troops, I mean the left over veterans, not the replacement troops who didn’t arrive until it was all over. Those soldiers did more bad than good. I got all this from a brother-in-law whop didn’t have enough points to come home.

  • Pingback: The Captain's Journal » I Want Free Guns()

  • Pingback: Larwyn’s Linx: The Citizen of the World Presidency | Preppers Universe()

  • DAN III

    Paul B….”move the capitol” ? That’s your solution to the decay and corruption by our ruling elites ?

    How about trying all 535, the Nine and the “One” for treason and then give them the hemp necktie they all richly deserve ?

    The problem is not geographical.

  • Pingback: theCL Report: ‘Us’ against ‘Them’()

  • Mark Matis

    I hate to break this to you, Dan III, but it REALLY ain’t geographical because it is not even REMOTELY confined to those 535, the Nine, and The Won, but is instead rampant across this entire country at ALL levels of government.


You are currently reading "The Stupidity Of Chemical Weapons As Justification To Attack Syria", entry #11190 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Syria and was published September 3rd, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (677)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (31)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (7)
Ammunition (22)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (68)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (44)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (51)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (5)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (27)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (8)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (215)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (124)
Department of Homeland Security (13)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (6)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (3)
Featured (176)
Federal Firearms Laws (17)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (464)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (40)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (410)
Guns (958)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (45)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (38)
Islamists (63)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (49)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (240)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (23)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (23)
Mexico (30)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (14)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (17)
NATO (15)
Navy (21)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (216)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (31)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Police (207)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (242)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (107)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (28)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (159)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (24)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (2)
Survival (12)
SWAT Raids (53)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (92)
Thanksgiving (5)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (13)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (13)
U.S. Sovereignty (15)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (42)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (17)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2016 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.