Obama Offers No Evidence Assad was Behind Poison Gas Attack in Damascus
In what NPR called “perhaps President Obama’s last best chance” to make his case for launching a war against Syria, the president tellingly didn’t make a single effort to present hard, compelling evidence to prove that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had been behind the alleged Sarin Aug. 21 attack on residents of a suburb of Damascus.
In fact, he presented not one piece of evidence at all.
Instead, he continued the warn out and irrelevant talking point of the past week, focussing on the admitted horror of seeing young children “writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor.”
Given that two thirds of Americans, according to polls, do not want the US to unilaterally attack Syria, and really do not want yet another war in the Middle East, it is truly amazing that the president didn’t try to make the case, at least, that Assad was the guilty party. He simply stated, as was done in the two-page propaganda article posted on the White House website, that “We know the Assad regime was responsible” for the gas attack.
Except that we don’t. As I have written (but as the corporate media have blacked out throughout this latest crisis), a group of 12 veteran intelligence officers has written to the president telling him that the intelligence does not point to Assad, but to the rebel forces as the source of the gas attack.
What Obama did instead was try to make a case that attacking Syria to punish the government for its unproven use of gas against its own people was a matter of US national security.
Here he pulled out an even more far-fetched version of the old “domino theory” than even Lyndon Johnson’s and John F. Kennedy’s crew came up with to justify the Vietnam War.
If the US didn’t act against Syria, the president intoned darkly, Assad might eventually feel confident enough to use poison gas against neighboring Turkey, Jordan or Israel. And “other tyrants” around the world, he went on, might decide, if the US didn’t respond in Syria, to stockpile poison gas weapons that might “over time” be used against American soldiers. Even worse, he warned, Iran might decide, if the US failed to bomb Syria for its alleged gas use, that it would be safe developing those nuclear weapons that the US insists Iran wants to build.
There is, in short, no limit to the horrors that could be visited on the world if the US isn’t ready to bomb the crap out of Syria, according to President Obama.
And just to close the deal regarding Syria’s existential threat to America, the president said that we needed to bomb Assad’s forces in order “to make our children safer in the long run.”
Talk about a stretch!
Oddly, he at another point belittled the idea of any threat posed by Syria, saying that “the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military.”
There was another striking omission in this address. The president initially declared gravely that Assad’s regime, in using poison gas weapons, had “violated the laws of war.”