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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-Apr-2014
14-Apr-14 World View -- Russia and U.S. trade accusations as Ukraine issues ultimatum

Web Log - April, 2014

14-Apr-14 World View -- Russia and U.S. trade accusations as Ukraine issues ultimatum

Syrian army defector explains why Assad regime uses chlorine chemical weapons

This morning's key headlines from

Syrian army defector explains why Assad regime uses chlorine chemical weapons

Brig-Gen Zaher al Saket, Syrian army defector
Brig-Gen Zaher al Saket, Syrian army defector

As we reported yesterday, there was a new poison gas attack on a rebel-held, apparently by Syrian government warplanes. It's assumed that the poison gas attack was under the orders of Syria's genocidal monster president, Bashar al-Assad, but the al-Assad regime blames the attack on rebels.

Zaher al Saket was a Brigadier General in al-Assad's army until he defected last year. He explains why chlorine gas was used, and how only the Syrian regime has the ability to use chemical weapons, in an interview on Sunday with al-Jazeera (my transcription):

"I was given the order by my immediate commander to use chemical weapons in August of last year. These weapons are very toxic, but not deadly. I exchanged these weapons. I gave my officers non-effective elements of these weapons. They used them because they thought they are deadly.

When they started to investigate the matter, I decided to defect. In order to use the chemical weapons, you need to have the real effective elements, and the platform to use them.

The Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Battalions don't have the tools. They don't have any artillery. They don't have any missiles.

Why has the regime resorted to using chlorine mixed with cyanide in the latest chemical attacks? Because they can't be easily discovered, even if the monitoring mission arrives 48 hours later. That's why only those who have been affected is the only evidence."

Al-Zaket gave an interview last year when he defected:

Zaker Al-Saket: "There are three types of chemical weapons: harassing chemical agents, incapacitating agents, and lethal agents. When the demonstrations started, the regime used harassing agents, like any country in the world using tear gas to disperse demonstrations. As for incapacitating and lethal chemical agents - the regime used incapacitating agents at first, but when the world remained silent about this, and the regime thought that the international community did not care, it used lethal [chemical] weapons in more than 13 locations. The last incident was in Utaybah. The regime used sarin gas on three occasions, and I am increasingly afraid that they will use agents more powerful than sarin. They have VX gas and mustard gas, also known as iprit. ...

The regime's accusation that the opposition has used chemical weapons is the most compelling proof that the regime itself has used them, because the opposition does not have the means to use chemical weapons. The means of using chemical weapons are known to the whole world: airplanes, missiles, helicopters, and artillery. Worst still, this regime has binary chemical weapons. The world must understand that there are binary chemical weapons in Syria, and [Bashar Al-Assad] will use them against his people, because he is the Nero of our age."

As we described yesterday, the United Nations inspection team wrote a report proving that al-Assad was guilty of last August's sarin attack. The team did not specifically blame al-Assad, because they were not permitted to do so, but the report contained technical data that proved to outside experts that the rockets were launched from a Syrian Republican Guard unit. Memri (4/29/2013)

Russia and U.S. trade accusations as Ukraine issues ultimatum

In three cities in east Ukraine, Ukrainian security forces are exchanging fire with pro-Russian protesters, who may be Russian-paid militants, causing several casualties. Ukraine's government in Kiev has issued an ultimatum to the pro-Russian protesters to stand down by Monday morning (by 11 pm ET Sunday), or face a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" by Ukraine's armed forces. Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said, "We will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern regions of Ukraine." This is assumed to mean that Turchynov will act to prevent Russia from annexing eastern Ukraine as it's already annexed Crimea.

Russia and the U.S. are blaming each other for the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine.

According to Russia's Foreign Ministry, it's the responsibility of the United States and other Western nations to "stop the civil war":

"The Kiev authorities, who self-proclaimed themselves as a result of a coup, have embarked on the violent military suppression of the protests. Blood has already been spilled as the result of such actions in the South East. ...

It depends on the West now to stop the civil war in Ukraine. ...

The western sponsors of the Maidan [Kiev] government, especially those who witnessed the Agreement [of 21 February] and are backed by the US, have to curb their out of control wards, they have to make them break away from the neo-Nazis and other extremists."

According to a statement issued by the U.S. State Dept. on Sunday:

"Russia continues to spin a false and dangerous narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine. The Russian propaganda machine continues to promote hate speech and incite violence by creating a false threat in Ukraine that does not exist. We would not be seeing the violence and sad events that we've witnessed this weekend without this relentless stream of disinformation and Russian provocateurs fostering unrest in eastern Ukraine. Here are 10 more false claims Russia is using to justify intervention in Ukraine, with the facts that these assertions ignore or distort."

The statement goes on to describe proof that Russian agents are active in Ukraine, that Russian internet sites are open recruiting Russian citizens to travel to Ukraine to incite violence, and that in fact there is no spiraling civil war in Ukraine, and there wouldn't be any conflict at all if it hadn't been for Russian provocations. The statement goes on to point out that there are 35,000-40,000 Russian troops massed along the border with Ukraine, in addition to approximately 25,000 troops currently in Crimea. AP and U.S. State Dept. and Russia Today

Abdullah Abdullah leads in Afghanistan vote count

In last weekend's Afghanistan election, results based on 10% of votes from 26 out of 34 provinces showed Abdullah Abdullah with 41.9% and Western-leaning academic Ashraf Ghani second with 37.6%. A third candidate, Zalmay Rassoul, backed by two of Karzai's brothers, trailed far behind with 9.8%.

Correction: Yesterday's report said that Abdullah is Hazara. Actually, he's mixed Tajik and Pashtun. Reuters

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 14-Apr-14 World View -- Russia and U.S. trade accusations as Ukraine issues ultimatum thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (14-Apr-2014) Permanent Link
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