14 Jun 2013

Spinning Syria as US claims red line crossed

So, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes is the White House point-man spinning the US towards war in Syria. And spin is what it is all about – remember Obama’s stated position is that if  “a whole bunch” of chemical weapons were used or moved around in Syria this would cross “a red line”.

Not exactly precision language but you get the drift; whole bunch = lots.  Note too the other Obama statement on this that “intelligence assessments are not enough”.

Now look at what Rhodes has said: “Our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

So – intelligence assessments say small-scale use. Yet the spin now is that the red line’s crossed.

The White House said in a statement issued late on Thursday that the use of chemical weapons “violates international norms and crosses clear red lines”.

Hang on, since when did “small scale” mean the same as “whole bunch”? If “intelligence assessments are not enough” before – why are they suddenly enough now?

Ever get the feeling you’re being played?

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8 reader comments

  1. che says:

    Exactly, there is a hell of a lot of spinning going on. And who remembers Cara Del Ponte’s assertion that it is actually the Syrian ‘rebels’ who are guilty of using chemical weapons? Lovely how there has been a complete news blackout of that since…

  2. Philip Edwards says:


    The USA is once again manufacturing lies a la Powell at the UN with his laughable cartoons and propaganda. But even he has since said it was his most shameful performance.

    If they have evidence, let’s see it. And if true ON EITHER SIDE, go after ALL the culprits. However, I’ll believe it when I see it. We have been here before.

    And all this within hours of Parliament’s Commons debate on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War. In case you missed it, there was never more than about twenty members present to say Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa. Michael Meacher made the speech of his career in denouncing Blair and his cronies on all sides of the House as war criminals who lied to Parliament and the country – the same for Bush and co. Needless to say it got no coverage at all on peak time news on any channel.

    The USA and its lickspittle UK poodle are the warmongering rogue states of the world. They make me ashamed to be a citizen. No wonder Gandhi said of Western Civilisation…”It would be a good idea.”

  3. Andrew Dundas says:

    Any use of chemical weapons is a clear breach of long-standing international Treaties.

    My grandfather died in a gas attack. His brother was not as lucky: he survived another 33 years of painful hell. Their horrors were shared by very many families across Europe. You can forget. I shan’t.

    We need to reinforce our international ban on ALL uses of chemical weapons that all UN Members – including Syria – have signed up to. That line in the sand is non-negotiable whatever the qualifications offered by the US.

  4. Jon Wood says:

    This looks like the footage you quite rightly questioned the authenticity of back in April. The same US assessors who downplayed UN and other fatality counts in Iraq (whilst Wikileaks shows us that confidential assessments matched or exceeded these numbers) are now claiming the figures for Syria are an underestimate. Hague and McCain need to be honest and admit that providing arms to our chosen rebels, rather than armed troops, will result in greater fatalities in the short term and many more in the long term. But virtually none of those will be British or American, so that’s OK.
    What we really need now is for all this information to be compiled into a dossier.

  5. Stephen Morrison says:


    What became of the report (at the end of last month) of Turkish police arresting 12 apparent Jihadists (Al Nusra?) in southern Turkey and a couple of days later finding 2 kgs of Sarin in one of the homes they occupied?

  6. Hus says:

    Welcome news to that part of Syrians who want to get rid of the regime (not “government”).

  7. ANON says:

    The Sunni and Shia mentality is largely out of our control. But if we could harness solar power [if it is feasible] and move to wide use of electricity for transport and heating , much of the pressure would be removed.

  8. John G says:

    What is so special about chemical weapons?
    Is it ok to use so-called conventional weapons?
    Is it ok to slaughter those on “the other side” merely by execution?
    Is it ok to send suicide bombers into packed civilian areas?
    What is so special about chemical weapons?

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