Obama's "Red Line" turned Civil War into Struggle to Secure Chemical Weapons *UPDATED*Submitted by fightforthefuture on Tue, 08/27/2013 - 03:11
A lot of pundits are criticizing President Obama over his failure to act decisively against the latest deployment of chemical weapons in Syria. They demand to see some leadership out of the President, mostly in the way of deploying American weapons of indiscriminate destruction (WIDs, also called WIDow-makers), such drones and cruise missiles, against the Syrian regime.
However, President Obama DID provide decisive leadership regarding the Syrian civil war, even though it was entirely unintentional.
One year ago, when the President declared the deployment of Syria's chemical weapons "A Red Line" that would determine American intervention, he inadvertently changed the course of the civil war.
Henceforth, the Syrian rebels, led and directed by al-Qaeda*, turned their struggle toward seizing the vast stockpiles of chemical weapons for themselves, knowing full well that, should they capture these weapons, the "Red Line" would most certainly have be crossed, regardless of who deployed them.
As the Economist reports, http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2013/08/syria-s-war, "In the early hours of the morning of August 21st, residents reported shelling and rocket attacks on Eastern Ghouta, a swathe of disaffected suburbs to the east of the capital, Damascus. Shortly afterwards, gruesome videos were posted showing victims struggling to breathe and displaying other symptoms of chemical poisoning—possibly by a nerve agent, sarin."
Ghouta is reported to be one of the areas where the Syrian army had moved one of its larger stockpiles of chemical weapons from the rebel-held areas of the northeast. The moment most of the stockpiles had been transferred from Homs, Aleppo, and the eastern desert, often in armoured convoys under heavy fire, to a secure zone around the capital, the rebels turned all available forces toward capturing these weapons.
Back in March, the rebels fought a long battle to secure these weapons in Aleppo. As RT reported, http://rt.com/news/syria-rebels-chemical-aleppo-479/ "Opposition fighters gained control over weapons and ammunition stores in the village of Khan Toman in southern Aleppo province on Saturday after fierce fighting that went on for more than three days," an anonymous military source told AFP. Reports of the weapons seizure came after days of brutal clashes between opposition and government forces."
The showdown became even more severe in April, when al-Qaeda launched its biggest offensive to seize the largest chemical weapons depot in Syria. As Vocativ reports, http://www.vocativ.com/04-2013/al-qaeda-closing-in-on-syrias..., "The prospect of a chemical weapons free-for-all in Syria is gaining momentum following widespread reports that rebel forces — including an Al Qaeda-linked group — are now in control of territory within a mile of what’s believed to be the Assad regime’s largest chemical weapons depot. After more than two years of fighting and tens of thousands of deaths, a showdown over the Al-Safirah military compound could be a game-changer — potentially even with security implications for the United States. Reports say the rebels have conquered the town of Al-Safirah, the suburb of Aleppo adjacent to the military facility, and that fighters from Al Qaeda* affiliated groups are involved in the fighting."
The distraction over seizing Syria's chemical weapons throughout the winter and spring may have caused al-Qaeda's stunning losses during the Syrian army's counteroffensive in May. Breaking the siege of Qusair caused a total defeat of al-Qaeda in the strategic crossroads of Damascus, Homs, and Tartus.
Hitherto, al-Qaeda had control over the passage to the sea, which endangered the capital. However, it failed to press its advantage during the winter, preferring to hold the crossroads while attempting small offensives to seize the chemical weapons stockpiles. This gave the Syrian army an opportunity to deliver a severe coup de grace to al-Qaeda.
Not content with merely seizing and deploying chemical weapons against Syrian citizens in order to provoke the United States into action, al-Qaeda has made visible efforts to produce its own WMDs. A video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcYH-5uz91k showing an al-Qaeda operative testing chlorine gas on a rabbit in December 2012 is now famous. However, it is clear that al-Qaeda was never able to secure enough components to concoct more poison gas than it takes to kill a rabbit.
As the battle for Syria's chemical weapons continues to rage in a haze of chlorine, mustard, VX, and sarin gas, one thing is for certain:
President Obama showed decisive leadership when he declared the deployment of such weapons as THE "red line" that would engage the military power of the United States against the Syrian Army. Al-Qaeda has been fighting tooth and nail for a year to make that dream come true, while President Assad has done everything in his power to prevent the enemies of civilisation from taking hold of these weapons, and giving the United States the "Red Line" its been seemingly so desperate to cross.
UPDATE: TODAY IS AUGUST 31st, 2013. President Barack Hussein Obama is still a man of peace. Keep this day in mind. Exactly 74 years ago, The Fuehrer of the German Reich Adolf Hitler was a man of peace. The world clung to his record as being a leader who used diplomacy rather than war to achieve his ends.
All that changed on September 1st.
That was 1939. This is 2013. What will our September 1st bring?
*Note: Herein, "al-Qaeda" refers to all fighting forces opposed to the Syrian Army under President Assad. This is because al-Qaeda commands the "Free Syrian Army" and composes its most successful soldiery. Having been engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, with its officers having experience from Kosovo, Bosnia, and Afghanistan in the 1980s, al-Qaeda represents the power and brains behind the current rebel forces in Syria today. To call the rebels anything but "al-Qaeda" would be disingenuous.