Questioning over the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria is serious business at the moment! Horrendous images of apparently infected persons have been plastered all over the world’s TV screens and, amazingly, this has happened just at the time that UN inspectors have arrived in Damascus to do a full investigation on on the subject!
Various European leaders have suggested that this incident ought to be a ‘game-changer’, leading to the sale of more weapons to the rebels, and yet it’s not clear that anything has been substantiated as yet. Was there really a massacre? If so, were there chemical weapons used and, if they were used, who used them?
Two questions in particular have me confused:
Firstly, why is everybody so concerned about these chemical weapons attacks? I appreciate that such forms of warfare are monstrous, but I’m not convinced that any form of warfare is less than monstrous, and why are we focusing on these deaths that may have caused some hundreds of casualties when other forms of warfare in Syria have cost over 100,000 lives.
Secondly, why would the Syrian government use chemical weapons when the UN inspectors were already in the country! We have to assume that Assad’s regime is either incredibly brazen or just plain stupid!
The Jerusalem Post ran a misleading article today, saying that British MP, George Galloway “responded to the latest alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, stating that if there has been any use of sarin gas, it was radical Islamist group al-Qaida, using gas supplied by Israel.”
The Post included a YouTube video of a statement made by Galloway on (Iranian) Press TV, where he indeed postulates both theories. The problem is that the Press TV statement was not a response to the latest alleged attack. A more complete version of the same Press TV statement can also be found on YouTube that dates back more than three months!
Certainly the accusations made some months ago, that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons, were not substantiated. Indeed, despite the ‘game-changer’ rhetoric at the time, the evidence did seem to suggest that it was the rebels who had been using sarin gas, and once this was established the rhetoric suddenly dried up!
It’s worth noting that the Galloway statement published on YouTube and used by the Jerusalem Post was published by GallowayWatch – an anti-Galloway group – and the video is intended to illustrate Galloway’s lunacy! Personally, as one who considers Galloway a friend and a mentor, I find his theory entirely plausible.
Here’s the fuller (and older) of the video statements:
if you can’t view this video, click here