But Weren’t Assad’s Chemical Weapons Gone?

 

Ricochet, help me out. I’m greatly confused by this report in The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. intelligence agencies believe there is a strong possibility the Assad regime will use chemical weapons on a large scale as part of a last-ditch effort to protect key Syrian government strongholds if Islamist fighters and other rebels try to overrun them, U.S. officials said.

Can I be the only one who finds this puzzling? Weren’t they … gone? I would have sworn I remember something like this:

Seriously, I would have professed on a stack of bibles that I remember that. As if it were recent, even — that’s how vivid the memory is. But obviously, my memory is all wrong. (I don’t know where that video came from. Some kind of Internet hoax, I guess.)

This makes me really uneasy about my mental state. Could I be suffering from early-onset dementia? I have to say that this false memory is especially unsettling because … well, it’s silly, I know, since I’m clearly remembering things all backward, but I keep thinking about the Iran deal. What on earth would we do if something similar happened?

At times like this, I have to remind myself to keep in firm contact with the facts. I’m clearly just an anxious personality with a failing memory. Is anyone else suffering from weird memory lapses like this? If so, how have you coped? I’ve read that ginkgo biloba and omega-3 fatty acids can help. What do you think — has anyone here tried memory-boosting supplements? Are they safe? Do they work?

 

 

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  1. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    They went the same place asWMD did in Iraq.

    • #1
  2. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Please, that red line was so 2012. It evaporated at the same time as Mayan 2012 planetary doom prophecies.

    • #2
  3. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    My memory is shot too.  I don’t know if it’s information overload, less than six hours a night of sleep, age, or dementia.  I’m 53 which I take is not too old for memeory issues.

    The thing is that on issues that require intelligence are never pinned down as truth.  “Confirmed knowledge” in the public domain is relative.

    • #3
  4. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    Instugator

    Please, that red line was so 2012. It evaporated at the same time as Mayan 2012 planetary doom prophecies.

    Hahaha!  Very good. :)

    • #4
  5. viruscop Member
    viruscop
    @Viruscop

    No, no, no. Not all chemical weapons were destroyed, and this (probably) was the intent from the beginning. Chlorine was never on the list of chemical to be destroyed.

    I have wondered why this was the case. Perhaps the administration wants Assad to have some capability to hold back ISIS?

    • #5
  6. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I’ve read that ginkgo biloba and omega-3 fatty acids can help. What do you think — has anyone here tried memory-boosting supplements? Are they safe? Do they work?

    Let me suggest Botox. It has served our current SecState well. Plus, it may build up your neurotoxin immunity.

    • #6
  7. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    We have always been at war with East Asia….

    • #7
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    PHCheese:They went the same place asWMD did in Iraq.

    Actually, you are on to something

    Assad’s fall could solve Iraqi weapons mystery

    • #8
  9. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    Claire, this is an example of a “legal fiction”.  Perhaps not all of the chemical weapons were removed, and chlorine based weapons are so old-school that we can think of them as non-chemical weapons.  Whatever.  But procedurally, we can carry on as if they were gone.  Putin and Assad said they were gone, so they are.  Keep this in mind and you will regain confidence in your mental state.

    • #9
  10. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    I saw a news conference where Obama was asked about the reports of Chlorine gas being used.  His answer was something about how Chlorine isn’t technically banned as a chemical weapon but the way they were using it kinda sorta was bad.

    • #10
  11. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Technically they aren’t his.

    They were marked, “Hold for Saddam.”

    • #11
  12. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Claire,

    I am surprised at you. Do not waste money on mind aid supplements they won’t help. You must simply remember one thing. All members of the Obama administration and John Kerry in particular hold to a very unique epistemology. They call it local meaning.

    By local meaning we understand that words only have meanings in space and time locally. For instance if you make a statement that makes you look like a complete ass, and this has happened to Kerry many times, within a few hours the statement according to Marie Harf doesn’t mean the same thing.

    Another example might be if Obama is speaking to a group of Jewish donors in New York and he says I’ve got Israel’s back and later that day he flies back to Washington DC and speaks to the leadership of the BDS movement and tells them he has complete solidarity with the Palestinian people this is not a problem. There was meaning to his words only locally. In this example it was local in both time and space. Again Marie Harf would sort it out for you later.

    Apparently, this new epistemology has found its way into the Supreme Court also. Here John Roberts has discovered that a law as written only has local meaning and once it gets to his desk the words can mean anything he says they mean. Justice Kennedy has gone even farther with local meaning. He can discern the meaning of words that weren’t there at all. The word marriage is not referred to anywhere in the Constitution. He assigned this meaning to the Constitution without the word existing. Of course, the current meaning he attributes to the word would never have been attributed to the word by the founding fathers (even if they had actually used the word).

    Please Claire I do wish you would keep up with current trends in epistemology. Also, stay away from the ginko-biloba. Cats love it and if they get their paws on some you’d better watch out. You’ll come home one day and find that they’ve been on Amazon and ordered all of the puss’n’boots DVDs.

    I hope I’ve helped you Ms. Berlinski. I do care.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
  13. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    Truth is over. Moral compasses are over. Up is now both down and sideways. What difference does it make?

    • #13
  14. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Well, as Jared Loughner asked Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, “What is government if words have no meaning?”

    That was in 2007.

    Jared Loughner: Deranged gunman, or prophet?

    • #14
  15. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Claire,

    You heard sounds, but you have confused sounds for words.  Words mean things.  Sounds are just noise.  The Secretary of State cannot be held responsible if you think his noises meant something.

    • #15
  16. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    A few seconds of googling could have answered all of this. (as usual).

    The main “chemical weapon” used in Syria…by all sides…is chlorine.

    The chemical weapons destroyed were actual chemical weapons, i.e. agents designed for that purpose. Chlorine is an industrial chemical found in abundance anywhere.

    It’s also an extremely poor “weapon”, especially as used in Syria (it’s more like an area denial weapon like tear gas).

    PS: Has Kobane fallen yet?

    PPS: Are we still talking about Iraq WMD? I’d expect “conservatives” to keep their heads down on that one. But apparently, some just can’t get enough humiliation on that topic.

    • #16
  17. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    High intensity interval training (HIIT) and heavy weight training with multi-joint movements (squats, deadlift, etc.) combined with and anti-inflammatory diet and good blood sugar control (hemoglobin A1C under about 5.1 – or even lower; Alzheimer’s Disease is being called Type 3 diabetes) are good foundations. The exercise will help with that, too. Good sleep is critical. Lots of dark blue and purple veg and fruits. Spend time in nature. Bare feet on the bare earth. Use rosemary generously in your kitchen. Turmeric, too. Very dark chocolate.

    Test your omega 3 levels (Holman Omega-3 Blood Spot Test) and adjust your diet and fish oil supplementation accordingly. Play around with the EPA and DHA content of your fish oil; I find that higher DHA works better for me. Vitamin D supplementation to optimal blood levels.

    After that, ginkgo isn’t a bad idea, nor is bacopa (the latter helps more with accessing memory than preserving it.)

    Phosphatidyl serine has shown some promise as well.

    • #17
  18. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    AIG:A few seconds of googling could have answered all of this. (as usual).

    The main “chemical weapon” used in Syria…by all sides…is chlorine.

    The chemical weapons destroyed were actual chemical weapons, i.e. agents designed for that purpose. Chlorine is an industrial chemical found in abundance anywhere.

    It’s also an extremely poor “weapon” (it’s more like an area denial weapon like tear gas).

    PS: Has Kobane fallen yet?

    AIG,

    Old friend. How interesting that you can compare Chlorine gas, even a poor grade, to tear gas. This was the main killing gas made so famous in WWI.

    Used against poorly equipped troops or worse civilians, it should do a really cracker jack job of killing people. Yes, it is a shame Assad will be forced to use a low grade industrial chemical rather than a really well made weapon.

    He’ll just have to make do.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
  19. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    AIG:A few seconds of googling could have answered all of this. (as usual).

    Sarin and VX are the ones mentioned by the WSJ. 

    PS: Has Kobane fallen yet?

    If you think what’s been happening recently in Kobanê is cause for encouragement, I don’t know what to say. It’s an absolute bloodbath there.

    • #19
  20. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    AIG:A few seconds of googling could have answered all of this. (as usual).

    PS: Has Kobane fallen yet?

    If you think what’s been happening recently in Kobanê is cause for encouragement, I don’t know what to say. It’s an absolute bloodbath there.

    Claire,

    Let me speak to the article you have linked here. This article tells the story first, that the Kurds + air support have proved superior to IS in the field and have defeated them in battle. Second, that no follow on campaign was initiated chasing IS from the region around Kobane. This might of required activity in areas that weren’t Kurdish. This suggests that the anti-IS forces still aren’t forming the coalitions on the ground they need to win conclusively. The current blood bath is just IS stopped in direct attack changing tactics to a siege approach. They are burning crops by firing artillery on them. The local Kurdish farming population is not returning because of it. This can easily be remedied by a little air support. Artillery is a sitting duck target. A few extra missions and most of the heavy weapons will be cleared from around Kobane. Repeat as needed.

    What is discouraging is the complete lack of a strategic plan. The Kurds have the belly and the ability to defeat IS. However, they are being poorly led if you can call this being led at all.

    Our behavior continues to be cheap and short sighted. Of course, that is BHO still in the White House so what do you expect.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #20
  21. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Sarin and VX are the ones mentioned by the WSJ.

    So one journalist quoting another journalist is evidence?

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: If you think what’s been happening recently in Kobanê is cause for encouragement, I don’t know what to say. It’s an absolute bloodbath there.

    A bloodbath for ISIS.

    James Gawron: AIG, Old friend. How interesting that you can compare Chlorine gas, even a poor grade, to tear gas. This was the main killing gas made so famous in WWI.

    Too bad that evidence points to the contrary. Also, read the sentence I actually wrote: especially as used in Syria.

    Chlorine is an irritant. It only causes death after prolonged exposure and high concentration…i.e. as used in WW1 (very poorly there too). As used in Syria, i.e. as canisters thrown into an area…it hasn’t been very effective.

    So the question is: what’s the point of this thread? Well, we all know what the point is: Obama is lying to us etc.

    Yeah, we get it. Yawn. The problem is, if you’re going to make such arguments, they better be well prepared. 5 minutes of google would prevent a lot of this from happening.

    • #21
  22. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    James Gawron: This can easily be remedied by a little air support. Artillery is a sitting duck target. A few extra missions and most of the heavy weapons will be cleared from around Kobane. Repeat as needed. What is discouraging is the complete lack of a strategic plan. The Kurds have the belly and the ability to defeat IS. However, they are being poorly led if you can call this being led at all. Our behavior continues to be cheap and short sighted. Of course, that is BHO still in the White House so what do you expect.

    Yawn!

    Do tell us Jim, do you have any idea where the front-line is between the Kurds and ISIS today? Do you know what happened in the last couple of weeks?

    How exactly do you “easily remedy” 2 guys driving in a civilian car carrying a single 107mm rocket…with an aircraft parked 1,000 miles away?

    Ah, damn that BHO! Now the crops of Kobane are burning thanks to him!

    Indeed, the sun was shining way to hot today. Thanks Obama!

    • #22
  23. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    AIG:

    James Gawron: This can easily be remedied by a little air support. Artillery is a sitting duck target. A few extra missions and most of the heavy weapons will be cleared from around Kobane. Repeat as needed. What is discouraging is the complete lack of a strategic plan. The Kurds have the belly and the ability to defeat IS. However, they are being poorly led if you can call this being led at all. Our behavior continues to be cheap and short sighted. Of course, that is BHO still in the White House so what do you expect.

    Yawn!

    Do tell us Jim, do you have any idea where the front-line is between the Kurds and ISIS today? Do you know what happened in the last couple of weeks?

    How exactly do you “easily remedy” 2 guys driving in a civilian car carrying a single 107mm rocket…with an aircraft parked 1,000 miles away?

    Ah, damn that BHO! Now the crops of Kobane are burning thanks to him!

    Indeed, the sun was shining way to hot today. Thanks Obama!

    AIG,

    Old friend it so good to hear the sound of your typing again. I am so glad that you have pointed out the strategic nonsense of having a Mach II fighter fly 1000 miles off a 4.5 billion dollar aircraft carrier to do the job of supporting ground troops. As we know by now, when you fly a plane like an A10 out of dirt field 150 miles away it is there in seconds. It can stay and hunt over the battle field for hours. A short squeeze of the Gatling gun will dispatch this kind of target no need to waste bombs.

    Thanks for pointing this out.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #23
  24. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    James Gawron:What is discouraging is the complete lack of a strategic plan.

    There’s that, as well as the outright lying about it. There is no plan to defeat ISIS. I don’t know whether this is deliberate: In some ways, we’d seem to be following Daniel Pipes’ policy advice (of all strange things).

    The Kurds have the belly and the ability to defeat IS.

    They may well have the belly and ability in predominantly-Kurdish areas, but I promise you, they have no interest in taking on ISIS beyond the cantons in Rojova. In the YPG’s own words (Rudaw is basically a PKK mouthpiece, the YPG is PKK), they’re “driven by revolutionary fervor and a desire to eventually have a nation of their own carved out in the region.” Their goal is an ethnically pure Kurdish state, and they’re still under Karayilan’s command, so there’s no reason to think this has changed. The Kurds are not one single entity: They’re on the verge of infra-Kurdish fratricide in Turkey; plenty of Kurds have in fact joined ISIS, and the KRG and PKK loathe each other: It’s not at all obvious to me that they can continue to cooperate. So the idea that the Kurds on their own could defeat ISIS is a fantasy. 

    • #24
  25. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    There’s that, as well as the outright lying about it.

    So we’re sticking with the “lying” argument then? You made this comment before in Kobane, claiming the US military (US military, not even Obama) were lying to us about it. Time showed otherwise. One would have thought this would have made you more cautious in declaring “lying”.

    So your “evidence” of lying is that a program initiated to train Syrians against ISIS, isn’t working. I don’t see the “lying” there.

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: There is no plan to defeat ISIS.

    Would you care to propose a “plan” then? What would this “strategy and plan” look like?

    James Gawron: I am so glad that you have pointed out the strategic nonsense of having a Mach II fighter fly 1000 miles off a 4.5 billion dollar aircraft carrier to do the job of supporting ground troops. As we know by now, when you fly a plane like an A10 out of dirt field 150 miles away it is there in seconds. It can stay and hunt over the battle field for hours. A short squeeze of the Gatling gun will dispatch this kind of target no need to waste bombs.

    150 miles, where? And, I don’t think that’s how this works. You have to find targets, identify them etc. All things which an A-10 is much worst at doing.

    This is about intelligence and information. It’s not a video game.

    • #25
  26. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    AIG:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    There’s that, as well as the outright lying about it.

    So we’re sticking with the “lying” argument then? You made this comment before in Kobane, claiming the US military (US military, not even Obama) were lying to us about it. Time showed otherwise. One would have thought this would have made you more cautious in declaring “lying”.

    So your “evidence” of lying is that a program initiated to train Syrians against ISIS, isn’t working. I don’t see the “lying” there.

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: There is no plan to defeat ISIS.

    Would you care to propose a “plan” then? What would this “strategy and plan” look like?

    James Gawron

    150 miles, where? And, I don’t think that’s how this works. You have to find targets, identify them etc. All things which an A-10 is much worst at doing.

    This is about intelligence and information. It’s not a video game.

    I think you are the one with the video game. The human eye in a plane that is only a thousand feet off the ground going 250 miles an hour is a very good spotting device. It is assisted by heads up weapons targeting in the A10. Having the most rudimentary ground spotting assistance of course would help. Doing the ground spotting is so obvious that is amazing that it needs be mentioned. In a pinch I would trust an A10 pilot to hit the target and not me 100 times more than that video game playing F35 pilot. If the A10 pilot misses he’ll just come around for another pass. Even more likely when he comes in he’ll flush out more targets. He can swing around in short order and have a turkey shoot. That F35 guy is going to be half way back to the aircraft carrier by then.

    Try to use a little of that intelligence AIG.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #26
  27. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Claire,

    I am not complaining but you are repeating my actual argument and misquoting me out of context.

    “The Kurds have the belly and the ability to defeat IS.”

    They may well have the belly and ability in predominantly-Kurdish areas, but I promise you, they have no interest in taking on ISIS beyond the cantons in Rojova.

    I said:

    Second, that no follow on campaign was initiated chasing IS from the region around Kobane. This might of required activity in areas that weren’t Kurdish. This suggests that the anti-IS forces still aren’t forming the coalitions on the ground they need to win conclusively.

    I am simply anticipating the problem. If there is no cure then I will accept it. However, we should be the cool strategic planner that puts the coalition together. I really doubt that we are doing anything but watching the Kurds fight in the West and the Iraqis fight in the East. There is no strategic anticipation of problems. What coalition member would fight in an area that wasn’t their own unless they had supreme confidence in a unifying super force. You know like Supreme Allied Command.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #27
  28. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    James Gawron: I think you are the one with the video game. The human eye in a plane that is only a thousand feet off the ground going 250 miles an hour is a very good spotting device. It is assisted by heads up weapons targeting in the A10. Having the most rudimentary ground spotting assistance of course would help. Doing the ground spotting is so obvious that is amazing that it needs be mentioned. In a pinch I would trust an A10 pilot to hit the target and not me 100 times more that that video game playing F35 pilot. If the A10 pilot misses he’ll just come around for another pass. Even more likely when he comes in he’ll flush out more targets. He can swing around in short order and have a turkey shoot. That F35 guy is going to be half way back to the aircraft carrier by then. Try to use a little of that intelligence AIG.

    So, shoot everything that’s moving on the ground, is what you’re saying? Ok. Write a letter to the Pentagon with this groundbreaking idea of yours. They still hold on to some crazy idea about rules of engagement.

    Only in Obama’s America!

    • #28
  29. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    James Gawron: I really doubt that we are doing anything but watching the Kurds fight in the West and the Iraqis fight in the East. There is no strategic anticipation of problems. What coalition member would fight in an area that wasn’t their own unless they had supreme confidence in a unifying super force. You know like Supreme Allied Command.

    You realize who you’d be fighting alongside, do you? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.

    • #29
  30. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Well as our future President once said, “At this point in time what difference does it make?”

    We all knew Assad was going to lash out wildly when cornered. What else is there for him to do? This is a fight to “the death” it is serious business and there is no room for holding back.

    • #30

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