Streetwise Professor

August 30, 2013

A Disturbing Coda: We Saw it Coming and Did . . . What?

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 8:00 pm

There was one very disturbing revelation in Kerry’s presentation.  Kerry stated that US intelligence had observed preparations for the chemical attack and monitored communications about it beginning three days before the attack occurred.

What did the US do to attempt to prevent this attack? If a private warning to the Syrians didn’t work, maybe a public release of some of the information would have had a deterrent effect.  And if it didn’t, it would have eliminated any doubt about Assad’s personal culpability: he could not claim it was underlings acting without his knowledge.  Moreover, did the US issue any warnings to the potential targets?

This is very disturbing.

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1 Comment »

  1. Assuming that Assad has been reading the papers, he has read Snowden’s claims about the scope of NSA communications monitoring, so Assad spent three days putting together a chemical weapons attack, after years of not using chemical weapons, knowing that the US could probably monitor what was going on, and he allowed communications about the attack to go on between underlings using means of communications that could be monitored, rather than, say, hand-written notes and face-to-face communication, which are harder to track.

    So is Assad playing some sort of very long game here? Does he actually see an advantage to himself in committing this kind of atrocity, guessing that the Western reaction will in real life be much less effective than previously threatened?

    I think an effective threat would have been “Do that, and we will kill you, as we killed Osama, Kadaffi, etc.” Instead, the threat seems to be “Do that, and we will bomb some bases after giving you plenty of time to evacuate them, but it’s not about regime change, dear me, not at all, perish the thought.”

    Comment by jon livesey — September 1, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

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