September 04, 2013


WISH SOMEONE HAD THE COURAGE TO WAGE A HUMANITARIAN RESCUE OF THOSE DYING FOR HEALTH CARE by Donna Smith "Is it because the deaths aren't seen as being so gruesome as a drone strike or chemical weapons launch? Is it because the deaths happen slowly, painfully, but often quietly at home or on the streets of America where we accept death will come to the poor and those who didn't have enough money to save themselves? Is it because we really don't believe 123 people are dying every day because they lack the public or private coverage or the cash or credit it would take to purchase that access? What is it about us that makes allowing these people to die every die after much illness and pain and still turn our attention to other things that seem more pressing? Must it actually happen directly in each of our own families or to our own bank accounts before we have the capacity to care enough to act? Do we really believe that reforming the insurance purchase markets will end the killing and the driving of people to bankruptcy? Why are we so willing to test that out?" MORE: MICHAELMOORE SO THIS IS WHY WE DON'T WANT TO WAIT FOR THE UN TO CONFIRM ASSAD'S SARIN USE: IT MAY NOT EVEN EXIST! THE REASON WE ARE PREPARING TO ATTACK SYRIA DOES NOT EXIST. MUCH LIKE THE WMDS WHICH NEVER EXISTED IN IRAQ THAT FORMED THE BASIS OF THAT LONG WAR. I hope you'll read them all, but here is some analysis from US and international chemical weapons experts. But of course it's much easier to believe the Obama administration's experts who want to go to war, even though they admit to having no "slam-dunk" evidence. AFP reports: “At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are helping them are without any protective clothing and without any respirators,” said Paula Vanninen, director of Verifin, the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. “In a real case, they would also be contaminated and would also be having symptoms.” John Hart, head of the Chemical and Biological Security Project at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said he had not seen the telltale evidence in the eyes of the victims that would be compelling evidence of chemical weapons use. “Of the videos that I’ve seen for the last few hours, none of them show pinpoint pupils… this would indicate exposure to organophosphorus nerve agents,” he said. Gwyn Winfield, editor of CBRNe World magazine, which specialises in chemical weapons issues, said the evidence did not suggest that the chemicals used were of the weapons-grade that the Syrian army possesses in its stockpiles. “We’re not seeing reports that doctors and nurses… are becoming fatalities, so that would suggest that the toxicity of it isn’t what we would consider military sarin. It may well be that it is a lower-grade,” Winfield told AFP. Haaretz reports: Western experts on chemical warfare who have examined at least part of the footage are skeptical that weapons-grade chemical substances were used, although they all emphasize that serious conclusions cannot be reached without thorough on-site examination. Dan Kaszeta, a former officer of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps and a leading private consultant, pointed out a number of details absent from the footage so far: “None of the people treating the casualties or photographing them are wearing any sort of chemical-warfare protective gear,” he says, “and despite that, none of them seem to be harmed.” This would seem to rule out most types of military-grade chemical weapons, including the vast majority of nerve gases, since these substances would not evaporate immediately, especially if they were used in sufficient quantities to kill hundreds of people, but rather leave a level of contamination on clothes and bodies which would harm anyone coming in unprotected contact with them in the hours after an attack. In addition, he says that “there are none of the other signs you would expect to see in the aftermath of a chemical attack, such as intermediate levels of casualties, severe visual problems, vomiting and loss of bowel control.” Steve Johnson, a leading researcher on the effects of hazardous material exposure at England’s Cranfield University who has worked with Britain’s Ministry of Defense on chemical warfare issues, agrees that “from the details we have seen so far, a large number of casualties over a wide area would mean quite a pervasive dispersal. With that level of chemical agent, you would expect to see a lot of contamination on the casualties coming in, and it would affect those treating them who are not properly protected. We are not seeing that here.” MORE: WASHINGTONBLOG