As I always told my intelligence students you keep an intelligence assessment under continuous review. Only conspiracy theorists and Thames Valley Police officers work backwards from a desired result.
It is perfectly clear however that Assad was behind the gas attack in East Damascus on August 21st. Of course many people are refusing to accept that fact, but it is a fact nonetheless. Desperate efforts to suggest that Israel, or the rebels, or the Saudis carried out this war crime have failed, miserably. None of the rebel groups has the capability or anywhere near it.
The German BDO have made some progress on Assad’s motive. COMINT suggests that he was afraid he might lose Damascus. His position is not as strong as the MSM have been making out. I remain impressed by Major-General Paul Vallely’s point, having visited Syria, that Assad’s forces have lost control of large chunks of the national territory. His position is weaker than I, and many people, thought. There is no substitute for having an experienced military man go over the terrain. The MSM thought that US and South Vietnamese forces failed to repel the Tet offensive. They also think Oswald shot Kennedy, which goes to show how much they know.
Even ‘Blind Freddie’ could see that the attack was green-lighted from the Cabinet Office and Washington anyway, i.e. Assad knew he had little to fear from the West. The top German spy in the Cabinet Office is a cold-hearted bastard, no offense intended, who would not be likely to object to mass murder. He was happy with mass-murder in East London (that’s UK, not South Africa, by the way) last year, never mind East Damascus. Human life counts for little with the DVD, except their own of course.
Shells, Rockets or Missiles?
This is the real debate. Did Assad’s boys use gas shells, rockets, or missiles? There are several ways of defining the difference between rockets and missiles, but essentially a missile is a guided rocket. Majority opinion seems to favor rockets, but I’m not buying yet. I still incline to gas shells from tube artillery, around 155 mil calibre, roughly 6 inches. Might have been 105s but gas shells tend to be the big bore stuff. By ‘big bore’ I mean big gun, not big bore in the John Kerry/David Cameron sense.
Sarin or VX?
It wasn’t mustard gas, an old German favorite. Thinking seems to be sarin, but again I’m not quite convinced. It was probably sarin but there is room for doubt. Sarin is cheaper and Assad has tons of the stuff. VX is more lethal, and the low dead to wounded ratio points towards sarin, but chemical weapons are notoriously difficult to deliver. It may also be a new gas. ‘Jerry’ loves gassing people and he is always working on new methods of mass murder. Syria is an ideal test-bed for new CW. They’ll be testing new Volkswagens there next.
The Collapse in the UN’s authority
The good thing to come out of this, apart from the damage done to David Cameron, the Cabinet Office and Obama, is the massive collapse in the UN’s authority. The UN Charter is effectively a dead letter. We may as well wind up the UN, which would only be fair. They have been winding us up for years. The UN Security Council has effectively sanctioned mass-murder. Whenever we see the UN logo from now on all we will see is helpless children choking to death on lethal nerve gas.
Just as Abyssinia shattered the credibility of the League, so has Syria shattered the already tattered credibility of the UN. It is time for UNO to join the League of Nations in the dustbin of history. I hope the next Conservative (Cameron is no more a conservative than Neville Chamberlain) Government will denounce the UN Charter. Those children may not have died for nothing. I hope not. Just as you want your life to count for something, so too do you want your death to count.
Response to Comments
Well done someone for pointing out that the Swiss made the mistake of joining the UN in 2002, only to find out that it had more holes in it than their cheese.
Nice to hear from a reader in Buenos Aires! He or she (most comments are anonymous) is quite right to point out that the ‘Jerries’ shipped key people to Argentina in U-Boats after the war. The continuing German operation of U-Boats after 1945 (by the DVD’s naval section) has been a regular theme of mine for some years.
I do owe an apology to Jim Fetzer for getting his name wrong. I knew a nice lawyer named Felter some years ago and I was eliding the two names! We still disagree, but at least I’ve now got his name right.
Death of Nelson Mandela
You are now about to witness a rare event – George Bush Senior and myself agreeing about something. His people pushed out a statement this week, expressing condolences on the death of Nelson Mandela, whom I’m afraid I never met. We stayed in the same hotel once, in the 90s, in Birmingham, where I was doing a trial, but his Anti-Apartheid minders couldn’t be bothered to introduce me, despite all the work I had done in the 80s on opposing apartheid (I helped set up Lawyers Against Apartheid). It was a bit of a smack in the face.
Officially Mandela is still alive, but his tv appearances have become a little sparse as of late, sadly. I agree with President Bush that Mandela is dead. It is very odd, indeed even bizarre, that Pretoria could claim that he will receive the same standard of care at home as in an intensive care ward. Hmmm. I note the use of the wording ‘there has been no change in his condition.’ The French came up with that formula after Yasser Arafat snuffed it, and there were arguments over his offshore accounts (I am not sure what’s happening to Mandela’s offshore account, which is held in the British Virgin Islands, in Road Town, Tortola). The French needed to pretend that the old boy was still alive, i.e. not an ex-terrorist who had fallen off his perch, but needed something for the medical bulletins. The ‘no change’ line was quite witty. He was still dead, in other words.
I am nothing if not fair to our community partner ‘the Hun.’ I am totally opposed to the decision of German prosecutors to press charges against 30 former guards at Auschwitz. These guys are all in their 90s. As a lawyer I abhor delay. I am also unhappy about putting people aged up to 97 in the dock, whatever they have been accused of doing. It is far too late to be having trials about World War II. These guards, if they ever were at Auschwitz, should have been tried, if at all, in 1945.
Always go for the boys in charge is my motto. It is a sign of weakness, and not the conduct of a gentleman, to go against the small fry, who were only following orders. The orders may have been, indeed were, criminal and obscene, but that was a ground for giving those issuing the orders a fair trial and executing them. It would be like prosecuting junior officials in the Cabinet Office, some of whom are quite nice, for complicity in Assad’s war crime in East Damascus, just because there is a war criminal in their chain of command. Concentration camp guards were not responsible for the murderous policies of the then German government.
They showed this great John Wayne movie again on British tv this week. It reminded us of what a great guy, and fine actor, John Wayne was. After a week listening to weanies in Congress it reminded us of why we like you guys. For aviation enthusiasts there are find studies of a Lockheed JetStar, complete with Comet 1 style ‘square windows’, in flight and rare footage of a Douglas Globemaster 1. The only other movie I can think of featuring an early, piston-engined Globemaster, is The Italian Job. That example was non-flying however.
Polling has just opened. I predict that the ALP will lose at least 15 seats, mostly in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. I am expecting a big slump in their vote in the Sunshine State.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.
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