The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Kerry’s Opposition to UN Questioning of Assad’s Culpability for the Gassing

with 4 comments

By Stephen J. Sniegoski
The Passionate Attachment
September 22, 2013

To those of a skeptical mind who would want evidence for the alleged culpability of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the August 21 poisonous gas attack, the first part of a Washington Times article (September 19), “Kerry tells U.N. to focus on ridding Syria of chemical weapons, not on sarin attack,” is very revealing.

Supposedly, evidence that can be tested is the basis for modern science. As philosopher Karl Popper maintains, scientific theories must be falsifiable. (The nineteenth-century American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, who is often considered the father of the philosophical school of Pragmatism, referred to this approach, which was central to his philosophy, as fallibilism.)

However, Secretary of State John Kerry wants to prevent any move toward a scientific approach from taking place at the UN. So far, while claiming that there is “no doubt” that Assad was to blame, Kerry has yet to provide any actual evidence that could be tested.

As the “Washington Times” article states: “Mr. Kerry called on the international body to avoid getting bogged down next week in a debate questioning American evidence about the regime’s role in last month’s chemical attack on a Damascus suburb.

“We really don’t have time today to pretend that anyone can have their own set of facts,” the secretary of state said in a shot at Russia, which, while working with the U.S. on the deal to secure Syria’s weapons, has continued to claim that it was Syrian rebels — not forces aligned with Mr. Assad — who carried out the chemical attack.”

This article didn’t deal with the significance of Kerry’s position and moved on to other issues in Syria.

It is significant, however, to note a news story appearing in “The Times of Israel” with the headline “Israeli intelligence seen as central to US case against Syria” (August 27).

Now since the Israeli government has sought a US attack on Syria, and intelligence indicating Assad’s use of chemical weapons would obviously facilitate such a military endeavor, there is no reason to give any credence to this Israeli information. After all, Israel provided bogus intelligence on Saddam’s alleged WMD.

In contrast to the American faith-based arguments that assume Assad’s guilt, Russia gave the UN a 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for an earlier sarin attack in Aleppo, which included a detailed scientific analysis of samples that Russian technicians purportedly collected at the site of the attack.

Kerry is essentially trying to put the culpability of Assad for the gassing in the category of those issues the certitude of which one is not allowed to question, and that to do so would constitute “hate” (in this case, alleged support for all Assad’s brutal actions), thus barring one from mainstream venues. That does not mean the American version is necessarily wrong, but it certainly leads one with a skeptical mind, but little ambition to be successful in the American mainstream, to wonder.

Now if Assad is not going wildly about and gassing masses of people and only possesses stockpiles of chemical weapons, there is no more reason that he give them up than Israel, which also allegedly possesses chemical weapons along with its nuclear arsenal. (Israel does not publicly acknowledge its possession of either chemical or nuclear weaponry, and the US government does not publicly acknowledge Israel’s possession of these weapons either.)

If the goal really were to make the Middle East free from horrific weapons, as America now pontificates, then an effort would be made to have all the countries in the region give up these weapons and undergo inspections. As it is, with the elimination of weapons solely from Israel’s enemies, the purpose would appear to be simply to solidify Israeli military dominance in the region. Hitler, too, wanted to disarm his enemies.

Stephen J. Sniegoski is the author of The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel. He contributed this article to The Passionate Attachment.


Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

September 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I just find it sad that even those that oppose the current Anglo/Franco/US wars of choice (aggression) find the need to frame their opposition within the paradigm of the “good war” narrative.

    Sniegoski needs to read Buchanan and broaden his historical perspective.

    As long as we are always referencing Hitler within the allowed parameters there will always be an indisputable argument for any proposed new war. It’s just our word against theirs that the enemy du jour is not the new Hitler. They will always have the media and the establishment authorities backing their claims. We will always be “defenders of dictators” or “Islamofascists” or whatever.


    September 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm

  2. I agree, aletho. I was cheering Sniegoski all the way — until the last sentence.

    When Sniegoski has finished reading Buchanan, I suggest R. H. S. Stolfi on “Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny.”

    I’m a contrary sort of person, so the mere fact that any narrative about WWII that deviates from the State-enforced dogma (isn’t that State sponsorship of (quasi-)religion?) is criminalized or at least officially sanctioned causes me to seek to “falsify” the narrative. If the holocaust narrative is absolutely true as asserted, surely there’s no concern that it will pass the fallibilism test, right?

    A great deal hinges on the INfallibility of that narrative — recently, Bricmont and Johnstone wrote for Counterpunch —

    “Bernard Kouchner, who first invented and promoted the concept of the “right to intervene”, stated in a recent interview that “Israel is like no other country. It is the result of the terrifying massacre of the Holocaust.” It is therefore “our duty” to protect it.”

    That’s pretty serious: charging one nation with the “duty to protect” another state, presumably ad infinitum, based on a notion that is not permitted to be scientifically tested. (By the way, Kouchner’s argument is historical hogwash: according to Leonard Stein, Chaim Weizmann’s biographer, and also David Ben Gurion writing to his son in 1937, the Jewish zionist project in Palestine was a ‘done deal’ by 1917 and the Balfour Declaration; the rest is commentary.)


    September 22, 2013 at 12:42 am

  3. My statement that Hitler wanted to disarm his enemies would appear to be completely true. France, for example, had to reduce its armed forces after surrendering in June 1940 and was unable to beat Thailand in the Franco-Thai War of 1940-1941.

    I would like someone to name one enemy that Hitler did not try to make weaker when he had the opportunity.

    Stephen Sniegoski

    September 22, 2013 at 2:33 am

  4. Keep searching for smart wars Stephen. You will have plenty of liberals at your side ready to identify any possible new Hitlers.


    September 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

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