Syria readies poison gas for use
New reports comfirm nerve agent prepared, loaded into bombs.
Syria is prepared to use chemical weapons against its own people. According to U.S. officials, sarin gas has been loaded into bombs and the Syrian Air Force is awaiting orders from Bashar al-Assad to use them. If the bombs are used, it would cross a proverbial "red line" which would likely trigger U.S. military involvement.
Officials are also adding that the bombs haven't yet been attached to aircraft.
But the sword itself incites to violence.
Ultimately, if Assad chooses to use the lethal nerve agent, there will be nothing the world can do to stop him. The consequences would have to come afterwards - after untold numbers of people had been killed with the gas.
The gas that's causing alarm is labeled "sarin" and it is a highly-lethal nerve agent. Sarin is odorless and colorless, and can be lethal in under a minute, even in small doses. The agent was developed in Nazi Germany in 1938 as an improved pesticide. It's name is derived from the last name initials of its four discoverers.
Saddam Hussein used the agent to kill hundreds of Iraqi Kurds after the first Gulf War.
Within the first minute of exposure, victim's noses begin to run, and their breathing becomes constricted. Nausea and drooling start. Before that first minute is up, victims lose control of their bodily functions, and begin twitching and jerking. Usually around sixty second after exposure, the victim becomes comatose and dies of suffocation as they spasm.
The gas has been labeled as a "weapon of mass destruction" by the UN and its production and use are banned by international law.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has publicly predicted that the Syrian regime is on the brink of collapse and that desperate measures could be used. "We believe their fall is inevitable. It is just a question of how many people have to die before that occurs," Clinton said.
The Syrian government has promised that it would not used chemical weapons, however if it did, it would only be the latest in a series of atrocities committed by Assad's regime against his own people.
The preparation of the gas, if the reports are accurate, suggest that Assad has reached, or is very near, a decision point. Assad still has the option of exile in a friendly country that will protect him from international prosecution. However, if Assad chooses to fight to the bitter end, and deploys WMD's against his own people, he will either die fighting or be captured and brought to justice. No country would be able to protect him, or would have the desire to, after such an attack.
If the latter happens, he had better hope it is international forces that catch him rather than his own people. Perhaps better it were for him to meet the devil than the collective anger of the Syrian people.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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