One point that needs to be made, but rarely if ever mentioned, is that in the supposed rationale for US attack on Syria to avenge/prevent claimed civilian deaths by government gas attacks, the US government itself has used similar weapons openly as recently as the FBI/ATF attack on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco Texas in the spring of 1993.
76 men, women and children died in this senseless military style assault which used highly lethal military CS gas as a primary weapon. CS is not a nerve agent and it doesn’t in normal concentrations cause immediate death. But it is highly flammable, persistent and designed to incapacitate targets by causing massive biological reactions including inability to breathe, massive tearing in the eyes, nose bleeds, etc.
The Davidians were totally surrounded, posed no threat to others, and responded with weapons fire only after the ATF/FBI attacked with military style firearms. After the initial government assault was repelled, and after a long standoff, an impatient President Clinton and his Attorney General Janet Reno ordered an all-out military assault on the compound, despite the fact that the only legal justification was a single warrant for David Koresh on unproven charges. The presence of innocent group members was ignored, nor was there any planning for medical aid or fire suppression.
The rest is history. Special military tanks were used to puncture compound walls and insert large quantities of CS gas. CS gas grenades were used from military stores along with 2 metal CS pyrotechnic M651E1 shells. Other pyrotechnic devices and flammable rounds were also fired into the buildings despite known dangers of CS gas ignition and chemical changes to the CS in fires making it even more deadly.
Wikipedia has more details. The video “Rules of Engagement” makes it clear that this was a deliberate effort to kill those inside.
In the run up to the Iraq invasion and now with Syria, United States officials loudly wailed about these regimes “killing civilians” with poison gas. Despite lack of hard evidence for such use in these countries, there is no doubt that President Clinton and Reno approved this exact same tactic.
Unlike the Middle Eastern scenarios, no civil war or mass terrorist action was occurring in Waco. There were no enemy forces attacking regime outposts and military targets. Just religious dissenters who followed an unstable cult leader, who lived privately on a remote farm bothering no one.
While domestic and world reaction to the Davidian massacre ranged from shock to horror, in 1993 there were no bellicose calls for military attack on the US by other nations for this blatant violation of the rules of war, the Geneva Conventions, and legal due process. France, Britain, China and Russia did not propose UN authorization for military retaliation. Nor did the US government ever apologize but instead gave medals and honors to the government killers responsible for these horrific deaths.
While some victims were shot, most died from burns or asphyxiation as a result of the CS gas and the subsequent firestorm created when it was ignited deliberately.
So precedent is clear: the US Empire can use poison gas against peaceful religious dissenters when they do not immediately surrender to heavily armed police forces using military weapons. This is lied about, rationalized and ultimately forgotten, with the dead victims being blamed for their “suicidal actions.”
Other nations engaged in civil wars are regarded by the US Empire as guilty of “genocide” with the flimsiest of “secret evidence” of poison gas use cited as justification for military attack. Thus far American citizens have not been made privy to this supposed evidence or its source.
Does anyone doubt that faced with an active armed rebellion in the US by opponents of the Obama regime, the US government would not hesitate one millisecond to deploy CS gas or worse against rebels? The precedent is clear. Gassing civilians is approved for the Empire, but others face our wrath should they be accused by secret sources of emulating the Clinton-Reno example. US government moral outrage is reserved only for the acts of others.
After all, the US Empire can do no wrong. War is the Health of the State.
Mike Holmes [send him mail] is a practicing CPA in the Houston area.