Saturday, April 02, 2011

Terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas may now have chemical weapons.

Did Libyan rebels obtain chemical weapons from Qaddafi stockpile and sell them to Iran?

Since nuclear weapons were first used in 1945, any subsequent use has been deterred by the concept of “mutual assured destruction”. In the early nuclear confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, this simply meant that both sides were constrained from using nuclear weapons by the assured knowledge that the other side would then also use them.

This doctrine presupposed a level of rationality on all those nations that possessed the ultimate weapon. As the number of nations that had nuclear weapons increased, the doctrine remained intact. This concept of  deterrence has kept the world from seeing any repeat use of the nuclear bomb.

But what if one had a nation governed by irrational beings? What if the rulers were possessed of a religious doctrine such that the deaths of large numbers mattered little? For example, when Iran gets nuclear weapons, can it be deterred by fear of assured destruction? Or what if the weapons got into the hands of a terrorist group that had no constraints on use?

One of the fears that we live with is that a group like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah, groups whose members look forward to basking  in the hereafter with 72 virgins, groups that have no difficulty  lining up an unlimited supply of suicide bombers, might get hold of such weapons. What then? The big fear surrounding nuclear weapons has been the idea that some rogue group might obtain them, and would not hesitate to use them.

Such groups would not be subject to  deterrence, not only because death is not necessarily a worrisome consequence for them,  but also  because there is no clear address to which to direct retaliation.

What is true for nuclear weapons is also true for biologic and chemical weapons, the other weapons of mass destruction. Now we have news of chemical weapons  that have been stockpiled in the armories of Libyan ruler Moammar Qaddafi,  that got into the hands of rebels who are fighting against Qadaffi.

According to this story, a large number  of artillery shells containing deadly chemical agents came into rebel hands when they captured facilities in and around Benghazi.  Apparently the rebels obtained at least 2,000 artillery shells carrying mustard gas and 1,200 nerve gas shells, and sold them “ for cash payment amounting to several million dollars”. The buyers?  Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The destination? Gaza and Lebanon.

While I need to caution that I have only a single source for this story at this time, it needs to be taken seriously. According to this source, representatives of Iran met with rebel leaders in Benghazi because they recognized a unique opportunity to get hold of Qaddafi’s stock of poison gas. They saw a chance to supply Hezbollah and Hamas with chemical  weapons without Iran being implicated. The weapons supposedly can be delivered by artillery or by drones, and it is known that Hezbollah has obtained drones from Iran.

The story  is supported by testimony given by the commander of US NATO forces, Adm. James Stavridis, to a US Senate committee on March 29, in which he spoke of “telltale signs of the presence of Islamic insurgents led by Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah” on the rebel side of the Libyan war. One must wonder why these groups were there.

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1 comment:

  1. Debka File is usually a VERY reliable source. I don't remember any case where they were wrong.
    It's sad that the U.S. led by a thoughtless President (or maybe and America and West hating President) is fighting to give these rebels a chance to rule Libya.