The tripartite miracle concerning Syria’s chemical weapons give-up activity, especially how quickly the weapons can be collected and defused, makes anyone living near the army’s chemical-weapon-destruction facility about 35 miles or so south of Lexington, Ky., laugh. It’s located at the Blue Grass Army Depot (munitions-storing-facility) along U.S. Hwy 421.
All kinds of exotic gases and their containers-for-delivery-systems are stored at BGAD. There’s also a facility near Pueblo, Colorado, for the defusing of mustard gas. Its mission is supposed to be finished by 2018.
Mustard gas is stored at BGAD, along with nerve agents such as the ones allegedly used by the Syrian government in a Damascus suburb (no actual proof yet of who did what). The facility for neutralizing this stuff is still in the building process, about 70% finished. The actual completion of the project, including the destruction of the weapons, is scheduled for 2023 at BGAD.
The process has obviously not started yet at BGAD. When the work at both there and Pueblo is finished, it will have cost the U.S. taxpayers $40 billion, though no one believes that price tag will not balloon long before the effort is ended, as in the case of virtually all government projects.
Russia is supposed to have rid itself of its chemical weapons by 2015, i.e., if Putin intends for their destruction to happen. The betting here is that such will not be the case. One hopes, also, that the U.S. government, despite all the ballyhoo about its intention to destroy its entire arsenal, will hang onto a reasonable supply.
This is a dangerous world, as proven by the fact that small Syria can pose a threat sufficient to scare the entire world—at least according to the media hysteria. The nation that is disarmed completely in any category of munitions simply plays the fool.
The window-dressing advanced by State Secretary Kerry is just so much bluster, and, on the basis of recent events, is bluster he should check out with the president before delivering it, lest Obama cut him off at the knees as he did after Kerry said the Syrians would never give up the weapons…indeed, couldn’t.
There’s probably enough multi-billion-dollar concrete alone at BGAD’s gas-neutralizing facility, not to mention in its storage areas, to cover all of Damascus with a coating of significant thickness. This is what makes the “happy news” from Kerry’s wanderings in the Middle East of little consequence. Just building a facility for the job is costing multi-billions here, so who comes up with the funds for neutralizing Syria’s deadly fogs?
Who will take care of this project? It’s not just about mustard gas, which seems to be easily neutralized by comparison to nerve agents. Besides mustard gas, Assad has the vicious stuff such as Sarin but certainly has no facility for disposing of any of it.
More pointedly, how does one go about collecting these dangerous gases in the middle of a civil war, with insurrectionists, the so-called free army and jihad thugs just as anxious as Kerry, Obama and Putin are to gain possession of the stuff?
The key word Kerry has borrowed from Reagan’s ghost is VERIFY. The only way to VERIFY anything is to have people on the ground. Even that didn’t work in Iraq. But Obama has made it plain—no boots on the ground. So, VERIFYING is impossible, meaning that Assad (and Putin, covering Assad’s derriere) can sign anything because the signature will be worth less than the paper holding the document.
Not in the foreseeable future can anything significant and verifiable be done vis-à-vis Assad’s chemical weapons. He knows that, as does Putin, though Obama may know nothing about BGAD or what’s involved in neutralizing poison gases. Building a facility in Syria is impossible. Facilities in the U.S. and perhaps Russia would be the only significant ones available, and it’s a cinch that most Americans don’t want the stuff shipped to this country.
A plethora of other nations either have or have the capability concerning chemical/biological weapons. Cuba, Iraq and North Korea are three such, so Syria is just one of many.
The big question: When Obama finally realizes that the weapon-disposal ploy is just that—a ploy—will he decide to bomb Syria, whether so small an operation as to be unbelievable (Kerry’s description) or not a pinprick (Obama’s description)? Stay tuned.
And so it goes.