Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Liz, Queen of Scots - just say 'No!'

I find myself in a bit of quandry.

I know a fair bit about Sarin, its chemistry, how it acts on the human body, what sort of inhalation doses are fatal, the 'first aid' you can apply, the unlikely success of first aid and from a NBCD Triage Officer's view point how to recognise the effects of the gas. My problem is I found this all out in the days of the 'Cold War' when most of the lectures and exercises attracted a 'Most Secret' label at the Royal Naval NBCD School. As a RN Triage Officer I saw stuff that normal NBCD personnel were not allowed to see; these being copies of films made in Japan and Germany in the period 1939-45 showing the impact on test subjects of hypothermia, sudden decompression and, of course, Sarin amongst other unpleasantness. Possibly even mentioning all this now, after 30+ years, will have the RN Investigation Branch knocking on my door
seeking to remove me to the Tower or, more likely the RN jail at Portsmouth.

With all the knowledge that remains stuck in my head and a quick look a Wikipedia to see what is the public domain there is something that does not ring true with regards the assumed Sarin attack in Damascus. No one who would seriously use Sarin, classed as a weapon of mass destruction by UN resolution 937, in a penny ante way. There is no tactical or strategic point in doing so because you merely warn the other side who quickly get kitted up in NBCD gear and respirators making it a waste of time. There is also the problem that by using Sarin you let the genie out the bottle and the other side looks to retaliate with a similar weapon but in a far greater volume. That is why I am left thinking there is something odd going on here, there is something that just does not ring true, just like the photo's of 'survivors' which are very unlikely given Sarin in its gaseous form is 50X more toxic than Arsenic and kills in concentrations down to 400 parts per billion as a gas. In effect if you breath in Sarin you are dead. 

The BBC showed what is presumed to be the 'gas warhead' with only its top blown off. The UN inspector is poking it with a gas probe but is wearing neither a respirator nor NBC kit. In some designs of these weapons there is a small reservoir which if the warhead is moved or tampered with will release enough Sarin gas to kill within a 400 metre radius and deny access for anything up to three hours depending on volume, temperature and wind direction. The internal structure of the weapon has to be designed to stop the liquid causing the warhead to wobble during acceleration and ballistic descent. The UN expert appeared to be poking at a flattened tube. Further, given the liquid nature of Sarin, it is more effectively distributed by an air burst at around 50 feet off the ground to increase the spread of the chemical and increase the rate of vapourisation, the Soviets were expected to have deployed Sarin as a spray from ground attack aircraft at around 150 to 200 feet - a form of military crop dusting, if you will.

Something unpleasant has been used - the three hundred dead civilians are proof of that but the assumption immediately by US and UK commentators that is was Sarin leaves me nonplussed, there are other organo-phosphate nerve agents around with lesser toxicity which may explain the small number of deaths in an unprepared target than I would have expected if it was Sarin being used.

The real problem with any gas attack is it is a highly environment effected weapon especially if used, as it is being suggested, in a town environment. You do not just have all the normal meteorological conditions to factor in but also the impact of buildings on gas flow and dispersion, the thermals caused simply by buildings being warm, dew points, local air flow and a whole load of other tactical considerations for effective use of gas.

The CIA / NSA/ GHQ bods know that a dodgy dossier will not cut it this time in the UK and USA; so folk had to die, not too many and in an 'unpleasant manner' but just enough to cause an uproar amongst us decent folks. The UK and US agencies would know full well Assad's regime had a stock pile of gas warheads and it would not be beyond logic to expect these agencies have a 'sleeper' inside the Assad regime's military command - mostly likely Mossad - who could persuade some of Assad's more rogue Air Force commanders that a gas attack would finish off the opposition with the threat of more to come - and hence the demonstration 'attack' just like on Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the same 'moral reason' to save civilian lives.

For all these suppositions and hunches I would request that Liz, Queen of Scots, does not allow the UK Military to be deployed on this new military adventure on behalf of Wall Street, Exxon and General Motors. This has nothing to do with saving civilian lives (in fact it is likely to cost even more civilian lives) and everything to do with the current USA and Russian squabble, by proxy, about who gets what in the Middle East in terms of access to oil and gas reserves. I am not one for tin-foil hat conspiracy theories but this one just stinks, it makes no sense and is an open invitation for the USA to bomb Assad's arse off the face of the planet.

This sovereign Scot's considered will says 'No' to armed intervention in Syria, how say you?

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