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Hometown: SC
Member since: Tue Oct 7, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Where and what are the chemical weapons in Syria?

By Richard Engel, Jim Miklaszewski and Robert Windrem, NBC News

Experts agree that the program is the most advanced in the Third World, and that the Syrian government has used the poisonous arms against its own people "multiple times" in recent years.

The arsenal
The size of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal is not known with any precision, though the French government has estimated it to be more than 1,000 tons.

The lack of certainty poses a problem, according to intelligence and arms control experts. “No one but the Syrians knows the inventory, and if the rebels overrun one of these depots, there are worries about the physical control of the weapons," said one U.S. official, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity.

The experts say that Damascus’ program is distinguished by its size, diversity, quality and reliability. President Bashar Assad’s regime is believed to possess sarin, VX (a persistent form of sarin that could render a city uninhabitable “for some days,” according to the CIA), tabun (another older nerve agent) plus blistering agents like mustard, phosgene and hydrogen cyanide. In addition, it is believed to have large stores of “precursor chemicals” that it could use to create more of the toxic agents.
However, weapons have been moved around the country over the last year for operational reasons, a process that has “accelerated quite a bit” as the threat of a retaliatory strike by the U.S. has increased, according to Pentagon officials. At the same time, U.S. intelligence has been tracking the movements -- not because the U.S. intends to target the chemical weapons, but in an effort to determine if the Syrians may be preparing for new attacks against the rebels.

Weapons systems
Syria has many ways of using chemical weapons to attack remote locations, including a few dozen SS-21 ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 72 miles; 200 Scud-Bs, with a maximum range of 180 miles; and 60 to 120 Scud-Cs, with a maximum range of 300 miles. All these missiles are mobile, enabling Assad and his generals to quickly move or hide them, according U.S. intelligence officials.

Syrian fighter-bombers also can carry bombshells filled with chemicals. Even simple artillery shells can be loaded with chemical weapons and fired at targets within a relatively short range, according to U.S. experts.

How are missile strikes going to deter Assad? He could care less about the Syrian people. If he has to gas Gawd and everybody, he will. Bashir seems to be of a mind to take everybody down with him if the threat grows too great. This arsenal would do it. And the Middle East would become as unstable as it has ever been.

Russia seems to exert some influence on Assad, but who knows in reality? Putin just might find nothing on the other end if he pulls back on the reins.

We would need a MAJOR boots on the ground operation to even begin to corral these weapons. That would put soldiers in direct danger of being poisoned. Even a major operation would probably fail to find them all.

If Assad is killed, that is no assurance of a better situation. I have neither seen nor heard of another major player he depends on. The many groups who have made pacts with the devil to join forces to fight Assad will probably turn on each other. Then what? Who controls what?

I understand the international treaties signed and laws passed. I have watched as The Hague tries to punish war criminals. It is a noble idea. In reality, it is unrealistic to have rules for war. Countries decide what they will follow and when.

The US is on a moral high horse while refusing to even begin to punish our own who would have been hanged at Nuremberg. What hypocritical horseshit.

That "red line" that people are now fighting over was passed a long time ago if truth be told. It was well before the present time and when Kerry thought it was fine to dine with Assad. The time to act is not in the middle of a hot mess when we are relatively clueless. If you wait until rats are cornered to fight, good luck with that.

I don't have an answer that makes everybody feel right and satisfied. I don't think there is one.

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Thu Sep 5, 2013, 07:28 AM (3 replies)

Does The Dog Die?

Do you turn off Old Yeller before the end so you can pretend that he lived a long and happy life? Did a cute pet on a movie poster make you think it would be a fun comedy but it turned out to be a pet-with-a-terminal-illness tearjerker instead? Are you unable to enjoy the human body count in a horror movie because you're wondering whether the dog's going to kick the bucket? Have you ever Googled "Does the die in ?"

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then welcome - DoestheDogDie.com is here for you! If you answered "no" to every question, then you might possibly be lost. Don't worry - have some lolcats and everything will be fine.

Click on the title of the film for an explanation (may contain spoilers). 648 movies so far!

I have stopped reading some books because something happened to an animal or was going to happen.
One novel opened with a man drowning puppies. That was it for me.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Thu Sep 5, 2013, 03:00 AM (24 replies)

Surgery Time For Teddy Bears

We all need new bonbons, sprinkles, and crayons.
(I think he should have said the gas keeps Teddy from feeling pain instead of he is on drugs.)
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:02 PM (0 replies)

A request to Canadian Prime Minister Harper:

To The Editor:
My shortest letter yet.
Dear Prime Minister Harper: Please recall our Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (born in Alberta, Canada) and Canada geese, as they are both full of it and spreading it far and wide.

Drusilla Howland

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:24 AM (0 replies)

Here Are All The People Who Have Died From A Marijuana Overdose:

Yeah, not a single person has ever died from a weed overdose. We don't have numbers on pandas, but we're guessing it's about the same. According to one frequently cited study, a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying.

Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government wouldn't intervene as Colorado and Washington state implement plans for a system of legalized marijuana for adults. The decision opened the floodgates for other states to pursue similar legalization efforts and outraged police groups apparently not excited to see a shift away from the failed war on drugs.

In a joint letter written to Holder on Friday, law enforcement organizations warned that his move would lead to more crime, violence and even death.

While high driving may be a concern, Colorado, Washington and federal authorities have all taken steps to keep people off the road after using marijuana. The two states both have their own restrictions, and Holder said in his statement that the DOJ would still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent "drugged driving." The police groups also make a number of additional controversial claims that marijuana use itself leads to violent behavior, suicidal thoughts and interest in harder drugs. Scientific studies have not been able to prove this causation conclusively, however, and research has also suggested that THC has significant therapeutic value to patients suffering from cancer, AIDS or glaucoma.

None of this is to say that the nation doesn't struggle with broader issues of drug and alcohol abuse and overdose. Drug policy reformers and activists gathered around the world over the weekend to discuss the overdose epidemic. In 2010, overdoses were responsible for 38,329 deaths. Sixty percent of those were related to prescription drugs. In the same year, a total of 25,692 persons died of alcohol-induced causes, including accidental poisoning and disease from dependent use.

Now munchie overdose is an entirely different story.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:13 AM (7 replies)

Kafka Shows Up in a Toilet Paper Commercial

In perhaps the strangest literary cameo of the year, a Franz Kafka book surfaced in a commercial for Charmin toilet paper.

In a series of interviews with animated bears about their bathroom habits, one young bear holds up a copy of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and remarks, “Sometimes I like to bring a book.” We’ve embedded the video below–what do you think?

Personally, I like to read Kirkegaard.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:45 AM (2 replies)

Then and Now:


Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Tue Sep 3, 2013, 02:07 PM (6 replies)

If you gwine to Mississippi, you best REALLY beware of gators:

Hunters have landed themselves in the state record books after capturing a massive, 697.5 lb. alligator in Mississippi. The horrifying creature, which was more than 13 feet in length, is seven pounds heavier than the state’s previous record-holder (which weighed in at 690.5 lbs.).

Tom Grant, a resident of Boyle, apprehended the alligator along with fellow hunters Jim Reed, Michael Robbers and Kenny Winter. After making the catch, Grant described the successful process in detail.

and then a few hours later:

Gonna need a bigger everything!
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Tue Sep 3, 2013, 07:21 AM (5 replies)

A gang of angry drunken elk barred a man from entering his home in Stockholm (animal gangsta)

A gang of angry drunken elk barred a man from entering his home in suburban Stockholm on Tuesday, leaving the frightened homeowner no choice but to call police for help. "Five drunken elk were threatening a resident who was barred from entering his own home," says an incident report on the website of the Stockholm police department.

The author of the report confirmed that the homeowner, who lives on the island of Ingarö in Stockholm's eastern suburbs, was justified in calling the police for help. "I'm not surprised that he called the police when he was faced with a gang of five drunken elk," police spokesman Albin Näverberg said.

"They can be really dangerous. They become fearless. Instead of backing away when a person approaches, they move toward you. They may even take a run at you." The incident involved four adult elk and one calf, Näverberg explained, all of whom were intoxicated after having eaten fermented apples that had fallen from the homeowner's apple tree.

"Police who arrived on the scene reported that the animals had been warned that the police were on their way and wisely decided to leave the address," the report read. "The elk will have to find somewhere else to get intoxicated." The homeowner was instructed by officers to clear his yard of fermented apples in order to avoid any future incidents with drunken elk gangs.

Nature's thug life.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Tue Sep 3, 2013, 06:16 AM (22 replies)



Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Sep 2, 2013, 12:59 PM (11 replies)
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