About those chemical weapons in Syria

I started thinking about searching for chemical weapons in Syria, reputed to be about 1000 tons, in the middle of a civil war. Even if Assad has his brother, who he placed in charge of those chemical weapons, escort inspectors to the sites, assuming those inspectors are not shot by the rebels, now what? Collecting chemical weapons in the best of times is incredibly dangerous to anyone standing around in the vicinity, much less destroying them. We only recently finished disposing of our chemical weapons stored at Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot (UMCD) located nearby in Oregon. What did we have on hand? According to the U.S. Army’s fact sheet, GB (Sarin), VX (both nerve agents), and Mustard Gas (blistering agent), as well as munitions. The facility opened in 1941 and it’s mission changed in 1962 as a storage facility for the chemical weapons. The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF) was designed for the sole purpose of destroying the chemical weapons stored at the UMCD. Facility construction was completed in 2001, and the Army began testing the facility. Weapons disposal took place from 2004-2011. The dismantling of the facility began in January 2013. Here is a picture and diagram of the facility – be patient it can take some time to open the file. On the other hand, you can just view the You Tube video

Just when you might be feeling comfortable, here is a report on new delivery mechanisms that revolutionize and solve challenges for delivery against populations in Syria. It can be built fairly easily

What a WMD looks like

and “… it can be readily seen that the crudity of the weapon does not require a high degree of industrial prowess. You can make this in a decent machine shop. Sarin gas has been around since the middle of the last century. The revolution is in manufacturing technology. What’s novel is someone has figured out a way to build weapons capable of killing a thousand people using nothing more than tools found in a garage.”

May require an adjustable wrench

“What made the difference was the innovative dispersal system. The WMDs examined are simply a pipe rocket with a small metal barrel at the end. The tip of the pipe contains a small bursting charge rigged to go off at a height above the ground by the action of an altimeter thus peeling back the barrel of Sarin and showering it down on the unfortunates below. There is nothing refined about it. Note how the barrel is filled, probably with an adjustable wrench and a tin funnel.” Richard Fernandez, The Belmont Club

6 thoughts on “About those chemical weapons in Syria

  1. A bit of levity regarding WMD’s.
    A while back we were at my mom’s for a visit. Another, less frequently seen family member, was there. She gets her phone out to answer it, one of those old clunkers – my son looks at it, and chirps – “Is that a phone or a weapon of mass destruction?”
    We laughed.
    Not that WMD’s are a laughing matter, for all it’s seeming availability. This world we live in P, it is made up of wars. Of people wanting to destroy one another. WMD’s are just one way of doing that.

  2. Hunt, you are so far ahead of me regarding subjects of this nature. Sometimes I feel I should just hit the “like” button and move on. But emotionally I can’t do that, I do have something to say, and you provide a forum for me to say what is on my mind. When Bush when to war against “WMD’s” I was 1,000 percent in agreement. For that matter I still am. But and it is a big one, the one fact you point out, is that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to create one of these devices, and just about anyone with internet access, and farm store or pharmacy can create in their own basement Lab the poison to kill thousands. That is what is so scary. Events all over the world are the a stage for these folks. While the press no longer finds it necessary to report on our continued war against “WMD” it is in fact a real war. My single biggest fear is with the Olympics only a few days away “they” will demonstrate their capabilities. God I pray I am wrong. – Take care, Bill

    • I suspect it is very much on the minds of the security teams as well, Bill. Russia and Chechnya have had several high profile encounters, including the movie theater and the Beslan school hostage situations that went catastrophically wrong. May God watch over us all.

      • Hunt, while you are so much better attuned, we are of parallel mind set. It is almost if we are marching in lockstep. Reading your posts and hearing your views are extremely important to me, it allows me a forum to speak my mind, knowing I have an audience of at least one, an audience which generally supports my thoughts. I have thoughts on issues, you have thoughts and facts. No wonder I like you. Yes we must pray for ourselves, and we must pray for those taking part in the Olympics. In a “Hunt for Red October” one of the characters say something along the lines we see don’t watch out this will escalate to WWIII. We so many countries involved, it really scares me too much. Please take care, and protect yourself. Bill

        • We have several tinderboxes that could flash ignite all over the globe. The thing about the Russians is they do not care if they are seen as the bad guys – they see that as a plus, so they hit back and they hit hard. There’s a story in the back of my mind that, maybe it was Lebanon or somewhere in the M.E. Russian citizens were held for ransom. The Russians hit back fast and hard – not sure if it was the kidnappers or just some local citizens, but they in turn took some of the kidnapping country’s citizens and killed them horrifically, delivering the bodies as a message. It maybe myth that the citizens were returned, but it is not a myth that no other Russians were ever kidnapped.

          Glad you feel comfortable to bounce ideas off of me here, Bill.

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