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Obama's Red Herring

By Mark Langfan

Arutz Sheva

21 September, 2014


A red herring that keeps Iran in the clear.

President Obama is consistent. You must say that for him. Obama will do anything, and everything, to protect the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

What is his new “red-line”? Or shall we say red-herring!  Obama sends Sec.of State John Kerry to accuse Assad of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) because Assad mass-murdered Sunni Syrians with chlorine gas. Why is Kerry citing the Chemical Weapons Convention?  Because it diverts world attention from Iran’s real war-crime violation:of the 1925 “Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare,” known as the “1925 Geneva Protocol.”

In this essay, I will begin to sketch the subject of why Assad likely committed war-crimes under the 1925 Geneva Protocol. But the key thrust of this essay (and a vital new subject that I will focus on in the future) is that Iran has definitely committed war-crimes under the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

Why is Kerry’s reference to a possible Assad CWC violation a red herring?  The idiom is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. The legal reason is that chlorine is really not that grave a violation of the CWC. Kerry even admitted as much when he testified on Capitol Hill that, "We believe there is evidence of Assad's use of chlorine, which, when you use it — despite it not being on the list — it is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention. . .He's in violation of the convention."  

I’m not going to waste time at this point on the CWC.

Because chlorine gas is a war-crime in violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. Chlorine gas was exactly the gas the Germans used in World War I, and exactly the gas that was banned as a war-crime under the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

And all three of the following: Republic of Syrian Arab Republic, on 17 December 1968 (only reserving that “Does not constitute recognition of, or establishing any relations with Israel.”), the Islamic Republic of Iran, on 5 November 1929 (no reservations), and the Russian Federation, on 5 April 1928 (reservations withdrawn 2001) are explicit signatories under the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

There is a legal problem in applying the 1925 Geneva Protocol war-crimes to Assad. The problem is that gassing your own people to death was not literally a violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. This rule, however, has substantially changed over the years, and could eventually hang Assad anyway. Besides, there are other avenues of Assad war-criminality under the 1925 Geneva Protocol which I will discuss in later essays.

The key 1925 Geneva Protocol war-crime that Obama is diverting attention from is Iran’s war-crime (and, likely even the Russian Federation’s). Iran was, and is, explicitly and directly enabling and arming Assad to gas Syrians to death with chlorine. And, as such, Iran is guilty under the 1925 Geneva Protocol because Assad was substantially, if not totally, under Iran’s (and possibly even Russia’s) command and control. 

It is entirely possible that without Iran’s assistance (and maybe even Russia’s assistance), Assad would have fallen a long time ago and not have been able to use chemical weapons at all to mass-murder his people.

Most important, as an “outside country,” Iran’s enabling of Assad’s forces to gas Syrians to death neuters the “against your people” 1925 Geneva Protocol ‘defense’ with regards to Iran. 

The very definition of Syria being a “Proxy War” means the outside-country, Iran, is directing its proxies inside of the country to act. 

Hence, Iran, an absolute signatory to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, was an extra-sovereign country using controlled-proxy-armed forces inside of Syria to mass-murder Syrian Sunnis with chlorine, a directly banned 1925 Geneva Protocol substance. Hence, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a 1925 Geneva Protocol war-criminal for its aiding, abetting, enabling, and possibly even directing, the chlorine gas mass-murder of Syrian Sunni Moslems.

So, don’t waste time on the CWC violations. Focus on the 1925 Geneva Protocol, and create a matrix of Iranian leadership statements and facts connecting Iran to Assad’s ability to gas Sunni Moslems to death.