American Foreign Policy Missteps in the Middle East

by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (October 2013)

With Jonathan Schanzer and Shoshana Bryen

1993 UN International treaty (Chemical Weapons Convention) prohibited development, stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons. Notwithstanding, the Assad regime has, according to intelligence estimates,   more than 1,000 tons in stockpiles controlled by a loyal Alawite force, Unit 450. According to some informed US intelligence sources, a portion of the Syrian chemical weapons may have been transferred to Syria by the late Saddam Hussein regime under the watchful eyes of Russian Spetsnaz troops just prior to the US invasion in 2003. Syria has Scud and M-600 Missiles equipped with chemical warheads that are capable of hitting targets in neighboring countries; Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Israel. The Middle East has had a long history of chemical weapons use evidenced in Saddam Hussein’s offensive use during the Iran-Iraq war that killed tens of thousands of Iranian soldiers and more than 6,800 Iraqi Kurds in the town of Halabja during the Al-Anfal Campaign in 1988.

Against this background, we convened another in our periodic Middle East Round table discussions.

Bates:  Good afternoon and welcome to Your Turn. This is Mike Bates. We are having one of our periodic Middle East roundtable discussions.  With me in the studio is Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and its blog “the Iconoclast”. You can find Jerry online at Jerry, welcome.


Gordon:  Good to be back Mike.

Jonathan Schanzer:  Thank you.

Shoshana Bryen:  Nice to be here.

Gordon: Shoshana, turning to Egypt, it looks like we have a new Nasser emerging. There seems to be some grassroots sentiment that if there is going to be an election under this new replacement Constitution he might turn out to be one of the leading Presidential contenders. What about this replacement Constitution? Where is that going?

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