"Smoke Em If You Got Em"

Chip Greene By Chip Greene, 23rd Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The use of Sarin gas as a weapon against civilians by dictators.

Do what you want if you have the means

The phrase, "Smoke em if you got em," originally was applied to military personnel. It referred to what soldiers, in their down time, were told they could do when they were bored. That is, smoke cigarettes. What it actually means is, do what you want, if you have the means.
It seems that one particular kind of ruler has adopted this as their governing policy. That would be a dictator. But, these dictators aren't just smoking cigarettes.
They're using chemical weapons. They have chosen to use them against their own people. Their chemical weapon of choice is Sarin gas.

The SARIN acronym

It began with a dictator in the 1930's. Adolf Hitler had the German scientists in his Nazi weapons program develop what became known as Sarin gas. SARIN is an acronym of the last names of the scientists who developed it. Their names were Schrader, Ambros, Rudiger, and von der Linde.
Virtually every country has banned its use or possession since 1997 with the following exceptions.
In 1988 the dictator, Saddam Hussein used it against his own people. To the naysayers I point out that Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction. This was one of the reasons that George W. Bush invaded Iraq. But, Saddam knew he was coming. So, he got rid of them. He sent them to Syria. Which brings us to the other exception, President Assad, the dictator of Syria.

The living make room for the dead

On August 21, 2013 at 2:00 A.M. he used Sarin gas against his own civilians near Damascus, Syria. Assad had crossed the, "red line," drawn by the coward Barack Obama. Obama did nothing and no one has been held responsible. Assad has plenty more Sarin gas. An estimated 1429 civilians died in the attack. 426 of them were children.
The gas was delivered by rockets of the type used by the Syrian army. They were launched from land held by Assad's forces. U.S. intelligence believes that Assad's forces used it after years of shelling and hunger failed to break the rebels allied against them. So many were lost that the living had to make room for the dead.

60 minute segment not for the squeamish

The attack was the feature segment on CBS's 60 minutes on Sunday, April 19th. It was titled, "A crime against humanity." The segment is not for the squeamish. This is what I saw on the program.
A man who was 100 meters from where one of the missiles fell described what he experienced.
He said the missiles didn't make the same bombing sound. It didn't sound like they were exploding. He thought they were, "strange rockets." Within seconds he lost the ability to breathe. His chest felt like it was on fire. His eyes were burning and he couldn't even scream. He did however, survive. He said that people were praying for God to have mercy on them. The segment showed numerous videos of the victims writhing in agony and rows of the dead lined up next to each other. One video showed a father cradling the lifeless bodies of his two young daughters as he was pleading to the witnesses to see this.

How Sarin works

This is how Sarin gas works.
A victim's nerves become electrified. They fire non-stop and their muscles seize. It draws the pupils tight. They look like mere pinpricks. Paralysis of the respiratory system causes death.
Sarin gas is odorless and colorless. It cannot be seen! It is heavier than air. It slips past closed doors and creeps down stairwells.
In this attack women and children were sleeping in basements because the structures above had been destroyed by Syrian shelling. Death was arbitrary. A U.N. weapons inspection team was nearby that day. As they rushed in they were shot at by gunmen. They were deliberately not killed as a warning and so that word of the deed could reach the world.
It was the largest massacre of civilians by the use of Sarin gas since Saddam had used it. Yet, Assad still has these weapons. How long before he hands some off to a terrorist organization? Can you imagine the carnage if this gas were released into a crowded subway system like those in Boston, London or New York City?

My question to you

I put to you the same question that Professor Barnhart asked his secretary in the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
"Tell me, Hilda, does all this frighten you? Does it make you feel insecure?"
She replies:
"Yes sir, it certainly does."
He returns:
"That's good Hilda, I'm glad."
If you too are frightened by this I too am glad because, you should be!

References and Photo credits


CBS's 60 Minutes news show

The movie, The Day The Earth Stood Still

Photo credits

Smoking soldiers

Sarin inventor on trial at Nuremberg

President Assad of Syria

Victims of Syrian Sarin attack

Sarin victims

Professor Barnhart


Assad, Dictators, Nazis, Saddam Hussein, Sarin Gas, Syria

Meet the author

author avatar Chip Greene
I am a retired police officer, baseball enthusiast, political junkie, and published writer.
My articles will focus on crime, politics, and baseball.

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author avatar Retired
24th Apr 2015 (#)

What, didn't 60 Minutes conclude the show by blaming it all on Bush?

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