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Posts Tagged ‘Chemical Attack’

How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian ‘chemical attack’ — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on October 15, 2020

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/503461-roger-waters-douma-syria/

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist.

A leaked phone call reveals that outside pressure caused Amnesty to pull its promotion of a webinar featuring Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters – a vocal skeptic of the Douma ‘chemical attack’ that prompted Western powers to bomb Syria.

In August this year, environmental pressure group Amazon Watch broadcast an online panel discussion in support of Steven Donziger, a crusading attorney who dared try to hold US energy giant Chevron to account for widespread environmental destruction in the Amazon, and was left fighting for his life, livelihood and liberty as a result.

In February 2011, Chevron was found liable by an Ecuadorian court for contamination resulting from crude oil production in the region by its subsidiary Texaco between 1964 and 1992, in a legal action that was many years in the making and led by Donziger.

Chevron is yet to pay a penny of the settlement though, for the landmark ruling was overturned in March 2014 by a US Federal Court on highly dubious grounds – in reaching his decision, presiding Judge Lewis A. Kaplan relied heavily on the evidence of a former Ecuadorian justice who subsequently admitted to fabricating his testimony. Donziger has since been charged with contempt of court and sat under house arrest for over a year awaiting trial.

Donziger himself was present on the Amazon Watch webinar that August evening, and was joined by a number of prominent campaigners, including Simon Taylor, founder of NGO Global Witness, and Roger Waters, co-founder of rock institution Pink Floyd.

The talk was widely promoted in advance by a number of prominent human rights activists, and NGOs, perhaps most prominently Amnesty International.

However, the organization’s endorsement triggered a deluge of criticism on social media from a number of notorious advocates for regime change in Syria. This led to a post advertising the webinar published by Amnesty USA’s official Twitter account the day before broadcast to mysteriously disappear without explanation.

I would appeal to @amnestyusa not to promote this event given Roger Waters participation because slandered #WhiteHelmets repeating Russian propaganda putting their lives at risk when saved over 150,000 lives & cannot remain silent as know them well as a filmmaker @SyriaCivilDefhttps://t.co/8e311Xcj2S— Ronan L Tynan (@RonanLTynan) August 5, 2020

In response to one critic, Amnesty UK Campaigns Manager Kristyan Benedict said promoting the talk was “not good at all” and confirmed that the offending tweet had “been deleted.”

Yep – not good at all – it’s been deleted.— kristyan benedict (@KreaseChan) August 5, 2020

A leaked recording of a September 25 phone call between Waters and two senior staffers at Amnesty International USA – Matt Vogel, head of artist relations, and Tamara Draut, chief impact officer – sheds fascinating light on the episode.

At the start of the conversation, Waters recalls he was not only informed Amnesty would promote the panel discussion on Twitter in advance, but also personally retweeted the endorsement so it reached his circa 375,000 followers at the organization’s express request.

However, an associate informed him just before the webinar began that they couldn’t locate the post. When the talk was over, he went about getting to the bottom of the tweet’s absence.

After conducting “a bit of sleuthing,” he determined that the removal followed pressure being brought to bear by a number of individuals, in particular his “old adversary” Eliot Higgins, founder of controversial website Bellingcat, due to Waters’ views on the Syrian Civil Defense, aka White Helmets. Seeking answers, he attempted to reach out to Amnesty, but was repeatedly stonewalled before finally being put in touch with Vogel and Draut.

In response, Draut confirmed that the tweet’s removal was indeed prompted by a “difference of opinion” on the White Helmets. “We believe they’re really champions for human rights, and have fought for their protection and freedom. When the tweet went up on our end, it wasn’t fully vetted as it should’ve been, and immediately we heard from folks in the White Helmets, asking why we were promoting you, due to comments you’ve made about them. We also heard from other Syrian human rights activists, who were quite hurt by our support of you…” she began, before Waters interrupts, asking what relevance his views on the group has to “the plight of rainforest dwellers in northern Ecuador.”

“People interpreted our promotion of an event at which you were speaking as promoting your position on the White Helmets. I got involved in this process too late, I wouldn’t have taken down the tweet, that’s not the policy I like to follow, I would’ve much rather dealt with this openly and honestly…” Draut explains.

Waters made headlines the world over in April 2018, when he stopped mid-set during a concert in Barcelona to talk about a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, which had allegedly taken place six days earlier.

Branding the White Helmets a “fake organization” creating “propaganda for jihadists and terrorists,” he suggested that Western public opinion was being manipulated in order that “we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people.” Mere hours later, his prediction came to pass, as France, the UK and US carried out a series of military strikes against multiple government sites in the country.

In May 2019, Waters was again the subject of intense criticism when he claimed on his official Facebook page that a leaked document had vindicated his position. The file in question was an engineering report produced by an Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding team that visited Douma in the days following the contested strike, which concluded there was a “higher probability” that cylinders found at two locations in Douma, alleged by the White Helmets to have been dropped from Syrian Air Force helicopters, were “manually placed… rather than being delivered from aircraft.”

Photos of the cylinders circulated widely in the Western media and on social networks in the wake of the claimed incident. Such images, along with footage of Douma residents being hosed down in hospitals, children seemingly foaming at the mouth, and piles of dead bodies in a housing complex – all produced and disseminated by the White Helmets – were all damning evidence offered in favor of the idea that the Syrian government had targeted civilians with chemical weapons, a notion which in turn provided Paris, London and Washington with a pretext for military intervention.

The OPCW team’s dissenting appraisal was, for reasons unclear, entirely unmentioned in the organization’s final report on Douma, published two months prior to Waters’ Facebook post.

Despite making few if any public comments about the White Helmets or the ongoing crisis in Syria since, Waters has nonetheless been subject to an unending deluge of online abuse from their Western supporters.

Back on the call, an indignant Waters cites a since-deleted tweet from Eliot Higgins, which stated that Amnesty International “needs to explain why Roger Waters is an appropriate person to talk about human rights.” Rather than responding constructively to the question, the organization opted to simply yield to critical pressure.

Read the rest here

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White Helmets are ‘preparing chemical attack false-flag’ in Syria’s Idlib, Russian military tipped off — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on February 4, 2020

True or not…we shall see.

About 15 ‘White Helmets’ were spotted in the town, alongside militants from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – an Al-Qaeda affiliate previously known as Al-Nusra – said two local residents, adding that two vehicles have delivered about 400 liters (100 gallons) of chemicals to the town.

https://www.rt.com/news/480004-syria-chemical-attack-warning/

Militants affiliated with al-Qaeda and ‘White Helmets’ are preparing to stage a chemical attack in Idlib province as Syrian army continues to advance, the Russian Reconciliation Center said citing a tip from local residents.

Members of the self-styled civil defense group, which operates solely in territories controlled by anti-government militants, were noticed arriving at the town of Ma’arat al-Artik, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) northwest of Aleppo. According to the call that came in on the reconciliation center’s hotline on Monday evening, they were preparing a “provocation with the use of poisonous agents.”

About 15 ‘White Helmets’ were spotted in the town, alongside militants from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – an Al-Qaeda affiliate previously known as Al-Nusra – said two local residents, adding that two vehicles have delivered about 400 liters (100 gallons) of chemicals to the town.

Some 200 people, including children – mostly family members of HTS militants, which had been evacuated to Idlib from elsewhere in Syria – could be involved in staging the false-flag chemical attacks, the tipsters said.

The Reconciliation Center named the militant commander involved in the plan as Mahi al-Din al-Am, saying it was the same man who helped stage and film the graphic aftermath of the alleged chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun in April 2017.

The center called on the militants to abandon their “criminal plan” and called on Turkey – which recently sent troops into militant-controlled Idlib – to exert “all possible pressure” to prevent a false flag.

 

A number of “chemical attacks” in Syria have been blamed on the government in Damascus over the course of the war, which began in 2011. They happen to take place every time the Syrian army is advancing against the militants, who have tried time and again to attract Western military intervention on their behalf.

Following the 2017 Khan Shaykhun incident, the US launched missiles against Syria; another air and missile attack was launched in April 2018, after an “attack” at Douma near Damascus. Though the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) eventually said the Douma attack may have happened, whistleblowers have recently made public that evidence in the case was doctored to reach that conclusion, while skeptical assessments of OPCW’s in-house experts were ignored.

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Were the Nice Attacks A False Flag Or A Lone Nut?

 

 

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“Opposing Interventionism In Nation X Means You Love Nation X’s Government!” – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 28, 2019

I’ll tell you why: Hollywood.

Obviously war isn’t actually about Good versus Evil; usually it’s nothing more noble than geostrategic agenda versus geostrategic agenda.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/27/opposing-interventionism-in-nation-x-means-you-love-nation-xs-government/

Every time you speak out against western imperialism in a given nation or question western propaganda narratives about that nation’s government, you will inevitably be accused of loving that nation’s government by anyone who argues with you.

When I say “inevitably”, I am not exaggerating. If you speak in any public forum for any length of time expressing skepticism of what we’re told to believe about a nation whose government has been targeted by the US-centralized empire, you will with absolute certainty eventually run into someone who accuses you of thinking that that government is awesome and pure and good.

I have never, ever had this fail to occur, even once. If I write an article about the mountain of evidence suggesting we were lied to about a chemical attack in Syria, I get people telling me I think Bashar al-Assad is a girl scout who’s never ever done anything wrong. If I express skepticism of the flimsy narratives we’re being fed in the escalating propaganda war against China, I get “If you love Beijing so much and think Xi is so innocent you should go and move to China!” It’s one of the only completely predictable things about this job.

Which is of course idiotic. Understanding that the US government and its allies lie constantly with the full-throated support of western news media in no way suggests a belief that the targeted government in question is wonderful, and there’s absolutely no legitimate reason to infer such a thing. The indisputable fact that US-led military interventionism is universally disastrous and based on lies has nothing to do with anyone’s level of emotional support for the governments targeted for destruction by the US-centralized empire. Yet everyone reading this who’s ever tried to speak out against US foreign policy has encountered the behavior I’m describing here.

Why is that? Why do establishment loyalists engage in such a weird, nonsensical behavior with such reliable consistency? Why do they literally always accuse anyone who questions any narrative about any empire-targeted government of having positive emotions toward that government, even though there is no rational reason for them to do so?

I’ll tell you why: Hollywood.

Well, not just Hollywood. Really the dynamic we’re about to discuss has been going on for as long as there have been war stories. But the dominant storytellers of today are in Hollywood, and that’s where the dominant war stories are told.

For as long as war stories have been told, those stories have been framed as a battle between good and evil. The good side is the side you identify with, and the evil side is the one you want to lose. You see this in almost all depictions of war coming out of Hollywood today, from movies based on actual wars to sci-fi and fantasy films like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. Over and over and over again from childhood we are trained to assume that mass military violence must have a Good side and an Evil side, so when we see a war being depicted anywhere we immediately start trying to sort out who are the Good Guys and who are the Bad Guys, usually without even thinking about it.

Obviously war isn’t actually about Good versus Evil; usually it’s nothing more noble than geostrategic agenda versus geostrategic agenda. But because people are conditioned from an early age to overlay any ideas about large-scale conflict with this false Good or Evil dichotomy, there’s an immediate assumption that if you’re suggesting that one side might not be Good, then the other side are the Good Guys. If you say the government pushing regime change in Iran is doing something immoral, then you’re saying they’re the Bad Guys, which means you think the Iranian government are the Good Guys.

Yes, the behavior in question really does boil down to something that stupid. This phenomenon where empire apologists will predictably accuse you of loving an empire-targeted nation just because you oppose imperialist agendas is primarily due to a combination of dumb binary thinking and watching too many Hollywood movies. In other words, it’s due to bad information meeting bad thinking.

All we can really do to address this dynamic is bring consciousness to it. When someone’s acting out the unexamined assumption that because you are critical of western imperialism you must necessarily believe that all of its targets are perfect and wonderful, you can point out the absurdity of this position and invite them to think a little harder about it. Or just link them to this article.

Beyond that, all you can really do is understand what you’re looking at, roll your eyes, and sigh.

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Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

Seymour Hersh blew the lid off this years ago. You still heart the media say Assad gassed his people.

Hersh says other thing too.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/10/24/expert-panel-finds-gaping-plot-holes-in-opcw-report-on-alleged-syrian-chemical-attack/

The Courage Foundation, an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW’s Douma investigation team, the panel’s members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are “unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018.”

I’ll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren’t intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

“I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017,” Cox told me on Twitter earlier today. “Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we’re leaving Syria.”

And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria, with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he’d already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying “the Assad regime must be held accountable”, and that Russia “ultimately bears responsibility” for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests.

On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret “intelligence” which the US government claimed gave them “very high confidence that Syria was responsible.” The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.

The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that “no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties.” This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn’t rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report “confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW’s work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime’s CW attacks on its own population.”

In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that “observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft,” which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.

The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document’s authenticity by telling the press that its release had been “unauthorised”. Climate Audit’s Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW’s claims which you can read by clicking here. Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization’s other work.

Throughout this time, critical thinkers like myself have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.

The Courage Foundation panel who met with the OPCW whistleblower consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peacemongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, Professor of International Law Richard Falk, former British Army Major General John Holmes, Dr Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Dr Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

So these are not scrubs. These are not “conspiracy theorists” or “Russian propagandists”. These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:

“Based on the whistleblower’s extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018.  We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.”

“The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing.
~ Bustani

“A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts.

From the section on Chemical Analysis:

“The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called ‘smoking gun’ chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment’ (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported.”

“Although the report stresses the ‘levels’ of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were —high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called ‘smoking-gun’ chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence. In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of ‘smoking gun’ chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report.”

“The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (‘At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent’). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non-observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific.”

From the section on Toxicology:

“The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ‘it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical‘ (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon).”

“More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern.

From the section on Ballistic Studies:

“One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ‘the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics’. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study.”

From the section titled “Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate”:

“Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public. The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation.”

I’ll leave it there for now.

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Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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How the Question ‘Who Benefits From This?’ – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 31, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/how-the-question-who-benefits-from-this-can-change-your-life/

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

Cui bono?” is a phrase you’ll often see used on conspiracy-minded Youtube videos and discussion forums. It’s Latin for “Who benefits?”, and it refers to a perspective in legal analysis that the one who stands most to gain from a crime is often the perpetrator. It’s the “motive” part of “means, motive and opportunity“.

The term comes up in conspiracy circles a lot because motive is often the biggest plot hole in the official story promoted by the authorized narrative managers of the political/media class about a given event. The alleged Douma chemical attack last year, for example, had no discernible benefit to the Assad government whatsoever, but would have benefitted the cornered Al-Qaeda affiliates in the city by provoking air strikes from the west, so there remains a lot of skepticism from those who don’t automatically believe their government and the plutocratic media when they say that Damascus was responsible. Such skepticism is dismissively branded “conspiracy theory” by the establishment narrative managers, but it is fully justified.

So it’s a useful concept for analyzing world events in a way that punches through the fog of imperial propaganda. But the question “Who benefits from this?” can, and should, be taken much further.

Don’t just ask “Cui bono?” of potential false flag events. Ask it about every belief in your head. Rigorously holding that candle up to the ideas in your own mind will reveal a lot of junk floating around in there that benefit other people, both the powerful and the not-so-powerful.

To pick one of many possible examples, it’s very interesting how many of America’s ostensibly anti-establishment movements encourage their adherents to support one of America’s two mainstream establishment political parties. The so-called “Resistance” and the progressive movement both herd people who might otherwise support actual leftist movements into the oligarchic folds of the Democratic Party, as does even the lesser-evil voting promoted by those closer to the fringe like Noam Chomsky. On the right you’ve got the warmongering corporate whore party of the Republicans being enthusiastically backed by the MAGA crowd, who you’ll routinely see backing garden variety GOP agendas like the Supreme Court nomination of a longtime Bush lackey in the name of fighting the establishment. Closer to the fringe you’ve got the insufferable QAnon cult, who consistently argue that every Trump move from Assange’s arrest to bombing Syria is a brilliant 5-D chess maneuver against the Deep State.

If those in any of these various factions began sincerely asking the question “Who benefits from my believing this?” about the various reasons they hold for espousing their respective political positions, the answer would come back clear as day that of course the ones who benefit are the plutocratic class which owns both mainstream political parties and the opaque government agencies with which that class is aligned. In the flurry of reasons being proffered in favor of supporting a given faction, it’s easy to overlook the fact that some very powerful people are likely to benefit from that support.

All the information going around about what’s going on in the world is like this. News media must be consumed with an acute awareness that there are extremely powerful people who have a vested interest in manipulating the way you think and perceive. It’s just a fact, and if it isn’t at the forefront of your consciousness, your worldview will necessarily be severely malformed. Cultivating a reflexive curiosity about who benefits from a given narrative being promoted nips this in the bud.

But this isn’t just limited to news media. We get tons of stupid ideas in our heads from things like advertising, which obviously benefit no one but the advertisers and their employers. Women in particular are plagued with body image problems from being pummeled from a very early age with corporate psyops designed for precisely that purpose, and as a result we feed billions of dollars into various interests who profit from our belief that we shouldn’t have small tits or wrinkles or body fat.

Religion is another one. There are of course many immensely wealthy and powerful structures today which benefit from adherents to religion, but most of those who’ve benefited from widespread religious indoctrination aren’t even alive anymore. Governments and world religions have historically been inextricably intertwined with and supportive of each other, because religions can be used to manipulate the masses into believing that it’s virtuous to be poor, humble, meek, submissive and obedient, to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, and to believe it would be generally sinful to use the power of their numbers to kill their rulers and seize their wealth. The answer to “Who benefits from my religious beliefs?”, if you’re Christian, is something along the lines of “All existing Christian churches, all existing political structures built around exploiting Christian beliefs for political leverage, every preacher, pope and bishop who’s ever lived, and every western ruler since Emperor Constantine.”

Many of the beliefs which have been put into our heads for someone else’s benefit don’t profit the powerful at all; many of them have been implanted by our own loved ones. It’s unfortunate, but friends and family members will often have a vested interest in putting beliefs in our heads which don’t benefit us but them. Such beliefs often revolve around keeping us from getting above our station, from feeling too good about ourselves so that we don’t go off and improve our lives instead of staying in the confining circles we were born into. Others can include believing positive things about loved ones who were actually destructive and abusive to us. Some of them are as simple as beliefs about how we are and how we should be that kept us from talking back to our parents, which if left unexamined can create submissive psychological postures in us that can stay with us to the grave. We form a lot of the beliefs we have about ourselves from the feedback we get from other people, so even something said decades ago by a schoolmate who was only interested in keeping us from rising above them in social status can continue to warp our self image.

From ground-level to the highest echelons of power, there are people who have been benefitting from the beliefs in our heads. Only by doing the necessary inner work and asking “Cui bono?” of all the ideas we believe about our world, our society, our community and ourselves can we sift apart the untrue from the true and construct a clear-eyed worldview which benefits no one but ourselves and our fellow man. Someone’s benefitting from the beliefs in our heads, and, very often, it ain’t us.

_______________________

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Terrorists readying chemical attack to frame Damascus & provide pretext for US strikes – Russian MoD — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on August 27, 2018

Can we believe RT? We shall see.

It won’t be the first false flag.

https://www.rt.com/news/436812-syria-chemical-weapons-provocation/

The US and its allies are preparing new airstrikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that militants are poised to stage a chemical weapons attack in order to frame Damascus and provide a pretext for the strikes.

The attack would be used as a pretext for US, UK and French airstrikes on Syrian targets, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov said. USS ‘The Sullivans,’ an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, was already deployed to the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago, he added.

The destroyer has 56 cruise missiles on board, according to data from the Russian Defence Ministry. A US Rockwell B-1 Lancer, a supersonic bomber equipped with 24 cruise missiles, has also been deployed at the Qatari Al Udeid Airbase.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump: Is He Stupid or Dangerously Crazy? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2018

Days before this fake attack, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that a false flag provocation was in the making.

We mentioned this just a few days ago. Truth from Moscow, lies from Washington. All directed toward you.

Not like the old days when both were lying to US.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/04/08/trump-is-he-stupid-or-dangerously-crazy/

A child could see through the fake “chemical attack” supposedly launched by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops defeated the jihadists and Trump said he wanted out of Syria. But our President can’t, which raises the question: is he as stupid or stupider than George W. Bush? Or is he crazy?

We are expected to believe that the Assad regime committed a horrific atrocity against mostly women and children at the very moment when Syrian forces have decisively defeated the Islamist rebels and Trump declared he wanted US troops out of Syria. Days before this fake attack, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that a false flag provocation was in the making. Read the rest of this entry »

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US Planning a Terrorist False Flag Chemical Attack to Justify Bombing Syria: Russia Says It Will Respond

Posted by M. C. on April 3, 2018

Turkey has already done a false flag chemical attack. The US has done it once.

The US way – if it doesn’t work, do it again and again. It this comes to fruition it will be by proxy.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/03/20/us-planning-terrorist-false-flag-chemical-attack-bombing-syria-russia-says-will-respond.html

An alarming warning by Sergei Lavrov and Chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, was announced via the RT broadcaster and several Russian media. The content is explosive and deserving of the widest possible dissemination. Gerasimov claimed that Moscow had “reliable information that fighters are preparing to stage the use by government troops of chemical weapons against the civilian population.” He alleged that the US intends to accuse Assad’s troops of using chemical weapons against civilians, and then “carry out a bombing attack” on Damascus. Gerasimov warned that Russia would “take retaliatory measures” if the US targeted areas where its military are located in the Syrian capital…

Be seeing you

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