MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Has Washington Joined the List of Israeli Occupied Territories? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on August 5, 2019

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/04/has-washington-joined-the-list-of-israeli-occupied-territories/

Elias Samo

 

Relations between Washington and Damascus have never been cordial, particularly after the creation of Israel in 1948 and Washington’s blanket support of the newly established state. With the election of Obama in 2008, there was a glimmer of hope for improved relations between the two capitals. Although the high expectations of improved Washington-Damascus relations did not materialize noticeably, the Obama period could be viewed as the ‘good old days’ compared to the Trump presidency. Unfortunately, the animosity in Washington towards Syria is not exclusive to the White House, but it includes Congress and Foggy Bottom, and it is counterproductive to the interests of both nations.

UK ambassador Sir Kim Darroch’s “clumsy and inept” characterization of Trump’s administration aside, it is sufficient to refer to Trump’s own characterization of Syria: “We’re not talking about vast wealth. We’re talking about sand and death”. It is beyond belief that a sitting US President labeled the home of the historic Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia, a land very rich in soil, an abundance of rainfall and rivers including the Euphrates and Tigris, as “sand and death”. Syria is also the cradle of civilizations, the home of the three monotheistic religions and home of three of the five oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Irrespective of Trump’s ignorant comments on Syria, his actions prove he is a dummy for ventriloquist Netanyahu. East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan were occupied in the ‘67 War. From 1967 to the Trump administration, the US went through nine administrations. Many of the presidential candidates publicly spoke of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but not once in the White House did any administration see the wisdom of doing so. Along came Trump and moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan.

Congress, the second center of power and decision making in Washington, has long been considered Israeli-occupied territory. In an article titled “The Only Strategic Rationale for America’s Involvement in Syria Finally Revealed,” I wrote that nearly four hundred congressmen; roughly seventy five percent of the total number of congressmen from both chambers and both parties, had written a letter to Trump. The irony, as I noted in the article, is the fact that “four hundred congressmen, who are elected by Americans to serve American interests, at a time when the US is bogged down in the Arab region, sign and submit a letter to the US President concerned almost exclusively with Israeli Security” I conclude noting: “These congressmen had an opportunity to make a coherent recommendation on US policy in the Arab region in the interest of American National Interest, but instead chose to make recommendations to safeguard the wellbeing and security of a foreign state: Israel.” More recently, also nearly four hundred House of Representatives members chose to violate the freedom of speech protected in the First Amendment of the US Constitution and vote for a resolution that rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions- BDS- campaign against Israel. Thus, the notion that US Congress is Israeli occupied territory is no exaggeration…

Syria, Israel’s archenemy, would be surrounded on its northern and southern borders by two hostile and powerful enemies occupying Syrian land and would consider further occupation, violating Syrian territorial integrity and permanently threatening Syrian national security. However, take heed, Syria is not a pushover, nor is it alone.

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?u=http1.bp.blogspot.com-VW7oJe44hnEUOoJECSaOdIAAAAAAAAFtcOBwYhJUuqKMs640cliche3.jpg&f=1

John Bolton in drag.

 

 

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The Citadels of America’s Elites: Fractured and At Odds with Each Other — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on August 5, 2019

One such orientation insists on a renewal of the Cold War to sustain and renew that supersized military-security complex, which accounts for more than half of America’s GDP.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/03/citadels-america-elites-fractured-and-at-odds-with-each-other/

Alastair Crooke

 

Something is ‘up’. When two Financial Times columnists – pillars of the western Establishment – raise a warning flag, we must take note: Martin Wolf was first off, with a piece dramatically headlined: The looming 100-year, US-China Conflict. No ‘mere’ trade war, he implied, but a full-spectrum struggle. Then his FT colleague Edward Luce, pointed out that Wolf’s “argument is more nuanced than the headline. Having spent part of this week among leading policymakers and thinkers at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado,” Lucetr writes, “I am inclined to think Martin was not exaggerating. The speed with which US political leaders of all stripes have united behind the idea of a ‘new cold war’ is something that takes my breath away. Eighteen months ago the phrase was dismissed as fringe scaremongering. Today it is consensus.”

A significant shift is underway in US policy circles, it seems. Luce’s final ‘take’ is that “it is very hard to see what, or who, is going to prevent this great power rivalry from dominating the 21st century”. It is clear that there is indeed now a clear bi-partisan consensus in the US on China. Luce is surely right. But that is far from being the end of it. A collective psychology of belligerence seems to be taking shape, and, as one commentator noted, it has become not just a great-power rivalry, but a rivalry amongst ‘Beltway’ policy wonks to show “who has the bigger dick”.

And quick to demonstrate his, at Aspen (after others had unveiled their masculinity on China and Iran), was the US envoy for Syria (and deputy US National Security Adviser), James Jeffrey: A US policy boiled down to one overriding component: ‘hammering Russia’. “Hammering Russia” (he insisted repeatedly), will continue until President Putin understands there is no military solution in Syria (he said with heightened verbal emphasis). Russia falsely assumes that Assad has ‘won’ war: “He hasn’t”, Jeffrey said. And the US is committed to demonstrating this fundamental ‘truth’.

Therefore, the US plans to ‘up the pressure’; will escalate the cost to Russia, until a political transition is in place, with a new Syria emerging as a “normal nation”. The US will ‘leverage’ the costs on Russia across the board: Through military pressure – ensuring a lack of military progress in Idlib; through Israelis operating freely across Syria’s airspace; through ‘US partners’ (i.e. the Kurds) consolidating in NE Syria; through economic costs (“our success” in stopping reconstruction aid to Syria); through extensive US sanctions on Syria (integrated with those on Iran) – “these sanctions are succeeding”; and thirdly, by diplomatic pressure: i.e. “hammering Russia” in the UN.

Well, the US shift on Syria also takes one’s breath away. Recall how little time ago, the talk was of partnership, of the US working with Russia to find a solution in Syria. Now the talk of the US Envoy is the talk of Cold War with Russia as much as were his Aspen colleagues – albeit in respect to China. Such ‘machismo’ is evidenced too coming from the US President: “I could – if I wanted – end the US war in Afghanistan in a week”, (but it would entail the deaths of 10 million Afghans), Trump excalimed. And, in the same mode, Trump now suggests that for Iran, he is easy: war or not – either path is fine, for him…

The point here is that the tacit coupling of Russia – now termed a major ‘foe’ of America by US Defence officials – and China, inevitably is being refracted back at the US, in terms of a growing strategic Russo-Chinese partnership, ready to challenge the US and its allies…

So, as we look around, the picture seems to be one in which US bellicosity is somehow consolidating as an élite consensus (with but a few individuals courageously pushing-back on the trend). So what is going on?

The two FT correspondents effectively were signalling – in their separate articles – that the US is entering on a momentous and hazardous transformation. Further, it would seem that America’s élite is being fractured into balkanised enclaves that are not communicating with one another – nor wanting to communicate with each other. Rather, it is another conflict between deadly rivals.

One such orientation insists on a renewal of the Cold War to sustain and renew that supersized military-security complex, which accounts for more than half of America’s GDP…

The leader of any nation is never sovereign. He or she sits atop a pyramid of quarrelling princelings (Deep State princelings, in this instance), who have their own interests and agenda. Trump is not immune to their machinations. One obvious example being Mr Bolton’s successful gambit in persuading the Brits to seize the Grace I tanker off Gibraltar. At a stroke, Bolton escalated the conflict with Iran (‘increased the pressure’ on Iran, as Bolton would probably term it); put the UK at the forefront of America’s ‘war’ with Iran; divided the JCPOA signatories, and embarrassed the EU. He is a canny ‘operator’ – no doubt about it.

And this is the point: these princelings can initiate actions (including false flags) that drive events to their agenda; that can corner a President. And that is presuming that the President is somehow immune to a great ‘switch in mood’ among his own lieutenants (even if that consensus is nothing more than a fable that belligerency succeeds). But is it safe to assume Trump is immune to the general ‘mood’ amongst the varied élites? Do not his recent glib comments about Afghanistan and Iran suggest that he might leaning towards the new belligerency? Martin Wolf concluded his FT piece by suggesting the shift in the US suggests we may be witnessing a stumbling towards a century of conflict. But in the case of Iran, any mis-move could result in something more immediate – and uncontained.

Be seeing you

Bankster

Bankster

 

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The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War Onto the Democratic Agenda | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 3, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-tulsi-effect-forcing-war-onto-the-democratic-agenda/

By Danny Sjursen

Democrats, liberals, progressives—call them what you will—don’t really do foreign policy. Sure, if cornered, they’ll spout a few choice talking points, and probably find a way to make them all about bashing President Donald Trump—ignoring the uncomfortable fact that their very own Barack Obama led and expanded America’s countless wars for eight long years.

This was ever so apparent in the first two nights of Democratic primary debates this week. Foreign policy hardly registered for these candidates with one noteworthy exception: Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard—herself an (anti-war) combat veteran and army officer.

Now primary debates are more show than substance; this has long been the case. Still, to watch the first night’s Democratic primary debates, it was possible to forget that the United States remains mired in several air and ground wars from West Africa to Central Asia. In a two-hour long debate, with 10 would-be nominees plus the moderators, the word Afghanistan was uttered just nine times—you know, once for every two years American troops have been killing and dying there. Iraq was uttered just twice—both times by Gabbard. Syria, where Americans have died and still fight, was mentioned not once. Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, courtesy of a U.S.-supported Saudi terror campaign didn’t get mentioned a single time, either.

Night two was mostly worse! Afghanistan was uttered just three times, and there was no question specifically related to the war. Biden did say, in passing, that he doesn’t think there should be “combat troops” in Afghanistan—but notice the qualifier “combat.” That’s a cop-out that allows him to keep advisers and “support” troops in the country indefinitely. These are the games most Democrats play. And by the way, all those supposedly non-combat troops, well, they can and do get killed too.

Reminding the audience of the recent troop deaths in the country, Maddow asked Ryan, “Why isn’t [the Afghanistan war] over? Why can’t presidents of very different parties and very different temperaments get us out of there? And how could you?” Ryan had a ready, if wholly conventional and obtuse, answer: “The lesson” of these many years of wars is clear, he opined; the United States must stay “engaged,” “completely engaged,” in fact, even if “no one likes” it and it’s “tedious.” I heard this, vomited a bit into my mouth, and thought “spare me!”…

Gabbard pounced, and delivered the finest foreign policy screed of the night. And more power to her. Interrupting Ryan, she poignantly asked:

Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable. We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan…We have spent so much money. Money that’s coming out of every one of our pockets…We are no better off in Afghanistan today than we were when this war began. This is why it is so important to have a president — commander in chief who knows the cost of war and is ready to do the job on day one.

In a few tight sentences, Gabbard distilled decades’ worth of antiwar critique and summarized what I’ve been writing for years—only I’ve killed many trees composing more than 20,000 words on the topic. The brevity of her terse comment, coupled with her unique platform as a veteran, only added to its power. Bravo, Tulsi, bravo!

Ryan was visibly shaken and felt compelled to retort with a standard series of worn out tropes. And Gabbard was ready for each one, almost as though she’d heard them all before (and probably has). The U.S. military has to stay, Ryan pleaded, because: “if the United States isn’t engaged the Taliban will grow and they will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts.” Gabbard cut him right off. “The Taliban was there long before we came in. They’ll be there long [after] we leave,” she thundered…

Ryan couldn’t possibly open his mind to such complexity, nuance, and, ultimately, realism. He clearly worships at the temple of war inertia; his worldview hostage to the absurd notion that the U.S. military has little choice but to fight everywhere, anywhere, because, well, that’s what it’s always done. Which leads us to what should be an obvious conclusion: Ryan, and all who think like him, should be immediately disqualified by true progressives and libertarians alike. His time has past. Ryan and his ilk have left a scorched region and a shaken American republic for the rest of us…

Be seeing you

Tell Congress: No Endless War in Syria | CREDO Action

 

 

 

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Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/stopped-clocks-the-european-union-gets-war-with-iran-exactly-right/

By Bill Wirtz

Regular readers of my contributions to this site may have noticed that I am in no way a fan of the European Union. Yet even with the EU, the stopped clock principle applies: they have to be right sometimes. And when Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said that everyone should tread carefully when it came to the attack on the oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, she was absolutely correct.

Mogherini stated: “We are living in crucial and delicate moments, where the most relevant attitude to take—the most responsible attitude to take—is, and we believe should be, maximum restraint, and avoiding any escalation on the military side.”

This month, one of the EU’s top advisors on security questions declared that no military intervention from the European side should take place. This echoes French President Emmanuel Macron saying that France had no place in such interventions, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for a peaceful solution to the Iran problem. Seventy-four percent of German opposed a military intervention in Syria last year. In 2002, 71 percent of Germans opposed the war in Iraq, as did 64 percent of the French. During anti-Iraq war protests that took place on February 15, 2003, 100,000 people demonstrated in Brussels, 75,000 in Amsterdam, between 100,000 and 200,000 in Paris, between 300,000 and 500,000 in Berlin, 150,000 in Athens, 60,000 in Budapest, and well over 600,000 people in Rome.

And in the United Kingdom, more than one million showed up to protest in London…

In a January poll, 48 percent of Germans favored a withdrawal of their country’s troops from Afghanistan, with 29 percent opposing it. In 2009, almost two thirds of the French opposed the intervention in Afghanistan. In 2012, all French combat troops were withdrawn under President François Hollande…

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who is not known for his efforts to please his European counterparts, is an exception: he says that he is ready to take a “more rigorous” approach towards Iran. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has even come under fire from Iranian officials after he gave interviews in the United States explaining that he was “happy that Italy has long since relaxed its relations with Iran, a country that wants to wipe out Israel in 2019 has no right to speak.”…

So overall, in Europe, support for the hawks inside the Trump administration looks grim. Without at least a handful of European countries supporting an intervention, the United States would look like it was standing alone on the world stage, and America could once again come under fire for needless aggression. The WMD lies of the early 2000s have set the bar high for interventions based on military intelligence. And Syria has shown that without conclusive evidence, Europe isn’t about to send in the troops.

Be seeing you

 

 

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How Russia’s President Putin Explains – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 1, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/how-russias-president-putin-explains-the-end-of-the-liberal-order/

Moon of Alabama.

Putin explains why U.S. President Donald Trump was elected:

Has anyone ever given a thought to who actually benefited and what benefits were gained from globalisation, the development of which we have been observing and participating in over the past 25 years, since the 1990s?China has made use of globalisation, in particular, to pull millions of Chinese out of poverty.

What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies — the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners — made use of these benefits. [..] The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.

The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump’s victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference.

On Syria:

Primarily, this concerns Syria, we have managed to preserve Syrian statehood, no matter what, and we have prevented Libya-style chaos there. And a worst-case scenario would spell out negative consequences for Russia.

I believe that the Syrian people should be free to choose their own future.

When we discussed this matter only recently with the previous US administration, we said, suppose Assad steps down today, what will happen tomorrow?Your colleague did well to laugh, because the answer we got was very amusing. You cannot even imagine how funny it was. They said, “We don’t know.” But when you do not know what happens tomorrow, why shoot from the hip today? This may sound primitive, but this is how it is.

On ‘western’ interventionism and ‘democracy promotion’: Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Intercepts US Spy Plane Off Syrian Coast – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on June 6, 2019

Your son or daughter – Defending Saudi Arabia and Israel America.

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/06/05/russia-intercepts-us-spy-plane-off-syrian-coast/

While US and NATO warplanes intercept Russian planes in international airspace on a very regular basis, Russia’s own interceptions are fairly rare, and the US is always furious when it happens. That was the case on Tuesday, when a US Navy spy plane started hanging around the Syrian coast.

Russia is very protective of the Syrian coast, and for good reason, as it hosts Russia’s lone Mediterranean naval base. Having US military aircraft hanging around that area, even if it is just a spy plane, was always going to provoke a response.

Russia sent up a fighter jet to intercept the plane. This apparently didn’t take this first couple of times, because the fighter had to intercept the same spy plane three different times in the same area before it finally went away.

Which led to the inevitable outrage from the US military, who say that intercepting the spy plane was unsafe and “irresponsible” of the Russians. Russia said their fighter stayed a safe distance from the spy plane, and returned when the plane changed course. They added that the whole reason for the interception in the first place was that the plane was approaching the Russian naval base.

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russia wants war

 

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US Accuses Syria Of More Chemical Attacks Just As Chemical Weapons Narrative Crumbles – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on May 23, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/22/us-accuses-syria-of-more-chemical-attacks-just-as-chemical-weapons-narrative-crumbles/

The Institute for Public Accuracy published a report today about the leaked engineering assessment from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria which directly contradicts the findings of the official OPCW report on the matter. Until the unauthorized release of this internal document the public was kept entirely uninformed of its existence, despite the serious military consequences of the questions it raises; the official story that the Syrian government had dropped chemical weapons in Douma was used to justify an airstrike on Syria days later.

MIT professor Theodore Postol provided IPA with a basic analysis of some of the data in the engineering assessment, adding that he “will have a much more detailed summary of the engineering report later this week.”

“A second issue that is raised by the character of the OPCW engineering report on Douma is that it is entirely unmentioned in the report that went to the UN Security Council,” Postol concludes after his analysis. “This omission is very serious, as the findings of that report are critical to the process of determining attribution. There is absolutely no reason to justify the omission of the engineering report in the OPCW account to the UN Security Council as its policy implications are of extreme importance.”

“A leaked OPCW document challenges claim that Assad used chemical weapons in Douma in April 2018, the basis for US military strikes,” tweeted journalist Aaron Maté of the new IPA report. “So far, Western media has ignored it, w/ only exceptions at the margins. Ted Postol is a leading expert; this should be impossible to ignore now.”

Hours later, the US State Department issued a statement once again accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, and now when you search Google for information on chemical weapons in Syria, the results you get look like this:

So that’s convenient.

The State Department’s release actually reads like a government trying to regain control of an important narrative. It begins with an unsubstantiated allegation of a chlorine gas attack by the Syrian government this past Sunday, and warns that the US and its allies will respond militarily if chemical weapons have been used. It condemns the Syrian government’s offensive to recapture the Al Qaeda-occupied Idlib province, then veers off into sheer narrative management, accusing the Russian government of lying about the White Helmets and citing the OPCW as a trustworthy source of authority:

Russia’s recent allegations against the White Helmets and others are part of a continuing disinformation campaign by the Assad regime and Russia to create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks that the Assad regime itself is conducting. Similarly, on November 24, 2018, the Assad regime and Russia attempted to fabricate a chemical weapons attack near Aleppo and blame it on opposition forces. At times, Russia and the Assad regime have made these false allegations as a pretext in advance of the Assad regime’s own barbaric chemical weapons attacks.

 

The facts, however, are clear: the Assad regime itself has conducted almost all verified chemical weapons attacks that have taken place in Syria—a conclusion the United Nations has reached over and over again. The former Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigation Mechanism repeatedly verified and reported the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. The Assad regime’s culpability in horrific chemical weapons attacks is undeniable.

As I wrote the other day, the fact that the OPCW kept the engineering report from receiving not a whisper of attention severely undermines the organization’s credibility, not just with regard to Douma but with regard to everything, including the establishment Syria narrative as a whole and the Skripal case in the UK. Everything the OPCW has ever concluded about alleged chemical usage around the world is now subject to very legitimate skepticism, and now the State Department is trying to use this same dubious source in its narrative control campaign against a government long targeted by the US empire for regime change.

 

“Assad once again proving he’s either a total fool or just the biggest troll in history,” Off-Guardian tweeted sarcastically in response to the State Department’s allegations. “In the midst of the scandal over the OPCW repressing evidence that the Douma chemical attack was staged, Bashar just goes and does another one.”

“The US can’t attack Iran so it’s going to unleash its impotent rage on Syria,” tweeted journalist Sharmine Narwani. “One false flag CW attack by US-trained terrorists coming up.”

The notion that the Syrian government would use chemical weapons at this stage in the game is even more nonsensical than it was at the time of the Douma allegations in April 2018. President Bashar al-Assad has recaptured far more territory from the western-backed extremist factions, the eventual full recapture of the nation by Syria and its allies is a foregone conclusion barring direct military intervention by the US empire, and now the western imperialists are even beginning to lose the narrative war as well. There’s no reason to believe Assad would use chemical weapons at this point in the game unless you sincerely believe that he gains some sort of sexual gratification from committing war crimes that is so powerful it overwhelms his most basic survival instincts.

Chemical weapons, particularly chlorine gas, are not an efficient way of killing people. As Moon of Alabama once put it, “Chemical warfare is ineffective. That is why everyone agreed to ban it.” There is nothing about chemical weapons that is inherently more horrific than, say, nuclear weapons; the difference is that they’re just not a very efficient way of killing a large number of people, whereas nuclear weapons are. The Syrian government and its allies have been securing military victory after military victory over the occupying militias which had taken over large territories, and they have been doing so using far more effective conventional munitions. Assad would stand absolutely nothing to gain and absolutely everything to lose by using chemical warfare now.

At this point you almost wish America would just pick a target and stick with it. The US war machine is like a belligerent drunk at a pub with a broken bottle in his hand, menacing customer after customer while everyone silently prays he has a few more drinks and passes out on the floor. From Iran to Venezuela to Syria and more, the agenda to bully all the world’s nations into allowing themselves to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire is causing conflict after conflict all around the globe, with devastating consequences for the civilians caught in the crossfire.

You may be certain that Syria remains a geostrategically crucial location for the empire because they keep working on manufacturing consent for interventionism there. They work to manufacture that consent because they need that consent; if everyone saw their government doing horrific things they widely disapproved of, the illusion of freedom and democracy would be shattered, and they’d lose their ability to propagandize the masses. Without the ability to propagandize the masses, they could not rule.

So the good news is that we can slow them down by using truth to disrupt their use of their narrative control arsenal. The bad news is that they’re as depraved and determined as ever.

____________________

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Leaked Document Pokes More Holes In Establishment Syria Narrative – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on May 15, 2019

Seymour Hersh vindicated.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/14/leaked-document-pokes-more-holes-in-establishment-syria-narrative/

“It is hard to overstate the significance of this revelation,” tweets former British MP George Galloway of a new report by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM). “The war-machine has now been caught red-handed in a staged chemical weapons attack for the purposes of deceiving our democracies into what could have turned into a full-scale war amongst the great-powers.”

“An important #Douma #Syria ‘Assad chemical weapon attack’ development and yet more evidence to suggest the ‘attack’ was staged, as it’s now revealed that @OPCW suppressed expert engineers report that found the cylinders were likely not dropped from the air,” tweets former Scotland Yard detective and counterterrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge.

“The engineering assessment confirms our earlier conclusion,” the excellent Moon of Alabama blog writes. “The whole scene as depicted by ‘rebels’ and propaganda organs was staged. The more than 34 dead on the scene were murdered elsewhere under unknown circumstances.”

The report has grabbed the attention of those who’ve expressed skepticism of establishment Syria narratives because it casts serious doubts on the official story we’ve been told to believe about an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April of last year. A document titled “Engineering Assessment of two cylinders observed at the Douma incident” has been leaked to the WGSPM which reveals that an engineering sub-team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding mission in Douma came to conclusions which differ wildly from the OPCW’s official findings on the Douma incident, yet we the public were never permitted to see this assessment.

The assessment’s findings, which you can locate on pages five through eight of the document, put forward multiple hypothetical scenarios in which two gas cylinders could have wound up in the locations(Location 2 and Location 4) that they were photographed and video recorded as having been found after the alleged attack. The assessment concludes that “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The assessment says more thoroughly and technically what I argued in an article last year, that the physics of the air-dropped cylinder narrative make no sense whatsoever. This is a problem, because the reason we were given for the US, UK and France launching airstrikes on Syrian government targets in April of 2018 was that two cylinders full of poison gas had been dropped from aircraft by the Syrian air force and killed dozens of civilians.

The assessment is signed by Ian Henderson, who the WGSPM were able to verify as a longtime OPCW-trained inspection team leader. The OPCW reportedly denied that Henderson was involved in its Douma fact-finding mission, but the WGSPM counters that “This statement is false. The engineering sub-team could not have been carrying out studies in Douma at Locations 2 and 4 unless they had been notified by OPCW to the Syrian National Authority (the body that oversees compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention) as FFM inspectors: it is unlikely that Henderson arrived on a tourist visa.”

Just as interesting as this new report has been the response of the usual establishment Syria narrative managers to it, or rather the lack thereof. NATO narrative management firm Bellingcat, which normally jumps all over these kinds of revelations in an attempt to discredit them, has been maintaining radio silence as of this writing. Its founder, Eliot Higgins, has had nothing to say on the matter other than to retweet a pathetic rebuttal by his mini-me Scott Lucas and take a few childish jabs at me for highlighting this fact.

Scott Lucas’ Facebook post on the WGSPM report remains as of this writing the only attempt from the Syria narrative management machine to address it, and it boils down to nothing more than assertions that the report contradicts the official OPCW narrative (duh) and that the WGSPM are conspiracy theorists. Lucas may have thought it a good idea to author this post believing that he had a more substantial argument than he actually had, but it was pointed out shortly after publication that his claim about Henderson refusing to consider other possible scenarios in his assessment is directly contradicted by the words that are in the assessment, and Lucas was forced to make a hasty revision.

There will be other counter-narratives released by the Syria narrative management machine, to be sure, but the fact that this report has been out for the better part of the day with nary a peep from that lot reveals a great deal about the difficulties they’re having with this one.

We are being lied to about Syria. Anyone who believes unproven assertions about governments targeted for toppling by the US-centralized empire has failed to learn the lessons of history. The Syrian government had literally nothing to gain strategically from using chemical weapons in Douma, a battle it had already won, and knew full well that doing so would provoke an attack from the empire. Douma was occupied by the Al Qaeda-linked Jaysh Al-Islam, who had at that point nothing to lose and everything to gain by staging a false flag attack in a last-ditch attempt to get NATO powers to function as its air force.

If you still believe at this point that the Syrian government dropped poison gas on Douma last year, then I’ve got some Iraqi WMDs to sell you.

____________________

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. 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 Twitterthrowing 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. 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. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2019

I don’t quite understand Tulsi Gabbard. Like congresswoman Omar she tells the truth about US interventionism and havoc it wreaks upon the world.

Yet she buys into the Assad gas attack tripe. Thoroughly disputed by Seymour Hersh. See here.  True belief or picking her battles?

Admittedly Assad is not a nice person, but neither are many of our allies, particularly in the M. E.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03/13/colbert-smears-tulsi-gabbard-to-her-face-while-telling-zero-jokes/

Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.

Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Shamima Begum may not have known what she got herself into with Isis, but then neither did western governments | The Independent

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2019

I was spending much time in Baghdad after 2011 and I recall Iraqi political leaders repeatedly telling me that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) would resurrect itself unless the civil war in Syria was swiftly brought to an end. They said the same to western diplomats and were told they were exaggerating.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/shamima-begum-isis-caliphate-foreign-fighters-terrorists-western-intervention-assad-a8781106.html

The British and other western governments played sorcerer’s apprentice in Syria and ended up failing to get rid of Assad but instead created the sort of chaos in which Isis could flourish

A tidal wave of hypocrisy has greeted the discovery of the Bethnal Green schoolgirl and Isis bride Shamima Begum in a refugee camp in eastern Syria. Grandstanding politicians like Sajid Javid, the home secretary, say they will do everything to stop her coming back to the UK and might seek to put her on trial as a terrorist if she did return.

It is a symptom of the parochialism of British political life that debate rages over the fate of Begum and her possible complicity in Isis crimes. But there is scarcely a word of well-informed discussion about the role of the British and other western governments in creating the circumstances in which Isis was able to create a powerful de facto state in the heart of the Middle East.

The role of foreign fighters in Isis was important but tends to be exaggerated because of understandable public fascination with people who would leave London or Paris to go to fight for a murderous and bizarre jihadi cult in Syria and Iraq.

I was once in touch with a former Isis fighter, himself a Syrian, who had talked to foreign volunteers of whom he was highly critical, saying that they were ill-informed about Islam and local customs. He thought that many had come to Syria because of unhappy home lives or simple boredom and were not much use for anything except propaganda – showing that Isis was a global movement – or as suicide bombers.

A reason why many of the foreigners were used in the latter role was they lacked military training. Another was that Isis is a deeply paranoid movement that sees spies and traitors at every turn and was convinced that a proportion of the volunteers from abroad were in fact foreign agents so it was prudent to have them blow themselves up as soon as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

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