MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

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.

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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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US-Led Strikes Kill Scores of Civilians in Eastern Syria Displaced Camp – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on February 13, 2019

Kurds save them, Pentagon kills them.

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/02/12/us-led-strikes-kill-scores-of-civilians-in-eastern-syria-displaced-camp/

Jason Ditz

The Kurdish YPG’s attempt to take the last of ISIS-held towns and villages in eastern Syria has focused heavily on getting civilians out of those areas, as not to worry about casualties. What happens to those civilians when they flee the village of Baghouz, however, is a problem of its own.

According to Syrian officials, the US-led coalition attacked a camp for internally displaced persons who had fled from Baghouz. Scores of civilians, including women and children, were reported slain, and many more wounded.

It is not clear why the camp was targeted, and the US has not commented on the matter. Local officials say the toll is expected to rise further, as many of the wounded are in critical condition, and have little to no access to medical care in this remote, war-torn part of Syria.

US airstrikes have been killing growing numbers of civilians in and around these “last” ISIS-held towns, and while the heavy US air support has been key to keeping ISIS on the defensive, the civilian casualties are likely to breed resentment among those left in the area.

Be seeing you

drone-strikes-Leaked-report-shows-high-civilian-death-toll-from-CIA-drone-strikes

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : President Starts a War? Congress Yawns. Threatens to End One? Condemnation!

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2019

Al-Qaeda and ISIS did not emerge in Iraq because US troops left the country – they emerged because the US was in the country in the first place. Where was al-Qaeda in Iraq before the 2003 US invasion the neocons lied us into? There weren’t any.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/11/president-starts-a-war-congress-yawns-threatens-to-end-one-condemnation/

written by ron paul

Last week’s bipartisan Senate vote to rebuke President Trump for his decision to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan unfortunately tells us a lot about what is wrong with Washington, DC. While the two parties loudly bicker about minor issues, when it comes to matters like endless wars overseas they enthusiastically join together. With few exceptions, Republicans and Democrats lined up to admonish the president for even suggesting that it’s time for US troops to come home from Afghanistan and Syria.

The amendment, proposed by the Senate Majority Leader and passed overwhelmingly by both parties, warns that a “precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from the on-going fight…in Syria and Afghanistan, could allow terrorists to regroup.” As one opponent of the amendment correctly pointed out, a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is hardly “precipitous” since they’ve been there for nearly 18 years! And with al-Qaeda and ISIS largely defeated in Syria a withdrawal from that country would hardly be “precipitous” after almost five years of unauthorized US military action. Read the rest of this entry »

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Capitol Hill Cowards: Why Congress Is Trying to Undermine Trump’s Troop Withdrawal Plan | Cato Institute

Posted by M. C. on February 11, 2019

Almost comical is the resolution’s reference to “hard-won gains.” Coincidentally, earlier the same day the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released his latest quarterly report. The reality on the ground is accurately described as “hard-won,” but there are few “gains” to record. More territory and population are under Taliban control. Afghan troop numbers are down. Corruption and opium production remain at crisis levels. Increased allied participation in combat has been necessary to slow Taliban gains. The Director of National Intelligence warned that Afghanistan is likely to continue deteriorating even with Western support.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/capitol-hill-cowards-why-congress-trying-undermine-trumps-troop

By Doug Bandow

Afghanistan is America’s longest war, at seventeen years and counting. It has run longer than the Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and Korean War combined. Yet Congress has conducted minimal oversight and done nothing as the executive branch’s aim devolved into pushing failure onto the next administration.

In Syria Washington chose to enter a civil war of minimal security concern to America. Syria was allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Washington’s previous forays in similarly imploding Middle Eastern nations—Lebanon and Libya—turned out badly. The executive branch concocted ever more outlandish duties for American military personnel: extirpate ISIS, exclude Iran, confront Russia, pacify Turkey, protect Kurds, and pressure Damascus. Yet Congress never voted on the continual usurpation of legislative power.

If legislators want to carp because the president has sensibly decided to terminate foolish, unnecessary, and unproductive military interventions, then they should have voted on initially authorizing those deployments.

Members also sat like potted plants as presidents illegally made war in Libya, Syria, and Yemen and threatened to unilaterally strike Iran, North Korea, and now Venezuela. Legislators preferred to avoid committing themselves. If the ensuing conflict goes well, then they will applaud the president; if it goes badly, then they will criticize his impetuous incompetence. They routinely refuse to live up to their constitutional responsibilities, unless forced to do, as when President Barack Obama tossed the issue of bombing Syria to Congress.

Now, however, the Senate has voted to condemn “the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces” from both Afghanistan and Syria. Doing so “could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security.” The measure was offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has spent his entire career cheerleading every unconstitutional action military taken by every president. He recently, and doggedly, resisted allowing a vote on an authorization of force against the Islamic State. Thus, the fight against ISIS and consequent military deployment remain illegal. Even now McConnell and the vast majority of his colleagues refuse to abide by the Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Trump Thwarted Calculated Israeli Effort to Keep U.S. in Syria | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 19, 2019

Will congress ever get from under the Likud’s thumb? Do they want to?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-the-israeli-effort-to-keep-trump-in-syria-failed/

By GARETH PORTER

The Pentagon was not the only party pressing Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria last year. It turns out the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington were working very hard to get the Trump administration to use America’s military presence there to support an Israeli campaign of airstrikes aimed at threatening war with Iran.

The Israeli strategy was aimed at dividing Russia from Iran and thus putting pressure on Tehran to withdraw its military personnel from Syria. A campaign by a pro-Israel think tank actually succeeded in getting such a policy ready for Trump’s approval last fall—although it was not supported by some Pentagon officials.

The story of the Israel lobby’s latest attempt to capture American policy, recounted here for the first time, reveals just how far Israel was able to reach into the Trump administration before the president personally intervened… Read the rest of this entry »

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War Whores Scramble To Say Syria Attack Means Troops Must Remain – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on January 19, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/17/war-whores-scramble-to-say-syria-attack-means-troops-must-remain/

Author: Caitlin Johnstone

A suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria has reportedly killed 19 people including four Americans, two of whom were US soldiers and two of whom worked with the US military. ISIS, which has an extensive history of falsely claiming responsibility for attacks it had nothing to do with, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Despite the fact that ISIS would claim responsibility for a housewife stepping on a Lego block, and despite the complete absence of evidence that it had anything to do with the deadly explosion, all the usual cheerleaders of endless war are pointing to the Manbij suicide bombing and shrieking “See?? Trump said ISIS is defeated and it’s not!”

“ISIS is still a very real threat here,” CNN international corespondent Clarissa Ward told Jake Tapper from northern Syria. “And the real concern that we are hearing over and over again on the ground, Jake, is that when US troops withdraw, a power vacuum is created, and that only gives them more strength.”

Virulent Syria war pundit Charles Lister, who is notorious for praising Al Qaeda and is a senior fellowat the Gulf state-funded neoconservative think tank Middle East Institute, told AFP that this attack invalidates Donald Trump’s order last month to withdraw troops from Syria.

“Trump’s order was reckless and driven far more by domestic political concerns than it was by facts on the ground,” Lister said, adding, “To suggest ISIS is ‘defeated’ because it no longer controls territory is to fundamentally misunderstand how ISIS and similar organizations seek to operate.”

Former John McCain ventriloquism dummy Lindsey Graham pounced like a rat on a cheese doodle on the opportunity to call for continued US troop presence within hours of the attack, interrupting the confirmation hearing of Attorney General nominee William Barr with an ejaculation about Trump’s Syria withdrawalRead the rest of this entry »

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The shameful insubordination of John Bolton

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2019

I wonder what arms manufacturer rewards Bolton with a job when he “retires”.

https://theweek.com/articles/816140/shameful-insubordination-john-bolton

W. James Antle III

“Don’t upstage the boss” is a powerful maxim in Washington, and usually it applies to President Trump’s White House. But National Security Adviser John Bolton doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo.

“Bolton puts conditions on plan for withdrawal from Syria,” reads one recent headline. “Contradicting Trump, Bolton says no withdrawal from Syria until ISIS destroyed, Kurds’ safety guaranteed,” blares another. “John Bolton says certain conditions must be met before U.S. withdraws from Syria,” states a third.

Trump has been talking about U.S. troops leaving Syria for months. “We’re coming out of Syria very soon,” he said in March. “Let the other people take care of it now — very soon, very soon, we’re coming out.” By December, he’d lost his patience with those inside the government resistant to the move and abruptly announced a change in policy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Terrorists Seize Anti-Tank Missiles U.S. Intended for Syrian Rebels

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2019

They are just figuring this out now???

Oh yah, Syrian rebels ARE terrorists (Al Qaeda/ISIS).

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/01/03/report-terrorists-seize-anti-tank-missiles-u-s-intended-syrian-rebels/

by John Hayward

…It is not just American-made weapons vanishing into the Syrian quagmire. All of the regional and world powers that tossed weapons into the fighting pits of the Syrian civil war have reason to worry about those weapons coming back to haunt them:

A U.S. program begun in mid-2013 provided weapons including ATGM missiles to rebels fighting the Assad regime in Syria. President Trump later canceled the program, saying in a 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal that it allowed weapons to fall into al Qaeda hands.

“There is absolutely the possibility that the U.S. may face some of the same ATGMs it has delivered in the past to the Middle East,” said Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst with the Austin, Texas-based defense-intelligence firm Stratfor. Islamic State and al Qaeda offshoots, among others, now possess American-made missiles, he added.

Those and other nonstate actors in the Middle East also have antitank missiles—some of them based on U.S. designs—manufactured in Bulgaria, China, France, Iran and Russia, according to analysts who track weapons proliferation.

As the article explained, guided anti-tank missiles are far more dangerous than the ubiquitous rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs. Reports suggest the Islamic State, the Taliban, and Hezbollah possess missiles they can launch from over a mile away and that can punch through a thousand millimeters of armor. Enterprising militia fighters have found ways to use the missiles against targets other than tanks, such as taking out grounded military helicopters and attacking entrenched infantry positions.

Defending against these weapons is difficult because fighting vehicles cannot be armored enough to withstand them or made agile enough to evade them. The WSJ reported that the U.S. is developing active defense systems (in other words, shooting down incoming missiles) but has fallen behind, in part due to “the Army’s complex acquisition system.” The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, has indicated streamlining these systems will be a high priority… Read the rest of this entry »

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