This all seems designed to prepare the world for a three-fer against Syria, Russia, and Iran. And if it comes to war, we need to remember that China has indicated that with any attack on Russia, China will respond. I’ll hand you over to CNN for now, and note that Wesley Clark says that John Bolton has assembled the National Security Council today. Mad Dog says he won’t rule anything out, but ask why are there chemical weapons in Syria when Russia was supposed to have removed them all? Please consider this an Open Thread.
But let’s back up to those who call the claims dubious at best, total lies at worst:
Another chemical attack in Syria: But why is the corporate media missing crucial points?, fort-russ.com, April 8
“…characteristically and typically, the mainstream media have immediately blamed the Syrian military for the dreadful attack even before investigations can occur. Their sources?
The White Helmets and Jaish al-Islam.
Lets first deal with Jaish al-Islam. The media have used Jaish al-Islam for information on the attacks, but how can a group who openly and proudly publish photos of them caging women to be used as human shields as they launch endless mortar and rocket attacks against civilians in Damascus be trusted?
It was reported by journalist Sharmine Narwani who was on the ground in East Ghouta just last month that the Syrian Army liberated “Eastern Ghouta farmlands between Shifouniyeh and Douma and discovered a well-equipped chemical laboratory run by Saudi-backed Islamist terrorists. Not a single Western reporter showed up to investigate the facility.”
Her report goes into further details and provides photos of the laboratory. Why is it such a far fetched idea to the corporate media that the terrorists could have conducted this latest atrocity?
Then, the second and quoted source for the reports are the White Helmets. I am not going into detail why they are an unreliable source as this has already been done in great detail by other journalists such as Vanessa Beeley. However, it must be questioned why the White Helmets who claim to be neutral only operate in areas controlled by terrorist organisations such as Jaish al-Islam and Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front, or why their members often change uniforms between the white helmet and militant uniforms.” [snip]
“But does this prove the Syrian government did not conduct the chemical weapon attack? Of course it does not, but we must question why the Syrian military would resort to such a drastic measure. There was no clear strategic advantage to deploy such weapons.
The Syrian Army in a little more than a month liberated over 90% of the East Ghouta pocket with ease, so why at the final hurdle with every advantage in their favor, would they resort to chemical weapons. The corporate media portrays the Syrian authorities as acting irrationally without thought to consequences, but rather, there has been many examples where Syria could have deployed such weapons to preserve their own soldiers, but has opted not to and risked further casualties to ensure that civilians face minimal harm in any operation.”
Or: @VanessaBeeley Apr 7 @fpleitgenCNN “Why no mention of #EasternGhouta terrorist chemical weapons lab u visited wth me on 6th March? Why no mention of 3,500 plus civilian prisoners of Jaish Al Islam held in “repentance” prisons? Who gains fm this alleged CW use? @PiersRobinson1 with a link to this claim at CNN:
‘Dozens dead in possible gas attack in Syria; regime denies allegation’
By Steve Almasy, CNN, April 8, 2018 (video included)
“Several Syrian activist groups Saturday reported that a brutal attack on the remnants of the rebel-held city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta left dozens of civilians dead and scores wounded.
The groups — including the White Helmets, the Douma Coordination Committee and the Ghouta Media Center — said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped by helicopters over Douma caused people to suffocate and choke.”
“Graphic images showed people, including children, apparently dead and injured — some with some kind of spittle or foam in their mouths in makeshift medical centers.
An official with the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) told CNN that doctors in eastern Ghouta have told him they were seeing patients who were convulsing from side to side and some appeared to be paralyzed and unresponsive.”
But at least they admitted:
“CNN could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the images.”
The proven historical ‘facts’ Heather Nauert and others narrated…were scarcely ‘undisputed facts’. But even if you’d heard that the White House had walked back Herr Trump’s ‘leaving Syria for others to finally finish off’ to a later timeline just before the midterms, this is nonetheless relevant:
‘Syria gases own people just as Trump mulls withdrawal?’ Journalists question Douma ‘chem attack’, via RT April 8
“While a media storm immediately followed, accusing Syria’s Bashar Assad of heinous crimes and predicting a new US strike against Damascus forces in response, journalists with knowledge of events on the ground in Syria wondered aloud if the claims should be treated with a grain of salt.
Independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, who visited the Syrian frontline on numerous occasions, said the chemical attack report, quickly picked up by mainstream media, was “also 100 percent lie,” pointing out that the White Helmets group had been caught producing fakes before.
The timing of the alleged chemical attack claims was questioned by journalist Caitlin Johnstone, who pointed out that reports spread “just as Trump was seeking a withdrawal from Syria and just as [Syrian President Bashar] Assad was approaching victory in Douma.”
In her article on the Medium website, Johnstone doubted the credibility of the White Helmets as a source, due to their “extremely suspicious western funding and terrorist ties”, also reminding readers of the Western governments’ “extensive history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to manufacture support for military aggression.”
The chemical attack on his own people, certain to “provoke the wrath of the US war machine,” would mean that “Assad spontaneously began acting against his own self-interest,” the journalist wrote. She decried the influence of the mainstream media, which she said makes such news “easier to believe that Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin are deliberately killing civilians with poisonous gas for no reason whatsoever than to believe that the same empire which deceived us into Iraq is deceiving us into Iraq’s next-door neighbor Syria.”
“American journalist and writer Mike Cernovich pointed out that President Assad had absolutely no motivation to use chemical weapons against his own people. “It makes total sense for Assad to gas children right as Trump announces a troop withdrawal. It’s the only sane, rational decision to make,” he tweeted, sarcastically.
At the same time, Cernovich believes that the escalation of the Syrian conflict and prolonged US stay in the country may even reconcile the Republicans and Democrats.
“War is good for the ruling party facing mid-term elections, which is one reason the war mongering Democrats might not support Trump’s leading a ground war in Syria. But their blood lust is strong, and may overcome their desire to sweep the House,” he wrote.
Following the chemical attack reports, US President Donald Trump, who said on Tuesday that he wanted to “get out” of Syria, called Assad an “Animal,” adding that “President Putin, Russia and Iran” were responsible, as backers of the Syrian authorities.”
Patrick Martin at wsws.org doesn’t mince words: ‘CIA stages gas attack pretext for Syria escalation’, 9 April 2018
A few bits:
“As with previous allegations of chemical weapons’ use, the public is being inundated with unverified footage of suffering victims, while government officials and the corporate media, prior to any investigation and without any substantiation, declare the government of Bashar al-Assad and its Iranian and Russian allies to be guilty of a war crime.
The alleged gas attack that was used in April 2017 to justify the major US cruise missile assault on a Syrian air base was similarly exposed to have resulted from an air strike on a “rebel” poison gas facility.”
“The previous pretexts for military escalation were staged by the CIA and its proxy forces in Syria. The latest provocation is no different.
There is no credible evidence concerning the claimed attack in the Eastern Ghouta city of Douma, a few miles from the Syrian capital. There are video clips that prove nothing, since they could have been manufactured at any time and edited to serve the purpose. The sole on-the-spot accounts come from the White Helmets, celebrated by the media as a rescue organization, but affiliated with the anti-Assad “rebels” and largely funded by the United States, Britain, Germany and other imperialist powers. This includes $23 million from the US Agency for International Development, a longtime front for the CIA.
“A wider conflict is the deliberate aim of the US military-intelligence apparatus. For a month, the world stage has been dominated by a British-American campaign against Russia, centered on the supposed poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a British spy, and his daughter Yulia, in Salisbury, England. There has been an escalating campaign of accusations, expulsions of Russian officials, and suggestions that the incident amounts to a nerve gas attack on Britain by Moscow, i.e., an act of war.
Last week, however, the official narrative of Russian government poisoning collapsed. The British chemical weapons authority announced that it could not determine the source of the supposed poison and both Skripals were reported to be recovering—making nonsense of the claim that they had been poisoned by a deadly nerve gas manufactured in Russia.”
[wd here: some wags in the Twittersphere noted that ‘it must have been a bad batch’.]
The new media hysteria over a poison gas attack in Syria serves to divert attention from the collapse of the Skripal provocation, while providing a fresh pretext for escalating the offensive against Russia.”
“According to Al Jazeera and Russian news sources, Jaysh al-Islam has been so thoroughly defeated that it has struck an agreement to completely withdraw all its militia and their families from Douma over the next 48 hours or so. Russian troops will reportedly move in to take control of the city.”
“The latest provocation follows a well-worn pattern, from the lies over Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” to the present. The American intelligence agencies give the signal. Nonstop coverage is immediately launched on cable television, then demands for action are made by the White House and congressional leaders, boosted by editorials written by CIA mouthpieces such as the New York Times.
The brazen lies of the media are accompanied by breathtaking hypocrisy. The Times, the Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and company downplay and cover up the atrocities carried out by American forces and their allies—the incineration of Mosul and Raqqa, the gunning down of demonstrators in Gaza by the Israeli military, the mass killings in Yemen carried out with US support by Saudi Arabia, even as its crown prince is feted by the US ruling elite, and the ongoing slaughter in Afghanistan.”
And if you should happen to need more: ‘Don’t drink the Kool-Aid! West promoting chemical false flags as pretext for military action’, Robert Bridge, RT April 9, with videos, including:
Do you wonder why the UN Russian envoy says the OPCW must investigate on the ground in Syria? Two Israeli fighters had already fired eight missiles at the T-4 airfield in Homs; five were reportedly shot down, casualties unknown at the time.
Stay tuned for what ‘decisions’, likely top secret, are to come out of Bolton’s Big Meeting in the sit-room it began at 10:00 this a.m. The UN Security Council will meet tomorrow, as I understand it. Or at least as Nikki Haley understands it.
This just in: ‘US will act against ‘monster’ Assad with or without UN ‒ Haley’; moments ago, via RT
“The US will act against the Syrian government with or without a UN blessing, US envoy Nikki Haley told the Security Council, blaming Russian “obstructionism” for allowing the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and beyond.
“We are beyond showing pictures of dead babies. We are beyond appeals to conscience. We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done,” Haley declared to the Security Council on Monday, accusing Russia of backing the “monster” [Bashar] Assad, who was murdering children with chemical weapons.
“The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered with the blood of Syrian children, cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims. We’ve tried that before,” Haley said, adding that “no civilized government would have anything to do with Assad’s murderous regime.”
“History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond,” she said.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)