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Syria Chemical Weapons Attack: Without Any In Situ Inspection, OPCW Confirms “Sarin Exposure”

April 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Without Any In Situ Inspection, OPCW Confirms Sarin Exposure During the Explosion That Took Place in Idlib (Syria) Last April 4th

Prof Nicolas Boeglin

On April 19, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed that “the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance” during the events occurred in Idlib, Syria, last April 4th (see full text of the press release issued a the end of this note).

The explosion that took place in Syria last April 4th has been followed 48 hours later by a missiles strike of United States, with 59 Tomahawk missiles sent to the Syrian aerial base to which, in accordance to United States intelligence report (see full text), the alleged “chemical weapon attack” has been carried out by Syrian airforces. This strike constitutes a clear violation of United Nations Charter, as no military action can be taken without prior approval of UN Security Council. See on this particular point the analysis published by Professor Marko Milanovic (University of Nottingham) entitled: “The Clearly Illegal US Missile Strike in Syria” published by EJIL-Talk.

A well known scientist from MIT (Massachusetts), Theodor Postol has analyzed the intelligence report issued by United States, and has expressed some doubts about the United States thesis and conclusions on direct responsibility of Syria (see Postol´analysis published by GlobalResearch in which we read that:

We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report“.

Syrian officials have stated since April 4th 2017 that they have no responsibility in the events that took place in Idlib and that no chemical weapons are used by Syria army since their complete destruction in 2014 (see Syrian representative´s statement at Security Council session, S/PV.7921 of last April 12, pp. 17-20). Early, Israel Defense Minister affirmed been “100% certain” that Syria top authorities were directly involved in the events of April 4th (see note of Haaretz).

A range of independent evidence fairly quickly showed the claims of Syrian Army involvement in the chemical weapons incident at East Ghouta were false.

While France, United States and United Kingdom have accused Syria to use chemical weapons against rebels group in Idlib (see the official statement made by their representative at the same session of April 12), Russia has asked for an immediate investigation in situ to clarify the exact origin of the chemical substances found in Idlib. On April 5th, three drafts resolution have circulated among the Members of the UN Security Council: see Document 1 (Russia´s draft), Document 2 (E-10 draft) and Document 3 (P-3 draft) reproduced at the end of our note entitled: “Chemical weapons in Syria and UN Security Council: no resolution adopted. Would you like to know why?“.

On the results announced by OPCW concerning Sarin presence in Idlib, Russia top officials have made a few questions related to the physical absence of an investigation team in Idlib:

According to Konashenkov, “in the past two weeks, not a single OPCW representative was seen there.” “Where do these samples come from? Who of the OPCW members was able to study them so fast while standard procedures stipulate a complex research which requires time, as we can see in the case of mustard gas use in Aleppo,” Konashenkov said” (see press note of TASS). At the end of this note, see official press release of Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reproduced.

The Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been ratified by 192 States, including Syria (in 2013). The only State that has not ratified this international treaty is Israel (see official list of signatures and ratifications).

OPCW PRESS RELEASE OF APRIL 19th, 2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 19 April 2017 — The Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reconvened today to further address the allegation of chemical weapons use in the Khan Sheikhun area of southern Idlib in the Syrian Arab Republic. OPCW’s Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü updated Council members on recent developments regarding the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s activities.

Ambassador Üzümcü underscored that the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) continues its work using procedures and methodologies consistent with its mission and reaffirmed that the FFM has been endorsed by the relevant decisions of the Executive Council and applicable resolutions of the UN Security Council. He reiterated his full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of colleagues comprising the Fact-Finding Mission teams.

The bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their autopsy were analysed at two OPCW designated laboratories. The results of the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance. Bio-medical samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals were also analysed in two other OPCW designated laboratories. Similarly, the results of these analyses indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.

Director-General Üzümcü stated clearly:

“The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance. While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible.”

In the meantime, the Fact-Finding Mission is continuing with interviews, evidence management and sample acquisition. The Director-General reported that an FFM team is ready to deploy to Khan Sheikhun should the security situation permit. He reminded the Executive Council of the 27 May 2014 attack on an FFM team and the action the Council subsequently took in emphasising the importance of safety and security of OPCW experts deployed to Syria.

The FFM is still anticipated to complete a first report of its findings to be submitted to States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention within two weeks and the Director-General will make the report available to the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism. Ambassador Üzümcü repeated his request for the continued support of all States Parties, including through the provision of relevant information, to ensure that the Technical Secretariat is able to pursue its work, and to allow it to fulfil the OPCW mission within a reasonable time frame.

The Executive Council decided to reconvene tomorrow, 20 April, to vote on a draft decision under discussion.

PRESS RELEASE OF RUSSIA MFA OF APRIL 20th, 2017

20 April 2017, 21:40

Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for TASS on the OPCW Executive Council session

The outcome of today’s vote at a special session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council shows that the Western group of countries and some of the states that joined it are not interested in establishing the truth. They failed to demonstrate their willingness to take the only right step in this situation, specifically, to send a team of investigators to the scene of the chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun and to the Al-Shayrat air base, from which the alleged “chemical attack” was supposedly carried out, as they claim. Those countries continue to stick to their line, disregarding any argument, and continue to impose on the international community the same pseudo conclusions that they pushed on the UN Security Council.

They do not need the truth. For them, everything has been settled: Damascus is to blame, according to them, and Moscow, they say, is just obscuring the matter, preventing the OPCW from doing its job.

However, without collecting evidence at the location and establishing the facts, all their accusations against the legitimate government of Syria remain groundless. The West always has its own “pocket” specialists on hand, who are ready to write any report at the first signal and fit pseudo evidence into pre-formulated conclusions. Today, our diplomats in The Hague and the Russian Defence Ministry’s official representative talked about this amply and convincingly.

We are grateful to the countries that supported the joint Russian-Iranian draft solution. We heard many reasonable arguments in statements by representatives of the countries that abstained from voting.

And we strongly condemn the irresponsible stance of those that voted against it. The Western group has once again revealed the essence of its destructive approach.

These countries caused serious damage to the reputation and authority of the OPCW. By disrupting this badly needed process, they have again complicated the search for a way out of the Syrian crisis.

CIA Hell-Bent on Destroying Syria Over Oil, Declassified Document Reveals

April 22, 2017 Leave a comment

A declassified CIA document from 1983 reveals the real reasons behind destabilizing Syria and how “the US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.”

destroying Syria

On April 11, the Saudi regime was highlighted for its continued deployment of chemical weapons against civilians – backed by the US coalition. In the context of the Syria strike, a decades-old plot to overthrow the Syrian government through means of war was revealed after WikiLeaks drew attention to a declassified CIA document published in 1983.

Where Saudi Arabia has an extensive history of human rights abuses and the US has an unwavering ability to turn a blind eye to the atrocities engaged in by the Saudis, the Assad regime – with unproven association to the recent chemical strikes – appears to be the target of a US military assault.

destroying Syria

A crime scene on an international scale that should have been investigated – to draw the appropriate conclusions – was very quickly decimated by Tomahawk missiles. What was left of the proposed storage space containing chemicals such as sarin, were utterly destroyed in fires and explosions instigated by the US military. This makes a conclusive investigation near on impossible to conduct.

The 1983 CIA documents, written by former CIA officer Graham Fuller, highlight the ongoing attack against the Assad regime. Starting in the 1970’s, when current Syrian President Bashir al-Assad’s father held office, the CIA examined plausible possibilities to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA outlined possible allies – including Saddam Hussein and Iran – to help create Middle Eastern tensions in the name of geopolitical pipelines.

In the Key Summary of the report on page 1, the CIA outlines the necessity of war to lock in “US interests” in the region. The discussion hints at the pipeline running through Iraq and how Syria presents a challenge for “US interests in Lebanon and in the Gulf.” The summary of the document blatantly states:

“The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.”

The reasoning behind such an ‘orchestration’ in the CIA’s own words was for the “sole goal of opening the pipeline.”

destroying Syria

From there, the document goes on to cover points on how to go about such an activity, and the benefits versus the consequences and possible responses from the nations they wished to participate in the conflict.

“Saddam Husayn,” the document reads, “is fighting for his life. It is only Iraqi desperation in a losing economic war of attrition that has caused Iraq to consider the extremely risky option of internationalizing the war in the Gulf, potentially leading to closure of shipping there.”

The declassification of the document, titled Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria demonstrates the arrogance of a department(s) that are unbashful about the Devil’s details. For what has now been ongoing anti-Syrian propaganda for a little over 3 decades, the US appears to have finally won – at least – a small part of the battle.

destroying Syria

According to the document’s between the lines rhetoric, were a means to destabilize a region, protect Israel, overthrow a strong-standing nation (Syria) and to fulfil the west’s desire and lust for fossil fuels:

“Syria continues to maintain a hammerlock on two key U.S. interests in the Middle East.

  • Syrian refusal to withdraw its troops from Lebanon ensures Israeli occupation in the south;
  • Syrian closure of the Iraqi pipeline has been a key factor in bringing Iraq to its financial knees, impelling it towards dangerous internationalization of the war in the Gulf.”

The document outlines how diplomatic efforts with the Assad regime drew very little result. And how the United States Empire ran out of patience.

destroying Syria

Fuller asserted that the most practical step forward was to portray Syria as an evil nation and corner Assad through the manipulation of other nearby countries’ grudges:

“Israel would simultaneously raise tensions along Syria’s Lebanon front without actually going to war. Turkey, angered by Syrian support to Armenian terrorism, to Iraqi Kurds on Turkey’s Kurdish border areas and to Turkish terrorists operating out of northern Syria, has often considered launching unilateral military operations against terrorist camps in northern Syria. Virtually all Arab states would have sympathy for Iraq. Faced with three belligerent fronts, Assad would probably be forced to abandon his policy of closure of the pipeline.”

Only months after Fuller’s report, on October 23, 1983, a suicide truck containing explosives caused 241 US military personnel deaths at a Marine barracks at neutral Lebanon’s Beirut International Airport. A simultaneous attack occurred kilometers away, killing 58 French servicemen, and two weeks later an attack against the Israeli military headquarters in Tyre killed 60.

In 2012, Micah Zenko wrote When America Attacked Syria. He recalls the explosions as a precursor to publicly blame Syria. Zenko wrote:

“According to a Pentagon commission formed to investigate the attack, it was “tantamount to an act of war using the medium of terrorism.” Within weeks, the CIA determined that “the bombings…of the United States and French MNF headquarters were carried out by Shia radicals, armed, trained, and directed by Syria and Iran.”

Similarly, in the last weeks, chemical attacks were linked to Syria’s Assad without any investigation and based only on ‘belief.’ A public outcry followed the Mainstream Media’s hype despite the vehement denial from both Syria and Russia that the attack was not of Syrian government authorization.

destroying Syria

For Assad to authorize a chemical attack, the self-sabotaging act isn’t logical. To kill the small amount of people that died, Assad only needed to put boots-on-ground soldiers.

It also begs the question why Assad would also carry out a chemical attack only days after Trump announced he’d leave Assad alone? Why risk US intervention?

As the 1983 report demonstrates, the United States has had their sights set on Syria for more than 3 decades. In 2013, the UN stated enough evidence pointed to the Syrian rebels (US backed) for the chemical attack then. Evidence was destroyed this year before an investigation was conducted. The Pipeline politics continues unabated, and there is no reason to believe that the current situation is any different from the last historical accounts.

Top 10 Reasons Why Official Narrative On Syria Gas Attack Is Wrong

April 18, 2017 Leave a comment

The official narrative concerning the Syria chemical weapons attack doesn't add up. Here are the top 10 reasons to doubt it.

The official narrative that Assad gassed his own people in Syria was swallowed whole by the mainstream media which then forced it down the throats of the American public.

The news story prompted the US missile strike on a Syrian runway before the sarin gas attack could be investigated by independent observers.

But was it right, or did a fake news story spread by mainstream media lead to military action?

Jon Rappoport provides the top ten reasons for doubting the official narrative, and instead calling it a convenient pretext for toppling another Mid-East regime:

ONE: Photos show rescue workers treating/decontaminating people injured or killed in the gas attack. The workers aren’t wearing gloves or protective gear. Only the clueless or crazy would expose themselves to sarin residue, which can be fatal.

TWO: MIT professor Thomas Postol told RT, “I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the [US intelligence] document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun…Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real. No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.” How would a canister purportedly dropped from an Assad-ordered plane incur “crushing from above?”

THREE: Why would President Assad, supported by Russia, scoring victory after victory against ISIS, moving closer to peace negotiations, suddenly risk all his gains by dropping sarin gas on his own people?

FOUR: In an interview with Scott Horton, ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi states that his intelligence and military sources indicate Assad didn’t attack his own people with poison gas.

FIVE: Ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern states that his military sources report an Assad air strike did hit a chemical plant, and the fallout killed people, but the attack was not planned for that purpose. There was no knowledge the chemicals were lethal.

SIX: At consortiumnews.com, journalist Robert Parry writes, “There is a dark mystery behind the White House-released photo showing President Trump and more than a dozen advisers meeting at his estate in Mar-a-Lago after his decision to strike Syria with Tomahawk missiles: Where are CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top intelligence officials?”

“Before the photo was released on Friday, a source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.”

“After the attack, Secretary of State Tillerson, who is not an institutional intelligence official and has little experience with the subtleties of intelligence, was the one to claim that the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a ‘high degree of confidence’ that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.”

“While Tillerson’s comment meshed with Official Washington’s hastily formed groupthink of Assad’s guilt, it is hard to believe that CIA analysts would have settled on such a firm conclusion so quickly, especially given the remote location of the incident and the fact that the initial information was coming from pro-rebel (or Al Qaeda) sources.”

“Thus, a serious question arises whether President Trump did receive that ‘high degree of confidence’ assessment from the intelligence community or whether he shunted Pompeo aside to eliminate an obstacle to his desire to launch the April 6 rocket attack.”

SEVEN: As soon as the Assad gas attack was reported, the stage was set for a US missile strike. No comprehensive investigation of the purported gas attack was undertaken.

EIGHT: There are, of course, precedents for US wars based on false evidence—the missing WMDs in Iraq, the claims of babies being pushed out of incubators in Kuwait, to name just two.

NINE: Who benefits from the sarin gas story? Assad? Or US neocons; the US military-industrial complex; Pentagon generals who want a huge increase in their military budget; Trump and his team, who are suddenly praised in the press, after a year of being pilloried at every turn; and ISIS?

TEN: For those who doubt that ISIS has ever used poison gas, see the NY Times (11/21/2016). While claiming that Assad has deployed chemical attacks, the article also states that ISIS has deployed chemical weapons 52 times since 2014.

I’m not claiming these ten reasons definitely and absolutely rule out the possibility of an Assad-ordered chemical attack. But they do add up to a far more believable conclusion than the quickly assembled “Assad-did-it” story.

These ten reasons starkly point to the lack of a rational and complete investigation of the “gas attack.”

And this lack throws a monkey wrench into Trump’s claim that he was ordering the missile strike based on “a high degree of confidence.”

Video Exposes Evidence Tampering At Syrian Chemical Attack Site

April 18, 2017 Leave a comment

To uncover a deception, sometimes it’s necessary to search for subtle indicators which may reveal that something just isn’t right.

Jack Burns/The Free Thought Project  To uncover a deception, sometimes it’s necessary to search for subtle indicators which may reveal that something just isn’t right. Immediately after the Trump regime announced the Bashar Al Assad government had gassed its own people, the president authorized a barrage of cruise missiles to be sent into Syria purportedly in an attempt to send the message the U.S. would not sit idly by while a rogue government attacks its own people. Trump’s supporters stood as a bulwark behind their president as he led the nation as aggressors to attack a sovereign country.

However, others, such as MIT professor Theodore A. Postol, wanted more. They wanted proof. The proof never came before the cruise missiles were launched and still has not been provided to the American people. The only thing the Trump regime has offered are words, which it apparently wants all Americans to trust. That being said, the American people are smarter than they were when their government told them there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. All of which is no surprise to Postol, who is now calling the Trump regime to the carpet over its declaration a chemical attack took place in Syria, and over its motivations for doing so.

Postol isn’t your run-of-the-mill adjunct professor. He’s arguably the leading expert in the field of a missile fired chemical weapons. Here’s his bio:

In his third report since the U.S. government declared a gas attack occurred in the Idlib Province in Syria, professor Postol said he has, “unambiguous evidence that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) of April 11, 2017, contains false and misleading claims that could not possibly have been accepted in any professional review by impartial intelligence experts.”

Reportedly using the same commercially available video footage the White House said it used to conclude a gassing had taken place, Postol examined YouTube uploads of the site where the U.S. says the Sarin gas was released.

In the first of two videos examined, a man can be seen handling a dead caged bird (reportedly killed by Sarin residue) with one surgical glove on one hand and a bare hand on the other.

“The implication of these actions was that the birds had died after being placed in the alleged sarin crater. However, the video also shows the same workers inside and around the same crater with no protection of any kind against sarin poisoning,” wrote Postol.

The poison gas expert said the preventative measures taken by the Syrians would have killed them.

Postol explained further, “The honeycomb face masks would provide absolutely no protection against either sarin vapors or sarin aerosols. The masks are only designed to filter small particles from the air. If there were sarin vapor, it would be inhaled without attenuation by these individuals. If the sarin were in an aerosol form, the aerosol would have condensed into the pores in the masks and would have evaporated into a highly lethal gas as the individuals inhaled through the mask. It is difficult to believe that such health workers if they were health workers, would be so ignorant of these basic facts.”

The MIT professor openly doubted whether they had any training at all, even though in the second video they were dressed in attire labeled “Idlib Health Directive” written in English (for what purpose other than to mislead an English-reading video audience). Postol also noted that other bystanders were wearing no protection at all in an area where nearly six dozen Syrians were reportedly killed in a lethal sarin gas attack.

He concluded the WHR itself was not properly vetted before it was released to the public.

Postol wrote, “the WHR was not reviewed and released by any competent intelligence experts (such as himself) unless they were motivated by factors other than concerns about the accuracy of the report.”

Professor Postol openly wondered about the motivations for issuing such a flawed report, as if there existed other motivations for knowingly deceiving the American people.

The MIT munitions and chemical weapons expert selected several statements from the WHR which apparently disturbed him, and for which he later said needs to be thoroughly investigated. The following statements were made by the Trump regime in the WHR, statements Postol says are based on flawed video evidence.

The professor went on to declare, based on the video evidence, that the White House Intelligence Report itself (WHR) was, “fabricated without input from the professional intelligence community,” an explosive claim to say the least which points the finger of blame directly at the Trump regime for lying to the American people without any concrete evidence.

The supposed gassing was reportedly carried out on the 4th of April, and by the 7th of April, the president had already attacked Syria. The MIT expert accused the president of going it alone when he concluded, “It now appears that the president ordered this cruise missile attack without any valid intelligence to support it.” He then accused the Trump regime of covering up their own ineptitude. He wrote:
Equally disturbing to some is the fact the president’s actions brings the United States closer to an armed conflict with Russia, a country who’s also, ironically, determined to defeat ISIS in Syria.

Yet, as The Free Thought Project has reported, members of Congress have spoken out against the U.S. Government’s funding of terrorists, the same ones featured in the video’s which purported to show a Sarin gas attack occurring in Syria perpetrated by the Syrian government on its own people.

Postol called for an independent investigation into the claims and actions made and taken by the Trump regime. He concluded:

It remains to be seen whether or not members of Congress will actually call for a committee to investigate the Trump regime’s actions taken in Syria, but already, many Americans are calling for a regime change of their own. The movement to impeach Trump may gain steam as more and more experts like Postol are speaking out against their president’s thoughtless and reckless actions.

VIDEO #1:

Dead Birds Video:

 

Note: Please see original .pdf uploaded here for more organized presentation of the screenshots.

VIDEO # 2:

Idlib Health Directorate Tampering with Alleged Sarin Dispersal Site Video

H/T: ZeroHedge

Australian Academics Witch-hunted for Challenging US Lies on Syria Attack

April 17, 2017 1 comment

World Socialist Web Site

Amid a media barrage to try to drum up public support for US-led military attacks on Syria and North Korea, the corporate media and the Turnbull government have launched an extraordinary vilification campaign against academics seeking to expose the lies behind last week’s US cruise missile strike on Syria.

The witch-hunt is an open attack on basic democratic rights, above all free speech—accompanied by demands that the University of Sydney censor, discipline or sack staff members for even calling into question the pretext for the illegal attack ordered by US President Donald Trump.

Clearly, there are deep fears in ruling circles about the publication of any information or criticism that lays bare the false justification for the US aggression and points to the record of similar fabrications concocted by the US and its allies, including Australia, to justify their endless predatory wars in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government has been one of the most vociferous global defenders of the US attack. Turnbull declared there was no doubt that “the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad committed a shocking war crime against the people of Syria, with a chemical attack … that called out for a swift response.”

For decades, Australian governments have endorsed every such lie perpetrated by Washington, including the “weapons of mass destruction” fraud used to invade Iraq in 2003.

The initial target of the political witch-hunt has been University of Sydney economics and international politics lecturer Dr Tim Anderson and other academics associated with his online Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies. After the missile attack, Anderson posted social media comments pointing out there was no independent evidence, or plausible motive, to accuse the Syrian government of conducting the alleged April 4 sarin gas attack that killed 87 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

To order Tim Anderson’s book directly from Global Research click front cover

Anderson suggested that the gassing was more likely to be another “false flag” atrocity committed by US-backed, Al Qaeda-linked outfits. They have previously made similar attempts to trigger US intervention to oust Assad, such as the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack that was later systematically exposed by veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh.

Significantly, the government-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) spearheaded the demonisation of the academics. Its “Media Watch” television program last Monday accused Anderson of spreading “disinformation and discord.”

Backed by denunciations of Anderson issued by ABC and Guardian journalists, the program sought to discredit him by making an amalgam between his postings and others by extreme right-wing sites and mouthpieces for the Sryian and Russian governments.

Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets, such as the Sydney Daily Telegraph, blazoned the accusations against Anderson over their front pages, under headlines depicting him as an “Assad-loving boffin” and his associates as “uni loonies.” The Australian, Murdoch’s national broadsheet, attacked the University of Sydney for refusing to act against them.

Turnbull’s Education Minister Simon Birmingham, who is responsible for university funding, told the Daily Telegraph the university should investigate Anderson’s comments.

“Although universities are places where ideas should be contested, that’s no excuse for being an apologist [for the Assad regime],” he insisted.

The clear logic of this declaration is that anyone who questions any aspect of US or Australian foreign and military policy is guilty of supporting war crimes and should therefore be sacked, or even prosecuted under war crimes or anti-terrorism legislation.

Fairfax Media extended the offensive to the University of Sydney itself. “One of Australia’s most prestigious universities” was at the centre of a “pro-Assad push,” the Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Koziol declared.

There are signs that the barrage may backfire. The ABC’s smears provoked outrage among its viewers. One typical comment posted on “Media Watch’s” web site denounced the program for emulating other media “megaphones” in producing “not one shred of evidence to back the claim that this event was perpetrated” by Syria.

Another viewer warned:

“What is interesting about this sordid witch-hunt is that it accuses all who dare disagree with obvious lies of being stooges of Assad and Putin. The accusation of ‘treachery’ and ‘treason’ will not long be delayed.”

In his own response to “Media Watch,” Anderson rejected its allegation that he was “misleading public understanding.” As an academic, he said,

“I have a responsibility to educate the public, especially in face of the constant misinformation from Australia’s corporate and state media.”

The WSWS has fundamental political differences with Anderson, a longtime supporter of bourgeois nationalist regimes such as Assad’s. Nevertheless, we unconditionally defend his right, and the right of all academics, political activists, workers and students, to oppose the drive to war and to exercise freedom of political expression.

Anderson told the WSWS the corporate and state media “feel the imperative to back a new war drive against Syria” and wanted to “shout down any dissenting voices on this dirty war.” He said the “fake news” operation “does frighten some people, but we have also received a great deal of public support in the past few days.”

Independent federal parliamentarian Andrew Wilkie this week also questioned the US charges against Assad. In 2003, Wilkie resigned from the Office of National Assessments, a top-level intelligence agency, in an attempt to expose the “weapons of mass destruction” and other lies being used to justify the US-led invasion of Iraq and Australia’s involvement in it.

“Frankly I don’t trust the Trump administration,” Wilkie told reporters. “From first principles it just seems so unlikely that President Assad would have used sarin gas on his own people at this particular time, for a whole range of reasons.” It was “a very unlikely choice of weapon when you know it’s going to attract such a strong military response from the United States.”

Speaking from an Australian nationalist standpoint, Wilkie said:

“It’s regrettable that here we are again just instantly agreeing with whatever the Americans are saying, instead of taking an opportunity to be a little more independent … We have been stuck in the Middle East quagmire since 2003, again on account of allegations of chemical and biological and nuclear weapons.”

In reality, rather than being duped, successive Australian governments have willingly joined one “false flag” US-led war after another in order to secure Washington’s backing for Australian imperialism’s own mercenary operations in the Asia-Pacific.

The witch-hunt against the academics is part of a broader attempt to suppress anti-war sentiment. Last week, the Turnbull government revoked the visa of a prominent Palestinian activist, Bassem Tamimi, to prevent him from addressing public meetings in Australia.

The bid to silence public discussion is a warning. More than 15 years after the declaration of the “war on terror,” the unending war drive by US imperialism is entering a potentially catastrophic stage. Having already devastated much of the Middle East, Washington and its partners are planning even more aggressive actions, posing the danger of direct military conflicts with nuclear-armed Russia and China.

The building of a global anti-war movement of the working class, armed with a socialist perspective, is the only way to prevent a disastrous conflagration.


160119-DirtyWarCover-Print.jpgThe Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking ‘regime change’ the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of ‘Islamists’, demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In this way Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a mild-mannered eye doctor, became the new evil in the world.

The popular myths of this dirty war – that it is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or a sectarian conflict – hide a murderous spree of ‘regime change’ across the region. The attack on Syria was a necessary consequence of Washington’s ambition, stated openly in 2006, to create a ‘New Middle East’. After the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Syria was next in line.

To order Tim Anderson’s book directly from Global Research, click here or click front cover of book.

Five years into this war the evidence is quite clear and must be set out in detail. The terrible massacres were mostly committed by the western backed jihadists, then blamed on the Syrian Army. The western media and many western NGOs parroted the official line. Their sources were almost invariably those allied to the ‘jihadists’. Contrary to the myth that the big powers now have their own ‘war on terror’, those same powers have backed every single anti-government armed group in Syria, ‘terrorists’ in any other context, adding thousands of ‘jihadis’ from dozens of countries.

Yet in Syria this dirty war has confronted a disciplined national army which did not disintegrate along sectarian lines. Despite terrible destruction and loss of life, Syria has survived, deepening its alliance with Russia, Iran, the Lebanese Resistance, the secular Palestinians and, more recently, with Iraq. The tide has turned against Washington, and that will have implications beyond Syria.

As western peoples we have been particularly deceived by this dirty war, reverting to our worst traditions of intervention, racial prejudice and poor reflection on our own histories. This book tries to tell its story while rescuing some of the better western traditions: the use of reason, ethical principle and the search for independent evidence.

Reviews: 

Tim Anderson  has written the best systematic critique of western fabrications justifying the war against the Assad government. 

No other text brings together all the major accusations and their effective refutation.

This text is essential reading for all peace and justice activists.  -James Petras, Author and Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Tim Anderson’s important new book, titled “The Dirty War on Syria” discusses US naked aggression – “rely(ing) on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory,” he explains.

ISIS is the pretext for endless war without mercy, Assad the target, regime change the objective, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

There’s nothing civil about war in Syria, raped by US imperialism, partnered with rogue allies. Anderson’s book is essential reading to understand what’s going on. Stephen Lendman, Distinguished Author and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Host of the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Professor Anderson demonstrates unequivocally through carefully documented research that America’s “Moderate Opposition” are bona fide Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists created and protected by the US and its allies, recruited  and trained by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, in liaison with Washington and Brussels.

Through careful analysis, professor Anderson reveals the “unspoken truth”: the “war on terrorism” is fake, the United States is a “State sponsor of terrorism” involved in a criminal undertaking. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Professor of Economics (Emeritus), University of Ottawa.

Anderson’s excellent book is required reading for those wanting to know the true story of the imperialist proxy war waged on Syria by the U.S. and its Western and Middle Eastern puppet states. This account could also be titled “How to Destroy a Country and Lie About it”. Of course Syria is only one in a long line of countries destroyed by Washington in the Middle East and all over the Global South for more than a century.

Anderson’s analysis is particularly useful for dissecting the propaganda war waged by the U.S. to hide its active support for the vicious Islamic fundamentalists it is using in Syria. In spreading this propaganda the U.S. has been aided not only by the West’s mainstream press but also by its prominent so-called human rights organizations. Asad Ismi, International Affairs Correspondent for The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Monitor.

To order this book directly from Global Research, click here.

Ron Paul: Phony Sarin Attack Carried Out By A Gov’t “Terrified That Peace Would Break Out”

April 16, 2017 Leave a comment

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Mac Slavo

The Idlib chemical attack in Syria was a desperate attempt to reignite a war in Syria.

It was a catalyst. A fraudulent pretext, and a false flag.

The past year or so in Syria has decisively pushed out the al-Qaeda lite forces while simultaneously diminishing U.S. influence there as Russia has become the de facto regulating force in the region, making its own bilateral deals with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

But American objectives are not to be forgotten, and somehow they will be met.

The phony chemical attacks of 2013 and the phony chemical attacks of 2017 were both engineered to garner public support for an attack on Syria, and for ousting Assad to meet the objectives of a secretive agenda.

The effort failed in 2013 after Congress got cold feet about launching another war, and the public spoke out in overwhelming opposition to more war.

In 2017, President Trump acted so quickly that a public dialogue was not possible. No one waited for evidence, inquiries or proof of the deeds done.  Instead, it was a hasty pretext to do exactly what cheated presidential candidate Ron Paul suggests was done to prevent ‘peace from breaking out’…

via RT:

“A victory of neo-conservatives” – that’s how Ron Paul, a former member of the US House of Representatives and three-time presidential candidate, described the US strike on Syria, adding that he does not expect peace talks to resume any time soon.

Speaking to RT, Ron Paul said that there is no proof of Damascus’ guilt that could trigger such a rash and violent response from the US.

“I don’t think the evidence is there, at least it hasn’t been presented, and they need a so-called excuse… our government and their coalition.”

“If any of this was true, I don’t know why they couldn’t wait and take a look at it. In 2013, there were similar stories that didn’t go anywhere, because with a little bit of a pause, there was a resistance to it built in our Congress and in the American people. They thought that it was a fraud and nothing like that was happening, and right now, I just can’t think of how it could conceivably be what they claim, because it’s helping ISIS, because it’s helping Al-Qaeda.”

“From my point of view, there was no need to rush. There was no threat to national security. […] “I have no idea what his purpose was. Maybe he just didn’t want to hear the debate, because the last time they debated it, they lost. And this time, it was necessary for them to jump onto this, before people came to know what was really going on.”

Every indication points to the fact that this was a false flag pretext to bomb Syria – designed to keep the U.S. engaged in the region, and upping the ante with direct intervention, all while being engineered to give President Trump a little bump in the polls.

Perhaps more importantly, it earned Trump a few points and pats on the back from the establishment media – who quickly sang his praises in unison after striking Syria, completely reversing on their constant derision of him just before.

Launching a strike, and assuming the role of Commander in Chief means fulfilling his real campaign promises, the ones that really count. Not the ones he made in stadiums and arenas and debates, but the promises he made when he struck a deal. That’s business.

In the world of the Deep State, Donald Trump just became a made man… now that he has launched missiles, true presidential material.

Never mind that just a week before, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the world that Assad could stay for now. Nobody seems to have tipped him off that there was about to be a 180; or perhaps it was this statement that triggered a coup within the system.

They wagered, rightly, how the President would react.

“I don’t believe that our people or the American government should be the policemen of the world, it makes no sense, it causes us more trouble and more grief, it causes us more financial problems, and it’s hardly a way that we could defend our constitutional liberty.”

[…]

There is a bit of hypocrisy going on here, because at one minute we say, well, maybe Assad has to stay, the next day he has to go, and we’re there fighting ISIS and Al-Qaeda. At the same time, what we end up doing is we actually strengthen them! It is a mess.

“The peace talks have ended now. They’re terrified that peace was going to break out! Al-Qaeda was on the run, peace talks were happening, and all of a sudden, they had to change, and this changes things dramatically! I don’t expect peace talks anytime soon or in the distant future.”

More important questions hang in the balance:

Will this break out into wider war? Are the rumors true that Trump will inevitably send in ground troops? Or is there a master strategy in the works? Who is steering this dangerous game? The POTUS? The generals? The deep state? A shadow advisor?

Top Ten Reasons To Doubt Official Story On Assad Poison-Gas Attack

April 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Activist Post

The sarin-gas attack story prompted the US missile strike on a Syrian runway. Here are the top ten reasons for doubting that story, and instead calling it a convenient pretext:

ONE: Photos show rescue workers treating/decontaminating people injured or killed in the gas attack. The workers aren’t wearing gloves or protective gear. Only the clueless or crazy would expose themselves to sarin residue, which can be fatal.

TWO: MIT professor Thomas Postol told RT,

“I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the [US intelligence] document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun…Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real. No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.” How would a canister purportedly dropped from an Assad-ordered plane incur “crushing from above?”

THREE: Why would President Assad, supported by Russia, scoring victory after victory against ISIS, moving closer to peace negotiations, suddenly risk all his gains by dropping sarin gas on his own people?

FOUR: In an interview with Scott Horton, ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi states that his intelligence and military sources indicate Assad didn’t attack his own people with poison gas.

FIVE: Ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern states that his military sources report an Assad air strike did hit a chemical plant, and the fallout killed people, but the attack was not planned for that purpose. There was no knowledge the chemicals were lethal.SIX: At consortiumnews.com, journalist Robert Parry writes,

“There is a dark mystery behind the White House-released photo showing President Trump and more than a dozen advisers meeting at his estate in Mar-a-Lago after his decision to strike Syria with Tomahawk missiles: Where are CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top intelligence officials?”

“Before the photo was released on Friday, a source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.”

“After the attack, Secretary of State Tillerson, who is not an institutional intelligence official and has little experience with the subtleties of intelligence, was the one to claim that the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a ‘high degree of confidence’ that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.”

“While Tillerson’s comment meshed with Official Washington’s hastily formed groupthink of Assad’s guilt, it is hard to believe that CIA analysts would have settled on such a firm conclusion so quickly, especially given the remote location of the incident and the fact that the initial information was coming from pro-rebel (or Al Qaeda) sources.”

“Thus, a serious question arises whether President Trump did receive that ‘high degree of confidence’ assessment from the intelligence community or whether he shunted Pompeo aside to eliminate an obstacle to his desire to launch the April 6 rocket attack.”

SEVEN: As soon as the Assad gas attack was reported, the stage was set for a US missile strike. No comprehensive investigation of the purported gas attack was undertaken.

EIGHT: There are, of course, precedents for US wars based on false evidence—the missing WMDs in Iraq, the claims of babies being pushed out of incubators in Kuwait, to name just two.

NINE: Who benefits from the sarin gas story? Assad? Or US neocons; the US military-industrial complex; Pentagon generals who want a huge increase in their military budget; Trump and his team, who are suddenly praised in the press, after a year of being pilloried at every turn; and ISIS?

TEN: For those who doubt that ISIS has ever used poison gas, see the NY Times (11/21/2016). While claiming that Assad has deployed chemical attacks, the article also states that ISIS has deployed chemical weapons 52 times since 2014.

I’m not claiming these ten reasons definitely and absolutely rule out the possibility of an Assad-ordered chemical attack. But they do add up to a far more believable conclusion than the quickly assembled “Assad-did-it” story.

These ten reasons starkly point to the lack of a rational and complete investigation of the “gas attack.”

And this lack throws a monkey wrench into Trump’s claim that he was ordering the missile strike based on “a high degree of confidence.”

Image Credit

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

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