Exclusive: As the U.S.-backed offensive in Mosul, Iraq, begins, the mainstream U.S. media readies the American people to blame the terrorists for civilian casualties but the opposite rules apply to Syria’s Aleppo, reports Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Note how differently The New York Times prepares the American public for civilian casualties from the new U.S.-backed Iraqi government assault on the city of Mosul to free it from the Islamic State, compared to the unrelenting condemnation of the Russian-backed Syrian government assault on neighborhoods of east Aleppo held by Al Qaeda.
In the case of Mosul, the million-plus residents are not portrayed as likely victims of American airstrikes and Iraqi government ground assaults, though surely many will die during the offensive. Instead, the civilians are said to be eagerly awaiting liberation from the Islamic State terrorists and their head-chopping brutality.“Mosul’s residents are hoarding food and furtively scrawling resistance slogans on walls,” writes Times’ veteran war correspondent Rod Nordland about this week’s launch of the U.S.-backed government offensive. “Those forces will fight to enter a city where for weeks the harsh authoritarian rule of the Islamic State … has sought to crack down on a population eager to either escape or rebel, according to interviews with roughly three dozen people from Mosul. …
“Just getting out of Mosul had become difficult and dangerous: Those who were caught faced million-dinar fines, unless they were former members of the Iraqi Army or police, in which case the punishment was beheading. … Graffiti and other displays of dissidence against the Islamic State were more common in recent weeks, as were executions when the vandals were caught.”
The Times article continues: “Mosul residents chafed under social codes banning smoking and calling for splashing acid on body tattoos, summary executions of perceived opponents, whippings of those who missed prayers or trimmed their beards, and destroying ‘un-Islamic’ historical monuments.”
So, the message is clear: if the inevitable happens and the U.S.-backed offensive kills a number of Mosul’s civilians, including children, The New York Times’ readers have been hardened to accept this “collateral damage” as necessary to free the city from blood-thirsty extremists. The fight to crush these crazies is worth it, even if there are significant numbers of civilians killed in the “cross-fire.”
And we’ve seen similar mainstream media treatment of other U.S.-organized assaults on urban areas, such as the devastation of the Iraqi city, Fallujah, in 2004 when U.S. Marines routed Iraqi insurgents from the city while leveling or severely damaging most of the city’s buildings and killing hundreds of civilians. But those victims were portrayed in the Western press as “human shields,” shifting the blame for their deaths onto the Iraqi insurgents.
Despite the fact that U.S. forces invaded Iraq in defiance of international law – and thus all the thousands of civilian deaths across Iraq from the “shock and awe” U.S. firepower should be considered war crimes – there was virtually no such analysis allowed into the pages of The New York Times or the other mainstream U.S. media. Such talk was forced to the political fringes, as it continues to be today. War-crimes tribunals are only for the other guys.
Lust to Kill Children
By contrast, the Times routinely portrays the battle for east Aleppo as simply a case of barbaric Russian and Syrian leaders bombing innocent neighborhoods with no regard for the human cost, operating out of an apparent lust to kill children.
Rather than focusing on Al Qaeda’s harsh rule of east Aleppo, the Times told its readers in late September how to perceive the Russian-Syrian offensive to drive out Al Qaeda and its allies. A Sept. 25 article by Anne Barnard and Somini Sengupta, entitled “Syria and Russia Appear Ready to Scorch Aleppo,” began:
“Make life intolerable and death likely. Open an escape route, or offer a deal to those who leave or surrender. Let people trickle out. Kill whoever stays. Repeat until a deserted cityscape is yours. It is a strategy that both the Syrian government and its Russian allies have long embraced to subdue Syrian rebels, largely by crushing the civilian populations that support them.
“But in the past few days, as hopes for a revived cease-fire have disintegrated at the United Nations, the Syrians and Russians seem to be mobilizing to apply this kill-all-who-resist strategy to the most ambitious target yet: the rebel-held sections of the divided metropolis of Aleppo.”
Again, note how the “rebels” are portrayed as local heroes, rather than a collection of jihadists from both inside and outside Syria fighting under the operational command of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which recently underwent a name change to the Syria Conquest Front. But the name change and the pretense about “moderate” rebels are just more deceptions.
As journalist/historian Gareth Porter has written: “Information from a wide range of sources, including some of those the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by Nusra militants. All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it. …
“At least since 2014 the Obama administration has armed a number of Syrian rebel groups even though it knew the groups were coordinating closely with the Nusra Front, which was simultaneously getting arms from Turkey and Qatar. The strategy called for supplying TOW anti-tank missiles to the ‘Syrian Revolutionaries Front’ (SRF) as the core of a client Syrian army that would be independent of the Nusra Front.
“However, when a combined force of Nusra and non-jihadist brigades including the SRF captured the Syrian army base at Wadi al-Deif in December 2014, the truth began to emerge. The SRF and other groups to which the United States had supplied TOW missiles had fought under Nusra’s command to capture the base.”
Arming Al Qaeda
This reality – the fact that the U.S. government is indirectly supplying sophisticated weaponry to Al Qaeda – is rarely mentioned in the mainstream U.S. news media, though one might think it would make for a newsworthy story. But it would undercut the desired propaganda narrative of “good guy” rebels fighting “bad guy” government backed by “ultra-bad guy” Russians.
What if Americans understood that their tax money and U.S. weaponry were going to aid the terrorist group that perpetrated the 9/11 attacks? What if they understood the larger historical context that Washington helped midwife the modern jihadist movement – and Al Qaeda – through the U.S./Saudi support for the Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s?
And what if Americans understood that Washington’s supposed regional “allies,” including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, have sided with Al Qaeda in Syria because of their intense hatred of Shiite-ruled Iran, an ally of Syria’s secular government?
These Al Qaeda sympathies have been known for several years but never get reported in the mainstream U.S. press. In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored Syria’s Sunni extremists over President Bashar al-Assad.
“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al Qaeda.
And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.
But such cynical – and dangerous – realpolitik is kept from the American people. Instead, the Syrian conflict is presented as all about the children.
There is also little said about how Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its allied jihadists keep the civilian population in east Aleppo essentially as “human shields.” When “humanitarian corridors” have been opened to allow civilians to escape, they had been fired on by the jihadists determined to keep as many people under their control as possible.
By forcing the civilians to stay, Al Qaeda and its allies can exploit the injuries and deaths of civilians, especially the children, for propaganda advantages.
Going along with Al Qaeda’s propaganda strategy, the Times and other mainstream U.S. news outlets have kept the focus on the children. A Times dispatch on Sept. 27 begins: “They cannot play, sleep or attend school. Increasingly, they cannot eat. Injury or illness could be fatal. Many just huddle with their parents in windowless underground shelters — which offer no protection from the powerful bombs that have turned east Aleppo into a kill zone.
“Among the roughly 250,000 people trapped in the insurgent redoubt of the divided northern Syrian city are 100,000 children, the most vulnerable victims of intensified bombings by Syrian forces and their Russian allies. Though the world is jolted periodically by the suffering of children in the Syria conflict — the photographs of Alan Kurdi’s drowned body and Omran Daqneesh’s bloodied face are prime examples — dead and traumatized children are increasingly common.”
This propagandistic narrative has bled into the U.S. presidential campaign with Martha Raddatz, a moderator of the second presidential debate, incorporating much of the evil-Russians theme into a question that went so far as to liken the human suffering in Aleppo to the Holocaust, the Nazi extermination campaign against Jews and other minorities.
That prompted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to repeat her call for an expanded U.S. military intervention in Syria, including a “no-fly zone,” which U.S. military commanders say would require a massive operation that would kill many Syrians, both soldiers and civilians, to eliminate Syria’s sophisticated air-defense systems and its air force.
Based on the recent Wikileaks publication of Clinton’s speeches to investment bankers and other special interests, we also know that she recognizes the high human cost from this strategy. In one June 2013 speech, she said, “To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk — you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”
Yet, during the campaign, Clinton has spoken glibly about her own proposal to impose a “no-fly zone” over Syria, which has become even more dangerous since 2015 when the Russians agreed to directly assist the Syrian government in fighting Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Also, left unsaid about such a U.S. intervention is that it could open the way for Al Qaeda and/or its spinoff Islamic State to defeat the Syrian army and gain control of Damascus, creating the potential for even a worse bloodbath against Christians, Shiites, Alawites, secular Sunnis and other “heretics.” Not to mention the fact that a U.S.-imposed “no-fly zone” would be a clear violation of international law.
Over the next few weeks, we are sure hear much about the Islamic State using the people of Mosul as “human shields” and thus excusing U.S. bombs when they strike civilians targets and kill children. It will all be the terrorists’ fault, except that an opposite set of “journalistic” rules will apply to Aleppo.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
The US has always been a state-sponsor of terrorism
“The escalating charges aimed at Russia and Syria, reinforced by well-orchestrated media campaigns propagating official talking points, are familiar in the sense that such attempts to mould public opinion have traditionally been a precursor to Western military interventions […]
“Hillary Clinton, who will presumably become the next US president, publically supports the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria and has openly stated her number one objective in Syria is the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s government.
“Russia has begun to deploy advanced anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems in Syria. Trust between Russia and the United States has entirely eroded. Russia is holding the cards in Syria and it is difficult to imagine how open conflict can be avoided should the US pursue an escalation. The seriousness of this moment should not be understated.”
Failure to Accept Russia’s Position in Syria Inching US Closer to War
By Nile Bowie
During the third presidential debate in Las Vegas on October 19, Hillary Clinton publicly declared her plan to invade Syria after the U.S. presidential election:
Hillary Clinton: “What’s really important here is to understand all the interplay. Mosul is a Sunni city. Mosul is on the border of Syria. And yes, we do need to go after Baghdadi, just like we went after Bin Laden while you were doing Celebrity Apprentice, and we brought him to justice. We need to go after the leadership, but we need to get rid of them, get rid of their fighters, their estimated several thousand fighters in Mosul.
“They’ve been digging underground. They’ve been prepared to defend. It’s going to be tough fighting.
“I think we can take back Mosul and move on into Syria and take back Raqqa. This is what we have to do.
“I’m just amazed that he seems to think that the Iraqi government and our allies and everybody else launched the attack on Mosul to help me in this election. But that’s how Donald thinks, you know. Looking for some –”
Donald Trump: “Chris, we don’t gain anything. Iran is taking over Iraq.”
Moderator Chris Wallace: “Secretary Clinton –”
Trump: “Iran is taking over Iraq.”
Wallace: “Secretary Clinton –”
Trump: “We would have gained if we had surprise.”
Wallace: “Secretary Clinton, it’s an open discussion. Secretary, secretary, please let Mr. Trump speak. Go ahead.”
Clinton: “And he proves it every time he talks.”
Let’s be clear what this election year Punch and Judy show, with all its violence and innuendo, has really been about.
The various episodes of Punch and Judy are performed in the spirit of outrageous comedy – often provoking shocked laughter – and are dominated by the clowning of Mr. Punch.
While the audience remains corralled outside the booth by the “bottler” media, the same “punchman” is inside the booth with hands up the ass ends of both Donald Punch and Hillary Judy.
Here’s the “regime change” agenda: after “coalition” forces “move on in to Syria” they will pivot to prevent “Iran… taking over Iraq”.
The real “punchman” is now flush with cash after the latest “deal”, has nothing to lose, and has no need for surprise.
Four more wars are coming and it’s never mind about the Russians. Mazel tov.
The Punch and Judy drama unfolds as a succession of encounters, incidents which the audience can easily join or leave at any time. Much of the show is impromptu. The audience of passersby is encouraged to participate, calling out to the characters on the stage to warn them of danger or clue them in to what is going on behind their backs.
Everyone knows that Punch mishandles the baby, that Punch and Judy quarrel and fight, that a policeman comes for Punch and gets a taste of his stick, that Punch has a gleeful run-in with a variety of other figures and takes his stick to them all, that eventually he faces his final foe (which might be a hangman, the devil, a crocodile, or a ghost).
A proper Punch and Judy show requires these elements or the audience will feel let down.
True to form, our Donald Punch constantly squeaks his famous phrase: “That’s the way to do it!”
Quite confident in her “special relationship” with the “punchman”, our nonplussed Hillary Judy is “pleased as Punch” that she’ll soon wield the stick.
The “bottler” keeps busy while the manyhanded “punchman” regales us with a full cast of characters, including ISIS playing Jack Ketch.
Yes indeed, the upcoming tour of Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy promises to be a real blast.
Just you wait until the penny drops in Palestine. Washington has financed 40 years of Israeli murder and just handed them another $26 billion, which taxpayers not yet born will still be paying.
Not just Mosul. From today’s New York Times:
“Ramadi, the capital of heavily Sunni Muslim Anbar Province, about 70 miles west of Baghdad, once had a population of at least a half million. Although occupied by the Islamic State for only half a year, much of the city was obliterated in the Iraqi military’s prolonged campaign to retake it, which included hundreds of bombing runs by American warplanes and block-by-block combat with Islamic State fighters who created a network of underground tunnels and hide-outs.”
“the US has never prioritised confronting terrorism in Syria and has been using the presence of terrorist organisations merely as a pretext for more direct Western military intervention. In fact, by acknowledging that Western-backed militant groups are indistinguishable and inseparable from designated terrorist organisations including Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat Al-Nusra, the US is all but admitting it is intentionally arming and equipping the terrorists themselves.
“This explains the apparently inexhaustible resources terrorist organisations like Al-Nusra possess and why they have risen to prominence above so-called ‘moderate rebels’ the US and its allies have repeatedly claimed they were funding hundreds of billions of dollars throughout the conflict.
“It appears that the answer to the question as to how Al-Nusra could rise to prominence in Syria despite ‘moderates’ receiving hundreds of billions in aid from the US and its allies is that there were never any moderates to begin with, and that the US and its allies were arming and funding terrorist organisations, including Al-Nusra, since the conflict began.
“It also appears to be no coincidence that this scenario now openly unfolding in Syria fulfils warnings published by Western journalists as early as 2007 (Seymour Hersh, The Redirection) in which it was revealed that the US was already at that time providing material support to extremist organisations ‘sympathetic to Al Qaeda’ toward the end goal of overthrowing the governments of both Iran and Syria.
“While the US now claims Russia has sabotaged US efforts to bring an end to hostilities in Syria, Washington is also illogically attempting to argue that the failure of its feigned ‘peace talks’ has also somehow prevented the US from targeting terrorists organisations in Syria, the alleged pretext of America’s presence in Syria to begin with.”
What Washington Really Wants in Syria
By Joseph Thomas
At the risk of being denounced as a Zionist troll, I must point out that equating the roles of Israel and of Saudi Arabia in Syria is most unfair.
Firstly, there is little evidence of any Israeli role in supporting ISIS or Jabhat al-Nusra against the Syrian régime. By contrast, Saudi Arabia’s iniquitous role in backing assorted genocidal terrorist groups in Syria is well documented.
Moreover Saudi Arabia is motivated by base ambitions, such as expansion of its power and its fanatical ideology, whereas Israel’s motive in opposing the Syrian government is primarily self-defense against the repeated and explicit threats by Iran to destroy Israel. Since the Syrian régime is Iran’s unconditional ally, any Israeli action against it can be classified prima facie as self-defence.
Although Saudi Arabia is Iran’s declared enemy, Iran has made no attempt to mobilize the numerous Saudi Shia community against the Saudi régime. The same goes for Shia minorities in other Arab states, like Bahrain and Kuwait. On the other hand Iran has for many years armed, encouraged and financed Israel’s deadly enemies Hamas and Hizballah.
Therefore Israel’s actions in Syria have been far smaller than Saudi Arabia’s, and its goals in opposing Assad are much more respectable than Saudi Arabia’s.
“At the risk of being denounced as a Zionist troll…”
THAT SHIP HAS SAILED.
Hasbara 101: The “at the risk of being denounced as a Zionist troll, I must point out” Troll
Here we have Israel’s strategy to “secure the realm” via an alliance with the Saudi regime ‘splained in its entire demented logic.
Simply stated, it’s all about optics: Saudi regime-sponsored terror makes Israel’s terror actions appear “smaller”, Israel’s motives appear less “base”, and Israel’s goals “more respectable” by comparison.
And as Netanyahu boasted in 2001, “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in our way.”
The plan to secure Israel’s position of dominance in the Middle East was advanced in “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by arch neoconservative Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel.
The “Clean Break” report advocated a much more aggressive policy that included the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting its possession of “weapons of mass destruction”.
The report was written by the Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, which was a part of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), an Israel-based think tank with an affiliated office in Washington, D.C.
Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Perle was the “Study Group Leader,” and the final report included ideas from Douglas Feith, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser.
During the neocon-dominated administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, efforts to directly (via US and allied regular military and special forces operations) and indirectly (via proxy forces incorporating the al Qaeda network) “break” Iraq, Libya and Syria have met with varying degrees of “success”.
In June 2007, it was reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had sent a secret message to Syrian President, Bashar Assad saying that Israel would concede the land in exchange for a comprehensive peace agreement and the severing of Syria’s ties with Iran and militant groups in the region. On the same day, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the former Syrian President, Hafez Assad, had promised to let Israel retain Mount Hermon in any future agreement.
In April 2008, Syrian media reported Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told President Bashar al-Assad that Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights in return for peace. Israeli leaders of communities in the Golan Heights held a special meeting and stated: “all construction and development projects in the Golan are going ahead as planned, propelled by the certainty that any attempt to harm Israeli sovereignty in the Golan will cause severe damage to state security and thus is doomed to fail”. That year, a plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution 161-1 in favour of a motion on the Golan Heights that reaffirmed Security Council resolution 497 and called on Israel to desist from “changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and, in particular, to desist from the establishment of settlements [and] from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and from its repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan.” Israel was the only nation to vote against the resolution. Indirect talks broke down after the Gaza War began. Syria broke off the talks to protest Israeli military operations. Israel subsequently appealed to Turkey to resume mediation.
In March 2009, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed that indirect talks had failed after Israel did not commit to full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
During his first term (1996-1999) as Prime Minister, Netanyahu said in May 2009 that returning the Golan Heights would turn it into “Iran’s front lines which will threaten the whole state of Israel.” He said: “I remember the Golan Heights without Katzrin, and suddenly we see a thriving city in the Land of Israel, which having been a gem of the Second Temple era has been revived anew.”
In August 2009, al-Assad said that the return of the entire Golan Heights was “non-negotiable,” it would remain “fully Arab,” and would be returned to Syria.
In June 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres said that Syrian President Assad would have to negotiate without preconditions, and that Syria would not win territorial concessions from Israel on a “silver platter” while it maintained ties with Iran and Hezbollah. Syrian President Assad claimed that there was “no real partner in Israel.”
In 2010, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “We must make Syria recognize that just as it relinquished its dream of a greater Syria that controls Lebanon … it will have to relinquish its ultimate demand regarding the Golan Heights”.
Unsuccessful that its efforts to efforts to secure regional hegemony were being thwarted by an “uncooperative” Syria, Israel recruited its “allies” and resorted to more drastic measures.
Terrorist groups have been set loose on Syria since the US, UK and their western and Gulf State allies launched a covert war in early 2011, dressed up by the media as a “revolution”.
The “protest movement” in Daraa on March 17-18, 2011 in Syria had all the appearances of a staged event involving covert support to terrorists. The strategy in Daraa (repeated in Kiev in February 2014) involved roof top snipers targeting both police and demonstrators.
The war in Syria has never been a “civil war” and the anti-government forces almost entirely are terrorist mercenaries, not “rebels”.
Examining the “patterns” it becomes rather obvious that Israel is trying to achieve through terror what it was unable to achieve through non-negotiation.
According to the prevailing Western propaganda narrative, the hapless West now finds itself “stuck” in Syria.
In reality, Western involvement in Syria is not due to some unfortunate series of accidents or diplomatic fumbles, but because of its well-established patterns of “cooperation” with Israel.
When a nation fails to be “cooperative” with Israel’s hegemonic agenda, “Islamic terror” pays it a visit.
Europe, notorious for limping in its “cooperation” with Israel, apparently requires frequent visits.
Countless “analyses” of Middle Eastern affairs perpetually proclaim that peace would reign o’er the Holy Land if only certain “uncooperative dictators” found the “will” to make the right “decisions”.
In reality, the uncooperative dictator is Netanyahu.
For decades, Israel has worked tirelessly to ensure that it not surrounded by stable and economically prosperous states. Perpetual “threats” to Israel guarantee an unending supply of US military, economic and diplomatic aid.
Israel’s support for terrorist forces in Syria was denied by officials until Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces acknowledged Israeli aid for al-Nusra in 2015.
After a terrorist-mediated “clean break” is executed in Syria, Lebanon and Iran are scheduled to “break” unless the US immediately ceases its support of the neoconservative project to secure the Middle East “realm” for Israel.
I fully agree with Robert Parry’s denunciation of The New York Times’ hypocrisy in treating so differently the assaults on Aleppo and on Mosul. https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/17/good-deaths-in-mosul-bad-deaths-in-aleppo/
Nonetheless there IS a real and important difference in the tactics used by either side, i.e. by the US and its allies in Mosul vs those of the Syrian government backed by Russia in Aleppo.
The difference consists in their respective readiness to attack civilians.
Already in 2012 the Syrian air force carpet-bombed residential neighborhoods of Aleppo. I have seen before-and-after aerial photos of the devastation, published in The Independent.
By contrast, when earlier this year the US bombed Mosul University to destroy ISIS’ chemical warfare lab installed there, ISIS responded by moving its poison gas factory to a residential area of Mosul, where they were safe from aerial attack, since the US was unwilling to risk the so-called collateral damage that would inevitably ensue from their destruction.
“In recent years there’s been an ever increasing number of media reports that suggest ISIS and other terrorist organizations have been actively using chemical weapons in their attacks. And these incidents occur both in regular military operations as well as in false flag events that are designed to provoke the international community. The Persian Gulf monarchies and their ‘influential sponsors’ across the ocean have repeatedly demanded ISIS’ use of chemical weapons in Syria be used to blame the Syrian army opposing them.
“However, according to the US government, ISIS has been producing chemical weapons both in Iraq and Syria. Washington is recognizing the fact that ISIS has workshops specially equipped for the production of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. In particular, they have become particularly proficient in producing mustard gas (sulfur mustard) that is being put in conventional munitions like rockets and shells […]
“Jabhat al-Nusra militants have also been storing sarin gas imported from Turkey in the Kafr Hamra village in the Aleppo Governorate.
“The Syrian city of Idlib has witnessed 100 barrels of American-made napalm being smuggled from Turkey only to be stored in this city. The delivery and transfer of these substances to radical militants was supervised by a Turkish intelligence officer nicknamed ‘Meymun,’ who previously oversaw the activities of illegal armed groups in the assault of the Abu Duhur airbase. Moreover, the Jaysh al Fateh terrorist group has been manufacturing missiles filled with sarin at this same settlement.
“It’s also been reported that radical militants have a large underground storage facilities in the Allepo Governorate, where chemical substances are being stored, including phosphorus and TNT. There’s also hidden stockpiles of barrels with napalm in the same governorate, and it’s been reported that 30 barrels are stored in the basement of the local Yarmuk school, while another 20 are stored in the area of Bab al-Nairab. Sixteen barrels, including those with yellow phosphorus and silver nitrate, are being kept by militants in Al-Shaar for a missile production facility. It’s been reported that up to 20 barrels of napalm are being stored in the city of Sarmada.
“It should be noted that the above listed weapons of mass destruction can be easily used by ISIS militants in other regions of the world, including Europe, Asia and America.
“Under these conditions in the face of an impending threat of WMD terrorist attacks, the international community must unite in its efforts to put an end to these terrorist organizations and those groups affiliated with them.”
How Long Has ISIS Been Stockpiling Chemical Weapons?
By Vladimir Platov
“When a crime or crimes have been committed, the police search for and arrest the perpetrators, and any evidence that is available. Today, we have evidence  of illegal monstrous wars planned and plotted, and carried out, and nobody goes to jail for the crimes against a number of countries. Millions of people would still be alive today if these war criminals had not invaded their lands.
“Iraq, Libya, Syria Afghanistan, Yemen and other countries never invaded Western countries, yet the aforementioned nations are now hell on earth.”
[read more at link below]
… the devastation of the Iraqi city, Fallujah …
If Fallujah is Iraq’s Guernica, what does that say about the US forces that attacked it?
It is a flat-out lie to claim that Fallujah was Iraq’s Guernica. Unlike in Fallujah, there were no combatants in Guernica (Spain 1937) and there was no ground offensive threatening Guernica. Consequently the destruction of Guernica was analogous to the Nazis’ destruction of Rotterdam through aerial bombardment in 1940.
Instead of launching a ground offensive against Fallujah — entailing many American casualties — the US could have imitated the Assad dictatorship’s destruction of Hama in 1982 by subjecting Fallujah to artillery bombardment. The casualties in Fallujah were the direct consequence of armed resistance by rebels entrenched in Fallujah.
While not a flat-out lie, FH’s remark is a fairly transparent effort to divert attention from the brutal disregard for civilian casualties practiced by the US and its regional allies, most notably Israel.
In fact, the most spectacular terror bombing of 1982 took place during the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon and the Siege of Beirut.
FH is curiously dim on that and quite a few other matters of historical import.
By rebels and combatants you mean Iraqis who fought against occupational force? Does that “combatant” word refer to “enemy combatant”? A term invented by Dubya team to bypass Geneva Conventions?
I come form European country that was invaded by Nazis during the second world war and I work with Americans quite a lot. What average American does not understand is how it is to be actually occupied and when occupational force goes around killing people, you know rebels and combatants.
Here, there are numerous monuments dedicated to those who were executed and to those who organized the rebellions. You go hiking, there is a monument to those executed, you go to hospital and there is a monument to those who were tortured in that hospital by Gestapo etc etc etc etc.
Here is an interesting video about Fallujah and what was going on there with combatants:
And go and investigate what is going on in Fallujah now due to the use of depleted uranium.
The destruction and loss of life during the Second Battle of Fallujah was far greater than Guernica.
However, Fergus Hashimoto’s remarks of the military situation in Guernica in 1937 is inaccurate.
Advances by Nationalist troops led by Generalísimo Francisco Franco had eaten into the territory controlled by the Republican Government. The Basque Government, an autonomous regional administrative body formed by Basque nationalists, sought to defend Biscay and parts of Guipuzcoa with its own light Basque Army. At the time of the raid, Guernica represented a focal strategic point for the Republican forces. It stood between the Nationalists and capture of Bilbao. Bilbao was seen as key to bringing the war to a conclusion in the north of Spain. Guernica also was the path of retreat for the Republicans from the northeast of Biscay.
Prior to the Condor Legion raid, the town had not been directly involved in the fighting, although Republican forces were in the area; 23 battalions of Basque army troops were at the front east of Guernica. The town also housed two Basque army battalions, although it had no static air defenses, and it was thought that no air cover could be expected due to recent losses of the Republican Air Force.
The aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica on 26 April 1937 was carried out by the Nazi German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion and the Fascist Italian Aviazione Legionaria, under the code name Operation Rügen. The Condor Legion was entirely under the command of the Nationalist forces. The order to perform the raid was transmitted to the commanding officer of the Condor Legion, Oberstleutnant Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, from the Spanish Nationalist Command.
The bombing shattered the city’s defenders’ will to resist. The rebels faced little resistance and took complete control of the town by 29 April. The attacks destroyed the majority of Guernica. Three quarters of the city’s buildings were reported completely destroyed, and most others sustained damage. The number of civilian casualties is now set at between 170 and 300 people. Until the 1980s it had been generally accepted that the number of deaths had been over 1,700, but these numbers are now known to have been exaggerated.
In fact, the US and British actions, from artillery bombardment to air and ground assault, including the use of incendiary bombs and white phosphorous against civilian populations, draw most accurate comparison to Israeli military tactics.
Why is this info on Aleppo not in corporate media?
American Senator: “Who pays ISIS, who pays Al-Qaeda in East Aleppo? They are paid for by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, by the United States, by NATO….” See important link to article below:
“…the Syrians and Russians seem to be mobilizing to apply this kill-all-who-resist strategy to the most ambitious target yet…”
“this kill-all-who-resist strategy”?
Is that what the rest of us call “war”? And how does the NYT suggest anyone conduct a war other than by killing all who resist? Of course the heroic US armed forces tend also to kill all who don’t resist, as in the Highway of Death.
It’s just the same here in the UK. The BBC is appalling in this respect – parroting as fact anything that will show the Syrian Government and Russians in a bad light.
That Assad’s forces routinely deploy chlorine gas barrel-bombs is presented as case proven – as is the contention that there are 250,000 civilians left in East Aleppo. In fact you’d have no idea that the majority of that city and population remain under government control if you just followed their coverage. Certainly many of my friends and colleagues are shocked when I point this out to them.
Talking of the chlorine gas claim – can you point me to the UN report you wrote about a few weeks ago? I can’t fine it myself and want to send it to my MP as he has no idea how equivocal it was.
“chlorine gas claim”
While taking a break from some chores I saw your question, and made a quick search. It might be this story:
Unless your MPs are different from US Representatives and Senators, don’t get your hopes up. If I make a call to their office about an issue, the very best I can hope for is a form letter which may or may not have anything to do with my remark or question. Sometimes this changes around election time, but not this year. My GOP House rep knows there is basically no way possible for him to lose, and I haven’t heard from him at all.
That was the Consortium News report I was referring to, but I was looking for a copy of the actual UN report – I can’t find a link to it in the article. Apologies if it’s obvious, but I’m visually impaired and my screen reader may not have picked up the hyperlink.
Yes my MP is useless – a classic Blairite who makes a lot of fuss about the relief work he apparently did in Bosnia, but still managed to vote and lobby for further ‘intervention’ in Syria.
Try that link. It’s to the site of the UN Syrian Investigation. Maybe the report you want is there somewhere.
Got it. Thanks!
The above article presents PR reporting that seems so obvious as to be
absurd. From the point of the propagandists it must be “effective”
Often—if not always—American journalism has played this role. It has
more often been the norm than the exception to the rule.
The propagandist who deserves credit is the one who can sell the American people into supporting Al Qaida, the people who attacked us on 911!
The Mosul battle is being live streamed in the Guardianand on Facebook
If that is not news management I don’t know what is. It’s all very Gung-ho as the british would say.
Robert party is correct about this media manipulation 1.5 million civilians live in Mosul and we will not hear a word about hummanitarian issues
Mosul may be only the half of it. According to this article in NEO (http://journal-neo.org/2016/10/16/is-there-a-way-to-justify-us-aggression-against-yemen/) the false flag missile attack on the American destroyer USS Mason was done because the Saudis, and numerous other Sunni Arab allies, have failed miserably in their mission to subdue the Houthis in Yemen and the Pentagon needed a pretext to take over the fighting of yet another war it had orchestrated from the beginning. Apparently, American jets will soon get to bomb and strafe all those civilian Yemeni targets. For us it’s permissible as we are exceptional. Man! It makes one feel so entitled and empowered just to be an American!
This is another excellent article. Of course, they are raghead thugs unless they are our raghead thugs in which case they are victims of barbarism. The idea of nuclear war in defence of jihadi thugs is both lunacy and treason.
Also, 9,000 ISIS troops given safe evacuation passage from Mosul to attack Syria in Aleppo.
The US Air force now shelters ISIS.
1) US Weapons
2) Air Force Support
This is why it’s safe to predict the violence in Mosul won’t be as bad as in Aleppo. The ISIS guys are reportedly being given safe passage to move out of town and go to Syria where they can better serve the neocon warmongers. The smarter ones will undoubtedly take advantage of the situation to slip away and go home, while the others will go help their buddies in Syria.
There are more civilians in Mosul than Aleppo. When our American and Iraqi bombs invariably kill civilians in Mosul will the main stream hypocritical media report it or ignore it
I have read and/or viewed several interviews of Assad. He comes across well. This recent (October 12) interview is worth a look:
Also worthwhile is the experience of a journalist in Beirut. From his article:
“The sheer magnitude of the crisis is unimaginable in scale, much in the way that the horrors inflicted upon the Syrian people by America’s democracy loving cannibals are beyond the comprehension of most Western audiences. But despite all the bloodshed, loss, and terror perpetrated on Syria by the United States, the Syrian spirit remains and the Syrian people remain some of the kindest, friendliest, and most hospitable people on the face of the earth.
In addition, Syrians remain a seemingly highly informed audience despite the fact that their country has been crippled by warfare for the past five years and that they themselves have been turned into refugees. Knowledge not only of their own situation, but about the players behind it and the developments taking place in Europe and America is common and, while American audiences watch the 24 hours news cycle in utter befuddlement as to the events taking place in Syria, Syrians are profoundly aware of just who is responsible for the crisis their country is facing.
While Americans chalk the crisis up to the “they have been fighting for thousands of years” line or accept the propaganda that Syria is facing a civil war, Syrians know that what they are facing is a proxy war against their government, against their very way of life, and against Russia. Syrians are fully aware of the fact that the terrorists beheading their way across the country are funded by Saudi Arabia, facilitated by Turkey and Israel, and trained by the United States. They are fully aware that there are no “moderates” fighting against the Syrian government and that the United States is responsible for creating the ISIS terror organization it is claiming to fight.”
Gregory Herr – excellent candid interview with Assad, and superb article re the American journalist speaking with Syrians in Lebanon. Very interesting. Thanks so much for posting them, Gregory.
The Coalition of the Sponsors of Terrorism (COST), comprising Israel, US, France, UK, Saudi Barbaria, Turkey and Qatar, has reached the pinnacle of hypocrisy already before when it accused the Russian and the Syrian defenders of the “radicalization of the opposition” and thus for causing destruction and the mass migration from Middle East and North Africa into Europe. It is not the COST collation which supplied training, weapons, salaries and even operational logistics to the mercenaries who attack Syria which is to blame, then the defenders. This is the same logic as when calling the occupational soldiers “peace-keepers”. If everyone would immediately submit to the attacker’s Pax Americana (i.e. Terror Americana), there would be peace yes of course.
Thus, the judging of the US proxy attack on Mosul completely differently than the Russian and Syrian attack on US supported terrorists is almost a counter climax. Nothing can surprise us any more, we know now that the Western Government hypocrisy and MSM bull are limitless.
Simon and Garfunkel -Mrs. Robinson
And here’s to you, Madam President
The nation fell for all the lies you sow
You took that cash Madam President
Goldman Sachs was pleased but they won’t say
Did they pay – for you to play?
We’d like to know what’s written in those missing email files
We’d like to read your secret Wall Street speech-
Look at all the terrorists and refugee exiles
Children’s bodies washed upon a lonely beach
So here’s to you, Madam President
Zelaya’s gone and you arranged the coup
Saw it through
You came and laughed when Gaddafi died
Sent his arms to rebel terrorists
Maniacs – and salafists
Nusra rebels hiding in Aleppo’s crowded streets
White Helmet propaganda hides the truth
Human shields and children shot for trying to escape
A nation mourns the decimation of its youth
Now look at you, Madam President
Your private policy is shedding blood
It’s a flood
It made you rich, Madam President
Health insurance moguls fund your game
Crooked banks – do the same
Neocons surround you at your Oval Office desk
You made it through the candidates’ debate
Every way we look at it there’s something quite grotesque
You’re to blame if Armageddon is our fate
Where have you gone, Miss America
Your torch belies the truth that you once told
That’s been sold
What’s that you say Madam President
Bombs for peace will build a better day
In some land, far away
An excellent, excoriating parody… I loved it! It also applies to our current President, Nobel Peace Laureate [I gag when I write this], Barack Obama.
F.G. Sanford – great job!
How sad but true.
The more time passes it’s not so crazy to consider 911 an inside job. True many elements of a few governments needed to go rogue in order to pull it off, but as time goes by the more that comes out the more it all makes sense. Why not just make it easy for terrorist to board a plane. Saudi’s being secretly flown out of the U.S. with strange ties to strange people. All the Ziocon Neocon Dual Citizens involved in the investigations. Apparently Hillary admitted to our allies Like Saudi Arab and the Gulf States aiding and funding al Qaeda. Patrick Cockburn writes about this here….
Joe, the US Government claim boils down to the following:
1) we funded Al Qaeda when they fought Soviet Union in Afghanistan,
2) we stopped funding them but they did 911,
3) now we are funding them again when they attack Syria.
In the briefest it is: Al Qaeda is friend-enemy-friend. The funding here does not mean paying Al Qaeda out of US budget, then funding out of black budgets, or letting the allies do it and similar.
Obviously, this is even more ridiculous conspiracy theory (friend-enemy-friend) than the single-Kennedy-shooter conspiracy theory of earlier. The elites must be rolling on the floor laughing at the stupid Americans swallowing such Government conspiracy theories as realities.
KIza, the Saker made a claim that the New Cold War is being fought 80% by the media, and I think he’s on to something with that comment. I think I believe Benazir Bhutto that Osama bin Laden died in 2001, more than I believe what after that was that happened back in May of 2011. David Talbot speaks to the Allen Dulles introducing the Muslim Brotherhood to the Saudi’s somewhere around 1953. This stuff has been cooking for a long time. Zbigniew kicked everything up a notch back in the eighties as you know, and things have never been the same since. Al Quada is a useful tool, and the Saudi’s make a convenient conduit to feed the chaos machine more chaos to add to even more chaos.
In fact I believe that drawing a line to today’s U.S. war on terrorism can be traced to JFK’s murder by starting with one name, and that would be Allen Dulles, as his line of deception stretches to his current heirs of the chaos machine as it churns and burns along. The best weapon these evil doers has isn’t a bomb, or a stealth drone, it’s a soulless complying media.
I believe Zbigniew’s own biography dates US Afghan intervention before the Soviet incursion in December, 1979. The 1980’s date probably results from a need to claim that arming the mujahideen was a response to the Soviets, not the cause of the Soviet incursion.
Thanks Ted. I scribbled down the eighties off the top of my head, and that’s always a risky process. Close enough is for horse shoe throwing, but being specific could mean the world of difference. Zbigniew worked for Carter, so his time aiding Osama bin Laden would have been the late seventies. Man how time flys while continuing to conquer the world. Again thanks Ted for keeping me straight on this.
Joe, remember when I said a short time ago…it’s that pesky timeline that has me scratching my head? The official timeline just doesn’t work from a logistical standpoint. Of course, we’re not privvy to all the details. Stop and think about it. No matter how huge the crime, it was still just a garden variety crime. Why would it be necessary to classify the details of a garden variety crime…unless it wasn’t?
F.G. As you are well aware, the time line that the U.S. has had with radical Islam goes back a long way. Allen Dulles had an involvement in marshaling in the Muslim Brotherhood to become Saudi agents back in around 1953. Over the years the radical Islam proxies forces narrative has changed in and out of their many disguises quite a number of times, to suit the occasion. During the late seventies as you know Zbigniew recruited the radical Islamic soldier to fight a war of resistance against the Russians in Afghanistan. This time the radical Islamic were the good guys. Then on 911 these same radicals became the worst of the worst killing almost three thousand Americans to proof just how bad they could be. Now while these radical terrorist proxies are being funded by the U.S. through intermediaries such as Saudi Arabia and the GCC, these mercenaries have become the enemy of my enemy, and it’s all good luck and best wishes to these terrorist fighters when they chase after Assasd’s army.
This type of army is just what a few rogue stateless traitors would need to coop a governments priorities, and then some. Al Quada is the army for the people behind the curtain.
It doesn’t seem to matter what time it is, these made to order terrorist mercenaries are easily adjustable to fit any scenario where it seems fit to use them. With a little change of the name, the continual change among it’s second tier leadership due to drone strikes keeps it fresh and new, and it’s terror networks way of spreading it’s octopus tentacles around the globe make it a burdensome army to defeat. This is to evil to just be spontaneous. No al Quada and any other name it calls itself, is the most sickening device for war ever devised…excluding the nuclear weapons.
“No matter how huge the crime, it was still just a garden variety crime. Why would it be necessary to classify the details of a garden variety crime…unless it wasn’t?”
You asked about the garden variety being treated so special. One guess is that what we are and have been witnessing for this last couple of years is probably under one heading in a Think Tank written plan somewhere found under chapter, “Tit for Tat’ Strategy. In other words it’s all one big plan with a scripted format all of it’s own. Some genius probably thought, ‘make everything go big’.
I’m probably not even close to right, but it all sounds like something that could turn out to be that way. Who knows?
I read somewhere that Al Qaeda is arabic for a Large Computer Base. Someone who knows Arabic could possibly confirm it. It would make a great deal of sense and also black humour.
I speak Arabic. “Al Qaeda” can mean either “the base” or “the rule”. I am not sure which of the two was used with the inception of these animals.
Both meanings of Al Qaida apply here .
Thanks, Robert. Yes, MOSUL rules are same as GAZA rules.
Of course, Israel couldn’t possibly have anything to do with ME chaos and the rise of ISIS. Right. Like Zionists have nothing to do with attacks on activists critical of Israel, such as Miko Peled who was recently denied to speak at Princeton Univ. Such attacks damage and divide the Palestine solidarity movement. In fact, ironically, the results are very similar to what the Israeli Reut institute recommended that Israeli strategists do:
“drive a wedge” between different critics of Israel to prevent a unified movement, and focus “all available fire-power” to “name-shame” opponents to “eventually limit or eliminate altogether their ability to operate in a campus… or any other forum.”
If we don’t oppose these divisive, hostile actions, these attacks will escalate and increasingly damage the movement for justice in Palestine. An Open Letter supporting Miko and calling for an end to the attacks was posted on Friday. As the Letter says: “The stakes are too high to allow destructive infighting.”
You can read more and sign here: