Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again?

Exclusive: Despite evidence that Al Qaeda and its allies have staged fake chemical attacks in Syria before, Official Washington asserts with “high confidence” that it’s not being fooled again, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

In Official Washington, words rarely mean what they say. For instance, if a U.S. government official voices “high confidence” in a supposed “intelligence assessment,” that usually means “we don’t have any real evidence, but we figure that if we say ‘high confidence’ enough then no one will dare challenge us.”

Donald Trump speaking with the media at a hangar at Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona. December 16, 2015. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

It’s also true that after a U.S. President or another senior official jumps to a conclusion that is not supported by evidence, the ranks of government careerists will close around him or her, making any serious or objective investigation almost impossible. Plus, if the dubious allegations are directed at some “enemy” state, then the mainstream media also will suppress skepticism. Prestigious “news” outlets will run “fact checks” filled with words in capital letters: “MISLEADING”; “FALSE”; or maybe “FAKE NEWS.”

Which is where things stand regarding President Trump’s rush to judgment within hours about an apparent chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province on April 4. Despite the fact that much of the information was coming from Al Qaeda and its propaganda-savvy allies, the mainstream U.S. media rushed emotional images onto what Trump calls “the shows” – upon which he says he bases his foreign policy judgments – and he blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the scores of deaths, including “beautiful little babies,” as Trump declared.

Given the neocon/liberal-interventionist domination of Official Washington’s foreign policy – and the professional Western propaganda shops working for Assad’s overthrow – there was virtually no pushback against the quick formulation of this new groupthink. All the predictable players played their predictable parts, from The New York Times to CNN to the Atlantic Council-related Bellingcat and its “citizen journalists.”

All the Important People who appeared on the TV shows or who were quoted in the mainstream media trusted the images provided by Al Qaeda-related propagandists and ignored documented prior cases in which the Syrian rebels staged chemical weapons incidents to implicate the Assad government.

‘We All Know’

One smug CNN commentator pontificated, “we all know what happened in 2013,” a reference to the enduring conventional wisdom that an Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack outside Damascus was carried out by the Assad government and that President Obama then failed to enforce his “red line” against chemical weapons use. This beloved groupthink survives even though evidence later showed the operation was carried out by rebels, most likely by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front with help from Turkish intelligence, as investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported and brave Turkish officials later confirmed.

President Obama in the Oval Office.

But Official Washington’s resistance to reality was perhaps best demonstrated one year ago when The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg published a detailed article about Obama’s foreign policy that repeated the groupthink about Obama shrinking from his “red line” but included the disclosure that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had informed the President that U.S. intelligence lacked any “slam dunk” evidence that Assad’s military was guilty.

One might normally think that such a warning from DNI Clapper would have spared Obama from the media’s judgment that he had chickened out, especially given the later evidence pointing the finger of blame at the rebels. After all, why should Obama have attacked the Syrian military and killed large numbers of soldiers and possibly civilians in retaliation for a crime that they had nothing to do with – and indeed an offense for which the Assad government was being framed? But Official Washington’s propaganda bubble is impervious to inconvenient reality.

Nor does anyone seem to know that a United Nations report disclosed testimonies from eyewitnesses about how rebels and their allied “rescue workers” had staged one “chlorine attack” so it would be blamed on the Assad government. Besides these Syrians coming forward to expose the fraud, the evidence that had been advanced to “prove” Assad’s guilt included bizarre claims from the rebels and their friends that they could tell that chlorine was inside a “barrel bomb” because of the special sound that it made while it was descending.

Despite the exposure of that one frame-up, the U.N. investigators – under intense pressure from Western governments to give them something to pin on the Assad regime – accepted rebel claims about two other alleged chlorine attacks, an implausible finding that is now repeatedly cited by the Western media even as it ignores the case of the debunked “chlorine attack.” Again, one might think that proof of two staged chemical weapons attacks – one involving sarin and the other chlorine – would inject some skepticism about the April 4 case, but apparently not.

All that was left was for President Trump to “act presidential” and fire off 59 Tomahawk missiles at some Syrian airbase on April 6, reportedly killing several Syrian soldiers and nine civilians, including four children, collateral damage that the mainstream U.S. media knows not to mention in its hosannas of praise for Trump’s decisiveness.

Home-Free Groupthink

There might be some pockets of resistance to the groupthink among professional analysts at the CIA, but their findings – if they contradict what the President has already done – will be locked away probably for generations if not forever.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In other words, the new Assad-did-it groupthink appeared to be home free, a certainty that The New York Times could now publish without having to add annoying words like “alleged” or “possibly,” simply stating Assad’s guilt as flat-fact.

Thomas L. Friedman, the Times’ star foreign policy columnist, did that and then extrapolated from his certainty to propose that the U.S. should ally itself with the jihadists fighting to overthrow Assad, a position long favored by U.S. “allies,” Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria?” Friedman asked before proposing outright support for the jihadists: “We could dramatically increase our military aid to anti-Assad rebels, giving them sufficient anti-tank and antiaircraft missiles to threaten Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian helicopters and fighter jets and make them bleed, maybe enough to want to open negotiations. Fine with me.”

So, not only have the mainstream U.S. media stars decided that they know what happen on April 4 in a remote Al Qaeda-controlled section of Idlib province (without seeing any real evidence) but they are now building off their groupthink to propose that the Trump administration hand out antiaircraft missiles to the “anti-Assad rebels” who, in reality, are under the command of Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State.

In other words, Friedman and other deep thinkers are advocating material support for terrorists who would get sophisticated American ground-to-air missiles that could shoot down Russian planes thus exacerbating already dangerous U.S.-Russian tensions or take down some civilian airliner as Al Qaeda has done in the past. If someone named Abdul had made such a suggestion, he could expect a knock on his door from the FBI.

Expert Skepticism

Yet, before President Trump takes Friedman’s advice – arming up Al Qaeda and entering into a de facto alliance with Islamic State – we might want to make sure that we aren’t being taken in again by a clever Al Qaeda psychological operation, another staged chemical weapons attack.

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

With the U.S. intelligence community effectively silenced by the fact that the President has already acted, Theodore Postol, a technology and national security expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, undertook his own review of the supposed evidence cited by Trump’s White House in issuing a four-page “intelligence assessment” on April 11 asserting with “high confidence” that Assad’s military delivered a bomb filled with sarin on the town of Khan Sheikdoun on the morning of April 4.

Postol, whose analytical work helped debunk Official Washington’s groupthink regarding the 2013 sarin attack outside Damascus, expressed new shock at the shoddiness of the latest White House report (or WHR). Postol produced “a quick turnaround assessment” of the April 11 report that night and went into greater detail in an addendum on April 13, writing:

“This addendum provides data that unambiguously shows that the assumption in the WHR that there was no tampering with the alleged site of the sarin release is not correct. This egregious error raises questions about every other claim in the WHR. … The implication of this observation is clear – the WHR was not reviewed and released by any competent intelligence expert unless they were motivated by factors other than concerns about the accuracy of the report.

Photograph of men in Khan Sheikdoun in Syria, allegedly inside a crater where a sarin-gas bomb landed.

“The WHR also makes claims about ‘communications intercepts’ which supposedly provide high confidence that the Syrian government was the source of the attack. There is no reason to believe that the veracity of this claim is any different from the now verified false claim that there was unambiguous evidence of a sarin release at the cited crater. … The evidence that unambiguously shows that the assumption that the sarin release crater was tampered with is contained in six photographs at the end of this document.”

Postol notes that one key photo “shows a man standing in the alleged sarin-release crater. He is wearing a honeycomb facemask that is designed to filter small particles from the air. Other apparel on him is an open necked cloth shirt and what appear to be medical exam gloves. Two other men are standing in front of him (on the left in the photograph) also wearing honeycomb facemask’s and medical exam gloves.

“If there were any sarin present at this location when this photograph was taken everybody in the photograph would have received a lethal or debilitating dose of sarin. The fact that these people were dressed so inadequately either suggests a complete ignorance of the basic measures needed to protect an individual from sarin poisoning, or that they knew that the site was not seriously contaminated.

“This is the crater that is the centerpiece evidence provided in the WHR for a sarin attack delivered by a Syrian aircraft.”

No ‘Competent’ Analyst

After reviewing other discrepancies in photos of the crater, Postol wrote: “It is hard for me to believe that anybody competent could have been involved in producing the WHR report and the implications of such an obviously predetermined result strongly suggests that this report was not motivated by a serious analysis of any kind.

Another photo of the crater containing the alleged canister that supposedly disbursed sarin in Khan Sheikdoun, Syria, on April 4, 2017.

“This finding is disturbing. It indicates that the WHR was probably a report purely aimed at justifying actions that were not supported by any legitimate intelligence. This is not a unique situation. President George W. Bush has argued that he was misinformed about unambiguous evidence that Iraq was hiding a substantial amount of weapons of mass destruction. This false intelligence led to a US attack on Iraq that started a process that ultimately led to a political disintegration in the Middle East, which through a series of unpredicted events then led to the rise of the Islamic State.”

Postol continued: “On August 30, 2013, the White House [under President Obama] produced a similarly false report about the nerve agent attack on August 21, 2013 in Damascus. This report also contained numerous intelligence claims that could not be true. An interview with President Obama published in The Atlantic in April 2016 indicates that Obama was initially told that there was solid intelligence that the Syrian government was responsible for the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013 in Ghouta, Syria. Obama reported that he was later told that the intelligence was not solid by the then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

“Equally serious questions are raised about the abuse of intelligence findings by the incident in 2013. Questions that have not been answered about that incident is how the White House produced a false intelligence report with false claims that could obviously be identified by experts outside the White House and without access to classified information. There also needs to be an explanation of why this 2013 false report was not corrected. …

“It is now obvious that a second incident similar to what happened in the Obama administration has now occurred in the Trump administration. In this case, the president, supported by his staff, made a decision to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. This action was accompanied by serious risks of creating a confrontation with Russia, and also undermining cooperative efforts to win the war against the Islamic State. …

“I therefore conclude that there needs to be a comprehensive investigation of these events that have either misled people in the White House, or worse yet, been perpetrated by people seeking to force decisions that were not justified by the cited intelligence. This is a serious matter and should not be allowed to continue.”

While Postol’s appeal for urgent attention to this pattern of the White House making false intelligence claims – now implicating three successive administrations – makes sense, the likelihood of such an undertaking is virtually nil. The embarrassment and loss of “credibility” for not only the U.S. political leadership but the major U.S. news outlets would be so severe, especially in the wake of the WMD fiasco in Iraq, that no establishment figure or organization would undertake such a review.

Instead, Official Washington’s propaganda bubble will stay firmly in place allowing its inhabitants to go happily about their business believing that they are the caretakers of “truth.”

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).

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208 comments for “Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again?

  1. Abe
    April 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    It is clear that there is an effort underway to shape public perception of US military capabilities. The so-called Tomahawk “tweets” certainly were meant convey a message.

    However, given the nature of military deception and the potential for catastrophic conflict in our era of advanced nuclear weapons technology, we must take the utmost caution in our interpretations. Certainly the Russians are doing so.

    Theodore A. Postol, a physicist and professor of Science, Technology, and International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is an expert in ballistic missile defense technologies. Prior to coming to MIT, Postol worked as an analyst at the Office of Technology Assessment and as a science and policy adviser to the chief of naval operations. In 1991, he debunked claims by the U.S. Army that its Patriot missiles were successfully shooting down Iraqi Scud missiles during the first Gulf War.

    In 2001, Postol received the Norbert Wiener Prize from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility for uncovering numerous false claims about missile defenses. Postol has been a contributor to major science and technology publications, including MIT Technology Review since 2002, and has been frequently consulted by other authors on a range of scientific and technical issues. He remains a prominent critic of US government statements about missile defense.

    In September 2013 and January 2014, Postol and former UN Weapons Inspector Richard Lloyd published important investigations of faulty US technical intelligence in the Damascus nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013. Analyzing available data, they found a number of items to be inconsistent with the Obama White House’s narrative of the incident. Postol and Lloyd concluded that the Ghouta chemical attack did not seem to have been launched by the Syrian government.

    The investigations of Postol and Lloyd were attacked by UK blogger Eliot Higgins and his collaborator Dan Kaszeta at the Brown Moses blog. The claims of self-appointed “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins and self-declared “chemical weapons expert” Kaszeta were repeatedly debunked by Postol and Lloyd. Nevertheless, the claims of Higgins and Kaszeta continue to be cited by mainstream media, human rights organizations, and Western governments.

    In July 2014, MIT Technology Review published Postol’s analysis of Israel’s U.S.-funded Iron Dome rocket-defense interceptors. An MIT expert on national security technology, Postol presented data explaining evidence of weaknesses in the Iron Dome defense system. He argued that Iron Dome’s interceptors had not been succeeding at their crucial warhead-detonation job.

    In March 2017, Postol was co-author of a major article in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an academic journal that covers global security and public policy issues related to the dangers posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, emerging technologies, and other issues. Postol and fellow science experts Hans M. Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie addressed the US nuclear forces modernization program.

    According to Postol, Kristensen and McKinzie, the US program “has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing—boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three—and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”

    Postol and colleagues specifically address the highly destabilizing impact of new US “superfuze” technology to vastly increase the effectiveness of US nuclear weapons against hardened targets such as Russian ICBM silos:

    “Russian planners will almost surely see the advance in fuzing capability as empowering an increasingly feasible US preemptive nuclear strike capability—a capability that would require Russia to undertake countermeasures that would further increase the already dangerously high readiness of Russian nuclear forces. Tense nuclear postures based on worst-case planning assumptions already pose the possibility of a nuclear response to false warning of attack. The new kill capability created by super-fuzing increases the tension and the risk that US or Russian nuclear forces will be used in response to early warning of an attack—even when an attack has not occurred.”

    Postol and his colleagues also discussed implications of the new US “superfuze” technology in the March 2017 edition of Science magazine, the journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    The 4 April 2017, a chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun derailed peace efforts in Syria. Higgins, Kaszeta, and the disinformation team at Bellingcat blog have vigorously backed the narrative of an air-dropped chemical bomb. Again the claims of Higgins and Kaszeta continue to be cited by mainstream media, human rights organizations, and Western governments. The lethal attack provided a pretext for a Tomakawk missile barrage from the United States.

    On 11 April 2017, Postol presented analysis of the report released by the Trump White House concerning the Khan Shaykhun attack. Postol wrote that the report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft” and that photographic evidence used by the White House pointed to an attack by people on the ground.

    On 13 April 2017, as if on cue, MIT Technology Review published an article purportedly revealing dastardly “Russian Disinformation Technology”. The article featured Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat, and was little more than an outsourced mashup of Atlantic Council reports and Bellingcat blog allegations of Russian perfidy.

    Efforts will be made to marginalize Postol and others who point at the White House’s lack of evidence concerning the recent chemical attack in Syria. Attacks on those dare to challenge the prevailing drive for further military action against the government of Syria, and the potential for nuclear conflict with Russia, are to be expected.

    • john wilson
      April 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      We have yet to hear where the missiles which didn’t hit the air base have gone to. There is a suggestion by some commentators that the Russians successfully interfered with them electronically and they either ditch in the Med or the desert. Maybe they just didn’t work and went of course by themselves, who knows. However, it must be of concern to the Americans that their missiles either don’t work or can be “hacked” in flight. Of course, there is the possibility that all the missiles reached there target. If this is the case, the effectiveness of the multi million dollar enterprise is hardly worth the price tag because the amount of damage shown in pictures is clearly minimal. The thing is, ABE, if the effectiveness of these missiles is open to question, what of the nukes? They could land almost anywhere!

      • Realist
        April 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        It would ALMOST be funny if the American government started complaining that “Russia hacked our missiles!” Poor missiles, victims as surely as Hillary.

        • jo6pac
          April 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

          Thanks for the LOL

          • JWalters
            April 14, 2017 at 10:37 pm

            Totally agree! A related aside, an American evening news show that is actually seriously discussing the lack of evidence issue is Ed Schultz.
            https://www.rt.com/shows/news-with-ed-schultz/

            Ed Schultz, formerly of MSNBC, has a LOT more freedom to tell the truth that the cohorts he left behind.

      • Marko
        April 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        I don’t know that I’d call the damage “minimal”. Jets took off the next day , but only if they had fuel in the tank. Fueling station – gone. Munitions depot – gone. Service vehicles , machining and service facilities – gone.

        There’s some debris that suggests a couple missiles that hit the field were duds , but the accuracy of the missiles that struck the airfield – however many it was – appears to me to have been pinpoint. The hangers were pierced perfectly on the center-line , and any jet in that hangar took a direct hit. Watch these soldiers doing a damage assessment – they’re not doing any laughing about America’s tired old Tomahawks. The most upbeat thing said is that they “only” lost 7 men :

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0TEJxztJKQ

      • April 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        Lots of good info there. “In 2001, Postol received the Norbert Wiener Prize from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility for uncovering numerous false claims about missile defenses.”

        A blog called The Saker carries some interesting info and thoughts. The Saker looks at the possibility that the missing cruise missiles possibly were turned around by some sort of device used by the Russians that could re-program the in flight missiles. Would the hawks in the US, many whom are connected to the defence contractors who are in the biz of selling their products, tell us if it was so?
        https://off-guardian.org/2017/04/12/a-multi-level-analysis-of-the-us-cruise-missile-attack-on-syria-and-its-consequences/

        • Sam F
          April 14, 2017 at 9:15 pm

          Now when their hackers can send the missiles back to base, they will have broad international support.

          Perhaps they will announce bi-partisan election email hacking in the interest of democracy.

          • backwardsevolution
            April 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

            Sam F – that’d be perfect, the missiles boomerang!

        • Frank
          April 15, 2017 at 3:24 am

          The truth is that 10-15% of all TH missiles are not accurate by all means. There are data of more than thousand used in warfare. It’s amazing how folks have easily fallen in love with war propaganda. So it was in WW2 ( myth of ground attack aircraft destroying 1 500 armour in Normandy, the reality: less than 100 including even heavy bombers).

          It’s clear that all cruiser missiles can be effectively blocked by electronic warfare when even weather can cause them big issues.

    • Realist
      April 14, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      What bad luck for Trump that science can tell so much from simple things like force vectors on the canister and blast site, the canister’s rupture pattern, the geometry of the excavated crater, and even the reported weather conditions. Oh, and the surprisingly rapid loss of potency by the alleged sarin payload. Not to worry, Trumpy, just shovel more BS at the issue and let the American media work its magic.

    • rosemerry
      April 14, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Important researchers and truthful information are studiously ignored by official US sources, and the public reaction seems to encourage this sort of behavior. Thanks for this information, which should be replacing the dangerous mindless reports of Thomas Friedman.

      • Sam F
        April 15, 2017 at 7:50 am

        Veterans Today VT reports that their sources in Idlib show that the CW attack was planned and staged by Al Qaeda affiliates and White Helmets et al working with Turkish intel. This is at http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/04/11/idlib-vt-investigators-startling-discovery-at-khan-sheikhoun/.

        They also claim oddly that the Russia Today RT office in Tel Aviv is operated by an Israeli Mossad agent who contradicts the RT stories on this elsewhere. So presumably that is a fake RT office, or an office manager soon to be replaced.

        • george Archers
          April 16, 2017 at 11:48 am

          Sam! You forgot USA was part of the plot.

      • Sam F
        April 15, 2017 at 8:20 am

        VT also reports that fake phone traffic is being generated by Israeli-planted devices in Syria, to cause US intercepts that seem to support claims of Syrian involvement in CW incidents. They claim that in 2013 Syria sank an Israeli submarine that

        “went down with teams of IDF commandos who had been in Syria placing radio repeaters disguised as rocks. The repeaters were later used to send out messages “in the clear” misattributed to the Syrian Army, “confessions” of the use of Sarin gas. Evidence from these Israeli repeaters was presented to the UN after the August 2013 Sarin attack in Ghouta that killed 1000.”

        I don’t know how reliable VT is.

        • April 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

          A Lebanonese newspaper reported that the missiles shot down during O threats were in fact Russia intercepting a USA missile and not Israeli test firings as reported by isreal

      • Sam F
        April 15, 2017 at 9:02 am

        The technology of generating false phone traffic is not very complex, so it probably exists. If the US “high confidence” intel “assessments” in both Syria and Ukraine are largely based upon phone intercepts, which could readily be planted by Israel, US agencies, Turkey, Qatar, Ukraine, or other partisans, then it is critical that the basis of these assessments be exposed as Mr. Parry has demanded.

        It seems especially likely that the “social media” pastiches of “citizen journalists” would incorporate such fake intel as a planned component of such false flag operations, and that mass media would “trust” them as part of the same planned operations, rather than as mere errors of judgment.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      The Western-backed terrorist assault on Syria began in 2011. During the initial phase up to mid-2012, the Syrian Air Force (SAF) was involved in secondary roles, with no firing from aircraft and helicopters. With the escalation of terrorist attacks on Syrian cities, combat operations of Sukhoi Su-22 ground attack aircraft began in the summer of 2012.

      The Su-22 is an export version of the Russian Su-17, which is basically a swing wing version of the older Su-7 aircraft. Armed with two 30mm autocannon and able to carry up to four tons of bombs, the Su-22 is reliable and easy to maintain.

      In February 2013, the first confirmed loss of a Su-22 was recorded, when terrorist forces shot it down using a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) surface-to-air missile launcher. Seven SAF Su-22 losses are recorded to date.

      The SAF has relied on Russia and Iran to help maintain its aircraft and to replace combat losses. The main problem is that the SAF was organized and equipped to fight a fierce but short war with Israel and never anticipated getting tangled up in a war of attrition with terrorist forces.

      As a result, Syrian aircraft which were originally to be replaced in this decade are now being worked to the breaking point attacking the Al Qaeda and ISIS forces. This led to decreasing availability of Sukhoi Su-22 aircraft, which were often grounded for weeks at a time to allow for necessary maintenance. In a growing number of cases fighters MiG-23 and MiG-29 took over ground attack functions, something the aircraft were not designed for and their pilots not trained for.

      In late 2014, Iran provided the SAF with ten Su-22 aircraft from the 40 Iraqi Air Force Su-22s flown to Iran during the 1991 war. The Iranians considered them war reparations and kept the aircraft, but were unable to refurbish them until recently. In 2013, Iran decided to restore ten Su-22 to operational condition without any foreign help by using other Su-22s and Su-20s as a source for parts. It is important to note that delivery of these aircraft to Syria is at the expense of the Iranian armed forces. The newly delivered Su-22s began operations in Syria in March 2015.

      Firings of Russian-made Strela SA-7 MANPADS have been uploaded to YouTube. In 2013, Foreign Policy, citing terrorist sources, reported the shipment, with Qatari help, of some 120 SA-7s from Libya (with large stocks acquired by Muammar Gaddafi and proliferated after the 2011 war) via Turkey.

      In February 2013, video of terrorist fighters with Chinese-made FN-6 FeiNu (meaning Flying Crossbow), the most advanced surface-to-air missile offered in the international market, appeared at Deir ez-Zor, and a SAF helicopter was downed by an FN-6 at Menagh Air Base near Aleppo. Qatar supplied the the FN-6 to Al Qaeda forces, possibly through purchase from the Sudanese inventory, weapon was tranferred to ISIS forces. Spray paint was used to obscure serial numbers in a crude effort to impede tracking of the weapon’s supply chain.

      Video surfaced showing terrorists using an Igla-1E on a Syrian government helicopter. Such weapons were believed to have been looted from a Syrian army base in Aleppo in February 2013. In 2014, a Harakat Hazm fighter was filmed aiming an Igla-1E into the air. The group also was supplied with BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles in a covert CIA program launched in 2014. Scores of the group’s fighters also received U.S. military training in Qatar under the same program.

      The SA-7 has a firing range of 4200 meters (13,775 feet) and a maximum altitude of 2300 meters (7500 feet). The FN-6 has a firing range of 6000 meters (19, 680 feet) and a maximum altitude of 3800 meters (12,450 feet).

      SAF pilots are forced to conduct missions from a greater altitude and at higher speed to avoid combat losses due to Al Qaeda and ISIS MANPADS.

      Increased momentum due to the high speed of Su-22 ground attack aircraft bombing operations results in bomb impact craters of considerable radius and depth.

      Al Qaeda (rebranded as Tahrir al-Sham), Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat, Western mainstream media, and the Trump White House all point at a shallow hole in the road as the source of chemical contamination in the 4 April 2017 attack.

      MIT physicist Theodore A. Postol has pointed out that there is “no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft”.

    • Peter lOEB
      April 15, 2017 at 7:08 am

      POETIC INJUSTICE

      I have previously indicated a “Trevor Martin” type response.
      The “other” (or “enemy”) is defined. Anything the “other” does
      proves his/her guilt “until proven innocent”. Of course, there
      NEVER is a possibility of proving innocence since the guilt
      is predetermined…and final.

      SOUTHERN COP

      by Sterling A Brown (1901-1989)

      Let us forgive Ty Kendricks
      The place was Darktown. He was young.
      His nerves were jittery. The day was hot.
      The Negro ran out of the alley.
      And so he was shot.

      Let us understand Ty Kendricks.
      The Negro must have been dangerous.
      Because he ran.
      And he was a rookie with a chance
      To prove himself a man.

      Let us condone Ty Kendricks
      If we cannot decorate.
      When he found what the Negro was running for,
      It was too late;
      And all we can say for the Negro is
      It was unfortunate.

      Let us pity Ty Kendricks,
      He has been through enough,
      Standing there, his big gun smoking,
      Rabbit-scared, alone,
      Having to hear the wenches wail
      And the dying Negro moan

      1938

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, M, USA

    • Markus Konte
      April 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      A comment as good as the article ! Thanks.

    • April 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      here is another very uncomfortable story from NEO, that the chemical “incident” may very well be a part of…
      http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/30/golan-heights-israel-oil-and-trump/

      this is an excellent piece….take a look at the names of this oil companies board…follow the money….was wondering what dick cheney was up to…

  2. Drew Hunkins
    April 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss…”

    I have a progressive buddy of mine who’s a lefty Trot intellectual sort. He insists Assad’s guilty of the chemical attack in Idlib and equates me to being a Tea Party type for seriously questioning the entire Western fantasy narrative. My Trot friend contends that Russia and Assad make up a cabal that’s just as evil and pernicious an imperial-capitalist faction as the Washington-Zio-Saudi Terror Network.

    I’m sorry but to believe that Russian hacked the election to steer it to Trump or to credulously swallow the line coming out of the Western-militarist mass media that Assad used chem weapons in Idlib is the absolute height of gullibility, and could get us all killed in a nuclear war for chrissakes. Or the person who wants so desperately to believe this malarkey is committed to a certain ideological paradigm that brooks no dissent from a certain life long orthodoxy.

    Russia’s vowed to never fight a war on its soil ever again. Does the American public and our war loving talking heads comprehend that Russia’s steadfastly claimed all along that it will resort to nukes before it will ever absorb Napoleonic and Third Reich violence again?

    • Skip Scott
      April 14, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      I had the same type of friend myself. He is so attached to his narrative that he ignores any evidence that doesn’t fit. It is amazing to me that seemingly rational people (at least in other areas of their lives) can be so impervious. When I pointed out to my friend the “weapons of mass destruction” fiasco at the NYT, he said anybody can make a mistake.
      Then I started pointing out other “mistakes” (babies tossed from incubators, etc) and he just gets mad. He thinks the NYT and the WaPo are the newspapers of record and can do no wrong, and any politician with a D next to their name wears a white hat, and anybody with an R is the devil incarnate. He’s recently infuriated me to the point I’ve told him to F*** off.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 14, 2017 at 8:10 pm

        I encountered something very similar this last year. Our neighbor of 22 years, who we got a long with really well, went all radical on me one day. Apparently the neighbor who is a Trump supporter took offense to my son having Sanders stickers on his bumper. Then this neighbor who knows I’m not a racist, and he is openly, chased me off his property calling me an N-lover. He also convinced a contractor, who is also a racist to not build the walls in my driveway…that guy loss a 20 thousand dollar job.

        It’s for reasons such as I mentioned that I warmly value writing amongst all of the people who comment here. It isn’t important that we agree, but it is important we respect each other. I swear the Powers to Be want to keep all of us Americans divided.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      April 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      It seems like your buddy, like too many others including Bernie Sanders, has gone full raghead favoring a policy which ultimately leads to potential nuclear war on behalf of “raghead” interests and against all civilized people. Assad obviously represents civilization. Israel, the bipartisan yankee regime and their acolytes represent nihilistic barbarism. It is profoundly depressing to see it end this way.

      • Neil
        April 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

        What the hell is wrong with you? Bernie Sanders has gone full “raghead” and gonna lead us to nuclear war? Bernie represents all that is good in the world and doesn’t want us to go to war. Also, maybe you shouldn’t use terms like “raghead.” It makes you look like a racist.

        • Sam F
          April 14, 2017 at 8:15 pm

          Sanders has made no commitments on the Mideast so far as I know, and at last advocated Clinton, which strongly suggests zionism.

      • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
        April 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm

        who exactly are those “ragheads” you keep referring to?!…………I can make the assumption that you mean “Muslims” but would rather wait to give you a chance to respond first……

      • DannyWeil
        April 14, 2017 at 6:54 pm

        It is profoundly sad to see an American imperialist use such terms as ‘rag head’. All of this leads to villifiation,demonization and war.

    • Stiv
      April 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      Here we go again with the Trump apologists…sure, THEY know the truth!

      “Lefty trot” LOL! Are you trying to be funny?

      For sure, there is a lot of disinformation going on and Trump will ride that wave any chance he gets. Such is the way of the teenie wienered one. He’s an easy target/stooge for anyone who wants to spread disinformation. And THAT. Is a truth

      • Stan Gazer
        April 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm

        Stiv, you’re embarrassing yourself with your half-cocked incoherent mumbling and rambling. C’mon, people are getting great merriment out of your laughably inane banter.

  3. lexy677
    April 14, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    When zionists control 98%of the media worldwide what do you expect?

    • george Archers
      April 16, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Correction not erection: When Zionists control 100%of the western media worldwide what do you expect?
      Answer: WWIII

  4. Zim
    April 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the update. How unfortunate it seems the Toddler-In-Chief likes playing with his new toys.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      and the media, by and large, are delighted to roll over and piss itself in hopes of a return to a less stressful “normal” under the pretext of adopting a “war footing” necessary to the current tensions (and impending WWIII) — they prefer these black hats versus white hat Manichean stories that depend also on a “groundhog day” level of historical amnesia. It continues to depend on “bad men” (the cult of the great man thinking) who must be eliminated, and the devil take the hindmost, even when there is no apparent, much less obvious alternative, — but “worth it” by Albright’s definition — likely to turn Syria into the next Libya following Iraq — as we avert our eyes wrt our responsibilities wrt Egypt and Yemen. Child’s play, convincing the American people to boo and hiss the villain and clap to keep Tinkerbelle alive.

    • DannyWeil
      April 14, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      He is playing with the world’s lives

  5. Tom Welsh
    April 14, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    ‘Prestigious “news” outlets will run “fact checks” filled with words in capital letters: “MISLEADING”; “FALSE”; or maybe “FAKE NEWS.”’

    As far as I can make out, the operational definition of “fake news” is “information the government has not paid to have published”. Usually this includes everything that is true.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Be very afraid when they move to criminalize “fake news” and/or fashion an official arbiter. They’ve had their eye on controlling internet content (under various pretexts including Kiddy Porn) since the beginning. The PBS “Great War” documentary covered Wilson’s passage of the Espionage act (1917) — hope no one on Team Trump was watching.

      Among those charged with offences under the Act are German-American socialist congressman and newspaper editor Victor L. Berger, labor leader and four time Socialist Party of America candidate, Eugene V. Debs, anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, former Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society president Joseph Franklin Rutherford, communists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Cablegate whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Rutherford’s conviction was overturned on appeal.[1] Although the most controversial sections of the Act, a set of amendments commonly called the Sedition Act of 1918, were repealed on March 3, 1921, the original Espionage Act was left intact.[2]

      • john wilson
        April 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        If child porn didn’t exist they would have to invent it. The government just loves paedophiles and terrorists, they are the states best friends. Whenever to state wants to clamp down on the net they always cite these two heaven sent reasons for controlling everything. Over here in the UK they have just set up a parliamentary committee to look into “fake news” and the EU has put aside a huge sum on tax payers money to set up a similar outfit to counter what the call “fake news” They could start with CNN and the BBC !! There has even been a suggestion to require all cars to be forced by law have a device like a satnav fitted so they can monitor all car journeys. Of course, this is to catch terrorists, paedophiles, drug dealers etc but you can bet your life its to monitor all of us!!!!!

        • Susan Sunflower
          April 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm

          I fear that the Trump/Sessions relaunch of the War on Drugs/War on Crime is going to be god-awfully repressive, and will particularly, shamelessly target minorities under racketeering / organized crime statutes. That was where Obama’s DOJ / ATF /DEA seemed to be heading … so many rejected conspiracy theories now are beginning to seem plausible, particularly as I check the newswires today and find — next to nothing — because the Trump administration doesn’t believe in transparency … or that we need to know… Probably already past time to re-launch indy-media, so they can be defended when Team Trump try to criminalize them.

  6. Abe
    April 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Back in 2013 and 2014, Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta of Brown Moses blog were he vanguard of propaganda about “chemical attacks” in Syria.

    Now in 2017, Higgins and Kaszeta of Bellingcat blog are in the vanguard of propaganda about “chemical attacks” in Syria.

    Higgins’ collaborators at Bellingcat are the primary fake news tag team tasked with propaganda laundering in the aftermath of the chemical attack in Syria.

    Higgins and the Atlantic Council’s so-called “Digital Forensics Research Lab” have released their latest propaganda mashup
    https://medium.com/dfrlab/khan-sheikhouns-digital-footprints-41125e6a1c44

    A typical Bellingcat style mix of disparate so-called “open source” elements and spurious reasoning, the latest Atlantic Council report is being broadcast via Medium, is an online publishing platform developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

    The deeper layer of deception underlying last year’s Washington Post / ProporNot debacle was that PropOrNot functioned as a conspicuous straw man. Repudiation of PropOrNot was leveraged to project the appearance that Higgins and Bellingcat, and other and ProporNot “Related Projects” are “professional” organizations of true “independent researchers” by comparison.

    This disinformation strategy is reinforced by the fact that Bellingcat is directly allied with the Washington Post and New York Times, the two principal mainstream media organs for “regime change” propaganda in the United States, via the Google-founded “First Draft” network.

    Google, an enthusiastic supporter of Higgins despite his track record of debunked claims about Syria and Russia, formed the “First Draft” coalition in 2015 with Bellingcat as a founding member.

    In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Google’s new “post-Truth” propaganda coalition declares that member organizations will “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process”.

    Apparently the key method of “verification” is to cite Higgins and his collaborators at Bellingcat.

    Designated reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, and other “First Draft” media “partners” write articles based on the “findings” of Higgins & Co.

    Regime change groups like the Atlantic Council, and compromised human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also cite Higgins “findings as having been “confirmed” by reporters at key “First Draft” coalition media outlets.

    This highly streamlined game of fake journalistic “verification” has intensified in the aftermath of the Khan Shakhun attacks in Syria. The misinformation process enabled the Trump administration to launch its Tomahawk missile attack against Syria without significant resistance from the American public.

    Without dedicated efforts by independent investigative journalists and online media to expose this new propaganda syndicate sourced from Higgins and Bellingcat, we may expect more severe military action very soon.

    • rosemerry
      April 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      Why do people follow this bellingcat fraud? I have never seen their blog or heard anything good about them/it.

  7. ltr
    April 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    This is a devastating analysis.

  8. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    The US government, media, military, and intelligence services lie, lie, lie to the American public. When will the people wake up? It’s so comfortable for people to believe lies that make us look good, and blame all problems on evil outside forces.

    To really face the whole truth is to realize that we do NOT live in a democracy, and that the United States is the greatest terrorist nation in the world by far. How many Americans understand that? Let’s take a nationwide poll, so we can know just how rare some of the voices on this site and some others are. Let’s face it, we are a rare breed, and unfortunately our impact on the larger issues is far, far less than what it should be. How to fix that? That is a terribly important question to answer. Having truth is largely irrelevant if you can’t find ways to make it effective.

  9. Tom Welsh
    April 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    “There might be some pockets of resistance to the groupthink among professional analysts at the CIA, but their findings – if they contradict what the President has already done – will be locked away probably for generations if not forever”.

    There is nothing about this. Back in about 1898 President McKinley sent a commission to the newly-conquered Philippines to determine whather the “natives” were capable of self-government. The commission found that the Philippines were rather better governed than the USA. That wouldn’t do at ll, so the report was “filed” and the USA went on to annexe the Philippines, killing about a quarter of a million “natives” who preferred independence.

    • George James
      April 15, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      The American people will wake up when channels such as RT and online media like Consortium News are able to effectively counter the mainstream media (CNN, Fox News, the New York Times and others of their ilk), which currently control the narrative on Syria. Unless this happens, the American public will continue to believe them as one can see how Trump’s poll ratings have gone up from 35% to 48% in the wake of the U.S. missile strike on Syria.

      Now that RT has the assessment made by Dr. Postol on the chemical attack on 04 April 2017, this is the opportunity to do that and I really hope it can present it to the American people. Failure to do so will be a great disservice to the people of Syria

      • Ol' Hippy
        April 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm

        Unfortunately the media, controlled by vast corporations, will not be the tool for which independent, factual news, not ‘fake news’, can’t be attained because of the vast sums of money required. It, as ‘they’ say is impossible. The best way would be to break the hypnotic/brainwashed spell that that permeates the American citizenry. And I don’t have a clue of how to do it, sorry.

        • George James
          April 19, 2017 at 10:42 am

          The Russian and Syrian ambassadors to the United Nations can submit Dr. Postol’s assessment to the Security Council. In this context, what totally baffles and annoys me is the weak responses provided by them in response to the vilification of their countries by the U.S. and British ambassadors. Contrast this with the very powerful statement by the Bolivian ambassador as well as displaying the picture of Colin Powell making his farcical case for war on Iraq. I really admired this man and wish the Russian and Syrian ambassadors would be more forceful.

  10. David
    April 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you Mr. Parry…….again. I have found it to be of great assistance to read your words after doing my own research. Then I can speak somewhat coherently to those who seem to be under the hypnotic gullibility state sanctioned belief that our government is exceptional at truth justice and the American way. Kinda like Superman.
    I would pose a couple of ideas for you and those who, along with you desire something different. First is with the minds and hearts y’all seem to have how the blue blazes do we bring solutions to the massive problems this ” western imperialist civilization” has fostered upon this world? Second what will it take to get a more substantial magna carta or a new an improved declaration of independence or dependence if you prefer written and passed around to all people who are suffering under the heels of this lying, killing machine whose only thought is to their own power over all of the earth, the rest of us be damned.
    Again thank you.

    • Curious
      April 17, 2017 at 1:09 am

      Sadly, I think the time has passed for such remarkable words on a page to help the citizens of the US, and the world.

      Since the repubs could only say ‘nay’ to the ACA in seven years without so much as a coherent alternate indicates how things are done in secret. The Patriot Act was obviously written before it was released (just over a month? quite unheard of in laws) and the TTIP was written in secret, in a basement, between corporations without any congressperson able to copy or take any of portions with them.

      Your comment has all the best intentions, but I don’t see it happening unless the US is on its knees in front of the world.

  11. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    The trouble is that the truth is troubling; lies are comfortable.

    • DannyWeil
      April 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      The difference between someone guided by principles and someone driven by bias:

      A person who is guided by principle will stand up to his allies and side with his “opponents”; if truth or morality dictates it.

      A person who is driven by bias will go to war against reality in order to defend the identity of the herd.

      • Libby
        April 15, 2017 at 2:41 am

        Oh my is that well said.

      • Marko
        April 15, 2017 at 7:16 am

        That does concisely sum up a principle that seems particularly relevant in these times.

        Nowhere is this herd mentality more evident than with this Tomahawk debate. Either one thinks all the missiles ( ok , 58 of 59 ) hit the targets as per design or that only 23 even got close , managing only to knock a bit of mortar loose here and there , while the rest were turned around 180 degrees by Russian Electronmagic , scaring the piss out of the naval crews as they saw the Tomahawks coming back at them.

        I feel pretty certain the truth is somewhere in between , but if I go looking for it , the herd votes to disown me.

        Being voted out of a herd he never had any interest in joining is a sure way to break a man’s heart. That’s the thinking , anyway.

  12. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    The American people can’t handle the truth!

    • DannyWeil
      April 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      They are not interested in truth

      • Libby
        April 15, 2017 at 2:56 am

        They (the leaders and followers who are their reflection) are not interested in truth. Their Superman status, exceptionalism and national self-righteousness preclude it. Instead, they exercise power and might.

        Assad/Russia were winning in Syria. This, of itself, could have stirred the beast.

  13. April 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Robert, your choice of a headline is, shall we say, charitiable.

  14. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Freud clearly saw that in a struggle between the reality principle and the pleasure principle, pleasure nearly always wins. Reality can be a tough choice that leads to some really hard work. The truth is a very exacting and demanding mistress.

  15. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    In dreams begin responsibilities.

  16. Randal Marlin
    April 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Theodore Postol’s information seems convincing to me. He has eminently good credentials. He also lacks Trump’s vulnerability to the accusation that he is Putin’s puppet. He is also a good communicator and a brave man.
    Was this a case similar to LAPD in O.J. Simpson, where their own belief in guilt led them to tamper with evidence supporting that belief (I’m going on my memory here, which could be flawed)? In other words did those working for Trump’s administration stage something for TV as evidence for something they believed to be true on other grounds?
    We need to look at possible motives, first, regarding Trump and members of his administration, both for the deception, and for the response. We then have to look at media motives. Any media outlet that purports to cover national and international general news and yet gives no coverage to Theodore Postol’s observations must either be non-serious or corrupt, so far as pursuit of truth goes.
    Here are some possible motives to think about. Trump was under the gun to disprove that he was a lackey of Putin. The 59 Tomahawks did this in spades. A complete turnaround in the media. Trump was also anxious to discredit the media. All he has to do now, if that is so, is to release convincing evidence to show that Postol is right, and that a segment of the swamp includes his own intelligence which he will proceed to clean up. That, together with other evidence regarding information about responsibility for the downing of MH-17, and information about the previous August 21, 2013 sarin attack could completely discredit the mass media, showing their gullibility or duplicity.

    That’s the optimistic interpretation. In a more pessimistic vein, perhaps he is a glutton for power, and is waiting to provoke a full-scale war. In wartime, you get censorship powers and even in a democracy you become a dictator. Once your country is attacked the pacifists and dissidents can be made to appear as traitors. (Goering’s famous Nuremberg remark about democracy was proven not far off the mark in George W. Bush’s Iraq war.)

    • Skip Scott
      April 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      In a more perfect world, Trump would choose the first course you mention and drain the swamp. However, there is also a third possibility that he has been threatened and/or blackmailed, so he would never reveal any of the previous propaganda/false flag ploys. He must make the best of marching to their tune now.

      • Randal Marlin
        April 14, 2017 at 7:50 pm

        I agree that this is a possibility. What’s needed is a few more Daniel Ellsbergs, Edward Snowdens, and the like.
        I think of James Bamford and his revelation about Operation Northwoods.The more people are informed, the less easy it will be to get them to believe the next set of deceptions. Such is the theory, though unfortunately practice is somewhat at odds.

      • Sam F
        April 14, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        It seems unlikely to me that anyone with either a moral mission, sense of duty, or inflated ego could be cowed by the threats of traitors. There would be no limit to their demands, they probably cannot prove any dirt they might have on him, he has only to let one credible source let the media know of internal death threats to disable them, and he has unlimited military force to destroy any rogue agency. It is just not plausible that he could be so easily controlled by force or blackmail.

        Much more likely he is controlled simply by being surrounded by the 2400-person NSC, Secret Service, and thousands of agency confidence men absolutely convinced that the groupthink is true, and with advanced social pressure skills to ensure conformity. This is a very effective technology. Trump clearly had no shadow government set up to take control, and appears to have simply assumed that DC would dance to his tune after a mere inauguration. So he is not at the controls himself anyway.

      • Libby
        April 15, 2017 at 3:05 am

        I think you the third possibility is the most likely. The ‘Russian hacking’, Putin demonization and Trump collusion serving to deflect attention from the real reasons behind the Democrats’ electoral loss, while also ramping up public opinion for war and pressuring Trump (blackmailing him) to fall in line. A coup either way, including, of course, if he had been impeached by a conspiracy. (I am not a ‘conspiracy theorist’, but I do think it is what we have witnessed).

        How lamentable. It leaves many of us out in the cold, in a political vacuum, and the road to war clear of obstacle. What we need now is a leader/s who loves truth.

  17. D5-5
    April 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    We can add in Scott Ritter in support of Prof. Postol analyzing the Khan Shakoun incident April 4:

    Scott Ritter is a highly trained Chief Weapons Inspector who worked for The United Nations Special Commission in Iraq 03, during continuing investigations eventually ignored by Bush in attacking Iraq.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/dereliction_of_duty_redux_20170412

    • evelync
      April 14, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks for the link to Scott Ritter’s piece at TruthDig, D5-5

      Scott Ritter was one of the very very few people with integrity and courage to counter the propaganda during the Iraq War lying days under GWB.

      Good to have a chance to hear from him again!!!!

  18. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    If we want a better world we will have to work for it. Why don’t we get together regularly in small groups all over the country (and the world) convened to consider our problems and possible solutions or contributions to solutions, and then go forth and do some things to make that better world happen? What if little citizen groups like that sprung up all over the land? This could be a decentralized small group movement that would be hard to defeat, and perhaps be capable of the positive moves that larger combinations seem to falter in accomplishing. Why not do this?

    • DannyWeil
      April 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Tennis shoes an clipboards. This is what is needed to go door to door and organize

    • Randal Marlin
      April 15, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Two French thinkers, Jacques Ellul and Bernard Charbonneau, had exactly that idea in the 1930s as World War II loomed,following the Spanish Civil War. These thinkers deserve to be better known.

  19. William
    April 14, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Why is it that it’s so hard for the population of America to see what’s really going on? It HAS to stem from the fact that the ‘MSM’ is literally a bogus bunch of ‘Barbie and Ken dolls’, and they have no clue about reality!! The world’s greatest problem IS America! This is a proven fact! This is what needs to change and it will take a major miracle to wake up the zombie population! So I don’t see an end to this problem unless you figure wiping out the world’s population a solution!!

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I’m impressed at how well the “new McCarthyism” (originally directed at anyone who doubted Trump/Putin subverted/perverted the election) has managed to prime many people wrt to believing something very similar wrt Administration claims. There’s apparent transference of avoiding the DANGER DANGER DANGER of being “on the wrong side” or “stepping out of line” that — as a longtime antiwar activist I find horrifying — all from people who will never be drafted — whose children will never be drafted — whose continent has never been a modern warfare battleground. As far as I can tell, no one anticipates a conventional war — just repeated air strikes, shock and awe, with a likely (and accepted) eventual escalation to the use nuclear warheads. Americans seems to really cannot believe they are invulnerable.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      My simple(minded?) idea is that those who are awake to this crisis alert and awaken others by convening small groups for that purpose. Begin with soliciting friends and neighbors, and expand by putting little notes here and there on bulletin boards.

      A note might read; Worried about where our world is going? Let’s get together and talk about it. Give phone number and your apt. or home address………….and bingo! You are in business. Even one response is enough for a start. Be patient. Make it clear this is not about political parties, religion etc. and that no money is involved. You could even show a video about our problems. There are a lot of ways to do this. Be creative.

    • DannyWeil
      April 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      They do not want to know

  20. Linda Doucett
    April 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Thank You

  21. mike k
    April 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    What would it tell you if we are incapable of doing things like I suggested, something btw that I am already doing with others? It would tell me that: WE ARE SCREWED! If this litmus test failed to show a positive indication, it would tell me that we are unwilling to even do a simple doable thing to avert the disaster that is unfolding all around us. Doomed by our inability to lift a finger…….

  22. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    April 14, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I actually cannot believe that Robert Parry, Thomas Friedman, and Despicable, Deplorable, Disgusting Donald ALL still do not know that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are manufactured by the UNITED STATES OF ISRAEL………….Please read the Oded Yinon …………….

    The Zionist Plan for the Middle East: Translated and …
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33220.htm
    The Zionist Plan for the Middle East Translated and edited by Israel Shahak from Oded Yinon’s “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”

    • Sam F
      April 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      No doubt Mr. Parry knows, as he does not hide the predominance of zionists influencing mass media and US Mideast policy.

  23. April 14, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    And it might pass for truth but for your meticulous reporting to set the record straight. As it is, the knowledge that they have misrepresented reality and falsified evidence will continue to haunt the perpetrators of this latest group think. What I.F.Stone’s Weekly was to the Vietnam War generation Consortiumnews.com is to this generation’s march to falsehood. Others in the future will be able to look back and see how the public has been misled and the course of American history subverted. Mr. Parry, you have undertaken an awesome responsibility.

  24. April 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    “There might be some pockets of resistance to the groupthink among professional analysts at the CIA, but their findings – if they contradict what the President has already done – will be locked away probably for generations if not forever.” We await the future Howard Zinn.

    I’m reading Zinn’s “A People’s History Of The United States 1492-2001” right now. It’s chocked full of informative info that completely contradicts, of course, most of the official, establishment history. After the conquest of Mexico, where the brutality of ruined minds was very much on display, with drunken soldiers and volunteers raping, killing and looting, with glee, media (with some exceptions) at that time rallied around the imperialism and the butchery it embraces, with the Whig Intelligencer exclaiming that “We take nothing by conquest… Thank God!” Apparently, The US government’s purchase of the half of Mexico that they ‘did not take by conquest’ was the reason for the Whig’s statement. That’s the nature of power. Its spokespersons can say any ridiculous thing to the people because “What are they going to do about it?” When politicians are trying to win election, they tend to speak, like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine or Barack Obama, very truthfully about abusive power and the needs of the downtrodden. Once in power, they can blather, even if some of the blather is still pro people.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      The People’s History would be a good book to start a study group around. People like the book club idea. We can’t do a lot on our own solo, but small groups have power to change minds, and forge activists.

      • April 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

        Acknowledged.

        • DannyWeil
          April 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm

          Problem is, few can read

  25. Me-O-My
    April 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This was most likely not Sarin.. If it was military grade Sarin (GB), anyone entering the area would be dead within minutes, and anyone handling the victims was be dead as well. I know. I was a chemical weapons lab tech while serving in the US Army. If it was, Sarin, by chance,it was not military grade. In addition military chemical weapons delivery systems are aerial bombs, not ground based.

    This incident is another example of false flag or wag the dog type tactics.

  26. Brendan
    April 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    That latest image of the examination of the crater comes from this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyFAl2gjZJQ%5D

    The guy sitting in the “Sarin crater” should have died from poisoning at least a week ago. It would only take a microscopic amount of such a powerful nerve agent to kill him, since his legs and arms had very little protection. If he didn’t didn’t die that way, the official gas attack story is a fake.

    • Tristan
      April 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Also note the casual passers by who are strolling and looking at, with no protection at all and within 2 meters, the crater and the individual examining it.

    • Marko
      April 15, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Here’s what the OPCW says about sarin gas attacks and sarin toxicity. They say that impacted areas are generally safe after a few days , requiring no protective gear. The LD 50 for sarin on skin is ~ 1.7 ml. (actually 1700 mg)— not a lot , but also not microscopic.

      I take your point , though. They are pretty cavalier , and thus must’ve known that it was , after all , just a pothole.

      • Brendan
        April 15, 2017 at 8:50 am

        If that crater really was caused by a missile carrying Sarin, some of the Sarin would have been blasted into the earth. In that case, it would be buried and would remain much longer than if the gas just drifted and landed on a surface (in the way that nerve agents usually spread, from what I’ve read).

        By moving the earth when taking samples, the ‘investigators’ would have released some of the nerve agent. So yes, the fact that they were so cavalier suggests that they didn’t believe there was anything dangerous in the ground, despite the official story that the crater was where the Sarin missile landed.

  27. Realist
    April 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    The next time ISIS/ISIL/al Qaeda/al Nusra/Daesh/… changes its name I hope they call themselves the Friedman Brigade in honor of their NYT patron, the alleged editorial columnist.

    Speaking of Friedman protege’s, I wonder what Porky and his band of Banderista’s have been up to in Ukraine these days, since the focus has been completely off them in the American media. Knowing their style, they must be planning something to put the heat on Russia which is being distracted no end by American hijinks in Syria and North Korea.

  28. exiled off mainstreet
    April 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    who are you going to believe? MIT expert Prof. Emeritus Dr. Postol or el qaeda fugitive struck off Dr. Islam. The fact that the source of the accusations was a man accused of murder and kidnapping on behalf of el qaeda and has fled British justice indicates that Trump’s foreign policy has turned about 180 degrees from his promise of “America first” to the same Clinton policy of “towelheads first”. Friedman, since the yankee regime is full-on corrupt and his treason is on their behalf, should suffer international liability as a proponent of war crimes. There is a precedent: the editor of the Nazi rag “Der Stuermer” was prosecuted at Nuremberg after WW2. In light of Islam’s known status as an el qaeda fugitive, it is almost brings in an element of intent which puts the present regime in a continuing status of treason based on the whole official policy of war on el qaeda concept introduced during the Clinton era and continued on with more intensity throughout the 2000s.

  29. John Doe II
    April 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    During the presidential campaign, I commented that
    Trump was a hocus-pocus man.
    Just look at how he made the Susan Rice frame-up
    Go away like Puff The Magic Dragon,
    as he slip/slides away from Russian business deals
    being conspicuously set-aside, for the moment,

    Susan Rice = holographic divergent
    Trump is-real hocus-pocus man.
    See how he made the Susan Rice frame-up
    Go away like Puff The Magic Dragon,
    as he slip/slides away from Russian business,
    deals being conspicuously set-aside, as if
    so-called ‘congressional investigations’
    are worth much more Looney Tunes ‘=’
    with Sean Spicer like characteristics.

  30. April 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Humanity has the opportunity in April 2017 for establishing conditions of peace on Earth for this and all future generations. Taking that opportunity to its ultimate positive potential is a real option now, and can become manifested reality which supercharges the raising of human consciousness to the point where war becomes impossible – for all time.

    Men and women likely feel something is occurring on this Earth which is unprecedented, a decisive moment, and represents an historic turning of the page to a new, brighter chapter.

    What is the fuel necessary to light the fire of brotherhood and sisterhood, unity and cooperation, and peaceful paradigm-shifting world transformation? It is love.

    Along with many wise spiritual men and women through history who’ve shared their timeless messages, Mr. Gandhi’s words are well worth recalling:

    “Ahimsa [infinite love] is a weapon of matchless potency. It is the summum bonum of life. It is an attribute of the brave, in fact it is their all. It does not come within the reach of the coward. It is no wooden or lifeless dogma but a living and lifegiving force. It is the special attribute of the soul.”

    Love and Peace.

    • mike k
      April 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Love and peace are indeed the real answer to all our problems. Thanks for your contribution Jerry. The work to make this happen on a large scale is what counts now. I feel the discussions about the real truth of our situation that take place on this blog are part of that healing process.

  31. FobosDeimos
    April 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I agree that Trump is a disgrace and that the 59 Tomahawks are a gross violation of International Law. However, threre are a number of facts that at this point make me skeptical just about everybody involved in this terrible episode: 1) There is enough evidence showing that scores of people, including children, were killed by a chemical toxic agent on April 4 in the village of Khan Sheykhoun; 2) President Assad keeps saying that the chemical incident was staged (most recently in an interview with French TV); he does not even concede that a Syrian conventional attack might havw released chemicals stored in al Al Qaeda depot; 3) Assad therefore is at odds with the official Russian version, according to which there was a conventional air attack by the Syrian Air Force in Idlib, hitting a munitions depot of the terrorists, which happened to be storing chemical material, after wich the posionous substances were wind-swept to the village; 4) Trump says that Xi Jingping agreed with him that a “gas attack on children” should be punished, when he was told about the attack launched minutes before; 5) China then abstained in the UNSC when a motion condemning Syria was voted, while Russia vetoed it. Somebody must explain all these discrepancies. The US must be stopped before a nuclear war is launched, but we must not relinquish our right to ne told the whole truth. I cannot see how this disgraceful incident can be at the same time a complete hoax (Assad’s position) and a collateral, unintended damage resulting from a real attack (Russia’s explanation).

    • D5-5
      April 14, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      This is why further investigation is needed. Surely you do not support going off half-cocked to fire missiles within hours of this suspicious event, including what we have now in expert analysis from Dr. Postol and Scott Ritter? It is not clear that conventional bombs set off the blast, although that is a possibility. We’re looking at the fog of war, which does not excuse automatic conclusions and violent response, as you appear to be implying support for here, Fobos, based on the uncertainties. If anything these uncertainties indicate how follow-up investigation is necessary. Your pointing to Xi here seems very slight as any kind of evidence. Maybe you could provide more on this, with informed analysis on these points?

      • FobosDeimos
        April 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

        Of course I do not support Trump’ attack. That is what I say in my comment. But I repeat: scores of people actually died by gas poisoning. Assad says that it is all a hoax (no deaths at all) and that his planes attacked Idlib much later. The Russians ( who are risking their lives and reputation to protect Assad while fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda) say that the Syrian planes did hit a depot run by Al Qaeda and that hemical substances were indeed dispersed by the wind and did cause the deaths. Before going into an inpartial investigation we have the right to know why is there such a huge discrepancy on the narrative coming out of Moscow and Damascus. Aren’t you puzzled?

        • FobosDeimos
          April 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm

          On Xi Jingpin I only connected two dots. First Trump says (and Xi has not rebutted him) that Xi “was OK” with the Tomahawk attack. A few hours later China breaks ranks.with Russia and just abstains in a very important vote against Syria at the UNSC. Aren’t you puzzled by this either?

          • D5-5
            April 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

            A lot of things puzzle me, and I would like to hear expert analysis of why China abstained. I don’t know but I don’t leap to the conclusion this is some kind of confirmation of approval of Trump. As to Xi being okay with the attack I’d like to see where this is, and suspect it could be an answer based on a general principle that innocent people shouldn’t be gassed. As to Assad’s denying there were deaths from the chemical account where did you get that? You’re saying things I haven’t seen. Maybe you could supply links to make your arguments stronger. Also you seem to be exaggerating this “huge discrepancy” and your next comment is simply silly. Answer questions first and THEN do an investigation? You’re bypassing evidence by experts on a fraudulent story on the chemical incident to nitpick.

          • LJ
            April 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm

            Trump backed down over the South China Sea and this was left out of the news entirely. Trump also refused to label China a currency manipulator , another campaign promise broken. Trump has another year to go before the Trump brand is licensed to do business in China and build up to 400 hotels. Trump’s son-in-law has been trying to secure Chinese mega financing for Manhattan deals for at least 2 years. China got a lot and didn’t give anything. Most importantly China did not leverage itself regarding the North Korea and will play it’s cards according to how or if Trump defuses the present situation. North Korea will not fold it’s hand. Push has come to shove. All reasons for China to equivocate. When XI was informed over Chocolate cake that missiles had been launched against “Iraq” , according to reporters present, Xi stared at him intently for 10 seconds (even after a FOX TV personality corrected Trump and he said Yeah, I mean Syria).. Xi then asked the translator to repeat what Trump had said before issuing his politic response about being against Chemical Weapons use. I would not assume that this abstention means anything. Especially not since it has been reported for at least a year that the almighty “Kissinger” was encouraging Trump to drive a wedge between Russia and China. I am certain that Russia and China are completely unaware that an obvious attempt to do so would probably present itself quickly and that this was probably a ham-handed and gauche attempt to do just that. Also, XI must be absolutely certain that if the United States was able to neutralize Russia and depose Putin then China would not be the next target on the USA Imperial Road map. No China would most certainly believe everything that Trump says even though he was preaching confrontation on the campaign trail. This is all p[pretty stupid and obvious and we have been here before.. It’s another at the the NeoCon putsch for on Iran. . I am not saying war with Iran after an attack on Syria will not happen, I’m stating the obvious.There is no plan B . Trump is Lost in the Horse Latitudes , he doesn’t know what he is doing and this is a dangerous time indeed. China and Russia both are aware of this and so is Iran and so is Assad.

      • April 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

        here is Assad;s interview with the french press agency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s-5A_vNsEo

        oddly or not, his position is Very similar to most of our positions on this CW attack incident…

        • FobosDeimos
          April 14, 2017 at 10:55 pm

          You are right. And his position flatly contradicts what Russia has been saying since shortly after the Khan Sheykhoun incident.

        • Abe
          April 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

          FobosDeimos keeps riding a peculiar hobby horse, falsely asserting a “huge discrepancy” between the Syrian and Russian accounts of the Syrian airstrike at Khan Shaykhun.

          From the interview with Agence France-Presse, here are President Assad’s specific remarks concerning the Syrian airstrike at Khan Shaykhun:

          Question 17: You know, your government said in the beginning that you hit a chemical weapon depot. Is it true?

          President Assad: It was a possibility, because when you attack any target related to the terrorists, you don’t know what’s in it. You know that this a target; it could be a store, it could be warehouse, it could be a depot, it could be a camp, it could be a headquarter, we don’t know. But you know that the terrorists are using this place and you attack it, like any other place, and that’s what we’ve been doing since the beginning of the war on daily bases, on hourly bases sometimes, but you cannot tell what’s within this. So, that was one of the possibilities that the airstrikes attacked a depot of chemical materials, but this is conflicting again with the timing of the announcement, not because only the terrorists announced it in the morning, but because their media, their pages on Twitter and on the internet announced the attack a few hours before the alleged one, which is 4 in the mourning. 4 in the morning, they announced that there’s going to be a chemical attack, we have to be ready. How did they know about it?

          Assad acknowledged the possibility that “the airstrikes attacked a depot of chemical materials”. This is consistent with the Russian Ministry of Defense report that the Syrians bombed a warehouse belonging to rebels which “may have contained a rebel chemical arms stockpile”.

          Neither Syria nor Russia have claimed that the injuries and fatalities at Khan Shaykhun were the result of the Syrian airstrike.

          In fact, both the Syrians and the Russians have identified the Syrian airstrike as separate and distinct from the lethal chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun.

          FobosDeimos demonstrates a distinctive “skeptical” allergy to logic by falsely asserting that the Syrian account “flatly contradicts” the Russian account of the Syrian airstrike at Khan Shaykhun on April 4.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It’s the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.

      Therefore it is unsurprising that here again we encounter irrational claims by the “skeptical” FobosDeimos. Previous antics appear in the comments at https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/05/another-dangerous-rush-to-judgment-in-syria/

      FobosDeimos now states that “Assad says that it is all a hoax (no deaths at all)”. In fact, Assad never said that there were “no deaths at all” at Khan Shaykhun.

      China’s abstention in the UN Security Council is perfectly understandable given the lack of concrete evidence and the implausibility that the attack was carried out by anyone other than the Al Qaeda terrorist forces that currently occupy Khan Shaykhun.

      The huge discrepancy on the narrative is coming out of Al Qaeda, Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat, and the Trump White House.

      On April 5, FobosDeimos aimed false accusations against Robert Parry’s initial report about the Khan Shaykhun attack.

      Now we have more false accusations from FobosDeimos. Perhaps the previously puzzled can recognize the pattern.

      • D5-5
        April 14, 2017 at 8:25 pm

        Yes, I would say these comments are right on. Here’s some answers that are interesting to look at on why China abstained on the April 12th UNSC resolution. It’s pretty obvious why Russia said nay, since the resolution assumed Assad’s guilt as part of it.

        Answers to consider on why china abstained:

        https://www.quora.com/Why-did-China-abstain-in-the-United-Nations-Security-vote-on-the-resolution-declaring-the-Crimean-referendum-to-leave-Ukraine-and-join-Russia-illegitimate

      • FobosDeimos
        April 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm

        Thanks for keeping track of some of my earlier comments. Since I don’t follow anybody’s Party line you might as well have found other comments in which I support the basic case made by Parry and other good journalists against American propaganda, American illegal use of force, American interventionism, etc. I think that what troubles you is the mere proposition that we should express our thoughts freely. I am not accusing anybobody of anything. I am saying that Assad even denies that the deaths actually happened, calls the whole thing a staged operation, and I find it most intriguing (and distrurbing) that at the same time Russia is saying that Assad indeed bombed an Al Qaeda controlled warehouse in Idlib province, which contained chemical substances, thus provoking (without the intention do so) that the gasses were carried to Khan Sheykhoun by the wind. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I intend to keep thinking for myself. I despise the MSM since at least the 2003 aggression against Irak, for the criminal role they played then, so I don’t pay attention to what they say any longer. Therefore, when I read something in the alternative media that somehow doesn not fit in, I say it aloud. Good night.

        • Louis Joseph
          April 15, 2017 at 12:10 am

          @FobosDeimos,
          1- “Russia is saying”: did you read it in a Russian media, a transcript of a declaration from the Russian MoD or you read it in the “western MSM”?
          2- “Russia vetoed it.”: what is the full content of the proposed resolution?

          Regarding “Russia is saying”, there is no “changes” in the Russian declarations since the attack:
          “He offered two working theories of the events in the town of Khan Shaykhun as either an attack on a secret shop housing poisonous substances or a staged provocation.”
          https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704121052558678-putin-syria-idlib-chemical-incident/

          • FobosDeimos
            April 15, 2017 at 11:53 am
          • Abe
            April 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            On 4 April 2017, President Putin said said the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack could be a provocation. He acknowledged that there were two main versions of the incident and called for a thorough investigation.

            The Russia Ministry of Defense stated that the Russian Air Force had not carried out any strikes near Khan Shaykhun and said a Syrian aircraft did conduct an airstrike on a warehouse containing ammunition and equipment belonging to rebels. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was “premature to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in Idlib”, and that insist on full and impartial investigation.

            On April 11, Vladimir Putin suggested that the chemical attack was a “false-flag” operation intended to “discredit” the Syrian government. On April 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that there was “growing evidence” the attack was “staged”.

            In no way with do the Russian statements constitute some sort of reversal of Russia’s position regarding the chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun. Both Russia and Syria continue to emphasize the need for a truly impartial investigation.

            FobosDeimos keeps hallucinating about “serious discrepancies” in the Russian and Syrian positions about the chemical attack.

            Given the frequency of such evidence-free assertions by FobosDeimos, I think we have a propaganda troll on our hands here.

        • Abe
          April 15, 2017 at 3:02 am

          No, FobosDeimos. The proposition “that we should express our thoughts freely” is no excuse for repeatedly making false claims about independent investigative journalist Robert Parry.

          On April 5, FobosDeimos commented that Parry “just rules out any possible wrongdoing or mistake on the part of Syria” and was “absolutely adamant that the Syrian Government can do no wrong, and that there is absolutely no chance that Assad may be guilty of using chemical weapons”.

          Not only are these propositions false, they are slurs aimed at Parry’s reporting on Syria.

          No apology or retraction of these comments has been forthcoming from FobosDeimos.

          FobosDeimos has insinuated patent falsehoods in the name of “skepticism” and obvious irrationality in the name of “thinking for myself”.

          The telling use of the phrase “when I read something in the alternative media” by FobosDeimos suggests a direct agenda to defame this important investigative journalism site.

          There is no “Party line” here on Consortium News.

          Parry and other contributors have demonstrated a remarkable dedication to applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity, and to find supported conclusions.

          What you find at Consortium News is true journalistic skepticism.

          If you want to read a litany of justifications of preconceived conclusions, then go read Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat, any of Higgins’ First Draft Coalition propaganda partners in the mainstream media, or the latest White House report.

          I say it aloud. Irrationality masquerading as “skepticism” definitely does not fit in here.

    • Leonardo
      April 14, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Hello, since I ended up asking myself some of your same questions, I’ll share my thoughts on the matter. Please, take them as simple hypothesis.

      1) I think there is indeed enough evidence to believe that some kind of chemical release happened. But the scale of the attack is anything but clear to me: different sources quote different figures regarding the number of victims, usually in the range of 70s-80s dead and 200+ wounded. But as far as I know, these figures have not been confirmed by independent and neutral organizations and it’s not even clear if all of them are to be ascribed to chemical poisoning.
      For exemple, both the militants and the US stated that the SAA or the Russians bombed the hospital where many of the victims were being treated, in order to destroy evidence of the attack. No matter what the rationale, the Syrians themselves admitted that their airforce conducted air operations in the area a few hours after the chemical attack.
      So we can assume that those attacks caused some casualties themselves. Have they been lumped together into a single bigger figure, maybe in order to amplify the outrage caused by the attack, or just by mistake, in the confusion?
      I really have no idea, but I would like to point out that almost four years after the Ghouta Chemical Attack, the estimate for the number of victims still range from around 300 to 1800. This should advise caution, because apparently it’s very difficult even to just establish accurately how many victims the attack actually caused.

      I don’t consider this point of purely academic or legalistic importance; the number of victims actually killed or injured by poisoning could offer some insight into the toxicity level of the gas and, together with an analysis of environmental samples, could help investigators figure out if a military-grade or a kitchen-grade chemical was involved.

      2) and 3)
      I’m not sure Assad’s position is at odds with the Russians’ position. Both countries have been espousing both versions at different times (false flag vs accidental bombing of a chemical storage facility).
      To be honest, I was actually very surprised when I listened to Putin warning about Russian Intelligence having information on other provocations being in the work (he did so at the end of the press conference he held together with Italian President Mattarella). I was surprised because for a President to expose himself so much, by suggesting that the attack was a false flag organized by the militants, felt like a pretty big risk. The Russians usually delegate such statements to officials that occupy a lower position in the pecking order (of the administration).

      The fact that Russia and Syria have been changing version has actually been cited as the proof that they lied and were compelled to change their account of the events as soon as they were proven wrong.
      But in my opinion there is also a different explanation: maybe they really don’t know what happened in Khan Sheikoun, or at least, they didn’t know when they made their first statement. But since their enemies were already coming up with a pretty well organized explanation that western media were going to support, they felt compelled to say something to buy some time, since keeping silent would be interpreted as a sign of guilt and would allow the competing narrative to consolidate unchallenged.

      I find their disorganization in coming up with an account of events more “natural” and credible than the US ability to know exactly what happened just a few hours after such a confusing and messy attack materialized.

      4)-5)
      About China’s voting decisions, I really do not have much insight to offer, so I will mostly limit myself to offer a couple of links to press releases of Security Council Meetings.

      On the 28th of February, China and Russia vetoed a resolution condemning the Syrian Government for allegedly conducting chemical attacks between 2014 ad 2015. The resolution would have imposed sanctions on a few Syrians. China basically stated that while condemning all chemical attacks, she wouldn’t support sanctions while the investigations were still underway, especially since they wouldn’t help the peace process and the syrian people.
      http://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12737.doc.htm

      On the 12th of April, China abstained even though she stated that the resolution contained language that she approved.
      I guess the Chinese didn’t want to oppose a resolution that called for an investigation and they weren’t troubled by the fact that the resolution text called explicitly for the Syrian authorities to abide by a series of requirements that clearly implicated them as the main culprits (or at least suspects) in the eyes of the drafters. At the same time maybe China didn’t want to act confrontationally towards Russia and so abstained. It’s not unheard of China abstaining when she doesn’t want to act confrontationally and she doesn’t have a direct stake in a vote. But I admit that this remark is even more speculative than those I already made in the rest of my post… :)
      http://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12791.doc.htm

  32. chris moffatt
    April 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Am I the only one who finds it curious that Assad went to all this trouble and took all this risk to drop one small gas weapon on a non-military target? Where did the many other gas weapons land that would have been dropped in any real air raid? Inquiring minds want to know these things. Also a little odd that the Toxic Chemical Hazard warning survived the whole operation completely intact – almost as if it had been placed in the “crater” (crater? they have potholes bigger than all the ME) later.

  33. chris moffatt
    April 14, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Sorry that should have read “they have potholes bigger than that all over the ME”

  34. Taras77
    April 14, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks, Mr Perry-you nailed it with the following:

    In Official Washington, words rarely mean what they say. For instance, if a U.S. government official voices “high confidence” in a supposed “intelligence assessment,” that usually means “we don’t have any real evidence, but we figure that if we say ‘high confidence’ enough that no one will dare challenge us.”

    I have always concluded, I mean always, that when the terms “high confidence” and “we assess,” it means that we…do…not…have… a…clue! So far, I have never been proven wrong.

  35. rosemerry
    April 14, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Friedman has been so discredited that it is amazing even neocon stalwarts can keep pretending he is some sort of go-to guy.

  36. John Doe II
    April 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm
  37. F. G. Sanford
    April 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least that most of the country has fallen for all of this. People are bewildered by how Germany could have succumbed in 1933. We’re watching it happen right in front of our eyes. I’ve previously offered up most of the scientific and technical objections found in this thread. I began doing so immediately after the Ghouta episode in 2013. Regular readers and commenters can confirm this. It doesn’t work. Americans – and most others – subscribe to “magical thinking”. They actually believe in it to the extent that they accept an explanation proudly dubbed “The Magic Bullet Theory”. We couldn’t get a real investigation of that. We couldn’t get a real investigation of the USS Liberty “incident”. We couldn’t get a real investigation of the Franklin pedophile scandal. We certainly didn’t get a real investigation into the “brownstoning” and subsequent manipulation of Denny Hastert. We couldn’t get a real investigation of the Saudi connection to the 19 hijackers, even after seeing proof that Saudi intelligence assets financed them. We couldn’t get a real investigation of the anthrax letters, even after the strain turned out to be produced in a US military facility. Buildings collapse as if by “magic” in our magical world. Surveillance cameras record the “truth”, but we are not allowed to see what was recorded if it involved a “hijacked” airliner. Had that guy on the United flight not had the benefit of cell phone cameras, he would have been deemed unruly, disruptive, rude, belligerent and uncooperative. He would have been charged, convicted and sentenced.

    I know that some think I.F. Stone was a hero, but he was among the most vocal gatekeepers calling Warren Commission doubters “kooks”. We live in a world that celebrates magical thinking. Science is helpless against “true believers”. This weekend, we’ll celebrate a guy who died. Three days later, he “rose from the dead”, and then, miracle upon miracle, “bodily ascended into heaven”, wherever that is. If current trends continue, mother nature is likely to eliminate this kind of thinking by “natural selection”. It is obviously not a “survivalistic” behavior when combined with a species capable of nuclear annihilation. Instead of wasting time pretending that rabbits lay eggs this weekend, a rational species would be teaching its children to demand empirical investigation of blatant fairytales. But they won’t. They think it’s “nice” to fool mother nature…just for fun! Happy Easter, y’all!

    • sydneycollin
      April 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      You just made the case: Facts & truth have no correlation to official conclusion.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 14, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Well F.G. Yinz really did it now. It was bad enough we slept in today due to our rooster sleeping in, but now after our cow read your comment here to our cute little bunny, our cute little bunny went on strike and quit laying eggs. Damn stupid cow, now I’ll have to get our puppy to jump over the moon.

      The list you gave us here mentioning all of the lies that have been ingrained into our American heads, is troubling. Why just today I was contemplating to how much longer can this go on? Seriously when will the lies finally catch up with us? Sure I know that wars have been waged for centuries based on propaganda and lies, but haven’t empires fell over this same kind of promoted deceit? If there is any truth to the old saying, that everybody has their day, well could that apply to our current American society?

      If you take a look around and do a survey of what all is going on in America, it might give you reason to worry. Almost nothing in our news is true to the actual facts. We have a conceited egotist now in the White House, and looking back to our election choices between a Donald or Hillary it’s little wonder to why we have this nut job now running the country. I feel like we are living in a Rod Sterling episode of the Twilight Zone.

      Oh got to go now, the bunny just started laying the Easter eggs once again. I also hope the rooster doesn’t sleep in again, because tomorrow is an important day, our duck is going for it’s drivers exam.

      • F. G. Sanford
        April 15, 2017 at 4:32 am

        Joe, when I was a kid, I asked my granddad about Jesus. He told me, “They crucified him for telling the truth about politicians, and that’s really all you need to know.” At that age, I wasn’t quite sure what a “politician” was, but as the years went by, I realized my granddad summed it all up pretty good. Look at who we “crucify” today: John Kennedy, Martin King, Bobby Kennedy, Jim Garrison, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou, Jeffrey Sterling, Russell Tice, Bill Binney…the list could go on. But instead of being “Christians” and celebrating “truth tellers”, we celebrate the “magic”. Christianity was co-opted by Roman politicians. Better to have the foolish commoners celebrate a “magician” who did magic tricks than celebrate a guy who told the truth about corruption, repression, inequality and greed. If Christ came back today, most “Christians” would respond with the punchline to that old joke: “Get the nails, he’s loose again!”

        • Joe Tedesky
          April 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

          Funny you should write this. After reading your Jesus comments you got me to thinking.

          For a very long time I have thought of how without the raising of the dead, not being able to make water into wine, of how the actual quality of a person like Jesus is beautiful. I mean could there have been a Jesus who would have roamed the earth preaching his gentle philosophy, but without all the miracles? That the miracles were something a writer added into the story for the spectacular expanded effect of this kind and gentle soul. In other words there were no miracles, but there was this beautiful person.

          What if Jesus were a composite of many good people. Jesus was the son of God, but he called all of us, or rather everyone brother and sister. Does that mean that you and I are also son’s of God, and woman and girls are daughters of God? Was the message something that simple, but again writers blew this persons image up to be so much bigger than life that he attained a God like status? Was there a doubt that without the miracles no one would pay attention to this wonderful persons life?

          Maybe there has been a lot of Jesus’s who walked among us. Possibly you know one, or maybe it’s you. What I’m getting at is could it be that the real take away when it comes to what we should believe about Jesus, shouldn’t be so much our honoring that spectacular part of this man, but the essence of the man and what he stood for. So it wouldn’t matter if Jesus were never married, or that he was even straight. That what if in reality this great preacher never brought a man back to life, or that he never made the blind see, but instead spoke of kindness and peace. Are we complicating the story of Jesus and missing the general theme of what Jesus was really all about?

          No one is perfect. Everyone screws up from time to time, or who hasn’t hurt someone’s feelings? Just like all those great people you mentioned they had their faults, but on the whole they brought something great to the table. Seriously blessed are the peace makers. Imagine how hard it would be to forgive those who just nailed you to a cross. A person such as that certainly does needed honored, but not for any miracle, but instead for their ability to rise above their humanly anger and forgive those who were against them. Our world could use a person of such quality.

          I think we humans often celebrate the wrong things. So on Easter as like on Christmas while people celebrate a baby born to a virgin, and later attend a required mass to pay tribute to a man who had rose from the dead and went straight to heaven, while all a long the real message of Jesus wasn’t any of that, but rather the lessons to be learned was to be kind to your neighbor.

          I’m probably upsetting people with my thoughts on Jesus, but all I’m saying is strip away the unbelievable achievements of Jesus, and if you take into account what Jesus was really saying then he becomes a fantastically good person and someone we should all try and be like.

          Have a nice Easter.

        • Joe Tedesky
          April 15, 2017 at 6:18 pm
        • Marko
          April 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm

          ” If Christ came back today, most “Christians” would respond with the punchline to that old joke: “Get the nails, he’s loose again!” ”

          So true , and maybe your comment will spur some Easter conversations regarding same. I hope so.

  38. Marko
    April 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Apparently doctors at a Médecins Sans Frontières facility treated a number of patients that smelled of bleach. It seems like that’s one group that we should be able to get some data on as to their location when they encountered the chlorine gas. Has anybody sent MSF an email or made a phone call to see what can be learned ?

    The coalition side is going to pick and choose data to assemble a case that will seem pretty compelling when it’s put up to the Syria-Russia story , because they have no data at all , much less enough to pick and choose.

    I’m betting right now that OPCW will definitively confirm sarin or a similar nerve agent in some patients. Probably in the pothole samples as well since even if the pothole is clean , those samples would be easy to spike before handing over to OPCW.

    Lest anyone think the rebels aren’t savvy enough to spike a sample – it doesn’t matter. They have help that’s plenty savvy , probably on-site. Remember this back when Aleppo was liberated :

    BREAKING: At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker
    DECEMBER 16, 2016 BY 21WIRE

    Names were named , and there were no denials that I’m aware of. The MSM avoided this like the plague , obviously. If your plan is a series of false-flags , you don’t want the public knowing there are trained coalition personnel embedded with all of our head-chopping partners , telling them how to handle sarin , improvise delivery missiles , and explosively crush the end of a chlorine cylinder ( so it looks like it was dropped from Assad’s choppers ).

    Every time you read somewhere that the rebels can’t make sarin , and even if they could they can’t get the components , and even if they made it , it’s too unstable , and even if it was stable , they’d kill themselves handling it – for all of these objections there’s one simple but accurate rejoinder : BULLSHIT !

    Be ready to use it , too , because we haven’t seen the last of CW false-flags , including sarin.

    • Sam F
      April 15, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      From the MSF website artlcle at:

      http://www.msf.org/en/article/syria-khan-sheikhoun-victims-have-symptoms-consistent-exposure-chemical-substances

      “An MSF medical team …has confirmed that patients’ symptoms …are consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin gas or similar compounds….other hospitals …reported that victims smelled of bleach, suggesting they had been exposed to chlorine. These reports strongly suggest that victims of the attack on Khan Sheikhoun were exposed to at least two different chemical agents.”

      But another source claimed that MSF has western support and management consistent with disinformation motives.

      • Marko
        April 15, 2017 at 10:50 pm

        Thanks for the link , I had only seen the second-hand accounts. I think the fact that MSF may be a Western tool could be useful in this case , because they may be confirming what will turn out to be the true story – that the warehouse bombing did release toxic gas , chlorine almost certainly , but possibly others , but that the sarin incident was a false-flag production , centered around the pothole as the presumptive ground zero.

        That’s why I’d like to know the geographic location that the chlorine victims came from , i.e. were they associated with the areas around the warehouse bombing vs. areas surrounding the magic pothole.

  39. D5-5
    April 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks, Robert, for the “and other deep thinkers” re Thomas Friedman, and his recommendation the US get in bed with assorted enemies and head choppers. This is not far off foaming at the mouth and raving seems to me. Plus, I know it’s been a very long time, but, Thomas Friedman, do you happen to remember 9/11? Wasn’t that (officially) the work of 19 al Qaeda box cutters that attacked us then, that you’re suggesting as part of what we should buddy up with? But they’re our friends now? How can we associate with such types, now and previously in these conflicts, and keep a straight face that they are not now (and were they then?) actually our “enemies”? I mean, questions do flow from your position. Is your carefully considered analysis that due to our vituperative and irrational hatred on the order of slavering pit bulls in our views of Russia we should link arms with al Qaeda, ISIS, and whoever, to support our current delusions and economic programs in the middle east? I see. It’s just another application of Ignorance Is Strength: Our Enemies Are Our Buddies. Or Our Hatred Feels So Good! Thank you, Mr. Friedman, for the clarification.

    • FobosDeimos
      April 14, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      D5-5, I am replying here as for some reason I was not able to do it in the space provided after your last comment to my previous posts. Here is an official transcript of Assad’s interviee by AFP, provided by SANA, the official Syrian news agency. He says the Khan Sheykhoun incident is a complete fabrication. No reference at all to Russia’s official explanation.

      http://sana.sy/en/?p=104255

    • Abe
      April 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks for supplying the link to the SANA transcript of the interview with President Assad. Very helpful indeed.

      The word “fabrication” appears twice in the interview.

      The word “fabrication” was uttered once by the interviewer and once by Assad.

      In both instances the word “fabrication” was used specifically in reference to “the allegation itself” – the allegation made by Al Qaeda forces in Khan Shaykhun that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack that happened there on 4 April 2017.

      It is no secret that the Syrian government has consistently denied the allegation by Al Qaeda. President Assad’s remarks during the interview are therefore quite unremarkable:

      President Assad: The allegation itself was by Al Qaeda, al-Nusra Front, so we don’t have to investigate who, they announced it, it’s under their control, no-one else. About the attack, as I said, it’s not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video? You have a lot of fake videos now, and you have the proof that those videos were fake, like the White Helmets for example, they are Al Qaeda, they are al-Nusra Front who shaved their beards, wore white hats, and appeared as humanitarian heroes, which is not the case. The same people were killing Syrian soldiers, and you have the proof on the internet anyway. So, the same thing for that chemical attack, we don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun? Were they dead at all? Who committed the attack if there was an attack? What’s the material? You have no information at all, nothing at all, no-one investigated.

      Question 4: So you think it’s a fabrication?

      President Assad: Definitely, a hundred percent for us, it’s fabrication.

      • FobosDeimos
        April 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

        I notice that you completely fail to see that he denies any connection between his air attack and the deaths. He even doubts that there were any deaths in the first place. Assad totally departs from the Russian official statements, which: (a) fo not deny the deaths by posoning at all; (b) attribute the deaths to the ufortunate fact that the Syrian air attack destroyed an Al Qaeda run depot with chemical substances inside, causing that the prevailing winds carried the stuff to Khan Sheykhoun. It does not matter how many times he pronounces the word fabrication. It is clear that that is his conclusion. Moreover, SANA itself chose to give that explanation in its headline. If I were Putin I would feel extremely uncomfortable. And just in case I am misunderstood: I strongly condemn the American attack on the Syrian base, and the lunatic display of Strangelovian criminality by Trump using the so called MOAB in Afghanistan.

        • FobosDeimos
          April 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm

          Sorry about the typos. They used to let you edit your posts.

          • backwardsevolution
            April 14, 2017 at 8:37 pm

            Fobos – If you see a mistake after posting, go up to the top left corner on your screen and hit the “refresh” button (it looks like a “C” with an arrow on the top). This will set up the “edit” feature. Press “edit”, make your correction, and then press “save”. Done.

        • Abe
          April 14, 2017 at 7:48 pm

          The Syrian Arab News Agency headline for President Assad’s interview with Agence France-Presse reads:

          “President al-Assad to AFP: Khan Sheikhoun incident totally fabricated..the US is not serious in achieving any political solution-video”

          The “skeptical” FobodDeimos predictably finds something sinister in this.

          Just in case he is misunderstood, FobodDeimos “skeptically” informs us that “If I were Putin I would feel extremely uncomfortable”.

        • D5-5
          April 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm

          Fobos, on the previous reply problem just go back anywhere in the thread to a reply button and it will automatically sort it out.

          But, Fobos, you’re not thinking well here, or reading well. I suggest you take more time and look at what the source says, and what you have said. You seem to be rushing things.

          One point: When Assad says “About the attack, it’s not clear whether it happened or not” we need a reference for what he meant by “attack.” There is the possibility the bombing story from the Russians is wrong. There is the possibility the rebels staged and triggered the weapon. By Assad’s saying “it is not clear” this means it is not clear. This is not a hidden language meaning something else. There are still many questions about these incidents. Why don’t you read one of the reports–Postol’s or Scott Ritter’s?

        • backwardsevolution
          April 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

          Fobos – there have been so many lies told (Gulf of Tonkin, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 9/11, MH-17, etc.) that after awhile you don’t know what to believe. The West most definitely wants Assad gone. They’ve been in Syria for years now, funding, arming and training ISIS in order to take him out. Do you think they wouldn’t stoop to setting up a fake attack? When a proper investigation is done, we’ll know for sure. Cheers. Funny, though, isn’t it, that the West don’t want an investigation. Wonder why that is.

      • Abe
        April 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm

        I notice how quickly you so-called “skepticism” morphs into blatant propagandizing.

        It does not matter how many times you pronounces the phrase “I do not support Trump”.

        It is clear what your “skeptical” conclusions are.

        Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It’s the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.

        But hey, FobosDeimos, with your signature brand of skepticism, you have a great future as a “citizen investigative journalist”
        http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/w726xauto/public/soros-bot.jpg?itok=PJ2ruwPu

        • Abe
          April 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          Sorry about the typos.

    • April 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      thank u to D5 for making me aware of the US operation in Jordan…i did not know,,,

      • D5-5
        April 14, 2017 at 8:52 pm

        I think that’s Abe who should get the credit here for posting the always impressive Tony Cartalucci piece below.

  40. Abe
    April 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    “Normalizing the use of stand-off weapons like cruise missiles makes it easier and more likely that similar attacks will unfold in the near future – particularly if Syria and its allies fail to demonstrate a significant deterrence against future attacks.

    “The use of stand-off weapons by the United States and the routine use of airstrikes by US allies including Israel within Syrian territory will likely open the door to wider and more direct military intervention against the Syrian government.

    “Punitive strikes will shift incrementally to a concerted effort to dismantle Syria’s fighting capacity, inviting either US proxies to overthrow the Syrian government, or for US forces to do so directly – or likely a combination of both.

    “Preparing for just such an escalation are not only US forces continuously expanding the scale and scope of their presence in eastern Syria and NATO-member Turkey’s forces in northern Syria, but also a US-led proxy army being staged in and operated from, for years now, in Jordan […]

    “With focus elsewhere – particularly along Syria’s border with Turkey and amid operations aimed at taking back both Raqqa and Idlib – Jordan has enjoyed relative obscurity amid geopolitical analysis. However – as the endgame approaches and the US increasingly becomes desperate – Jordan’s role as a staging point and potential vector into Syria for additional US troops and for the carving out of additional Syrian territory should be noted and brought to the public’s attention.

    “Additionally, it is important for the public to understand that America’s ‘new policy’ toward Syria is simply a redux of years – even decades – of attempts to use both proxy and direct military force against the Syrian state to depose its government and create either a proxy or a failed state to take its place. While many personal and political motivations will be assigned to US President Donald Trump for why ‘he’ is pursuing expanded aggression against Syria, it should be noted that the plans “he” is now executing sat on former President Barack Obama’s desk for years waiting for the right moment to be implemented – only to be complicated by Syrian resilience and Russia’s 2015 intervention.”

    Syria: Watching the Jordanian Border
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/04/syria-watching-jordanian-border.html

  41. Lowell Googins
    April 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Fooled again? I do not believe anyone in the government was fooled in 2013 or in this recent gas attack. I see false flags to pave the way for removal of Assad.

  42. Gerry
    April 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Doesn’t this statement from your article confirm the WHR report that the sarin attack was perpetrated by Assad?

    “With the U.S. intelligence community effectively silenced by the fact that the President has already acted, Theodore Postol, a technology and national security expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, undertook his own review of the supposed evidence cited by Trump’s White House to issue a four-page “intelligence assessment” on April 11 asserting with “high confidence” that Assad’s military delivered a bomb filled with sarin on the town of Khan Sheikdoun on the morning of April 4.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      Robert Parry wrote “Postol […] undertook his own review of the supposed evidence cited by Trump’s White House”

      If you can somehow manage to spin that sentence to “confirm” the White House report about the attack, then Eliot Higgins has a job for you at Bellingcat.

      Higgins is flush with Google bucks and Kickstarter cash, and you can work at home from your sofa.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 14, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Gerry – “Even at very low concentrations, sarin can be fatal. Death may follow in 1 to 10 minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose. Initial symptoms following exposure to sarin are a runny nose, tightness in the chest and constriction of the pupils. Soon after, the victim has difficulty breathing and experiences nausea and drooling. As the victim continues to lose control of bodily functions, the victim vomits, defecates and urinates. This phase is followed by twitching and jerking. Ultimately, the victim becomes comatose and suffocates in a series of convulsive spasms.

      Sarin has a high volatility (ease with which a liquid can turn into a gas) relative to similar nerve agents, therefore inhalation can be very dangerous and even vapor concentrations may immediately penetrate the skin. A person’s clothing can release sarin for about 30 minutes after it has come in contact with sarin gas, which can lead to exposure of other people.”

      The rescuers were handling these people almost immediately. They wore face masks (some of them), yet no gloves. If it were Sarin, these rescuers would probably have gotten seriously ill as well, maybe died, but they didn’t.

      I also did not hear reports of the victims vomiting, defecating, urinating, nor jerking and twitching on the ground, and certainly not dying in “a series of convulsive spasms”.

      A doctor I heard said that it could have been chlorine gas, or phosphates that are used in agriculture, but he was quite sure it wasn’t Sarin, just from the symptoms. Let’s hope they do a proper investigation so we know for sure.

    • Sam F
      April 14, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      Gerry, you apparently misread an ambiguous sentence: you may have read

      “Postol…undertook his own review …to issue a four-page “intelligence assessment””

      but the writer meant

      “Postol,…undertook his own review of the supposed evidence (cited by Trump’s White House to issue a four-page “intelligence assessment””)

      That is, the “assessment” was that of the WH not Postol.

    • D5-5
      April 14, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Postol is analyzing a White House Report that says “with high confidence” Assad dropped the bomb.

      The language might be clearer with own review of the supposed evidence cited by Trump’s White House [which issued] a four page “intelligence assessment” . . .

      The qualifiers apply to Trump’s White House not to Postol.

  43. April 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    In early 2002, in Europe and the Middle East it was reported that Osama bin Laden had died in late December 2001 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Afghanistan, according to Taliban representatives. Le Figaro was one of the newspapers to report it. I read it in Nexus magazine from Australia shortly after. He was known to have worsening kidney failure and used dialysis. Some of the bin Laden videos used by the Bush administration looked suspicious to me and my friends, and experts questioned them, too. The Seal raid on Abbotabad that supposedly killed him produced no body, as we noted. I do not believe that story that helped Obama’s poll numbers. Hard leftists in Boston didn’t believe it. You can look up websites saying bin Laden died in 2001. Who will ever know? The lies go on…

    • D5-5
      April 14, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Jessica, Seymour Hersh’s essay on how Bin Laden was killed is very interesting and completely at odds with the official story. Look for title “The Killing of Osama Bin Laden.” He maintains that the killing was basically an overwhelming force of fire against Bin Laden, which shredded him to pieces, such was the feeling behind the Seals, when they finally got at him on the third floor. They then dropped the remaining pieces in the Pakistan kush. The burial at sea was all baloney. Accounts he was killed in 01 or so are inaccurate, since special fake doctor teams created an epidemic and reason to go into the neighborhood where he lived in a plain block house, whereby they confirmed his DNA. Plus all along he was a prisoner of the Pakistanis. Hersh’s essay is about 30 pages long and is available in a book.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Jessica take it for what it is worth, but in 2007 less than two months before her assassination Benazir Bhutto told David Frost that Osama bin Laden died in 2001.

      Here is an article where this author really goes down into the weeds with Bhutto’s claim.

      http://littlecountrylost.blogspot.com/2008/01/benazir-bhutto-omar-shiekh-murdered.html

      Enjoy it, and then file this report amongst all the other events which will remain unsolved.

      • D5-5
        April 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm

        Joe, I hope you can take a look at Seymour Hersh’s account. I re-read it today and still stunned at the lying that went on to portray the episode as heroic. Bin Laden was in poor health, in a compound controlled by Pakistani Intelligence, no internet, and visited by a doctor who produced the proof Obama was desperate to get. He is now in Washington as a special CIA consultant. I recommend it, given the variety of stories we have. Hersh is a veteran reporter on these things, as you know.

        • Joe Tedesky
          April 15, 2017 at 11:12 pm

          I have read Seymour Hersh’s account, and yes it is an interesting version, and no doubt true. I’m not sure what actually happened, but Bhutto’s claim that bin Laden died in 2001 makes sense when you add in his George W Bush during the 2004 election said how Osama wasn’t important anymore. The one thing for sure is something doesn’t add up with any official version of anything official.

          Read F.G. Sanford’s comment above.

          • Skip Scott
            April 16, 2017 at 7:25 am

            Joe-
            Here’s a side note you might find interesting. Do you remember flight 800? I believe Hersh was the one who talked about it being brought down by a Navy missile. I was working for Sunoco around that time on their tankers, and one of our ships was struck by a heat seeking missile off the coast of Virginia in 1986 (the SS Western Sun). It wasn’t armed, but it penetrated the hospital bulkhead, just below the ship’s stack. The Captain was a retired Navy sub commander, and her called the Navy on the VHF and told them they had hit his ship with a missile. They tried to deny it. He said, “you don’t understand. The missile is sticking out of our bulkhead, and here are some numbers off a tail fin.”

            “Oh, THAT MISSILE. We’ll be right over.”

            As a result, I knew Hersh was telling the truth about flight 800, and all the BS about the center fuel tank pump wiring was just that, a load of BS.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 16, 2017 at 9:31 am

            I was on the phone with a guy who was there that morning who told me he saw something strange come out of no where when this something strange hit that plane. I’m not sure what to believe.

            My daughter who lived across the street from the WTC on 911 also said the fires coming out of those building didn’t look right.

            To bad no one trust the government t versions of any of these tragic incidents.

  44. April 14, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I know that was a digression, but the point is that the government can tell the American people just about anything and they’ll believe it. Not all, but all too many of them. Did 1984 start with the Reagan era? The lying is so bad now all over the world, it seems.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Governments and media have always been lying, but now more people are questioning the lies, so it seems they have increased. But is true that the more outrageous the evil criminal behavior of the elites becomes, the more lies they need to tell to cover it up. Too bad the official lying still has effect on the majority of people, to whom events that don’t immediately impact them are of little interest.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Jessica K – yes, I believe the Reagan era was when this all began, Thatcher, the movie “Wall Street”, neoliberalism.

  45. backwardsevolution
    April 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    How can you be fooled when you were responsible for setting it up?

  46. April 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    here is Assad;s interview with the french press agency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s-5A_vNsEo

    oddly or not, his position is Very similar to most of our positions on this CW attack incident…

    • backwardsevolution
      April 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      derek – yes, Assad said, “Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand in glove with the terrorists. They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack.”

      At least Russia and Assad are calling for an investigation. I don’t hear the West calling for this. Usually, if you are innocent, you will call for an investigation because you want to get to the bottom of it, find the culprits, because you know you didn’t do it. Let’s hope there is one.

      I feel very sorry for Assad. He has been wrongfully crucified.

  47. Robert Durham
    April 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Friedmans quote should put him in prison for treason!!!

    • backwardsevolution
      April 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Robert – you are so right! Friedman said, “Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria?” Of course you don’t want to do that, Friedman, especially since the U.S. was instrumental in funding, arming and training ISIS from the get-go in order to take Assad out.

      Why would you want to destroy something that you manufactured and orchestrated?

  48. Tristan
    April 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    One needs to ask regarding the quote, that “We could dramatically increase our military aid to anti-Assad rebels, giving them sufficient anti-tank and antiaircraft missiles…threaten Russian[s]…[and] and make them bleed.” from the N.Y. Times Friedman, is this not bordering on “Material Support for a Terrorist Organization”?

  49. April 14, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Yes it is, choose your terrorists, that’s how they started with the Mujahideen (sp?) in Afghanistan, probably earlier. And that’s the playbook for the American Mafia government. Clinton practiced it regularly. Friedman must be getting paid off.

  50. MS10
    April 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    And links to articles from experts like Postol, Scott Ritter, Blix, Philip Giraldi or consortiumnews are just not appearing on Twitter or Facebook. Though you can see your own posts, nobody else can see them.

    I would think now, even if wikileaks receives information from the CIA, it will be hard for them to reach anyone except their hardcore audience.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      The fix is in with Facebook.

      In 2015, Google formed the “First Draft Coalition” with Bellingcat as a founding member. Google supports Eliot Higgins despite his track record of debunked claims about Syria and Russia.

      In September 2016, Facebook and Twitter joined the “First Draft” network “to tackle fake news and improve the quality of information on social media”
      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-socialmedia-news-idUSKCN11J2Q3

      • April 14, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        im having a similar problem with search engines…the material is out there, but the searches r not finding it…typically i find hard links here…r any of the search engines better for finding info?

    • April 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      shit…if they box us in here???

  51. Steve B.
    April 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Mr. Parry is spot on. Unfortunately, the bow wave of anti-Asad propaganda has snookered 95% of the West. For those who wish for al-Asad to be removed do they honestly think about what would ensue? Just look at Libya and multiply that chaos by a factor of five or more. Libya was another unnecessary debacle created by the gleeful Clinton and her State Dept in the wake of “the Arab Spring.” Another sad commentary to our lack of historical knowledge or insight into the region. The jihadist “rebels” have long taken a page from the Palestinian playbook as to how to orchestrate and film fake attacks and carnage. Oh, and by the way, these rebels are still maid up of a large portion of foreign fighters. Lastly, We always hear the al-Asad has killed 400,000+ Syrians, but never how many civilians have been killed by the rebels, or how many Syrian soldiers have been killed, or how much fratricide occurs between competing jihadist “opposition” armies. The mainstream media doesn’t want to connect the dots because it doesn’t fit it’s agenda or worldview.

  52. Lee Francis
    April 15, 2017 at 6:15 am

    I don’t believe for a moment that the US deep-state, and the neo-con Strangelove faction together with their Euro-vassals believed the cock-and-bull story of Assad’s chemical attack on his own people. Given the general clumsiness of the operation – lack of motive, lack of evidence, the timing of the incident, and its implementation by some extremely dubious local actors, namely, the white helmets, this would appear to have been a rather crude false flag incidient, of which there is a long history.

    Of course the media backed up the story straight away, as one has come to expect. They may or may not have believed the storyline, but other considerations, career prospects depended upon their falling into line. But the taking of this one incident to a new level by Mr Friedman, takes to the situation to a new level. Namely, an alliance with the ISIS Al-Qaeda against the Syrian army. It has been clear in recent weeks that this has been the unstated policy, but now it is being brazenly advocated by wretches like Friedman.

    US does the cheerleading, but Europe gets the blow-back in terms of more terrorist outrages, as we may see the black flag of ISIS raised in Damascus with only the Mediterrenan between them and the soft underbelly of southern Europe.

    This is going to go down well with the people of Europe – not. The US seems to be allying itself with the most reactionary, obscurantist and murderous forces in history. The ‘exceptional’ people is about right, just as were the Huns, Visigoths, and Vandals.

  53. MarcB
    April 15, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Only Americans believe Assad committed the Khan Sheikdoun, sarin attack ,just ask a West African, an Egyptian, a Thai, or a Mexican, whether they believe it, or an East European for that matter…only Americans believe the Hollywood myths about their Manifest destiny and moral superiority to the rest of us its a terrifying joke!….

    We see the irony of an expanding militarized empire which is homogenizing the cultures of its satellite states and neo-colonies, whilst loudly proclaiming itself the arbiter of freedom ,justice,diversity and individualism…

    Thomas Friedman is either a moron way behind the eight ball or a cynic as many suspect …. given that the rest of the world knows that America and its allies have been funding Al Qaeda, Isis and assorted Islamic rebels from the very beginning… and that we also know it never was a civil war but a deliberately orchestrated revolution to topple a Nationalist leader who just wont accept global capitalists maintaining a strangle hold over Syria…

    Thomas Friedman reportedly one of the highest paid journalists in the U.S, is an insult to the intelligence of average Americans, and that is the quality media???…… Americans should be picketing major MSM outlets demanding better than being treated as a dumb bewildered herd.

  54. Curious
    April 15, 2017 at 9:26 am

    It is important to thank Mr Postol for having the strength and the expertise to question the official story of the attack, perhaps starin,or perhaps not. With his wind analysis and view on the crater and the canister being smashed from above all indicated an item not dropped from a plane. Add to the photo the casual first responders without gloves, and sandels points to a ‘set up’ that even a person studying photography could grasp, even without chemical training. The photo was haphazard and amateurish and an obvious fake (unless the first responders all perished as well). To think a photo so off the mark could fool our military is hard to believe, but to fool our president is very easy to believe. Not only it is false by any analysis at the simple stage of studying these images, it speaks volumes to the very low standard our President Trump has when viewing a photo or an item outside of his poor level of expertise. Our president is not gifted with perception, thought, and reflection sadly. To announce the attack over “the most beautiful chocolate cake” to a leader of a very large country explodes his ignorance and poor diplomacy without precedence. Thank you Mr Postol for the fortitude it took to weigh in on a very troublesome and important topic.
    Next search is where most of the missiles landed that didn’t hit the airport It’s as horrible as the Tritant test from the U.K. that veared toward the US mainland in the “successful” test from Tritant off the coast of Florida. When will the lies stop about our super accuracy with missiles too??

  55. Joe Tedesky
    April 15, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Google ‘Deir Ezzor Chemical Attack after U.S. Bombs’. If this story is true, that when the U.S. bombed an eastern village Halta in Deir Ezzor there were reports of a chemical attack, then the U.S. would be guilty of the same war crime as Assad’s Syria…right?

    I can’t verify any of this, so I’m at the mercy of what I read mostly by how events in our world get reported. I’m just bringing this under reported story to the comment board here, and if any of you are interested to expand on this, then let’s talk about it.

    The scariest part to all of this, is they are reporting that since Trump started playing with bomb armaments his favorability ratings have gone up….hearing that, does that not want to make you call your congress representative or do a shout out to your two senators? Imagine Trump’s warmongering lameness being validated by the American people, and where that could take us….I mean us as in the world of us.

    • FobosDeimos
      April 15, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Joe, the Russian Ministry of Defense did not confirm that report, which was issued by the Syrian Army. Another instance of serious discrepancies between Assad and Russia,

      https://www.rt.com/news/384648-russia-syria-coalition-strike/

      “The Russian Defense Ministry has no information that could confirm reports about a US-led coalition airstrike in the Syrian Deir ez-Zor province leading to civilian deaths, the ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said.

      “The Russian Defense Ministry does not have any information confirming the reports about loss of life and material damage resulting from a bombing carried out by the US-led coalition warplanes in the area of the city of Deir ez-Zor,” Konashenkov told journalists at a press briefing.

      He went on to say that the Russian military has sent surveillance drones to the area of the alleged airstrike to assess the situation and monitor developments on the ground.

      Earlier on Thursday, the Syrian Army’s General Command said that the US-led coalition had carried out an airstrike on positions held by Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in the village of Halta to the east of Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday between 5:30pm and 5:50pm local time (14:30-14:50 GMT), as reported by the Syrian SANA news agency.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        So this chemical attack possibly initiated by U.S. bombs may be filed under fog of war and misinformation if not true. Then again if this is true the Russians are showing the restraint used until an investigation could be done, and by doing so the Russians show the Americans how it should be done.

        Thanks for the reply.

        • FobosDeimos
          April 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

          Joe, there was no chemical attack on Deir ez-Zor. That is what the Russian Ministry of Defense said. If they believed that there might have been a US chemical attack they would have called for an immediate investigation, but they didn’t. They disavowed the Syrian Army’ report quite swiftly and the report was subsequently dead in a few hours. In Khan Sheykhoun the Russians say that indeed there were chemical poisonous substances that actually killed people. That is why they are rightly calling for an independent investigation as they also rightfully condemn the American attack, which is in violation of the UN Charter. Assad, for his part, is having none of that. He says that the whole thing was made up. Thank you.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm

            Okay, and thanks.

          • Abe
            April 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm

            FobosDeimos is making more false claims. See analysis below.

    • Abe
      April 15, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      The phrase “chemical attack” was not used by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) in its reports of an airstrike alleged to have taken place on 12 April 2017 in the village of Hatla, in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate of Syria.

      As reported by RT (the article link courtesy of PhobosDeimos):

      “Earlier on Thursday, the Syrian Army’s General Command said that the US-led coalition had carried out an airstrike on positions held by Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in the village of Halta to the east of Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday between 5:30pm and 5:50pm local time (14:30-14:50 GMT), as reported by the Syrian SANA news agency.

      “The Syrian military said the airstrike allegedly triggered the release of a ‘white cloud that became yellow’ containing hazardous substances, as the coalition aircraft apparently hit a ‘huge repository’ of toxic materials possessed by the extremists.”

      The Russian Defense Ministry said it has sent drones to the site of an alleged chemical leak of a result of an alleged US-led coalition strike.

      Neither Syrian nor Russian media referred to the alleged 12 April airstrike in an ISIS controlled area of Deir ez-Zor province as a “chemical attack”.

      Both Syria and Russia have referred to the 4 April incident at Khan Shaykhun in an Al Qaeda controlled area of Idlib province as a possible “chemical attack” perpetrated by Al Qaeda.

      In neither case are there significant discrepancies between the Syrian and Russian accounts.

      The weasel words from PhobosDeimos that the Russians “disavowed the Syrian Army’ report” are a false claim.

      Syria and Russia are in full agreement that the 4 April Syrian airstrike against Al Qaeda forces at Khan Shaykhun is separate from the “chemical attack” that took place.

      Both Syria and Russia are in full agreement that a full and impartial investigation needs to happen.

      During the interview with Agence France-Presse, President Assad stated unequivocally that the investigation must be unbiased:

      President Assad: Since the very first time, when we had in 2013, I think, the first attacks by the terrorists on the Syrian Army by chemical missiles at that time, we asked for investigation. We were the ones who asked for investigations every time there was chemical attacks or allegations about chemical attacks. We asked. And this time, we were discussing with the Russians yesterday and during the last few days after the strike that we’re going to work with them on international investigation. But it should be impartial. We can only allow any investigation when it’s impartial, when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won’t use it for politicized purposes.

      No matter the facts, no matter times he’s contradicted by the very articles he cites, we can expect comrade PhobosDeimos to continue muttering about “serious discrepancies” like a Bellingcat fanboy.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 15, 2017 at 6:12 pm

        Thanks Abe, as always I trust your comments. I have been following you for a very long time now, and often many of the articles you post I have read, and the ones you post I haven’t read I always read, so thanks for all you do.

        I’m like everyone who’s at the mercy of a press that is hard to trust, or rely on. So with this report out there that America had bombed an eastern part of Dier Ezzor and apparently had exploded a chemical warehouse I thought how interesting. Kind of fits the what goes around comes around advice.

        When it comes to these creepy false flags I always think of Erdogan first. I also think that with Trump’s bombing the Shayrat Air Base that by his doing so that al Queada and ISIS has gained an Air Force, or should I say a Navy since the Tomahawks were launched from U.S. Navy war ships? Good to see our hard earned tax dollars put to good use (not).

        Thanks again Abe….Joe

        • D5-5
          April 15, 2017 at 8:18 pm

          Abe and Joe, it seems to me Fobos is being revealed as a propagandist. Whether he is unwitting of this, or deliberately into it, I’m not sure. He persistently twists the language of the reports into what he wants to believe, and I sense is very eager to believe. It then takes careful checking to see his errors. He doesn’t seem stupid, although his behavior suggests this. The alternative is, unfortunately, he is a troll who wants to interrupt this forum. (Happy to be wrong on this . . .)

      • D5-5
        April 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

        Abe, my apologies, and my thanks for your meticulous checking in this matter. I lift my glass to you!

        • Abe
          April 15, 2017 at 9:53 pm

          Comment contributors at Consortium News generally are rational and respectful of others, even when disagreeing, and even to those whose beliefs one thinks are false or objectionable. Objection to evidently false claims is not a personal attack. Thanks for recognizing this.

          Trolls there be, but they definitely do not “fit in” here at CN.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 15, 2017 at 11:24 pm

            Abe you seem to have a handle on surfing the net and seeking out the real story, so here’s one that is rather disturbing. Supposedly in Chechnya they are rounding up the gays and putting them in concentration camps. To me it sounds like another Pussy Riot exercise put into action. This kind of propaganda coming at a time when all things bad are to blamed on the Russians feels like a campaign to get us Americans behind a war with the Russians. So maybe Abe while you grab information from here and there you could get the real story on this concentration camp business, because I don’t believe the headlines.

          • Abe
            April 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm

            Sensational claims about the “first concentration camp for gays since Hitler’s times” come from Western-backed Russian anti-government newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

            The Novaya Gazeta allegations are being promoted by Paul A. Goble who worked on Soviet Nationalities issues for the Central Intelligence Agency and the US Department of State, was a director of communications at Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe. Goble currently serves as a columnist for both Kiev’s Euromaidan Press and Interpreter Mag, a project of New-York based Institute of Modern Russia. The president of IMR is Pavel Khodorkovsky, the son of former jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In January 2016, the magazine was absorbed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

            You get the picture.

    • Marko
      April 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Joe , the case of Deir Ezzor is immaterial if one merely wants to establish the fact the the U.S. has bombed suspected CW facilities in an analogous fashion to Syria’s bombing in Idlib. They’ve done it several times , the most notorious being Bill Clinton’s “wag-the-dog” cruise missile strike on the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

      Another one , here :

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/13/politics/isis-chemical-weapons-plant/

      ” “We don’t know for sure at this point” what chemicals were involved, Harrigian said at a Pentagon briefing. ”
      ………

      Using the Fobos terminology , the U.S. has committed multiple chemical attacks , and admitted as such. Clearly they’re past due for a visit to The Hague.

      More realistically , one would say that the U.S. is no worse than Syria in this regard. Also , no better.

  56. Abe
    April 15, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    “But for Russian military presence in Syria since September 2015, Syria would have fallen. The West knows it as well as we do. Therefore, by projecting Russia as an accomplice in the pseudo gas-attack, the US has made an attempt to push back the Russian led peace process to a point where the US can reinsert itself in the conflict and keep the region embroiled in war and bloodshed.

    “Notwithstanding the ‘humanitarian face’ put on Trump’s motive behind the attack, the fact remains that at least two immediate reasons stood behind the attack:

    ” – The US’ allies, especially in the Middle East, were developing the perception of US’ indifference—and/or ineptness against the gradually increasing assertiveness of the Russia-Iran- Syrian government combine in the region.

    ” – US’ Establishment (of course including Pentagon) appears to have felt the necessity to apply a ‘check’ to the increasing Russian military-geopolitical muscle flexing – Ukraine/Crimea and now in Syria (and very recently inserting, albeit in low profile at this stage, in Afghanistan).

    “Therefore, against a subtly changing geo-political scenario in a region that was, until 2 years ago, solely under the US command, the US cannot help but put up a fight to resist the space it has lost. As such, the perception being built in the US via the mainstream media that Washington is not following a coherent policy vis-à-vis Russia is factually incorrect.”

    Russia was the Actual Target of America’s Strikes in Syria
    By Salman Rafi Sheikh
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/04/15/russia-was-the-actual-target-of-america-s-strikes-in-syria/

    • D5-5
      April 15, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Another aspect of this piece by Salman Rafi Sheikh, as related to Russia as target, is US determination to not allow Russia to win and continue to aid in restoring Syria. This was one of the “messages” being sent recently, the other to China at Mar a Lago. The Big Boy needed to make a few things absolutely clear on who is in charge of world affairs.

      After the election, progress was noticeable in crucial areas at Aleppo and around, with falling effectiveness of the militants, their support money stopped for the moment. In what has been going on recently, we have a combining of several objectives for the Big Boy Messaging Scheme under the guise of cooperation including the “de-conflicting” policy.

      The “safe zones” was euphemism for autonomous regions, in which Syria is broken up and “Balkanized” with the US establishing a massive presence in East Syria. This includes a new base in North East Syria which I’ve seen mentioned only once. Troop movements have been continuing, with the latest a request by McMaster for 50,000 troops. I’ve also read 150,000 troops.

      This would push back against Russian-Syrian strength in restoring the region and allowing rebuilding and return of the refugees and replace it with a new state of collapse. This is the current strategy, in order to pick up with the previous strategy all these years going back to regime change of X number of countries in the region.

      That Friedman can talk openly of how we oughtta let them militants fight for us also suggests how serious Trump’s idea in going after ISIS has become in the follow-up stages of his fraternity initiation into being Commander in Chief.

      The de-conflict hot line also allowed US knowledge of a forthcoming strike on a warehouse in Idlib, which then turned into the chemical incident. This exploitation of the de-conflict agreement is surely why the Russians have canceled it for the time being, contingent on the US not repeating air base style attacks. Meanwhile, Putin has warned that his intelligence forces have knowledge of new false flags in the planning stage, including in Damascus.

      The troop build up, the chemical incident, the Tomahawk firing, the MOAB follow-up have apparently been coordinated to a new look for Trump as a Russophobe and true patriot after all. This has resounded with MSM flag waving and feeling good at the moment, although the numbers on Public Approval are not overwhelming, at 51% in favor of Trump’s trigger finger and 40% opposed. He has lost massively in his base as part of this development toward growing a pair and proving himself.

      So it would seem that in line with Salman Rafi Sheik’s points Trump is now in a heady testosterone-filled moment which includes a finger wagging self-righteousness aimed at North Korea which must stop its trouble-making ways and listen to the Guardian of the Planet Donald Trump. This is also part of warning and blustering and pushing Russia back, as with Tillerson’s unfortunately boy scout presentation telling Lavrov and Putin recently to give up supporting Syria and hand back Crimea to Kiev.

      These actions on the world stage by Trump and his slack-jawed lieutenants tell us we have incompetents with massive egos that they’re stroking along the lines of “Listen up, everybody, we DO know what we’re doing” and “We’re in charge of the globe, as usual, nothing new in that, so y’all better get with the program we’re announcing.”

      This kind of foolhardy behavior is similar to that of the schoolyard bully thinking he can kick anybody he feels like in the vital areas and he’ll be allowed to do it. These types are usually compensating for their pathetic little-boy neurosis and sneaking suspicions about their inadequacy. This sort of behavior will not hold up, and at some point REALITY will strike home and the push back will be clear.

      Meanwhile, at home here we are in increasing danger of blowback from whatever forces have lately been enraged by our behavior and performance, as the latest world power to have a hard on for its own self-image, determined to portray to the world how masculine and God-like it is.

  57. David F., N.A.
    April 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria?

    Today’s “freedom fighters” are tomorrow’s “terrorists,” and vice versa. CIA, CIA, CIA.

  58. G
    April 15, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Of course no one will investigate these things. The fact would show that 3 successive administrations are guilty of war crimes.
    if we ever get into WW3 and don’t win, you can bet the other side is going to hold war crimes trials.
    And yes, despite all the whoopla about it, there will still be a world after WW3.

  59. Abe
    April 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    The Syria Strikes: A Conspiracy Theory
    https://www.corbettreport.com/?powerpress_pinw=22443-podcast

    On the morning of April 4th 2017, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on the verge of a military victory against the terrorist insurgency in his country and on the eve of peace talks that would secure his position as president, decided to use chemical weapons he didn’t have against a target of no military significance in front of as many cameras as possible to cross the one red line that would insure his own government’s downfall.

    Soon after, the Academy Award-winning White Helmets – noted for their Oscar-worthy performances, persistent proximity to Al Qaeda, and financial dependence on USAID – bravely risked their lives, handling Sarin victims barehanded against every protocol in the book.

    Without presenting a shred of evidence, President Donald Trump boldly launched a military strike against Shayrat airfield because “national security interest,” promising to help the “beautiful children” (*offer does not apply to babies in Gaza, Yemen, Pakistan, or basically anywhere else).

    That military strike, a volley of 59 Tomahawk land attack missiles of which 23 actually made it to their target, failed to take out a single runway or even keep the airbase from operating for even 24 hours, but was a complete success for ExxonMobil, Raytheon and Donald Trump.

    • April 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      short and sharp! i like it….yes the agenda is perpetual war or at best a failed state once again….benyamin probly is eating his chocolate cake about now…..thanks abe

  60. Brewer
    April 15, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Timeline:

    April 4, at 8 a.m., Abdullah al-Gani and Muaz al-Shami, freelance journalists who have links with radical groups located in Idlib, provided Orient News and Al-Jazeera with the video footage made by the White Helmets. The graphics show the consequences of the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. According to Muazz al-Shami, sarin gas was used in the attack.
    http://theduran.com/lebanese-journalist-intependently-investigates-alleged-khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack/

    Yesterday, (April 4) from 11:30 am to 12:30 p.m. local time, Syrian aviation made a strike on a large terrorist ammunition depot and a concentration of military hardware in the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun town,” Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konoshenkov said in a statement posted on YouTube.
    http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/russia-says-syria-gas-incident-caused-rebels-chemical-arsenal/

    “Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem explained that the first reports of the chemical attack appeared several hours before the government airstrike”
    https://sputniknews.com/politics/201704091052469244-us-syria-chemical-weapons-war-pretext/

  61. Abe
    April 15, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    “US Secretary of State Tillerson has now charged that Russia did not remove all Syrian chemical weapons in 2013. He ignores the fact that US military forces took part in 2013 in what was not a Russian operation, as the US Secretary of State Tillerson falsely charges, but an international UN OPCW operation, to remove and destroy all Syrian chemical weapons held by the Assad government […]

    “While the Trump Administration shows contempt for international law or the truth, will he now widen the war from Yemen and Somalia to Syria directly, directly facing the Russian military presence in a Trump-style ‘gunfight at OK Corral’?

    “Notably, the Russian Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry report that the US missile attack on sovereign Syrian territory was planned well before the alleged sarin gas incident of 4 April. Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated, ‘It is evident that the US cruise missile strikes against a Syrian airbase have been prepared long before today’s events. A large system of measures of reconnaissance, planning, preparation of flight tasks and bringing the missiles to launch readiness needs to be carried out to prepare such an attack,’ Konashenkov pointed out.

    “If the US media reports that Trump made his decision to bomb Syria on April 7 because of the pleas of his ‘heartbroken and outraged’ daughter Ivanka, the world is in even more dangerous peril than we realize. Neither Trump nor his daughter, nor her husband, Jared Kushner, have any international political experience, most certainly not sufficient to be making decisions that could decide war and global disorder. That, however, is most likely a Trump media false story designed to give the entire bizarre and dangerous Trump bombing a touch of human interest for something inhuman.”

    The Hasty Trump Syria Attack Game – It Doesn’t Add Up
    By F. William Engdahl
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/04/14/the-hasty-trump-syria-attack-game-it-doesnt-add-up/

  62. April 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    here is another very uncomfortable story from NEO, that the chemical “incident” may very well be a part of…
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/30/golan-heights-israel-oil-and-trump/

  63. Loup-Bouc
    April 15, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    An interesting, and hope-inspiring, alternative view: http://www.voltairenet.org/

    Yet, even if that alternative view is correct, Trump’s Syria bombing is inexcusable, an illegal war of aggression (despite its short life).

  64. william gill
    April 16, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again? Only if the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is up to.

  65. Bruce
    April 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    US (CIA) ISIS : al Qaeda.

    • Franco
      April 17, 2017 at 1:17 am

      ISIS=israHELL Security Intelligence Services

  66. Jef Keighley
    April 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    If the Trump White House believes it can wage a major military campaign into Syria based on potentially fraudulent intelligence and expect that Russia will simply sit back and allow their reckless engagement to go unchecked they are sadly mistaken and they could be risking a major conflagration with the world’s other nuclear super power. George Bush’s ill-fated Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) should be enough reason to pause and consider, but in Trump’s White House facts and the fate of the planet are not serious concerns, despite the fact that the Doomsday Clock has been moved significantly as a result.

  67. Franco
    April 17, 2017 at 1:15 am

    How could Al Qaeda fool the WH , when they are WORKING for US of Terror , are Paid by WH are ARMED by WH , US of TERROR IS THEY’R AIR FORCE . They ( Al Qaeda ) dose only what the Master/WH tell’s them to do .

  68. Abe
    April 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Trump Won’t Be Cancelling World War 3 After All
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fy0bT4FK9c

    The powers want to tip the game board, rewrite history and start again. They think you’re too stupid, too distracted, too easy to manipulated by emotional platitudes to examine the evidence.

    It would be completely illogical for Assad to use chemical weapons at this stage of the conflict . They had nothing to gain from this and everything to lose. The Syrian army had the clear advantage at this stage with conventional means, Russia has their back, and that gave them an extremely strong position going into negotiations which were scheduled for the very next day (April 7th). Assad would have to be a total moron to do something like this (and he’s not).

    Then there’s the fact Assad doesn’t actually have such weapons. According to the OPCW, the last of Syria’s chemical weapons were handed over for destruction in 2014. John Kerry confirmed this assessment.

    “But Assad used chemical weapons before!”

    Really? When? According to the U.N. investigation conducted on the gas attacks of 2013, as reported by the BBC, it was the Rebels that used Sarin, not Assad.

    Obama backed down in 2013 because the U.S. backed rebels got caught, and we held them accountable. As a people we activated in 2013 against these airstrikes. We flooded the phone lines as congress approached the vote. We didn’t ask nicely. We made it clear that we knew their names and addresses and that we would hold them personally accountable for the consequences.

    Funny thing: they cancelled the vote, Obama backed down, and humanity temporarily stepped away from the abyss.

    Trump himself spoke out against the airstrikes in 2013. He demanded a formal declaration of war by congress “unconstitutional if not”. Pointed out just how stupid and destructive such a decision would be…

    Even a week prior to the airstrikes the Trump administration had announced that Assad could stay… then something flipped […]

    He has turned the U.S. military into Al Qaeda’s air force. He’s playing chicken with humanity’s future. He’s rolling dice with the inhabitability of the planet.

    And this insanity is bipartisan! The Neoliberal, Neocon, corporate alliance has come out of the closet, in a disgusting show of war mongering solidarity.

  69. Big D
    April 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Who you gonna believe? I’d say “None of the above.”

    Big D

  70. April 24, 2017 at 1:19 am

    The Trump administration has seen the light and has made a deal with the Deep State ,and the neoconservative ,Zionist Israeli firsters to prosecute the war on Syria and install a puppet regime that will allow the gas and oil pipeline from Saudi Arabia , the AUE and Quattar ,to supply Europe with natural gas and oil, thus sabotaging Russia’s Nord and South stream pipelines . What remains to be determined is if the light Trump saw was real or the light of the “Impeach Trump” train ,coming to run him over in a few months.

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