WMD Claims in Syria Raise Concerns over U.S. Escalation

Following a well-established script, anonymous U.S. officials are making unsubstantiated claims about weapons of mass destruction – this time in Syria – while the media fails to ask tough questions, reports Rick Sterling.

By Rick Sterling

It’s the WMD story all over again.

Map of Syria.

Not unlike the spurious claims that paved the way to war with Iraq 15 years ago, anonymous “U.S. officials” are once again accusing a targeted “regime” of using “weapons of mass destruction” and issuing threats that the U.S. military may have to “hold it accountable.” Once again, Western media is broadcasting these accusations and threats without skepticism or investigation.

The Washington Post story is titled “Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons.” The Reuters story, which was carried by the New York Times, says, “U.S. officials have said the Syrian government may be developing new types of chemical weapons, and President Donald Trump is prepared to consider further military action. President Bashar al Assad is believed to have secretly kept part of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.”

Jerusalem Online says, “A U.S. official says Syrian President Assad’s forces may be developing new types of chemical weapons, which could reach as far as the U.S.” Jane’s Defence Weekly quotes a U.S. official saying, “They clearly think they can get away with this.”

The accusations follow a long-established pattern of officials making anonymous claims and then ratcheting up tensions and issuing calls for retaliatory action – while the media repeats the claims without the slightest amount of skepticism. The Washington Post article, for example, includes the following statement by an anonymous official: “If the international community does not take action now … we will see more chemical weapons use, not just by Syria but by non-state actors such as ISIS and beyond. And that use will spread to U.S. shores.”

Yet, based on a review of recent history, there is plenty of reason to believe that the story is false and is being broadcast to deceive the public in preparation for new military aggression.

The invasion of Vietnam with over 500,000 U.S. soldiers was preceded by the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident where a U.S. ship was supposedly attacked by a North Vietnamese vessel. It wasn’t true and President Lyndon Johnson knew it. The resolution was passed unanimously (416-0) in the House and only Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening had the integrity and insight to oppose it in the Senate. Was anyone ever held accountable for the lie that led to the deaths of more than 58,000 U.S. soldiers and millions of Vietnamese? No.

The 1991 attack on Iraq and subsequent massacre of Iraqi soldiers and civilians was preceded by the fabricated testimony of the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter pretending to be a nurse who had witnessed Iraqi soldiers stealing incubators and leaving Kuwaiti babies on the floor. Were the marketing officials Hill & Knowlton and politicians such as Tom Lantos who managed this deceit ever held accountable? No.

In 2003 the U.S. launched the invasion of Iraq leading to the deaths of over a million Iraqis based on the false and fabricated evidence provided by the CIA and uncritically promoted by the mainstream media. For example, Michael Gordon and Thomas Friedman promoted and lauded the invasion at the New York Times. Were they held to account? No, they carry right on to today.

In 2011 the U.S. led NATO attacks on Libya with the stated purpose of “protecting civilians” from a possible massacre. This was explained and encouraged by journalists and pundits such as Nicholas Kristof and Juan Cole. NATO officials bragged about their operation. After the brief Western euphoria, it became clear that the campaign was based on lies and the real result was an explosion of extremism, massacres and chaos which continues to today. Accountability? None. One rarely hears about Libya today. Out of sight, out of mind.

In August 2013 we heard about a massive sarin gas attack on the outskirts of Damascus. Human Rights Watch and others promoting a Western attack quickly accused the Syrian government. They asserted that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” and the U.S. needed to intervene directly. Subsequent investigations revealed the gas attack was not carried out by the Syrian government. It was more likely to have been perpetrated by a Turkish supported terrorist faction with the goal of pressuring the Obama administration to directly attack Syria. Two Turkish parliamentarians presented evidence of Turkey’s involvement in the transfer of sarin.

Some of the best U.S. investigative journalists, including the late Robert Parry and Seymour Hersh, researched the issue and uncovered evidence pointing to Turkish-supported “rebels” not Syria. Despite the factual evidence exposing the “junk heap” of false claims, mainstream media and their followers continue to assert that Assad committed the crime.

In April 2017 it was the same thing: U.S. and allies made accusations which were never proven and ultimately discredited. The UN’s team of investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons never visited the scene of the crime. They discovered the curious fact that dozens of victims in multiple locations showed up at hospitals with symptoms of chemical injuries before the attack happened. This is strong evidence of fraud but that line of investigation was not pursued.

With or without awareness of the deceit, Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base which killed 13 people including four children. Accountability? None.

Now, despite their earlier failures to investigate properly, anonymous officials at the OPCW are reviving the story of the Syrian chemical attacks with claims that laboratory tests have linked the Syrian government’s chemical weapon stockpile to those attacks, supporting Western assertions that Assad was behind the atrocity.

Taken together, these recent developments indicate that forces in the U.S. government intend to continue trying to destroy Syria. Despite contradictory claims by the Trump administration, a core fact is that the U.S. is training and supplying a sectarian military militia inside northern Syria against the wishes of the Syrian government. The U.S. previously said they were in Syria to get rid of ISIS but now that ISIS is largely gone, the U.S. military says it is not leaving. On the contrary, the U.S. military helped escort ISIS fighters from Raqqa to al Bukamal and the U.S. is now training ISIS fighters to be reincarnated as yet another anti-Assad “rebel” force.

Regarding the latest accusations, the following is noteworthy:

  • Secretary of Defense Mattis acknowledges they do not have independent evidence.
  • The accusations come from “NGOs, fighters on the ground,” according to Mattis. In other words, the accusations come from the armed opposition and “White Helmets”.
  • In contrast with their media image, the “White Helmets” are neither independent nor neutral. The organization is a creation of the U.S. and U.K. governments and Western military contractors. It’s a well-funded and highly successful deception. The U.S. and U.K. train, supply and pay “volunteers” to provide them with accusations that can then be used to justify the desired aggression.

Behind the scenes, anonymous “U.S. officials” are feeding the media evidence-free claims that the Syrian government is rebuilding a chemical weapons program and “developing new munitions to deliver chemical weapons.” They claim the program is “evolving” and using a mix of sarin and chlorine.

Finally, there is the issue of timing. It is a curious fact that each time there are scheduled negotiations involving the Syrian government and opposition, there is an outburst of atrocity claims. This time the accusations come at the same time as the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi, Russia. An objective investigation would consider who benefits from actions which distract from or sabotage negotiations. In February 2014 when Geneva negotiations were undermined by sensational claims of photos showing torture in Syria, the Christian Science Monitor broke ranks with mainstream media by suggesting it was a “well timed propaganda exercise.”

Journalists are supposed to critically question, investigate the facts, and expose contradictions and falsehoods. When the media fails to do that, they have some responsibility, especially when it leads to wars, death and destruction. As indicated above, there are many horrible and bloody examples of mainstream media failure. There should be some accountability. When is that going to happen?

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com.

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47 comments for “WMD Claims in Syria Raise Concerns over U.S. Escalation

  1. The other side
    February 7, 2018 at 11:17 am

    To the US:

    “Who do, Who do you think you are fooling?”

    When it is obvious to any thinking observer that you have eaten an excrement sandwich and are spewing forth the same, I guess it really is the best tack, from your point of view, to insist that really, really, it is the equivalent of prime steak which you are blowing about. The thing is, whether you own up or not, no matter what your fantasy was, you are still full of excrement. The US and all of its propaganda parrots, regardless of channel it is coming from, have zero credibility. They talk to hear themselves talk. The well has been pissed in too many times now.

    One wonders: why the exercise in deceit? Why bother? The US will do what it wants to, knowing full well that what it does do is entirely based on deceit and a total disregard for anything but itself; least of all for other human beings and or the human suffering of others. Own it or not this and your actions are evil personified and no matter what religion you profess or even none at all you have turned over any light of humanity that you had to darkness.

  2. Britton Kerin
    February 6, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    What I find most spooky about this is that the propagandists clearly don’t even give a damn whether the citizens believe them or not anymore. They know they don’t, they’re just going through the motions. We’ve all had jobs like that at some point. One wonders how long it’ll be before they decide the whole charade isn’t worth it at all. Maybe visit fairvote.org and find a way to lobby for instant run-off. For the sake of the entire world, the US political establishment must die, and instant run-off is the key to killing it.

  3. February 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    It is also worth noting the universal media silence on the terrorist attacks on civilians in the predominantly Christian areas of the Old City in Damascus, notably Bab Touma. Two weeks ago, 9 civilians were murdered by these mortar attacks that took place just as children were pouring out of school. Needless to say, the majority of deaths were children, including 3 year old Elias Khoury – many other teenagers were terribly injured, including one girl who had to have her leg amputated below the knee due to the mutilation from the mortar shrapnel. Yesterday, 5th Feb 2018, three more were killed, many injured – a mother and child among the dead when East Ghouta embedded terrorists fired another round of mortars into the Bab Touma districts. The terrorists who are controlling the Eastern suburbs of Damascus, mostly Jaish Al Islam, claim to be “starving”, claim “chemical weapon” attacks, yet instead of attacking the SAA, they maim, murder & mutilate the civilians in Damascus.

  4. Marko
    February 6, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Re : gas attacks – Cui bono ? Assad ? The last thing he needs to do is give the U.S. the excuse it needs for a further escalation in Syria. How about the U.S. ? They already occupy 1/3 of Syria and seem quite comfortable there , since they’ve shown no indication of plans to leave. It seems only reasonable to suspect that they’d like to do the same in the other 2/3 of the country , but to do that they’d need a good excuse , like Assad gassing innocent civilians.

    Who has the materiel and capability ? Both Assad and the U.S. , and , by extension , ALL of the varied groups of forces on the ground in Syria , since any of those groups , at the right price , would likely carry out such an attack if provided with the necessary support.

    It’s likely that the U.S. has much larger supplies of Assad’s previous sarin stockpile than does Assad himself , since Assad turned over his supplies to the U.S. army , who were supposed to have destroyed all of it. If we can accuse Assad of cheating by withholding some small fraction of his initial supplies , we can accuse the U.S. of cheating by withholding a potentially much larger amount of the supplies allocated for destruction. Given this , the ” hexamine fingerprint ” issue is but a distraction. Chlorine is also accessible to both sides in Syria , and thus is also meaningless as to assigning blame.

    As far as the armament fragments that are found at gas attack sites , it should be obvious that either side would have access to the same launchers , munitions , etc. , with any desired provenance. Arms dealers can get anything if the price is right. For a U.S.- planned false-flag , the price would be right , indeed.

    Real proof of culpability in any of these gas attacks is unlikely to be forthcoming , which leaves us with the “Cui bono?” question , and its only sensible answer. Not that it will matter , in the end.

  5. Hawaii guy
    February 5, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Go ahead, just try and poke that bear. The idiocy of America is beyond understanding. I guess Rockefeller got exactly what he wanted, a bunch of idiots with useless degrees, illogical thought processes and servants to decay.

  6. Mark Thomason
    February 5, 2018 at 10:59 am

    The passive verb expression “being broadcast” is inappropriate. Someone is doing this.

    That someone is a criminal who intends murder.

    That ought to be revealed, then punishment sought.

  7. Keltro
    February 5, 2018 at 8:59 am

    The list is endless. e.g. Lockerbie where anyone with an ounce of brain can see it didn’t happen the way its been told. Even to this day there is resistance in having the truth out in the open.

  8. john wilson
    February 5, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Obviously logic doesn’t some into the thinking of the MSM and the public. To all intents and purposes, Assad has won for the time being so why would he want to make chemical weapons? As far as the MSM are concerned they are just the voice and written word of the deep state, and as for the public they are just as stupid now as they have ever been. Nothing changes.

  9. February 5, 2018 at 3:18 am

    The vast majority of my fellow Americans have been reduced to what would be an almost comical level of idiocy if not for the fact that the lives of others are at stake. Most Americans of “progressive” leanings read the NYT’s, or watch or listen to MSNBC or NPR and think they know what is happening in the world. The sad reality is that most “progressive” Americans are more interested in the next superhero movie, iPhone roll-out or new big screen TV than they are about how their lives intersect with the deaths of the poor in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa or anywhere else on the planet. Meanwhile they tell themselves that because they “support” transgender rights, or the dreamers, or equal pay for women on the domestic front that such beliefs and values means they are highly moral and ethical human beings. This is the absolute moral vacuum which typifies the American mind today.

    • Dave P.
      February 5, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Gary – A perfect description of present day “Progressives”. We know a bunch of them – our social friends. At any party of these progressives, I find myself the only one espousing peace. They used to be against Bush’s Wars – especially Iraq War. But they loved Obama and Hillary’s wars.

      • Nancy
        February 5, 2018 at 3:01 pm

        Me too. My own family treats me like a freak! How do we get through to these people? They’re supposedly “smart” and “successful.” Maybe that’s the problem.

        • Daniel
          February 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm

          I suggest that the excellent exposes of the White Helmets and the Bana psyops are great “gateways” to help people begin to lift the veil of propaganda.

          21stcenturywire dot com’s Vanessa Beesley,
          Clarityofsignal dot com
          John Pilger, Max Blumenthal, Eva Bartlett, Tim Anderson, Piers Robinson…
          have all done excellent work on those propaganda campaigns, presenting evidence so clear that most anyone who one can get to look at it will be convinced.

          And once they pass through that gateway, there’s a good chance they will break through more of the propaganda.

    • Broompilot
      February 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      Sums it up progressive leaners perfectly where I live. And also describes myself until the 2003 Iraq invasion.

  10. Far
    February 5, 2018 at 2:29 am

    The actual reasons for a new escalation may be summarized as follows:

    1- Mr. Trump is insomuch under political pressure that he thinks involving the USA in a hot confilct in Syria even with a posdibility for a direct hot conflict with Russia could postpone his outflow.

    2- The second reason is the main principle of the US policy in this region which is clearly mentioned in the emails of secretary H. Clinton in 2012. Quote:

    “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad… It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security”

    Obviously the Trump administration is ready to hazard the consequences to serve Israel interests. Even an involving in a direct hot conflict with Russia is for the Trump administration a valid option to pursue these exogenous dictated dangerous policies.

    • Daniel
      February 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      The great Robert Parry consistently suggested that the reason Obama continued the murderously deceitful NeoCon foreign policy was because he was forced to. Now we hear people making the same excuses for Trump.

  11. exiled off mainstreet
    February 5, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Does this mean that the yankee imperium is prepared to attack Russian backed Syrian forces? I certainly hope not for obvious reasons.

  12. jimbo
    February 5, 2018 at 12:37 am

    “Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world.”

    By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
    21st Century Wire
    SPECIAL REPORT

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/01/21/wmd-america-inside-pentagons-global-bioweapons-industry/

    I never really understood the idea of “projection,” putting blame on others for what they are doing themselves but over and over the US says, proclaims, shouts that the other side is doing exactly what the US is doing.

  13. February 4, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    When did a little truth ever stop the U.S. war machine? It seems history is about to repeat itself…what a tragedy.

  14. ,
    February 4, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Lies put out by the media cause millions of deaths, These are horrific war crimes. Are these murdering cowards ever held to account? No, because the government feeds them lies, and fully approves their broadcasting them to an ignorant and gullible public. It’s all part of the horrific “games” the wealthy oligarchs play with human lives.

  15. Shawn
    February 4, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I imagine the correspondence leading to the latest WMDs regime-change tactic went something like this:

    US Establishment: We need a lie to continue regime-change in Syria. Can we arm Al-Qaeda terrorists and call them “moderate rebels” fighting a savage government?

    US Advisors: We literally just did that…in Syria.

    US Establishment: Hmm. What if we arm an even more extreme group like ISIS for a coup and call them “freedom fighters”?

    US Advisors: We also just did that. They were Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. It’s too soon.

    US Establishment: … . . . . ! We should say they have WMDs! That worked really well that one time!

    US Advisors: Actually, it backfired horribly. Now that term has become synonymous for war under false pretenses and willful deception. Syria got inspected for WMDs and was fully compliant under Obama. We also just tried that again last year, but forgot to have our “first responders” wear chemical/biological suits in our Sarin attack photo op and people noticed. It’s way too obvious. There couldn’t possibly be a worse narrative than that.

    US Establishment: TL/DR

  16. Brendan
    February 4, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    The lack of concrete evidence and reliable witnesses are not the only weaknesses in the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons.

    There’s also the lack of any apparent motive, either in the form of military advantage or of controlling the civilian population. In fact, Assad had every reason not to carry out the two most famous chemical attacks during the war.

    In 2013 the OPCW weapons inspectors had just arrived in Damascus a few days earlier, when the Sarin attack happened in Ghouta a few kilometers away.
    Criminals don’t usually invite investigators to a location that is within a short travelling distance of the scene of a serious crime that they are about to commit.

    By the start of April 2017, the new US administration was starting to accept that Assad would remain in power. Its UN ambassador Nikki Haley said on 30 March that “getting Assad out” was no longer a priority that they would focus on.

    That position changed completely a few days later, after the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack on April 4. Almost every western government also joined in the condemnation of Assad for that atrocity. Nobody seemed to wonder why the Syrian government would blow its chances of international acceptance, all for the sake of an attack that was of no apparent benefit.

    And now in 2018, we are being fed stories of Syrian plans for more chemical attacks, at a time when Syrian forces have made huge advances with purely conventional weapons. Again, they have no reason to attract the hostility of powerful western countries and have every reason not to. But still, we’re being asked to believe that Assad wants to risk being “regime changed”, presumably because he just can’t help being so evil.

    • jeff montanye
      February 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      the single bullet theory was more convincing.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 5, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        Thanks for the chuckle Jeff…

  17. Joe Tedesky
    February 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    How stupid are we to believe, that every time Assad gets an international breakthrough to a closure for peace or a reassurance of his own legitimacy, that he Assad would then decide to use chemical weapons on his foes, or his very own Syrian people. Where this catches the average American off guard, is where the average American has a lack of knowledge to anything regarding Assad, except to the outrageous once in awhile terrifying headlines that Assad is a butcher of his own countrymen and woman. Pay no never mind too the news coming from the alternative news sites, because Assad is a ‘regime’ and when our Neocon infested governments MSM describe another country’s leadership as a ‘regime’, well that’s all a red blooded American need know. When the official narrative polls well enough,well then America is off to another war. Once when there was a ‘Morning in America’ who would have ever believed that morning would turn into an endless night where America continually stays asleep?

    • Annie
      February 4, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      When reading this article I was thinking about why Americans were, and continue to be, so asleep when it comes to our wars in the Middle East, not that I haven’t thought about it before. While there are many Americans who rail against Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, his racism, they have little if anything to say about our wars in the ME which have killed, injured, and displaced millions of Muslims. Now Bush has grown more popular in the American mind, which I’ve seen first hand. Little was said during the Obama administration as he toppled Libya and turned the wealthiest country in North Africa into a hell hole. I know the media plays a significant role in controlling the American mind, but I wonder if the ME was basically non-Arab and Christian how influential would the press be in winning their indifference. I certainly think that Israel is able to go forward with it’s hideous agenda against the Palestinians, because Israelis are for the most part racists. I think that is true of us as well, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, although neither country would acknowledge that.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm

        Sadly, the racist American would prefer the Israeli over the Arab Palestinian, and there you have it. Although the racist is nothing to be proud of, the complacent American in many respects, is as big, if not bigger of a problem. War in America is sold in the abstract.

        Out of our own conjured up fears, we Americans have become the terror of the world, yet none of us know that. This complacency is fueled by a mantra of exceptionalism, and with that the whole world is made to suffer, and to live inside of their own fears that America may one day attack them. Invasions prove to be a great recruitment tool, in order to assure blowback, which provides the fear against terrorism.

        There was a moment in American history where much of this could have been avoided, but because Senator Claude Pepper fell short within five feet and few seconds from the microphone so as he could nominate Henry Wallace as FDR’s 1944 VP pick we ended up instead with ever swaying Harry (the buck stops here) Truman. Wallace felt secure in our American exceptionalism, but rather than enforce our American ways Wallace felt safe that America could survive on its own while respecting other nations sovereignty. So, it didn’t, or doesn’t have to be this way Annie, but you already knew that. Thanks for your comment. Joe

        • jeff montanye
          February 4, 2018 at 10:41 pm

          all so true. trump, with all his obvious faults, is the best thing to happen to u.s. domestic law enforcement policy and foreign policy in many decades. i hope he tries, at the opportune time, perhaps as the now court sanctioned, constitutionally protected israel boycott heats up, to get israel to make the palestinians voting israeli citizens. it would do much to improve the palestinians’ lives and, in time, make israel less toxic.

          bust 9-11 and change the world.

          • Daniel
            February 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm

            Trump’s daughter, Yael (the name she took when she converted to Orthodox Judaism) has given $ millions to organizations building illegal, Jewish-only housing in occupied Palestine. As a minor, her hubby, Jared opened his bedroom to Nutty Yahoo who stayed in the Kushner home while in New York.

            Trump campaigned for Israeli PM Bibi Nutty Yahoo.

            I suggest you do a search for the video “Trump Is The Swamp” to get a short briefing on why his Administration is all in for the Israeli “completion of 1948” plan to annex what remains of Palestine.

        • Nancy
          February 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm

          Good analysis of our predicament, Joe. Very sad though.

        • evelync
          February 5, 2018 at 3:59 pm

          American exceptionalism, indeed, Joe….

          What really pisses me off is our unending geopolitical scheming because we “know” what’s best for the world – or at least for the Oligarchs….. Mrs. Clinton did one good thing, IMO (snark)…she exposed how very shallow and contrived our foreign policy and our geopolitical masterminding is because of her political clumsiness.

          Our fellow Americans continue, happily, to pay for these endless wars that kill and dislocate millions of people and cripple the minds and bodies of our soldiers for what they are tasked with.
          I wonder how many stop to think that, for example,Steve Jobs who made their iPhones possible was Syrian…or at least his father was/is Syrian. That every time they turn on their iPhone they’re celebrating a Syrian. How many Steve Jobs still living in Syria will be murdered by our foreign policy? Why is Assad, another powerful contributor to violence, the focus?

          George W Bush, Hillary Clinton and the rest were soooooo malleable and intellectually/emotionally bankrupt. But why are these enablers of wealth and power allowed to control the fate of this planet?

          (Sadly, Obama, too, buckled to this insanity….He failed to put his foot down and close Guantanamo when he had the chance….and to try, for once, to set this country on the road to sustainable peaceful co-existance….

          The oligarchs run things for their short term profit. It was spelled out in Jack London’s (The Call of the Wild) perhaps most informative book “The Iron Heel”.

          • Nancy
            February 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm

            Obama was/is part of this corrupt cabal. He never had any intention of closing Guantanamo or following through on the host of promises he made to get elected. He was truly the perfect candidate for the powers that be to continue their agenda.

          • Gregory Herr
            February 5, 2018 at 7:38 pm

            perfectly “groomed” … I agree Nancy

  18. ranney
    February 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    That’s a compelling (and increasingly frightening) list of of the propaganda lies that our government along with the military feeds us in order to maintain the forever wars our military/industrial complex desires.
    Thanks for that.

    But you did leave one out – that is Ukraine. Perhaps that’s because we haven’t actually bombed Ukraine or sent US soldiers to fight – yet. But we have told terrible lies; the major one being that Russia “invaded” Ukraine ( they don’t mean Crimea; they use another word, “appropriated”, for that). Russia did not invade Ukraine but, in a sense, we did when we spent $5 billion on NGOs (according to Victoria Nuland) to stir up trouble and train certain groups ( like Svoboda and Right Sector – both Nazi groups) to organize their protests at Maiden square. In Ukraine the fully CIA financed NGO known as NED ( National Endowment for Democracy) was the major money for the “coup”. I wonder if they were also the major money behind the White Helmets? In any event, it shows how our militarized government works – finance and train revolutionaries, then sit back and watch what happens, all the while lying and prodding our media to take up their cause.
    It has apparently worked quite well, a number of times. Libya apparently was another of those (rumors of a massacre by the government which later proved false). Once you begin to see the underground and underhanded workings of our government, it’s hard not to feel sick to your stomach – that is if you have any moral sense at all. Apparently the people who have been running our government and continue to do so even today are lacking that.

  19. Abe
    February 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat “open source” scams are propagated by mainstream media and NGOs. An example is the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical incident in Syria.
    https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/syria0517_web.pdf

    The HRW report debuted at a 1 May 2017 press conference at the United Nations. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of HRW, repeatedly referred to the new report as “our own investigation”. Responding to questions, Roth stated, “Yeah, I mean, um, we’ve used open source material, we’ve checked this with experts, we’re… we’re quite confident”.

    According to the report, HRW “obtained photos and videos of remnants of the munitions used in the attacks. Specialists in weapons identification and chemical weapons inside and outside the organization analyzed the remnants” (page 10). However, it is clear from the report that HRW activities were limited to laundering a list of names supplied by “opposition” forces in Al-Qaeda controlled Idlib, and conducting telephone interviews with the “opposition” vetted alleged “witnesses”. In fact, HRW performed no independent verification of any of the “opposition” claims presented in its report.

    HRW relied on information supplied by “opposition” forces and laundered by Bellingcat collaborators. Higgins’ pal Dan Kaszeta was HRW “specialist” on “chemical weapons” (pages 29-30). Hadi Al-Khatib of Bellingcat, the HRW “specialist” on “weapons identification” (page 41), is the founder and director of “Syrian Archive”, a large database of Al Qaeda and White Helmets videos allegedly “verified” as “documenting” purported “human rights violations” in Syria. Higgins and Bellingcat fingerprints are all over numerous fake “independent reports” and bogus “government assessments” about Syria.

  20. Deniz
    February 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    The US needs troops in Syria to counter the upcoming Turkish offensive in Manbij, which is a Kuridsh / US stronghold in Syria, so they announce some phony WMD story to maintain narrative to the American public and avoid needing to explain themselves. The US is not in Syria to fight Israel’s oil wars, they are there to save young, attractive Kurdish women fighters from Assad.

    • jeff montanye
      February 4, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      not all are attractive or young or even kurdish. some are nerdy and academic, talented and freedom loving, older and wise, all very worthwhile and wanting to educate and uplift the female population of syria much as the same cohorts in afghanistan are similarly blessed with u.s. help in their education, economic betterment and general consciousness raising. nothing to do with cia poppy fields, gas pipelines, mic inventory reduction, job security for the deep state . . . .

      • Deniz
        February 5, 2018 at 12:00 am

        So what are these nice people doing, partitioning Iraq and Syria squatting the best oil rich lands, aligning with Israel and the US, militarizing, accepting half a billion dollars in munitions, bombing Istanbul, aligning with crooked leaders, and refusing any sort of compromise for protection and alliance to their respective sovereigns?

        They dont seem very nice to me.

        • MarkU
          February 5, 2018 at 8:59 am

          I read the Jeff Montanye post as being ironic rather than ultra-deluded. I may be wrong of course but I doubt it.

  21. Abe
    February 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is a pro-NATO propagandist who’s been lying about responsibility for “chemical attacks” and campaigning for “humanitarian zones” in Syria for years.

    A former British Army officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion, his 23 years of operational deployment included the 1st Gulf War, Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he runs a “security company” based in the UK.

    Masquerading as an “independent specialist”, Bretton-Gordon contributed to Eliot Higgins’ “Brown Moses” disinformation blog. Like Higgins, he was a darling of British mainstream propaganda media like the UK Guardian.

    In 2016, Bretton-Gordon declared without evidence in 2016 that hospitals were “bombed by the regime and by the Russians almost continuously”.

    Recently Bretton-Gordon offered a li’l wink to Bellingcat, once again declaring without evidence that “I don’t think there is a cat in hell’s chance that rebels or ISIS were responsible for the Ghouta attack”.

    And Higgins is still massively lying about responsibility for “chemical attacks” with no evidence necessary
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/02/01/third-time-year-chlorine-used-chemical-weapon-douma-damascus/

  22. David Smith
    February 4, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    There will be no US escalation in Syria. The US saying they will not leave Syria is empty talk neccesary to keep the Kurds in East Syria on station. The US is merely playing the situation for as long as possible to make the situation as difficult as they can for the government of Syria, and of course they owe the Kurds for their loyalty. In Afrin the Kurds could have avoided the Turkish attack by acceding to Syrian government control and that is a lesson not lost on the Eastern Kurds. The war against Syria is nearly over. Turkey will not tolerate any Kurdish enclave in Syria, and neither will Syria, so the only option for the Kurds is to rejoin Syria. Then the US will have to leave.

  23. Loup-Bouc
    February 4, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Only can one weep for the inevitability.

  24. February 4, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    here is a tasty morsel from a press conference 2 days ago….Mattis admits US has no evidence of Syria using sarin gas

    https://www.rt.com/usa/417758-mattis-syria-sarin-assad/

    regards

    D

    • February 4, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      oops…i was speed reading this because the wife just came thru the front door…and missed the link Rick had already provided…./blush

  25. Gregory Herr
    February 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-mainstream-media-whitewashed-al-qaeda-and-the-white-helmets-in-syria/5624930

    Eva Bartlett, Tim Anderson, Vanessa Beeley, state Senator Richard Black (Virginia) and others who have spent time in Syria are voices that need to be heard.

    • glitch
      February 5, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Second this.

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