Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law

It was a sad spectacle to see U.S. brass rubbishing the Constitution and trying to silence critics of the U.S. strike on Syria, says Ray McGovern in this commentary.

By Ray McGovern Special to Consortium News

The U.S. Constitution and international law suffered a stinging blow last night at the hands of an odd coalition that might be called Goldilocks and two moral dwarfs posing as Marine generals, together with a “Right Dishonorable” harridan and a young French poodle.

As was the case 15 years ago when the U.S. and UK launched a war of aggression against Iraq, the pretext was so-called “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) — this time the claimed use on April 7 of chlorine (and maybe the nerve agent sarin — who knows?) in Duma a suburb of Damascus.  And this time French President Emmanuel Macron was allowed to join, as junior partner, the gang that can’t lie straight.

The attacks by the Gang of Three came hours before specialists from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were to arrive in Syria to study soil and other samples in Duma. The question leaps out: Why could the Gang not wait until the OPCW had a chance to find out whether there was such an attack and, if so, what chemical(s) were used?

Sentence First, Verdict Later

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis could only say that he believes there was a chemical attack and that perhaps sarin, in addition to chlorine, was involved. Serving until now as the only available “evidence” are highly dubious reports from agenda-laden “social media.”  What is clear is that the U.S./UK/French Gang wanted to strike before the OPCW investigators had a chance to ascertain what happened.  Hmm.  All the earmarks of “Sentence first; verdict afterwards.”

Mattis: Giving a new meaning to “flaming” on social media.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry made a habit of advertising how “extraordinarily useful” social media can be.  He got that right.  Of the main alleged “chemical attacks” by Syria — on August 21, 2013; April 4,2017; and April 7, 2018 — the primary, if not exclusive — source of information was the “extraordinarily useful,” but notoriously unreliable, “social media.”

Marine Martinets

Briefing the media last night, after Goldilocks had set the stage announcing “retaliation” for the (unproven) use of chemicals by the Syrian government, were two four-star Marine generals, one of them (Mattis) retired, who seem to have mistakenly thought that the Marine motto had been changed to “Semper Lie.”  It was a very sad spectacle.

In 1961, when I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.  Also drummed into the heads of us newly minted officers was the obligation to tell the truth — always.

I had assumed — apparently naively — that Marines took the same oath and obligation.  The attack on Iraq 15 years ago destroyed that assumption.  I will cite just two examples that scandalized me.

Hear No Evil, Speak No Truth, Get Rich Quick

Zinni: A relatively straight shooter who remained quiet nonetheless.

Marine Gen. Zinni was receiving an award at the Veterans for Foreign War convention on August 26, 2002, and decided to play Brer’ Rabbit as he listened to the main speaker, Vice President Dick Cheney, set the meretricious terms of reference for war with Iraq.

Zinni had been commander of CENTCOM and had retired two years before, but his continued role as fully cleared consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings for Iraq.  Zinni later said he was shocked to hear Cheney’s depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew the accurate intelligence to be. “There was no solid proof that Saddam had WMD. … I heard a case being made to go to war,” Zinni told Meet the Press three and a half years later. (Emphasis mine.)

Earlier, Zinni enjoyed a reputation as a relatively straight shooter with a good bit of courage. And so, the question lingers: why did he not go public when he first heard Cheney’s lie?  THAT might have stopped the war.  What seems operative here, I fear, is an all-too-familiar conundrum at senior levels where people have been conditioned not to rock the boat, not to risk their standing within the Washington Establishment or their prospects for lucrative spots on the corporate boards of arms manufacturers.

Semper Fraud

Without the full cooperation of former Marine, Senator Pat Roberts (R, Kansas), who was Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee before, during, and after the attack on Iraq, Bush and Cheney would have had far more difficulty perpetrating that crime.  Because of Roberts’s participation in what easily qualifies as a criminal conspiracy, Bush and Cheney were able to run amok — until, finally, the Senate changed hands in 2006.

On June 5, 2008 Roberts’s successor, Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced the completion of a five-year Senate Intelligence Committee investigation — a study that had been continually sidetracked by Roberts.  Rockefeller introduced the study’s bipartisan findings with these words: “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

Fellow Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter found Roberts’s behavior shameful.  Ritter was unable to resist writing: “Semper Fraud, Senator Roberts.”

Against that background, it was particularly painful last evening to watch two Marine four-star generals peddling at the Pentagon a bogus casus belli for another unprovoked armed attack — this time on Syria.

Assad: Odd time to use chemical weapons.

Media people favored with a Pentagon pass were too timid to ask pointed questions about the evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for some strange reason known only to him, picked a time of near victory to “use chemical weapons against his own people” on April 7.  No one asked why the rush to judgment; why the gang of three (the U.S., its aging British cousin, and its young French poodle) could not have waited just a day or two for UN inspectors to arrive and discover whether the so-called “chemical attack” amounted to a true casus belli, or a casus belly-laugh.

Following Orders

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford remind me of the generals of the Third Reich in “just following orders,” lying through their teeth about the pretext for attacking Poland — er, I mean Syria — as though the solemn oath they took was to the Fuehrer — er, I mean President — not the Constitution.  It seemed, at first, that President George W. Bush’s dictum still reigned at the Pentagon; i. e., “The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper.”But President Donald Trump and Secretary Mattis did not go as far as Bush. No doubt under White House orders, Mattis dutifully recited the key tenet of constitutional scholar Dick Cheney’s dubious “unitary executive” theory; that is, that the President is somehow not bound by Article I (Section 8) of the Constitution.  That Article I section may have been in mothballs since the attack on Pearl Harbor, but remains a very important part of the Constitution.  And the U.S. has gotten into a peck of trouble by those —administrations and members of congress, alike — who have chosen to circumvent this key provision, which reserves to Congress the power to declare war.  Our Founders wanted this to apply, if a King — er, I mean President — got it into his head to attack another country.  Syria, for example.

At the beginning of his speech, Mattis employed this dubious variant, without the slightest demurral from those wishing to retain their Pentagon passes: “As our commander in chief, our President has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.”

Bush: ‘A goddamned piece of paper.’

Those interested should re-read Article II.  They will look in vain for anything like the Cheney/Mattis variant.  All that part of Article II says is: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”

A Common Error With Budding Officers Too

An experience I had teaching a class at the Naval Academy in Annapolis 12 years ago suggests that students at U.S. military academies are led to think that Article II supersedes Article I. Lecturing to a third-year class of about 50 students about political/military events, I referred innocently to the solemn oath required of military personnel and asked what that oath was all about.  “Well, it is an oath to the President, of course,” said the first student who threw up his hand, with several others nodding assent.  I said that was quite wrong.  And it turned out to be like pulling teeth to find one student who knew that the oath was to defend the Constitution.

Last evening I found myself wondering what Attorney General Jeff Sessions thought of Mattis’s messing with Article I, Section 8.  For, not too long ago, there was one shining moment when Sen. Jeff Sessions did his best to challenge then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who pretended to be unfamiliar with the bedrock fact that the Constitution reserved to Congress the right to declare war.

Libya: Precedent for Syria

Sessions: Baffled.

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, pursued this key issue with Panetta. Chafing ex post facto at the unauthorized nature of the war in Libya, Sessions asked repeatedly what “legal basis” would the Obama administration rely on to do in Syria what it did in Libya.

Watching that part of the testimony, it seemed to me that Sessions, a conservative Southern lawyer, was not at all faking when he pronounced himself “almost breathless,” as Panetta stonewalled time after time. Panetta made it explicitly clear that the administration does not believe it needs to seek congressional approval for wars like Libya. At times he seemed to be quoting verses from the Book of Cheney.

Sessions: “I am really baffled … The only legal authority that’s required to deploy the U.S. military [in combat] is the Congress and the President and the law and the Constitution.”

Panetta: “Let me just for the record be clear again, Senator, so there is no misunderstanding. When it comes to national defense, the President has the authority under the Constitution to act to defend this country, and we will, Sir.”

If you readers care about the Constitution and the rule of law, I strongly recommend that you view the entire 7-minute video clip.

Constitutionally, the craven Congress is a huge part of the problem. Only a few members of the House and Senate seem to care very much when presidents act like kings and send off troops drawn largely by a poverty draft to wars not authorized (or simply rubber-stamped) by Congress.

A Chill on the First Amendment

Secretary Mattis devoted his last minute last evening to a careful reading of the following warning:

“Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.  And, in an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Ms. Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, Director General of the Joint Staff here in Washington, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow morning — we are anticipating at about 9:00 in this same location.”A warning not so sotto voce: Criticize the craven behavior of Mattis, Dunford, or the Gang of Three, and you will be “aligning” yourself “with the Assad regime.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years.
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219 comments for “Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law

  1. April 18, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Ray, I read everything you and all VIPS publish. I just watched your interview on Turkish TV. As a recovered evangelical fudamentalist (it took 10 years of intense weekly therapy to recover my programmed and shattered mind), I swear to god that the evangelical fundamentalists in power along with the rest of the “crazies” are using the 1970s NYTs bestselling book on alleged biblical prophecy as their playbook: “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsay. As you described the potential of a war that could pull in both Russia and China as well as Israel and US/allies, I flashed back to being in Lindsay’s classes —- as well as many mega-church presentations describing this scenario as “Armageddon”! I know from what they did to my mind that they REALLY ARE crazy enough to believe they are doing “the Lord’s work” if they provoke war on behalf of Israel and against Russia (their alleged biblical Magog). OMG! Hitler thought he was doing “the Lord’s work” also! Didn’t George Bush and several other US presidents and some Puritans and slaveowners assume that also! When I Googled Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin/Family Research Council and John Bolton there was no doubt Bolton is their man! In their minds they are fighting for “religious freedom” and “evil” Islam along with Bolton. They are as delusional and dangerous as John Foster Dulles was! Thank you for speaking out every opportunity you get!

  2. E. Leete
    April 17, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Well I guess that’s it then. Nobody is ever going to agree that the thinking is absolutely correct and importantly so in my posts above, and nobody is ever going to argue that I am wrong. The astute will just be ignored. The ceiling is wet, the living room is flooded, but everybody is going to keep on insisting the right thing to do is to keep mopping the floor, nobody is ever going to acknowledge that the solution is to go upstairs to the bathroom and the shut the water pipe off at its source.

    “People like you are still living in what we call the reality-based community. You believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors, and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    So. Ridiculously. True.

  3. April 17, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Thanks again for having the courage to speak Truth to Power. It is only the presence of qualified voices like your own that can hope to awaken and inform the American public of the crimes that are routinely committed in our name without our awareness or consent. It should be very difficult for any rational human being to refute the conclusions you have so clearly presented in this article on the Syrian tragedy.

  4. April 16, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks Ray,
    For pointing out in words what we all know is going on – even though Congress is expressly given the Constitutional authority to declare war (Art. I, Sect. 8), the President is the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy (Art.II, Sect. 2). So, when the Commander in Chief decides to authorize acts of war (bombing and/or invasions of say Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Viet Nam, Korea, Kosovo, and Oh yes Syria, to name few), not to mention interference in the political processes of Iran, Chile, Venezuela, Ukraine, how can it come as any surprise that the rest of the world views “our” United States as the biggest threat to world peace in poll after poll. Is this the vision of America we really want to leave our grandchildren?

  5. anastasia
    April 16, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    From all I have seen since 2001, I have drawn a few inferences. Americas days of empire are waning, Putin is bidding his time, and l am not going to get off this earth in time or naturally.

  6. April 16, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Mattis expected disinformation because the US, France and the United Kingdom were lying.

    I am repeatedly amazed at the way even apparently decent Americans seem to think that the only law that needs to be observed when attacking foreign countries is US domestic law. It isn’t. The US is obliged to observe international law, as well. And there are only two possible justifications for a military attack on a foreign country. One is self defence. This does not apply as Syria is not attacking the US, France or the United Kingdom. The second is a United Nations resolution authorising the use of military force. This, not only does not exist, the US, France and the UK never even sought such a resolution.

    The attack on Syria sent the world a message – the US (and its allies) is above international law.

    http://viewsandstories.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/an-attack-on-international-law.html

  7. Colin Jackson
    April 16, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Dear Ray McGovern,
    I am fully persuaded by this article. For a long time, I have admired and been guided by your insights and judgement.

    It is in proportion disappointing to see you make – not just a mistake, but a bad mistake. Your remark about Defense Secretary James Mathis and Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford being like “the generals of the Third Reich…”just following orders”, lying through their teeth about the pretext for attacking Poland” shows you have swallowed lies about Germany. These lies are from the same Mind and the same nations as are now lying about Syria, and whose lies you are now rejecting.

    Germany did not lie its way into war with Poland. Polish radio threatened Germany, and tens of thousands of German speaking settlers in Poland were abducted, abused and murdered (see “Bromberg massacre”), with no attempts by the Allies to stop this.

    Until the death of Pilsudski in May 1935, Poland was allied with Germany against Russia. Pilsudski was succeeded by leaders as vacuous as Trump, and Britain and the USA whispered the idea of attacking Germany into the ear of Smigly-Rydz. Germany was forced into World War II (see at the very least the memoir of the British ambassador, Sir Nevile Henderson) by the same nations that you are now criticising for attacking the Middle East.

    The cause of WW II teaches us about the destruction of the Middle East. Syria, and Libya until recently, had usury free banking, as did the Third Reich, Japan and Korea. “Globalisation” is total control by a single, usurious gang of bankers, and means the end of human decency, unless we manage to stop it.

    I recommend “The Forced War” by David L. Hoggan.

    With admiration and kind regards.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 16, 2018 at 11:02 am

      I recommend “The Forced War” by David L. Hoggan

      I looked at the WorldCat site and found only 116 libraries in the world hold this book in the English version. On to the publisher:

      Institute for Historical Review

      Founded in 1978 by Willis Carto, a longtime anti-Semite, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek “truth and accuracy in history,” but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism.

      From the Hoggan wiki:

      Hoggan argued that Hitler’s foreign policy was entirely peaceful and moderate, and that it was Nazi Germany that was in Hoggan’s opinion an innocent victim of Anglo-Polish aggression in 1939…

      What a crock.

      • Colin
        April 17, 2018 at 5:05 am

        Zachary
        To dismiss an argument, you first have to read it.
        The book is on the internet. I am surprised that as many as 116 libraries have it. Those would be libraries to trust.

        On Polish aggression, did you try “Bromberg massacre”?.

        The knowledge of the masses is based on faith. They believe what they are told. The masses believe Wikipedia.

        • Zachary Smith
          April 17, 2018 at 12:33 pm

          No, I do not have to wade through a bunch of crap to “dismiss” it. I have at least five feet of bookshelf space on the subject of WW2, and I’ve been through most all of them. I know quite a bit about Hilter and his outfit, and there is no way under heaven I’m going to read an author who pitches the line Hitler was a swell fellow and a “victim” of everybody.

          A few years ago I found a book by David Irving at a library book sale. In those circumstances a person does a quick flip-through looking for damaged/missing pages as well as excessive marking. When I got the book home and started reading it I was horrified at what I found inside. That book did NOT get passed on to some rube who didn’t have the background I did, but was instead tossed into a hot bed of coals. More recently I found a book on Douglas McArthur by a fanboy author. Ditto – hot fire.

          If I ever run into the Hoggan book at a garage sale rest assured the same thing will happen again. The book will then become just a little bit more expensive and rare in the hard copy.

          • Colin
            April 18, 2018 at 1:49 am

            Ray McGovern’s Mistake

            Where are you, Ray? Have you checked this point of historical fact? Here’s Zachary Smith helping you.

  8. Ivy Mike
    April 15, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    It is now so obvious that our political leadership is violating our Constitution and International Law by deploying combat troops worldwide that we need to start holding the young men and women volunteering to serve in the illegal wars responsible, also. It breaks my heart that so many young people are too ignorant to know right from wrong, but if you are joining up with the certain knowledge you will be deployed to a war zone or be acting in support of one you damn well ought to learn exactly what’s going on beforehand. Our Country is a disgrace from top to bottom.

  9. E. Leete
    April 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Happiness is in reality, we are in unreality.

    Problems have causes. And they have solutions. Our purpose is to stop unnecessary suffering and to stop people getting killed – and get a functioning Democracy with a government responsive to our needs for justice.

    note: I will not be asking you to love your neighbor. For all I know your neighbor is a nasty jerk who beats his wife and kicks his kids. You don’t have to learn to love the nasty jerk to save the world. You DO have to NOT do unto him what you would NOT have done to you. If you love YOURSELF, with enough intelligence to know you would not want to be robbed, don’t rob him. Etc.

    There are legal thefts. (As well as some successful illegal thefts.) It is vital to the welfare (happiness, quality of life) and to the very survival of each and every person to know that legal thefts exist. The legal thefts have a devastating effect on quality of life. They have destroyed 99% of human natural birthright happiness. We can be enormously happier by understanding legal theft, and taking appropriate action. Legal theft threatens the very existence of the human race.

    What is a legal theft? What are the implications of legal theft? Why are the legal thefts so important?

    Legal theft is theft, theft is injury, injury produces violence. People reliably retaliate injury. Theft is money for no work, money for others’ work, overpay, pay injustice, financial inequality, taking out from the social pool of wealth more than the person has put in by his work. Only work creates work-products, which are substantial wealth. All the money represents all the work-products. Money is a license to take substantial wealth out of the social pool of work-products.

    The amount of money one gets is supposed to equal the work-value of the work-products one produces, and to equal the work-value of the work-products one takes out. We have division of labor, job specialization, so one works mostly in production for others. We put our work-products in the social pool for others to buy, and one is supposed to be compensated correctly so that the money one gets enables one to take out of the social pool of wealth (shops) a quantity of the work-products (goods and services) one needs and desires equal in work-input to the work one did. A person spends all day making shoes for others, and should get out the amount of money that enables the person to buy an amount of things that have a work-input content equal to the person’s work.

    Theft is when this doesn’t happen. And we have legal forms of this theft.

    What are the implications of the presence of legal theft in societies?

    One, legal theft means that the amount of money a person has is not a correct indicator of the amount of work the person has done. It means the amount of money a person has is not a measure of the amount of wealth production a person has done.
    Two, it means that pay injustice will ever-grow in society, and produce ever-increasing violence. Theft, legal and illegal, gradually and continuously separates work and money. Some (now 99%) have more and more work and less and less money, and others have more and more money and less and less work. Pay per unit of work endlessly declines for some and endlessly increases for some. Since money is the license to take work-products out of the social pool of wealth, and work-products include all necessities and desired things that cost, loss of money is extremely significant for people. Money is virtually everything. Money is the joker good, good for millions of things, most things, including necessities and social power. Theft of money is theft of virtually everything, including necessities for life. Ever-growing pay injustice means ever-growing anger, resentment, violence.

    James Madison said “The purpose of government is justice” so, in Democracy it is the prime purpose of the people to achieve and maintain justice. And pay justice is the most important justice.

    The state built on injustice cannot stand. The state, and the globe, built on injustice is torn apart by the violence (war and crime) it causes. Every state has been built on injustice and has fallen. Violence gets to everyone. Violence is localized at any one time, but can pop up anywhere anytime. It gets to the most overpaid and the most underpaid and to everyone in between, in hundreds of ways.

    Pay justice is fundamental to everything; to freedom, to democracy, to peace, to survival, to safety, to enjoyment, to happiness, to order, to sanity, to meaningfulness, to fulfillment, to existence. Unless there is action to minimize pay injustice, there is ever-increasing danger, grief, worry, suffering, pain, destruction, disorder, shock, crisis, corruption, dis-information, lying, disaster, war, crime, riot, revolution, chaos, terror, horror, weaponry, injury, damage, brutality, evil, confusion, warmongering, cannon-foddering, spying, fraud, embezzlement, lynching, people-burning, crucifixion, hijacking, massacre, murder, mugging, drug-running, strikes, demonstrations, assassination.

    We have all those things, not in small quantity, but in great quantity. We have 1% with 98% of the money and 99% with 99.9% of the work. We have torture, genocide, massacre, riot, revolution, war, crime, corruption, weaponry capable of killing every person, warmongering, cannon-foddering of millions.

    If democracy and freedom are 1 with pay justice (equal pay for equal work, a ratio of highest to lowest pay per unit of work of 1), we have freedom and democracy of 0.000000001, because we have a ratio of highest to lowest pay per unit of work of one billion. Pay injustice, legal theft, has been growing for thousands of years, and so has violence (war, crime and weaponry). Money is power, so 1% have 98% of social power, and 99% have 2% of social power.

    Is the situation hopeless? There are some reasons to believe it is not. In the first place, violence gets to everyone. It ruins everyone’s quality of life. Money is only the second greatest power. Every plutocracy has fallen, and every plutocracy has been extremely arduous and dangerous. Every heap of wealth, individual and national, is weaker than the rest of the world. The costs of self-defense inevitably exhaust the greatest wealth. One person with the property of 1000 has 1000 enemies. Everyone is climbing the ladder of ‘success’ (more money) and yet the overpaid are few and ever-fewer (percentage of population), so more are falling than rising. Like a Las Vegas needle fountain, every bit that goes up comes down. We all face nuclear extinction. Therefore it is in everyone’s interests to stop it.

    Where there is a universal will, there is a way. To create this will, we only need to learn the reality, by reading with honesty with ourselves. Happiness is wholly within reality, so realism is always in our self-interest.

    Secondly, it is easy to reduce pay injustice. It requires only:

    A) electronic transmission to every person of an equal share of a 1%-a-month increase in the money supply. This gently lowers overpay and lifts underpay. Inflation is not bad when the underpaid are over-compensated for it by the equal share. The equal share is paid to both overpaid and underpaid only to save the enormous bureaucratic cost of distinguishing the two. This requires only a tiny bureaucracy, a well-guarded computer can do it. It disturbs the overpaid hardly at all. The overpaid maintain their relative position to each other, so there is no power disturbance. The underpaid lose their righteous drive to be climbing up to the overpaid, as the equal share lifts them up towards pay justice, towards getting out as much as they put in by their work. This eases the stress and danger of the overpaid, lifts their quality of life.

    and B) Making inheritance public instead of private. This will make the overpay shower gently down on humanity over three generations. It takes no self-earnings from living persons, and it reverses the perpetual concentration of wealth and political power in fewer and fewer hands. It counters effectively the natural tendency of money to concentrate unjustly, violently. Yes, making inheritance public instead of private means (almost) a 100% inheritance tax. We are preventing inequality of fortunes from growing to infinity by shoveling overfortunes into underfortunes. We know money automatically, unjustly concentrates endlessly, so any sensible species will introduce a counter to that. The simplest way is having every human being have one account (which governments will be happy to open since it means money coming into the country) into which the estates of deceased persons over US$1 million are distributed equally, electronically, directly, immediately, automatically. Private heirs can share the first US$1 million, (if we choose not to completely eradicate free gratis money). Parents would have trusteeship of children’s accounts till some suitable age, say 10. (This will give parents good reason to teach economic sense before the date children take over responsibility for their own funds!) This method is low-impact, yet totally effective. It doesn’t take away overfortunes from living persons, yet it will move humanity from extreme injustice and violence to near perfect pay justice and non-violence in just three generations – the time it takes for all the overfortunes to die.

    Examples of legal thefts gladly provided if any interest is expressed.

  10. rosemerry
    April 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I just happened to reread William Blum’s “Rogue State”, and found the attack by Bill Clinton which destroyed the “chemical weapons facility” in Sudan in 1998, which of course was the factory producing 90% of that poor country’s medicines for humans and farm animals. How many other “mistakes” over the last 20 years has the USA made?

  11. E. Leete
    April 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Democracy means people-rule. As in, all the people having the power to rule themselves. But wealth is power. When 1% have most of the money they have most of the power. Concentrated power. Power to influence, power to control. Power to buy politicians’ votes, to buy the laws, to write the laws and put themselves above the laws, power to make theft legal, power to keep inventing new legal thefts, power to buy the media and make it say what they want the 99% underpaid underpowered to hear and to prevent the 99% hearing what they don’t want learned, power over school curriculum, power power power.

    It logically follows that Democracy *by definition* is rendered impossible where wealth is allowed to concentrate.

    The USA is said to be a Democratic Republic – a great experiment in Democratic government guided by a Constitution that was written to define and constrain the powers of (the people who are running) a Federal government.

    But I argue that that is an illusion due to the facts that wealth inequality has, through neglect of justice, through complete lack of consciousness of legal theft and vigilance about economic justice, been allowed to gallop away to staggering extremes, meaning power has reached mad extremes meaning we are speaking of Democracy as if it exists when that is impossible according to logic and reason.

    Furthermore, this having reached staggering extremes of wealth and poverty and therefore crippling extremes of power is not a recent event. The inequality factor, the ratio of highest to lowest pay per hour was one million in America in the 1880s. (Today, globally, it is one billion.)

    We have the ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity, and we have the super hyper extreme opposite practice. We would never say that we believe in extreme slavery, maximal inequality and minimal fraternity, and yet we act in that belief every second of every day, and reap the extreme corruption, violence, disorder and danger without question! We would never grant that we give away enormous amounts of money to a few individuals, and yet we do.

    And then we are surprised by it, and spend our lives lamenting it when the wealthy buy up our governments and make mockery of our Constitution, our domestic law, and international law and norms.

    And we pretend the problem is that nobody knows what to do about this. And we pretend the required solution is getting all of humanity to love one another…

  12. April 15, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Absolutely, mike! We see how easily misinterpretations can be made.. We can be grateful that Putin acts in a thoughtful, measured way, consistently, unlike the immature machos in the US driver’s seat of this runaway DC train wreck. Putin has been rebuffed so many times, but he gets what’s driving the West.

    And a belated Happy Birthday, mike! I note your birthday was March 18, the day of Vladimir Putin’s reelection in Russia.

  13. Anonymous
    April 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    There are Many Voters in Britain who think that if their Prime Minister acts Unilaterally, as the British Prime Minister has over Syria, then, it is because the Reality is that the ‘United’ Kingdom is Really Greater England, which is in Reality, England rather than Britain or the United Kingdom, or any other Euphemism that could be used for Greater England, which is in Reality, England.

    This has been Known for a Long time, and other British Voters agree with the Leader of the Opposition that Parliament Should decide such matters, even though International Law, and the Presumption of Innocence, Due Process, and the Right of Dissent Should decide such matters, Regardless of Deceptive and Illegitimate ‘arguments’ Invented by the Unprincipled Hardened and Corrupt Liars of Anglo America, and their Puppets.

    This is because of the English Colonist Mentality, and this is Known to Everyone, with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island being in Subjection to its Colonial Puppet Master, England, and we Know that France is Also a Colonialist Country, and that America is an Imperialist Country, and a has policy of extending their Country’s power and influence through Colonization, use of military force, or other Despicable and Unprincipled means at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/13/the-long-history-of-the-u-s-interfering-with-elections-elsewhere/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d8e48952735e .

    The Citizens of Countries can Decide to Voluntarily Boycott Any or All Goods and Services from England, France, and America, in order to Establish International Law and Order.

    Nazi Colonialist England, Nazi Colonialist France, and Nazi Imperialist America, will Only Reluctantly begin to ‘behave’ or make a ‘virtue’ because of Necessity, because of Voluntary Sanctions from the Decent People of the World.

    There are Many British Voters who think that the current Illegitimate British Prime Minister Usurped the Primeministership, because of Having the Dirt on other British Politicians and High Public Officials and Journalists, with which to Blackmail them to be her Puppets at https://www.thepileus.com/uk/theresa-may-and-the-missing-child-sex-abuse-files/ , which she has in a Secret place, in order to Cover Up how the English Shadow Regime Puppetizes People, and Corruptly set up someone to Wrongly take the blame, or Blame the Victim.

    This is because the English Shadow Regime and their Puppets Know how to Cover Up, and how to Wrongly Blame Innocent People, and how to Bribe People to Lie for them, or to Threaten and Intimidate People, even Innocent People to Lie for them, and they Know how to Improperly Slander Other People at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/06/westminster-child-abuse-accuser-nick-charged-paedophile-offences/ .

    There are British Voters who Acknowledge these things, and they think that it was Also done this way to Conceal the Identities of British Politicians that may have been mentioned on the Pedophile File, because they would have been Blackmailed to Vote as their Shadow English Puppet Masters wanted them to Vote.

    It is Logical to Carefully Consider and Deliberate on the Plausible Allegations of Investigate Journalists.

    There are Many Americans who want a New Special Counsel set up to Investigate Foreign Control of America’s Congress.

    This is because they think that Mueller is the American Shadow Regime’s Mule, who was FBI Director who Covered Up the American Shadow Regime’s Responsibility for the 11 September 2001 Incident, and has Probably been Secretly Filmed himself, and there is a News Article on the State Of The Nation Website, and it speaks of the Bill Clinton Pedophile Sex Tape Filmed By Jeffrey Epstein at http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=52130 , and at https://nypost.com/2016/10/09/the-sex-slave-scandal-that-exposed-pedophile-billionaire-jeffrey-epstein/ , and Israel has Bankrupted America with Blackmailing America to conduct Illegal and Immoral Wars in the Middle East at http://www.usdebtclock.org/ .

    America has Admitted to Premeditated War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide, with Syria being one of its intended Innocent Victims, even as it is Admitted that Iraq was one of Anglo America’s Innocent Victims, because one of the Generals on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon said there was No reason for a War against Iraq, and the ‘reason’ given was Only because Colonialists and War Criminals do these things, and the Video is Titled: General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years, and we Know the Lies they told for the Illegal and Immoral Iraq War.

    It is therefore Obvious that Anglo America would Invent Many Lies for Syria, and the Skripalgate Hoax Scandal was part of those Lies, as were the Strategically Timed Lies by the Colonialists, who Lied that the Democratically Elected Legitimate Syrian Government used chemical weapons, which were used by Anglo America or its Puppets to try to Colonize Syria at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw , and Everytime ISIS or Alqaeda or the Anglo American Sponsored ‘rebels’ who in Reality, are Terrorists, used those chemical weapons, then the Democratically Elected and Legitimate Syrian President and Parliament were Found to be Innocent, and Syria is a Member of the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for years, and has Not had any chemical weapons for years, and one of those examples is at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/ , but Terrorist Colonialists Invent Slander and Speak Lies.

    There are Many People wondering Why has Germany Lied for the Anglo America Colonialists because of Slandering the Democratically Elected Legitimate and Innocent Government of Syria, and it Could to be that they are Lying for France, to try to keep France in the European Union, in case France is Enticed to join the Western European Free Trade Association of which the United Kingdom is a Member of, so that Germany naively does seek Markets in the East for some of its Goods and Services, and it Could be that England has Offered the European Union More under the Table Secret Brexit Hush Money, if Germany Lies for England.

    There Could be another Equally Accurate Explanation, which Could be that Colonialist and Imperialist Anglo America has the Dirt on European Union Politicians, and how Large is the Dirt File that Anglo America has on Influential People and Public Officials in Many Countries, because of their Extensive Spying at http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/new-snowden-document-reveals-us-spied-on-german-intelligence-a-1055055.html , and at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10407282/Barack-Obama-approved-tapping-Angela-Merkels-phone-3-years-ago.html , and at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-23123964 .

    The Terrorists, who are the Secret Allies of the Anglo American Colonialists and Imperialists, Know that if they use Chemical Weapons, then Anglo America will Improperly Slander the Democratically Elected Legitimate and Innocent Government of Syria, and so they have a Vested Interest to have Terrorist Criminal Anglo America Assist them in their Criminality.

    This is Why there are Many Voters in Britain and America, who want half of their Members of Parliament or Members of Congress, to Retire at the next Election, and that these would be Chosen by Lottery, and for the other half to Retire at the following Election in order to have more Untainted Candidates and fewer Puppets and fewer Traitors in their Political System.

  14. No_SoY_gOy
    April 15, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    “Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law”?

    Or, “Attacking Syria: Thumbing (((Noses))) at Constitution and Law”?

    Sorry, I simply COULD NOT resist THAT one.

  15. April 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t think from reading a few such stories that we can really understand what’s going on with UN geopolitics, Oakland Pete. I just think one has to be careful about jumping to conclusions at this point.

    • mike k
      April 15, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      You took the words out of my mouth, Jessika. Dissing Putin here is not helpful. He is in a super tough spot. I trust him more than the other players to do the right thing. His record shows him to be a pretty good egg in my book.

  16. Oakland Pete
    April 15, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    The real story here is not the western attack on Syria, but the Russian sellout of them. Today (Sun 4-15-18) we read one story after another in RT about Russia willing to compromise on the US/UK/France UNSC resolution, wanting to join up with the Arab League and Turkey for an overall political solution in Syria, etc. This is a prelude to everyone but the Syrians deciding the future of Syria. Assad is no saint, but he is far better than anything anyone outside of Syria could impose. This is an imperialist design just like Sykes/Picot. Russia has shown itself to as opportunist as we feared when he teamed up with Ergodan, and unreliable as a broker for international sanity. We should have the honesty to say so.

    • rosemerry
      April 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      It may seem like that, but I think after all these years of experience Putin probably has plans. He is often accused of being slow to react, but the caution is needed when we have complete absence of any sense/brains/thought/care among “our leaders” in the West.

  17. George
    April 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I arrived decades ago from Poland, than under the socialist type of rule (it was Not a “communist country or rule, albeit there were some “undesirable elements” to this, like a little tormenting of dissidents, maybe a little shooting, maybe a little, see “bad apples”).
    Anyway, yesterday I heard on the Public Radio a fragment of some US general uttering, that “the action was to cause destruction to the Syria’s War Machine….” I started laughing.
    If someone, or much of the subject of the King…err… this “Republic of Spin” are laughing – it is a bad omen. Per the old saying, French perhaps.
    There is a talk about the “Russian propaganda”, about their “influencing of US election”. . . . Well, the Russians do not have to do a thing. With time it is obvious that nothing true emanates from the political “elites” of the USA. And this way the Russians win the war for the hearts and minds. And also the world sees this – US politicians are always lying. The resistance is growing. Will the second sort-lived Rome fail soon, because of such barbarians like me – completely sarcastic about the “exceptional empire”?

    GJD – the agents know it too, so there is no need to hide my initials
    15-IV-2018, IL

  18. siw
    April 15, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Israel will never allow the US to leave Syria.

    • April 16, 2018 at 9:23 am

      Thanks, siw,

      RIGHT. You put your finger on, I believe, the lion’s share of the Bibi-influenced Trump administration. Without understanding this, those Americans who are interested, simply cannot understand why Syria should be such a target for the U.S.

      They ALMOST never see it explained in what is called the “mainstream media.” And now the oily — and growing — influence of Saudi Arabia has to be added to the mix.

      Why do I say ALMOST never? Because those reading the lead article of the NY Times on Sept. 6, 2013 would have learned enough to understand.

      (How to understand how a truthful article re Israeli motives vis-a-vis Syria slipped onto page one of the NYT? I can only guess: but I imagine that the NYT brass and chief censors were still recovering from the martinis they are wont to sip on the 19th hole in the Hamptons on Labor Day weekend.)

      In any case, I have found it useful to remind audiences of the article in question — by Jodi Rudoren, NYT Bureau Chief in Jerusalem. Following are some notes I wrote for myself at the time, including verbatim copy of Rudoren’s key paragraphs — which seem all to relevant today.

      So cui bono? Who Profits from Syria Turmoil? Over the past year or so, it has become clear that the Netanyahu government has had powerful incentive to get Washington more deeply engaged in yet another war in the area. Israel’s priority aims have become crystal clear in many ways. But who’s to know?

      Reporter Judi Rudoren, writing from Jerusalem in an important article that appeared in the New York Times on Sept. 6, 2013, addressed Israel’s motivation in an uncommonly candid way. Her article, titled “Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria,” noted that the Israelis have argued, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria’s civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome.

      +++++++++++++

      Rudoren wrote:

      “For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.

      “‘This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,’ said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”

      ++++++++++++++++

      If this is the way Israel’s current leaders look at the unconscionable carnage in Syria, they seem to believe that deeper U.S. involvement, including military action, is likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict. The longer Sunni and Shia are at each other’s throats in Syria and in the wider region, the safer Israel calculates that it is.

      The fact that Syria’s main ally is Iran, with whom it has a mutual defense treaty, also plays a role in Israeli calculations. Iran’s leaders are not likely to be able to have much military impact in Syria, and Israel can highlight that reality as a way of embarrassing Iran.
      (end of my original notes to myself)

      That’s what I wrote almost five years ago. But things do change. Iranian (as well as Russian) forces HAVE had military impact in Syria in helping Bashar al-Assad prevail — up till now. This, of course, explains a lot, once one appreciates the reality of Washington’s “passionate attachment” to Israel.

      Let’s spread the word. Otherwise, our neighbors have zero chance of understanding U.S. behavior toward Syria.

      Ray McGovern

  19. mike k
    April 15, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Do you find thinking about nuclear war is a very depressing downer? Yeah. I agree. But I really want you to think about it. If enough of us refuse to think about it, it might just be more likely to happen.

  20. mike k
    April 15, 2018 at 10:38 am

    The thinking from the Empire seems to be, “You have threatened you could destroy our aircraft carriers with your new weapons; so let’s move a carrier group into range of Syria, and see what you can do if we launch a more vigorous missile attack on Damascus?” Typical bully’s taunting and testing – “I’m gonna get right in your face, what are you going to do about it?” There comes a point where slugging the bully becomes essential for one’s own protection. This is what the Empire is challenging Russia to do. Their estimation – including Trump’s idiocy – in my opinion is incorrect, When the chips are down, Russia will act forcefully to defend herself, whatever it takes. They have been warned, by Putin and the head of the Russian military. Will they have the good sense to back off? With Trump in the mix, who knows?

  21. mike k
    April 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

    And if any here should opine that the “pinprick” missile attack on Syria recently made the chances of WWIII recede, I would rejoin, not so. I think this attack has increased the chances of war with Russia going very hot, very soon. All that has happened is that raining missiles on Syria without real justification has now been largely accepted by the preternaturally relaxed public, making it more likely that there will be an encore with many more missiles employed, which will evoke the vigorous response that the Russians have warned will be their counter move. From there, all bets are off…………

  22. Brady
    April 15, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Pulling the puppet strings. Sorry for the error.

  23. Brady
    April 15, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Ray, thanks for chiming in with your busy schedule. It’s nice to know the author gets involved with his readers. At the functional level US and international law have been violated, our constitution is on the scrap heap, and our constitutionally protected rights are being eviscerated as we speak. Is it possible for you and the many great contributors at CN to go up a few levels and state why and how, and who is putting the puppet strings? What is the impetus for the checks and balances of the three branches of government to violate the very constitution that affords them the position they are in?

    • April 15, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks, Brady,

      It is THE $64 Question. Judging from many of the incisive remarks above, there are many who could attempt such a project — in addition, of course, to consortiumnews’s own writers.

      The Germans have an expression: Jetzt bin ich ueberfragt — Now I am [literally] “overasked.” Greed/Money/Power haves to constitute a huge part of the answer, but exactly how it all works … I don’t really know.

      Those of you who could help on this, would you accept Brady’s challenge, and fill us in?

      Ray

      • April 16, 2018 at 3:06 pm

        Perhaps a passage from “The Life Divine” by Sri Aurobindo will offer some inspiration for efforts to identify the root causes of war:

        “The deepest instinct of humanity seeks always and seeks wisely wisdom as the last word of the universal manifestation, not an eternal mockery and illusion, – a secret and finally triumphant good, not an all-creative and invincible evil, – an ultimate victory and fulfillment, not the disappointed recoil of the soul from its great adventure.”

  24. mike k
    April 15, 2018 at 10:14 am

    If any here should still hold some hope that our friend D. Trump will turn out to be a secret genius at solving the world’s problems, or even a reasonably sane human being, this article might help disabuse you of that fond notion:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/15/nato-trio-bomb-syria-with-dubious-bravado.html

  25. Desert Dave
    April 15, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Moderator, are you there? This added nothing to the discussion, is hateful, racist, and disgusting.

    I come to CN for the smart commentary, not this.

    • mike k
      April 15, 2018 at 10:10 am

      I agree Dave. We need to draw a line somewhere on comments, lest this site become like some I have visited, which have degenerated into ugly name calling venues.

  26. mike k
    April 15, 2018 at 9:40 am

    To admit that there is a problem that you cannot see how to solve, is the first constructive step towards it’s solution.

    If you fail to see that there is a difficult problem that calls for a solution, then you will nor search for a solution. Or if you think you already have a solution, when in fact you don’t, then also you will fail to seek a real solution.

    Those who know that they know, know not. Those who know that they know not, know. Knowing that you know not is real knowledge; from there you have a chance to gain more knowledge. This is where we are in terms of solving the world’s problems around the intelligent use of power. We are at step one – acknowledging that there is a problem, and we don’t know how to solve it.

  27. The Seeker
    April 15, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Mr McGovern, everything you say is spot on and the helplessness the Americans in the know must be feeling is truly beyond description. What we need is a way to be heard to effectuate change… Trump was elected on promises to change the perpetual war agenda and get out of the Middle East… maddening and am afraid this road we are on will make the scenario painted in Orwell’s 1984 seem like a church picnic!

    • mike k
      April 15, 2018 at 9:45 am

      Congratulations on being a seeker. “This thing we speak of cannot be found by seeking it, but only seekers will find it.” (Sufi)

  28. Al Pinto
    April 15, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Great article Ray, thanks…

    The question is, what can be done afterward to prevent similar events taking place in the future?

    In the US, there isn’t anything that could be done, well, other than the unlikely mass protest by people. Neither the Congress, nor the military intend to follow the Constitution as you wrote. How about the UN and/or the International Criminal Court (ICC)?

    Unfortunately, the UN is as strong as the states allow it to be. And to state the obvious, the UN is just as useless as the US congress.

    That leaves the ICC, more specifically the Rome Statue of ICC, that defines crime of aggression as:

    “the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.”

    The Statute an defines an “act of aggression” as:

    “the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.”

    I am aware that the US is not a party to the Rome Statue. As such, while it is not impossible to have warrant against the current and/or former POTUS, the US is not required to comply.

    On the other hand, both England and France are signaturies and they have to comply with ICC. Is there any reason why Theresa May and Macron cannot be charged and arrested for the crimes they have just committed? In my view, there is no reason why it could not be done. Unless of course the US would threaten to attack Hague, if and when the head of the states arrested. It would not be the first time that the US threatens such action…

  29. Known Unknown
    April 15, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Mr. McGovern is, of course, correct that the latest attack on Syria violates international law and the Constitution. The reality is our leaders simply don’t care. And they get away with these violations over and over again because a) the American political system is irredeemably corrupt, b) international law has been corrupted by the western powers who ignore it when it applies to themselves while using it, along with the UN and UNSC, as a way to force their self-created “enemies” line and c) neither the media nor the citizenry holds war criminal leaders to account.

    These letters, and the outraged comments online supporting them, are a kind of theater that makes people like they are “doing something”, but everyone knows these gestures have zero impact on anyone in power. Chomsky pointed out, in the 80s, that every postwar American president would have been tried and hanged by the Nuremberg Tribunal for their crimes.

    Trump making a crude remark (e.g. “shithole countries”) has the liberal braintrust fainting in the aisles but when he and his buddies shoot 100+ missiles into a country for no valid reason they applaud wildly (and then complain it wasn’t a “tough” enough message). Words can’t describe how vile and backasswards this is.

    I fear the system is too far gone and can no longer be changed from within. It will take the people getting angry and taking to the streets by the millions, prepared to risk their lives, before TPTB get the message that their time at the trough is over.

    • RnM
      April 16, 2018 at 10:21 am

      This is Truth. Heed it and weep for the death of the Enlightenment, which had a brief flowering, and a few revivals. Those ideals live only in a few place now.

  30. Marcus
    April 15, 2018 at 7:42 am

    This article at OffG are suggesting this time the initiative for the attack was mainly from the UK in order to distract from its crumbling Skripal narrative.

    http://off-guardian.org/2018/04/14/the-skripal-event-and-the-douma-gas-attack-two-acts-in-the-same-drama/

    • April 17, 2018 at 7:24 am

      I highly recommend reading Elijah Magnier’s article here: https://ejmagnier.com/2018/04/15/the-us-secret-plan-on-damascus-foiled-the-russian-role-before-and-after-the-us-uk-france-attack-revealed/

      He has it that the U.S. had planned a large scale action to topple Assad, to be launched by a false flag attack in Ghouta, initiated by a large scale “rescue” attack from Al Tanf into and through Eastern Ghouta to take all of Damascus and bring down the Assad government. That the Russians spotted the preparatory movements in the Al Tanf area and persuaded the Syrian Arab Army to freeze its then-current attack on Idlib and rush its troops to take Ghouta as quickly as possible. That maneuver succeeded and destroyed the planned U.S. maneuver using proxy troops (and presumably U.S. air support) to take Damascus.

      That does not account for the particular timing of the false flag “chemical” attack or the cruise missile attack. It is conceivable to me that the U.S. decided to do a cruise missile strike to do away with the Syrian Air Force and had the proxy forces in Ghouta simulate a chemical attack as justification. The U.S. then vetoed a Russian UNSC resolution to have the OPCW investigate because such an investigation would find nothing. But OPCW has independent authority to do its own investigations and accepted the Russian and Syrian invitation to investigate.

      That put the U.S. in a bind because if the Russians or Syrians had gathered any environmental samples for testing, they would almost certainly have been stored at the Barzah Research and Development Center, Syria’s agricultural research center, which happens to be where OPCW hangs its hat when it is doing investigations in Syria. (Agricultural research centers are typically equipped with analytical equipment to test for the presence of pesticides and other chemical pollutants.)

      OPCW was set to begin its investigation on Saturday, so Friday night was the latest the U.S. could strike and destroy any samples at the Barzah center without risking injury or death to OPCW investigators.

      That’s just a hypothesis. Time may tell the truth.

  31. April 15, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Friday night was a writing (w/one hour out for sleeping) night. Saturday afternoon meant revival and refreshment at the Memorial for Robert Parry, with a few tears flowing, at various reminders of a truly remarkable Mensch, mentor, model, and friend. Then home in time for very large nap; after which, up for an hour on live radio in San Francisco (9:00 to 10:00 PM, Pacific time). And, just now, a full two hours reading and thinking about the wealth of comments on this good site. (slow reader)

    A sincere thank you to all of you for “all of the above.” When folks ask me about what went down Friday night/Saturday morning, I shall strongly encourage them to read through the comments, as well as my article ….. and to click on the links in some of the comments, as well.

    I learn much from your comments; I am grateful (if, by now, a bit bleary-eyed).

    Thanks.

    ray mcgovern

    • zendeviant
      April 15, 2018 at 5:32 am

      You’re heroic, Ray. Thank you for your continued efforts. Hard to believe I’ve been cheering you on for over a decade. Atta boy.

      An inspriation to carry on, a reason to find hope. Guys like Mike K and I can fall into despair to easily, looking at the big picture.

      Momma T sez: “We can do no great things–only small things with great love.”

      So I will set my despair on the shelf today, and gird myself with hope and truth. Good onya, Ray! Breathe in that fine spring air, where there is life there is hope.

      • mike k
        April 15, 2018 at 8:19 am

        Thanks zendeviant. I too am a zendeviant, ever since I read D.T. Suzuki in 1961, and soon after went to Hawaii and sat with Bob Aitkin, in the early days of his founding the Diamond Sangha. I began deviating the day I was born, and have never stopped going astray from the “straight and narrow”. For that reason and others, I have never been committed to a despair only position. Why do I harp on the negative aspects of our situation on Earth? A sample from recent journaling:

        March 17, 2018 Watching tiger cubs learning to stalk their prey on Planet Earth. Hunting techniques and weapons were used against other humans. Can the apex predators of today be stopped, before they destroy all life? The struggle to create a world of love and cooperation must contend with these throwbacks to our ancient origins. Can we use our intelligence and positive emotions to overcome the selfish power drives we also have? People like Trump, the Koch bros., neocons, CIA exult in their power to get more power and wealth by killing others. They use their lack of conscience to succeed in their quest for domination and power. They use the peaceful thinking and behavior of their human prey to enslave or destroy them. Their lack of scruples is their strength to effect their evil aims. Torture is natural to them, and simply an obvious tool to get what they want. Like all sadists, they glory in being able to hurt those who might oppose them.

        Our fundamental question is: Can we turn a world given over to violence and greed into one ruled by love and cooperation? If we cannot do this, we are doomed to die as a species, at the hands of the worst among us.

        March 18 (my birthday) The human race is failing, and dangerously close to it’s extinction. Most people on Earth today live in unconsciousness and denial of this obvious reality. The very small number who are fully aware of this are at a loss how to turn this desperate situation around. Ironically, those in the best position to save us from our onrushing fate are those least inclined to act in order to do so. Their psychological blindness is even deeper than that of the masses who they so assiduously lie to and delude.

        (and for those who might wonder what zen is)

        April 14 2018 Be still and know. We do some simple regular practice to invite the stillness. It comes when it will. We wait without expecting anything. To not expect anything is to invite the stillness. But maybe to invite is too much. We just sit. Nothing more. Innocence. Just being. Not asking. Not waiting. Empty. No mind. No ego. Just there. Just present. Existing. Letting go. Surrendering everything. Dying from it all. Zen is dying. Let go of everything but simple awareness. Aware, empty. Simply existing.
        Let your mind rest from thinking. To simply sit and be there without thinking is meditation.

        Your mind will want to think of this and that, Just let go of thoughts when they arise. At some points the pressure to think will lapse. When it comes again, gently let go of it. No need to push thoughts away, just release them effortlessly. Lose interest in your thoughts.
        Practice dying to everything before you actually die to everything at your biological death. Death is a release. Death is laying down all your burdens. We are clinging to so much. Practice letting go of all of that you are clinging to. To sit down to meditate is to offer up all of yourself to God. Let go into God. Return to your most basic identity. Trust that you can drop all your defenses and things you have been holding on to. Let it all go. Surrender completely. Just give up. Quit fighting it. Ahhhhhhhh…………….. Then the silence.

        Meditation is entering another way of being, another state of consciousness, another reality hidden within the one you are familiar with. When you change, everything changes. You will be born into another world that has always been there, but you were unaware of it. You were focused on your thoughts, and lost touch with the simple feeling of being. You were too busy with doing to notice the blessing of just being. Busy, busy, busy – you lost yourself in doing. When you were not busy thinking and doing you felt uneasy, and hastened to fill that precious gap with some more activity and thinking. You were in flight from silence, and the experience of your own being.

        These have been some thoughts about meditation. But to know it, you will have to begin practicing it. Then it will reveal itself to you, in you, and all around you – gradually, in it’s own time……….

        • zendeviant
          April 15, 2018 at 3:48 pm

          A kindred spirit indeed!

          Always good to know someone else is pondering the big questions and able to set them aside.

          My boat carried the largest single warhead in the nuclear arsenal back in the eighties. I’ve really been scratching my head about it ever since.

          BUT, so far so good, life endures. Thanks for reaching out.

  32. Joerg Pliquett
    April 15, 2018 at 3:10 am

    It is not only the US- Constitution violated. The 2 other members of the gang did the same. They
    did NOT ask for permission of the respective parliaments in UK and France. They are war criminals like the US-government. Even our Chancellor Merkel applauded and is guilty as well. Sad and humiliating for our people! Exceptionally humiliating is the fact that they know, that we know, that they are liars! They commit war crimes in OUR Name!
    Joerg Pliquett
    Germany

  33. Realist
    April 14, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    There is the constitution which is supposed to be the rulebook by which the American government functions. The constitution can be changed in only a rigidly specified way spelled out in the document itself. Then there are a bunch of informal but universally-accepted standard operating procedures, like the Senate filibuster for example, which have no force of law but still determine the way things are done in the White House, on the Hill and in the Supreme Court. These operating procedures evolve over time, not necessarily formally but often implicitly, and are treated by the pols in the federal government as though they do have the force of law and are often allowed to supersede the constitution, as in the case of Congress’ specified monopoly on the war-making prerogative.

    Over time the structure and functioning of the federal government has been purposely allowed to drift considerably from what is specified in the constitution. Of course, the words will always need to be interpreted by the Supreme Court (the first prerogative unstated in the constitution that the Court lavished upon itself in the early days of the Republic). It took the executive over two hundred years to strike back with the unconstitutional usurpation of “signing statement” prerogatives, functionally editing legislation passed by the legislative branch, which so far has offered no resistance to the outrage.

    So it goes even in the ongoing presence of two philosophical factions that have much to say but only erratic influence over the matter. There are the strict constructionists who claim the only acts of government with any real legitimacy are those explicitly spelled out on the parchment released to America in 1789. Some strict constructionists go so far as to claim that the original intent of the framers of the constitution must be followed, even if not spelled out in the document. They use other sources, such as the Federalist Papers, to divine such wisdom.

    Then there are those who characterise the constitution as a “living document,” one whose words they are free to re-interpret and re-apply to a highly-changed modern world. This meta-knowledge must also be divined from extraneous sources. In essence, an “O mores, O tempora” approach. Some make reference to holy books and others to the constitutions and laws of other countries, which can either outrage or delight the strict constructionists depending on the functional outcome.

    If the constitution has really functioned as such a living document over our nation’s history, it’s biography reads rather like the Doctor Who television series in which the central character keeps being reincarnated (they call it “regeneration”) from one distinct individual to a person completely different after a near-death experience. You would never recognise the original Doctor (a crotchety old curmudgeon) in the extant version (a vivacious young woman) even though a new birth certificate is never issued during the regeneration. But such is what you get when you simultaneously attempt to adopt profound change whilst professing rock-solid continuity. The scriptures say one thing, cannon law something quite apart. It’s not just the American federal government. There was a time when the UN actually gave lip service to preserving world peace.

  34. Zachary Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    While roaming around looking at headlines I saw this one by the Editorial Board of Bezo’s Blog. Too gutless to sign their names, I guess.

    “Trump was right to strike Syria. But the mission is far from accomplished”

    No link, but the gist of it is that WE must stay in Syria until Assad is banished. After that everybody will live happily ever after. No link to the crap, but that’s what some of the warmongers are saying.

    Another is more specific. The New York Post Editorial Board wants an immediate declaration of a no-fly zone in eastern Syria. Why not? Trump is going the path of Hillary in many other ways. “Protecting” the good terrorists in eastern Syria may be a problem, for an Israeli Propaganda site claims that Syria is planning on an offensive there to clear out both the terrorists and the US invaders. They lie a lot, but this might be some of the “payback” promised for the air strike. Will Trump & Company attack regular Syrian Army units trying to reclaim their own nation? I’d say that depends on the nature of the “goods” somebody has on him. Israel would love to see some Russian advisors killed by the US, for the craphole nation would finally get what it really wants – a deadly confrontation between the US and Russia. Murdering unarmed Palestinians is much more their idea of a “fair fight”.

  35. Zachary Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 9:08 pm
    • Gregory Herr
      April 15, 2018 at 1:28 am

      Another interesting point of view along the lines of committing a crime worse than the one you accuse another of is found in the following piece:

      http://www.chris-floyd.com/mobile/articles/alchemical-reactions-transmuting-death-dealing-dung-into-pr-gold-14042018.html

      “One simple point: if the US/UK/France really believed the building they targeted (and hit) in a heavily populated civilian area of Damascus was actually making chemical weapons, what do they think would have happened if all that toxic material had been dispersed by explosions throughout the surrounding neighborhoods? Hundreds if not thousands of civilians would have died. So either the “Western powers” knowingly risked killing thousands of innocent people — or else they knew the building was not actually a chemical weapons facility.

      Thus we are left with two possible conclusions: either they are “gas-killing animals” happy to murder untold numbers of innocent people in a military action (the very crime of which they accuse Assad); or they are deeply cynical liars using entirely bogus “humanitarian” concerns to advance a geopolitical agenda of domination in the Middle East that has already killed more than a million innocent human beings, displaced millions more, destroyed several countries and destabilized the entire world. There really are no other options.”

      From a CNN article:

      “The Pentagon assessed that nerve agents were present in the Barzah research center.”

      So there we have it.

      • Gregory Herr
        April 15, 2018 at 1:43 am

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/syria-strikes/?utm_term=.f33add56c143

        “The coalition hit the Barzah Research and Development Center outside Damascus with 76 missiles, destroying the facility and setting back Syrian chemical weapons capabilities “for years,” the U.S. military said in an initial assessment.

        The second and third targets were part of what the U.S. military described as the Him Shinshar chemical weapons complex outside the city of Homs. The military said the strikes “completely destroyed” the complex’s chemical weapons storage facility and “successfully hit and sustained damage” to the installation’s chemical weapons bunker.”

        So if the installation near Homs was indeed a “chemical weapons bunker” wouldn’t OPCW be able to discern such through scientific testing? Perhaps part of their mission in Syria should include a dispatch to Homs and an analysis of the Barzah remains.

        • April 17, 2018 at 6:29 am

          @ Gregory Kerr: “The coalition hit the Barzah Research and Development Center outside Damascus with 76 missiles, destroying the facility and setting back Syrian chemical weapons capabilities “for years,” the U.S. military said in an initial assessment.”

          The Barzah research center is where the OPCW hangs its hat when it’s conducting investigations in Syria. It had recently been certified free of chemical weapons and technology. But contrary to the U.S. claim, the center was hit by only 3-4 missiles and a much larger set of locations were targeted in Syria. See http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/syria-pentagon-hides-attack-failure-70-cruise-missiles-shot-down-.html

      • Realist
        April 15, 2018 at 4:13 am

        Yes, it is “amusing” to read the MSM accounts of these actions, not just from the United States, but from the exceptional country’s BFF, the UK where the leaders are positively ranting about standing up to Putin’s barbarism and forecasting that the mad Russian will now launch cyberattacks in retribution for his humiliation in Syria. Micron over in France is saying much the same. I guess this unholy alliance of countries all of which violated their own constitutions and cut their legislatures out of the war-making decision are telegraphing the type of false flag they plan to use next as a pretext to attack Russia. If the power ever flickers for a millisecond over at Con-Ed, Com-Ed, PG&E, Entergy or FPL it will be bombs away over Moscow.

        Oh, and the 71 allied missiles that were allegedly shot down? Fake news. According to Western sources, they all got through and totally destroyed all three of Syria’s active chemical weapons plants. How remiss (or duplicitous) of Russia not to notice any of that. As you say, lucky none of that Sarin was released into the atmosphere when the storage containers were breached by the explosions. Or maybe the allies included massive amounts of atropine (the antidote) in the missile warheads along with the explosives cuz that’s the kind of righteous folks freedom-loving white people are. So glad we could help.

  36. mike k
    April 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Fasten your seat belts? What seat belts? Just sit back and enjoy the ride……..if you can……….

  37. ritzl
    April 14, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    As a ratified treaty, Title VII of the UN Charter is the law of the land in the US. It forbids use of force* against a sovereign country unless authorized by the UNSC. No domestic legislation can make unilateral, discretionary use of force legal without that UNSC authorization. Period.

    —-
    * outside of self-defense.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      If only the laws could restrain human hubris. They don’t. They can’t. Only hearts full of love can do that.

    • RnM
      April 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      John Botton wipes his arse with Title VII of the UN Charter.

  38. April 14, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Article at link below. Are the people waking up?
    —————————————————————————
    Theresa May faces anger over Syria raids as Trump declares ‘mission accomplished’

    UK opposition leaders insist that parliament should have been consulted before airstrikes
    Toby Helm, Martin Chulov, Sabrina Siddiquiand Michael Savage
    Sat 14 Apr 2018 20.57 BST
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/14/syria-missile-raid-may-faces-anger-trump-declares-mission-accomplished

  39. Jeff
    April 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Get your fall out shelter ready. This is the same scenario as existed prior to WWII. Countries, esp the US, sanctioning other countries and the League of Nations unable to control powerful nations. The UN is toothless and its secretary general is complicit. Why did the Secretary General allow the US to expel 10 Russian diplomats? Why hasn’t the Secretary General stood up FOR Syria which has had it’s sovereignty violated by Israel, Turkey, and the United States? Indeed, why haven’t the United States and its lapdogs been sanctioned for attacking and dismembering Iraq and Libya?

    Get ready. WWIII is just around the corner.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      My old shelter built in Berlin airlift days is long abandoned. There is no shelter now from what is coming, nor will I seek any. If I am here for that most miserable day, then I will just take it on the chin like so many of my pitiable fellow humans. It will be a time to deepen my meditations, and think beyond this vale of tears………

  40. F. G. Sanford
    April 14, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    That which never prospers comes to mind.
    Though some will argue definition, posing strained obtuse cognition,
    The Oath recites both foreign and domestic sins within the bind.
    Without a war that’s been declared by definition what’s impaired,
    Is recognition that the profiteers should thus be so defined.

    None dare call it by its rightful name.
    The perpetrators shame detractors citing sway to foreign actors,
    Rush to judgement serves to justify and validate the blame.
    Loathsome venal politicians offer scathing admonitions,
    Questioners risk easy threats the unified conspirators proclaim.

    Secret power schemes in every season.
    Equivocation and evasion laced with frank prevarication
    Left alone usurps the state and swindles those whose trust abandons reason.
    Those enemies The Founders named, domestic ones as they proclaimed,
    In every epoch they foresaw that future schemers would cavort with treason.

    The Declaration charges crimes and blames The Throne.
    The King conspired to impose, they well described with lofty prose,
    A naked state conspiracy designed to fleece them to the very bone.
    Treason and conspiracy, the stew which brews mendacity
    Were pitfalls well recorded as coeval tomes of history had shown.

    Fear inspires fools to shun the name.
    The dread of lost prosperity inures to frank disparity,
    Excuses come to justify what otherwise would qualify as shame.
    The Rule of Law is still defined, and though the term may be declined
    For patriots, a call to heed, the word is bloody treason just the same.
    – F. G. S.

    Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
    – Sir John Harington.

    Yes, I realize that some “Constitutional scholar” will argue that I haven’t understood the “Constitutional” definition of treason. Be that as it may, I bloody well understand the moral definition. And, conspiracy to subvert The Constitution still qualifies as a “High Crime”. Our Constitution was framed on the notion that “conspiracy” was not a rare manifestation of self-serving politicians, and The Declaration of Independence is, by its own definition, an indictment based on a “conspiracy theory”.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Good poem, good points.

    • Gregory Herr
      April 14, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Yes sir. Our domestic war profiteers are certainly also enemies of the Constitution and our Founders understood “themes” of humankind and the need to be wary of inevitable conspiracies or schemes of the self-serving who gain power. Call it by its name…it is treason (moral and otherwise), and it is all too bloody as well.

      Right. Quite right. You’re bloody well right. You know you’ve got a right to say.
      –Supertramp

    • April 15, 2018 at 3:00 am

      F G, I was hoping you would chime in; thanks. ray

    • Skip Scott
      April 15, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Thanks F.G. Another great post. Always good to hear from you.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 15, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Good to hear from you F.G. Joe

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 15, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you so very much F.G. Sanford, you’ve been indispensable through the years…

  41. KiwiAntz
    April 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks for this article, which confirm’s that the US Constitution & Law’s are nothing more than a bunch of empty words written down as a worthless document & drafted by a bunch of slave owning, white, American Aristocrates who didn’t want to pay taxes to their founding English overlords? Just as in the lies & fabrication used to justify the illegal invasions in Iraq & now with Syria, there’s absolutely no doubt now that America, doesn’t even abide by its own founding Document’s & Laws, let alone UN International Laws & you may as well tear up this moth eaten paper document & put it in Trump’s toilet at the Whitehouse so he can you it to wipe his butt with it, America is crapping on every Nation on a Earth with total disregard for any human decency & other Countries rights to determine their own destiny & sovereignty? Dr Evil, the Porntus in Chief, Mr Trump supported by his baggy eye hagwitch, Theresa May & mini me Macron have now bombed Syria under a false pretext of chemical poisoning? The United Airforce’s of ISIS consisting of the American, UK & French airforces mounted this illegal immoral & ineffective attack against a Sovereign Country? Well done America there’s no fool like a old fool, being taken for suckers by a bunch of Islamist Terrorists?

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Islamic terrorists have nothing on USA terrorism. They are pikers compared to the US killing machine. And in fact they owe their existence to the US who founded them and continues to fund them and supply them with weapons. Thus they are the suckers the US uses for their dirty work.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 14, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      You got sort of carried away with the Constitution. The Second Amendment is still sacred, and so is the “unwritten” part of the document which describes how Corporations Are People. The Supreme Court is very good at reading between the lines when the outcome is one they desire. Another example of the Court’s wisdom was the Dred Scott case.

  42. April 14, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    More info at link below on Syria
    —————————————————-
    The Attack on Syria and International Law
    By DANIEL LARISON • April 14, 2018, 2:42 PM

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-attack-on-syria-and-international-law/

  43. April 14, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    “Chemical attack Syria: Tulsi Gabbard demands answers from Secretary James Mattis on attacking Syria”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyfx4Ef2aCA

  44. WC
    April 14, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Here’s a segment from a recent article by Martin Armstrong that I though worthy enough to throw into the mix here. My only question would be – is this realistic or too idealistic given the nature of the beast? :)

    . . . . . “Russia, unlike China, lacks a strong domestic economy for it has been much like the Middle East – counting on commodity exports. However, as commodity prices have declined, this has weakened the Russian economy and here too Putin will need a war to overcome the economic decline ahead. NATO is an organization that can no longer be defined and it seeks to hold onto old world philosophies to justify its existence. NATO needs a war to ensure its own funding. If Russia has no real designs to invade and occupy Europe, then why do we need NATO?

    The Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736) was considered even by Napoleon as one of the seven greatest strategists in military history. He was also plagued by a rumor that he was really the illegitimate son of King Louis XIV of France which he perpetually denied. Yet, Louis XIV was always ashamed of such offspring and he restrained Eugene’s ambitions as if he was perhaps his son so that after 20 years of living in Paris and at Versailles, he left France and offered his talent to the kings of Europe. He fought for Leopold I (1640-1705), Holy Roman Emperor who was fighting the Turks. He distinguished himself in the siege of Vienna in 1683 and his military career was born.

    Yet the Prince of Savoy was a man who observed patterns. This helped in in military strategy, but it also allowed him to see the function of government. He came to comprehend that standing armies would be easily used. It was his observations that kings would go to war BECAUSE they had standing armies that they paid for even if they did nothing. The Prince explained that there should be no armies and that would reduce war by itself. He passed on this brilliant insight to Montesquieu, who the Founding Fathers of the United States understood and thus created the right to bear arms which became the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which is under attack today. In Switzerland, you enter military service to be trained, and then you take your gun home ready to be called upon if there is an invasion.

    Unfortunately, NATO by itself needs a war. As the budgets get tighter and tighter, funding is shifted to social programs. NATO will then layoff people and lose its power base. It needs to demonize Russia as much as possible and to even provoke a confrontation to justify getting more money. Of course, it seeks to provoke a confrontation for money but it assumes there will not be World War III because neither side desires to occupy the other. So exactly why do we need standing armies today is simply a political issue. However, maintaining such a military power also ensures that it will eventually be used.

    If the reason for war is no longer occupation but more like a brawl between two drunks in a bar, do we need standing armies especially when we can just push a button? It is sad to say that now we will see tensions rise from 2018 onward into the peak of the cycle.”

    • elmerfudzie
      April 15, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      I enjoy listening to, agree with, the essence of the Martin Armstrong’ monologues and theses however, as I get older, my brain cannot process or assimilate his verbal, high end velocity rap. If for no other reason, that’s why I enjoy Ron Paul’s diatribes, inebriated or sober-I always get the gist of his chats….Martin, please, slow down for the sake of us geezers, Okay?

  45. HLT
    April 14, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Very good article! I watched developments yesterday evening and suddenly there was an announcement of the following on RT: https://www.rt.com/news/424047-russian-mod-syria-statement/ . Within one hour there was a reply from the Trump-May-Macron (TMM) alliance that THEY apparently have “undeniable” proof now of Assad’s guilt but they “could not publich it yet”. Will they ever? The RT announcement was obviously the “disinformation” campaign Mattis was referring to, because if the OPCW cannot confirm any chemical attack in Duma this witness accounts shown by RT have obviously speaking the truth and the whole chemical-attack case has collapsed. So they tried to pre-emptive that with the attack, perhaps vaguely hoping they can stop the OPCW-investigators from getting to Duma. Whether they succeeded I don’t know but I can already notice that the official campaign-language by TMM has shifted towards generalizing about chemical weapons instead of referring to Duma. When I heard Mrs. May ëxplaining” the attack this morning, I felt indeed reminded to a certain A. Hitler declaring war on Poland after the so called “Gleiwitz-incident”. I am obviously not the only one who felt that way and this grotesque bypassing of all democratic institutions and constitions in the US and the UK (don’t know about the French laws) is shocking.

  46. Zachary Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I hate to be defending any part of this latest idiocy, but in the case of Mattis I’m going to reserve judgment. News reports (or news spin?) have him opposing the attack, and talking Trump into something short of starting WW3. The deed is done, and how can he defend it except by some silly “Commander In Chief” boilerplate?

    I’m likely wrong about this, but on the other hand I’m fairly grateful to not have seen any mushroom clouds off in the distance. At least not yet.

  47. elmerfudzie
    April 14, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Ray, I appreciate your observations pertaining to the constitution however the bigger picture and hidden motivations seem to get glossed over somehow. Aside from the constitutional issues, the impetus behind the Syrian attacks were summarized several months ago, in a Pravda article written by Dmitri Sudakov. He believes that the BRICS countries struck a, and I quote “fatal blow” to US dollar supremacy, this despite launching a war of sanctions against Russia and trade pressures against China. He went on to say that Moscow and Beijing will eventually remove the US dollar in financial transactions and or shared settlements within BRICS. This concerted action by the BRICS nations are just the beginning of a new global financial paradigm and thus will provoke even greater military conflicts as the USD gets increasingly threatened as the reserve currency. Many nations are sure to follow the BRICS lead and this will, again, I quote Sudakov, “mark the end of the era of the undivided financial domination of the United States of America in the world”. In my opinion, the whole argument can be summarized in this way; Our citizenry took no notice of a number of warning signs within the financial markets. For example; the savings and loan scandals, a fractional reserve currency system, creation of the derivatives market, dissolution of the Glass–Steagall Act and the failure of the MSM to inform the public that our Federal Reserve was not federal and that they were simply out of control- on so many levels and without any congressional recourse! The Western Occident banksters didn’t need a crystal ball to see, well in advance, that the dollar was shrinking in exchange value but they just couldn’t resist one, last, big, greedy, rip off of John Doe. By this I mean, stealing from any fund, public or private, that looked like a mound of money. Sending huge sums of personal and corporate profits into foreign tax havens, creating dot com bubbles, real estate booms and crashes, all one-big-speculative-grab, a modern day carpetbaggers feast!

    Financial crashes have long been proven to instigate major wars. In light of these facts, the future looks quite bleak, our politicians failed to negotiate a basket of currencies to replace our reserve status, this move should have been done during the Reagan era-and a fat chance that was! Will the culprits ever see impeachment or jail time? I think not, they’ve got their futures all mapped out, some remote island with plenty of stashed gold, guns and get away plans on their private jets, no doubt!!!

    Boy oh boy, John Doe, you are a real sucker, aren’t you?

    • Sam F
      April 15, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Yes, but financial corruption of oligarchy does not itself motivate warmongering, or Mideast wars in particular.
      Those are distinct but overlapping oligarchy factions. Any small country will do for MIC profits, but the Mideast wars are certainly of zionist motivation, with KSA exploited for some additional political bribes and jihadi forces.

  48. barf
    April 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    It is way way way way more serious than “constitution” and “law.” The U.S., France and UK have now appointed themselves as God on earth.

    Woe to anyone who dares to offend this God or even feels like wanting to thumb his nose at Him. Him, Babylon the Great plus the ones who sleep in the same bed. The U.S., France and UK are the (Un)Holy Trinity, the self appointed God on this planet earth.

  49. Rosario Ames hubba hubba
    April 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    The constitution? What are you talking about? You might as well be citing the Code of Hammurabi. The constitution’s gone. You’re not getting it back. You know perfectly well the constitution was set aside for COG rules when Rumsfeld went to DEFCON 3 after 911. Under COG CIA appoints your civil-military command structure and conceals them with OPSEC. So of course Former DCI Panetta ran the military by attributing sole authority to his presidential puppet ruler, coke-addled spy brat GW Bush. Panetta had a dotted-line report to CIA. Just like Mattis (USMC ++Ret.) does now. For the few people in McGovern’s audience who don’t know how this works, dust off your pants, let the turnip truck go, you fell off and that’s OK. https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/

    It’s been like this since 1949. This is CIA’s country and CIA’s war. When the SCO gets fed up and decapitates US C3, you’ll see. In the postwar tribunal they will try the SIS knuckle-draggers first and hang ’em high. Then all the CIA focal points.

    • RnM
      April 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Now, this post gets the award for the number of initializations about which I have no clue. The Deep Swamp. (TDS, bs which stands for “bien sur.”)

    • Sam F
      April 15, 2018 at 8:54 am

      The case for control of the USG by secret agencies is harder to make than oligarchy control of both.
      There would be evidence (vs. speculation) if secret agencies had dictated to presidents of other persuasions.
      After all, any federal agency can be used by the Pres to clean up another, and resistance would be in evidence.

      You would need to show that CIA, FBI, DOJ, HSI, and IRS are in wordless conspiracy, whereas anything close would seem to require unified control by a political party or oligarchy in general. Even so, a Pres could send any loyal enforcement or military unit or even the DC police to any agency HQ and arrest the entire upper management, and announce the problem if they failed. If you have such evidence please let us know.

      • Rosario Ames hubba hubba
        April 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

        Spoken like a man who never got read into any SCI. Spoken like a man who never heard of Prouty, yet can’t be bothered to read the handy link above, in which Prouty wrote detailed first-hand annals of the clandestine CIA regime that Dulles institutionalized. There’s a reason why Prouty vanished off the shelves. Guess they fooled you!

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/30/steal-this-book-the-publishing-misadventures-of-a-cia-whistleblower/

        Your disingenuous agnotology happens to conform exactly to official state doctrine (Memo 1053-960.) Funny how that happens, huh?

        • Sam F
          April 15, 2018 at 6:26 pm

          Well, I’m not disingenuous, Rosario, and do not wish to offend, but just to express initial skepticism that such a large operation could be so secret despite extensive effects on many people, some of whom (it seems) could complain. But I appreciate your link to Prouty’s book, and will look it over.

          Perhaps one could minimize such skepticism by enumerating and sketching some of the principal means by which such broad control could be exercised so quietly. Then others could use their imagination to assess the possibilities.

        • Rosario Ames hubba hubba
          April 15, 2018 at 9:47 pm

          Yes, yes, ‘But someone would talk,’ is a key canard of the 1035-960 party line. Do you have a clearance and need-to-know? Unless you have a clearance you don’t even know what the law says.

          https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/publications/The_New_Era_of_Secret_Law.pdf

          COG is implemented at the collateral level with massive programs of concealment, OPSEC in the argot, such as Unclassified programs that disguise the efforts of classified programs. DHS. Fusion Centers. Read Peter Dale Scott. The irreducible evidence is all in the public domain: haven’t you wondered at all why the other two branches now grovel so abjectly for the executive at the drop of the magic words, National Security?

          It’s because your country is under an illegal state of emergency in which CIA takes over.

  50. Skeptigal
    April 14, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for this article Mr. McGovern. The USA, France and UK have arrogantly violated international law and the UN charter many times and by their actions have also shown contempt for the other members on the Security Council, as these three nations deem themselves to be above all laws.

    It is wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be spectacular if these three countries could be suspended from the UN Security Council until such time that they demonstrate they are willing to abide by international law and the UN Charter?

    I’m glad Mr. McGovern mentioned a “chill on the first amendment”. There is always staunch and vehement support for the second amendment, where are the defenders of the freedom of speech and the press?

    In case anyone is interested, I think Joe T. is, I have found the Solovyov documentary “World Order 2018”. It has been blocked worldwide by YouTube. It is an hour and a half long interview with President Putin. It is definitely worth watching and starkly contrasts the intellect of this man with some of the western leaders, government officials etc., who are suffering from an affliction called Intelligence Deficit Disorder. Here is the link:

    https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/15/no-russia-no-world-full-movie-world-order-2018/

  51. jaycee
    April 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    The French report repeats the new accusation weasel words:

    “Beyond possible doubt… there is no plausible scenario other than…”

  52. Zachary Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after the U.S. military launched strikes with the United Kingdom and France in response to the Syrian regime’s recent chemical weapons attack on its own civilians.

    Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “The recent chemical weapons attack was the latest in a series of barbaric actions by the Assad regime. I support tonight’s international military response, which demonstrates that there are consequences for using chemical weapons on innocent civilians. Now, I want to hear from the president, the military, and our diplomatic leaders on the strategy moving forward.”

    The only difference I can see with my “democratic” Senator is that he is just a little more rabid in the warmongering. “moving forward” = “new and and heavier attacks” to me. All for Holy Israel, of course. I’d not wager a dime on which of my two Senators is the biggest suckup to the thieving and murderous little apartheid cesspool.

  53. Zachary Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) today issued the following statement regarding military action in Syria:

    “It is in America’s national security interests to deter the use of chemical weapons, and the international community must not look the other way as Assad continues to murder his own people. I thank our brave service members and our allies who carried out this military action. I look forward to receiving a full briefing on this latest military action and the administration’s broader strategy in Syria.”

    Anybody see anything there about “illegal”, or “immoral”, or “stupid”? BTW, Senator Young is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and besides the fine education he obviously acquired there, he’s an all-in *** kisser of Israel. So much for the USS Liberty.

  54. April 14, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    interesting article at link below.
    ———————————————————-
    “US Should Do the Opposite of What Saudis Want”
    by Maj. Danny Sjursen Posted onApril 14, 2018

    This article originally appeared at TruthDig.
    https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/04/13/us-should-do-the-opposite-of-what-saudis-want/

    • dahoit
      April 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      The saudis want????The israelis want.

  55. cmp
    April 14, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    With a 2 second duckduckgo search, it revealed:

    .. that since bombing civilians/cities is now fair game, then to be fair we should set an official Spring date for open Hunting Season.
    The 2003 NATO invasion of Iraq began on the 20th of March.
    The 2011 NATO invasion of Libya began on the 19th of March.
    The 2017 bombing of Syria was on the 6th of April.
    The 2018 bombing of Syria was on the 13th of April.

    .. And, according to Nasdaq, if you were lucky enough to be a part of the Investor State economy, (and watching your televised smoke signals).:
    Crude Oil; WTI (NYMEX) Price
    April 7th = 62
    April 14th = 67.4
    … roughly a 9% return .. not bad money for a call from the golf course..

    From our pocket, to a Saudi open hand, and straight back into Wall St’s pockets. (.. you know, that’s “..god’s work”)

    I ‘am thinking that since we are socializing the cost of dollars & blood, then the Congressional Budget Office should provide an Annual Report of War (Shame), and it’s annual comprehensive cost – benefit analysis for all the world to see.

  56. April 14, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    The crop of warmongers since at least the Bush-Cheney disaster regime don’t care about laws or diplomacy.

    From The Saker, “The New US Concept of A ‘Perfect’ Mission, 32 Out of 103″, today:

    …”all this pathetic Disney-like show is a shame and a disgrace. The USA has truly sunk to a level of the kind of degeneracy shown by Brezhnev in his last years or by Yeltsin. Frankly, I think that Trump is even more of a buffoon than these two. What a disgrace!”

    “As for the bitching about Trump being as bad as Hillary, this is both true and false. Inherently yes, of course he is. And he is far dumber than her. But getting him in the WH bought Russia and Syria about 1 year of time to prepare for what happened yesterday…that is a good thing even if Trump is a maniacal coward, a narcissistic piece of sh*t and dangerous buffoon of the worst kind.”

    Then The Saker goes on talk about how even Hitler and Stalin, bad as their deeds were, actually used diplomacy and tried to build alliances: “US Presidents have sunk even lower than Hitler, Stalin, Brezhnev or Yeltsin…The clowns in the White House can’t even do diplomacy.”

    • Gregory Herr
      April 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      “…getting [Trump] in the WH bought Russia and Syria about 1 year of time to prepare for what happened yesterday…that is a good thing even if Trump is a maniacal coward, a narcissistic piece of sh*t and dangerous buffoon of the worst kind.”

      Saker has it right.

    • LarcoMarco
      April 14, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Brezhnev supposedly has two lucid hours per day in his own end times. Perhaps Trump has “sunk even lower”.

  57. Vincent Castigliola
    April 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    The rush to “judgment” and urgency for execution as seen regarding US/UK/FR response to whatever happened in Douma Syria has interesting parallels regarding the Skripal poisoning in England. The coincidences compound.

    The 4/12 report of independent investigation regarding the CW found in/around Skripal renders the British government accusations against Russia even more questionable and Russia’s allegations that the UK government was complicit in fabricating the story of CW use by Syria more less questionable..

    http://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-ix/

  58. April 14, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Article of interest at link below.
    ——————————————————————————-
    14.04.2018 Author: James ONeill

    “US Attacks Syria: Disregards Evidence and International Law”

    https://journal-neo.org/2018/04/14/us-attacks-syria-disregards-evidence-and-international-law/

  59. Eddie
    April 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    RE: “…the primary, if not exclusive — source of information was the “extraordinarily useful,” but notoriously unreliable, “social media.”…”

    Interesting that the social media that supposedly was responsible for the Russians tampering with our elections and leading to Hillary’s loss, and the resultant Russia-phobia, now is a MAJOR, CREDIBLE source for pre-emptive (‘protective’??) bombing of a country that is NOT threatening us (obviating any tortured legal justifications).

    Random note: I see a lot of people say that Trump is doing this or that due to blackmail because he’s afraid of exposure of some past sin, but I find that hard to process given the sleaze bag reputation he’s had for DECADES! I suppose it could be true, given his reportedly thin-skin, but it would seem like by now he would’ve been accustomed to attacks on his reputation and wouldn’t be particularly bothered by it — he’ll just lie-it-away and go on about his scamming. I would suspect that it’s more out of sloth, inexperience (in government), and lack of interest and morality that makes him just ‘go-along-to-get-along’ at this point…

    • RnM
      April 14, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Good post, Eddie.

  60. Drew Hunkins
    April 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I don’t care if it sounds myopic or obsessive or that I’m suffering from tunnel vision (‘Commondreams’ kicked me off their comments section a few years ago for continually broaching the ZPC) but the Zionist Power Configuration owns our Congress, much of academia, judiciary, mass media, and Executive branch, period. This influence also reaches down into the regional, state and local levels. They clearly have the goods on Trump and are using the lever to possibly eventually bomb Tehran. Trump’s real estate wheeling and dealing — in Manhattan no less — should have primed him for all this Roy Cohn like organized crime.

    Moreover, the ZPC also flexes serious muscle in the left-progressive peace and anti-war movements. I see no diminution of the ZPC’s strength and influence (despite what the otherwise terrific Norman Finkelstein is saying of late) until more of the American public wake up to the overwhelming power of the ZPC. Are they omnipotent, no, but they wield a considerable amount of influence and until it’s addressed we’ll keep spinning our wheels as Syria gets repeatedly bombed (along with Russian personnel?), and more cowardly soldiers of the Chosen People gun down helpless Gazans at the concentration camp fence. Of course, they’re expert at mounting smear campaigns, dynamics that folks are going to have to learn to recognize and call out.

    Eventually there’s going to be a backlash, the American people are going to recognize the developing con and are going to fight back against the ZPC. It’s crucial this impending movement against it remain non-violent and open to the hundreds of thousands of righteous Jews who can play a part in beating back the power and influence of the pervasive Jewish pro-Israel lobby. Staving off a possible nuclear conflagration depends on it.

    Zio-Washington’s proxy war on Syria is not about oil or natural gas or pipelines or anything else, it is solely about placating Tel Aviv’s paranoia and paving the way for Israel’s regional hegemonic ambitions for fresh water and an eventual strategic advantage in eventual wars against weakened Hezbollah and Iran.

    Towards the end of Noam Chomsky’s book “The Fateful Triangle” he cites that Israel’s nuclear missiles are ultimately pointed directly at Washington, NYC, Chicago, in a, “you eventually do what we say, or else” nightmare scenario. The extortion plot to end all extortion plots.

    • LarcoMarco
      April 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      Yeah, I’ve had the same impression as Chomsky for a long time. A way to disable Israel’s nukes w/o detonating them (neutron bomb??) must be devised.

    • April 15, 2018 at 2:35 am

      Drew, thanks for providing this food for cogent thought. ray

    • Dave P.
      April 15, 2018 at 2:58 am

      Drew Hunkins – You have summarized very correctly the role of ZPC in this ongoing conflicts and destruction in ME, and its pervasive influence in all the levers of power in U.S., and also in France and U.K.

      I miss reading late Alexander Cockburn’s articles about these issues. They could not pin the anti-Semite label on him because he was one of them. The other prominent public figures who raise questions about ZPC’s influence and role in all of this are immediately branded as anti-Semite and shouted down, and vanished from the Media.

      I think, the only chance to stop this carnage in ME and have some peace in the World is for progressive and righteous, as you said, Jews to join the movement against these Wars and raise their voices. The wars have caused too much destruction and suffering in ME. In Syria alone, since 2011 more than half a million people have been killed and more than twelve millions have become refugees with their homes and livelihood destroyed. Add Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Yemen; it is not easy to comprehend the scale of destruction and suffering unleashed on the people in these unfortunate countries since 2001.

    • Sam F
      April 15, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Very true; zionism is advocated by those who fear retribution from their own kind, and the usual opportunistic and tribalist motives. They do not have the courage to require evidence and arguments rather than propaganda, and are deluded by the zionist media to believe that they are outnumbered and must accept zionist doctrine.

    • Abe
      April 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      “Zio-Washington’s proxy war on Syria is not about oil or natural gas or pipelines or anything else, it is solely about placating Tel Aviv’s paranoia”.

      Two little problems with your statement, Drew.

      1) the term “Zio-” obscures the multiple political and economic interests that converge in the pro-Israel Lobby and Israeli politics itself, many of which are not ideologically “Zionist” in character

      1) the word “solely” is a gross and unnecessary over-simplification that reduces Israeli behavior to “Tel Aviv’s paranoia’

      Cogent thought, very much needed right now, will avoid simplistic notions and accurately address the increasingly desperate Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis (with eager NATO satrapies in tow) war effort in the Middle East.

      Israel is by no means a mere “proxy with chutzpah” in the post-9/11 “regime change” wars (Cartalucci’s got it wrong on this point).

      For decades. Israel has been leveraging its highly subsidized “special relationship” with the United States in a dedicated effort aimed at “securing the realm” (the term from Richard Perle’s 1996 “Clean Break” report).

      Israel seeks nothing less than to “secure” its status as nuclear-armed hegemon in the world’s largest oil-producing region.

      Once the Iraqi, Syrian, and Iranian militaries have been permanently crippled by “friends” of Israel, with their terroriries dismembered by the “international community”, leaving rump states forever plagued by non-state mercenary terrorists, an ethnically-cleansed “Greater Israel” will be sitting fat, happy, and armed to the teeth in the middle of all that yummy petro-wealth.

      Of course, one, maybe two well-placed low-yield nuclear weapons would bring that project to an immediate halt.

      So you see the problem.

      If we want non-cogent fake new “analysis”, the New York Times, Washington Post, Bellingcat, and all their “First Draft” propaganda “partners” have got it covered in spades. (Not to mention the Hasbara troll legions who leap into action when the “somebody mentioned Israel” alert show up in their email box.)

      If we want cogent analysis, I’m afraid we’ll have to dispense with the over-simplifications.

      Respectfully,
      Abe

    • April 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      @ Drew: “I see no diminution of the ZPC’s strength and influence (despite what the otherwise terrific Norman Finkelstein is saying of late) until more of the American public wake up to the overwhelming power of the ZPC.”

      Drew, I agree that we’re not yet to the point where the U.S. can divorce Israel, but Israel is definitely losing power over the U.S., particularly since Israel’s 2014 slaughter in Gaza:

      January 23, 2018: “Never has there been a greater divide between Democrats and Republicans on the subject of Israel in 40 years of polling, according to a survey published on Tuesday. … The Pew Research Center findings show Republicans more sympathetic than ever toward Israel, with Democrats increasingly divided, now equally likely to support the Palestinian cause. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains a particularly divisive force.” hxxp://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Partisan-divide-over-Israel-in-the-US-at-historic-level-poll-finds-539573

      May 3, 2017: “Two in five Americans back sanctions on Israel — poll,” hxxps://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/two-five-americans-back-sanctions-israel-poll

      March 2, 2017: “80 percent of Canadians back Israel boycott — poll,” hxxps://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/80-percent-canadians-back-israel-boycott-poll-0

      January 12, 2017: “Democrats’ sympathy for Israel has crashed nearly 25 percent in last nine months — Pew,” hxxp://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/democrats-sympathy-crashed/

      January 5, 2017: “New poll shows sharp partisan divide on UN settlements resolution, and between Jews and African-Americans,” hxxp://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/settlements-resolution-americans/

      I keep close track on Israel’s sway over U.S. government and Israel is definitely and irretrievably in the process of losing its grip on U.S. power. Reasons include: [i] the rise of the BDS Movement in the U.S.; [ii] the rise of alternative media that won’t let up on the Israel-Palestine issue and other Israeli atrocities; [iii] Netanyahu’s foolish decision to align with the Republicans; and [iv] Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

      Zionist Jews are panicked that they are rapidly losing young Jews in the U.S.

      There’s a tipping point coming. As with apartheid South Africa, the U.S. government is the only thing holding back a single state solution with equality for all of Mandate Palestine. Israel is a pariah state everywhere else. Loss of influence in the U.S. is therefore an existential issue for apartheid Israel. That tipping point can’t be reached soon enough for me.

      • Colin
        April 23, 2018 at 6:13 am

        Drew: My thanks also.
        This is the first thread I have ever joined. My immediate response is surprise that this global discussion has so few contributors, especially as the theme is one so frightening as the possibility of nuclear war.

        Drew says he was kicked off his previous thread for tunnel vision about the Zionist Power Configuration. Yet this thread has blotted out the Zionist factor. Mr McGovern says Germany, “lying through its teeth”, attacked Poland, and no contributor here has objected.

        When asked who is pulling the strings, Mr McGovern says, Jetzt bin ich ueberfragt. With his experience, not least with the CIA, does he really not know?

        Perhaps double-speak is used on this thread, for fear of retribution, and Drew was kicked off his previous thread for speaking plainly.

        “Globalisation”, the tyranny of ZPC, is so thorough that it controls the debate about North Korea. Commentators and their interviewees, in whatever country, define progress in the coming talks as North Korea agreeing to dismantle its nuclear defences.

        Not one of them says that, while the US, Israel and allies have nuclear weapons, this act would be sheer madness, because the US totally destroyed Korea in the not distant past, together with 30% of its people, and very recently threatened to do so again.

        The Third Reich did not act like the US government, as Mr McGovern says. It acted like North Korea. It faced an alliance of three empires that had defeated and dismembered it twenty years earlier. Like North Korea, it repeatedly offered to disarm, provided its vastly more powerful foe did the same.

  61. Vincent Castigliola
    April 14, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks Ray,
    Excellent analysis, May I add that the War Powers Resolution 50 USC 1541 et seq as excerpted below does not provide support for president Trump’s actions but evidences further bases for a conclusion that there as been a troubling disregard for the Rule of Law

    In particular, the allegation (whether or not true) that President al Assad “gassed his own people” in no rational way constitutes:
    “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

    1542 (c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; Limitation
    The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, … are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

    1542 The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities …

    1543 (a) Written report; time of submission; circumstances necessitating submission; information reported
    In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced—
    (1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances;
    (2)…
    the President shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth—
    (A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces;
    (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and
    (C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement.
    (b)…
    (c)Periodic reports; semiannual requirement
    Whenever United States Armed Forces are introduced into…the President shall, so long as such armed forces continue to be engaged …report to the Congress periodically on the status of such hostilities … on the scope and duration of such hostilities or situation, but in no event shall he report to the Congress less often than once every six months.

    1544 (b)Termination of use of United States Armed Forces; exceptions; extension period
    Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 1543(a)(1) of this title, whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces …unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization …
    (c)Concurrent resolution for removal by President of United States Armed Forces
    … at any time that States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities …without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.

    1547 (a) Inferences from any law or treaty Authority to introduce United Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred—
    (1) from any provision of law … unless such provision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities …or
    (2)from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this chapter.
    (b)…
    (c)Introduction of United States Armed Forces
    For purposes of this chapter, the term “introduction of United States Armed Forces” includes the assignment of members of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.
    (d)Constitutional authorities or existing treaties unaffected; construction against grant of Presidential authority respecting use of United States Armed Forces Nothing in this chapter—
    (1) is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President, or …
    (2) shall be construed as granting any authority to the President with respect to the Forces into hostilities or …

    • April 15, 2018 at 2:32 am

      Thanks, Vincent. Good to have that documentation. ray

    • Sam F
      April 15, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Thank you; very useful information.

    • April 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was filed today to obtain the legal basis for the missile strike on Syria. hxxps://lawfareblog.com/whats-legal-basis-syria-strikes-administration-must-acknowledge-limits-its-power-start-war (.) We might see it sooner when Trump delivers his report to Congress within 48 hours as required by War Powers Resolution Section 1543(a).

      My guess is that when that legal memo is obtained by whatever means, large portions of its legal argument will have been copied and pasted from the Attorney General’s April 1, 2011 memorandum arguing that President Obama’s use of military force against Libya without Congressional authorization was legal. hxxps://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/olc/opinions/2011/04/31/authority-military-use-in-libya_0.pdf (14 page PDF).

      I’ll try to summarize that argument in its essence:

      Section 1547(b)(1) of the War Powers Resolution holds that “[n]othing in this chapter … is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President[.]” Therefore, since the President has gotten away with hostile foreign military action of short duration since Earth was first colonized by humans, Congress must agree that the Executive has authority under his Commander in Chief powers to initiate/participate in foreign military actions so long as doing so is in the national interest, high American casualties are not expected, and the military action is not so major or of such duration as to invade the Congressional power to declare war.

      The War Powers Resolution is construed as recognizing this Executive authority because notwithstanding the section 1542(c) “policy” section establishing purported limitations, Section 1543(a) contemplates that the Executive shall report to Congress within 48 hours when U.S. forces are introduced into hostilities nonetheless.

      In my opinion, that’s a tortured reading of the War Powers Resolution. Nothing in section 1542(c) says that it is mere policy; it is worded as a flat prohibition on the exercise of Executive authority outside three narrowly defined circumstances. The report required by Section 1543(a) is better understood as referring to actions initiated under Section 1542(c)(3), “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

      Most of the legal argument is based on prior Attorney General opinions. There are a very few court cases cited recognizing Executive authority to act militarily in limited circumstances such as rescue missions for U.S. citizens endangered abroad. At bottom, the argument rests on Congress’s failure to rein in the Executive on past war-making abuses.

      To me it’s a weak argument, but who knows, the Supreme Court might buy it?

  62. Hugh Beaumont
    April 14, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    The question remains: Why did Trump do it?
    Did the porn star really have something on him? Did the warmongers know it, and told him “bomb Syria – or else!”?
    This is why public officials must have exemplary morals – so they can’t get blackmailed; so they can’t get ‘owned’.
    Wouldn’t it be disgusting if the cause of WWIII turned out to be an over the hill porn star?

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      The whore has nothing on Trump but the usual “you cheated on your wife” blackmail scam. She’s greedy for more bucks, maybe a book deal. Which is more hollow and stupid, our stuffed shirt politicians, or the sensation hungry American public? I think it’s a toss up.

      • KiwiAntz
        April 14, 2018 at 10:38 pm

        Stormy Daniels or that “whore” or pornstar, as you put it Mike K, has more moral fibre in one of her pinky finger’s than that of that orange headed buffoon & freakshow of a President called Trump! At least Daniels is better looking & doesn’t have to rely on a the bad orange comb over to get through her day! What an embarrassment he is to your Nation, a real laughingstock & a complete joke, the people of the World are just laughing at him & his stupidity! Rather than isolate the Syrian people with this limped d**k, impotent attack, he’s galvanised them in their hatred of America, much like it galvanised the Vietnamese who sent the US packing, in the Vietnam War, in a ignorminious withdrawal & a humiliating defeat! You guys elected a bumbling, bullcrapper whose rambling incompetence is going lead your Country down a Atomic rabbit hole & turn your Country into a Nuckear, contaminated wasteland if he keeps going the way he is?

        • Colin
          April 19, 2018 at 1:50 am

          Well said, KiwiAntz, true words, every one. Stormy Daniels certainly has more moral fibre in a pinky finger than the buffoon. Her unscheduled appearance revives in us a distant memory of what moral fibre looks like.

  63. April 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    The UN Security Council failed to support Russia’s draft resolution condemning the US strike on Syria. Nikki Haley was at it again with her usual frothing about Assad. I’ve read she gets money from Sheldon Adelson to be the UN harpy.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      With a girlfriend like that, Sheldon must be some piece of work!

  64. Brady
    April 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Let’s not forget the overarching reason why the US vassal ignore our constitution and the rules of international law to fabricate evidence in order to illegally attack sovereign countries. There is no reason nor interest for the USA or its taxpaying citizens required to pay for these acts of war to be involved in Syria, or Libya and Iraq before it. We serve the master that dictates our foreign policy via unrelenting control of the US political process, the total control of the economy via the federal reserve (neither federal nor a reserve) and the requisite propaganda outlets in the MSM. Only the ‘perpetual victim ‘ state (maybe now too the KSA) with its need to eliminate any possible resistance to its ideological requirement to own the land between the Nile and Euphrates benefits by utilizing US blood and treasure to achieve its goal. Rule of law? They own it. Constitution? They use the rule of law they have purchased to circumvent and override it. Oded Yinon, it’s in black and white. Hezbollah resists in Lebanon, Syria supports Hezbollah, Iran supports Syria and Hezbollah, Russia supports Iran and Syria. Any wonder why we are co-opted into being utilized as the master’s attack dog? Resistance to the new world order requires elimination. Plus there are 100-200 million zealots here in the US fully part and parcel to that ideology cheering on one war after the next. France? England? Their central banks were owned and controlled long before ours. Not nearly as rewarding to manipulate and utilize their blood or treasure. Plus, their citizenry might actually dare to speak out against their owners (but not to fear some extremists would attack in Brixton or Charlie Hedbo to reset the balance of power). Try to find any connecting the dots in your MSM.

    • Gregory Herr
      April 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Very well said Brady.

  65. mike k
    April 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Being addicted to more and more power turns out to be no picnic! Of course, any suggestion of less power is an ultimate heresy denied a hearing. One of the meanings of humility is the willingness to be less powerful. We lost that possibility a long time ago, and now we at living with the consequences.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      In the meantime, don’t worry – be happy!

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Correction: …we are living…..

  66. mike k
    April 14, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    When we released the awesome power hidden in the atom, that was the Faustian moment that sealed our doom. It looks like we will not be able to correct that terrible mistake, before it destroys us all. Our insatiable quest for unlimited power will be our undoing. That was the deadly Ring in Tolkien’s profound myth. That was the meaning of Gyges’ Ring in Plato’;s tale of the danger inherent in power. In our earliest beginnings we played with fire, and now we will be consumed by our misuse of nuclear fire. The myth of greed for power and it’s ending comes full circle……. Those who stole fire from Heaven will be destroyed by it.

  67. mike k
    April 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    The Empire’s war against Russia will continue to it’s inevitable conclusion: TOTAL NUCLEAR WAR. The story of human life on Earth will conclude as a colossal tragedy: the failure to learn to LOVE ALL BEINGS UNCONDITIONALLY.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      In the end, no one will claim responsibility for what happened.

  68. April 14, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    This chemical attack is one of several as 2017,2013 that was staged by jihadists, Al QAEDA offshoots, as the one in Douma, that was funded with money and weapons by Saudi Arabia. No question that as ISIS AND ALQAEDA are loosing miserably the war with Assad, the only alternative is create demonization and desestabilization of Assad government and stage the chemical attack that was filmed by White Helmets in order to spread the videos through social media. The Helmets are traitors and want Assad defeated and deposed and respond well funded by the west( USA, SAUDI ARABIA, UAE AND ISRAEL). THIS USA attack is illegal, immoral and will be registered in history as the true military, political and economical hegemonic control by the Empire USA.

    • ranney
      April 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Hey Antonio, what you say is probably all true – especially the part about the bombing being illegal. Unfortunately no one cares. Virtually all Americans who are interested enough to read their local paper and watch their local news knows that it’s illegal – we have been doing this for years and every time there is a quasi liberal outcry saying it’s illegal, but in the end no one does anything – certainly never Congress (both houses). So now we shrug, and say “So? huh, what else is new?” and go on about our lives. No one is going to call their Representative or march in protest or do anything. What WILL make people protest is when (and it’s coming) our all volunteer army isn’t enough to fight all the wars and “clashes” we have instigated and Congress REINSTATES THE DRAFT. That will get the common man’s ass off his comfy seat in front of the boob tube and out in the streets. Make a law that forces our sons and daughters to be maimed and killed in whatever stupid foreign imbroglio the American oligarchs have started? Now you will have the attention of the citizens. Unfortunately not until that happens will anything change.

      I also note that the MSM is not even slightly interested in facts. I watched the Pentagon/ reporter love fest last night and was disgusted to discover that not a SINGLE REPORTER had the guts or even the interest to ask why the bombing was held just hours before the OPCW would arrive with their testing equipment that would determine what, if anything, was released in the so-called attack. I think the timing of this bombing is indicative of the chicanery going on here. I’m surprised more attention isn’t paid to that.

  69. mike k
    April 14, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    As I ate lunch just now, I listened to the war mongering garbage on CNN. Disgusting. I could only take so much. The whole point being stressed was “don’t worry America, we are not about to make peace – ever!” At least they told the truth on that one. This little interval between attacks in no way means the war with Russia is off. Nuclear Armageddon may be momentarily delayed, but it is far from canceled. More like full speed ahead!

  70. Joe Tedesky
    April 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    “Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death.” ? Otto von Bismarck

    My not be sure to what this launching of 103 missiles was all about I find it difficult to reconcile that it being a preemptive strike to make a statement. Although somehow the statement gets loss by the fact that the U.S. avoided a OPCW investigation which would have possibly lay the blame for the chemical attack on the correct actors.

    Some are already saying that Trump’s Attack orders were a distraction away from his nagging scandals. Others swear the U.S. is hiding evidence which would dispute the U.S. allegations made against Assad. While still a few pundits admit that this is Syria’s war to win, and that Trump was bidding Assad a ugly farewell.

    I’m not sure if the U.S. goals were met with this missile attack, but I find it highly embarrassing, and might I add confusing to just exactly to what is going on. Sadly, as usual the U.S. finds it easier to lope missiles at a target of choice, while diplomacy to negotiate goes out the window. “What’s the use in having the world’s largest State Department if your not going to use it”?

    • Gregory Herr
      April 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      “What’s the use in having the world’s largest State Department if your not going to use it”?

      Great line Joe.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 14, 2018 at 1:30 pm

        Thanks I got the inspiration from Madeline.

        • April 15, 2018 at 2:17 am

          pretty clever, Gregory and Joe! ray

    • Abbybwood
      April 15, 2018 at 12:27 am

      It might be a good idea if we had a Secretary of State now who is well trained in the art of diplomacy. Instead we will have the biased, illiterate windbag Pompeo. God help us because the U.S. Congress will NOT.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm

        Congress is nothing more than it being filled with the likes of representatives for the lobbying crowd. Congress fills potholes for well needed infrastructure work. Congress relinquishs their legislative power to any warmongering president who so desires the power to go to war. Congress is the other hidden half of the Military (Congressional) Industrial Complex…what more needs said. Congress ignores the need of their constituents only for congress to slash well needed social programs. Congress is DOA.

  71. Robbi Gomes
    April 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Well Trump in the last 14 months has learned a lot about “sentencing first and getting the verdict later. That is exactly what the corrupt
    Obama FBI and Justice dept. did regarding Trump collusion with the Russians. Naturally the fake, propaganda machine cranked out endless verbiage to “back up the narrative”. As a nation we are lost morally and void of all honor and respect. There’s no doubt in my mind that if the world suffers a nuclear war thew u.s. will be directly responsible. The only question is : How take we tame the wild beast.
    Neither the democrat nor the republicans have no solutions, they are the problem

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      “As a nation we are lost morally and void of all honor and respect.”

      Exactly. This is the real root from which all our problems flow. Without correcting this, we are doomed by our own hands.

      • Gregory Herr
        April 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm

        This is what not being lost morally and having a sense of honor looks like:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GWrAUIwnS3c#

        • April 15, 2018 at 2:15 am

          thanks, Gregory Herr; I needed to watch that, in order to remind myself that there is always hope. ray

          • Abe
            April 15, 2018 at 11:44 am

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

            “The events and decisions of the next ten months may well decide the fate of man for the next ten thousand years. There will be no avoiding those events. There will be no appeal from these decisions. And we in this hall shall be remembered either as part of the generation that turned this planet into a flaming funeral pyre or the generation that met its vow ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.’

            “In the endeavor to meet that vow, I pledge you every effort this Nation possesses. I pledge you that we will neither commit nor provoke aggression, that we shall neither flee nor invoke the threat of force, that we shall never negotiate out of fear, we shall never fear to negotiate.

            “Terror is not a new weapon. Throughout history it has been used by those who could not prevail, either by persuasion or example. But inevitably they fail, either because men are not afraid to die for a life worth living, or because the terrorists themselves came to realize that free men cannot be frightened by threats, and that aggression would meet its own response.”

            – John F. Kennedy
            Address before the General Assembly of the United Nations
            September 25, 1961

          • Abe
            April 15, 2018 at 11:52 am

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R87YhYbnkA

            “Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.

            “Men no longer debate whether armaments are a symptom or a cause of tension. The mere existence of modern weapons–ten million times more powerful than any that the world has ever seen, and only minutes away from any target on earth–is a source of horror, and discord and distrust. Men no longer maintain that disarmament must await the settlement of all disputes–for disarmament must be a part of any permanent settlement. And men may no longer pretend that the quest for disarmament is a sign of weakness–for in a spiraling arms race, a nation’s security may well be shrinking even as its arms increase.”

        • Robbi Gomes
          April 15, 2018 at 4:33 am

          Kennedy spoke about “saving our planet” or “we’ll perish in its flames.” Have we forgotten that it was Kennedy who, by stationing atomic bombs in Turkey which were pointed at Russia, took us to the brink of nuclear disaster? He was the cause of the Cuban missile crisis. We were lucky that the leader of Russia strove for, and obtained, a peace agreement.
          We see today that democrats would risk a nuclear war with Russia, and maybe China, only so they can get back in power and on their pay-for-play gravy train.

          • Gregory Herr
            April 15, 2018 at 8:56 am

            The agreement with Turkey, a member of NATO, to deploy fifteen nuclear-tipped Jupiter missiles starting on June 1, 1961 was negotiated under the Eisenhower Administration–finalized on October 28, 1959.

            Khrushchev and Kennedy were equally fortunate to be able to work with the other to resolve the crisis. Kennedy’s short time in office was marked by his abilities as a “quick study”, the character for self-reflection and change of mind where warranted, and the courage to take on established powers to ultimately work for peace and a better world. He was killed for it.

  72. Rick Patel
    April 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    We don’t need no stinking law or no constitution. We got power!

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Power is the US drug of choice.

  73. April 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    The churches are AOL.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      You mean AWOL? That’s for sure, most of them. Quakers, Universalists, and others – not so much.

  74. April 14, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Thank you, Ray. Bolton comes, this happens nearly a year to the day after Trump’s 59 Tomahawk attack and one day before OPCW coming to investigate?

    Important Op-Ed at RT “Al-Qaeda’s MASH unit: How SAMS is Selling Regime Change and Driving US to War”. SAMS is Syrian American Medical Society, heavily funded by USAID, and coordinates with White Helmets. Research of journalist Max Blumenthal, SAMS also coordinates with MEK.

    Censorship of the very good alt-media website Southfront is being done by Facebook, FB removed all Southfront 2018 videos and are censoring users who cite the website.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Southfront censorship by Facebook is a harbinger of things to come. Big Brother is getting nervous. Good. Let’s hope Facebook stock takes another hit because of this blatant attempt at thought control.

      • anastasia
        April 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm

        Don’t you find it a little odd that Trump has never said one word about all the accounts taken off twitter, facebook, youtube, etc. Not one little tweet about it. Silence is assent.

  75. April 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Another article of interest
    ————————————————————
    “Syria: The Bloody Price of Western Narcissism
    The Twitter bombardiers have no idea of the horrors they will unleash.”
    By Brendan O’Neill
    Spiked
    April 14, 2018
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/04/no_author/syria-the-bloody-price-of-western-narcissism/

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      April 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks, Stephen J., for these Lew Rockwell links.

      While I’m not in his Libertarian camp, I whole heartedly agree with his P O V against US militarism / imperialism.

  76. April 14, 2018 at 11:45 am

    A rep speaks out. See link below.
    —————————————————————-
    Against War on Syria
    By John J. Duncan Jr.
    April 14, 2018
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/04/no_author/rep-duncan-speech-about-syria/

  77. Zachary Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 11:29 am

    “Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.

    In the past week or so we were told Homeland Security would be watching for evildoers in the Press and on the Internet Tubes. Now the Pentagon starts singing the same song.

    News reports have been fairly amazing. The strike was a “perfect success”. The Syrians intercepted none of the missiles. They know of no civilian casualties. On the other hand “Russia claims Syria air defences shot down 71 of 103 missiles”. It’s going to be interesting to see which side can’t do third-grade arithmetic.

    Another claim: this was a One Time deal. It’s done. Kaput. Over. Then there is this headline: “The Biggest U.S. Navy Force Since Iraq Invasion May Be Sailing Toward Syria”.

    The Friday attack was based on moonbeam intelligence. WHAT IF the vigilant searchers for chemical weapons discover Syria needs to be really whacked again? It may not be over just yet.

    We’ve seen a trend in the US that anybody who gets dressed in a military uniform instantly becomes a Hero. No matter what he was or did in civilian life. It seems that the same is true for the White House. Even a slimy and adulterous real estate billionaire can, by virtue of taking the Oath Of Office, instantly abandon that Oath and do anything he damned well pleases. Bush, with assistance from Obama, made torture an all-American “exceptional” practice. Obama started killing American citizens with his drones. And Trump is basically saying that NO rules apply to him.

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      If the chem weapons team does discover traces of toxic material, it does not mean that the whole affair in Douma was not a complete false flag effort. Such traces can be easily planted. The evidence from the only local hospital that no one was treated for chem problems, there were no funerals or graves dug for any supposed victims, and above all there was every reason for Assad not to do something that only benefited the rebels retreating in defeat. Those are the real bases of evidence this was a false flag. It is too obvious, except to those determined not to see it.

      • mike k
        April 14, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        This is just like the Skripal affair. The toxic substances being trotted out now by M16 have obviously been planted, and most likely cooked up at Porton Downs chem labs.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

        Not knowing a bit of what I’m suggesting, but allow me to ponder to if our American missiles could have been laced with deadly toxins as to pollute the crime scene?

        • tinkerer
          April 14, 2018 at 9:27 pm

          ..and that’s why the so-called Chem Factory was targeted and hit

        • Curious
          April 15, 2018 at 1:36 am

          Joe, food for thought.
          As far as the “deadly toxins” are concerned I have read a few articles quoting one of the inventors of 2:234. The last article today in an RT interview was presented by one of the inventors, Leonid Rink. I don’t like to give online links because of all the bogus ones out there, but the jist of what he said was ‘Novichok’ is very unstable and wouldn’t have survived rain, humidity, etc. He stated that if “a pure substance was found, it could not be Novichok” since it breaks down easily.His comment “if it was Novichok on the door handle, the two would have died on the spot” Since the product breaks down easily the “experts” could only have found the products of hydrolysis, and certainly not another substance”
          His guess is it may have been fentanyl, sprayed on the bench in the park. I think his view is very important. He also said the recovery of the Skripals were similar to those of fentanyl poisoning.
          Rink also reported that Novichok effects the victims eyes, but the UK has never mentioned this symptom.
          The missiles, as you noted, would not even help in the diagnoses of such a volition substance as Novichok since it breaks down so quickly. This was all a ruse, and a scam military false flag event. The missiles would have also burned the remains of a search by the experts on Chlorine. So, lets kill hundreds to prove a point of chemical weapons? Why do people buy into this crap?
          It’s important to read about 2:234 as a substance and the very research would prove the UK a liar, back to the UK drama.
          Also, in the emails from the Clinton emails mentions she told people in the dept to hush any mention of the word Novichok, and the book by Vil, who is a US patsy. The reading of the Clinton emails shutting soon any discussion of the book is eye opening. Clinton has shut down the Vil book for years…. does anyone know or care?
          In closing, since “Novichok” breaks own easily with humidity, I doubt the chemical gurus had any chance to prove what happened in Syria, much less the compounds involved. Chlorine isn’t on the list of WMD by the way. Good luck in your reading further.

      • Tom Welsh
        April 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm

        From what I have heard, I wouldn’t put it past OPCW itself to plant evidence. Just as the British authorities did in Salisbury.

        Money can work wonders, especially when coupled with blood-curdling threats. Such as John Bolton’s warning to the previous head of OPCW, whom he ordered to resign, that he knew where the man’s children lived.

        • Dave P.
          April 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

          Tom Welsh – Very accurate observation. With money bribes or physical threats most of the people in U.N. organizations, including OPCW have been made to obey the orders from Washington with the complicity of the other Capitols of the West, London, Paris, and Berlin.

        • Joe
          April 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

          Exactly what I was referring to above and not stated so well in haste …….bravo.

    • jose
      April 14, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      An excellent post Zachary. Please consider the following. According to Global Research April 2017 article: “Washington’s False Flag: United Nations Confirmed that US Supported Syrian “Rebels” Were Using Chemical Weapons..The UN report refutes Washington’s allegations that the government of Bashar al Assad was using chemical weapons against his own people..Washington (which supports the opposition rebels in the use of chemical weapons) rather than Damascus is responsible for extensive crimes against humanity…UN accuses Syrian rebels of carrying out sarin gas attacks which have been blamed on Assad’s troops.” With all this evidence out in the open, I think someone has to be mentally retarded to believe that Assad ordered the murder of his countrymen. Regarding US national media dismal failure to report both accurately and honestly, I think each medium will lie for the establishment. You know the adage: ” fool me once your fault. Full me twice my fault” I mean, it takes a very conscious effort not to see the truth.

    • April 14, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Nixon said, “if the president does it, it’s not illegal.” He was caught and pardoned by Ford. Once Trump is caught he’ll be dumped by the GOP and pardoned by Pence if the Dems win the House in November. He’s done what the ruling class wanted him to do, and by adopting the same approach to the ME as Hillary and Israel. Since he was the legally elected president he first had to be turned around before being dumped.

  78. anastasia
    April 14, 2018 at 11:16 am

    What must be contemplated and reflected upon is if, hypothetically, Russia had the same kind of people as its President and its Ministers. I have been thinking about what could have happened if Russia did have such people in their government, as well as my mother’s teachings about having the proper social graces and fulfilling my duties in my state in life. So, I have a question, “Should I send Putin a thank you note?”

    • mike k
      April 14, 2018 at 11:56 am

      I sure as hell thank Mr. Putin for being a sane and moral person in this atmosphere of lies and provocations. And I thank the Russian people for being sane enough to give him their overwhelming support. We need folks like them if we are going to survive these bloodthirsty killers inhabiting the US government and it’s deep state oligarchs.

      • Joe
        April 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm

        Bravo !!! It is G-D’ed OBVIOUS !!!! It only takes one blessed soul with the balls and pulpit to stand up to these MF’s …at the moment Mattis threat …to bring these Bas___ds down. Just one ballsy senator or congressman or state governor …I don’t know , someone that calls them out LARGE !!! Even little ol’e Danny Devito or Joe Pesce……some GD’ed body willing to take a stand. Springsteen, ….where are all the musicians??? Where is any actor with some guts???
        Same with the story of this criminal now waiting to be confirmed to the Sec of State who sometime back threatened the whole country of Bolton who just threatened to go after someones kids???!!!!!! Personally I have had enough of this shit and it is at least partically the fault of this Israeli influence in the US …..wake the f–k up America. you sold your soul to hype and fantasy.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 14, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      If you do anastasia, send it my way and I’ll sign it too…

  79. Abe
    April 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

    “United States Assessment of the Assad Regime’s Chemical Weapons Use”
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/transcript-president-trumps-remarks-syria-airstrikes

    The U.S. government “assessment” on Syria reads like a nearly verbatim compendium of Bellingcat blog articles, including Bellingcat’s most recent “open source survey” on the 7th April 2018 incident at Douma.

    The government “assessment” is identical to Bellingcat’s “assessment” based entirely on “open-source information”:

    “social media users, non-governmental organizations, and other open-source outlets reported”

    “Videos and images […] photos and video”

    “reporting from media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other open sources”

    It now appears that the U.S. government relies almost entirely on non-governmental agencies to “verify” information.

    The U.S. government “assessment” only mentions “Reliable intelligence” once, but presents no further information regarding the specific form of the alleged “intelligence”, nor how its “reliability” was determined, nor whether it came from a foreign nation.

    Israel, for example, has a long history of supplying the U.S. with dubious or obviously false “intelligence”.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2018 at 11:18 am

      The foreign policy and security policy making of Trump relies on “open source intelligence” outsourced to a crew of UK-based fact fixers.

      To paraphrase the well-known quotation published in the New York Times Magazine on October 17, 2004, by the writer Ron Suskind, who recounts his discussion with the proverbial “unnamed Administration official”:

      “We’re an empire, and when we act, now Bellingcat creates our reality.”

      The Internet offers a ubiquitous, inexpensive and anonymous “open source” method for rapid propaganda dissemination.

      Propaganda is made “publicly available” via numerous channels, including privately-owned mainstream and social media, fake “reporters on the ground”, fake NGOs like the White Helmets in Syria, and fake information “fact checkers” like the U.K.-based Bellingcat disinformation site.

      Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat position themselves as “citizen investigative journalists” and “open-source intelligence analysts” helping to organize and verify information to facilitate clear thinking. In reality, these fake “journalists” and bogus “analysts” provide a channel for deceptive information to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

      Higgins openly pimped this deception strategy in a January 2015 article, “Social media and conflict zones: the new evidence base for policymaking”
      https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/policywonkers/social-media-and-conflict-zones-the-new-evidence-base-for-policymaking/

      Citing “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation”, Higgins declared that “a relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone” using online information and social media. Higgins extolled the virtues of this “new evidence base” of “open source” information while side-stepping the ability for deceptive information to be disseminated online and via social media.

      According to Higgins, the “overarching point” is that “there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.”

      Western policy makers like Trump, May, and Macron have enthusiastically seized the opportunity to use deception operatives Higgins and Bellingcat to create a “reality” that allows them to “act”.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2018 at 11:27 am

      The foreign policy and security policy making of Trump relies on “open source intelligence” outsourced to a crew of UK-based fact fixers.

      War propaganda is now made “publicly available” via numerous channels, including privately-owned mainstream and social media, fake “reporters on the ground”, fake NGOs like the White Helmets in Syria, and fake information “fact checkers” like the U.K.-based Bellingcat disinformation site.

      Fake “citizen investigative journalists” and bogus “open-source intelligence analysts” provide a channel for deceptive information to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

      Higgins openly promoted this deception tactic in a January 2015 article titled, “Social media and conflict zones: the new evidence base for policymaking”

      https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/articles/2015/01/20/social-media-and-conflict-zones-the-new-evidence-base-for-policymaking/

      Citing “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation”, Higgins declared that a “relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone” using online information and social media.

      Higgins extolled the virtues of this “new evidence base” of “open source” information while side-stepping the ability for deceptive information to be disseminated online and via social media.

      According to Higgins, the “overarching point” is that “there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.”

      Western policy makers like Trump, May, and Macron have enthusiastically seized the opportunity to use deception operatives Higgins and Bellingcat to create a “reality” that allows them to “act”.

      • Simon Hodges
        April 14, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        Of course its not merely a question of manufacturing or staging a chemical weapons attack. From the outset it was the task of
        the CIA and other Western intelligence sockpuppets on Facebook and Twitter to manufacture the illusion that the middle east was solely populated with pre-formed Western liberal democrats, feminists and LGBT communities just waiting to be ‘liberated’.

        They used a few genuine Arabs who had such interests but bolstered them with hundreds of fake accounts to make it appear that liberal democrats were the majority in the Middle East. It was only by this mechanism that they were able to get the imperialist and totalitarian liberal progressives on side for their neocon adventures as through a process of Anglopomorphism, liberal western rationalists effectively projected themselves onto the people of the middle east in order to a certain extent to ‘liberate’ themselves.

        The non-existence of this liberally moderate base was only made apparent after the wars started and they were all left wondering what happened to these legions of liberal parliamentary democrats?

        Of course ‘liberation’ as such is another word for the complete alienation of people from their own cultures, religions and histories and they tend to make up a good deal of anyone’s identity.

        • Abe
          April 14, 2018 at 1:12 pm

          Simon Hodges, your comment is saturated with false premises.

          Syria currently has a rational, relatively moderate, secular, democratically elected government with a unicameral parliament.

          Syria is under siege by the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis and its E.U. enablers (principally U.K. and France), who have been striving mightily to dismember the Syrian state using mercenary terrorists who murder innocent Syrian civilians.

          Nearly all the armed terrorist forces backed by the U.S. and its despicable “close allies” want to establish some form of non-democratic rule in Syria.

          The U.S. and its “allies” employed the same “regime change” strategy, vomited the same propagandist “justifications”, and armed the same kind of terrorist forces in previous illegal military assaults on Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011).

          Your comment is rather intent on impugning the “cultures, religions and histories” of some fictional “Arabs”.

          In reality, the people of the Middle East and their expressions of culture, politics, and religion, not only Islam but also Christianity and even Judaism, are rich and diverse.

          So you can take that revolting “Clash of Civilizations” claptrap you’re attempting to soft-pedal and you-know-what, comrade.

          Respectfully,
          Abe

          • Simon Hodges
            April 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm

            I was merely trying to account for how western liberals were co-opted into support of neoconservative geopolitics. You seem to have read an additional great deal into what I said. In 2003 France, Germany and Russia all stood together against the invasion of Iraq. My interest is in how that coalition was dismantled and how France and Germany were effectively brought on board with the neoconservative agenda.

          • Abe
            April 14, 2018 at 3:29 pm

            Simon, your “account” merely stated very explicitly a great deal more than “western liberals were co-opted into support of neoconservative geopolitics”.

            That was one big ole pile of Huntingtonian offal in your initial “account”, comrade. Such nonsense usually appears in Hasbara propaganda posts extolling the virtues of Apartheid Israel. Let’s presume that’s not your agenda.

            Back to the facts:

            Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis military assaults on Libya, Syria, and Iran have been advanced by pro-Israel Lobby “regime change” enthusiasts, including both “neocons” and “liberal interventionists”.

            The political shifts among E.U. nations since 2003 require more detailed analysis. In any case, you made no mention of France and Germany in your initial “account”.

          • anastasia
            April 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

            I really liked your comment. It was great!

        • April 14, 2018 at 3:33 pm

          What accounts for the strange reversal of France, in particular. That country scorned the attack on Iraq in 2003, but now supports Trump. What’s going on that we’re not being told and nobody seems to have yet figured out. Germany, at least, opted out of this attack, just as it was not in favor of the 2003 invasion.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            April 14, 2018 at 4:49 pm

            This intrigued me as well. How could Macron without a party create one and get all the funding and all the media attention to become president?

          • Abe
            April 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

            What’s with the tidal wave of nostagia about 2003?

            Don’t you guys remember what happened only a year ago under François Hollande, right before France’s boy wonder Emmanuel Macron was crowned:

            “France is one of several nations directly involved in a multi-year US-led effort to violently overthrow the Syrian government.

            “Terrorist organizations fighting in and along Syria’s borders have, for 6 years now, brandished the black, green, white and red colonial flag of French-occupied Syria.

            “France itself has admittedly supplied militant groups fighting the Syrian government with financial, military and political support with many prominent members of the so-called residing within French territory, leading political efforts to overthrow the Syrian government remotely. […]

            “French warplanes are flying over Syria, without a UN resolution or invitation by the Syrian government, bombarding its territory in an alleged effort to wage war on the very militant groups it has flooded with arms, cash and others forms of material support.

            “A nation directly involved in efforts to violently overthrow a government cannot in any rational way conduct an impartial, independent investigation into the actions of that targeted government.

            “France, by all legal metrics, is a compromised party with a direct stake in finding the Syrian government ‘guilty.’ The evidence France claims to possess must be verified by an impartial, independent party, but even at face value, French “evidence” appears illogical and intentionally misrepresented amid its most recent claims. […]

            “French ‘investigation’ is nothing of the sort. Had the French government been truly committed to discovering the truth behind the recent alleged chemical weapons attack, it would have recognized its own limits as an impartial, independent investigator and forwarded its “evidence” to a party that is capable of a real investigation. Instead, it has embarked on an intentionally dishonest course of actions to conceal its lack of impartiality and independence, using tenuous if not fabricated claims to further deepen a violent, deadly and supremely costly conflict it itself is a key instigator of.”

            French “Investigation” in Syria Neither Impartial nor Independent
            By Ulson Gunnar
            http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/04/french-investigation-in-syria-neither.html

          • Piotr Berman
            April 14, 2018 at 9:50 pm

            French has some tradition (in recent years at least) to treat diplomacy like ballet or figure skating, with the stress on elegant pirouettes and other aesthetically dynamic figures. Sadly, people on the receiving end, like Libyans, had difficulties in appreciating that. Their diplomatic pirouettes oscillate between “bravely independent position” and “more zealous on pro-American positions than Americans themselves”.

          • dahoit
            April 15, 2018 at 11:49 am

            macron has a domestic revolt,he had to do something,anything.shite.

          • rosemerry
            April 15, 2018 at 5:15 pm

            I agree. I live in France, and the election of the Rothschild-rich guy Macron is a terrible decision made by the French people in a bind as they were terrified of Marine le Pen, Fillon was felled by scandal and the only leftish, antiwar and not antiRussia alternative, Mélanchon, did not get enough votes to get to the second round.In foreign affairs Macron is craven (MbS, Netanyahu) and internally he wants to destroy what makes France reasonable for workers ie get rid of rights- we’ll be just like the USA!!

          • April 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm

            France has a former colonial interest in Syria. France invaded in 1920 and later upon the League of Nations invitation, Syria became the Syrian Mandate Territory of France. In 1946, Syria won its independence.

      • Tom Welsh
        April 14, 2018 at 1:54 pm

        The idea of “open source intelligence” is utter meaningless rubbish.

        “Open source” is a term invented to describe software that can freely passed on without payment, and changed without restriction by intellectual property laws. (And even in that context it is considered controversial: experts such as Richard Stallman insist on the term “free software”).

        “Open source intelligence” means nothing, and connotes nothing but listening intently to every piece of unattributable gossip in order to pick out those exact pieces that suit your purpose.

        • April 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

          You have some inaccuracies there, Tom. The term “open source intelligence” has been with us since World War II, long before the term “open source software” came along. Wikipedia’s definition of “open source intelligence” goes like this:

          “Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is data collected from publicly available sources to be used in an intelligence context. In the intelligence community, the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources). It is not related to open-source software or public intelligence.

          “OSINT under one name or another has been around for hundreds of years. With the advent of instant communications and rapid information transfer, a great deal of actionable and predictive intelligence can now be obtained from public, unclassified sources.

          “OSINT in the United States traces its origins to the creation of the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service (FBMS), an agency responsible for the monitoring of foreign broadcasts.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_intelligence (footnote omitted).

          The term “open source software” was originated by Eric Raymond and friends in early 1998 as a replacement for “free software.” [1] In the same email recording this bit of history, Raymond closed with a jocular parenthetical statement: “Yes, we’re aware of the specialized meaning “open source” has in the intelligence community. This is a feature, not a bug.)”

          [1] See archived copy of email, http://www.catb.org/~esr/open-source.html

    • Abe
      April 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      A stellar example of mainstream media spin of Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat “open source” propaganda was the 12 April 2018 ABC News feature report citing French “evidence”
      http://abc11.com/french-have-the-proof-syria-used-chemical-weapons/3331953/

      The ABC News report claimed that “France has evidence that Syria used chemical weapons against its own citizens, French President Emmanuel Macron President said”.

      The report went on to state:

      “The French president’s conclusion confirms an independent analysis published Wednesday by a website called Bellingcat, based on open-source material.

      Eliot Higgins, a British researcher and independent journalist, runs Bellingcat, which digs into the digital forensics of events mostly inside Syria”.

      Macron, who is purportedly “working closely” with the United States, is only mentioned three times in the article. The French are mentioned in passing five times, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mentioned six times.

      The bulk of the ABC News report is an interview with Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat. The name “Higgins” appears 19 times in the 1,200 word report.

      Which begs the question as to what actual “evidence” was supplied to the French president, as well as the British Prime Minister and the oligarch in the White House.

      The U.S. government “assessment” on Syria makes it pretty clear that Trump’s decision process, that United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is so “unbelievably proud” of, was mostly based on the “assessment” of some fake “independent journalists” in the U.K.

      • rosemerry
        April 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        None. check out Lavrov’s speech on vesti news 15 April.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      “Before and after this most recent and impotent strike on Syria, Israel has claimed of an impending Iranian attack on its territory. Such an attack would – again – serve only as a pretext for the US and its allies to intervene in Syria amid a war Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies have already won.

      “Israel may stage an attack on its own forces – or an attack on US, British, or French forces in the region may be staged. Unlike an alleged or staged chemical attack on civilians, staging a military attack on Western forces and their regional allies would allow an immediate and much larger military response. […]

      “Despite the scale of the recent US attack, it was clearly an attack made out of desperate frustration – an attempt to ‘fall forward’ – tripping over its clumsy pretext while trying to advance its agenda. In the process, it has compromised its agenda further, and further dulled the propaganda tools it has overused in relation to its floundering proxy war in Syria.”

      US Launches Impotent Attack on Non-existent “Chemical Facilities”
      By Tony Cartalucci
      http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/us-launches-impotent-attack-on-non.html

      • April 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm

        Abe,

        Mr. Cartalucci comes across in his writings as one of the more accurate observers and articulators with regard to intuitively sensing under-the-radar, criminal wars-of-aggression activities. His suggestion the next false flag will involve military forces is one worthy of very strong consideration, especially when (as conveyed by Nikki Haley at April 14 Security Council Meeting #8,233rd) Donald Trump remains “locked and loaded”, and after Khan Sheikhoun, Skripal and Douma failed in their designed goal of provoking and/or initiating major war escalation on Syria. The 8,233rd United Nations Security Council meeting was an extraordinary, historic, and, arguably, paradigm-changing event.

        Peace.

      • April 17, 2018 at 2:53 am

        @ Abe quoting Tony Cartalucci: “Israel may stage an attack on its own forces – or an attack on US, British, or French forces in the region may be staged. Unlike an alleged or staged chemical attack on civilians, staging a military attack on Western forces and their regional allies would allow an immediate and much larger military response.”

        Israel’s right-wing leaders are headed toward a crisis. They are surely as aware of the direction of the wind in U.S. politics as we are and — while they are making hay while the Trump sunshine holds — they are acutely aware that there is no guarantee that Trump will be reelected and that an incoming Democratic administration will likely be far less friendly to Israeli right-wing goals. In other words, if they are going to finally get the U.S. war against Iran that they’ve sought for over a decade, it needs to happen before Trump’s first term expires; indeed, Democrats may win control of the House of Representatives in this year’s election. With U.S. public support for Israel fading rapidly, even among young Jewish voters, there may never be a better time than now for Israeli efforts to instigate their U.S.-Iran War.

        To boot, it looks likely that Bibi Netanyahu may very soon be indicted on corruption charges, which would leave his Likud Party severely weakened in attempting to form a new ruling coalition of parties. Bibi very much needs a different public crisis to justify staying in office until such time as he is found guilty. A U.S.-Iran War would do nicely.

        To add to his urgency, Russia has repeatedly shrugged its shoulders when Netanyahu asked the Bear to keep Iranian troops away from the Israeli border with Syria, Hezbollah is claimed to have over 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel, the U.S.-Israeli-Saudi mercenaries in Syria are on their last legs, the U.S. is winding down its Mideast involvement, and the Israeli leadership comprehends that Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah might feel justified in evening the score with Israel after the U.S. and mercenaries are gone.

        So I smell a strong whiff of panic and desperation in the Israeli leadership. They very much want the U.S. to bomb Iran back into the Stone Age. But the likelihood of that happening recedes with each passing day as Russia slips ever more comfortably into the Mideast leadership vacuum the U.S. is leaving behind.

        An Israeli false flag attack on itself is certainly conceivable.

    • Abe
      April 14, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      ABC News has reported that the United States Government “Assessment” was supplied to Congress by the National Security Council, now under the direction of rabid pro-Israel Lobby figure and terrorist supporter John R. Bolton.

      http://abcnews.go.com/International/white-house-outlines-evidence-support-strike-syria-memo/story?id=54463178

      The 14 April 2018 ABC News report states: “In the moments after President Donald Trump ordered coordinated attacks on chemical weapons facilities in Syria, the White House sent a briefing document to members of Congress prepared by the National Security Council outlining the thinking behind its air strikes.”

      ABC News “obtained a copy of the document, sent to at least one senator”.

      The ABC News report quotes a segment from the published Government “Assessment” claim concerning the April 7, 2018 incident.

      According to ABC News, in response to arguments made by the Syrian and Russian governments that the April 7 attack was fabricated by Western governments, the NSC memo stated, “Such a widespread fabrication would require a well-organized and compartmented campaign to deceive multiple media outlets while evading our detection.”

      Like so many statements in the U.S. Government “Assessment” of alleged “chemical use” in the Syrian conflict, the NSC statement is merely an assertion with no direct evidence to support it.

      The official U.S. Government “Assessment”, reflected in the NSC memo to Congress confirmed by ABC News, is based on nothing other than so-called “public information” supplied by “social media users, non-governmental organizations, and other open-source outlets”.

    • Abbybwood
      April 15, 2018 at 12:10 am

      The American people MUST demand the EVIDENCE proving that the Assad government ordered a chemical attack and that it was not the rebels who actually did it (or staged it in order to keep the United States on board as their prime benefactor).

      Trump and Co. are claiming the evidence cannot be released to the American public because it is “classified”.

      I am calling bullshit on them.

    • Abe
      April 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Eliot Higgins is busy defending White Helmets fake “reporting” with more Bellingcat fake “reporting”
      https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/13/doumafakenews/

      • Abe
        April 15, 2018 at 1:00 pm

        Higgins is perpetually busy defending and supplementing mainstream media fake “reporting” with lots and lots and lots of Bellingcat fake “reporting”
        http://fortune.com/2016/09/29/dnc-hack-mh17/

    • Abe
      April 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      New York Times is busy padding its own fake “reporting” with “First Draft” propaganda coalition “partner” Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat fake “reporting”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/14/us/politics/syria-chemical-weapons-analysis.html

  80. April 14, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Right on the mark. Mr McGovern. I believe these war criminals need to be arrested.
    —————————————————————-
    April 14, 2018
    “A Ménage à Trois of War Criminals”

    The “leaders” of the U.S,. Britain and France formed an illegal coalition and bombed Syria April 13, 2018. Their sycophants in the media mostly parroted approval of this illegal act which is a war crime and a violation of international law.

    Therefore, the question is this: when are these war criminals going to be arrested along with other past and present world leaders that have participated in other illegal wars? The slaughtered children of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Gaza, Yemen and other countries cry from their graves for justice. Mass arrests are needed of this vermin that hold, and have held positions of power in their so-called “houses of democracy.” Their crimes must not be ignored or forgotten….
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/04/a-menage-trois-of-war-criminals.html

    • jose
      April 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      You make very good points Stephen. US is bound to violate the law whenever it suits its purposes. I recall when in 1986 Nicaragua took the US before the ICJ for arming, training, and sending the contras to carry out acts of terrorism inside Nicaragua resulting in thousands of dead and millions in damages. The following day US congress approved millions of dollars to keep the contras operational. That tells you how committed US is to the rule of law either domestically or internationaly. Unfortunately, Syria is just another victim of US brutality and criminality. US will continue to attack Syria, mark my words.

      • April 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm

        Thanks, jose, I believe Iran is next on the war criminals agenda, they have their orders from the head choppers and the child killers. Everybody knows they run the foreign policy of the warmongers .

        • jose
          April 14, 2018 at 6:10 pm

          I could not agree more.

        • Susan Beeftink
          April 14, 2018 at 7:10 pm

          And who are The Head choppers and child killers directing our foreign policy?

          • Sam F
            April 15, 2018 at 7:57 am

            US foreign policy in the MidEast is directed by campaign bribes to Congress, which are primarily from Israel and the zionist opportunists in the US, with some large Hiilary grants from KSA. Other bribes are from the MIC for wars anywhere.

            Claims that “it’s the oil” are absurd, as no one else feels impelled to bomb the ME to buy oil there, and the US has received zero free oil from Iraq or Libya. All of that was deliberate deception of the US by US propaganda.

            Claims that the US intends to promote democracy by foreign wars are absurd, as most of our wars have subverted democracies and installed dictators. In the one case where a somewhat-democracy was set up (Iraq) the US was promptly thrown out and Iraq aligned with Iran.

            Claims that the US has any humanitarian intentions are absurd, as it has caused far more deaths than it blames on its opponents (e.g. far more in Mosul than it blames on Russia in Alleppo).

            Claims that the US kills fewer children are clearly false, having no basis in fact, and in fact it deliberately kills the families of targeted persons.

            Claims that the US is humanitarian in opposing CW are clearly false, as it kills as many people every day as one these alleged CW incidents, and has sought by all means to keep all information from the people of the US..

          • dahoit
            April 15, 2018 at 11:39 am

            zionists.

    • Ted
      April 14, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      “Therefore, the question is this: when are these war criminals going to be arrested along with other past and present world leaders that have participated in other illegal wars?”

      What precedent is there to believe they ever will be arrested?

      The USA has been, and continues to be, an illusory nation. We hold up the Constitution as our bedrock, when in fact, it is a smokescreen.

      The answer to many “when” questions regarding the USA is: when the sh!t has hit the fan and we are in smoking ruins.

      • April 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

        “One empire, under surveillance, with deceit and oppression for all.”

    • April 15, 2018 at 1:40 am

      Thanks, Stephen J,

      … and I very much enjoyed reading your blogspot.

      Ray McGovern

    • Sam F
      April 15, 2018 at 9:28 am

      To ask “when are these war criminals going to be arrested” is to ask when we shall restore democracy.

      The problem is that we no longer have a democracy, but a loose oligarchy or dictatorship of the rich, a form of economic tyranny. Restoring democracy requires structural change to prevent its corruption:

      1. Amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power;
      2. Better checks and balances within the government branches;
      3. Investigation and purging of our corrupt judiciary and Congress;
      4. Monitoring of government officials for corruption;
      5. Regulating business so that oligarchic bullies cannot control economic power;
      6. Re-purposing 80% of our MIC to foreign aid, later making that a distinct agency;
      7. Reforming our secret agencies to end secret political wars and operations.

      Only when we have the power to do that, can we dump AUMFs, join the ICC, dump our law to attack the Hague etc., re-negotiate NATO as strictly defensive, limit foreign wars to UN auspices, repudiate deals with warmonger nations, end our secret wars, and thereby eliminate US warmongering.

      Only then can literature, media, education, and public interaction encourage moral community, and only then can public debate find the moral policies that honor the rights of all persons and seek justice for all.

      • Bob Van Noy
        April 15, 2018 at 9:51 am

        Thank you Sam F. for your very consistent and optimistic logic over time. It does seem in these rather desperate times, that the singular hope one can find is the thought of democratic justice against Tyranny. I treasure your writing…

        • Sam F
          April 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm

          Thanks, Bob, I appreciate your comments and hope that we do help democracy prevail over tyranny.

        • Sam F
          April 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm

          Thank you; I too find hope that we achieve justice against tyranny. My response was dropped by moderation.

      • April 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm

        Well stated Sam F. I think it will take some high ranking people with the courage of Gen. Smedley Butler, who refused to do what he was asked to do by the 1930s US oligarchs, namely to stage a coup against Roosevelt. Instead he went to the latter and explained what had gone down, and his refusal to be part of it. We might start with the ecological criminals who poison the land, water and air on the grounds of crimes against humanity–felonies to be sure.

        • Sam F
          April 16, 2018 at 9:24 pm

          Thanks, I will have to read more of Butler, as I was unaware of the coup attempt. Had to wait for Truman, perhaps.

        • Sam F
          April 17, 2018 at 12:41 pm

          Thank you; I had not heard of the coup attempt and will read more on Smedley Butler. My response was dropped by moderation

    • Clooney's Gerbil
      April 15, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Any attempt to arrest these war criminals would result in yet another Pearl Harbor. The cancer is terminal.

    • Brad Owen
      April 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Oh my, the Synarchy Internationale (precursors to fascists and NAZIs) has spread its tentacles far and wide. The battlefield Fascists and NAZIs were destroyed, while these “boardroom NAZIs” lived on to continue their corrosive, subversive activities. Their rat-line work started within hours of FDR’s death, by intelligence assets sympathetic to “The Cause”(of plutocratic Oligarchy), being those assets around the Dulles brothers, the Vichyists, and those circles around that UK King who gave up the throne in the 30’s to marry that American, and other assets around Europe (especially fascist Spain and Portugal, and their allies in South and Central America…”like Mother, like Child”) generally in service to the Ancient Establishment throughout Europe. They’ve ALWAYS had an interest in the goings-on in MENA since Roman times (indeed, some of the Dynastic families of this Ancient Establishment trace their bloodlines to those same Roman times, after its collapse and they skedaddled up to the Venice region).

  81. Sally Snyder
    April 14, 2018 at 10:52 am

    As shown in this article, the Russians announced that a chemical attack was going to take place in Syria nearly one month prior to the Douma attack:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2018/04/was-syrias-chemical-attack-another.html

    Despite the “might” of the U.S. intelligence community, the signs of a chemical attack were completely ignored.

    • jose
      April 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      A very incisive post Sally. I would add the following: According to author David Krieger, “Trump did not seek and obtain Congressional authorization for his act of war in attacking a Syrian Air Force base. Thus, the attack was illegal under US law. It is not the president’s prerogative to initiate attacks against sovereign nations without Congressional authorization. By acting without such Congressional authorization, Trump has placed himself and the presidency above the rule of law. Moreover,Trump did not seek and obtain authorization for his attack against Syria from the United Nations Security Council, as is required under international law. By failing to do so the US has put itself outside the boundaries of the UN Charter, which is also a part of US law, as well as other international law to which the US is bound. When you have a character like Trump abrogating the US supreme law of the land shamelessly, do you think that “Trump Urged to Seek Evidence Before Attacking Syria” appeal will work? I hope it does, really.

      • dahoit
        April 15, 2018 at 11:36 am

        Yes.Trump,but he had company,obama,bush,clinton and other potus’s did too.

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