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Trumpwatch: One minute closer to midnight on the Doomsday Clock

By   /  April 10, 2017  /  61 Comments

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Despite a previous poison gas attack in Ghouta, Syria in 2013 – for which the Assad regime was implicated, but not proven – there is little actual firm evidence that the Syrian government was responsible for the gassing at Khan Sheikhoun on 7 April.

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7 April 2017 – A Day of Infamy

Along with 7.5 billion other humans on this planet, I was dumbfounded  when the newsflash came over Radio New Zealand that the US had launched cruise missiles against Syria, nearly obliterating a military airfield at Shayrat airbase;

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Only an hour and a half earlier, Trump has been “considering retaliatory action” over the Syrian government’s alleged use of sarin gas at  Khan Shaykhun, in the Idlib Governorate.

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That was fast work. A cynic might suggest that the attack had been planned well in advance.

Despite my many reservations about Trump’s fitness to be the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet; despite his gullibility in listening to dubious “news” sources; despite his slavishness toward Israel;  despite his racist diatribes against ethnic groups; despite his stated intention to squander billions on the military; despite gagging aspects of family planning services; and despite his covert right-wing agenda to pare-back healthcare, environmental protections, and slash critical government services for the poor – there was one thing about him that stuck in my mind. His willingness to “do deals” to overcome problems;

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Trump made no discernible attempt to deal with  the Russians – Syria’s main sponsor –  to determine who had launched the poison gas attack on Khan Shaykhun. There was no “deal making” in evidence as Trump gave the order to unleash the destructive  firepower of 59 American ‘Tomahawk’ cruise missiles.

In fact, Trump’s decision to attack Shayrat airbase contradicts his own warning from 12 November last year when he cautioned;

“…if the US attacks Assad, “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria.”

So it is hardly surprising that  Australian  Green Party senator, Scott Ludlum, spoke for many when he admonished Trump’s cowboy adventurism;

“The horror of the chemical weapons attack in Syria this week requires a credible, independent investigation, not a random barrage of missiles ordered by a clueless President.”

It’s OK when our ‘side’ does it

Despite a previous poison gas attack in Ghouta, Syria in 2013 – for which the Assad regime was implicated, but not proven – there is  little actual firm evidence that the Syrian government was responsible for the gassing at Khan Sheikhoun on 7 April. Whilst it is known that Syria does (or did) indeed posses sarin gas – so does Israel. (Though Israel has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, to date it has not ratified it.)

It is, however, not unknown for middle east despots to use poison gas to suppress rebel groups, as Saddam Hussein did in March, 1988, in Halabja. Saddam’s target at the time were Kurdish rebels fighting for independence. Some 6,800 men, women, and children were killed outright, and estimates put the eventual civilian death toll at 12,000.

Iraq used poison gas in it’s war with Iran without sanction. The West continued to support Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime despite the use of chemical weapons against Iraqi villages as well as Iranian combatants;

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

Means, Motive, and Opportunity

When considering a crime and it’s possible perpetrator(s), law enforcement officials take into account motive, means, and opportunity. The Assad regime certainly has two of the criteria: means and opportunity.

Fellow blogger and political commentator, Chris Trotter, recently questioned what would motivate Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to launch an attack using banned weapons that would earn near-universal condemnation from the international community – and possibly embarrass  and alienate critical support from Moscow. Chris asked;

… “Why would Assad do such a thing?” Syria was en route to a new round of peace talks. More importantly, she was about to enter negotiations in which the usual American, British and French demands that “Assad must go!” were to be, for the first time since the Syrian Civil War broke out in earnest, quietly put to one side. Having won the war on the ground, the Assad regime was on the brink of clearing away its enemies’ unrealistic preconditions. Finally, a serious conversation about Syria’s future could begin.

And yet, we are being invited to believe that, with all this at stake, President Assad ordered the use of Sarin gas on his own citizens. Somehow, instigating a reprehensible war crime against women and children was going to strengthen his moral authority. Somehow, by revolting the entire world, he would improve his chances of being accepted as Syria’s legitimate ruler. Somehow, by embarrassing the Russian Federation, his country’s most valuable military ally, he would enhance Syria’s national security. The whole notion is absurd.

Fair questions.

Did Assad believe that he could get away with it? Did he feel that Russia’s success in East Ukraine and Crimea, and the West’s unwillingness to challenge Moscow’s flexing of  its “hard power” gave him free license to use whatever means he had at his disposal? Did Assad feel emboldened at Trump’s “close relationship” with Russia’s President Putin?

But why chemical weapons, which, in this case resulted in no appreciable military gains for Assad’s military? Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons adviser to NGOs (and  former commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion) offered one possible rationale;

The fear of chemical weapons is the real terror of war. Less than 0.5 percent of casualties during World War I were attributed to chemical weapons, yet the Great War has become synonymous with their use. The current conflict in Syria and Iraq depicts a similar picture.

ISIL employs a morbidly brilliant psychological warfare, and chemical weapons are the ultimate psychological weapon against all their enemies.

It would seem unlikely to engage in such a risky gamble. Especially for such little military advantage. It would  be a colossal mis-judgement on Assad’s part if he thought that reliance on Western inertia and Trump’s isolationistic worldview would pay off.

According to Russian government-aligned RT News, Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem;

…denied claims that the military used chemical weapons in the western city of Idlib. Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Muallem said an airstrike by Syrian military had targeted an arms depot where chemical weapons stockpiles were stored by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front militants.

He said it’s impossible that the army – which has been making significant gains in almost all theaters of the Syrian war – would use banned chemical weapons against its “own people” and even terrorists.

The lack of clear motive on Assad’s part raises real doubt as to who launched the gas attack on Khan Shaykhun.

If not Assad, who?

There have been suggestions that rebel groups operating in Syria to overthrow Assad’s regime launched the gas attack as a ‘false flag’ operation to draw the U.S. into the conflict.

I have doubts on this.

Until Trump’s ascendancy to the White House, the United States has been reluctant to supply Syrian rebels – including the Free Syrian Army – for fear they could end up in the wrong hands;

In theory, the embargo aims to prevent anti-aircraft weapons getting into the hands of terrorists who might down civilian planes. Yet such weapons exist on the black market; since the US has gone out of its way to prevent the FSA from getting any – even from there – the weapons that do get snapped up end up in the hands of anyone but the FSA.

Even anti-tank weaponry supplied to certain rebel groups was closely monitored;

While warplanes and helicopters had replaced tanks as the main form of regime slaughter by mid-2012, this US embargo blocked not only anti-aircraft but also anti-tank weaponry. Thus only small arms and ammunition were allowed, in the face of a massively armed regime continually supplied by Russia and Iran.

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US pressure is clear: Only “vetted” groups get TOW [anti-tank] missiles, sometimes only three or four at a time, they have to apply for them for specific operations, and they have to return the shells to make a claim for more. Even favoured groups soon found supplies dwindling, and the program diminished by late 2014.

By December 2016, after Trump’s inauguration, the US government softened it’s policy forbidding anti-aircraft weaponry being sold to Syrian rebels;

The House voted for the first time today to explicitly authorize the incoming Donald Trump administration to arm vetted Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles.

While the language in the annual defense bill also creates restrictions on the provision of the controversial weapons, it represents a win for Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., a fervent advocate of helping the rebels resist President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.

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Trump was outspoken about his reluctance to get dragged into the Syrian civil war throughout the presidential campaign. He has since picked hawkish advisers and candidates for Cabinet positions, including retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense.

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Mattis is well known in military and foreign policy circles for his aggressive determination to take on America’s foes, notably Iran, including in Syria and Iraq.

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The new provision “would require the secretary of defense and secretary of state to notify the congressional defense committees, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee should a determination be made to provide MANPADs to elements of the appropriately vetted Syrian opposition,” according to the explanatory statement accompanying the compromise bill. “The conferees expect that should such a determination be made, the requirement for the provision of such a capability and the decision to provide it would be thoroughly vetted by and receive broad support from the interagency”.

At least one US lawmaker realised the lethal consequences of allowing anti-aircraft missiles into rebel hands. Representative John Conyers (Dem-Michigan) warned;

“I am disappointed that the House of Representatives’ explicit prohibition on the transfer of these dangerous weapons into Syria was reversed — behind closed doors — by the conference committee. This brazen act shows that some in Congress still hope to further escalate the civil war in Syria. Sending these weapons would only prolong this horrific conflict — and endanger civilian airliners across the region, including in Israel.”

Writing for the Huffington Post, Charles Lister reported that the Free Syrian Army had tried – and been stopped – from purchasing anti-aircraft missiles on the black market.  One FSA leader was reported as saying;

“Somehow, the Americans found out and our purchase was blocked.”

To date, use of anti-aircraft weaponry by rebels forces has been minimal.

If  the US was wary of handing over anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry to Syrian rebel groups – from where they could disperse to who-knows-where – it is hard to believe that even more deadly weapons such as poison gas would be permitted into rebel hands.

If anti-aircraft missiles could be used by ISIS  operatives to bring down civilian passenger jets – imagine those same operatives with poison gas in subways in New York, London, Paris, Moscow.

And remember the comment made by Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, above;

“The fear of chemical weapons is the real terror of war… chemical weapons are the ultimate psychological weapon against all their enemies.”

Which suggests that the only other ‘player’ in the Syrian civil war capable of deploying chemical weapons would be a sovereign state.

If not rebels, who?

In a June 2013 story, the BBC reported on who was supplying the myriad ‘players’ in the Syrian conflict. One of the arms traffickers in the region was Saudi Arabia;

In late 2012, Riyadh is said to have financed the purchase of “thousands of rifles and hundreds of machine guns”, rocket and grenade launchers and ammunition for the FSA from a Croatian-controlled stockpile of Yugoslav weapons.

These were reportedly flown – including by Royal Saudi Air Force C-130 transporters – to Jordan and Turkey and smuggled into Syria.

Note the link: Croatian-controlled stockpile

Follow the link and it leads to a February 2013 story in the New York Times, which stated;

Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to anti-government fighters in Syria in a drive to break the bloody stalemate that has allowed President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power, according to American and Western officials familiar with the purchases.

The weapons began reaching rebels in December via shipments shuttled through Jordan, officials said, and have been a factor in the rebels’ small tactical gains this winter against the army and militias loyal to Mr. Assad.

So, what sort of weapons was Croatia selling on the open market? Interrogate Google with the parameters ‘Yugoslavia Croatia chemical weapons’. It offers this April 1999 story in the UK Guardian;

After months of prevarication, Nato launches a ground war against Slobodan Milosevic’s forces in Kosovo. But no sooner do British and US troops begin to move in and threaten Serb army units than Milosevic unleashes his secret weapons – sarin nerve gas and BZ, a psychochemical incapacitant.

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According to former Yugoslav chemical weapons officers, Milosevic’s arsenal is far larger than previously thought. Besides sarin and BZ, it includes the blister agent sulphur mustard and the choking agent phosgene. And it is thanks to scientists in Britain and the US that he could use them on Nato troops.

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In total, the Serb army may have as many as 5,800 122mm sarin-filled shells and 1,000 mustard gas shells, say these sources. In addition, Serbia is also known to have been developing a multiple rocket delivery system for sarin and a bomb capable of delivering 20 litres of the nerve gas to the battlefield.

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Even the Pentagon, which is sceptical about Croatian estimates of the numbers of chemical shells and rockets in the Serb arsenal, accepts that Milosevic inherited from the JNA a programme capable of producing a deadly 3,000 rockets filled with sarin and 100 shells filled with mustard gas.

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Although the Pentagon says it has no evidence that Serbia has continued to manufacture and test chemical weapons since the break-up of the Yugoslavia federation, officials told the New York Times they were ‘concerned’ about the stockpiles.

The Pentagon would be right to be “‘concerned’ about the stockpiles“. Where would they end up?

There is no proof that amongst the weapons purchased from Croatia there was included chemical weapons such as sarin gas. But the facts are clear;

  • Former-Yugoslavia developed massive quantities of poison gas weapons, including sarin gas
  • After the break-up of Yugoslavia, Croatia sold plane-loads of weapons to Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia supports rebel forces in Syria
  • Sarin gas was used in the gas attack on Khan Shaykhun

It is all circumstantial, of course. But it seems plausible that Saudi Arabian military/intelligence agents could have transported sarin gas shells/rockets to Idlib Governorate where, under close supervision,  they were launched against a defenceless city.

The plan was simple; to provoke a politically unsophisticated, naive, and impressionable Donald Trump into  military retaliation by blaming the attack on the Syrian regime.

Clinton – Not helping!

Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the Syrian regimes alleged poison gas attack on Khan Shaykhun do her no favours;

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears on stage at the Women in the World Summit in New York, US, 6 April 2017. The interview took place a few hours before the attack was launched on Syria. Acknowledgement: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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“Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days. And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.

I still believe we should have done a no-fly zone. We should have been more willing to confront Assad.

Her strident jingoism confirms her critic’s description of her as a warmonger.

We can excuse Trump’s political inexperience, naivete, and  unsophisticated view of the world around him. This is  a man who gets his “news” from the Republican Party-mouthpiece,  Fox News, or the far-right Brietbart website. His political development appears arrested and not to far from that of an adolescent.

Trump may blunder into WWIII but a President Hillary Clinton  would apparently have egged it on. With decades of political experience behind her, Clinton should know better. She has no excuse for her simplistic  jingoism.

She should also have deeper insights into  Middle East politics than this. Her willingness to perpetuate the Syria-Is-Guilty narrative cannot be excused as easily as Trump’s stupidity.

Which means she is manipulating current events for her own agenda.

With the planet edging closer to WWIII, whatever ‘game’ she is playing is a dangerous one.

World War III – Are we there yet?

Moscow’s unofficial mouthpiece, RT News, relayed a chilling message to Washington’s power-establishment (not Trump) to ‘back off’. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that the illegal  missile attack the Syrian airfield was putting the US  “on the verge of a military clash” with Russia.

Not since the Cuban missile Crisis in October 1962 have the two nuclear-armed super-powers faced off, bringing the planet to the verge of atomic annihilation.

At that time, the Cold Warriors of the former USSR and USA still remembered the destruction caused by WWII. The Soviets, in particular, understood what Total War meant.

Alarmingly, though Putin has some understanding of military service, Trump has never served in the armed forces. Trump’s understanding of war most likely comes from brief news clips  and popular entertainment from Hollywood;

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Hopefully someone in his national security council is advising Trump that real war is not like ‘The Green Berets’ or ‘Hogan’s Heroes‘.

Sanders – the voice of calm sanity from a President the Americans never had

Former Democrat-candidate, Bernie Sanders, apparently accepts the official Washington narrative that the gas attack on Khan Shaykhun was orchestrated and executed by Assad’s military;

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Though hours later he issued a statement highly critical of of Trump’s unilateral use of military force against Syria. In a statement, later that day, Sanders said;

In a world of vicious dictators, Syria’s Bashar Assad tops the list as a dictator who has killed hundreds of thousands of his own citizens to protect his own power and wealth. His regime’s use of chemical weapons against the men, women and children of his country, in violation of all international conventions and moral standards, makes him a war criminal.

As the most powerful nation on earth, the United States must work with the international community to bring peace and stability to Syria, where over 400,000 people have been killed and over 6 million displaced. The horror of Syria’s civil war is almost unimaginable.

If there’s anything we should’ve learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which the lives of thousands of brave American men and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians have been lost and trillions of dollars spent, it’s that it’s easier to get into a war than get out of one. I’m deeply concerned that these strikes could lead to the United States once again being dragged back into the quagmire of long-term military engagement in the Middle East. If the last 15 years have shown anything, it’s that such engagements are disastrous for American security, for the American economy and for the American people.

The Trump administration must explain to the American people exactly what this military escalation in Syria is intended to achieve, and how it fits into the broader goal of a political solution, which is the only way Syria’s devastating civil war ends. Congress has a responsibility to weigh in on these issues. As the Constitution requires, the president must come to Congress to authorize any further use of force against the Assad regime.

Further, the US must work with all parties to reinforce longstanding international norms against the use of chemical weapons, to hold Russia and Syria to the 2013 deal to destroy these weapons and to see that violators are made accountable.

There appears to be mixed-messaging from Sanders on this issue.

The only positive from Sanders is that he would (apparently) “work with all parties to reinforce longstanding international norms against the use of chemical weapons“. Though naming Syria and Russia in the same breath ignores the reality that these weapons still exist in American stockpiles and Israel has refused to ratify treaties to eliminate them.

However, anything that pulls Moscow and Washington back from the brink of the abyss of WWIII must be viewed positively. At this point, Sanders appears less insanely unstable than Trump, and certainly less insanely hawkish than Clinton.

By the way, Mr Trump…

Israel also possesses atomic bombs – which seems not to concern Washington one bit. It would not be an over-statement to point out that detonating an atomic weapon over the Middle East would set the planet on fire.

Game over.

New Zealand’s Response to an Illegal Attack

Hours after the US attack, Bill English responded by explaining;

“We’ve seen the atrocities with the use of chemical weapons … We support action that is proportionate to the requirement to stop further atrocities.”

Which raises four questions and an observation;

#1 How can bombing a Syrian government airbase “stop further atrocities” when it has not been clearly established who was responsible for the gas attack on Khan Shaykhun? Is that not “jumping the gun” (excuse the inappropriate  metaphor) before guilt/innocence is proven?

#2 Considering that English refuses point-blank to initiate a Commission of Inquiry into a 2010 SAS  raid in the Tirgiran Valley, in Afghanistan  – despite a former Minister of Defence confirming that there were civilian casualities – is the National government  in a moral position to endorse a potentially illegal bombing of  Shayrat airbase?

#3 There is no firm evidence that the Assad regime is guilty of using poison gas on Khan Shaykhun – why has English  rushed to judgement and pre-determined guilt?

#4 There is evidence that the SAS may have committed war crimes in 2010 in the Tirgiran Valley – why has English rushed to judgement and pre-determined innocence?

#5 English’s “moral compass” is highly dubious, to put it politely.

Chaos in  Trump’s Administration?!

Washington’s renewed appetite for military adventurism in the Middle East (which, by the way, rarely ends well) has cloaked two recent events that the White House wanted off the nation’s front pages and lead-bulletins.

#1: Bannon

Arch far-right activist, Steve Bannon has been quietly removed from Trump’s National Security Council a day before the missile strike on Shayrat airbase.  According to a New York Times report;

…White House officials said, the ideologist who enjoyed the president’s confidence became increasingly embattled as other advisers, including Mr. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, complained about setbacks on health care and immigration. Lately, Mr. Bannon has been conspicuously absent from some meetings. And now he has lost his seat at the national security table.

In a move that was widely seen as a sign of changing fortunes, Mr. Trump removed Mr. Bannon, his chief strategist, from the National Security Council’s cabinet-level “principals committee” on Wednesday. The shift was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, who insisted on purging a political adviser from the Situation Room where decisions about war and peace are made.

Bannon, though, was not taking his removal from the NSC quiety, threatening to resign if his removal went ahead.

But Bannon will still be present at certain meetings, on an “ad hoc”* basis, according to this report;

“He is off the memo as a member of the principals committee,” said the source familiar with Wednesday’s meeting, “but the president or McMaster can invite him to attend at any time.”

Asked why Bannon attended a meeting on the same day his departure was being announced, the source said, “He is one of the president’s closest and most trusted advisors.”

Asked whether Bannon would continue to regularly attend NSC meetings, the source said, “I don’t know. It’s going to be ad hoc, I think.”

(* Ad Hoccery  appears to be the defining basis upon which the Trump Administration is predicated.)

One does not have to be political scientist to realise that a power struggle is taking place in the White House – a struggle for ascendancy over a President who appears  easily influenced.

On the day of the attack on Shayrat airbase, Bannon (circled in red) was present at the National Security Council meeting held at Trump’s ad hoc “Situation Room” at his private  resort at Mar-a-Lago in Florida;

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#2: Nunes

Another event which has slipped well under the political radar is the “voluntary temporarily stepping down” (aka, removal) of Devin Nunes (Republican-Tulare), from the House Intelligence Committee.  Nunes is (was?)  Committee Chairperson until it was discovered that he had inappropriately leaked information obtained from the White House regarding an investigation into possible collusion with Russia by Trump associates during last year’s election campaign;

In short, the new chronology is this: White House officials leaked intelligence information to Nunes, who then announced them last Wednesday as fresh revelations, saying that he had received them from an unnamed source and that the White House was unaware. Nunes then made a show of going to the White House to brief President Trump on revelations that had come from his staff in the first place. The administration finally used the information to claim vindication on its still-evidence-free claims that President Obama surveilled then-candidate Trump.

Nunes blamed unnamed “left-wing activists” for his “voluntary stepping down”.

Devin Nunes is the second (third? I’ve lost count) casualty from Trump’s erratic presidency, following on from the resignation (not “voluntarily temporarily stepping down”) of national security adviser Michael Flynn on 13 February.

Hey! Look over there!

If ever Trump needed a diversion to deflect public attention away from ongoing turmoil in his Administration, what better than a spectacular show of American military muscle in a country he had previously said the US had no interest in intervening;

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Of course, Trump gave his explanation for changing his mind;

“ Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

Trump added;

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies… that crosses… many lines.”

Laudible and noble. What righteous person doesn’t love children?

Everyone, of course. Everyone except the vile villains who launched the gas attack on Khan Shaykhun (whoever they might be). And this person;

One man said he lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, where [Donald] Trump has a home, and there were plans to relocate Syrian refugee families there.

He asked Mr Trump if he could “look children aged five, eight, ten, in the face and tell them they can’t go to school here”.

Mr Trump did not hesitate and said he could, which brought applause from the crowd.

He said: “I can look in their faces and say ‘You can’t come’. I’ll look them in the face.”

It is a shame that Mr Trump wasn’t considering “beautiful babies” and  “children of God” during his election campaign last year.

Even Breibart ‘News  reported Trump’s comments.

Breitbart ‘News’

Meanwhile, Breibart ‘News’ has been an ongoing cheerleader supporting military action against the Assad regime, in 2012, as well as more recently. On both occasions, unsubstantiated allegations of Assad using poison gas against civilians and rebels was reported as ‘facts’ by Breitbart;

2012:

Rebel forces in Syria report that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is now using chemical weapons on them. Moreover, intelligence operatives from the West have confirmed those reports as well. But there has yet to be a peep out of the Obama administration over it.

2017:

The strike was aimed at deterring another chemical weapons attack by the regime.

This is the same far-right Breitbart ‘News’ where Steve Bannon – Trump’s current Chief Strategist –  once held the position as Executive Chairperson.

Profitting from the attack on Syria

The PAC which raised money for Trump’s election campaign last year has capitalised on the attack on Shayrat airbase. As reported on the ‘Daily Beast‘ and elsewhere;

President Trump ordered a military strike on Syria Thursday night in response to a recent chemical attack. By Friday afternoon, a supportive PAC was fundraising off of the strike.

“Last night, President Trump ordered military action against Syria in response to their chemical weapons attack,” an email from the Great America PAC, first flagged by Dave Levinthal at the Center for Public Integrity, read.

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“59 United States tomahawk missiles destroyed the airfield used to store Syria’s toxic weapons and aircraft involved in the Sarin gas attack.

What are your thoughts?”

The message asks respondents to vote on whether they approve of the strike and subsequently includes a request for money. The email was signed by Ed Rollins, currently the national co-chair of the PAC who joined the group in May of 2016.

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In case the wording on the second image is too difficult to read, it says;

Thank you for your vote. President Trump sent a message to the world by striking Syria. Help us support our Commander-in-Chief by making a special contribution below.

It should come as no surprise. There has always been money to be made from war, especially in the American Empire where industries such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Bell Helicopter Textron, and many others have made billions in profits making weapons for the US military.

But it must be a novelty (or new low, depending on which way your moral compass is pointing) that a political fund-raising organisation has exploited death and destruction to raise cash for their candidate/office-holder. Especially when that death and destruction  may be predicated on a lie.

This must give even  the most ardent Trump supporter pause for thought.

Infowars Turns on Trump

…And at least one previous Trumpista has indeed paused, thought, and turned his back on the Orange One.

Infowars editor, Paul Watson recently ‘tweeted’ his defection  from the Trump Camp;

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Although this may be fake news/false flag/deception/deep-state conspiracy and the real Paul Watson is safe aboard the Mothership, along with JFK, Trotsky, Elvis, and Doris Day.

Israel – the Red Flag to Middle East Bulls

Israel has voiced it’s support for the US attack. As reported in the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu – himself no stranger to aggression against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank – congratulated the US for it’s missile attack on Shayrat airbase;

“Israel supports the recent US missile attack in Syria because it is morally right and because it makes clear there is price for the use of chemical weapon. We are doing this because of moral reasons in light of the difficult images from Idlib, and also so that it will be clear that there is a price for the use of chemical weapons.”

Israel has also violated Syrian airspace to attack and destroy so-called terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. In March this year, Netanyahu stated;

“When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it. That’s how it was yesterday and that’s how we shall continue to act.”

Days later Netanyahu revealed that he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin point blank;

“We attack if we have information and the operational feasibility. This will continue.”

Israel’s arrogant sense of entitlement extends it’s military operations from Gaza and the West Bank to another sovereign state – Syria.

Syria, predictably has exercised it’s legal right to  attempt to shoot down Israeli warplanes that crossed into it’s airspace. Just as Turkey exercised it’s right to shoot down a Russian warplane that crossed into Turkish airspace in November 2015;

Vladimir Putin has called Turkey “accomplices of terrorists” and warned of “serious consequences” after a Turkish F-16 jet shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday morning, the first time a Nato country and Moscow have been involved in direct fire over the crisis in Syria.

The Russian president, speaking before a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Sochi, said the plane had been shot down over Syrian airspace and fell 4km inside Syria. Putin said it was “obvious” the plane posed no threat to Turkey.

The Syrian conflict is a quagmire with multiple players – both state and various armed factions.

The complexity of the conflict – coupled with information that may or may not be true – creates a potential powder-keg. In some ways, I am reminded of Europe, in 1914; an interwoven web of imperial powers jostling for supremacy; strategic alliances; revolutionary groups; unstable monarchies; and ethnic tensions.

Sound familiar?

The drums of war are beating, and they are getting louder. This time, we may have to rely on the stability of the Russian leadership to deliver us from another Sarajevo, 1914.

That stability appears dangerously lacking in Washington right now.

Postscript – The Curious Case of Peter Thiel

Writing for Mediaworks, veteran journalist and media-host, Mark Sainsbury, had this to say in February of this year;

Citizenship rightly should be prized and earned. It is not a commodity to be traded.

Which brings us to the curious case of Peter Thiel, the controversial American billionaire whose “exceptional circumstances” somehow allowed him to become a citizen of this fine country.

[…]

He apparently had a strong desire to be a citizen of a country he hardly visited – certainly not enough to qualify for an application in normal circumstances.

So was it the fact that citizenship enabled him to bypass the Overseas Investment Office’s scrutiny when he bought his Wanaka property? You’d have to say given all his amazing qualities, that shouldn’t have been a problem anyway.

I listened to Xero boss Rod Dury – a strong supporter of Mr Thiel’s application – not surprising given Mr Thiel made a significant investment in Xero. Mr Drury accepted that many successful people like Peter Thiel want a bolt hole in case it all goes pear-shaped in the Northern Hemisphere.  And if you could afford it, why wouldn’t you?

But is that what it really comes down to?  That we are a convenience, a Hobbit-themed panic room for the super rich?

Let’s just call it for what it is: We are a haven for sale.

The great irony, of course, is that any implosion in the Northern Hemisphere could likely be triggered by another of his influential friends; the man he backed for the US presidency: Donald J Trump.

Perhaps Mr Thiel knew something we didn’t?

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References

Radio NZ:  Afternoons – US launches strikes on a target in Syria

Radio NZ: Midday News for 7 April 2017

Wikipedia: Khan Shaykhun

Wikipedia: Sarin Gas

The Guardian: ‘Global gag rule’ reinstated by Trump, curbing NGO abortion services abroad

Twitter: Donald Trump – Deals – 21 May 2015

RT News: Trump warns that by attacking Assad, US will ‘end up fighting Russia’

Sydney Morning Herald: Malcolm Turnbull ‘knew in advance’ of US strike on Syria, called for a ‘strong response’

NTI: Israel

New York Times: Halabja – America didn’t seem to mind poison gas

Al Jazeera: Remembering Halabja chemical attack

BBC: Iraq – chemical warfare

Foreign Policy: Exclusive – CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

Al Jazeera: Remembering Halabja chemical attack

RT News: Syria denies & condemns use of chemical weapons – foreign minister

The New Arab: Anti-aircraft missiles could be a game-changer in Syria

Al-Monitor: Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles

Huffington Post:  Russia’s Intervention in Syria: Protracting an Already Endless Conflict

BBC: Who is supplying weapons to the warring sides in Syria?

The Guardian: UK link to Serb poison gas

CNN: Hillary Clinton – US should ‘take out’ Assad’s air fields

RT News: America’s Syria strike ‘on verge of military clash’ with Russia – PM Medvedev

Twitter: Bernie Sanders – Syria – 7 April 2017

Politicususa: Bernie Sanders Shows America How A President Should Handle Syria And The Middle East

Radio NZ: NZ told in advance about US Syria strike

Radio NZ: Little on SAS claims – ‘We need to know what the truth is’

Radio NZ: Afghan raid – Ex-minister accepts reports of civilian deaths

New York Times: Trump Removes Stephen Bannon From National Security Council Post

The Independent:  Steve Bannon threatened to quit if removed from National Security Council, say reports

CNBC: Bannon attended National Security Council meeting after his removal from top committee

New York Times: Who Was in the Room? These Advisers Joined Trump for the Syria Strike

Los  Angeles Times: Devin Nunes says he’s temporarily stepping aside from Russia probe

The Atlantic: The Call Was Coming From Inside the White House

Bloomberg: Trump Asked for Flynn’s Resignation After ‘Eroding’ Trust, Aide Says

Twitter: Trump – Do not attack Syria – 5 September 2013

CNBC: Trump explains why he launched missile attack on Syria

Radio NZ: Syria chemical killings ‘cross many lines’ – Trump

The Telegraph: Donald Trump – ‘I’ll look Syrian children in the face and say they can’t come’

Breitbart ‘News’: Trump – I can look into face of Syrian children and say ‘You can’t come here’

Breitbart ‘News’: Obama Yawns As Syria Uses Chemical Weapons, Crosses ‘Red Line’

Breitbart ‘News’: Trump Orders Strikes Against Syrian Regime Airbase in Response to Chemical Attack

Wikipedia: Steve Bannon

Great America PAC: Home page

The Daily Beast: Pro-Trump PAC Raising Money Off Syria Strikes

Wikipedia: List of United States defense contractors

Wikipedia: Paul Watson

Twitter: Paul Watson – Donald Trump – 7 April 2017

Jerusalem Post: Netanyahu – Israel backs US attack on Syria on ‘moral’ basis

Al Jazeera: Netanyahu – Strikes in Syria targeted Hezbollah arms

Jerusalem Post: Netanyahu – Israel clarified to Russia that IDF will continue Syria strikes

The Guardian: Putin condemns Turkey after Russian warplane downed near Syria border

BBC: Syria war – A brief guide to who’s fighting whom

Mediaworks: Mark Sainsbury – Peter Thiel’s made NZ a haven for sale

Additional

The Boston Globe: Trump and the Doomsday Clock

Other Bloggers

The Daily Blog: Gas Attack In Khan Sheikhoun! But why would Bashar al-Assad blow himself up?

Previous related blogposts

Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War

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61 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    Sanders example can not be understated. Money in politics was enormous a hundred years ago, now its a solar system buster or atleast multi planetary.

    Then along comes sanders with bad words like socialism. If it wasn’t for DNC shenanigans he would have won the nomination. That proves how weak elites positions are.

    If an old man can do it. We need to learn from that

  2. WILD KATIPO says:

    Pretty good analysis , Frank.

    Now go try that over on The Standard and you’ll get shouted down for suggesting it wasn’t the Syrian govt but rebel forces backed and supplied by Saudi Arabia.

    Suggest also it was a planned act between the different party’s and you’ll also have them in hysterics. And why?

    The moment you implicate their idol Clinton and the fact the Clinton Foundation was used as a conduit to purchase American manufactured arms for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain and those arms redistributed to ISIS the fury is unleashed. Irrespective if those gas weapons came from there of Yugoslavia , – the point is someone supplied weapons to someone else ,… someone who had a motive for destabilizing negotiations that were to be taking place.

    The same sort of thing happened in Northern Ireland every time there was headway being made.

    Trump , Clinton, and all others aside , – I think the real culprits in supplying those gas weapons would be a certain oil rich middle eastern state that also happens to be a Sunni majority – as are ISIS – and to which is a major oil supplier to the USA.

    And that state doesn’t like either the secular govt of Syria nor the Shiite Muslim govt of Iran.

    Throw in the mix Trumps need to be seen getting tough on the Russians after suggestions of Russian interference in the USA elections , – a few quick phone calls to clear Russian and Syrian forces from that airbase and just leave a few old jets there for affect, – and voila !

    The whole things a staged event and served many party’s interests.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Ae bro, standard black and white TV rabbit ears confirmed

      • Steve Rowe says:

        What are these rabbit ears you keep speaking of?

        • Sam Sam says:

          Rabbit ears are VHF/FM/TV Antenna.

          In the phisical world before set top boxes, you would place them on your TV.

          In the digital realm they are anons (anonymous avatars) that recieve for veiwing pleasure VHS/FM/TV media. And media nolonger portray reality.

          I read Lprints analysis of alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack. Ok so he can tell every one how big his brian is by discribing delivery systems, but he can’t derive employment methods so his analyses is mathmatically impossible. Lprint is one example of rabbit ears.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Oh, and get yourself some smarter friends.

          • Steve Rowe says:

            Seriously? I asked a simple question. Not everyone gets your obscure references so leave the condescension out next time. My friends are all very intelligent thanks – including those in the Middle East.

  3. mary_a says:

    Brilliant narrative Frank. Thanks for the time, research and effort put into compiling this blog, giving us access to information we are unlikely to get through msm.

    Trump’s sabre rattling is becoming unsettling!

    Now it seems Trump is moving on to North Korea, ordering US naval vessels into close proximity of the Korean peninsula, poised to strike. Jesus, Trump and Kim Jung Un going for it … tick tock tick tock …. !

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/91385743/US-President-Donald-Trump-poised-to-strike-North-Korea

    • Sam Sam says:

      Unlike Syria, North Korea has nuclear weapons and delevery systems that can reach US carries that NAVCENT wont be happy to deal with, with just a carrier battle group. You need a shit load more ordnance than just enough to take out a city block.

      For these reasons I belive rumours of a 5th fleet hit on North Korea are greatly exagerated

    • Thanks, Mary. I spent much of the weekend researching the material – and I’ve left out a bit more that could be added.

      Interestingly, by ex-ACT leader, Jamie Whyte, and ex-Green MP, Sue Bradford had similar views on the Khan Sheikhoun attack on TV3’s ‘The Nation’.

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2017/04/panel-chris-wikaira-sue-bradford-and-jamie-whyte.html

      I suspect many on the Right and most on the Left share a wary skepticism over who was actually responsible for this horrific crime.

      The fact that the US government has not demanded a full, impartial investigation to ascertain the culprit has disturbing implications.

      • Sam Sam says:

        There has been a lot of rumours about Syrian children being hit with weapons grade chemicals yet from media footage the surface reactions to my eye seem mild, typical of commercial strentgh chemicals so around 80%strength. Which would exibit those type of injuries. So those children would have had to ingest contaminants, you’d have to take a closer look to figure out what type of delivery sytem killed them.

        And I would ask the minders and funeral bearers why the fuck didn’t they sacrifice themselves for these kids. Are they not aware of the air raid warnings, why the hell do these kids die now, after living there whole lives in a war zone.

        Far from infamy. This is a great shame. Future generations will right ask of us, why?

      • Iain Mclean says:

        Frank;

        Re Paul Joseph Watson.

        “Infowars editor, Paul Watson recently ‘tweeted’ his defection  from the Trump Camp;”

        I am pretty sure he would not have said this if he had of heard the words of Dr Steve Pieczenik in his interview about 6 hrs later.
        Since been explained.

        Interview found in my post (towards bottom) here;
        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/04/09/wtf-why-trump-fired-the-tomahawks-of-april/

        Your comments and questions covered as well.

        Cheers.

        • Iain Mclean says:

          Frank;

          You could well be correct about the role of Saudi Arabia.

          “U.S. intelligence analysts determined that a drone was responsible for the attack and “eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels,” according to the source.
          “The suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad,” writes Parry.

          https://www.infowars.com/u-s-intelligence-source-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-launched-from-saudi-base/

          Now that makes sense.

          Cheers.

  4. Historian pete says:

    Bernie Sanders is and always was a loyal member of the U.S. Empire State Terrorist Fourth Reich.He just wanted more members of the aforementioned to share in the plunder and booty from the interminable wars and regime change,rather than a small elite. As he is in full agreement with the attack on the airfield we may take it that he is jostling to slobber on Herr Trumps jackboots with the rest of the neocons!!

    • Sam Sam says:

      More words of wisdom from HISTORIAN PETE is the best and only gate keeper of opinion you will listen to community

    • As I’ve said before, Pete, the US does not “do” left-wing revolutions. Throughout their history (with certain exceptions; Black civil rights, women’s movement, and LGBT), the US culture has been right-wing, hyper-individualised; and gun/force-focused.

      Bernie Sanders might not be socialist in the conventional sense, but for the US he is about as left-wing as that society will ever see.

      Your description would better apply to Ms Clinton. After her utterances on 7 April, I have changed my views of her. For starters, she would be better suited as a member of the Republican Party, not the Democrats.

  5. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Pretty clear at this point the entire thing was either politically motivated (anyone hear anything over Trump being a “Russian stooge” or that “Putin rigged the US election” in the last few days?) or a bizarro knee-jerk from Trump because Ivanka was distressed over the images of dead babies and coaxed her dad into doing “something”. Tragically, I actually think it’s probably the latter.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ivanka-trump-donald-bomb-air-strikes-sir-kim-darroch-syria-chemical-attack-sarin-idlib-province-a7674951.html

    • Which in itself, Nitrium, would be a disturbing way for any leader to run his/her country.

      If that was indeed the case, we can only rely on calmer heads in the Kremlin to keep our planet from disaster.

      I’ve always wondered what might happen if a nutcase (along the lines of the British satire, Whoops, Apocalypse!) took power in the U.S. Humanity then has to rely on an oligarchy in Russia to preserve international relations.

  6. Archonblatter says:

    Very good, thorough coverage of this horror. The gas may not have been sarin. (see below)

    http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_015-BLA-ShajulIslam.htm

    http://logophere.com/Ghouta%20Massacre/MITSM-Ver02.pdf

  7. remo says:

    EVERY indication this was false flag. Russians reported the strike between 11:30 and 12:30 pm. ‘Medics’ on the ground said the hit took place hours earlier.
    The terrorists controlling the strike zone [redefined in BBCCNNRNZ dictionary, ‘terrorist/headchopper/salafist/mercenary’=’moderate’ and ‘rebel’] won’t let OCW investigators in. What a Shame these alSHAM butchers don’t understand the investigations should prove their allegations if they are telling the truth. Other matters still unresolved:”It is known that about 250 people from Majdal and Khattab were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists last week. Local sources have claimed that many of those dead from the chemical weapons were those from Majdal and Khattab.” So, we need to clear that up. We need to clear up the chemical warehouse reportedly hit and how the exploded materials inside could have affected the populations down wind. There is also known ‘asset’ Feras Karam reporting the incident hours before hand :
    Within Syria @WithinSyriaBlog
    Orient TV reporter :
    “tomorrow we are launching a media campaign to cover the airstrikes on Hama country side including the usage of CW”
    12:42 AM – 5 Apr 2017
    http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/04/04/syria-another-chemical-weapon-false-flag-on-the-eve-of-peace-talks-in-brussels/

    Interestingly, Shayrat Airbase, left operational by all reports after he US tomahawk strike killed 14 people including nine innocent civilians, was the operational base that brought down one Israeli fighter, damaging another on 17th March. Conjecture has it Trump was given his ‘bay of pigs’ moment, a fait accompli false flag gas attack orchestrated by those backing the whitehelmets propaganda troupe[beginning with I and S]; with the already planned pay-back on Shayrat. With the eye on ‘domestic politics’ to boot: Plenty to go on with.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah14yOHWrGY
    https://www.corbettreport.com/the-syriastrikes-an-open-source-investigation/

  8. Pat O'Dea says:

    Alliance of Syrian & Iranian Socialists’ Statement on Assad’s Chemical Bombing & Trump’s Latest Airstrikes

    Posted April 9, 2017

    The Trump administration’s  April 6 targeted missile strike on the Syrian airbase from which the chemical attack was launched, is not a reflection of any genuine concern for the Syrian people.  It will not help the struggle against the Assad regime, ISIS and Al Qaida.    Instead, this administration’s latest airstrikes are motivated by other aims.

    Read more….

    https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/alliance-of-syrian-iranian-socialists-statement-on-assads-chemical-bombing-trumps-latest-airstrikes/

  9. Pat O'Dea says:

    Kiwi, Brit, Anita McNaught. At great personal risk, McNaught reports from the ground in Al Bab in the liberated area.

    McNaught travelled widely across the liberated areas and her video reports give lie to the Assadists claims of foreign sponsored regime change.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Anita+McNaught+Al+bob+you+tube&&view=detail&mid=DFD73E031467791E0C66DFD73E031467791E0C66&rvsmid=DFD73E031467791E0C66DFD73E031467791E0C66&fsscr=0&FORM=VDMCNL

  10. Pat O'Dea says:

    Hi Frank, Chris Trotter raised the question, which you have reprised here, “Why would Assad do such a thing?”

    Apart from the fact that Assad has been dropping barrel bombs laced with chlorine gas with little comment in the West. The fact is as this French Socialist Group points out the regime was given a “green light” to continue in this fashion by the Trump administration only a matter of days earlier.

    NPA (Nouveau Parti Anti-Capitaliste) statement (translated by Daphne Lawless)

    https://npa2009.org/…/declaration-de-philippe-poutou-apres-…

    “For the first time in 6 years, the army of the war criminal Assad has been targeted by air strikes. 59 American missiles have destroyed the Shayrat air base, which was the origin of the units responsible for Tuesday’s chemical attacks against civilian populations in Khan Sheikoun, which killed at least 86 including 27 children.

    For those of us in solidarity with the insurgent Syrian peoples, Trump’s surprise operation leaves a feeling of disgust. Barely a week ago, his team reaffirmed their previous positions, indicating that an agreement with Bashar al-Assad was envisaged in the framework of the “war on terror”, in the same way that other oppressive powers such as Putin, Sisi or Netanyahu have been embraced. These signals were clearly interpreted by the Syrian regime as a green light to continue their crimes, and like Obama, Trump therefore shares responsibility for the atrocious chemical attack and the deaths at Khan Sheikoun.

    The butcher Assad, with the help of Russian and Iranian arms, has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians, ceaselessly bombarding civilian populations and the forces resisting his bloody rule. They have been able to justify themselves before a certain section of opinion by relying on the so-called “war on terror” and bombings of the Middle East by Western and local powers.

    The New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) is opposed to all the foreign military interventions in Syria. These have helped Assad to remain in power. We have, on the contrary, demanded the lifting of the embargo on arms sales to the non-sectarian resistance, an embargo which has left them without any real means of defence. Only the theocratic jihadists have succeeded in acquiring arms – but not anti-aircraft weapons – from the Gulf states and Turkey.

    The Syrian resistance would be wrong to hope for the American president to intervene on their side. We greatly fear that Trump’s military “shock and awe” will serve as cover for upcoming opportunist diplomatic manoeuvres in alliance with other oppressive powers, and lead to new militarist adventures throughout the world – mostly counter-productive – and to economic offensives, all to the detriment of the oppressed peoples and of the American people themselves.
    Thus, without giving the least support to nor having the least hope in American armed strikes, we will not be joining the protests of the French parties who, to promote a “reasonable” peace with Assad and his cronies, close their eyes to the hundreds of thousands killed by the dictators, and to the millions of displaced persons and refugees.”

    Left Unity (UK): http://leftunity.org/syria-missile-attacks-trumps-military…/

    War Resisters League (US): https://www.warresisters.org/syria-against-selective-solida…

    and Corbyn’s feeble statement: http://labourlist.org/…/us-airstrikes-on-syria-risk-escala…/.

    • Samwise says:

      All of which shows that there cannot be a military solution in Syria. It has to be a political solution, with certain key players butting out. Until then, Syria will remain a seeping wound of death and misery.

      Bombing Syria wasn’t a solution. It was just more craters and ruins left on a cratered, ruined landscape.

      I expected more from trump. Guess I was sucked in like so many others.

  11. Pat O'Dea says:

    400,000 dead. Is the widely accepted approximate figure of the number of those killed in the war in Syria.

    Such a massive number, but we just gloss over it.

    How did they die, and who killed them?

    https://www.facebook.com/NowThisPolitics/videos/1515456378485847/?pnref=story

  12. In Vino says:

    I remember the loud media outcry over the Tonkin Gulf incident, which the USA used to justify US Army putting big numbers of troops into South Vietnam. Later it was admitted that the Tonkin Gulf thing was bullshit. Now why are my bullshit-detector alarm bells ringing about this poison gas story, for which I have seen only dodgy video, which I think could have been faked. Will we see continued coverage of the progression to death of those writhing victims that were portrayed? I bet we won’t see how they recovered and are now happily leaping around playing tiggy, nor will we know if any actually died. Sorry to be cynical, but I no longer buy into crappy propaganda at first glance. Will we get much more proof of anything about this gas attack?

    I doubt it, and distrust the entire story.

  13. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Other than the date and perhaps reports of births, marriages and deaths, I do not believe one word those in the mainstream media churn out because those in the mainstream media have a well-documented record of failure to check easily verifiable facts and a well-documented record of churning out propaganda and lies designed to manipulate the general populace……and that statement applies to the BBC and Radio NZ.

    I do not believe one word ANY politician says because politicians -and especially western politicians- have well-documented records of failure to check easily verifiable facts and well-documented records of churning out propaganda and lies designed to manipulate the general populace.

    By the way, all significant wars are banker wars, and in more recent times all significant wars are associated with the desire to acquire and transport fossil fuels.

  14. Pat O'Dea says:

    The alleged use of sarin, a deadly and fearsom nerve agent is against a background of regular use of chlorine packed in barrel bombs.

    A matter that at least some US strategists think we should keep in context.

    https://warontherocks.com/2015/03/not-crossing-a-red-line-chlorine-barrel-bombs-in-context/

    The question we should ask is why this particular gas attack attracted a US response, when others have been ignored?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/06/17/house-witnesses-describe-use-of-chlorine-gas-in-barrel-bombs-by-assad-regime-in-syria/?utm_term=.c196f3183e96

    My view is that the 59 tomahawk cruise missiles launched against the Syrian airbase for allegedly using sarin, had more to do with the fact that Donald Trump and his military advisers launched it when Trump was sitting down for a state dinner with President Xi Jinping of China. The fact that Trump had made a statement in support of the Assad less than a week before, that the US had alerted the Russian military authorities prior to the attack. That the airbase was deserted and there were no Syrian or Russian soldiers killed. That the airbase is again up and running and continuing bombing runs in Idlib. And that the only deaths resulting from the US missile attack reported by SANA, the official news service of the regime, was of 9 civilians including 4 children.

    So much for Donald Trump’s new found concern for dead Syrian babies.

    It could even be that the alleged use of sarin was given as a reason for the attack, is because under international law the use of chlorine gas as a weapon is not recognised or prohibited.

    • As usual, you raise pertinent points, Pat. The attack on Syria was curiously held at the same time Trump met President Xi Jinping. Coincidence? Who knows. But it certainly sent a message (intentional or not) to China, “don’t f**k with us”. God only knows what the Chinese think of this re-newed American cowboy-adventurism.

    • jmh says:

      Interesting development courtesy of Reuters:

      * Following import ban, China orders coal returned to North Korea

      * A dozen ships returning to Nampo in North Korea – shipping data

      * Order issued on day of Trump-Xi summit in Florida

      * US has pressured China to act against N.Korea weapons programmes

      * Moves come as U.S. sends Navy strike group to Korean peninsula

      * U.S. steps in to fill China’s coking coal needs

  15. Helena says:

    I flipped the coin and found something interesting on the other side which makes much more sense to me : http://www.someonesbones.com/blog/missing-cruise-missiles-strike-anunnaki-stronghold-in-syria/

  16. remo says:

    In response to PatO’Dea.
    A Kalashnikov bringing down a MIG ? Maybe there’s something the ‘rebel fighters’ weren’t telling Anita?
    Torture testimony is regarded as unreliable, as KSM and Hoess and Winston Smith attest.
    However, the war methodology he spoke of, is being reported out of MOSUL right now, where the USAF is killing dozens – hundreds- of civilians. The terrorist-mercenary-rebel-moderate non-secular opposition enter houses, fire from rooftops, the houses are identified, the air force attacks and bombs/kills everyone inside. Those initiating the strike are long gone. The ‘people’ inside are dead.
    ‘ASSAD’ in the Anita report; USAMO in MOSUL.
    ‘The lie of regime change’ :
    Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot :
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/sep/27/uk.syria1
    “Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-western neighbours, and then to “eliminate” the most influential triumvirate in Damascus. ”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojcoKnTGf4s GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Immediate Post FF911: “Well, starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon, then Libya, then Somalia and Sudan, and back to Iran.” Pentagon regime change operations. ISIS r US.
    http://warisacrime.org/node/19200
    The NPA call it ‘non-sectarian resistance’. But what part? Who have been identified as non-sectarian? Wahhabi/takfir/salafist/Sharia would take issue with that. (Paul Rassinier’s life in ‘earlier’ camps might add a degree of possibility to ‘French socialist’ thinking ….?) French covert activity has been identified all the way through this Syrian nightmare, not least by Thierry Meyssan http://www.voltairenet.org/en

    https://www.sott.net/article/327342-US-Peace-Council-returns-from-Syria-Reports-country-fighting-an-invasion-by-the-most-powerful-country-in-the-world

    Other ‘Western backed journalists risking their lives to expose the truth of Syria,’ are :Eva Bartlett
    https://electronicintifada.net/people/eva-bartlett
    and Vanessa Beeley : exposure of the white helmets as britprop by Vanessa Beeley:
    https://www.sott.net/article/329219-The-REAL-Syria-Civil-Defence-expose-NATOs-White-Helmets-as-terrorist-linked-imposters
    https://www.sott.net/article/330264-Vanessa-Beeley-travels-to-Aleppo-to-expose-the-truth-buried-under-NATO-propaganda

    The approximate number of dead in the conflict includes well over 100,000 SAA killed in defence of their country from this foreign invasion. How many have been killed by the ‘non-sectarian moderate rebel’ opposition ? http://www.nairaland.com/1850405/shocking-pics-isis-behead-christian
    Only time will tell.
    As to purpose of missile strike. Doubtless multiple, in accordance with deepstate ‘imperial’ regime change interest, all of which are, thankfully and so-far; absorbed by the measured and adult response of their adversaries.

  17. Brigid says:

    It seems it’s too dangerous for the OPCW to go to the site to carry out a full investigation, but western governments and media have believed the story produced by those controlling the area who are too aggressive for OPCW to approach.
    It seems like a large piece of theatre to me.
    Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, makes valid points about the need for expert investigation into America’s (bogus) claims regarding the Syrian army using chemical weapons in Idlib last week, and that western representatives will replay their past lies anew.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=419lQljnS-0

  18. Mike in Auckland says:

    Well this is a bit too much info to digest, that is in one post, I feel. But anyway, the effort must be appreciated to collate all that may be of some relevance on this topic.

    We know already that Trump is a man who can be very unpredictable, and he will not shy away from using the US military to “send a message”, I dread how that may turn out to look like, should he do this to North Korea.

    It must be clear to every one following Trump and his rule, that the White House is experiencing a fair amount of tit for tat power-play, where various parties and persons are competing for Trump’s attention and trying to influence him.

    Steve Bannon seems to be on the way out, and it is no coincidence that Jared Kushner, the husband of Ivanka Trump, daugther of the Donald, has been given a lot of jobs now. He is a close friend of Israel and their president Netanyahu.

    I cannot seriously believe that the Saudis have dared sending chemical weapons to groups they support in Syria, as that would not be an easy task for a start, to get it there unnoticed, and to then even allow such substances to be used within the territory occupied by the various Sunni rebel groups (some admittedly rather islamist, extreme). But at least the Saudi government has not shown that it supports Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Al Nusra Front), certainly not ISIS, who have already launched attacks within Saudi Arabia.

    They do support the FSA and groups like Ahrar Sham, I understand, and it may though be that some rich individuals from Gulf states do support more extreme groups than the latter.

    The dilemma here is that Syria refused outright that international, independent experts conduct an investigation, which would need to have permission by rebels and the Syrian government to enter Idlib and do this. That is what the Syrian Foreign Minister also made clear in that speech that was quoted above. He saw no point in allowing such investigators in, as he claimed that by past experience they would turn against Syria (and basically alter evidence or reports).

    So if the Syrian military and government had nothing to worry about, why did they not say, hey, you want to investigate, ok, send independent experts in that are picked by the UN.

    It is the conduct by the Syrian authorities that seems as untrustworthy as that of some rebel groups. So we know not what the substance was, that caused the deaths and injured, while some presume it may have been Sarin:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/what-does-sarin-do-to-people/275577/

    We see from this old report in the Guardian, that a fair few former and probably still some present regimes in different places produced and possibly still produce such chemical weapons:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/apr/25/balkans5

    So the UK has some involvement there also, at least had so in the past, the hypocrisy never ends.

    Some western media continues with reporting on speculations and presumptions:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/10/russia-knew-advance-syria-sarin-gas-attack-us-officials-conclude/

    I am struggling though to give governments and their military much credit, when a Mr Putin has in the past shown what he is capable of, blatantly ignoring and breaching the law and human rights:

    https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/russia
    https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/russia
    https://www.hrw.org/tag/vladimir-putin
    https://worldwithouttorture.org/2012/04/03/a-state-of-impunity-a-brief-history-of-human-rights-violations-in-chechnya/

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/russian-federation/report-russian-federation/

    But some will think that HRW is also some kind of ‘affiliate’ of the US deep state, the CIA or whatever else, I suppose.

    Re the gas attack or explosion setting free chemicals that killed so many in Idlib, Syria, we may never get the whole truth, but it was of course also an illegal act by the US to step in and send off those 59 Tomahawk missiles, without the UN first having been consulted, without Congress approving of such actions.

    What it will lead to is something to really worry about, will we see Russia organise a coup in Ukraine, send in more support for ethnic Russian rebels in East Ukraine or even march in itself soon. I would not rule anything out now, the next signals of what is to happen will be sent at Mr Tillerson’s visit in Moscow in a few days.

  19. Mike in Auckland says:

    One wonders how Mr Trump (influenced by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and also his generals and security heads) will sort out this mess:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Syrian_and_Iraqi_insurgency_detailed_map

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_and_towns_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War#Khan_Shaykhun

    Compared to the state of affairs, the former Yugoslavia’s break up was perhaps more ‘orderly’ than what is evidently happening in Syria, where many outside forces have taken hold and use this as a playground for various military operations.

  20. remo says:

    On the south Front… ….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu_kv-omEOw

    Mike. You might mean a Ukrainian ‘counter-coup’ by Russia. In response the original USAID coup putting ‘Yats’ and Poroshenko in in the first place. As Victoria Nuland attests: https://www.youtube.c/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o

    Another CIA coup this time in alliance with fascist Svoboda/right sector/ – why should we be surprised ‘the west’ is allied with the fascists in Ukraine. They -we – are, everywhere else. Saudi Arabia and the Apartheid regime in Israel too. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/landmark-un-report-backs-israel-boycott [UN finds Israel a bona fide apartheid state.] Best yet of Ukraine:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkFVNRZv2eM&t=2s

    And in Europe? NATO Operation GLADIO [Daniele Ganser:NATOs secret Army] dealt to Kosovo.. google Roma/Kosovo/ethnic cleansing.. Yugoslavia pretty much same NATO tactics as Libya, Syria. Mujahedin in Kosovo were flown in by NATO. Through Turkey. Just like alQaeda in Syria. To fight with KLA and Mr.’body part,’ president Hashim Thaci. Early days of ‘Strategy of tension’ and numerous corporate spin offs’. DYNACORP child sex traffiking for example. [Gladio, Nato’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis Paperback – 23 Jun 2015 by Richard Cottrell ]

    One result of tomahawk strike was not the destruction of the airfield runway – up and running hopefully pounding isis mercenaries now [not good Raytheon advertising] – but the cancellation of MoU hotline http://www.janes.com/article/69429/russia-suspends-syrian-flight-safety-mou-with-us So Trump, has escalated this conflict exponentially on the back of an obviously staged provocation at Khan Sheikhoun. How stupid that makes him, we find out after Tillerson visits Moscow.

  21. Pat O'Dea says:

    “For those who care, this is 7,899th US airstrikes in Syria since 2014. I don’t remember 7,898 waves of outrage or concern.”

    But then of course none of these 7,899 US airstrikes were against the regime that has been torturing, robbing and murdering the Syrian people for decades.

    https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/no-us-bombing-of-syria-did-not-begin-today/

    From December, the US launched a more intense bombing campaign against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in Idlib and western Aleppo, thus joining the Assadist and Russian slaughter from the skies in that region. Hundreds of JFS cadre were killed, and the bombings also hit other rebel groups at times. The US role alongside Assad, Russia and Iran in the latest reconquest of Palmyra was widely reported on. Calculating all US bombings in February from the US CentCom site (ie, the site of the US-led Coalition bombing Syria) shows that while 60 percent of US bombings were carried out in alliance with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, mainly the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, YPG), most of the other 40 percent was in alliance with Assad in Deir Ezzor, Palmyra and Idlib, some 195 strikes of the 548 in total

  22. Mike in Auckland says:

    Calls for an investigation of the chemical substance incident in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib Procince, were not received positively by Syria’s Foreign Minister, I wonder why:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/syria-denies-chemical-weapons-idlib-170406103242116.html

    “Responding to calls for an international investigation, Muallem said the Syrian government needed guarantees that any fact-finding mission into Idlib’s attack would be impartial and not “politicised”.

    The foreign minister said Syria’s experience with past missions is “not encouraging”, adding that Damascus would only consider the idea of an inquiry if its concerns were addressed.

    “He said that he believes that results will be changed, even if they allow full access to any international investigators,” Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Beirut, said.”

    Propaganda comes from all sides, I would call for great caution in taking sides in this matter, the web, like the MSM, is full of one sided info, that needs to be carefully dissected and analysed.

    • Indeed, Mike.

      Though I hold a measure of skepticism of Syria’s complicity in the gas-attack, I also hold an open mind on it. If I were the Syrian government and if the regime was innocent of the attack, then an open, impartial, fair investigation should not only be permitted; welcomed, but demanded from the U.N.

      By all means, keep Russian and American interference out of any U.N. investigation. There are plenty of impartial nations that could send investigations.

  23. remo says:

    Who controls the ground ? Chain-of-custody? alQAEDA!
    Cui bono. There is not ONE reason any of you could give that benefits ASSAD to deploy gas against the population at this critical moment. They are WINNING the war against ISIS alliance by conventional means.
    TRUMP had pivoted from ‘regime change’ clinton/mccain bellicosity 24hrs earlier.
    Not ONE strategic gain for ASSAD/Russia can be argued by this.

    EVERY gain to ISIS/alSHAM alQAEDA who have been OUTED doing the exact same thing in Ghouta. That is Precedent.
    It serves the entire deepstate apparatus hunting TRUMP stateside. Just listen to the cocks crow at RNC and PNAC and CNN. 180 degree turn. Yesterday TURNIP was Putins man. Now he is warrior in chief, and where does the tsunami of ‘russian hack’ fury of MSM disappear to?
    Down the memory hole.
    With whatever brain we have left.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      “EVERY gain to ISIS/alSHAM alQAEDA who have been OUTED doing the exact same thing in Ghouta. That is Precedent.”

      Where is your evidence for this??? Quoting whatever allegation and conspiracy website will not suffice.

  24. remo says:

    Do you know what a false flag attack is, Mike ?

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Of course, where is your evidence, though?

    • Remo, false-flags can happen. I even posited the theory that Saudi Arabia may have bought chemical weapons from Croatia, after the collapse of the Yugoslav Federation.

      But we need evidence. And that is sadly hard to come by.

      To update, the Russians have vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution to send investigators into Khan Shaykhun.

      The Security Council today rejected a draft resolution that would have condemned the reported chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun and expressed its determination to hold the perpetrators accountable.

      Defeated by 10 votes in favour, to 2 against (Bolivia, Russian Federation), with 3 abstentions (China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan), the draft would have emphasized Syria’s obligation to comply with the recommendations of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon’s (OPCW) Fact Finding Mission and the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism by providing immediate and unfettered access to and the right to inspect any and all sites.

      Tabled by France, the United Kingdom and the United States, it would have requested the Secretary-General to report on the issue every 30 days pursuant to resolution 2118 (2013), in which the Council had decided that, among other things, Syria would not use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons.

      Before the action, the Russian Federation’s delegate, saying the draft failed to serve a useful purpose, requested that an independent investigation be launched immediately on the incident in Khan Shaykhun.

      SC/12791
      12 April 2017
      Security Council
      7922nd Meeting (PM)

      ref: https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12791.doc.htm

      So despite calling for a U.N. investigation, the Russian delegate to the Security Council vetoed the draft resolution?

      I find this disturbing.

      If the gas attack was carried out by state actors aside from Syria/Russia/Iran (or their proxies), one would think the Russians would seize the opportunity to send in neutral investigators (in this case, the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism) to determine what happened. (And it would be the U.S. that would find cause to veto it).

      That the Russians vetoed it suggests there is something they do not want found.

  25. remo says:

    I don’t buy that Frank. Knowing what is arrayed infront of them, and what has past, Russia will have good reason for the veto.
    To Mike, and the notion of evidence. Mike. This is as quick and short as the subject allows, and is in the spirit of the ‘evidence’ so far presented by the mighty WURLITZER.
    On Ghouta.
    1. Postol MIT report on Ghouta: “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence” Richard Lloyd, former UN weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) PDF
    2.UN’s Carla del Ponte investigation into Ghouta, https://www.sott.net/article/347450-East-Ghouta-Chemical-Attacks-2013-US-backed-false-flag-to-launch-humanitarian-war-against-Syria Get the PDF
    3.Sister Miriams work on Ghouta (Sister Agnes Mariam of Syria Analyzes Ghouta Videos Touted by Obama White House, Finds Overwhelming Evidence of Fabrication and Fakery) PDF
    4. Seymour Hersh’s ‘Red-Line and Rat-Line ( I haven’t read Hersh myself on this one) –
    consensus being “MOST LIKELY a false flag by alNusra with Turkish/Saudi and French collaboration.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE94T0YO20130530

    With regard Khan Sheikhoun.
    The ghost of Ghouta .
    In the absence of investigative independent teams on the ground (’due diligence/cross-examination ) and ’Chain of custody’ ‘Definitive’ evidence remaining states secret. On hearsay, trust and ‘open source.’ [bellingcat and SOHR are conspiracy websites]

    Have you studied 911, Mike? the building assessment reports, 911?

    “The United States is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin…..” “According to observers at the scene.” “We have confidence in our assessment because we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of credible open source reporting, that tells a clear and consistent story. We cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack due to the need to protect sources and methods…” “This constellation of symptoms is inconsistent with exposure to a respiratory irritant like chlorine – which the regime has also used in attacks – [unproven] and is extremely unlikely to have resulted from a conventional attack because….etc etc’

    This is NOT the understanding nor the argument of the SAA/Russian forces.
    If you have the ‘Lab analysis of physiological samples collected’ that Prove Sarin; you need say nothing further of proof, why continue to argue proof via ‘symptom inconsistencies’ and ‘extreme unlikelihoods.’ ?
    And If Shayrat is argued by the Liars alliance [US] to have been the origin of sarin weaponry, WHY did the US fire 59 Tomahawks at it? without responsibility toward other ‘nerve agents’ possible stored at the airfield on the ground? Thus causing further sarin release?

    I argue the pattern of deception is consistent in the language. The forensics of that, and evidence ‘on-the-ground,’ will be argued by others thankfully more professional – more profound – in their role, such as Carla DelPonte and MIT.
    We rely on their expertise.

    In the meantime, to your question. There are only two narratives to this. I have been following the Pentagon invasion of Syria by mercenary forces since being alerted to the ‘GLADIO’ teams being sent in through Turkey and Jordan in 2011 by ex FBI translator Sibel EDMONDS, beginning the destabilisation operation. So I have no doubt of the dynamic. This is a set-up. The NEOCON Amercians[sic] are not my friends. Nor the British. Nor the Saudis, nor the Israeli. Nor the wahabi Jihad. They are committed to cruel and illegal invasion and ‘take over’ of Syria, using all means, including the blood sacrifice of children as the WhiteHelmets attest.
    The history of this deepstate desire for regime change is in the public record. (McMillan and Clark, above) The World of Private Sector IO (Information Operations) IO or IIO (Inform and Influence Operations) defined by the US Army to include the fields of psychological operations and military deception, have been reported, active. The White Helmets have been outed as an MI6 propaganda troupe. NATO operation GLADIO exposes a dark and deceptive malevolence for all to see, a methodology [‘You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force … the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.” [sworn testimony by Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra.]

    The atrocities committed by this Syrian ‘rebel’ mercenary jihad, are also there for all to see and fit that pattern. Ghouta precedes Khan Skeikhoun and is template, so that OCCAM – first instance – apriori, for me, is false flag because thats what I see in the pattern, and thats who it benefits. The Jihad. The yankee doodle dandy McCain. UK. Turkey. Israel. All the players involved in the terrorist ‘army.’
    This American statement is fatuous. For any who have followed the 911 false flag; its NIST agnotologies and Commission reports, the pattern of deception, pretend and bluff, is in the language.
    And if its good enough for the US government to rely on hearsay, and un produced intelligence, its good enough for me to rely on the Russian/Syrian expertise in rebuttal of it, and to claim my argument on my research of this unfolding nightmare; through the debris field of false flag nine eleven. The greatest hate-crime of our generation.
    Because Syria is under attack by the deepstate : Peter Dale Scott definition,
    and if Syria and Russia ‘loose’ to this monstrous inquisition, we all lose .

    BTW. I consider BBC/CNN/NYT in fact, every part of the 6 company ownership of western media, ‘conspiracy websites.’
    Further, it is my assessment, ‘History, since the second world war Nuremberg ‘kangaroo’ courts, has been ‘narrated’ by the military industrial INTELLIGENCE complex creating it.

    rm

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      “Have you studied 911, Mike? the building assessment reports, 911?”

      I have studied enough of that, and also watched the events when they were unfolding, and ready many other reports.

      If you consider 911 to have been a ‘false flag’ or ‘insider job’ operation, that alone will convince me that you are blind on one eye and try to find every bit of “evidence” that justifies your view and position.

      In my view and due to my experience, there is lack of evidence for your interpretation of things, hence I cannot and will not share your view.

      That does not mean, that I fully rule out other causes, as have now been widely discussed. Why did the Russian UN delegate veto a motion that would have led to a proper independent investigation?

  26. remo says:

    As said. The Russian Veto is for a reason we would not have heard about: http://www.voltairenet.org/article195989.html

    “The draft resolution presented to the Security Council by NATO, to which Russia opposed its veto [5]. Presented in the West as a simple request for a neutral inquiry into the chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun, it was in reality the placing of the Syrian Air Force under the control of the N°2 of the UNO, Jeffrey Feltman. This ex-assistant of Hillary Clinton is the author of a plan for the total and unconditional capitulation of Syria [6].
    The text of this resolution duplicates that of the draft presented on 6 April, but which the United States had not submitted to vote, since they were so uncertain of themsleves. They took no notice of the attempt at mediation by elected members of the Security Council, who tried to steer it back to a normal request for a UN enquiry [7]..
    The principle for placing the Syrian Air Force under UN control uses the tactic that had been used in 1998, 19 years ago, against Serbia, until the illegal military intervention of NATO.”

    and. UPDATE:

    “Professor emeritus at MIT Theodor Postol, a former science adviser to U.S. Navy command and missile expert, has analyzed the “evidence” the White House presented. The short, preliminary report is available here. (I have verified that this is the original one.)
    Postol finds nothing in the White House assessment that lets him believe the incident was from an air attack. He finds signs that the incident that was launched on the ground by intentional exploding some container of 122mm ammunition with some other explosives.
    He calls the White House assessment amateurish and not properly vetted by competent intelligence analysts who, Postol says, would not have signed off on it in is current form (just as I said above.)
    Postol presumes that the incident was with Sarin. He makes no analysis of that White House claim (it is not his field). I don’t agree with the Sarin claim. Many other organophosphate substances (pesticides) would be “consistent with” the symptoms displayed or played in the videos and pictures. Some symptoms expected with Sarin, for example heavy convulsions, spontaneous defecation, are no visible in any of the videos or pictures.
    I do not concur with Postol on the picture of the alleged impact crater of the “attack”. I have seen several “versions” of the impact crater on social nets with different metal parts, or none, placed in it. Postol seems to have only seen one version. His conclusions from that version seem right. But the crater “evidence” is tainted and to make overall conclusions from it is not easy. I concur though that the crater is not from an air impact but from a ground event. I am not sure though that it is related to the incident at all.”

    Posted by b on April 12, 2017 at 10:06 AM | Permalink
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/04/white-house-intelligence-assessment-is-no-such-thing-but-shows-support-for-al-qaeda.html#more

    • Remo,

      This is interesting;

      Professor emeritus at MIT Theodor Postol, a former science adviser to U.S. Navy command and missile expert, has analyzed the “evidence” the White House presented. The short, preliminary report is available here. (I have verified that this is the original one.)
      Postol finds nothing in the White House assessment that lets him believe the incident was from an air attack. He finds signs that the incident that was launched on the ground by intentional exploding some container of 122mm ammunition with some other explosives.

      That appears to correlate with my findings of Croatia possessing Sarin Gas shells and a story that Saudi Arabia/Jordan were purchasing ex-JNA weapons from Croatia;

      In a June 2013 story, the BBC reported on who was supplying the myriad ‘players’ in the Syrian conflict. One of the arms traffickers in the region was Saudi Arabia;

      In late 2012, Riyadh is said to have financed the purchase of “thousands of rifles and hundreds of machine guns”, rocket and grenade launchers and ammunition for the FSA from a Croatian-controlled stockpile of Yugoslav weapons.

      These were reportedly flown – including by Royal Saudi Air Force C-130 transporters – to Jordan and Turkey and smuggled into Syria.

      Note the link: Croatian-controlled stockpile

      Follow the link and it leads to a February 2013 story in the New York Times, which stated;

      Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to anti-government fighters in Syria in a drive to break the bloody stalemate that has allowed President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power, according to American and Western officials familiar with the purchases.

      The weapons began reaching rebels in December via shipments shuttled through Jordan, officials said, and have been a factor in the rebels’ small tactical gains this winter against the army and militias loyal to Mr. Assad.

      So, what sort of weapons was Croatia selling on the open market? Interrogate Google with the parameters ‘Yugoslavia Croatia chemical weapons’. It offers this April 1999 story in the UK Guardian;

      After months of prevarication, Nato launches a ground war against Slobodan Milosevic’s forces in Kosovo. But no sooner do British and US troops begin to move in and threaten Serb army units than Milosevic unleashes his secret weapons – sarin nerve gas and BZ, a psychochemical incapacitant.

      […]

      According to former Yugoslav chemical weapons officers, Milosevic’s arsenal is far larger than previously thought. Besides sarin and BZ, it includes the blister agent sulphur mustard and the choking agent phosgene. And it is thanks to scientists in Britain and the US that he could use them on Nato troops.

      […]

      In total, the Serb army may have as many as 5,800 122mm sarin-filled shells and 1,000 mustard gas shells, say these sources. In addition, Serbia is also known to have been developing a multiple rocket delivery system for sarin and a bomb capable of delivering 20 litres of the nerve gas to the battlefield.

      […]

      Even the Pentagon, which is sceptical about Croatian estimates of the numbers of chemical shells and rockets in the Serb arsenal, accepts that Milosevic inherited from the JNA a programme capable of producing a deadly 3,000 rockets filled with sarin and 100 shells filled with mustard gas.

      […]

      Although the Pentagon says it has no evidence that Serbia has continued to manufacture and test chemical weapons since the break-up of the Yugoslavia federation, officials told the New York Times they were ‘concerned’ about the stockpiles.

      Were sarin has shells purchased by Saudi Arabia as part of the arms buy-up from Croatia in the 1990s? That remains an intriguing question.

      • Sally's Husband says:

        Interesting evidence you’ve found Frank. It raises a question why Assad would’ve bombed a CIVILIAN area with chemical weapons, instead of a rebel base. That would’ve been of greater military benefit and might’ve justified it in the eyes of the world. But bombing civilians would’ve produced no gain for Assad and made him a pariah. So it doesn’t make much sense from that point.

        But bombing civilians to draw in Trump to attack Assad based on Saudi’s launching a false-flag operation? That makes sense.

        I think you might be on to something.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Even if you have a point to make with some of the ‘evidence’ in those reports you link to, it is somewhat “rich” to allege the US and Trump are kind of collaborating with Al Qaeda and ISIS. Such extreme interpretations of events puts any well intended evidence into question.

      The best you could argue is, that the US have been “amateurish” and somewhat naive, or alternatively use the incident, to deal to Assad and his regime, i.e. to remove him and his family from ruling Syria.

      Imo, there can under no circumstances be any prospect for peace and a future for Syria, if Assad stays in power, Assad must go, no matter what, he has outstayed his time, and used too many excuses for past human rights breaches alone.

  27. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 10April […]

  28. remo says:

    Collaboration: ‘aligned’ ‘providing support’ ‘ help to encourage’ ’embolden’
    ‘accidentally supply’ ‘Mistakenly bombing regime targets’ ‘ trainers’

    Global Security Studies, Fall 2010, Volume l, Issue 3
    NATO and the KLA: How the West Encouraged Terrorism
    John R. Fulton
    Diplomacy Department Norwich University Northfield VT 05663-0367 Badge2133@gmail.com
    Abstract
    The 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia had the dubious distinction of being the first time NATO aligned itself with a terrorist organization fighting an insurgency against a sovereign state. Defying the UN Security Council, the United States and its allies bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days, providing vital air support for the Kosovo Liberation Army. The result of this open support for the KLA has helped to encourage ethnic Albanian separatists to use terrorism to start insurgencies in Serbia s Presevo Valley and neighboring Macedonia. Furthermore, separatist terror groups in the Chechnya and Turkey have been emboldened to continue their respective campaigns as a result of Western support for Kosovo s unilateral declaration of independence in February, 2008. To discourage the Kosovo precedent from continuing, it is crucial that NATO member states do not repeat the mistakes made in Kosovo and never again support terrorist insurgencies. Self-determination and autonomy are legitimate goals but the creation of any more new states should be avoided at all costs.”

    https://nsnbc.me/2013/10/07/top-us-and-saudi-officials-responsible-for-chemical-weapons-in-syria/

    “Al-Mafraq was already used as a major staging ground for the two failed attempts to conquer the city of Homs in June and July 2012. In 2012 al-Mafraq became the staging ground for some 40.000 fighters; more than 20.000 of them fought under the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was under the command of Abdelhakim Belhadj and his second in command, Mahdi al-Harati. The CIA maintains a station, US Special Forces (JSOC) train insurgents, and several other US institutions are present in al-Mafraq. The point is of particular importance with regards to the visit of the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Jordan, which will be detailed below. Al-Mafraq has been the major transit point for Saudi and U.S. arms shipments since 2012, and the delivery of advanced Saudi and U.S. weapons to the insurgents since early August 2013.” “”The road is also used for weapons and troop transports from the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan, where Israeli Intelligence and the insurgents, according to an Austrian UNDOF officer, maintain a joint operations room.”

    https://unoda-web.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/report.pdf

    Thomas friedman at NYTimes is calling for ..a ‘collaboration’ with ISIS against ASSAD by ‘not fighting them and operating a two front war against President Assad.” Do you understand what that means?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/opinion/why-is-trump-fighting-isis-in-syria.html?_r=0

    How do you feel about an alliance with ISIS against ASSAD, Mike?
    http://[Link deleted. I am disgusted that you would post such a repulsive link, Remo. If you or anyone else does that again, I will ban you outright permanently. -Scarletmod]

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      You are misguided and SICK, REMO, presenting that last link!

      I think such overly graphic material should not be published, at least you should provide more of a WARNING.

      As for the rest further above, some of it is based on information that can be interpreted differently, there is also indication in that UN report, that sites and evidence had been interfered with, so again, one can read stuff out of reports, that may serve one interpretation of events, or another interpretation others offer.

      We have today had the Qatari and Russian Foreign Minsters meet in Moscow, and again showing, how some general agreement on an ‘independent investigation’ of the gas ‘attack’ a week or so ago, can be complicated again, by not being able to agree on details.

      What we can fairly presume is, all sides in Syria use dirty tactics and also break the Geneva Convention(s).

      That ‘Friedman’ opinion piece in the NYT simply shows one person’s bizarre view, which means nothing, re what really goes on.

      Talking about an “alliance” with ISIS is humbug, in my view.

      But I am sure you will spend 24/7 to find more ‘evidence’ that may prove your view.

      [My apologies to everyone for that link, Mike. I missed it, as it was ‘buried’ amongst Remo’s text. For the record, the next time I see such a thing I will ban that person without warning, permanently. – Scarletmod]

      • Sam Sam says:

        No one wants to give ISIS what they really want which is western boots on the ground. Straight away we will be guaranteeing 1 out of 10 soilders will get IED’d. And hardening vehicals against IED’s is a losing game

        So you add a ton of hillbilly armour, fine, insurgence can place an extra 105 howitzer round in his IED.

        While it looks like merica is helping out ISIS, and I agree that they are helping out ISIS. America is gun shy and don’t want to commit to a ground offensive so must resort to the way a woman would fight a war ie pioson, propganda, spooks, Offshoring resposibilities to mercantile extremists and so on and so forth. This is what white house press secutary sean peak little spicer means by destabilising Syria.

        A full withdrawal would take away the threat of IED’s in the middle east and regional power brokers under the thumb of Kings could have a bit of space to repair a couple centuries of imperialist colonisation. But If you had some balls Trump would do a full hittler style purge of ISIS which leads me to believe Trump has a pussy.

      • Sally's Husband says:

        Shit a brick, I think Scarlet Mod missed that one!!

    • Sally's Husband says:

      Remo, who are twerking for, mate?

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