One minute to midnight?




Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. – The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


It is now two minutes to midnight. – The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


At the time of this blogpost being written, the US has not initiated a military response in Syria. As at midnight of 12 April, a little blue marble called Planet Earth is still in one piece…


The latest alleged poison gas attack in Syria has brought the planet closer to the unimaginable: a full-scale military confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation.

The alleged gas attack in Douma, the last rebel-controlled town in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, has supposedly killed between forty to 180 Syrians;


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There has been no independent  verification of the alleged attack. There has been zero evidence as to who launched the chemical attack – if it happened at all. Video of the supposed event has not been verified by independent sources;



As international tensions rose, and the racket of rattling sabres reverberated globally,  our own Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters stood as a lone voice of reason, calling for an impartial investigation;

“ New Zealand calls for an independent investigation into the attack by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and for the perpetrators to be held to account. We call on the parties to the conflict in eastern Ghouta to urgently allow OPCW inspectors access to the area.

We also call on the international supporters of the Syrian Government to work to uphold the cessation of hostilities promised in UN Security Council Resolution 2401 and to prevent further attacks of this nature.”



At the U.N. Security Council, Trump-appointed US Ambassador, Nikki Haley spoke with language that was far from diplomatic and unambiguously hostile to the Assad regime;

“ We are on the edge of a dangerous precipice. The great evil of chemical weapons use that once unified the world in opposition is on the verge of becoming the new normal. The international community must not let this happen.

Only a monster does this. Only a monster targets civilians, and then ensures that there are no ambulances to transfer the wounded. No hospitals to save their lives. No doctors or medicine to ease their pain. I could hold up pictures of all this killing and suffering for the Council to see, but what would be the point? The monster who was responsible for these attacks has no conscience to be shocked by pictures of dead children

Russia and Iran have military advisers at the Assad regime’s airfields and operations centers. Russian officials are on the ground helping direct the regime’s ‘starve and surrender’ campaigns, and Iranian allied forces do much of the dirty work. When the Syrian military pummels civilians, they rely on the military hardware given by Russia. Russia could stop this senseless slaughter, if it wanted. But it stands with the Assad regime and supports it without hesitation.

The United States is determined to see that the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people held to account.”

US ally, Britain, voiced it’s support for a US sponsored resolution at the UN Security Council, couched in unashamedly critical terms. UK Ambassador, Karen Pierce, said;

“ Russia’s credibility as a member of the council is now in question. We will not stand idly by and watch Russia continue to undermine global norms which have ensured all our security, including Russia’s, for decades. As a [permanent council]  member, the United Kingdom will stand up for international peace and security. It is our moral duty.”

France’s Ambassador, François Delattre, was also condemnatory;

“ Allowing people to use chemical weapons allows the genie of weapons of mass destruction out of the bottle, and weapons of mass destruction pose an existential threat to all us.”

Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, described a proposed US resolution as a prelude to a Western strike on Syria;

“ I would once again ask you, once again beseech you, to refrain from the plans that you’re currently developing for Syria.”

Nebenzia warned;

“ If you take the decision to carry out an illegal military adventure – and we do hope that you will come to your senses – then you will have to bear responsibility for it yourselves.”

Memories of a US sponsored resolution in the United Nations Security Council – and subsequently used as a pretext to invade Iraq in 2003 – were most likely still fresh in the minds of  Russian leaders.

Trump, though, was having none of it. Uncharacteristically, his reaction was scathing toward his former Russianbesties‘;





Blaming his predecessor’s refusal to bomb Syria, raised this Twitter comment from Trump’s not-too-distant past;



As Trump threatened Syria with a “big price to pay”, the Russians issued their own clear warning that any attack would elicit a military response against US missiles – and the “platforms” from which they were launched.



After Trump’s “big price to pay” tweets,  Chairman of the State Duma’s Defense Committee,  Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov warned the West;

“ The double standard policy has overstepped all possible boundaries. At this point, the [pro-Putin parliamentary majority] United Russia party must responsibly state that we are going to take all political and diplomatic measures, and also military measures if such need arises. Not a single unlawful action will be left without response.”

Shamanov’s reputation from his tour of duty in Chechniya suggests he is not a person to be trifled with;

As Gennady Troshev, another Russian commander in Chechnya, wrote in his book My War, Shamanov “was too hot-tempered and direct in his relations with the Chechen population” [preferring] “to choose the shortest way to victory (…) [which] resulted in numerous casualties among Russian soldiers.”

Aslambek Aslakhanov, a retired MVD general who was Vladimir Putin’s advisor on Chechnya, called Shamanov a “butcher” and a “one-man curse on the Chechen people”: “Chechens talk about Shamanov like a plague that has descended on their heads, a disease like AIDS. He is drowning in blood. He cynically believes that all Chechens – men and women, even children – are bandits.”

On the same day, following a request from Russian and Syrian governments, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was invited into Syria to investigate the alleged chemical attack;

Today, the OPCW Technical Secretariat has requested the Syrian Arab Republic to make the necessary arrangements for such a deployment. This has coincided with a request from the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma. The team is preparing to deploy to Syria shortly.

Whether or not the OPCW is permitted to carry out its mandated duty to investigate the alleged attack in Douma remains to be seen. If Damascus is indeed innocent of perpetrating such an attack – or even that such an attack ever happened at all – it would be in Bashar al-Assad’s and Russia’s interests to facilitate the investigation.

According to Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, Eastern Ghouta has been “almost-fully liberated” from rebels. There should be no reason why an OPCW investigative group should be prevented from scouring the area, looking for relevant evidence.

Zasypkin also repeated Shamanov’s dire warning to the West – this time with greater clarity. And with an added threat of retaliation;

“ If there is a US missile attack, we – in line with both Putin and Russia’s chief of staff’s remarks – will shoot down US rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles.

US ‘rockets’ – Tomahawk cruise missiles – are usually launched from American naval warships in the region. Zasypkin was giving a crystal clear warning that not only would US cruise missiles be shot down – but US warships would be attacked.

Not since Israel attacked the USS Liberty in 1967 has an American warship been deliberately targetted by another sovereign state in the Middle East. In that instance, the premeditated attack was covered up by both Israeli and US governments.

A direct attack on a US warship by Russian forces would have predictably catastrophic consequences.

Seemingly oblivious to the spiralling madness, Trump, ‘upped the ante’ with more bellicosity;


Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 have the planet’s two greatest military powers faced off – perhaps the closest that we as a species ever came to World War Three. Thankfully, there were saner men in both the Kremlin and White House at the time.

Fiftysix years later, the planet may have to rely on the wits of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to avert the Last World War.

Russia has surprising support from one segment of the US establishment: Fox News. Around 9/10 April, Fox News’ host/commentator,  Tucker Carlson, questioned and excoriated Washington’s rush-to-judgement and chilling sabre-rattling. Carlson seemed to be one of the few Establishment media voices urging restraint.



Carlson also questioned why Syria had been “convicted” of the alleged chemical attack without any evidence. He was scathing;

All the geniuses tell us that Assad killed those children, but do they really know that? Of course they don’t really know that. They’re making it up. They have no real idea what happened.

Actually both sides in the Syrian civil war possess chemical weapons.

Carlson also pointed out that Syrian government forces were actually already winning in Eastern Ghouta. As late as 4 April Trump stated publicly that he  wanted all US forces out of Syria;

“ I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home. It’s time.”

Four days later – “gas attack” hits the global headlines. Trump was ‘forced’ to change his mind;



Carlson asked pointed questions;

“ How would it benefit Assad using chlorine gas last weekend? Well, it wouldn’t. Assad’s forces had been winning the war in Syria. The [Trump] Administration just announced its plans to pull American troops out of Syria, having vanquished ISIS. That’s good news for Assad. And about the only thing he could do to reverse it and to hurt himself would be to use poison gas against children. ‘Well he did it anyway!’ they tell us, ‘He’s that evil!’. Please. Keep in mind this is the same story they told us last April!


At the time this show asked what seemed like the obvious question, ‘Are we really sure that Assad did that?’. It seemed wierdly timed and counter-productive to him.”

Carlson was referring to the previous so-called sarin-gas attack at  Khan Shaykhun, in the Idlib Governorate, in April last year. This blogger also questioned that veracity of assigning responsibility to the Assad regime;

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.


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.

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.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, which supports rebel groups fighting the Assad regime, and is engaged in a conflict with Iran to gain regional supremacy, has declared that it will join any retaliatory action that the United States takes against the Syrian government;



Make no mistake: it would benefit Saudi Arabia if the US re-engaged in the Syrian civil-war and launched a crippling strike against the Assad regime.

Saudi Arabia – engaged in a proxy war with it’s regional rival, Iran.

Saudi Arabia – which purchased plane-loads of weapons from Croatia, which once belonged to the defunct Jugoslav National Army, and which may have included stockpiles of sarin gas.

As Fox News’ Carlson Tucker rightly pointed out; there is zero evidence that the so-called “gas attack” was carried out by Assad’s forces. There was no rational reason for Assad to consent to such an attack – he was winning the civil war anyway.

And drawing the US back into the Syrian conflict would benefit: Saudi Arabia.

Mr Trump – you are being ‘played’.

Let’s hope someone in the White House can explain this to the buffoon sitting at the Oval Office desk. Preferably before Planet Earth is incinerated.






The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:  Editor’s Note

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:  2018 Doomsday Clock Statement., Science and Security Board

Radio NZ:  Syria – Toxic gas attack kills at least 70 in Douma

BBC:  Syria ‘chemical attack’ – Russia and US in fierce row at UN

Fairfax media:  NZ expresses ‘strongest condemnation’ of chemical attack on Syrians

Fox News:  Nikki Haley shames Syria after suspected chemical attack – ‘We are on the edge of a dangerous precipice’

Reuters:  U.S., Russia clash at U.N. over chemical weapons attacks in Syria

The Guardian: Syria chemical attack – US and Russia fail to reach UN agreement as tensions rise

Twitter: Donald Trump – Chemical attack in Syria – 9 April 2018 (1)

Twitter: Donald Trump – Chemical attack in Syria – 9 April 2018 (2)

Twitter: Donald Trump – Chemical attack in Syria – 9 April 2018 (3)

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

RT News:  Duma defense chief says Russia may respond with military force to US strike on Syria

Wikipedia:  Vladimir Shamanov

RT News:  OPCW to send chemical weapons investigators to Syria’s Douma – statement

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons:  OPCW Will Deploy Fact-Finding Mission to Douma, Syria

Al Jazeera:  Russia threatens to shoot down any US missiles fired at Syria

Al Jazeera:  Remembering USS Liberty – When Israel attacked America

Twitter: Donald Trump – Missiles at Syria – 11 April 2018

New York Times:  Mattis Expresses Caution on Imminent Strike Against Syria

RT News:  Tucker Carlson slams US foreign policy in no-holds-barred monologue on Syria, social media explodes

Youtube: Fox News – Tucker Carlson – Would war against Assad make US safer?

Washington Post: Even as Trump urges Syria exit, the military says it’s not finished with ISIS

New York Times:  As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

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

The Guardian: UK link to Serb poison gas

Reuters:  Saudi could take part in military response in Syria – Crown Prince


Radio NZ: Expert – ‘Moscow seeking comeback as a great power’

Previous related blogposts

The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election

Trump escalates, Putin congratulates

Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War

Trumpwatch: One minute closer to midnight on the Doomsday Clock






= fs =


  1. As always, an excellent review of the situation. Seems to me Trump is also using Syria as a distraction from all the unwanted scrutiny he is getting at home.
    France now claims they have proof Assad did it, although they conveniently haven’t released it to the public (yet).
    IMO Russia has every legal right to counter attack anything the US (and its friends) does militarily in Syria.

  2. Probably the most coherent assessment I’ve read to read on this. Well, it’s 10.30am and we’re still here. So far saner minds have prevailed. Someone has obviously told Trump that launching a single missile at Assad will mean the beginning ofWW3.

    Let’s hope this remains.

    As always, well researched, documented, and fairly impartial assessment, Frank.

  3. The whole war in Syria from the beginning has been a American/Saudi/Israeli/British/NATO/Qatar/Turkey false flag operation from the beginning. It was simply the continuation of using the excuse of the 9/11 false flag attack for the benefit of global organised crime i.e. the globalist banksters. Just as the Mujahideen/AL Qaida were created by this same crime cabal in Afghanistan this latest crop of Jihadis are trained, armed and financed by the same criminal cartel. The left (and right) has fallen hook line and sinker for all the mainstream media lies behind these wars and dualistic thinking of believing if one side is bad this make the other side good – which is a psychotic rejection of reality because all the main players are just as bad as each other and ultimately puppets of the banksters who continue to enrich themselves by supplying each sides war machines.

    The latest false flag gas attack was a staged psyop filmed in Idlib by the Jihadis. However, the Syrian army overran the US Coalition’s chemical weapons operations base in Ghouta faster than anyone thought possible and they were caught red handed with their own chemical weapons base with supplies and personnel from the West. This is why the Russians didnt find any site or people who had been attacked by chemical weapons.

    The saddest thing of all is that the peace movement and the Greens here have been silent on this impending nuclear war. Navel gazing about identity politics and global warming forgetting that the genesis of the environmental peace movement was the anti-nuclear war movement. The Greens silence is deafening, but to be expected considering a banker leads the Greens I suppose. They probably haven’t even heard of the term “nuclear winter”. Apparently the hot phase of the war will last 3 days and then they will unleash their genetically engineered biological weapons to wipe out as much of the human population as possible. The rest will be left to die slow painful deaths by radiation poisoning from the fallout particularly here in Aotearoa rather than in an instant from direct nuclear weapon blasts.

  4. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis we reached 10 seconds to midnight. I had always thought that it was one minute. Until I started to read the book by Tony Kevin “Return to Moscow.” a few days ago. Tony Kevin was attached to the the Australian Embassy in Moscow from 1969 to 1971 in the middle of the cold war.And he visited Moscow 2 more times before The Soviet Union collapsed. He speaks Russian. In 2016 he went back for a month to get for himself the answers to the questions that we are all asking , about the true nature of the contemporary Russian State. But more of that on another day.On page 4 I found the following excerpt.
    “We know better from the released files how terrifyingly close the East-West systematic competition had come to nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962,a turning point in the cold war. Nikita Khrushchev- a rash and impetuous risk taker- had secretly sent 4 nuclear-armed submarines to Cuban waters., where he planned to station them as a permanent direct nuclear deterrent threat to major U.S. cities.” Now let us see how you Americans like having your cities under the same nuclear threat that you are putting our cities under”.The Soviet submarines discovery, containment and tactical depth charge bombardment by surrounding U.S.Naval forces precipitated the nearest to World War three- which would have meant the final destruction of Western civilization- in the history of the cold war. The missiles were very nearly launched under pressure of days of sustained close- range depth charging from U.S. naval surface vessels. Just one Soviet senior officer, Vasily Arkhipov, stopped the Soviet missile launch that would have started the War. His two despairing colleagues were ready to fire; our world today exists only because the Soviet Navy nuclear- launch protocol required three, not two, individual key entries. The heroic Arkhipov’s naval career ended in disgrace.”

    In another account from another source I read that the Americans were unaware that the four Soviet submarines were nuclear armed !! There seems to be abroad generally the thought that nuclear extermination for mankind is actually unthinkable. The reaction to what is happening in Syria is blase’. Look at the Herald and our TV news. I am reminded of the saying” fools go where Angels fear to tread!!!

    Also[The Boston Globe: Soviets close to using A bomb in 1962 Crisis Forum is told.]

    • Further to add to your interesting post about Cuban Missile Crisis. there is a book out called “My Target was Leningrad” by RAF Bomber Command Pilot on how his SQN was quietly brought up full strength and they work out that the safest to be was far north east of Scotland if things went hot. As a result he said to his wife on the last night at home before they were confined to base, if you hear us take off you are to grab the kids and the suitcase and head to Nth East Scotland ASAP.

  5. Where are our New Zealand journalists on this, or our academics, in our MSM? it is scandalous how poor our Media has become in simply copying from US or UK sources without question.

    • Our media are slaves to the global cabal (16 individuals who now own 70% of the worlds wealth) who also control the world media sources and who intend to bring war to us all firstly before their final insidious evil resurrection of the “One World Government”

  6. Some thoughts from a dreamer:
    Bad news; soon the wealthy & privileged few will tear our beautiful world apart by waging a devastating, no holds barred war for the essential resources required to secure their own survival. This global conflagration (WW3), partly resulting from our failure to address the serious challenges of our times, will be catastrophic & in all likelihood, jeopardise the very survival of humanity.
    Good news; we here in far flung NZ, by being in the privileged position of having the wherewithal to prepare for & insulate ourselves against the world wide chaos to come, are destined & duty bound too; break ranks with the masters of today’s globalised world & boldly blaze a visionary new trail into the future, by becoming an exemplary model of sustainable, post-globalisation nationhood. When realised, this vision will ensure our nations real independence, survival, & the wellbeing of our peoples & environment long into the future.
    The true destiny of Godzone is to lead not follow & it will unfold as follows; just in the nick of time, when the downfall of civilisation as we know it is beginning to hit home, mainstream New Zealand, suffering from financial hardship, shortages of essentials, rising prices & societal unrest, awakens from its slumber, veers off the suicidal globalisation highway, embraces its own trail blazing “sustainable nation” destiny, & throws its weight behind a uniquely NZ flavoured revolution. Then, once our country is liberated & the localisation & future proofing is sorted, transition toward becoming the visionary, self reliant, “sustainable nation” that we’re destined to be will get underway. Then our truly independent, exemplary, federally constituted “beacon of hope” nation will be in a position to lead the rest of the world toward a post-globalisation future. “Long live the New Zealand Confederacy”.
    P.S. as an interim measure it would be advisable to strategically situate missile silos, cyber warfare experts, small mobile defence force units & survival bunkers along our Southern Alps.

    • P.S. as an interim measure it would be advisable to strategically situate missile silos, cyber warfare experts, small mobile defence force units & survival bunkers along our Southern Alps.

      …and instantly render ourselves a target? No thanks.

  7. The Americans have crossed a line with their interference in Syria. It would be like Russia involving their military forces in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or Israel. The Yanks would be threatening all out war if the Russians dared to engage militarily in any of those Western allied nations. That is what that moron Trump has forgotten.

    As for the socalled chemical attack in Douma, i believe you’re on the nail with where youre going with this, Frank. The Saudis (or Israelis) have a few questions to answer re their involvement.

    My question is, where were the Western intelligence agencies in all this? Didnone of them pick up any “chatter” prior to the alleged attack? What the fuck do we pay our spy agencies for if they couldnt pick up any prior intel on such an impending attack?

  8. Frank!
    A well researched piece, thank you, thank you , thank you!
    Its so vital to get all that information out there
    I hold the establishment media culpable for bringing us to the brink of another war..maybe the last.
    Rather than providing straight information and analysis, the media has indulged in an orgy of emotive war porn
    They’ve used the most hideous images and jingoistic language chosen to ramp up a populations appetite for war
    They will say , right at the end of a particularly gruesome snuff video, these reports can’t be verified.That doesn’t stop them from pumping the stuff out at every prime time opportunity
    Irresponsible behaviour like this also puts pressure on politicians to look strong and decisive, to take a position before all the facts are in
    It also in many cases serves their interests. Macron for instance, cosying up to the Saudis, hoping for some arms deals
    The US on behalf of Israel, knocking out Syria on their way to Iran
    The UK, on the point of Brexit, needing to deflect from issues at home and demonstrate a spurious solidarity with Europe
    Jesus , Winston, just for this I love you, that you have withstood(so far) joining in the braying for war
    Jaysh al Islam were the last jihadists to hold out in Douma before surrendering.If any one thinks they are romantic “rebels” seeking freedom/democracy and justice, this following link will disabuse you
    The Jaysh al Islam group were previously known as the Army of Islam

    By the way I have previously posted links to Seymour Hersh on Khan Sheykhoun, but this analysis/scenario seems to temper his findings , more solid fact , but with some provision for doubt.
    Its an assessment of the OPCW JIM report
    How do we register our condemnation of the fools and maniacs that have brought us to this point? Why we should the whole world be held to ransom in this way, and for what??!!
    Will we write to Winnie and heap praise on him?
    Shall we write to the US ambassador and let him know what we think
    Although that probably gets you on an instant GCSB list, and the US ambassador just does twitter I think
    The Russian Embassy can be contacted through email
    Frank… what next?
    Life is short but I want it to last for at least another week

    • I don’t know… Russian S-400 missile defence systems are the equal of there US cruise missile systems, and it’s little brother the S-125 shot down an F-117 stealth bomber. So it would be extraordinary for the US to conduct Wild Wessel Missions (anti missile defence missions) while the US withdraws ground forces from Syria.

      • I’m not sure if S400 has the capability to shoot down cruise missile as they tend to fly low level aka nap of the earth, contour flying etc, but on paper the punters tend to feel it could have that capability it’s a bit unknown atm. The S400 Air Defence System it has a range of about 600km which means it has the legs to take out the Tankers, Airborne Early Warning etc. Which is the weakness of the US/ NATO Strike packages if they get the go, as they need to refuel on egress and on degress. So take out the support Aircraft then “we have a problem Houston”.

        You would the find the shooting down of the Nighthawk was a case of yank stupidity aka flying the same route in and out of the target area which is big no no and the Serbs doing there homework on the Nighthawks. At the time it was known you could track the Nighthawks via the mobile towers well that was in theory, but no one had tried it.
        Serb Air Defence System was a bit old school, but they started to notice a pattern with Nighthawks, they had crack at this theory and to everyone surprise it work. so they placed SA 9 Geko on a BRDM vehicle at the most likely firing position which happen to be the way out and the rest is history as they say.

        • Well you know what they say. It takes certain amount of missiles to defeat a target. My simple solution is to fire more.

          But IMO the 96L6 high altitude radar system is a quality bit of kit that can detect ballistic missiles out to 600 kilometres at an altitude of 157kms…,

          Also IMO the 91N6E radar system is also a quality bit of kit that has a stated stealth detection of 150ks that can be pushed out to 250ks with a radar cross section…,

          For a target with an RCS of 0.4 metres the detection range is 230kms.

          I forget what the exact formula for detecting targets at lower altitudes are but for targets at an altitude of 50meters-100meters the defection range is half the stated stated detection range and below an altitude of 50metres the detection range is one quarter of the stated detection range. How ever with an accompanied Beriev A-50 or A-100 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft of the Russian Air Force the section range at lower altitudes are about 3/4 of the stated detection range.

          Fuel consumption of entire S-400 system was cut by 35% making total cost of launch 25% cheaper than the S-300.

          There’s obviously a huge difference in training between the Syrian and Russian armed forces so depending on the nationality of the crew will also the actual detection range maybe less or greater than the stated detection range.

          Well played Putin, well played.

    • during the Cuban missile crisis , Back channels between JFK and Kruschev were runnng hot
      All the Russiagate crap may have choked off those back channels from developing in any effective way
      I mean godalmighty when talking to the Russian ambassador is a flag for treachery what hope is there?
      When I was expressing my doubts about the whole Russiagate stuff and the damage it was doing, I was denounced as a Trump lover and a Putinbot

  9. Cold war sympathies die hard eh Frank?

    Do you not think that that Russia having let the WMD cat out of the bag that it should be left unchallenged? Your sort of thinking was tested to destruction in the 30s and it did not end well for millions.

    Russia understands hard power and thinks the west is soft. This needs to be stop and Russia needs to be confronted before it is too late.

  10. Anyone who wasn’t scared witless over the last few days HAS NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION!! I agree, Frank, the world came closer to WW3 than at any time in history. I have no doubt in my mind that had Trump unleashed another missile strike on Assad’s airfields, that the Russians would have hit back.

    I have a cousin in Chicago and she is selling up and moving back to NZ with her family. Trump’s bellicosity has scared her and she can’t wait to get out of the U.S.

    It seems that wiser heads have prevailed, THIS TIME. Next time will we be so lucky??

  11. Putin and Lavrov have shown exemplary restraint in the face of increasingly unhinged threats and accusations
    Sanctions applied on the flimsiest of pretexts
    Ridiculous vilifications and the most undiplomatic and inflammatory statements from idiots like Boris Johnston.
    The comparisons of Putin to Hitler (Prince Charles , Boris amongst numerous others )show up the astounding ignorance, bigotry and clutziness.
    Russia lost 20% of its population fighting the Nazis, and has every year presented a resolution to the UN condemning the glorification of Nazism

    Every year, we gutlessly abstain along with the EU, and Ukraine and US oppose it
    I asked Murray MCCully why, and he said “we” had quibbles with wording and issues of free speech
    Trump has the Generals at his shoulder murmuring war, and Putin also has his belligerents in his ear. He has shown far more statesman like restraint than most of the idiot US Presidents who have come and gone during his time
    Heaven help us if something happens to Putin and a more nationalist type like Zhirinovsky steps up

    There is no equivalence between Trump and Putin

  12. “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love…”

    Jackie DeShannon.

    And Ecstasy. Tons and tons and tons of Ecstasy powder.
    Drop it now, followed by kittens and puppies in parachutes. No one can kill when they’re high as fuck going Ooo and Aaaahh with a kitten in one hand and a puppie dog in the other.
    May as well. We seem fucked anyway.

  13. The west wants Russia’s oil that’s what; – and they are erecting a kangaroo court to get it.

    • “give me the keys right now young lady”
      If thats to me Araby
      thank you
      I know its not meant to be complimentary, but I genuinely think its a very funny comment and it made me chuckle

  14. Frank, I want to share with you some thoughts from Finian Cunningham on informationclearinghouse. What does an unpopular politician need to do to suddenly become popular? (hint , think of Margaret Thatcher) yes, go to war!

    (The following is quoted from Cunningham’s article.)

    “Trump is being assailed with serious allegations of having affairs with a porn star and a Playboy model. The president is fighting for his political survival over alleged corruption and pay-offs to his accusers who claim to have had trysts with Trump.
    Britain’s Theresa May is facing the collapse of her government over the Brexit debacle, which is tearing her country apart due to immense economic uncertainty for Britain after it quits the European Union next year.

    In addition, the Skripal poisoning affair has boomeranged to show that British Cabinet ministers have been caught out lying over allegations against Russian in a supposed assassination plot against a former Russian spy in England last month……

    As for France’s Macron, his presidency is reeling from nationwide industrial strikes against plans to ransack workers’ employment rights. Macron is so desperate to salvage his political and economic woes that this week he shamelessly pandered to the visiting Saudi Crown Prince to seek more multi-billion-euro arms deals. Banging the drums of war over Syria is music to the ears of the Saudi rulers, and Macron is banging furiously to ingratiate himself.

    Trump, May and Macron — three politically damaged leaders — are pushing a war in Syria out of venal expedience. Regardless of any proof to justify their aggression, and regardless of the very grave repercussions involving a world war.”

  15. Thank you Frank, watched the Tucker Carlson vid the other day, as one of the commentors said, hope Tucker gets his contract renewed. I notice that our joke media (this now includes rnz national) have now occasionally started including alleged in there reports on Syria. Just read your doomsday clock blog, and must apologise, for some reason i thought you were on the screaming nicky haley, us must bomb the world for peace team. We can now only hold our breathe and hope that the calm calculation of Putin prevails.

    • One of the sick jokes of this event is that it is the gun toting crazies of the American right that are putting up the most public resistance to this hysteria for more war. The left, Greenies and peace movement are nowhere to be seen or heard of – what a sick joke. Except Winston of NZ First making the only vaguely sane comments in NZ. The planet is in a sad state when Alex Jones Infowars and Tucker Carlson of Fox News are the leading proponents of peace by exposing the fake news lies of the gas attack in order to get it through Trumps thick head that he wasnt elected to go to war in Syria.

      The hypocrisy of it all is this is all happening while Saudi Arabia supported by Britain and America continues to kill and maim civilians in Yemen. As Craig Murray points out some dead children count more than others:

      • Yes masked MOA it was surreal as it must have been in 1939 when Neville Chamberlain came home from Berlin waving a letter from the Fuhrer saying “no war” and the rest is history eh?

        • Both chamberlain and Hitler were working for the same side the Banksters that is the real history. Whose side are you on?

  16. Yet you can’t help yourself Frank, with your thinly veiled insult against the Syrian Government.

    “Whether or not the OPCW is permitted to carry out its mandated duty to investigate the alleged attack in Douma remains to be seen. If Damascus is indeed innocent of perpetrating such an attack – or even that such an attack ever happened at all – it would be in Bashar al-Assad’s and Russia’s interests to facilitate the investigation.”

    As you stated:

    “………following a request from Russian and Syrian governments, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was invited into Syria to investigate the alleged chemical attack;”

    This threat against Syria is hardly new.

    • Brigid, if you re-read my blogpost more carefully, you’ll find that I consider the Syrian government and it’s forces to be almost “bit players” in the alleged gas attack at Douma.

      The main actor in this event, I submit to you, is referenced in the last seven paras of my blogpost.

      • Frank I not only read your post; I quoted you

        “………following a request from Russian and Syrian governments, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was invited into Syria to investigate the alleged chemical attack;”
        My bold

        But you cast doubt on Syria’s integrity with
        “….it would be in Bashar al-Assad’s and Russia’s interests to facilitate the investigation.”

        I am pleased though you are now referring to the Syrian Government as ‘The Syrian Government’ as the title ‘Assad Regime’ is no more appropriate when referring to this country than ‘Adern Regime’ is in referring to our own.

  17. There’s a forlorn instinct to in the end of Frank’s blog and in many comments to assign the responsibility for this madness to Trump. There’s nobody around him and only a tiny handful of Congressmen (women) and senators that are doing anything but egging him on or castigating him for inaction. He might be hopeless and horrible , but last week he talked about getting US out of Syria and it is reasonable to think that as this would be consistent with his rhetoric during his election campaign that this is what he would really like to do; and that the staged chemical attack was a device to prevent him from doing that. But that’s neither here nor there, but the belief that the US might be behaving any less belligerently toward Syria and Russia under any other available likely present president is clutching at
    And Trump will now take the humiliation of backing down on his threats , and listen to the chorus of condemnation and criticism that will be levelled at him for capitulating. But none of those ridiculing his incompetence and cowardice would do any different if they had the responsibility that he so foolishly took on a bit over a year ago.
    There’s unlimited bravado in western governments, at least France and the UK, to support US if they attack, but Trump alone will carry the responsibility of finding out what happens when you poke that bear one more time after he has meaningfully growled. They have to back away now,
    and suddenly become wise and diplomatic. It will be a welcome change.

    • Trump was elected because he wasn’t a politician
      So he doesn’t know how to play the game, and keep all the belligerents and agents for foreign powers (Saudi and Israel)in check, and play the opposing groups against each other.
      What a nightmare to be a president
      One of his recent tweets was “stop the arms race?”
      Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon , don’t like that kind of talk
      Their business needs constant war and threat of war

      • Who knew they would be so friggin stupid
        What of the OPCW now?
        The one opportunity they have to make an onsite inspection , and what happens?
        Those idiots couldn’t wait one week?
        At least with the Russians being thick on the ground at Douma(I think) the evidence …or lack of… it hasn’t been destroyed

        • They had to pre-empt it. But I don’t see how they prevent it from going ahead eventually unless they target the site.
          I would think this is the end of May and Macron.
          What are Jacinda and Winston saying about it?
          I wonder if Russia will react or just let public opinion do the job.

          D J S

          • Jacinda Ardern’s response;

            Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released the following statement on Syria:

            This morning the Government was advised that targeted military action would be taken in response to the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

            “The Government has always favoured diplomatic efforts and a multilateral approach. The use of the veto powers at the Security Council prevented that course of action. We have always condemned the use of the veto, including by Russia in this case.

            “New Zealand therefore accepts why the US, UK and France have today responded to the grave violation of international law, and the abhorrent use of chemical weapons against civilians.

            “The action was intended to prevent further such atrocities being committed against Syrian civilians.

            “We stand firm in our condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta. This is clearly in breach of international law.

            “It is now important that these issues are returned to the United Nations multilateral processes including the Security Council,” Jacinda Ardern said.


            So much for our independent foreign policy.

            • Well I’m fucking(sorry) glad that I didn’t write a letter commending our government’s respect for the rule of law and how proud I was to be a NZer etc….
              International law my arse, we don’t have such a thing
              Since 1970 the US has used its veto power something like 83 times ,at least half of that time to protect Israel from the consequences of its relentless breaches of humanitarian international laws
              The Soviet Union/Russia has used it 13 times
              What international law I would like to know legitimises waging war on a country that poses no threat to the aggressors?
              I’m glad Jacinda is horrified etc by the use of chemical weapons, so am I , but for gods sake, who is advising her.Wayne friggin Mapp?
              The Jaysh al Islam group who are doing all the accusing have form…not according to RT or Alex Jones or someone outlandish but Amnesty International.When the evidence was so overwhelming that even a patsy like Amnesty had to admit it , you have to believe it


              About ready to take to the garden , become a hermit, and try and deal with this utter disgust I feel
              Sorry about the swearing, ..

              • Swearing?! You should have heard me this afternoon, Francesca, when I turned on the radio and heard Trump bleating on about “righteous force”… Jesus H, the irony seems to have escaped him that he’s been suckered in by… fake news!!

                More and more I am off the view that there was no “gas attack”. And if there was, it most certainly did not come from Assad’d forces.

                Jacinda Ardern appears to have been swept up in Trump’s “righteous” Crusade…

                • God knows what pressure is on her. But you would have to resign rather than join this linch mob wouldn’t you?
                  D J S

                  • Always thinking of twists and turns
                    a new scenario to amuse
                    Trump knows the game is up , he wants to get out of Syria but knows he’ll be accused of being Putin’s puppet.
                    He knows there was no chemical attack but for the time being he’s playing along with the Generals
                    So he launches the missiles
                    When the news comes from the OPCW that there’s been no chemical attack, Trump feigns a righteous fury, he’s been lied to, fed false information, deceived in to war, he goes in for a brutal purge, gets rid of the neocons, gets rid of Mueller while he’s at it cos thats all fake news too.The rebels cant be trusted, he’s taking his guys out of Syria ,all the foreign bases, the defence money saved is going to rebuild Detroit.They’re going to start making big assed American cars again…
                    Theresa suffers a vote of no confidence, she and
                    Boris resign, last seen hunched against the wind, moodily walking the Pembrokeshire clifftops,
                    Macron trailing miserably with the thermos flask and a small dog on a leash
                    The sound of crowds singing OH Jeremy Corbyn can be heard tossed on the wind, all the way from London
                    Life goes on..

                    • a further musing during a period of insomnia:
                      A bit that I left out of my previous comment because its so explosive
                      You know what?
                      Donald really DID have something going with Vladimir.
                      They’ve been playing online scrabble for years, and they have a timeshare fale in Fiji
                      So one day just after Donald had argued that Kompromat was not a real word, and sighed , how hard it was to be President and how Vova..truly..he really really wanted to get out of Syria and make America great again,Vladimir offered him a plan
                      A face saving way out
                      Give us a few days to get anything valuable out of the way says Vladimir
                      Blow up a few old rusty sheds, light up the night sky over Damascus,stay away from the palace,talk about god a bit, do that thing with your hand,one hour tops and its all over
                      No surprises mind….
                      Now, I believe you’ve spelt
                      manoeuvre wrong….

  18. How else is the New World Order going to kick off its One Government, One Religion, One Leader except by war? Out of chaos and all that jazz.
    The Powers that be have come this far and all the actors are in place.

  19. From the Guardian :

    “An estimated 500 people went to Syrian health facilities with “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals” after the attack on the rebel-held town of Douma at the weekend, according to reports passed to the World Health Organization.”
    Reports passed by who?
    Like the White Helmets , who are equipped with head cameras and trained in media, The Syrian American Medical Society provide propaganda specialising in gas attacks and atrocities

    • I wonder how many Christchurch people will go to health centers with signs and symptoms of chemical exposure after chloride is poured into their drinking water while pure fresh water is being pumped into Chinese bottles.
      Of course, Christchurch (and elsewhere) is different. Our Council lackeys don’t poison New Zealand people. Right?

  20. Nikki Haley said: “I could hold up pictures of all this killing and suffering for the Council to see, but what would be the point?”

    She could just as easily be talking about holding up pictures of the unarmed Palestinian protesters who where murdered in cold blood by Israel, but we all know she won’t.

  21. Given that Assad is winning the war, using chemical weapons at this stage would be the dumbest thing he can do. What possible strategic value would such an attack have, especially knowing how Western powers react to it?
    Further, the very fact that so few people are dead strongly suggests they weren’t deployed via a bomb. Chemical weapons are WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Does this look like “mass destruction” to anyone here? When used properly (i.e. detonated above a city and the heavier than air gas is allowed to blanket a wide area) a single bomb kills thousands at once, not less than a hundred.

    The two most obvious scenarios are:
    1. that the weapons were deliberately used by the rebels on civilians to draw the West back into a war they are at the point of losing.
    2. That Assad bombed a stockpile of these weapons held by the rebels.

  22. We are at ‘one minute to midnight’, but not for the reasons presented so far in this discussion.

    ‘Serious disruption to the Gulf Stream ocean currents that are crucial in controlling global climate must be avoided “at all costs”, senior scientists have warned. The alert follows the revelation this week that the system is at its weakest ever recorded.

    Past collapses of the giant network have seen some of the most extreme impacts in climate history, with western Europe particularly vulnerable to a descent into freezing winters. A significantly weakened system is also likely to cause more severe storms in Europe, faster sea level rise on the east coast of the US and increasing drought in the Sahel in Africa.’

    Nothing will come of the sabre rattling in and around Syria because the banksters (who control the western world and most of the rest of it) do not want a major conflict that will wreck their system: they want continuous pressure on populations that cause people to become fearful and jittery, and look to the bankster-installed leaders for [faux] guidance and protection.

    So, the war of words will continue, and the low-level hostilities will continue. That is until the US is dethroned from its unique position of operating the world’s reserve currency as a scam and printing money at will to fund its international aggression.

    Needless to say, nothing whatsoever will be done to address the real ‘one minute to midnight’ factors ( e.g. ‘WEAKEST EVER RECORDED’). Indeed, we can continue to rely on our so-called leaders to continue to make worse all of the factors that matter in the long term. So there won’t be a long term.

    Latest Keeling curve reading for CO2: 410.39 ppm

    • Major wars don’t happen by calculation and deliberation. They happen by an accumulation of tensions ,hair trigger alerts, a build up of armanents,and strategic positioning, then a misstep, irrational actors, and an unstoppable juggernaut set in to motion.
      I find this possibility more imminent than climate change at present

    • “faster sea level rise on the east coast of the US”

      Wut? That’s not how sea levels work. You can’t increase sea levels in the Atlantic without the exact same sea level rises in the Pacific.

      • The depth of ocean water is dependent on temperature, amongst other things. A column of cold water weighs more than a column of the same height of warm water.

        If the Gulf Stream stalls (or stops altogether) the water which is currently being warmed in the shallow regions around the Caribbean will not move northwards, but will remain in the central Atlantic, where they will form a taller column than would occur if the water moved northwards via the Gulf Stream

  23. Why Richard?
    There is not one link to RT at present in the comments below, and Frank has used 3 links to RT that are factual reported statements without spin
    If links to the Guardian newspaper, UN statements,Reuters, Al Jazeera ,American journalists ,Radio NZ and BBC are too left field for you, too off the wall, maybe you’ll have to restrict your reading to the Spectator

  24. From Al Masdar news

    BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:20 A.M.) – The U.S. Coalition’s attack on Syria appears to have concluded after more than an hour of nonstop cruise missiles on the Syrian capital and its surrounding areas.

    As of now, it appears the U.S.’ primary targets were the West Ghouta (Kesweh, Jamraya) and the eastern Qalamoun bases.

    Many reports claiming the U.S. Coalition attacked Aleppo, Hama, Al-Sweida, and Latakia appear false at this time, as sources in these provinces reported no activity.

    No civilian or military casualties have been reported.”

  25. Only a monster does this. Only a monster targets civilians, and then ensures that there are no ambulances to transfer the wounded. No hospitals to save their lives. No doctors or medicine to ease their pain. I could hold up pictures of all this killing and suffering for the Council to see, but what would be the point? The monster who was responsible for these attacks has no conscience to be shocked by pictures of dead children!!!! How quickly and conveniently these bottom dwelling scumbags forget???
    Agent orange,depleted uranium munitions white phosphorus etc.

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