Friday 3rd of April 2020

a sad media story -- two sides. which one to believe? possibly, the one with less violins...


It's what we can't show you that burns the soul.

The pain of seeing the suffering, the dying, the desperation is too much to bear.

Reporters, producers, picture editors decide what are acceptable limits, how much you can bear — how much you should have to carry, because you can't un-see or easily forget the depths of suffering in places like Khan Sheikhoun.

Yesterday, that was the scene of a suspected chemical attack that killed more than 50 people, including scores of children, believed to have been carried out by Syrian Government jets.

The hope is that by exposing horrors like this, however filtered, the light and weight of public opinion will reduce the chances they will happen again.

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The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province where chemical weapons were being produced and stockpiled before being shipped to Iraq, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.


The same chemical munitions were used by militants in Aleppo, where Russian military experts took samples in late 2016, Konashenkov said.

The Defense Ministry has confirmed this information as “fully objective and verified,” Konashenkov added.

According to the statement, Khan Sheikhoun civilians, who recently suffered a chemical attack, displayed identical symptoms to those of Aleppo chemical attack victims.

READ MORE: Syria hands over evidence of mustard gas attack by rebels on civilians to OPCW (VIDEO)

At least 58 people, including 11 children, reportedly died and scores were injured after a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was targeted in a suspected gas attack on Tuesday morning, Reuters reported, citing medics and rebel activists. Soon after a missile allegedly hit the facility, people started showing symptoms of chemical poisoning, such as choking and fainting. The victims were reportedly also seen with foam coming out of their mouths. While the major Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, and other pro-rebel groups put the blame on the attack onto President Bashar Assad’s government, the Syrian military dismissed all allegations as propaganda by the rebels.

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the way it's done...


Kellyanne Conway took a lot of heat some weeks back for suggesting that there could be “alternative facts” in political discourse, and no doubt she deserved it. But now we seem to have alternative news outlets giving starkly alternative interpretations of the facts, which seems pretty similar to alternative facts. The journalistic equivalent of Ms. Conway’s unfortunate digression can be seen in Tuesday’s New York Times and its handling of a highly significant Bloomberg View article about the mishandling of intelligence information in the Obama White House.

Bloomberg reporter Eli Lake revealed that White House lawyers learned last month that “on dozens of occasions” Susan Rice, President Obama’s national-security adviser, sought the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports. It turns out that these persons were connected to Donald Trump’s campaign and transition effort.

We have all learned in recent weeks that the names of American citizens can be pulled into intelligence-gathering operations involving foreigners—say, for example, when foreign officials are discussing Trump operatives or when foreign officials are actually conversing with Trump team members. But the identities of U.S. citizens typically are “masked” so they aren’t known outside closely controlled intelligence circles.

But Rice repeatedly asked for, and was granted, the identity of at least one Trump official, to be pieced together with information on what he had been doing. Lake quoted one unidentified U.S. official as saying this was “valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates in foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.”

In other words, this had all the markings of political espionage—an effort to find out, through misuse of intelligence-gathering methods, what the opposition was doing and planning. Lake leaves no doubt that this isn’t how things normally are supposed to be done in our government. “Indeed,” he writes, “much about this is highly unusual: if not how the surveillance was collected, then certainly how and why it was disseminated.”

And how does the New York Times play it? It plays it down, way down.

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blame game is trying to divert attention...

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that the idea of laying blame for the suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria’s Idlib province on Damascus did not receive wide support at the conference in Brussels.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The idea of laying blame for the suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria’s Idlib province on Damascus did not receive wide support at the conference in Brussels, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, warning against the use of the incident to disrupt Syria peace talks.

"In what concerns this conference, of course, some tried to redirect it in order to focus attention on the incident that has occurred [in Idlib]. I must say that they failed to achieve that," Gatilov told Russian journalists, adding that "only some" tried to blame the Syrian government for the suspected use of chemical weapons.

The Russian deputy foreign minister warned against using such incidents as the one in Idlib to disrupt the Syrian peace talks.

"Anything can affect the talks. But we would not like for such incidents to be used by opponents of the negotiation process to disrupt it," Gatilov stressed.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) is held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the suspected chemical attack in Syria's province of Idlib. The United Kingdom, France and the United States introduced a draft resolution in the UNSC claiming that the alleged April 4 chemical attack in Idlib was carried out by the Syrian army. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow categorically rejected the draft resolution.

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the west is still pushing its old barrow...

The alleged chemical attack, reported yesterday, is the latest in a series of atrocities notionally carried out by the Syrian government (“The Regime”, in the partisan parlance of the press). There has not been time, as yet, to fully examine and analyse all the evidence – the claims and counter claims, the photographs and videos – but it would be a massive mistake to view it in a vacuum.

First, the situation on the ground needs to be considered. The Syrian government – with assistance from Iran and the Russian Air Force, have been making steady progress for months. Aleppo has fallenPalmyra was retaken. The rebels are losing. So cui bono? What good does dropping chemical weapons on children do Assad, at this point? It is both strategically pointless, and a crushing blow to his international image. It would serve no purpose, unless he’s a comic-book style villain intent on being cruel for cruelty’s sake – and they don’t exist outside of cinema or the American press. Conversely, it would make all the sense in the world for cornered zealots and mercs to try to disrupt the upcoming talks (from which they are excluded).

Second, the timing. Much like a previous “chemical attack” (and subsequent BBC Panorama documentary) came on the eve of a commons vote on military intervention in Syria, this attack comes at a key moment. In two days there is a meeting in Brussels on the Syria peace process, and the future of the country. This attack will allow Western leaders – especially the European voices, increasingly separate from the US on this issue – to ride an artificial high-horse into those proceedings. Deals can be scuppered and progress refused in the wake of such “atrocities”.

Third, we have seen this all before. There was the chemical attack in Ghouta, initially pinned on the government (and still unquestioningly attributed to them in the MSM), that was revealed to be carried out by rebels. there was also the aforementioned napalm/chemical attack on a school – thoroughly debunked by Robert Stuart. We have seen the same girl rescued three different times by the White Helmets, and seen people in Egypt arrested for faking footage of bombings. The “last hospital in Aleppo” was knocked down everyday for a month, and the last doctors slaughtered bi-weekly. There is no reason, as yet, to think this is not just more of the same.

This is in fine tradition of media manipulation – from filming people on the outside of a fence and pretending they’re inside, to moving bodies for a better photograph, to deliberately removing an image’s context, and lying about it. Events are ignored, twisted, exaggerated and outright fabricated in order to push an agenda. Accordance with reality is immaterial to the process, and coincidental when it occurs.

Real or not, false flag or not – No one can deny convenience of the timing. Given the conflict the UK/EU find themselves in with the new US administration re: Syria. During the campaign Trump, unlike Clinton, totally refused to countenance the idea of no-fly zones or any kind of American/NATO backed military action against Syria and their Russian/Iranian allies. The last few weeks have seen even a softening of America’s “Assad must go” mantra. Rex Tillerson, speaking in Turkey last week, said:

I think the… longer term status of president Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,”

And the American ambassador to the UN added:

You pick and choose your battles and when we’re looking at this, it’s about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.”

Though she did later clarify these remarks, after being named-and-shamed in the media.

John McCain called Tillerson’s words “one of the more unusual statements I have ever heard”, stating it would be ridiculous to let Syrians decide the fate of Syrian government (probably because they would choose wrong).

The press, of course, have not referenced any of this. They continue to cite the partisan White Helmets and completely discredited “Syrian observatory for Human Rights” as if they are reliable sources. They continue to assert gossip and rumor as if it were fact. They continue to lie, but give themselves just enough room to manoeuvre should their lies be exposed.

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and trump becomes the saudi stooge of death...


The United States has fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria in retaliation for this week's chemical weapons attack against civilians.

Follow developments live on our blog.

It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government, and Donald Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president.

About 60 US Tomahawk missiles, fired from warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeted an air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that American officials believe Syrian government aircraft launched with a nerve agent, possibly sarin.

The targets at the government-controlled Shayrat base, in central Syria, were an airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations, a US official said.

The base was where US officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off.

The missiles hit early Friday morning, local time.

Speaking after news of the launch emerged, Mr Trump said he called on "all civilised nations" to seek to end the bloodshed and slaughter in Syria.

He said the US missile attack was in the nation's "vital national security interest", arguing that the United States must "prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons".

He said there was "no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons" in Tuesday's attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

"[Syrian President Bashar al-] 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 barbaric attack," Mr Trump said in Florida, where he was holding talks with China's leader Xi Jinping.

He said previous attempts at getting Mr Assad to change his behaviour had failed.

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"Mr Trump said he called on "all civilised nations" to seek to end the bloodshed and slaughter in Syria" sounds like he is adding fuel to the fire. The idiot. 


hopefully restraint will prevail for a blow below the belt...


Syrian television has said that the target of the "American Aggression" was a Syrian military base, in response to the US launch of around 60 tomahawk missiles on an airfield in the country's Homs province.


US military ships in the Mediterranean launched the strike between 8 and 9 PM ET.


On Tuesday, an alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria’s militant-held Idlib province claimed the lives of some 80 people and inflicted harm on an additional 200 civilians. The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces blamed the Syrian government troops for the attack, while Damascus has refuted these allegations.

According to Syrian officials, the Syrian Arab Army gave up its entire arsenal of chemical weapons under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in August of 2014. The destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal was confirmed by the UN's inspections. Russia's Ministry of Defense alleged that exposure to chemical materials in Idlib occurred after Syrian jets bombed a warehouse where rebels produced their own chemical weapons.


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Hopefully restraint will prevail for this stupid blow below the belt... Trump is an idiot who is listening to the hawks in America. If you believe in god, now is the time for you to pray that nothing worse will come out of this. For those who believe in secular justice, you can hope that Donald, like Bush, Blair and Howard should have been, will be tried for "war crime". But unfortunately, he might be declared insane before this.


the US has NO PROOFS....

The report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft,” wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol, who reviewed it and put together a 14-page assessment, which he provided to RT on Wednesday.

Leading CW expert Theodor Postol of MIT just published a 14-page document questioning WH claims that Sarin was dropped from #Syrian AF plane

— EHSANI2 (@EHSANI22) April 12, 2017


“I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” wrote Postol.

A chemical attack with a nerve agent did occur, he said, but the available evidence does not support the US government’s conclusions.

“I have only had a few hours to quickly review the alleged White House intelligence report. But a quick perusal shows without a lot of analysis that this report cannot be correct,” Postol wrote.

It is “very clear who planned this attack, who authorized this attack and who conducted this attack itself,” Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Sean Spicer also said that doubting the evidence would be “doubting the entire international reporting crew documenting this.”

The report offered by the White House, however, cited “a wide body of open-source material” and “social media accounts” from the rebel-held area, including footage provided by the White Helmets rescue group documented to have ties with jihadist rebels, Western and Gulf Arab governments.

Postol was not convinced by such evidence.

“Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real,” he wrote. “No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.”

Instead, “the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.”

“We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” he concluded, recalling the 2013 situation when the Obama administration claimed Assad had used chemical weapons against the rebels in Ghouta, near Damascus.

“What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true,” Postol wrote, “and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”

On Tuesday, Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy questioned the “authenticity” of media reports concerning the attack. He said that using social media to reconstruct the course of events raised“serious doubts” not only among the Russian military but also “among many respected experts and organizations.”

Rudskoy noted that, under the 2013 agreement to give up its chemical weapons, the Syrian government destroyed its stockpiles at 10 sites that were under its control. This was verified by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). However, the remaining two facilities were in territory controlled by the rebels, he said, and it remains unclear what happened to the chemicals stored there.

Report by White House Alleging Proof of Syria as the Perpetrator of the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun... by RT America on Scribd

Read all at:

the US cannot go back on their false narrative ...

The United States knows what happened in the Syrian gas attack, but won't admit it because they cannot go back on the narrative that they have already embraced, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi tells RT America.

Despite failing to produce any conclusive evidence or organizing an impartial investigation, the US media continues to blame President Bashar Assad’s forces for a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.

RT:  We know that a Syrian plane fired at a target in the rebel-held province of Idlib after which a deadly chemical substance materialized in the air. We also know that the Russians had used a hotline prior to this attack to alert the US military that there was an impending strike on a suspected arms warehouse. Do you think it is possible that the US knew that the warehouse had chemical weapons and failed to prevent this incident?

'UN commission hasn't ruled out any version concerning the causes of release of nerve agent' in Idlib - chairman

— RT (@RT_com) April 22, 2017

Philip Giraldi: Yes, it is quite possible. I think the US intelligence agencies and the White House know exactly what happened on April 4. But because the events have moved forward, and the US has chosen to exercise a military option, they basically cannot go back on the narrative that they have already embraced.

RT:  What do you make of the fact that all the primary available physical evidence from that attack site is coming from anti-Assad sources actually linked to Al-Nusra, which is linked to Al-Qaeda themselves?

PG: Yes, this is again something that we have seen before. The 2013 attack on Ghouta, the suburb of Damascus, it was the same situation. The area on the ground was controlled by the so-called rebels, and these people naturally manage the news in terms of what gets out and how it’s explained. You can be sure now if there were an investigating team going into the site, they would find it much changed. I am sure that parts of it would’ve been cleaned up; other parts would have been contaminated to reflect the story that the rebels would like to have us believe that the Syrian government did this. 

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manufacturing fake news...

Sputnik was told by a military-diplomatic source that a crew of "movie-makers" from Al-Jazeera recently shot a new false "chemical attack" allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian army against civilians.


"The results of the television footage presented by the White Helmets of a sarin attack allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian authorities in Khan Sheikhoun has inspired terrorists to shoot more television fake "news" about "more" chemical attacks. Sputnik's informant added that the information about the fake set-up was obtained from several sources.

Saraqib, Erich and Jisr al-Shugur (Idlib province) were involved in the movie shoot, with about 30 firemen and ambulances, and about 70 local residents with children from a refugee camp.

"In order to make the sequence more realistic, it was filmed using mobile phones from several angles of view as well as using a drone. At the end of the shoot, each participant, including children, received 1,000 Syrian pounds and a food batch," the source added.

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Gus cannot confirm whether this news item about manufacturing fake news is fake... In this days and age of false fakeness, one does not know anymore anything, but even if fake, this news item is worth noting that it could be fake or not. Al-Jazeera is a news outlet working for the Arabic Gulf Kindoms (who hate Assad) and one cannot pass it to manufacture fake news items (would not be the first time). 

preparing the public...

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Washington sees Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government as potentially getting ready to carry out a chemical weapons attack, the White House said in a statement Tuesday.

“The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.  The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack,” the statement said.

“As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [Daesh].  If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price,” the statement added.

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Gus: Knowing well the way disinformation works, I am prepared to bet that this "news" is coming from the "opposition" in Syria...

Step one: prepared the public to an outrage about "Assad's chemical weapons"

Step two: store a couple canisters of sarin gas in an "old" ammunition depot that you invite the government forces to bomb by flagging its existence through various channels of information.

Step three: make sure that when the "old" ammunition store is hit by government forces, the sarin gas maims a couple of little babies of families living next door to the "old" ammunition depot. Even if the government bombs miss the target (the "old" ammunition dump), make sure it blows up anyway and blame Assad for "killin his own people with gas". 

Step four: feed the Western media outrage with the stories of the "beautiful babies"...

Step five: applauds when Trumps-the-Crumb bombs something governmental (troops and hardware) in Syria in a retaliatory step.

Step six: repeat process....

read from top (note: I say "old ammunition dump (depot) as often in these wars there are surpluses of bombs and equipment that do not match. New depots with latest hardware exists somewhere else, as supplied by the Saudis, the USA and other Wahhabi underwriters.


intimidation from the white house...

Ali Haidar, the Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs in Syria, slammed the White House for claiming that Washington had identified potential preparations for a chemical attack by Syrian government forces.


Damascus has never used and will never use such weapons, Haidar said, adding that the statement issued by the White House portends a "diplomatic battle" against Syria in the UN.

Earlier today, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow considers such US authorities' threats against Syrian legitimate leadership to be unacceptable.

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Gus repeats himself:


Gus: Knowing well the way disinformation works, I am prepared to bet that this "news" is coming from the "opposition" in Syria...

Step one: prepare the public to an outrage about "Assad's chemical weapons"

Step two: store a couple canisters of sarin gas in an "old" ammunition depot that you invite the government forces to bomb by flagging its existence through various channels of information.

Step three: make sure that when the "old" ammunition store is hit by government forces, the sarin gas maims a couple of little babies of families living next door to the "old" ammunition depot. Even if the government bombs miss the target (the "old" ammunition dump), make sure it blows up anyway and blame Assad for "killin his own people with gas". 

Step four: feed the Western media outrage with the stories of the "beautiful babies"...

Step five: applauds when Trumps-the-Crumb bombs something governmental (troops and hardware) in Syria in a retaliatory step.

Step six: repeat process....

read from top (note: I say "old ammunition dump (depot) as often in these wars there are surpluses of bombs and equipment that do not match. New depots with latest hardware exists somewhere else, as supplied by the Saudis, the USA and other Wahhabi underwriters.



Washington is preparing an act of military aggression against the sovereign state of Syria by claiming President Bashar Assad is allegedly preparing the chemical weapons attack, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian lower house's Defense Committee Andrey Krasov told Sputnik Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the White House said in a statement that Washington had identified potential preparations for a chemical attack by Syrian government forces.

"They need to somehow justify this military aggression toward the sovereign state, that is why they are laying the groundwork for it," Krasov said, noting that Washington was constantly using such "pseudo news" to "destabilize the situation in a number of states."

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more lies from the white shithouse...

On the night of June 26, the White House Press Secretary released a statement, via Twitter, that, “the United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”  The tweet went on to declare that, “the activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4 chemical weapons attack,” before warning that if “Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

A Pentagon spokesman backed up the White House tweet, stating that U.S. intelligence had observed “activity” at a Syrian air base that indicated “active preparation for chemical weapons use” was underway.  The air base in question, Shayrat, had been implicated by the United States as the origin of aircraft and munitions used in an alleged chemical weapons attack on the village of Khan Sheikhun on April 4.  The observed activity was at an aircraft hangar that had been struck by cruise missiles fired by U.S. Navy destroyers during a retaliatory strike on April 6.

The White House statement comes on the heels of the publication of an article by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in a German publication, Die Welt, which questions, among many things, the validity of the intelligence underpinning the allegations leveled at Syria regarding the events of April 4 in and around Khan Sheikhun (in the interests of full disclosure, I had assisted Mr. Hersh in fact-checking certain aspects of his article; I was not a source of any information used in his piece.)  Not surprisingly, Mr. Hersh’s article has come under attack from many circles, the most vociferous of these being a UK-based citizen activist named Eliot Higgins who, through his Bellingcat blog, has been widely cited by media outlets in the U.S. and UK as a source of information implicating the Syrian government in that alleged April chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun.

Neither Hersh nor Higgins possesses definitive proof to bolster their respective positions; the latter draws upon assertions made by supposed eyewitnesses backed up with forensic testing of materials alleged to be sourced to the scene of the attack that indicate the presence of Sarin, a deadly nerve agent, while the former relies upon anonymous sources within the U.S. military and intelligence establishments who provide a counter narrative to the official U.S. government position. What is clear, however, is that both cannot be right — either the Syrian government conducted a chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhun, or it didn’t.  There is no middle ground.

The search for truth is as old as civilization. Philosophers throughout the ages have struggled with the difficulties of rationalizing the beginning of existence, and the relationships between the one and the many. Aristotle approached this challenge through what he called the development of potentiality to actuality, which examined truth in terms of the causes that act on things. This approach is as relevant today as it was two millennia prior, and its application to the problem of ascertaining fact from fiction regarding Khan Sheikhun goes far in helping unpack the White House statements regarding Syrian chemical preparations and the Hersh-Higgins debate.

According to Aristotle, there were four causes that needed to be examined in the search for truth — material, efficient, formal and final. The material causerepresents the element out of which an object is created. In terms of the present discussion, one could speak of the material cause in terms of the actual chemical weapon alleged to have been used at Khan Sheikhun. The odd thing about both the Khan Sheikhun attack and the current White House statements, however, is that no one has produced any physical evidence of there actually having been a chemical weapon, let alone what kind of weapon was allegedly employed. Like a prosecutor trying a murder case without producing the actual murder weapon, Syria’s accusers have assembled a case that is purely circumstantial — plenty of dead and dying victims, but nothing that links these victims to an actual physical object.   

Human Rights Watch (HRW), drawing upon analysis of images brought to them by the volunteer rescue organization White Helmets, of fragments allegedly recovered from the scene of the attack, has claimed that the material cause of the Khan Sheikhun event is a Soviet-made KhAB-250 chemical bomb, purpose-built to deliver Sarin nerve agent. There are several issues with the HRW assessment. First and foremost, there is no independent verification that the objects in question are what HRW claims, or that they were even physically present at Khan Sheikhun, let alone deposited there as a result of an air attack by the Syrian government.  Moreover, the KhAB-250 bomb was never exported by either the Soviet or Russian governments, thereby making the provenance of any such ordinance in the Syrian inventory highly suspect.

Sarin is a non-persistent chemical agent whose military function is to inflict casualties through direct exposure. Any ordnance intended to deliver Sarin would, like the KhAB-250, be designed to disseminate the agent in aerosol form, fine droplets that would be breathed in by the victim, or coat the victim’s skin. In combat, the aircraft delivering Sarin munitions would be expected to minimize its exposure to hostile fire, flying low to the target at high speed. In order to have any semblance of military utility, weapons delivered in this fashion would require a inherent braking mechanism, such as deployable fins or a parachute, which would retard the speed of the weapon, allowing for a more concentrated application of the nerve agent on the intended target.

Chemical ordnance is not intended for precise strikes against point targets, but rather delivery of the agent to an area. For this reason, they are not dropped singly, but rather in large numbers (the ab-250, for instance was designed to be delivered by a TU-22 bomber dropping 24 weapons on the same target.) The weapon itself is not complex — a steel bomb casing with a small high explosive tube — the burster charge—running down its middle, equipped with a nose fuse designed to detonate on contact with the ground or at a pre-determined altitude. Once detonated, the burster charge causes the casing to break apart, disseminating fine droplets of agent over the target. The resulting explosion is very low order, a pop more than a bang — virtually none of the actual weapon would be destroyed as a result, and its component parts, readily identifiable as such, would be deposited in the immediate environs. In short, if a KhAB-250, or any other air delivered chemical bomb, had been used at Khan Sheikhun, there would be significant physical evidence of that fact, including the totality of the bomb casing, the burster tube, the tail fin assembly, and parachute. The fact that none of this exists belies the notion that an air-delivered chemical bomb was employed by the Syrian government against Khan Sheikhun.

Continuing along the lines of Aristotle’s exploration of the relationship between the potential and actual, the efficient cause represents the means by which the object is created. In the context of Khan Shiekhun, the issue (i.e., object) isn’t the physical weapon itself, but rather its manifestation on the ground in terms of cause and effect. Nothing symbolized this more than the disturbing images that emerged in the aftermath of the alleged chemical attack of civilian victims, many of them women and children (it was these images that spurred President Trump into ordering the cruise missile attack on Shayrat air base.) These images were produced by the White Helmet organization as a byproduct of the emergency response that transpired in and around Khan Sheikhun on April 4.  It is this response, therefore, than can be said to constitute the efficient cause in any examination of potential to actuality regarding the allegations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government there.

The White Helmets came into existence in the aftermath of the unrest that erupted in Syria after the Arab Spring in 2012. They say they are neutral, but they have used their now global-platform as a humanitarian rescue unit to promote anti-regime themes and to encourage outside intervention to remove the regime of Bashar al-Assad. By its own admission it is well-resourced, trained and funded by western NGOs and governments, including USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development), which funded the group $23 million as of 2016. 

A UK-based company with strong links to the British Foreign Office, May Day Rescue, has largely managed the actual rescue aspects of the White Helmet’s work. Drawing on a budget of tens of millions of dollars donated by foreign governments, including the U.S. and UK, May Day Rescue oversees a comprehensive training program designed to bring graduates to the lowest standard — Light, or Level One — for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR). Personnel and units trained to the “light” standard are able to conduct surface search and rescue operations — they are neither trained nor equipped to rescue entrapped victims. Teams trained to this standard are not qualified to perform operations in a hazardous environment (such as would exist in the presence of a nerve agent like Sarin.)

The White Helmets have made their reputation through the dissemination of self-made videos ostensibly showing them in action inside Syria, rescuing civilians from bombed out structures, and providing life-saving emergency medical care (it should be noted that the eponymously named Oscar-nominated documentary showing the White Helmets in action was filmed entirely by the White Helmets themselves, which raises a genuine question of journalistic ethics.) To the untrained eye, these videos are a dramatic representation of heroism in action. To the trained professional (I can offer my own experience as a Hazardous Materials Specialist with New York Task Force 2 USAR team), these videos represent de facto evidence of dangerous incompetence or, worse, fraud.

The bread and butter of the White Helmet’s self-made reputation is the rescue of a victim— usually a small child — from beneath a pile of rubble, usually heavy reinforced concrete.  First and foremost, as a “light” USAR team, the White Helmets are not trained or equipped to conduct rescues of entrapped victims. And yet the White helmet videos depict their rescue workers using excavation equipment and tools, such as pneumatic drills, to gain access to victims supposedly pinned under the weight of a collapsed building. The techniques used by the White Helmets are not only technically wrong, but dangerous to anyone who might actually be trapped — the introduction of excavators to move debris, or the haphazard drilling and hammering into concrete in the immediate vicinity of a trapped victim, would invariably lead to a shifting if the rubble pile, crushing the trapped victim to death. In my opinion, the videos are pure theater, either staged to impress an unwitting audience, or actually conducted with total disregard for the wellbeing of any real victims.

Likewise, the rescue of victims from a hazardous materials incident, especially one as dangerous as one involving a nerve agent as lethal as Sarin, is solely the purview of personnel and teams specifically equipped and trained for the task. “Light” USAR teams receive no hazardous materials training as part of their certification, and there is no evidence or even claim on the part of the White Helmets that they have undergone the kind of specialist training needed to effect a rescue in the case of an actual chemical weapons attack.

This reality comes through on the images provided by the White Helmets of their actions in and around Khan Sheikhun on April 4. From the haphazard use of personal protective equipment (either non-existent or employed in a manner that negates protection from potential exposure) to the handling of victims and so-called decontamination efforts, everything the White Helmets did was operationally wrong and would expose themselves and the victims they were ostensibly treating to even greater harm. As was the case with their “rescues” of victims in collapsed structures, I believe the rescue efforts of the White Helmets at Khan Sheikhun was a theatrical performance designed to impress the ignorant and ill-informed.

I’m not saying that nothing happened at Khan Sheikhun — obviously something did.  But the White Helmets exploited whatever occurred over dramatizing “rescues” and “decontamination” in staged theatrics that were captured on film and rapidly disseminated using social media in a manner designed to influence public opinion in the West.  We don’t see the actual rescue at the scene of the event — bodies pulled from their homes, lying in the streets. What we get is grand theater as bodies arrive at the field hospital, with lots of running to and fro and meaningless activity that would actually worsen the condition of the victims and contaminate the rescuers.

Through their actions, however, the White Helmets were able to breathe life into the overall narrative of a chemical weapons attack, distracting from the fact that no actual weapon existed and thus furthering the efficient cause by which the object — the non-existent chemical weapon — was created.      

Having defined the creation of the object (the non-existent chemical weapon) and the means by which it was created (the flawed theatrics of the White Helmets), we move on to the third, or formal cause, which constitutes the expression of what the object is. In the case of Khan Sheikhun, this is best expressed by the results of forensic testing of samples allegedly taken from victims of the chemical attack, and from the scene of the attack itself. The organization responsible for overseeing this forensic testing was the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW. Through its work, the OPCW has determined that the nerve agent Sarin, or a “Sarin-like substance,” was used at Khan Sheikhun, a result that would seemingly compensate for both the lack of a bomb and the amateurish theatrics of the rescuers.

The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW — namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime — is the concept of “chain of custody” of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised — in short, there is no sample.

The OPCW acknowledges that its personnel did not gain access to Khan Sheikhun at any time. However, the investigating team states that it used connections with “parties with knowledge of and connections to the area in question,” to gain access to samples that were collected by “non governmental organizations (NGOs)” who also provided representatives to be interviewed, and videos and images for the investigating team to review. The NGO used by the OPCW was none other than the White Helmets.

The process of taking samples from a contaminated area takes into consideration a number of factors designed to help create as broad and accurate a picture of the scene of the incident itself as well as protect the safety of the person taking the sample as well as the integrity of the crime scene itself (i.e., reduce contamination.) There is no evidence that the White Helmets have received this kind of specialized training required for the taking of such samples. Moreover, the White Helmets are not an extension of the OPCW —under no circumstances could any samples taken by White Helmet personnel and subsequently turned over to the OPCW be considered viable in terms of chain of custody. This likewise holds true for any biomedical samples evaluated by the OPCW — all such samples were either taken from victims who had been transported to Turkish hospitals, or provided by non-OPCW personnel in violation of chain of custody.

Lastly, there is Aristotle’s final cause, which represents the end for which the objectis —namely, what was the ultimate purpose of the chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhun. To answer this question, one must remain consistent with the framework of examination of potential to actuality applied herein. In this, we find a commonality between the four causes whose linkage cannot be ignored when assessing the truth of what happened at Khan Sheikhun, namely the presence of a single entity — the White Helmets.

There are two distinct narratives at play when it comes to what happened in Khan Sheikhun. One, put forward by the governments of the United States, Great Britain, France and supported by the likes of Bellingcat and the White Helmets, is that the Syrian government conducted a chemical weapons attack using a single air-delivered bomb on a civilian target. The other, put forward by the governments of Russia and Syria, and sustained by the reporting of Seymour Hersh, is that the Syrian air force used conventional bombs to strike a military target, inadvertently releasing a toxic cloud from substances stored at that facility and killing or injuring civilians in Khan Sheikhun. There can be no doubt that the very survival of the White Helmets as an organization, and the cause they support (i.e., regime change in Syria), has been furthered by the narrative they have helped craft and sell about the events of April 4 in and around Khan Sheikhun. This is the living manifestation of Aristotle’s final cause, the end for which this entire lie has been constructed.  

The lack of any meaningful fact-based information to back up the claims of the White Helmets and those who sustain them, like the U.S. government andBellingcat, raises serious questions about the viability of the White House’s latest pronouncements on Syria and allegations that it was preparing for a second round of chemical attacks. If America has learned anything from its painful history with Iraq and the false allegations of continued possession of weapons of mass destruction on the part of the regime of Saddam Hussein, it is that to rush into military conflict in the Middle East based upon the unsustained allegations of an interested regional party (i.e., Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress) is a fool’s errand.  

It is up to the discerning public to determine which narrative about the events in Syria today they will seek to embrace — one supported by a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist who has made a career out of exposing inconvenient truths, from My Lai to Abu Ghraib and beyond, or one that collapses under Aristotle’s development of potentiality to actuality analysis, as the manufactured story line promoted by the White Helmets demonstratively does.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.  He is the author of “Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West’s Road to War” (Clarity Press, 2017).

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US propaganda...

A propaganda campaign to blame Syria’s government for alleged use of chemical weapons has begun, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has warned, adding that the effort is expected to be massive and include “many fakes.”

“As we warned a few days ago, a media propaganda campaign on the ‘use of chemical weapons by Damascus’ has begun,” Zakharova wrote on Facebook. 

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planning gassy deception...

According to information in the possession of Russian Foreign Ministry, terrorists in Syria are planning to stage chemical provocations in order to justify US strikes on government forces, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during her weekly presser on Thursday.

Russia believes terrorists in Syria plan to stage chemical attacks in order to justify US airstrikes against the Syrian military, Zakharova said.

"According to information available [to us], Syrian terrorist groups plan staged provocative actions with the use of chemical poison gases to justify US strikes against the positions of the Syrian government forces," Zakharova told a weekly briefing.

Daesh has deployed chemical laboratories and special equipment for creating chemical bombs to Deir ez-Zor from Raqqa in Syria, Zakharova revealed.

"Daesh is transferring workshops and equipment for the production of ammunition, including those equipped with chemical agents, from the city of Raqqa to the controlled areas of Deir ez-Zor province," Zakharova said.

Citing the US-led coalition's statements claiming the nearly full encirclement of Raqqa, she noted that "the movement of such large-scale equipment from under the nose of the coalition forces can indicate at least a selective unwillingness to see the facts."

"I think you can speak with a high degree of probability about complicity with insurgents," Zakharova asserted.

The spokeswoman reiterated that Russia will seek thorough probe of the April 4 incident in Khan Sheikhoun in addition to other 'chemical' provocations against the Syrian authorities.

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treaty violation?...

 Syrian Foreign Ministry has claimed that they have discovered chemical weapons that were manufactured in the United States and the United Kingdom among the possessions of opposition groups in the country. Analysts say that, if this is true, the US and UK are in violation of international treaties.

Brian Becker, the host of Loud & Clear on Radio Sputnik, was joined by Mark Sloboda, a Moscow-based political analyst. Becker started by asking about the meaning of the Syrian claims to the ongoing armed conflict in the war-torn nation.

The claims are "all at this point, according to the Syrian deputy foreign minister, coming officially out of the Syrian government," said Sloboda. "To me what's most striking about this news is that you won't find any of it reported in the Western media whatsoever. The only way you'll find it is in the Russian media or sources drawing links from the Syrian government media. There is an automatic assumption in the Western media that we just ignore anything and everything that the Syrian government says. Now, we certainly shouldn't take everything they say at face value, any more than we should what the US government, the Russian government, any government says, but to completely reject and not report on what the Syrian government is … a complete failure of journalism."

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a UN report without any investigations...


No inspectors went to Khan Sheikhoun to see if there had been a sarin attack or not. This report is an attempt to smear the Syrian government as war criminals after they defeated ISIS in Deir ez-Zor, Marwa Osman, political commentator, told RT.

The UN has released a report, which accuses the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April of this year.

Dozens of people died in the attack.

RT:  This latest report blames Assad. What new evidence has come to light that an OPCW investigation failed to reveal earlier this year?

Marwa Osman: I think this is just the last case, or the last scenario in the hands of the West, especially the US-UK and its EU friends who were against the Syrian government, the Syrian army from the beginning of the crisis. But if you want to talk about the report, the actual information that was given by the report. If you go back to April 2017, just after Khan Sheikhoun, we had a professor, an actual expert on chemical attacks, an MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] professor called Theodore Postol, who actually managed to look at the video and photos that were sent. And just by looking at those photos he literally said this attack could not have happened. And he presented evidence, given the fact that the people were not dressed well for any sarin poisoning, especially after the attack. He presented evidence concerning the people who were there without any gloves, without even any shoes on their feet.

Since Khan Sheikhoun up until now, you see what happened with the new report from the UN. It is typical and identical to the US report that was given and endorsed by the White House, by the American government itself, with senior US administrative officials with them saying and acknowledging that their information comes from social media reports. Mind you – that is the same social media that gave us the fake ‘mannequin challenge’ in Idlib. So these social media reports, this is the information based upon the decision made by the US report, and therefore the reports made by the UN. And even those US officials back then said that the story actually fits what they think happened. All of this being mentioned right now is just because of one fact – the fact that there was no investigation, there were no inspectors that went to Khan Sheikhoun and inspected the area to see if that was sarin attack or not; what dropped, or if it was a sort of other chemical attack by a certain group within the area. 

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Of course the media around the world will go with the "official" news that has no investigative credibility:


is the US state department throwing ballast?


According to Russia's Defense Ministry, the US State Department has finally admitted that the infamous Al Nusra Front, which controls Syria's Idlib Governorate through the umbrella terrorist group HTS and is still thought to be a front for al-Qaeda, "not only has, but uses chemical weapons against civilians."

"The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (HTS), linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, which uses 'small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons', operates in that province [Idlib]. This is the first official recognition by the [US] State Department not simply of the presence, but, I emphasize, the use of chemical weapons by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in that part of Syria to commit terrorist attacks, about which we repeatedly warned," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said.

Igor Konashenkov also recalled that in Idlib province, "only one case of the use of chemical weapons is known — in Khan-Sheikhun."

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the US is bullshitting once more...

The US has zero intelligence to claim a chemical attack took place in a rebel-held area in Syria, nor does it have access, former CIA officer and counter-terrorism specialist Philip Giraldi says. 

Giraldi joined RT America’s ‘News with Ed’ to discuss Washington’s condemnation of Russia’s policy in Syria, which amounts to “pushing all the buttons it can” to remain relevant, he said.

RT: How do you assess what is going on between the US and Russia right now over Syria?

Philip Giraldi: The reality here is that the US is a bit player in the resolution of the conflict. The US did very little – ISIS was basically defeated by Russia, Iran and the Syrian government. The US feels it’s left out in the cold. So it is pushing all the buttons as it can. We have again this claim of chemical weapons taking place in an area controlled by the rebels, which has no credibility whatsoever.

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oscar for an al qaeda propaganda movie?...

Independent British investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley has provided Radio Sputnik with a pretty thorough and damning explanation of why 'Last Men in Aleppo', the new feature length documentary on the White Helmet rescue organization's operations in Aleppo in 2016, is little more than a propaganda piece financed by Western governments.

The film, screened at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, has received widespread praise from major Western media outlets in recent months, and has now been nominated for an Oscar. 

Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Beeley, a journalist and peace activist who has made a series of trips to Syria over the years, said she was deeply troubled by the fact that the film has received such widespread critical acclaim, given that it is effectively an al-Qaeda promotional vehicle.

"The fact that children have been allowed into this film is something I find particularly disturbing," Beeley said, because "the White Helmets have consistently and systematically exploited children to promote a war that will effectively kill more children."

Even more troubling, she stressed, was the fact that the White Helmets are an organization which "by their own videos, by their own testimony, by their own social media accounts, and by the videos produced by the associated so-called rebel media," are affiliated with jihadist militias, including al-Qaeda.


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granting that no evidence of...

Granting that no evidence of the use of chemical weapons against civilians has been established in Syria, the French president said that France would hit Syria in case of "proven evidence". A red line he had mentioned a few months earlier.

"If [France] has proven evidence that proscribed chemical weapons are being used against civilians [in Syria by the government], we will hit," Emmanuel Macron reiterated on February 13 to the Presidential Press Association.

"We will hit the place from where these shipments are made or where they are organized [probably Germany and the USA as delivered to the rebels and their friends at IS, including the "White helmets"). The red line will be respected, "said the President of the Republic. "But today we have not, in a way established by our services, the proof that chemical weapons proscribed by the treaties have been used against the civilian population," he added.


Read more about Napoleon the Fourth:


fake chemical news...

Jim Mattis refutes the « Fake News » from Israël and NATO

by  Thierry Meyssan

The Atlantist Press has been claiming for years that President Bachar el-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Except that according to US Secretary for Defense, General Jim Mattis, this is fake news. Like Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons, this story, which has been occupying the columns of newspapers for the last five years, is pure war propaganda.

This should have been headline news in all the Western news outlets. But only Newsweek mentioned it [1]. During his Press conference on 2 February, Secretary for Defense General Jim Mattis indicated that while he « thought » that Damascus had used chemical weapons against his own people, no-one in the Pentagon has ever provided the slightest proof.

The journalist, who knows General Jim Mattis personally, heard him declare, off the record, his aversion for the myth of Syrian chemical weapon. He offered him the opportunity to repeat his claim, this time in public. Here is the transcript of this conversation (published a little late).

Question : Is there any proof that chlorine weapons were used – proof of chlorine weapons? 

Jim Mattis : I think so. 

Question : No, I know, I heard you

Jim Mattis : I believe they have been used several times. And that, as you know, is a rather specific category, that’s why I ruled out sarin as being something different - yeah. 

Question : So there is credible proof that sarin and chlorine …

Jim Mattis : No, I don’t have any proof, not specifically. I don’t have proof. What I’m saying is that other groups on the ground, NGO’s, soldiers on the ground, have said that sarin was used. So we’re looking for proof. I have no proof, either credible or non-credible.

Source : “Media Availability by Secretary Mattis at the Pentagon”, Press Secretary, Departement of Defence, February 2, 2018

under instruction from ...

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any accusations of using chemical weapons, insisting that the country "simply" had none in its possession.

Terrorist groups in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta are preparing to stage an attack with the use of chemical weapons and then blame it on the Syrian Arab Army, SANA reported, citing an unnamed military source.

According to the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, the leaders of such groups as Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Nusra Front), Faylaq al-Rahman and Ahrar al-Sham have received instructions from the United States, the United Kingdom and its allies to use chemical agents near the front lines with the Syrian army, as well as to target civilians and accuse Damascus of those actions.

READ MORE: US Mulls Holding Russia Accountable for Situation in Eastern Ghouta

On February 26, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the leaders of the militant groups were preparing provocation with the use of poisonous substances in Eastern Ghouta in order to accuse Damascus of using chemical weapons.

Earlier the same day, the infamous White Helmets, which have repeatedly falsified facts and informartion, claimed that the Syrian Government had deployed chlorine gas against the town of Al-Shifoniya town in Eastern Ghouta, killing one child and causing "widespread suffocation" among the local populace, the Anadolu Agency reported.


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the rebels' labs...

With the US threatening direct attacks on Syria because of alleged chemical weapons use, and the Russians & Syrians claiming militants are using CWs to provoke a US attack…you would think western journalists would be all over this terrorist-run lab – even if to debunk it. 


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hollywood, the russian guys and david kelly?

This post may be more apposite than Admin thought. Kelly had close ties with the top two scientists of the Soviet Biopreparat program: Vladimir Pasechnik and Kamovtjan Alibekov. No mention of Novichok: but the Soviet program was apparently developing bubonic plague to be sprayed at the West from low flying cruise missiles: if you can believe that? I can’t!

Vladimir Pasechnik: was not only debriefed by Kelly, he was a close colleague at Porton Down – where Kelly helped him co-found Regma Biotechnologies, which had three year contract with the U.S. Navy for “the diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of anthrax”.

Kamovtjan Alibekov: set up Hadron Advanced Biosystems in America. Before his death, Kelly had been discreetly headhunted by two companies. One was Hadron Advanced Biosystems, which also had close ties to the Pentagon. [As claimed by Gordon Thomas: who was interviewing Kelly when he died – see Corbett’s “Requiem”.]

The link would be that Pasechnik died in Salisbury in 2001. Now I am not trying to seed a conspiracy theory: that Kelly, the Skripals and Pasechnik are linked …but as for the Skripals and Pasechnik: the Times might be?

Soviet doomsday plots; weaponised plague, ebola, smallpox; KGB assassins roaming Wiltshire in search of detectors and traitors to the Motherland; Novichok, a nefarious Soviet era super-toxin that doesn’t seem to kill …if there is a link here, it is a British lack of imagination to craft a decent sixties-styled mojo stealing spy thriller. Austin Powers: the spy who barely intrigued me? If the cultural thought leaders at the Times are going to revive the megalomaniac Soviet Dr Evil, and cast Putin in the role… they are going to need better screenwriters?


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scepticism is not justified, it is mandatory...


A cloud no bigger than a man’s hand can be the harbinger of great storms to come. So, to paraphrase, goes the biblical injunction, and so describes the dangerous and reckless trajectory embarked upon by the British government in its handling of the Skripal case.

First, let us deal with the obvious. Mr. Skripal was unmasked as an MI6 agent in 2004 by the Russian authorities. At the time he was a colonel in the GRU, Russia's military intelligence branch. It was in this capacity that he was recruited by MI6 (Britain's foreign military intelligence agency) in the mid-1990s, upon which, in return for cash, he funneled classified information to his British handlers, including the identities of Russian agents working undercover in the West.

In 2006 Mr. Skripal was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Russian authorities for treason. Her served four years in a penal colony, after which, in 2010, he was included in a spy swap for Russian agents that were being held in the US. Skripal, it should be noted, was granted a pardon by the Russian government before leaving Russia for a new life in England.

READ MORE: 'Russia Should Go Away and Shut Up' — UK Defense Minister Gavin Williamson

By all accounts, thereafter, Mr. Skripal lived the tranquil life of a Russian émigré, settling in the quaint cathedral city of Salisbury in Wiltshire, southern England. He did so openly under his real name and not an assumed identity. This suggests that he did not consider himself to be in danger of retribution or harm by the Russian state. There have been reports that he gave lectures on the GRU at various military academies. One assumes that he did so in return for a fee.

As to other sources of income he may have received while living in exile in the UK, whether he was in receipt of a pension or some stipend or other from the state, no information in this regard has yet come to light.

When it comes to Russia's possible motive in seeking his assassination, this is hard to conjure with. With no information to suggest Mr. Skripal was engaged in activities that could be construed as a threat to Russia or its national security, what possible benefit could attain to Moscow with this attack? More pertinently, using the nerve agent Novichok to try and kill him would have been to leave a signature as prominent and as obvious as a flashing neon light in the form of an arrow pointing in the direction of the Kremlin.

This is not to suggest that Russia is not capable of carrying out an attack of this nature. All governments and their intelligence agencies are capable of such attacks; indeed most certainly have carried them out, including Britain's intelligence agencies. To argue otherwise is to reveal a level of naivety that is incompatible with the real world.

READ MORE: Lavrov on Skripal Case: Russia to Expel UK Diplomats in Response

So, no, it is not a question of whether Russia is capable or willing to carry out an attack of this nature, it is a question of whether Russia would be stupid or reckless enough to carry out this 'specific' attack. Factoring in the lack of any apparent threat posed to Russia by Mr. Skripal, the crudity of the method employed and how it placed the lives of innocent civilians at risk, along with the severe and significant reputational damage Moscow would deservedly suffer across the world in the event, it doesn't make sense.

This being said, the rush to judgment on the part of the mainstream press in the UK, along with the government and near entire UK political class, has been frightening to behold. It reveals that no lessons have been learned from the march to war in Iraq in 2003, when as with now we had an establishment commentariat issuing pugnacious and ferocious demands for action to be taken - in this instance against Iraq and its government - over claims it possessed stockpiles of WMD that could be weaponized and unleashed against British targets in Cyprus within 45 minutes.

Then, as now, the media clamour for action on the basis of what later came to light was fabricated intelligence, was used by the Blair government to forge a near ironclad consensus among MPs on all sides of the House (House of Commons) that military action, in conjunction with the US, was both necessary and justified. The tragic and grievous result of this military we now know.

And yet despite this ineradicable stain on the record of British foreign policy, leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, for daring to question the government's assertion that Russia was responsible for this crime, has been subjected to what can accurately be described as dog's abuse, reviled as an appeaser of ‘Putin's aggression' and derided as weak, lacking the necessary and required understanding of the threat Russia poses to Britain.





Who or which country, apart from the US and the UK,  would bebefit from such botched assassination?... Mostly Ukraine...

that claim cannot be true...

…now, the British Government is claiming to be able instantly to identify a substance which its only biological weapons research centre has never seen before and was unsure of its existence. Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin. Given Dr Black’s publication, it is plain that claim cannot be true.


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less coincidence; more synchronicity....

The whole affair smacks of a psychological operation orchestrated by British state agencies with the premeditated objective of incriminating Russia. Suspicion stems from the whirlwind speed with which the British authorities have formulated their charges against Russia through a saturated media campaign.


Where's the evidence for the alleged Soviet-era "Novichok" nerve agent that the British authorities claim to have detected? And indeed where exactly are the Skripal father and daughter, reportedly confined to hospital intensive care? Strangely, their condition remains unknown and unreported.

Prime Minister Theresa May's dramatic announcement in the House of Commons this week blaming Russia for attempted murder and then expulsion of "Russian spies" from Britain, followed by an unprecedented joint statement of "solidarity" from the leaders of Britain, the US, France and Germany — all suggests a choreographed script to impugn Moscow as an international pariah.


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very carefully worded propaganda...

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. 

…Until this week, the near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research programme which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesising and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.

Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”. Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.


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pretexes and false flags...

Russia’s Defense Ministry says “US instructors” are training militants to stage false flag chemical attacks in south Syria. The incidents are said to be a pretext for airstrikes on Syrian government troops and infrastructure.

“We have reliable information at our disposal that US instructors have trained a number of militant groups in the vicinity of the town of At-Tanf, to stage provocations involving chemical warfare agents in southern Syria,” Russian General Staff spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy said at a news briefing on Saturday.

“Early in March, the saboteur groups were deployed to the southern de-escalation zone to the city of Deraa, where the units of the so-called Free Syrian Army are stationed.”

“They are preparing a series of chemical munitions explosions. This fact will be used to blame the government forces. The components to produce chemical munitions have been already delivered to the southern de-escalation zone under the guise of humanitarian convoys of a number of NGOs.”

The planned provocations will be widely covered in the Western media and will ultimately be used as a pretext by the US-led coalition to launch strikes on Syria, Rudskoy warned.

“The provocations will be used as a pretext by the United States and its allies to launch strikes on military and government infrastructure in Syria,” the official stated.

“We’re registering the signs of the preparations for the possible strikes. Strike groups of the cruise missile carriers have been formed in the east of the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea.”

Another false flag chemical attack is being prepared in the province of Idlib by the “Al-Nusra Front terrorist group, in coordination with the White Helmets,” Rudskoy warned. The militants have already received 20 containers of chlorine to stage the incident, he said.

Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly warned about upcoming chemical provocations, and have highlighted that banned warfare agents have been used by the militants. Earlier this week, Syrian government forces reportedly captured a well-equipped chemical laboratory in Eastern Ghouta. Footage from the facility has been published by the SANA news agency. The installation contained modern industrial-grade hardware of foreign origins, large amounts of chemical substances as well as crude homemade munitions ad their parts.


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he was a bit of an ass then...

For a start, Poirot, a man who was as careful with his words as he was with pruning his mustache, wouldn’t have rushed to blame Russia, or anyone else, until he had first conclusively established guilt. He’d be wincing at Foreign Secretary’s Boris Johnson’s recent oafish utterances.  ‘Oh, mon ami!, how did they pick this man to be Foreign Secretary!’ he’d be saying to Hastings. ’I don’t know Poirot. I was Eton with Jonners and always thought he was a bit of an ass then‘, Hastings would probably reply. 

The first thing Poirot would have tried to establish was the scene of the crime. Where did Sergei and Yulia Skripal ingest the poison? 


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reporters have to support their wrong thesis, no matter...

"At the next briefing I will show you the names of those journalists, we will reconstruct the picture, how they ‘poisoned' those Syrians: they said the Syrians were poisoned with chemicals, but we will show who really ‘poisoned' them. They were ‘poisoned' by those exact British journalists who sat before them and scoffed them," she said.

"I would like to ask those journalists: when six, seven years ago they called for ‘Arab Spring' at the Middle East and north of Africa, did they think about what psychological trauma that would be caused to children who were not even born yet?" the diplomat asked.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian and Syrian OPCW missions gathered for a member briefing regarding the alleged April 7 chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma. To prove that the ‘White Helmets' video that served as basis for the April 14 missile attacks on Syria were staged, 17 witnesses were brought in. The Syrians from Douma, including medical personnel, explained what exactly happened that day and proof that the materials were forged was later presented to the media.

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chemical attack never took place...

Upon the request of Russia, on 27 April, 17 eye witnesses of the alleged chemical attack that took place at Douma, came to testify before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemcial Weapons. Every one of these 17 witnesses confirmed that this chemical attack never took place.

These individuals are Syrian citizens that appear in a video that the White Helmets has broadcast across the world as proof of a “chemical attack” in Douma where the directors of this hospital are based.

Delegations from the United States, the United Kingdom and France have protested against what they qualified as a “show” and have even guaranteed that they can provide evidence that contradicts the declarations of these witnesses. However they have not produced them.

Considering that the video of the White Helmets met the evidentiary threshold that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, the United States, France and the United Kingdom bombed Syria on 14 April.

For its part, the Russian Federation’s delegation stressed that the reaction of the three Western powers - bombing Syria before the declarations of eye witnesses that deny that a chemical attack took place, demonstrates that these countries are acting in bad faith and that all this was a manipulation aimed at justifying bombing the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Russian delegation announced at the meeting that the Russian Federation will not permit any new aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.

Anoosha Boralessa


silence of the media lambs...

Shelling, which targeted residential areas of Aleppo on Saturday night, appears to have included a chemical attack. At least 46 people, including 8 children, were hospitalized with symptoms of chlorine gas poisoning, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The attack on the city, which was liberated by the Syrian government two years ago, is believed to have been launched from an area within Idlib, the last Syrian stronghold of jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

So where are the emergency UN Security Council sessions? The defiant New York Times op-eds? The retaliatory Tomahawk strikes against the last jihadist enclave in Syria?

“They don’t care, because the attack is coming from the wrong side, as it were. If you check the mainstream media coverage globally, it’s a non-event,” global affairs analyst and founder of the 21st Century Wire Patrick Henningsen told RT. Henningsen also noted that the incident demonstrated that “the so-called rebels have the means, the motive and the opportunities to carry out chemical attacks against Syrians.”

But for the children poisoned in the attack, the incident was far from a “non-event.”

“It feels like something is burning inside and my eyes are hurting,” a boy, identified only as Hamza, told a film crew which documented the aftermath of the attack.

“I was at home, then a severe headache kicked in. I started to cough, but couldn’t bear it. Medicines didn’t help, so I was taken to hospital,” a woman said while speaking through an oxygen mask.


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the lying western media goes into denial...

Utter silence. That is the sound of Western corporate media days after a more than one-hour-long panel on the White Helmets at the United Nations on December 20.

Journalists were present, so the silence isn’t due to lack of access. And in any case it was live streamed on the UNTV channel, and remains available on Youtube for keen observers to watch.

More likely, the silence is due to the irrefutable documentation presented on the faux-rescue group’s involvement in criminal activities, which include organ theft, working with terrorists — including as snipers — staging fake rescues, thieving from civilians, and other non-rescuer behaviour.

READ MORE: ‘Organ traders, terrorists & looters’: Evidence against Syrian White Helmets presented at UN

On the panel was one of corporate media's favourite targets to smear, British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who gave a fact-based lecture on her years of research into the founding, funding and nefarious activities of the White Helmets, research which includes numerous visits to White Helmets centers, countless testimonies from Syrian civilians, and even an interview with a White Helmets leader in Dara'a al-Balad, Syria.

Maxim Grigoriev, the director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy (a member of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network) spoke at length, detailing some of the over 100 eyewitnesses his foundation has conducted interviews with.

These include over 40 White Helmets members, 15 former terrorists, 50 people from areas where terrorists and WH operated, with another over 500 interviewed by survey in Aleppo and Daraa.

Among testimonies presented by Grigoriev were numerous accounts of the White Helmets' involvement in organ theft.

A head of nursing in Aleppo is cited as seeing the body of his neighbour who had been taken by the White Helmets to Turkey for “treatment”. “I lifted the sheet and saw a large wound cut from the throat to the stomach… I touched him with my hand and understood there were clearly no organs left.”

Another interviewee said: “A person receives a minor injury, is rescued… and then brought back with their stomach cut open and with their internal organs missing.”

The interviews with civilians, White Helmets and terrorist members themselves put to rest NATO’s and their lapdog media’s explanations that in the White Helmets there are a few bad apples but in general these are humanitarian rescuers.

For example, a Syrian civilian, Omar al-Mustafa, is cited as stating:

“Almost all people who worked in nearby White Helmets centers were al-Nusra fighter or were linked to them. I tried to join the White Helmets myself, but I was told that if I was not from al-Nusra, they could not employ me.”

Still more testimonies detail staged fake rescues and staged chemical attacks. Omar al-Mustafa was cited as stating:

“I saw them (White Helmets) bring children who were alive, put them on the floor as if they had died in a chemical attack.”

The testimonies incriminate not only the White Helmets organization, but also the doctors who, in 2016, Western corporate media fawned over.

According to one interviewee, Mohamed Bashir Biram, his attempt to take his father to a White Helmets affiliated al-Bayan hospital, failed. He said: “Since my father was not a fighter, the doctors in the hospital refused to help him and he died.”

But in 2016, the Western media was praising the same valiant doctors, in their crescendo of war propaganda around Aleppo.

Many other independent journalists have corroborated aspects of what the panelists — also comprising Syrian journalist Rafiq Lotef, and Russian and Syrian Representatives to the UN, Ambassadors Vassily Nebenzia and Bashar al-Ja'afari — described in detail.

In my own visits to eastern Ghouta towns last April and May, residents likewise spoke of organ theft, staged rescues, the White Helmets working with Jaysh al-Islam, while an Aleppo man likewise described them as thieves who steal from civilians, not rescuers.

Copy-paste corporate media silence

Journalists present at the panel were not interested in asking follow-up questions on organ theft, staged rescues, or any of the content presented, unsurprisingly, instead asking questions about other Syrian issues.

A CBS journalist didn't have a single question about what had just been presented, although CBS has previously repeatedly reported on the White Helmets. But their reporting, like most in corporate media, spun the transparent propaganda that is corporate media coverage of the group.

Four days after the UN panel, to my knowledge, not a single corporate media outlet has covered the event and its critical contents.

This is in spite of the fact that the Western corporate media has been happy to propagandize about the White Helmets for years, and to attack those of us who dare to present testimonies and evidence from on the ground in Syria which contradicts the official narrative.

Russian, Syrian, and Lebanese media did report on the panel, and of course if Western corporate journalists ever do bother to mention it, they will ignore the incriminating evidence presented by panellists and instead accuse Russia of bullying the White Helmets.

Prior to the panel, a number of publications came out with articles echoing one another, and in fact echoing claims already repeatedly uttered about a “Russian disinformation campaign” against the White Helmets.

That's right, that’s the best they’ve got.

'Big bad Russia' tarnishing the pristine image of the White Helmets, a theme rerun ad nauseum over the last year or two, and one which I addressed in early January 2018 when I was under attack for questioning the White Helmets.

In my rebuttal to a mid-December 2017 Guardian smear, I pointed out that it was not Russia which began looking into the White Helmets’ affiliations, funding, and role in the propaganda war, but two independent North American researchers.

Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar in September 2014 exposed the role of the New York based PR firm, Purpose Inc, in marketing campaigns for the White Helmets.

And as I wrote, “In April 2015, American independent journalist revealed that the White Helmets had been founded by Western powers and managed by a British ex-soldier, and noted the “rescuers” role in calling for Western intervention—a No Fly Zone on Syria.”

These, and the subsequent numerous investigations by Vanessa Beeley, including on the ground in Syria, taking countless testimonies of Syrian civilians on the matter of the White Helmets, far precede any Russian media reporting on the group.

That Russian media and bodies have since done their own investigations does not equate to a “disinformation campaign”, but rather doing the job corporate media are clearly incapable of, and unwilling to do.

Why haven’t the media written about the panel, or as per the corporate media norm, issued yet more smears against panellists?

They haven’t because they are cornered, and while they can always try their standard juvenile character smears and libel, they cannot refute the facts, the countless testimonies which corroborate yet still more testimonies taken by independent journalists over the years.

Or as Ambassador Nebenzia said:

“We understand why #WhiteHelmets are being defended by #Western capitals. They do not hide that they provided substantial financial support to this organization and instrumentalized it to pursue political goals under humanitarian cover. It’s logical to protect your asset.”

Last week, it came out that German reporter for Der Spiegel, Claas Relotius, winner of the German Reporter Award 2018, had falsified a number of his articles. One article on the fakery noted Relotius had, “confessed to have fabricated at least 14 of 55 articles,” including a “story about a Syrian boy who believed he triggered the civil war in the country with his graffiti, an article that won the German Reporter Prize just three weeks ago but which was made up.”

Former German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte, in 2014 reached his tipping point and admitted to having for years lied for Western, anti-Russia interests, admitting to making propaganda against Russia after having been bribed by billionaires, and by the Americans, to “not to report exactly the truth.”

As 2018, a year of staggering corporate media fake news, draws to a close, so do the last vestiges of credibility of media lauding the White Helmets.

Given the scandalous depth of their lies, it is unlikely corporate journalists will have an Ulfkotte moment and admit to their manifold deceptions.

But it doesn’t really matter, because more and more, Western corporate media, and the propaganda construct known as the White Helmets they support, are becoming irrelevant.


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UK keeps cosy with the cheating terrorists...

Talk about getting your in-laws and outlaws mixed up. This week, the British government banned a British-born jihadi wife returning from Syria. Meanwhile in the same week it emerges that British authorities have taken in over 100 so-called White Helmet members from Syria.

The case of 19-year-old Shamima Begum and her newborn child stranded in a refugee camp in Syria has sparked controversy and soul-searching. Some say she should be left to the wilderness of Syria as retribution for consorting with terrorists when she eloped from her London home four years ago. Others say she should be brought back to her native Britain to face possible prosecution for taking up with a member of the ISIS terror group.

This week the British government stripped Begum of her citizenship and is refusing to take her back. The fate of her newborn baby, who has British citizenship, remains unclear. There will be immense legal wrangling to resolve the case, and Begum's family in London are appealing for her return to face justice. They condemn her involvement with Daesh*, but nevertheless want her to be dealt with as a British citizen.


However, compare the harsh treatment of the "jihadi girl bride" with the generous welcome British authorities are giving to Syrian nationals who belong to a group affiliated with known terror organizations.

The British-born teenage mother is being ostracized over alleged association with Daesh instead of being allowed to come home and face justice. By contrast, over 100 non-British Syrian members of a shady terror propaganda outfit are being settled in Britain along with their families, with all expenses footed by British taxpayers.

READ MORE: Journo on White Helmets Resettlement to UK: We Allow 100 Shamima Begums In and They're Not Even British Citizens 

The White Helmets have been exposed by several investigative journalists as affiliates of jihadist terror groups, primarily Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Nusra Front), an offshoot of Daesh.

In the Western corporate media, the White Helmets are valorized as a "rescue group" of Syrian volunteers who "bravely" run to the scenes of alleged air strikes to pull civilians from underneath rubble and administer first aid. Interestingly, the alleged air strikes are always carried out supposedly by Syrian government forces and allied Russian warplanes.

The White Helmets are a slickly created propaganda operation, funded by Britain and other NATO members. Their true identify and function has been exposed by respected independent journalists like Venessa Beeley, Patrick Henningsen and Eva Bartlett.


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inconvenient news for the MSM...

The leaked OPCW report appears to have been confirmed genuine.

The report, titled “Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at Douma Incident”,  came to public prominence a few days ago afterThe Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media released their analysis of the text.

Since then it has gotten a lot of play all across the alternate media (you can read our original report here, but there were many others too).

It has received virtually zero coverage in the mainstream media, of course. And that doesn’t appear likely to change any time soon.

The report spells out, in unambiguous language, that the two chlorine gas canisters were likely planted, rather than dropped from a helicopter.



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the fake BBC doco...


It’s a David vs Goliath story. A former local newspaper reporter, Robert Stuart, is taking on the British Broadcasting Corporation. Stuart believes that a sensational video story about an alleged atrocity in Syria was largely, if not entirely, staged.

The BBC would like it all to just go away. But like David, Stuart will not back down or let it go. It has been proposed that the BBC could settle the issue by releasing the raw footage from the event, but they refuse to do this. Why? 


The video report in controversy is ‘Saving Syria’s Children’. Scenes from it were first broadcast as a BBC news report on August 29, 2013 and again as a BBC Panorama special in September. ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ was produced by BBC reporter Ian Pannell with Darren Conway as camera operator and director. 

The news report footage was taken in a town north of Aleppo city in a region controlled by the armed opposition. It purports to show the aftermath of a Syrian aerial attack using incendiary weapons, perhaps napalm, killing and burning dozens of youth. The video shows the youth arriving and being treated at a nearby hospital where the BBC film team was coincidentally filming two British medical volunteers from a British medical relief organization. 

The video had a strong impact. The incident was on August 26. The video was shown on the BBC three days later as the British Parliament was debating whether to support military action by the US against Syria.

As it turned out, British parliament voted against supporting military action. But the video was effective in demonizing the Syrian government. After all, what kind of government attacks school children with napalm-like bombs? 


‘Saving Syria’s Children’ was produced at a critical moment in the Syrian conflict. Just days before, on August 21, there had been an alleged sarin gas attack against an opposition held area on the outskirts of Damascus.

Western media was inundated with videos showing dead Syrian children amidst accusations the Syrian government had attacked civilians, killing up to 1400. The Syrian government was assumed to be responsible and the attack said to be a clear violation of President Obama’s “red line” against chemical weapons. 

This incident had the effect of increasing pressure for Western states or NATO to attack Syria. It would be for humanitarian reasons, rationalized by the “responsibility to protect”. 

The assumption that ‘the regime’ did it has been challenged. Highly regarded American journalists including the late Robert Parry and Seymour Hersh investigated and contradicted the mainstream media. They pointed to the crimes being committed by the armed opposition for political goals. 

report by two experts including a UN weapons inspector and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity also came to the conclusion that the Syrian government was not responsible and the attack was actually by an armed opposition group with the goal of forcing NATO intervention. 


After seeing skeptical comments about ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ on an online discussion board, Robert Stuart looked at the video for himself. Like others, he thought the hospital sequences looked artificial, almost like scenes from a badly acted horror movie. 

But unlike others, he decided to find out. Thus began his quest to ascertain the truth. Was the video real or was it staged? Was it authentic or contrived propaganda? 

Over almost six years his research has revealed many curious elements about the video including: 


Robert Stuart’s formal complaints to the BBC have been rebuffed. His challenges to those involved in the production have been ignored or stifled. Yet his quest has won support from some major journalistic and political figures.


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The main point here is not to prove that the documentary is fake (with a 99.9 per cent certainty) but who authorised the making of it and under which influences this doco was made. Who at MI6 (the CIA, or any other UK, US disinformation agencies front-shops) manipulated the access and secretly channeled the realisation of the project.

the dirty white helmets...


Without explanation, Twitter has suspended the official account of the Russian embassy in Syria after it posted a video critical of the controversial ‘White Helmets’ group, citing statements by the Russian military.

“Twitter suspends accounts that violate Twitter rules,” said the default notice on the grayed-out page of @RusEmbSyria on Tuesday. The social media platform notoriously refuses to comment on individual suspensions. 

Russian Embassy in syria Twitter account @RusEmbSyria has been suspended by @Twitter after they tweeted facts that expose the terrorist organisation white helmets and their manufacturing of propaganda.

— Ali (@CoolHuh_) July 30, 2019

While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow has yet to offer an official statement on the suspension, the Russian embassy in South Africa has chimed in, calling Twitter “thought police” for banning their colleagues. 

The account was banned after posting factual criticism of the ‘White Helmets’ quoting the Russian military, the embassy said.


pressure on scientific journal...

Unidentified “issues” prompted a prestigious scientific journal to withhold publication of a report challenging the mainstream narrative on a 2017 Syrian chemical attack – after ‘citizen investigation’ outlet Bellingcat objected.

The report, authored by MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol and six other experts, concludes that the Syrian government was not behind the alleged sarin attack which killed more than 80 people at Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017. 

Experts warned at the time that responsibility could not be so quickly determined, but that did not stop US President Donald Trump from launching 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in response. He was widely praised for the swift action, with even liberal media and his usual ‘resistance’ critics fawning over the display of military might.

A new study disputing the findings of US intelligence and UN investigators was due to be published in the Princeton University-based Science & Global Security (SGS) — but is mysteriously being held back following an “independent internal review of the editorial process” which threw up unidentified “issues” with the peer-review and revision process. 

It appears that the so-called issues were only discovered after the journal came under a barrage of public criticism for daring to publish an alternative view. In a note on the front page of its website, the journal’s editors said “questions have been asked” of its decision to publish the report, which prompted the review. The Khan Sheikhoun attack — and who was behind it — has been hotly disputed over the last two years, with anyone daring to question the mainstream narrative labelled an “Assad apologist.”

Yet, the “only thing” that should matter is whether the report is “technically correct,” Postol told RT after the journal decided to halt publication. “This is a science based journal, and if there [are] any technical errors in it, they need to point them out," he said, adding the criticisms are coming “from people who have no technical expertise.”

That is likely a reference to the controversial Bellingcat, a ‘citizen investigation’ outlet funded by US, UK and other Western governments and foundations. Its founder Eliot Higgins has no scientific training whatsoever, but nonetheless shot to prominence over his “open source” online “investigations” — the results of which seem to fit perfectly with US and UK government narratives and are instantly caught by Western media. Higgins published a critique of the scientific paper last month and has previously branded the accomplished MIT professor an“idiot.”

"What's sad, is that a journal that's supposed to be dedicated to scientific enquiry and that is supposed to be dedicated to disarmament and arms control, is apparently being bullied or allowing itself to be bullied into political censorship and bias,” investigative journalist Rick Sterling told RT of SGS’s decision to halt the publication.

Evidence tampering?

The study, which was instigated by Goong Chen, a professor of applied mathematics at Texas A&M University in College Station, focuses on an impact crater in the road where the sarin gas was allegedly released. A report by the UN and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report concluded the crater was made from a bomb dropped from a plane, which would implicate the Syrian government. Chen’s models, however, suggest that it was formed by an artillery rocket with an explosive warhead. 

Postol and Chen’s report also notes that a dead goat on the scene, allegedly killed by a nerve agent in the attack, could actually have been killed and dragged to the spot from another location. They point to the rope around its neck and markings on the ground that suggest evidence could have been tampered with.

The real irony in this battle of narratives is that, so far, experts have identified no technical faults with the new report — unlike the UN/OPCW assessment, which Postol said was “nearly impossible" to explain because it contains such “extraodrinary problems.” One of those problems, he said, is that while investigators said they found evidence of bombing on satellite imagery, the images in question actually show “no evidence of bomb damage.” Moreover, OPCW had no mandate to attribute responsibility at the time. 

In spite of the evident concerns regarding the accuracy of the UN/OPCW report, its assessment has been held up as gospel truth in the mainstream Western media, while the Chen-Postol report is being attacked.

Postol said he believes it would be a “very big mistake” if the SGS allowed itself to be pressured by people with no scientific basis for their criticism, but added that he had “very high confidence in the integrity” of the journal.

Asked what he believes really happened at Khan Sheikhoun, Postol said he had “extensive discussions” about the incident with Seymour Hersh – the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, who exposed US atrocities in Vietnam and torture in Iraq. An article published by Hersh in June 2017 claims the casualties in the attack were actually caused when conventional explosives damaged a building containing chemicals and produced a toxic cloud. 

Everything Hersh found is “exactly correct relative to the technical underpinnings," Postol said. 

Mainstream media in the West has given little attention to the findings of Hersh, Postol or any of the other experts involved in producing the new report, preferring to stick to a predetermined narrative of Syrian guilt pushed by Bellingcat.


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fabricated evidence to blame assad...

Veteran Journalist Goes Off Script, Exposes OPCW's Douma Evidence Suppression on BBC...

On 23rd October, The Courage Foundation released the landmark findings of its investigation into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) suppression of vital evidence in its investigation of the alleged 7th April 2018 chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

The Foundation’s expert panel met with a member of the OPCW’s Douma fact-finding mission, who provided the an “extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports” – in its resultant report, the team were unanimous in expressing alarm “over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma”, and concluded each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (including chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies) were flawed and bear little relation to the facts”.

“We became convinced key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favour a preordained conclusion. We’ve learned of disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns, highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments —a right explicitly conferred on inspectors in the Chemical Weapons Convention, evidently with the intention of ensuring the independence and authoritativeness of inspection reports,” the panel said in an official statement.

The bombshell findings went entirely unreported in the mainstream media, however – until award-winning veteran journalist Jonathan Steele managed to slip a reference past the BBC censors five days later.

Steele was invited onto the World Service’s Weekend programme to discuss the elimination of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – but partway through, he made a startling intervention, noting he’d attended the briefing given to the Foundation by the OPCW whistleblower, one of the inspectors sent to Douma in April 2018 “to check into the allegations by the rebels that Syrian aeroplanes had dropped two canisters of chlorine gas, killing up to 43 people”, who “claims he was in charge of picking up the samples in the affected areas, and in neutral areas, to check whether there were chlorine derivatives there”.

Amazingly, host Paul Henley didn’t change the subject or terminate the conversation, instead asking Steele for more information.

“[The investigator] found there was no difference. So it rather suggested there was no chemical gas attack, because in the buildings where the people allegedly died there was no extra chlorinated organic chemicals than in the normal streets elsewhere. And I put this to the OPCW for comment, and they haven’t yet replied. But it rather suggests a lot of this was propaganda,” Steele said.

“Propaganda led by?” Henley probed.

“By the rebel side to try and bring in American planes, which did happen. American, British and French planes bombed Damascus a few days after these reports. This is the second whistleblower to come forward. A few months ago there was a leaked report by the person who looked into the ballistics, as to whether these cylinders had been dropped by planes, looking at the damage of the building and the damage on the side of the cylinders. And he concluded the higher probability was these cylinders were placed on the ground, rather than from planes,” Steele explained.

“This would be a major revelation…Given the number of people rubbishing the idea these could have been fake videos at the time,” Henley noted.

“Well, these two scientists, I think they’re non-political — they wouldn’t have been sent to Douma if they’d had strong political views by the OPCW. They want to speak to the Conference of the Member States in November, next month, and give their views, and be allowed to come forward publicly with their concerns. Because they’ve tried to raise them internally and been — they say they’ve been — suppressed, their views have been suppressed,” Steele concluded.

It would be wrongheaded to assign too much significance to the broadcast – after all, Steele’s comments were made unbidden over the course of a minute or so on an hour-long programme listened to by an unknown number of people (although BBC World Service does boast an audience of 319 million globally overall).

However, it notably marks the first time the whistleblowing of internally-silenced OPCW investigators has ever been mentioned in the mainstream media - and a small but growing number of journalists, including the British Mail on Sunday’s Peter Hitchens, and Italian La Repubblica’s Stefania Maurizi, have begun questioning the organisation on how and why these dissenting views came to be suppressed, albeit to little avail as yet. With more people enquiring, the OPCW will become ever-more unble be to avoid commenting on the scandalous suppression of evidence contrary to what was increasingly clearly a preordained conclusion of the Assad government’s culpability for the apparent chemical weapons attack.

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the full truth...


The 12 Strongest Arguments That Douma Was A False Flag

by Caitlin Johnstone

There have been many US military interventions that were based on lies. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is not some kooky blogger's opinion. It is an extensively documented and indisputable fact.

Nothing has ever been done to address this extensively documented and indisputable fact. No laws were ever changed. No war crimes tribunals were ever held. No policies or procedures were ever revised. No one was ever even fired. No changes were implemented to prevent the Iraq deception from happening again, and, when it happened again, no changes were implemented to prevent the Libya deception from happening again.

When you make a mistake, you take measures afterward to ensure that you never make the same mistake again. When you do something on purpose, and you intend on doing it again, you do not take any such measures.

There is a large and growing body of evidence that we have been lied to about Syria to an extent and to a level of sophistication that may be historically unprecedented. One particular aspect of the US-centralized empire's military involvement in that nation, the 2018 airstrikes by the US/UK/France alliance and the alleged chemical weapons incidentwhich preceded it, has been subject to intense scrutiny ever since it took place. And with good reason: there are many pieces of evidence indicating that the Douma incident was staged to falsely implicate the Syrian government.

I don't claim to know exactly who would have been involved in such a staging and to what extent. It is technically possible, as the UK's Admiral Lord West speculated at the time, that it was perpetrated independently by the vicious al-Qaeda-linked Jaysh al-Islam forces who'd been occupying Douma, a last-ditch attempt to provoke a western military response that might save them from the brink of defeat at the hands of the surging Syrian Arab Army. Jaysh al-Islam has an established record of deliberately massacring civilians, and of using civilians as military leverage by locking them in cages on rooftops in strategic Douma locations to prevent airstrikes. The narrative management operation known as the White Helmets would also have been involved to some extent, and it's very possible that Saudi Arabia, who backs Jaysh al-Islam, was involved as well.

Any number of other allied intelligence agencies could have also been involved to some degree (perhaps with the more expanded goal of ensuring continued US military commitment in Syria during an administration that is vocally opposed to it), and it's unknown if anyone involved would have had direct contact with any part of any US government agency regarding any of this. All we know for sure is that there's a growing mountain of evidence that the Syrian government was not involved, and that this raises extremely important questions about (A) who really killed those civilians in Douma and (B) how seriously any future demands for military action should be taken from the US power alliance.

That mountain of evidence includes the following 12 items. Taken individually they are reason enough to be skeptical of the narratives that are being promoted by a government with a known history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to advance preexisting military agendas. Taken together, and looked at with intellectual honesty, they are enough to obliterate anyone's trust in what we've been told about Douma.

1. A leaked OPCW Engineering Assessment concluded that the gas cylinders on the scene were manually placed there.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a purportedly neutral and international watchdog group dedicated to eliminating the use of chemical weapons around the world. In May of this year, a leaked internal OPCW document labeled "Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at the Douma Incident" was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. The Engineering Assessment was signed by a South African ballistics expert named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018, and its authenticity was quickly confirmed by the OPCW in a statement sent to multiple journalists that it was “conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.”

Henderson ran some experiments and found no scientifically grounded theory for how the cylinders could possibly have been dropped vertically from the air while being found in the condition and locations that they were found in, concluding instead that they were manually placed on the scene. This is a huge difference, since the Assad coalition was the only side with aircraft and Jaysh al-Islam were the only forces on the ground.

“The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft," Henderson wrote. "In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

"In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," Henderson concludes.

This is unsurprising, since the hypothetical physics of the empire's airdrop narrative make no sense to anyone with any understanding of how material objects move. To get a simple explanation of this, watch the breakdown in this three-minute animation. For a more in-depth look, check out this long Twitter thread by Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre.

The existence of Henderson's report was kept secret from the public by the OPCW, which might make more sense after we get through #2 on this list.

2. US officials reportedly pressured the OPCW to find evidence of Assad's guilt.

Journalist Jonathan Steele met with second OPCW whistleblower, who detailed the doctoring of the report on Douma to conform to the phony US/NATO version of events.

He also described direct US pressure on the OPCW in the form of three unnamed officials:

— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 18, 2019

In addition to whoever leaked the Henderson report in May, a second whistleblower going by the pseudonym of "Alex" emerged in October to give a presentation before the whistleblower's advocacy group Courage Foundation exposing far more plot holes in the official Douma narrative. This same whistleblower also spoke with award-winning British journalist Jonathan Steele, who published a bombshell report on Alex's revelations in CounterPunch last month.

Among the most stunning revelations in Steele's article was Alex's report that US officials attempted to pressure OPCW inspectors during the Organisation's drafting of its Interim Report on their Douma investigation in July 2018, and that this intercession was facilitated by an OPCW official named Bob Fairweather.

"On July 4 there was another intervention," Steele writes. "Fairweather, the chef de cabinet, invited several members of the drafting team to his office. There they found three US officials who were cursorily introduced without making clear which US agencies they represented. The Americans told them emphatically that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack, and that the two cylinders found on the roof and upper floor of the building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors left Fairweather’s office, feeling that the invitation to the Americans to address them was unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality."

It's unknown what forces were at play that enabled the US government to insert itself into into an ostensibly impartial OPCW investigation with the help of an OPCW official, but it wouldn't be the first time the US government leveraged the Organisation into facilitating preexisting regime change agendas against a disobedient Middle Eastern nation. In 2002 Mother Jones reported that the US government, spearheaded by John Bolton, had used the threat of withdrawing its disproportionately high percentage of funding from the Organisation if it didn't oust its then-Director General Jose Bustani. The popular Bustani, who'd previously been unanimously re-elected to his position, had been hurting the case for war with his successful negotiations with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. In March 2018, after Bolton was selected as Trump's National Security Advisor, The Intercept revealed that the campaign to remove Bustani had also included Bolton personally threatening his children.

Bolton was operating at the highest levels of the Trump White House throughout the entire duration of the OPCW's Douma investigation. He was Trump's National Security Advisor from April 9, 2018 to September 10, 2019. The OPCW’s Fact-Finding mission didn’t arrive in Syria until April 14 2018 and didn’t begin its investigation in Douma until several days after that, with its final report being released in March of 2019.

3. Levels of chlorinated organic chemicals didn't indicate any chlorine gas attack took place.

“The main point is that chlorine gas degrades rapidly in the air,” Jonathan Steele told Tucker Carlson last month detailing what was told to him by Alex. “So coming in two weeks later, you wouldn’t find anything. What you would find is that the gas contaminates or affects other chemicals in the natural environment. So-called chlorinated organic chemicals [COCs]. The difficulty is they exist anyway in the natural environment and water. So the crucial thing is the levels: were there higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals found after the alleged gas attack than there would have been in the normal environment?”

“When they got back to the Netherlands, to The Hague where the OPCW has its headquarters, samples were sent off to designated laboratories, then there was a weird silence developed,” Steele continued. “Nobody told the inspectors what the results of the analysis was. It was only by chance that the inspector found out through accident earlier the results would come in and there were no differences at all. There were no higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals in the areas where the alleged attack had happened where there is some suspicious cylinders had been found by opposition activists. So it didn’t seem possible that there could have been a gas attack because the levels were just the same as in the natural environment.”

"[Alex] got sight of the results which indicated that the levels of COCs were much lower than what would be expected in environmental samples," Steele reported in CounterPunch. "They were comparable to and even lower than those given in the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on recommended permitted levels of trichlorophenol and other COCs in drinking water. The redacted version of the report made no mention of the findings."

“Had they been included, the public would have seen that the levels of COCs found were no higher than you would expect in any household environment”, Alex told Steele.

This inconvenient fact was omitted from both the OPCW's Interim Report in July 2018 and its Final Report in March 2019.

4. Many signs and symptoms of alleged chlorine gas poisoning weren't consistent with chlorine gas poisoning.

"Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine," but this was kept from us by the OPCW in its report. For our own good, I'm sure.

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳(@caitoz) October 23, 2019

The OPCW's Final Report on Douma in March 2019 assures us that the team found "reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.” A leaked internal OPCW email, featuring an inspector voicing objections to the aforementioned Bob Fairweather over vital information being omitted from the developing Interim Report on Douma, contradicts this assurance, saying observed symptoms weren't consistent with chlorine gas poisoning.

"In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms," the email reads. "The inconsistency was not only noted by the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to CW [Chemical Weapons] agents."

So the OPCW's investigative team as well as three toxicologists said what was observed didn't match chlorine gas poisoning symptoms. This information was, of course, hidden from us by the OPCW.

A leaked first draft of the Interim Report on Douma, before OPCW officials started cutting out chunks which didn't suit the US narrative, gives more detail. Here are some excerpts (emphases mine):

“Some of the signs and symptoms described by witnesses and noted in photos and video recordings taken by witnesses, of the alleged victims are not consistent with exposure to chlorine-containing choking or blood agents such as chlorine gas, phosgene or cyanogen chloride. Specifically, the rapid onset of heavy buccal and nasal frothing in many victims, as well as the colour of the secretions, is not indicative of intoxication from such chemicals.”

“The large number of decedents in the one location (allegedly 40 to 45), most of whom were seen in videos and photos strewn on the floor of the apartments away from open windows, and within a few meters of an escape to un-poisoned or less toxic air, is at odds with intoxication by chlorine-based choking or blood agents, even at high concentrations.”

“The inconsistency between the presence of a putative chlorine-containing toxic chocking or blood agent on the one hand and the testimonies of alleged witnesses and symptoms observed from video footage and photographs, on the other, cannot be rationalised. The team considered two possible explanations for the incongruity:
a. The victims were exposed to another highly toxic chemical agent that gave rise to the symptoms observed and has so far gone undetected.
b. The fatalities resulted from a non-chemical-related incident.”

5. A doctor in Douma told journalist Robert Fisk that there was no gas poisoning.

Shortly after the Douma incident a video was circulated online and redistributed on news media around the world featuring people being hosed down with water in a hospital and an infant receiving a respiratory treatment. A doctor who worked in the hospital Assim Rahaibani gave the following account to journalist Robert Fisk days after the incident, saying those in the video were actually just suffering from hypoxia due to dust inhaled after a conventional bombing:

“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a 'White Helmet', shouted 'Gas!', and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”

Lest anyone accuse Fisk of having any special loyalties to the Syrian government, in this same report he says it "is indeed a ruthless dictatorship."

6. A BBC reporter said he has proof that the hospital scene was staged.

After almost 6 months of investigations, i can prove without a doubt that the #Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital. 
All the #WH, activists and people i spoke to are either in #Idlib or #EuphratesShield areas. 
Only one person was in #Damascus.

— Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) February 13, 2019

The BBC, another establishment that can hardly be accused of Assad loyalism, saw its Syria producer Riam Dalati claiming earlier this year that he had proof beyond a doubt the aforementioned hospital scene was staged. While holding to the establishment line that the attack did happen, Dalati expressed uncertainty as to what if any chemical would have been used and said "everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect." Emphases mine:

"The ATTACK DID HAPPEN, Sarin wasn't used, but we'll have to wait for OPCW to prove Chlorine or otherwise," Dalati tweeted. However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect. After almost 6 months of investigations, i can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged."

"No fatalities occurred in the hospital," Dalati continued. "All the White Helmets, activists and people i spoke to are either in Idlib or Euphrates Shield areas. Only one person was in Damascus. Russia and at least one NATO country knew about what happened in the hospital. Documents were sent. However, no one knew what really happened at the flats apart from activists manipulating the scene there. This is why Russia focused solely on discrediting the hospital scene."

In other words, Russia knew that these "activists" were staging the scene for the news media, and understandably focused on discrediting their work.

"I can tell you that Jaysh al-Islam ruled Douma with an iron fist," Dalati added. "They coopted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation."

Dalati set his account to private for an extended period after these extremely controversial statements got him a flood of attention, but the thread is up on Twitter as of this writing (here's an archive in case they vanish again).

7. More evidence the Douma scene was knowingly staged for media.

Pro-rebel activists appear to have staged "Last Hug" photo. It went viral claiming to show young victims of the Douma gas attack in their "last embrace".
Victims can be clearly seen on 2 separate floors in aftermath footage. Placed in position at collection/identification point.

— Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) April 11, 2018

Riam Dalati also tweeted evidence after the attack that people had staged the corpses of two children to make it appear as though they died hugging each other for the purpose of emotional manipulation. If you've got a strong stomach (seriously think hard about whether this is something you want in your head before diving in), Stephen McIntyre also compiled some disturbing proof of dead infants being physically placed on top of other corpses in between video shoots of the Douma incident's aftermath.

Whoever was positioning these bodies for the cameras clearly had a goal of generating an emotional response from the outside world. Which would be precisely the goal of staging a false chemical weapons attack.

8. Witness testimony at The Hague.

It seems the UK govt launched strikes on #Syria- bringing us into potential conflict with nuclear-armed Russia-in response to a CW attack that witnesses (speaking at The Hague), say didn’t happen. If that’s not a resigning offence, then what on earth is?

— Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) April 27, 2018

Seventeen Syrian civilians, including medical personnel and some of the "victims" seen in the aforementioned hospital footage, spoke at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague saying that no chemical weapons attack took place. RT reports:

“There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually,” Ahmad Kashoi, an administrator of the emergency ward, recalled. “That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

The briefing was boycotted by the US and 16 of its allies and was smeared as an unconscionable Russian hoax by media outlets ranging from Sky News to Al Jazeera to The Guardian to The Intercept, apparently for no other reason than that what these Syrians were saying didn't match the unsubstantiated claims being promoted by the political/media class of the US-centralized empire. If you want to just listen to what the Syrians themselves say and make up your own mind, RT has an English translation video here:

9. The first OPCW Director General finds the glaring irregularities and omissions from the OPCW's Douma report "very disturbing".

After the aforementioned Courage Foundation presentation given by Alex this past October, the aforementioned former OPCW Director General Jose Bustani (the one whose kids John Bolton threatened) had this to say:

“The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing” 

“I have always expected the OPCW to be a true paradigm of multilateralism. My hope is that the concerns expressed publicly by the Panel, in its joint consensus statement, will catalyse a process by which the Organisation can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

10. This OAN reporter literally just walking around asking people in Douma what they saw.

11. MIT Professor Emeritus Theodore Postol speaking about the plot holes and irregularities in scientific protocol with the Douma investigation.

12. Common sense: Assad stood nothing to gain from launching a chemical attack, while Jaysh al-Islam fighters stood everything to gain by faking one.

This is the initial reason why critical thinkers were so skeptical of the establishment Douma narrative: from the very beginning, it made no sense at all.

Click this hyperlink to read a BBC article dated five days before the Douma incident, describing how the Syrian government "appears poised to regain control" of the town and how Jaysh al-Islam fighters were already evacuating. The battle was won. Assad would have stood absolutely nothing to gain from tempting a retaliation from western powers (which could have been far more severe than it ended up being) all to drop a couple of cylinders of chlorine gas, which incidentally is a highly ineffective weapon that ordinarily takes a very long time to kill.



Jaysh al-Islam (and whoever else they may have been working with), on the other hand, would have stood everything to gain by murdering a few of the civilians they had been holding captive in the town they'd invaded in the hopes that western forces would become their airforce for a bit and hold off the Syrian Arab Army from reclaiming Douma.

"Why would Assad use chemical weapons at this time? He's won the war," Major General Jonathan Shaw told The Mail on Sunday at the time. "That's not just my opinion, it is shared by senior commanders in the US military. There is no rationale behind Assad's involvement whatsoever. He's convinced the rebels to leave occupied areas in buses. He's gained their territory. So why would he be bothering gassing them?"

"The jihadists and the various opposition groups who've been fighting against Assad have much greater motivation to launch a chemical weapons attack and make it look like Assad was responsible," the ex-SAS and Parachute Regiment commander added. "Their motivation being that they want to keep the Americans involved in the war – following Trump saying the US was going to leave Syria for other people to sort out."

Admiral Lord West made similar comments on the BBC around the same time, prompting BBC host Annita McVeigh to flip into frantic narrative management mode suggesting that he's "muddying the waters" during an "information war with Russia".

"President Assad is in the process of winning this civil war, and he was about to take over Douma, all that area," West said. "He'd had a long, long, long slog slowly capturing that area of the city, and there just before he goes in and takes it all over, apparently he decides to have a chemical attack. It just doesn't ring true. It seems extraordinary, because clearly he would know that there's likely to be a response from the allies. What benefit is there for his military? Most of the rebel fighters, this disparate group of Islamists, had withdrawn, there were a few women and children left around. What benefit was there militarily in doing what he did? I find that extraordinary."

"Whereas we know that in the past some of the Islamo groups have used chemicals, and of course there'd be huge benefit in them labeling an attack as coming from Assad, because they would guess quite rightly that there would be a response from the US as there was last time, and possibly from the UK and France," West added.

"If I were advising some of the Islamist groups, many of whom are worse than Daesh," West said, "I would say look, we've got to wait until there's another attack by Assad's forces, particularly if they've got a helicopter overhead or something like that and they're dropping barrel bombs, and we set off some chlorine. Because we'll get the next attack from the allies. And there's no doubt that if we believe he's done a chemical attack we should do that. And those attacks will get bigger, and it's the only way they've got, actually, of stopping the inevitable victory of Assad."

These are not Assad sympathizers or Kremlin assets saying this. These are not a bunch of hippie dippie anti-imperialists. These are lifelong military men, thinking in military terms, describing what they were seeing. And what they were seeing is the thing that a false flag is.

The @OPCW concealing that #Douma was likely staged is a big story.

But perhaps a bigger story is this: if staged, how did the victims (mostly children) die? And what role if any in their deaths did US UK backed #WhiteHelmets ‘rescuers’ who appear to have staged the attack play?

— Charles Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeC) December 15, 2019

And now here we are. The US is still illegally occupying Syria in spite of Trump's repeated verbiage about getting out, and those children are still dead.

This isn't just some idle philosophical question. People died. A massive war crime occurred and the more minutes tick by before a legitimate investigation is launched--with full transparency and accountability this time--the less available evidence there will be. Which is why establishment narrative managers on Syria go full dead-weight when asked if they support a full criminal investigation into what happened. They don't actually believe it will go their way, and rightly so.

Meanwhile the illegal occupation of Syria drags on, perhaps until Trump can be replaced with a more compliant puppet, and we're all basically just sitting around waiting to be deceived again.

This cannot continue. This must not continue.


Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.


Gus Note: Unfortunately, the links within this article had to be removed in order to prevent shut down of publication. Read the full article:

The 12 Strongest Arguments That Douma Was A False Flag

the americans to remain prisoners of their own ignorance...

It is perhaps the least reported media scandal about the least reported international controversy in recent times—the resignation of Tareq Haddad, a well-regarded journalist from Newsweek, a mainstay of the mainstream media. 

At issue was what he said regarding the magazine’s refusal to cover the scandal unfolding within the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Evidence has been building for some time that the OPCW cooked the books in its investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, 2018. These allegations served as the justification for a subsequent joint U.S.-U.K.-France attack against suspected chemical weapons targets inside Syria, despite the fact that the OPCW had yet to inspect the Douma location, let alone issue a report on its findings.

In an announcement on Twitter, Haddad declared, “I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letterwere refused for no valid reason,” adding, “I have collected evidence of how they [the OPCW] suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US govt was removed, though it was factually correct.” Haddad further noted that he had been threatened by Newsweek with legal action if he sought to publish his findings elsewhere.

The OPCW’s Douma investigation has been under a cloud of controversy since shortly after its interim report was released to the public in early March 2019. The document was prepared by Ian Henderson, an engineer working for the OPCW. It challenged the conclusions of the inspection team regarding the provenance of two chlorine canisters located at the incident scene, and was leaked to the press. 

The document, which the OPCW subsequently declared to be genuine, raised the probability that the canisters had been manually placed at the scene, as opposed to having been dropped by the Syrian Air Force, raising the question as to whether the entire Douma incident had been staged.

Haddad’s story, however, was not about Ian Henderson’s report, but rather a series of new documents, backed up by an inspector-turned-whistleblower known only as “Alex,” that accused the OPCW leadership of ignoring the findings of its own inspectors in favor of a revisionist report prepared by another team of inspectors based out of Turkey. This second group allegedly relied heavily on data and witnesses provided by the Syrian Civil Defense (the “White Helmets”) and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), two ostensibly humanitarian organizations opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


The OPCW whistleblower scandal has all the elements of a blockbuster—heroes, villains, scandal, lies, and cover-up. But fact-based truth is no longer the fuel of the media business that modern journalism is supposed to sustain, especially when the truth can so easily be fobbed off as “pro-Assad” or “pro-Russia.” As long as this model remains in place, and the work of genuine journalists such as Tareq Haddad is suppressed by editors, the American people will remain prisoners of their own ignorance.   


Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, most recently, Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West’s Road to War (2018).



Read more:


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the western media is still keeping mum

Yesterday the UNSC held a special panel to discuss the reliability and impartiality of the OPCW, most specifically regarding the alleged Douma “chemical attack”. The expert panel reviewed and revealed some worrying evidence.

Most important was the testimony of Ian Henderson, former OPCW inspector and leader of the engineering sub-team who visited Douma.

Ian Henderson, the source of the famous leaked “dissenting report” on the placement of gas cylinders at the Douma site, was speaking via video link due to being denied a VISA by the US authorities (we don’t know why this happened, but I’m sure it was all honest and above board, and not just petty politicking).

He told the UNSC that findings of the experts on the ground were totally ignored by their OPCW bosses.

He said:

By the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred.”

And added that the final report was a “complete turnaround” on these findings, and authored by a separate group who had never visited the site.

Unsurprisingly, efforts to smear Mr Henderson, or otherwise minimise his testimony, were quick to appear.

Thomas Phipps, a UK diplomat to the UN chimed in with some rather xenophobic snobbery:

Four Russians and one Syrian make up the ‘expert’ panel at Russia’s #UNSC Arria meeting on #Syria Chemical Weapons. Four are diplomats and one an academic whose credentials are unclear. These are not impartial actors without an agenda.

— Thomas Phipp


Read also:



71 people were killed and 325 others wounded... but...

By Hamdi Alkhshali

Updated 1907 GMT (0307 HKT) February 11, 2020

(CNN)  At least 71 people were killed and 325 others wounded in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta after the Syrian government carried out a series of airstrikes and artillery bombardments, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.

Sixty-two of the victims were civilians, including nine children and five women. Nine militants were killed, the group said of the attacks near Damascus over a 24-hour period.CNN could not independently verify the claim.
Read more:

Er... hang on a minute...:
But would anyone notice? CNN breaks ‘report’ of Syrian airstrikes… from 2018

CNNNNNNNNNN... Never stops to aNNNNNNNoy us....

Read from top.

the SMH does not want to publish the truth...


by David Macilwain


Continuing in efforts to get the OPCW fraud exposed to the Western mainstream media’s sheltered and blinkered audience, I recently had an opportunity to have an opinion article published in the Sydney Morning Herald. This followed a formal complaint to ACMA, Australia’s media overseer, over the failure of state broadcasters to report on the OPCW story. The proviso for this article was that the OPCW “story” needed to be linked in some way to current events in Syria, given its controversial nature.

This, of course, I readily accepted, because the very “humanitarian crisis” in Idlib predicted two and more years earlier was now eventuating, or at least in the minds of anyone following the Western MSM news output. 

Linking this with what happened in Douma in April 2018 was no problem, and in fact was more than that, because had the lies about the “humanitarian crisis in Eastern Ghouta” been properly exposed at the time, along with the fake chemical attack, the course of the war would have been entirely different. 

Now two years later, as the true extent of the deception is exposed, along with those who organised it in Westminster and Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara, I had hoped that credible newspapers like the non-Murdoch SMH would consider dipping a toe in the water. Then at least they would be already swimming with it if the water came up rather suddenly, and be ready with some explanation or excuse on how they had been wrong or didn’t know.

It didn’t even need to be “wrong about Assad” – in the first instance, and before the penny dropped on the ramifications of corruption at the OPCW. As James Harkin “admitted” – Jaish al Islam ruled Douma with an Iron Fist, so the White Helmets had to do what they said, and were desperate for foreign assistance. It was all just a big misunderstanding, and Trump’s fault for launching a missile attack on an impulse.

So I wrote an article proposal, looking at the way that the “humanitarian crisis” predicted in Aleppo in 2016 and in Ghouta in 2018 had not materialised, and had in fact been prevented by the Syrian government’s setting up of humanitarian corridors to allow people to escape – to the safety of areas protected by the Syrian Army and Russian police. It was I said, the failure of Western media to report on what had actually happened that allowed yet another humanitarian crisis to be played as a cause for intervention once again.

Naturally and unavoidably I criticised those media for relying on unbalanced and unsavoury sources, and for providing platforms for “propagandumentaries” like For Sama. The awarding and release of this film to coincide with the campaign to liberate Idlib deserves a whole article of its own, as more doctors with photogenic young children now appear in the last hospitals in Idlib. 

Criticism of Waad al Khatib and her Oscar-winning partners in East Aleppo could have been a mistake, but the critical role of the White Helmets in staging the “Chlorine attack” in Douma made this part of the essential context for a discussion on the OPCW story – which was, of course, the real focus of the article.

In declining to publish my article following consultations with the opinion page editor, and despite my assurances on the credentials of Ian Henderson, I was offered the following explanation:

Thanks for the contribution but after talking to the opinion editor I think it doesn’t work for us as it is. There are enough questions over whether Henderson is telling the truth or not to make it hard to use him to absolve the Assad regime of war crimes during the war.

To say so lightly would offend not just the security establishment in the West but also the many Syrians who (even allowing for the exaggerations of western propaganda) have suffered at Assad’s hands.

Perhaps you mean that Syria is no worse than the rest, and as the government it has a right to use violence. But at the moment it seems to whitewash Assad.

In fact I’d already concluded my views “wouldn’t work” for the SMH, after just reading their correspondent’s “Explainer” on the Syrian war and events that led up to the current crisis in Idlib. It didn’t explain anything to me, except why it was that I would never get an article published in this mainstream paper! 

Almost every sentence in my article contradicted the accepted Western narrative expressed by the Herald’s correspondent, as here:

Assad, largely thanks to Russian air power, has subdued the rebels in most parts of the country, partly by bombing several of his own largest cities into oblivion and deploying chemical weapons against his own citizens.”

And this is what most people believe, with emotive propaganda and photos turning belief into a conviction which evidence and reasoning is unable to dislodge. The SMH article above devoted as much space to a photo of a blond-haired child sitting in a bus as it did to the ‘explainer’, along with the title – “Sequel to a real-life horror show”. 

Such propaganda has worked not just on the audience but on the editors of our media, as it has also done on most of the refugees living in Turkey. They fled because they were told the Syrian Army was coming after them, and they now believe they are in danger of retribution if they were to return. The idea that the Syrian Army and its partners are fighting and dying to kill the terrorists so that it will be safe for Syrians to come home is probably not one they can believe. 

In deference to the editor of the Herald, I welcomed his willingness to consider my views and some of the evidence supplied in links. That he did is clear from his recognition that “using Henderson’s claims” should not be taken lightly as “it could absolve Assad of war crimes”. Which of course was my very point.

While OffGuardian remains something of a “Salon des Refuses” to republish opinion unacceptable to the mainstream, it is more useful to repaint this dispute over the OPCW’s toxic deception as a question of “whose war-crimes”. As far as we – on Syria’s side – are concerned, all the war-crimes committed in Syria are attributable to the aggressors who started and fuelled the war on Syria, including all those cases where civilians have been victims of Syrian or Russian airstrikes. 

Both militaries have gone to great lengths to avoid hitting civilians where they can be identified, despite the incessant stream of claims to the contrary. An integral part of this effort has been to provide and protect humanitarian corridors for civilians to escape, and many or most of the trapped residents have bravely resisted the insurgents’ threats and propaganda to do so.

There is little verifiable evidence of civilian deaths from Syrian bombing however, as confirmed by the White Helmets’ evident need to fake such deaths for their rescue videos. At the centre of the Douma hoax chemical attack were the contorted bodies of 35 women and children, whose murder for a propaganda video is certainly a war-crime. At the same time the number of civilians killed by the terrorist groups in missile and bomb attacks aimed at residential neighbourhoods now numbers in the hundred-thousands.

The difficulty in persuading people – even reasonable and sympathetic people – of this evident truth on who is responsible for the worst war-crime of this century – the war of aggression on Syria – is illustrated by another group discussion in which I have been involved this week.

On one side are those who believe that President Bashar al Assad is basically a good person who has not, and would not intentionally kill “his own people”, and of course would never and never did use chemical weapons against them, (or even against terrorists for that matter). One of our group, still recovering from the pleasure of meeting Assad last year, dared to refer to him as “wonderful”. 

Despite all the contributors to this discussion claiming opposition to all US foreign interventions and regime-change wars and NATO support for extremists and tyrants, some simply cannot stomach such admiration for a man “who has killed civilians”, and no amount of argument or evidence will counter their belief that he has. 

It is as though the very first events in the so-called uprising – the false-flag shootings in Dera’a – made an indelible mark on those who believed them, and believed the false story of “Assad’s brutal crackdown on protestors”. And as long as they believe this, the responsibility for Syria’s dead can be shifted and shared, and one day their alleged culprits will be brought to “justice” – in Western courts. 

Perhaps there is no answer to this dispute, where even those who are potentially most sympathetic to the Syrian cause cannot be persuaded of its most essential character – that the Syrian army and its allies have fought a war of self-defence since the start; a “just war” which even the most anti-war activists should accept as legitimate. So rather than pursue this hopeless quest, we should turn on the offensive.

Instead of denying claims that Assad used chemical weapons in Douma, in Khan Shaikoun, and in Ghouta we must demand evidence and proof that he did so, because there is none. We could follow the style of Vassily Nebenzia, expressed so well at the start of this UN session (embedded above) on the OPCW fraud, as he mocks the “highly likely” standard of proof Syria’s enemies pretend is sufficient as a casus belli.


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don't forget, erdogan is a NATO agent...

The Russian and Turkish presidents spoke by telephone on Friday amid the escalating tensions over Idlib, where the Syrian Army has been entangled in a shooting war with Turkish troops and Ankara-backed militants in recent weeks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested that he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to leave Ankara "face to face" with Syrian authorities in the conflict over Idlib during Friday's talks.

"I asked Mr. Putin: 'What's your business there? If you establish a base, do so but get out of our way and leave us face to face with the regime," Erdogan said, speaking to reporters in Istanbul, his comments cited by AFP.

Erdogan also warned that the "Syrian regime" would "pay the price" for the deaths of Turkish troops in Idlib.

Erdogan also confirmed that Turkey had opened its borders with the European Union for Syrian refugees, and that some 18,000 migrants had already crossed the border into the EU. According to the Turkish president, Ankara could not "handle a new refugee wave" from Syria. Earlier, Turkish officials told media that Ankara had opened its borders with the European bloc 'in response' to the escalating conflict in Syria's Idlib.

Putin and Erdogan spoke by telephone amid tensions in Idlib, the restive Syrian province where tens of thousands of militants remain concentrated, and where dozens of Syrian and Turkish troops have now been killed amid weeks of escalating clashes.


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Do not forget that Erdogan is fiddling in Syria on behalf of NATO, even if "the Europeans and the USA are not helping him directly..."


To demand that the Russians let him "have a free face to face" against Assad is a trick... which I hope Putin will see through...


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See also:

no confusion... 
playing a dangerous game...