Monday 10th of December 2018

evidence of presidential lunacy... unless it's cunning in disguise...

half and half

James Mattis, the US defense secretary, has said Washington is still looking for evidence on who carried out Saturday’s chemical weapons attack in Damascus and said his main concern about a military response was how to stop it “escalating out of control”.

 

Syria: US officials say traces of nerve agents on Douma victims – live updates Read more

 

However, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said on Thurday that his government had “proof” that the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack, which is reported to have killed about 50 people and affected hundreds more.

NBC and CNN quoted US officials as saying that blood and urine samples from the victims of Saturday’s attack showed traces of chlorine and a nerve agent, and that US intelligence had other evidence pointing to the regime’s culpability, which would be presented to the president.

But Mattis’s cautious tone on Thursday echoed a morning tweet by Donald Trump that appeared to walk back his threat of imminent action 24 hours earlier.

On Wednesday, the president tweeted that US missiles “will be coming” and told Russia, which has forces in Syria, to “get ready”. But the next morning, Trump tweeted that he “never said when an attack on Syria would take place”. An attack, the president said “ could be very soon or not so soon at all!”

In testimony to the House armed services committee, Mattis said that tweet meant that Trump “has not made a decision”. He pointed out that Trump would meet his top national security advisers at the White House on Thursday afternoon where he would be presented with a full range of options.

Read more of the ghastly Guardian ("we're with our Mum Theresa") at:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/12/syria-deconfliction-hotlin...

no proofs.

 

The first four chemical weapons experts from the OPCW have arrived in Syria on a fact-finding mission (FFM) into the April 7 Douma incident, while Western leaders continue to blame the government for the alleged attack.

"We will facilitate the arrival of the team to anywhere they want, in Douma, to check whether or not there was use of chemical substances," said Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s envoy to the UN in New York, adding that a second team is due to arrive on Friday.

The Damascus suburb of Douma was recaptured by the government this week, so experts from the UN-backed Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are expected to have easier access than on previous occasions when the alleged attacks happened in areas of ongoing fighting or those controlled by radical Islamists.

Syria and Russia both requested an FFM team to be dispatched after opposition groups claimed that the Syrian army executed a chemical weapons attack there, alleging there were scores of deaths and hundreds of casualties.

Both countries have claimed that the incident was “staged”with the purpose of galvanizing Western rebel backers after the US earlier announced that it was planning to pull out of Syria, and they say that there may not have been any chemical use at all.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/423970-opcw-syria-douma-experts/

 

Nerve agents? (in story above) Blimey. The Guardian has a hide. Nerve agents would be difficult to make, store and use in such conditions when one needs a precise lab and a mad mind twisted like that of a Washington sewer-rat. What symptoms the WHO and the Guardian are referring to I believe is chlorine gas, which is easy to make, most likely made by rebels with crude base generic products to spur the "allies" of our mad West to strike Syria, regardless of the consequences. 

meanwhile, at the international law of relationships....

 

We are practitioners and professors of international law. Under international law, military strikes by the United States of America and its allies against the Syrian Arab Republic, unless conducted in self-defense or with United Nations Security Council approval, are illegal and constitute acts of aggression.

The unlawful killing of any human being without legal justification, under every legal system, is murder. And an act of violence committed by one government against another government, without lawful justification, amounts to the crime of aggression: the supreme international crime which carries with it the evil of every other international crime, as noted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946.

The use of military force by a state can be used in self-defense after an armed attack by another state, or, with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. At present, neither instance would apply to a U.S. strike against Syria.

We understand the urge to act to protect innocent civilians. We strongly condemn any and all violence against civilians, whoever the perpetrators. But responding to unlawful violence with more unlawful violence, bypassing existing legal mechanisms, is a road to a lawless world. It is a road that leads to Hell.

Accordingly, we urge the United States and its allies to refrain from illegal conduct against Syria. We must point out that for the last several years, as is now common knowledge, the United States has armed rebels/insurgents to overthrow the current government of Syria. This is illegal under international law.

In 1986, in The Nicaragua Case, the International Court of Justice reprimanded the United States for arming and supporting contra militias and combatants, and for mining Nicaragua’s harbors, as acts which violated the U.N. Charter and international law. Perhaps the Syrian crisis would look differently today if the United States and its allies had consistently respected law for the last several years. They have not.

We take pains to note what should be obvious: our demand that the United States and its allies immediately comport themselves with their international legal obligations is not a justification, excuse, or some type of free pass on the investigation and accountability for international legal violations committed by other actors who may be involved in this sad affair. But our point is a simple one: the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis is through commitment to well-settled principles of international legal norms.

We urge the United States to abide by its commitment to the rule of international law and to seek to resolve its disputes through peaceful means. These means include recourse to the use of established and legitimate institutions designed to maintain international peace and security, such as the U.N. Security Council or the International Court of Justice. Unilateral action is a sign of weakness; recourse to the law is a sign of strength. The United States must walk back from becoming the very monster it now seeks to destroy.

Inder Comar, Executive Director, Just Atonement Inc.

Dr. Ryan Alford, Associate Professor, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University

Marjorie Cohn, Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Jeanne Mirer, President, International Association of Democratic Lawyers

Dr. Curtis F.J. Doebbler, Research Professor of Law, University of Makeni, UN Representative of International-Lawyers.org

Abdeen Jabara, Civil Rights Attorney and Co-Founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Ramsey Clark, 66th Attorney-General of the United States

 

... the very monster it now seeks to destroy? At this stage, Assad has done nothing more but protect "his" country from falling into the hands of Saudi Arabia who have used US sponsored "rebels" (including Al Qaeda and Daesh) to destroy "him". The US helped foment "an Arab Spring" in Syria to dislodge this "socialist dictator" and replace him with a Wahhabi Caliphate that would most likely decimate other ethnic groups of Syria. Such "internal" (though supported by foreign countries) wars are never pretty and it's always easy to say Assad is "a monster" and easy to get US sponsored "rebels" to "reverse-engineer" gas attacks. The MONSTERS have really been the successive occupants of the White House who, with self-gifted historical glory on their side, destroyed Yugoslavia and Iraq under false pretences, Libya under fake news and are trying to destroy Yemen as well as Syria to help the Saudis.

beating the fascist tune on the pompeo drums...

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Killing a couple of hundred of Russians is an example of one of the Trump administration’s key actions to counter Moscow along with sanctions policy and expelling diplomats, US Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"The list of actions that this administration has taken — I'm happy to walk through each of them," Pompeo said on Thursday when asked about actions taken to counter Moscow. "A handful of weeks ago, the Russians met their match and a couple hundred Russians were killed."

The nominee for top diplomat also pointed out that the Trump Administration has taken a number of other actions beyond mere sanctions to counter Russia.

"The largest expulsion of 60 folks was from this administration," Pompeo said. "This administration announced a Nuclear Posture Review that has put Russia on notice that we're going to recapitalize our deterrence force in Syria."

Pompeo added that because Russian President Vladimir Putin "has not yet received the message sufficiently," more work needs to be done on the sanctions front.

 

In February, the US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, outlawed in Russia, said that it had carried out defensive airstrikes against the pro-government forces in Syria that attacked the headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Soon after that media reported that at least 100 Syrian pro-government troops were killed in the coalition’s strikes.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/201804131063502403-pompeo-killing-hundreds-ru...

about war...

United States President Donald Trump Trump is expected to address the nation very soon in what could be a major announcement about military action in Syria.

Vice President Mike Pence has been summoned to his hotel in Lima in rush, and reporters have been told to prepare for a statement in Washington about what could be a major, impactful statement on the situation in Syria.

Just-in: US administration official confirmed to me that a decision to strike has been taken.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/news/201804141063538833-trump-statement-shortly-...

no-one does it like trump...

Chaos, contradiction disrupt week of triumph for Trump
The darkening cloud hanging over some Cabinet agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency, has some GOP strategists worried. But others said the sagas gripping Washington probably won’t worry many voters. 

Al least he managed a few points on the board without being too bothered by the "chaos and contradictions"... Some of these points are far better so far than any of his predecessors since the Korean war... Bugger...