Sunday 16th of December 2018

sticking to the fiction...

sticking

and here the BBC news...

The international chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed the UK's analysis of the type of nerve agent used in the Russian ex-spy poisoning.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons did not name the nerve agent as Novichok, but said it agreed with the UK's findings on its identity.

Russia, which denies it was behind the attack in Salisbury, called the allegations an "anti-Russian campaign".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "There can be no doubt what was used." 

He added: "There remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russia has the means, motive and record." 

But Maria Zakharova, from the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the allegations in relation to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were a "clear anti-Russian campaign, the like of which we have not seen in the world for a long time in terms of its scale and lack of principles".

She accused the British authorities of ignoring the "norms of international law, the principles and laws of diplomacy, the elementary rules of human ethics". 

And she claimed no one except for British authorities had seen the Skripals for more than a month.

 

Read more:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43741140

 

Just a few questions:

How do we know that this "poison was used"? If the so-declared "pure" POWERFUL poison had been used, the Skripal would have been dead before reaching the restaurant.

Can the "samples" be FAKE samples (I mean real sample of poisons BUT NOT COMING FROM THE SKRIPAL CASE? This happens in Sports and MI6 has the will, the purpose and the ability to fudge (remember the WMDs of Saddam?)... See toon at top.

unscrupulous western disinformation campaign...

Western media are waging an “unscrupulous disinformation campaign” by claiming Moscow and Damascus are “blocking” OPCW inspectors from accessing the site of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“It was Russia that supported the request of the Syrian government to the Director General of the Technical Secretariat of the [Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons] to send … experts to Douma,” the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova said, dismissing the media allegations.

“We will not indulge the authors of these fake reports,” Zakharova added, explaining that the Russian side “does its part of the work in a very responsible, professional and reliable manner.” She stressed that it is Russia and Syria that bear the responsibility for the security of the OPCW experts.

Those who still want to accuse the Syrian and Russian authorities of neglecting their duties, by “blocking” the experts from accessing the site of the alleged chemical attack, apparently are willing to risk the OPCW investigators’ lives to promote their “dirty fake news,”Zakharova said.

It was after the strikes launched by the US, the UK and France against Syria, when the most radical militant groups renewed active hostilities against the Syrian Army in the Douma region.

The coalition attack also forced the Syrian authorities and the Russian military to change route plans and once again negotiate with some local groups in Douma to facilitate the safe access of the OPCW investigators to the site of the alleged chemical attack.

Earlier, Moscow said that the strikes were aimed at thwarting the UN chemical watchdog’s investigation. Washington and its allies launched a massive missile strike against Syria on the same day that the team of OPCW experts was expected to arrive in Syria.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/424426-opcw-douma-media-disinformation/

western news: polishing the empire with harpic...

The interview, however, went largely unnoticed by mainstream newsmakers. In the rare cases the interview with Hassan got a mention, it was referred to as line pushed by "Russian state media."

A precursor to the Sun's news headline "Russian TV claims Syria chemical attack boy, 11, filmed being doused with water was tricked into taking part in return for biscuits" was the phrase: "Fake Views."

A Times' headline attributes the fact that Hassan was paid off with food — to Russian TV, not the boy's father, who made the statement.

In comparison, the Times didn't attribute mentions of the alleged Douma attack to information presented by the White Helmets, a foreign-sponsored organization operating in Syria. Moreover, if some of the Times' headlines featured the phrase "gas attack" in quotations, the effort wears out, as seen in other titles.

Throughout the development of the Douma story, most news channels have made the effort of calling the reported event "an alleged attack" — and some still oblige. But as time passed, headlines omitting the crucial qualifier started popping up online and in television discussions.

"Syrian medics 'subjected to extreme intimidation' after Douma attack" and "Syria attack: Chemical weapons inspectors retrieve samples from Douma" are just a couple of examples — with the latter actually referring to the fact that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) experts haven't yet established the use of chemical weapons.

 

The US broadcaster Fox News posted the alleged attack video online under the headline "Disturbing video: Children being treated after chemical attack in Syria" on April 9, which indicated certainty that the attack did happen and that chemical weapons had been used. However, a search for mentions of or statements by Hassan and his father on the Fox News website gives zero results.

CNN's coverage follows a similar scenario. Even though some of CNN's headlines on Douma stipulate that it was a "suspected" attack, others simply define it as a "chemical attack in Syria." There is no information on Hassan and his recollection of events that took place on April 9.

Searches on the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post return no articles telling the story of Hassan and his father.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201804241063827265-douma-evidence-western-...

 

Dear Russian "mates". By now you would be aware that the Western media has lost its toupee a long time ago. It regained a bit of mojo during the Vietnam War when many real journalists were telling real news. Look at the result! The US lost that war and it still hurts.... During the War against Saddam, the US bombed any independent news outlet and embedded all other journalists with the US army. Before this the case for war was fabricated in the deep dungeons of the CIA, where this fake information to suit the war was fed to the CIA upper echelons, MI6 and ASIO. The "US government had demanded proofs" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, no matter if he had any or not. The point was that in order to attack Saddam's troops, the US, the UK and little John in Australia, had to know there was no WMDs in Saddam's Iraq, otherwise they would have been sustaining a lot of publicly unacceptable losses before "Mission accomplished". Some of the most "respectable" media eventually apologised for not having been a bit more circumspect. That the "intelligence was flawed" is still the narrative to excuse the bad bad bad bad journalism.

These days, they don't even bother with second guessing the Potomac narrative: "You, the Russians are the bad guys, we, the US Avengers (cartoon characters) are the good guys. We write the script, you shut up. The Western media is surviving only on the crumbs thrown out by their governments, whether it's the US, the UK, France, Australia etc... Not only this, should the media stops promoting the glorious crap with a hand on its heart, governments would fall for exposure to the truth. The truth shall be hidden forever unless, you guys, my "mates", keep balancing the Western news-crap. Unfortunately, you have been a bit too successful since modernising your own media outlet. They, the turds driving the Western governments, are trying to ban you, to place more importance on your supposed "election of The Donald" than their own fractured media has, in the case of a certain Uncle Rupe (you know who you are) who did the trick, contrarily to the "liberal" media that supported the lying warrior woman. 

The "liberal" media hates your Ruskie guts because all you have to do is tell the truth and they have to work harder and harder at creating porkies that seem to add up, but don't. So these days, the Western media does not bother about balance or "proofs". They just print what the government press release tells them, except they still don't like The Donald... This is the only invented affair that keeps the western media really busy... The media is a bind, especially since they have lost so many real journalists who could expose, like during the Vietnam War, the atrocities made on behalf of the public. Nowadays, the problem is not about how many innocent people we kill, but how many bombs we sell, to keep our (fake) economy going...

 

Oh, and by the way, I trust you're telling the truth, aren't you? I double-check and triple-check with my other sources, some of them more secret than the CIA sieve, and so far your news add up reasonably well compared to the Western sewer outlets. And most of your journalists are from the West, but since you cannot be published in the Western media because of your counter-narrative, you have no choice but publish the truth with the "bad guys", my "mates", the Russians.

it's РОССИЯ, please ...

CNN made a mistake in the spelling of the word “Russia” during its broadcast.

A spelling gaffe appeared in the word displayed on the multimedia screen behind the host. The name of the country was written in Cyrillic, but it was misspelled.

Instead of РОССИЯ, which is the correct way to write Russia in Cyrillic, the spelling was РUССИЯ, which does not make any sense, as there is no letter "U" in Cyrillic.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/viral/201806061065167241-cnn-mistake-russian-cyr...

 

MEANWHILE, the kids at the US State Department massage history without blinking an eyelid:

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert shocked the Twitterverse, cable news commentators and historians alike when she made comments seeming to suggest a bizarre revision of the Second World War.

The US is already on thin ice with the government of Germany after the US' ambassador to the country, Richard Grenell, told Breitbart News in an article published June 3, "I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders." 

"I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left," said the ambassador, who has occupied the position since April 26.

Those were the remarks to which Nauert was responding when she made the mind-boggling claim about the US invasion of Normandy, France, in an attempt to repel Nazi occupiers on June 6, 1944.

Nauert highlighted Grenell's freedom of speech, but the bombshell wasn't dropped until she tried to emphasize America's "strong" relationship with the German government.

"When you talk about Germany — we have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany," the senior State Department spokesperson said at a June 5 briefing. "Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government."

The battle of Normandy, codenamed Operation Neptune, was the largest seaborne invasion in history and kickstarted the liberation of northwestern Europe with a decisive victory for the Allies against Nazi occupiers.

For clarification: that means the US and Germany were at war, and most definitely not involved in what anyone would call a "strong" relationship. The US would go on to form strong ties with Germany — after the Nazi government was defeated and much of its leadership killed.

The Normandy landings are viewed as the foundations of the defeat of the Nazis on the Western Front. The Soviet Union, Allied partners on the Eastern Front, launched Operation Bagration at the same time, which destroyed the Nazis' central army group, forcing them into a retreat that ended in the Soviet liberation of Berlin in April 1945.

The Marshall Plan referenced by Nauert was an effort by the United States to rebuild Western Europe's economy after the war, with 11 percent of the funding going to West Germany, which was formed out of Germany's territory liberated by the US, France, and UK. The Soviet Union formed a socialist East Germany out of the eastern part of German territory liberated by the Red Army during the war. The Marshall Plan was also meant to head off the spread of communism in Europe.

Nauert, some have pointed out, is an alumnus of Fox News. Coincidentally, Grenell was a foreign policy contributor at the network during the US 2016 elections.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/201806061065168920-State-Dept-Strong-Relation...

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adding more slop to the sauce...

Britain and its allies continue to blame Moscow for being behind the March 2018 attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter with what UK experts claim was the A234 nerve agent, although the accusations have not been substantiated. Russian authorities vehemently reject the allegations as groundless.

The Sun has cited sources in Scotland Yard as saying that "a two-man hit team with close ties to Russia" orchestrated the alleged poisoning of ex-Russian security agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK earlier this year.

The sources said that police are currently convinced that "they made a huge breakthrough" by pointing the finger at two key "persons of interest" who allegedly fled the UK within 24 hours of the attack on the Skripals.

READ MORE: Skripal's Niece Alleges Ex-Spy Was Never Denied Possibility of Visiting Russia 

The suspected hitmen are "now thought to be back in Russia and under the protection of President Vladimir Putin," according to the sources.

"The ultimate aim has always been to bring them to justice. Obviously if they're no longer in the UK, it makes it much more challenging," one of the sources said, adding that investigators are poised to open a criminal case against the suspected hitmen.

On March 4, 2018, the Skripals were found unresponsive on a bench at a shopping mall in the British town of Salisbury after they were exposed to what UK experts claimed was the A234 nerve agent.

READ MORE: No Passenger of Yulia Skripal's Flight Had Traces of Intoxication — Moscow

UK Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to a conclusion, saying that it was "highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal," something that was vehemently rejected by Moscow, which called the accusations "absurd".

Following the alleged attack, UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated that she would be expelling 23 Russian diplomats, and accused Russia of the incident. Several countries have since followed suit and expelled Russian diplomats as a sign of "solidarity", prodding Moscow to respond in kind.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201807031065990669-skripal-case-uk-police...

 

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the sauce was crap...

The Skripal case was a furphy from the beginning. As Rob Slane says:

 

Over the last five pieces (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5) I have, slowly but surely, advanced a theory of what happened in the Skripal case. I must confess to having done so with a fair amount of unease. I don’t want to believe that my Government has been stating a case that is false. I don’t want to believe that the public have been lied to. I don’t want to have to think that there has been a lot of effort made to present an explanation that hides the truth.

And yet, given the fact that the Government story contains self-evident fallacies, and cannot be made to add up, I don’t think that there’s much alternative than to be hugely sceptical about their claims. I stated the two main fallacies in Part 1, which are the claims that three people were poisoned by the nerve agent A-234, which is 5-8 times more toxic than VX, and that because A-234 was developed in the Soviet Union, the Russian State is responsible for what happened. The first claim cannot be true, because the three people are alive and well and have suffered no irreparable damage. The second claim is palpably untrue, because A-234 has been synthesised in a number of countries.

Yet this is only the tip of the iceberg of the absurdities and anomalies.

 

Read more:

http://www.theblogmire.com/joining-some-dots-on-the-skripal-case-part-6-...

 

See Skripal was still an active spy working for MI6. After having duded his own country, Russia, as a double agent, Skripal was working full time for the Poms — who "trusted" him.

 

As Rob Slane stated in his section 4:

Mr Cohen has of course vehemently denied this claim, saying that he has never been to Prague. Whether he has or hasn’t is not for me to say, but it is in any case irrelevant to the point I am making. That point is this: Sergei Skripal had what looks like extensive connections with Czech Intelligence, and claims – whether true or false –, which presumably came from Czech sources, are found in the Trump Dossier.

Putting these three things together – the Steele/Miller/Skripal connection; the Czech claims in the Dossier; and the emphatic claim made by Paul Gregory that the Dossier itself was compiled by a Russian “trained in the KGB tradition” – then you can begin to see where this might be pointing.

Now, you’d think from the way the BBC and others have reported on Mr Skripal that he was just some old chap enjoying his retirement in the quiet city of Salisbury, where he was in the habit of frequenting local restaurants and pottering about in his garden. Yet his continued work for British Intelligence, which saw him travelling to the Czech Republic and Estonia in 2016 to meet with intelligence officers, paints a somewhat different picture

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/03/joining-some-dots-on-the-skripal-cas...

 

Now with some news about more dark figures:

The Sun has cited sources in Scotland Yard as saying that "a two-man hit team with close ties to Russia" orchestrated the alleged poisoning of ex-Russian security agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK earlier this year.

The plot can only get murkier and murkier, but less and less credible, despite not being credible from the start. The analysis by Rob Slane is solid. Something happened or did not happened but whatever the case, it was not the Russians but in the long run MI6 running a fake case to blame the Russians. It worked to a point and adding carrots like "a two-man hit team with close ties to Russia"  is part of the ongoing shit. Rubbish sensational journalists are unable to know the truth so when they are thrown some garbage by some unnamed sources, they will cling to it to stop them drowning in the soup. 

The UK government will eventually bear the consequences of having lied. 

Interestingly Rob Slane may have been mentioned on this site before, for his book: "The God Reality: A Critique of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion". Rod is a believer. He thinks that:

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7)

 

Gus is a fierce atheist and would have panned Rob's book. See:

 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/31094

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/31842

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/31847

 

impossible, said the doorknob...

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" – Alice in Wonderland. The problem for the British narrative in the Skripal case is that one would have to believe way more than six things. 

Let me start with the latest: the taxpayer-funded purchase for more than one million pounds of the homes in Salisbury of the British spy Sergei Skripal and the police officer Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. This purchase is explained as necessary on security grounds and – some suspect – may be followed by the destruction of both houses and all the evidence therein.

This is difficult to explain in the absence of a state purchase of the Zizi's Pizza Restaurant where Skripal and his daughter Yulia ate what could have very well ended up being their last meal, and where they spent at least as much time as DS Bailey could have been in touch with the pair. Ditto the pub the Skripals visited before repairing for lunch. And anywhere else they went after leaving their door handle on which was smeared in gel form the strangely innocuous Novichok(ish) which killed none of the people who ingested it.

This presupposes that DS Bailey was never in the Skripal house but was – oddly, given his rank – merely a first responder on the park bench where the Skripals slumped at exactly the same time and in the same form, despite their differences in age, height, and physical form – itself difficult to understand if both were affected by the Novichok(ish) several hours before from the doorknob.

Neither Skripal showed any signs of having been affected in the pub, or wherever else they visited en route to Zizi's, or in the restaurant, or even in the only short piece of CCTV footage seen in the public domain after they had left the restaurant but before they reached the park bench on which they slumped five hours after leaving their doorknob.

IF all of the foregoing is a truthful account of what happened, then one thing is now the settled will of the majority of thinking people in the United Kingdom – even in Salisbury – whatever else was on the doorknob it was not a "deadly military grade nerve agent... of a type developed by Russia."

Because, if it had been, they would have both been dead in the short walk from the doorknob to the car or certainly before they had driven to the end of their street. They would have been found dead either on the garden path or slumped behind the wheel of their car, not five hours later on a park bench – very unwell but now thankfully apparently well again – and in Yulia's case looking the very picture of health.

Sergei, of course, we have not seen, but given his discharge from hospital just a few days after Yulia's, it is logical to infer that he too has made the same Lazarus-like resurrection from what we had been told was his imminent deathbed just the day before Yulia's now famous telephone call with her cousin in Moscow.
But IS what we have been told about the chain of events the truth? I have met no one, literally no one, who believes so.

And NO evidence, none whatsoever, has been produced by the government or any state authorities which gives the slightest justification to Theresa May's rush to judgment and blame issued peremptorily against the Russian Federation and – in the mouth of both the foreign secretary and the defense secretary – against President Putin himself.
It is established by the very fact the Skripals survived that what struck them was not Novichok.

Even if it had been, it is untrue that the family of nerve agents called Novichok was "developed by Russia." It was developed by the USSR, and not in Russia but in other republics, including the now-Western ally Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Its stockpiles were certified, destroyed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray attended a reception for the UN chemical weapons watchdog in Uzbekistan as they celebrated the successful conclusion of this work.

One of the leading Russian scientists in the Soviet-era Novichok team moved to the United States where he published a book containing the exact chemical formula needed to make Novichok. The book was available on Amazon. One eminent US scientist I interviewed on my radio show by phone from the United States told me that ANY of his undergraduate students could make Novichok and so could any university chemistry student anywhere in the world.

But it was not Novichok or any "military-grade nerve agent" which struck the Skripals – if it had been, they would be dead. I repeat that for emphasis.

But the other parts of Mrs. May's narrative haven't fared any better.

...

 

I have worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh before and closely, almost 30 years ago. That work is worth retelling on another occasion. Suffice to say that Hersh is no journalistic trifle. He is of impeccable, near Olympian, standards.


Hersh claimed last week that the Skripals were attacked by Russians, just not the Russians identified by Mrs. May.  But by Russian criminals, organized criminals, Russian Mafia criminals. The reason? Well, Hersh believes because the British security services had reactivated the bored (or broke) Sergei Skripal to begin working again, this time in cracking down on the nest of oligarchs and their often criminal money and enterprises operating in London.


I don't know this to be true, but it has the ring of truth. A far clearer ring of truth than anything I've heard from the British government.


Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/431630-uk-skripal-case-failure/

 

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from the cheesemaker-luddite...

 


The Skripal psyop – where next?


 

David Macilwain


At the end of my article on “the Framing of Russia”, published initially by American Herald Tribune on October 4th and since on Off Guardian, I wrote:

 .. In the plausibility stakes in fact, this whole story – which as Elena (Evdokimova) observes is only hypothetical – rates at least as “highly likely”, if not quite “beyond reasonable doubt”, and is a substantial base on which to mount further speculation and prediction on the conspirators’ next moves. That the UK government, its agencies and assistants are the conspirators, with everything that this implies, can however no longer be in doubt.”

On that same day their “next move” materialised, in the shape of a coordinated press release by Dutch and British governments. This was actually more of a coordinated release of misinformation, detailing actions six whole months earlier, so the question must be what specific purpose was being sought and achieved by this long delayed action?

Was this not just the next move in creating a profile of Russia’s GRU as some sort of bogyman and mortal “threat to our way of life”, that began on September 5th with the launching of Bellingcat’s chosen patsies “Chepiga and Mishkin” onto the Western media stage? We should ask the National Cyber Security Centre, which appears to be the source of the UK Government’s latest statements.

The NCSC, a branch of GCHQ set up in October 2016, alleges that the GRU tried to gain access to OPCW computer networks, and to those at Porton Down in April 2018, assessing with “high confidence” that the GRU was “almost certainly” responsible for those alleged cyber-attacks.

We can’t however have even moderate confidence in this authoritative sounding information from the UK’s chief spy agency, as the NCSC expresses exactly the same “high confidence” that:

In 2016, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was hacked and documents were subsequently published online”, and that “the GRU was almost certainly responsible.”

Really? Didn’t Russia’s military intelligence unit have enough on its plate in 2016, dealing with US support for Al Nusra in Aleppo and ISIS in Palmyra and Deir al Zour?

The wider agenda of the UK and Dutch governments in making this fabricated case against “Russian meddling” and “reckless behaviour” – even labelling Russia a “pariah state” – is worrying, simply because it is fabricated. To understand why, we need only examine the context of that action taken against Russian diplomats/GRU agents at the time it happened, in mid-April. In fact they were expelled the day before the US, UK and France launched a missile attack on Damascus, having refused to wait for the OPCW to reach Douma to establish whether a Chemical Weapon attack had really taken place.

During the week between the Douma stunt and the missile attack, Russia had been working furiously to prevent such an attack, in the full knowledge that Opposition claims of a chemical strike on Douma were fabricated by the White Helmets and their Special Forces aides. No-one on the ground in Douma knew anything about such a strike, and Russian experts had already done tests and found no chemical evidence of one. Russia and Syria had demanded that the OPCW visit Douma as soon as possible; evidently the US/UK/French coalition intended to strike at Damascus regardless and didn’t want the truth to get in the way of their great story, so found ways to delay the OPCW’s mission both in Holland and Syria.

Whether Russian diplomats were also at the Hague making representations to the OPCW over Douma during that week is unknown, but they were surely there in connection with the OPCW’s investigations of the alleged nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Following on the OPCW’s visit to Salisbury to “collect” samples around March 21st and their analysis at undisclosed certified laboratories, their conclusions on the nature of the poison were issued on April 12th, the day before the expulsion of Russian diplomats.

On the 14th of April, Sergei Lavrov took the extraordinary step of releasing the confidential results of the OPCW analysis performed by the Swiss Spiez lab, publicly revealing what had been omitted from statements by the OPCW head and the UK government, which merely confirmed the presence of “Novichok” in blood and environmental samples.

The OPCW report available here stated only that:

  1. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.
  2. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

Like the “release” of misinformation on October 4th, on the alleged GRU hacking of the OPCW six months earlier, it appears that even this public statement from the supposedly neutral OPCW was timed to suit the political and strategic agenda of the UK and Dutch governments. The previous day the new head of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, speaking on the last day of a three-day NCSC conference in Manchester, had already delivered the verdict of Russia’s guilt and recommended the punishment.

In his first public appearance as an intelligence chief, Fleming’s particularly rabid and intemperate contribution seemed almost designed to inflame the dangerous confrontation with Russia over Syria. At least it appears to confirm the close connection between the UK’s claims of chemical weapons use in Salisbury and Syria, and the intent to smear Russia with the same toxic poison as Syria in the mind of the Western public.

What Lavrov had revealed, on the undisclosed presence of the incapacitating agent BZ in the Skripals’ blood samples, was of course a breakthrough. It is more than ironic that the revelation of this astonishing campaign of lies told through Western media was completely submerged by news of the illegal missile attack on Syria that happened on the same day.

Thanks to this propaganda campaign from the creators of “Operation Nina”, the truth Russia also revealed about events in Douma and its later confirmation by the OPCW barely caused a ripple. When Russia presented a group of real Syrian witnesses from Douma at the OPCW headquarters, UK, French and Dutch governments condemned their action as an “obscene masquerade” and “gruesome spectacle”. It’s hard to think of a better description for that criminal war provocation those governments and their agents had just contrived in Syria.

So where does this all leave us now, as the situation in Syria begins to look more promising? Not only have the Jordanian and Golan border crossings been opened this week, but there is positive progress on the Demilitarised Zone, to be policed by Russian and Turkish forces. With the bizarre events in Istanbul over the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi causing severe tensions between Turkey, the Saudis and the US, the “rebel” forces all three countries have been supporting in Idlib province may be thinking it best to keep a low profile and comply with the ceasefire plan.

In fact it’s hard not to see some strange connection here, as the DMZ agreement effectively marks the end of the joint Saudi-Turkish “surge” of March 2015, when thousands of fighters invaded Idlib under the joint flag of Jaish al Fatah, or Army of Conquest. The Saudi-supported faction that dominated this army – Jabhat al Nusra – now rebadged as Tahrir al Sham or HTS, remains the wild card, of foreign jihadists on life-support from Syria’s most intransigent enemies.

But the question remains – what is the next move from those countries who have         supported the war on Syria for seven years and now finally failed to achieve their goal? Does this new focus on “cyber-security” – otherwise known as “information warfare” – signify a departure from the “War on Terror”.

Perhaps this glowing portrayal of one of the leaders of the West’s new cyber-army is showing us the way. In an almost unreadable puff piece on “open-source” journalism, titled “Citizen journalists – the fighters on the frontline against Russia’s attacks” Carole Cadwalladr posits that:

We can no longer count on our governments to protect us from a tide of disinformation. Our security rests in the hands of open source intelligence, as pioneered by Bellingcat.”

As Cadwalladr says – disinformation is “the defining story of our age, and the story of 2018”.

We could hardly dispute that!

 

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David Macilwain 

Sixties drop out, Scientist-farmer, cheesemaker-Luddite, late life activist for the Resistance, Putin/Assad/Nasrallah lover. Atheist. Traveller-student through MENA-Russia-Europe. Abandoned UK frying pan for Australian fire. Marginalised dissident. Author for Russia Insider/AHT and OffG.