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False flag poisonings bulletin, 2020

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[Jan 22, 2020] Wikipedia is nothing but a tool for the concealment of truth.

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Arch Mangle , Jan 21 2020 14:04 utc | 3

The Wikipedia article on the Douma attack makes no mention of the recent OPCW leaks:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Douma_chemical_attack

It's clear to me that Wikipedia is nothing but a tool for the concealment of truth.

somebody , Jan 22 2020 12:39 utc | 96

Posted by: Walter | Jan 22 2020 12:30 utc | 95

Of course. Intelligence services wordwide and their governments knew this as soon as they saw the image.

But Western main stream media does not report on it.

[Jan 22, 2020] The blatant hoax of the OPCW Douma exercise is simply an insult to the common sense of humanity. The fact that so many children were sacrificed to give gravity to this hoax is simply macabre beyond belief.

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 22 2020 10:10 utc | 93

juliania #66
I do agree with Robert that the visa difficulties would suggest that the UN needs to find a new home in a country that would not bring such matters to that unhelpful conclusion.

Establishing the UN in one country was fine in the days of poor speed telecommunications. The entire Un should be a multi national establishment and distributed across the globe where technical and administrative mechanisms suit. There is no reason for Un to be centralised in USA in these day of excellent communications systems. Multinational corporations and vast states like Russia that span half the planet can achieve these things.

The blatant hoax of the OPCW Douma exercise is simply an insult to the common sense of humanity. The fact that so many children were sacrificed to give gravity to this hoax is simply macabre beyond belief. The OPCW is complicit in a crime against humanity and refuses to acknowledge it. Each and every one of the scientists that participated should give recorded testimony of what they know of the origins and fate of those children. THAT is an absolute priority evidence collection.

Laguerre , Jan 22 2020 15:58 utc | 104

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

I entirely agree. The really shocking thing was to denial of a visa for Henderson. That undermines the entire functioning of the UN as an entity at least to an extent independent of the US. The UN cannot function like that. It can only be a puppet of the US - and an open puppet, not concealed control (as many here have accused over the years).

Trump is not very subtle, he has wrecked many US policies, by exposing them in the open - for example, the treatment of the EU as a prime enemy. Nobody knew (though they guessed) how much the US treated the EU as a competitor. Now it's declared in the open.

[Jan 22, 2020] UK elite resorted to typical neofascist provocation in case of Skripal false falg

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jan 22 2020 16:32 utc | 108

This is a relevant quote from a commentary in NYT, March 26, 2018 by Kadri Liik (@KadriLiik) is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the former director of the International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia.

"The world does not yet know the full details of the Skripal poisoning, but it does not feel like waiting, as the expulsions make clear. Too often in the past, Moscow has denied its involvement in cases that later end up being traced to the Kremlin or its proxies. The result is that its denials lack credibility. Now, the successful use of "plausible deniability" in all the previous cases collides with the Kremlin's current interests and contributes to the verdict: guilty until proven innocent."

Punishment before the proof, if you reverse the order you [do what Putin wants|make Putin happy], the outcome so ghastly that we cannot risk it. The truth has to be declared, and then, optionally, proven. Another option is to just repeat that, say, Qassim Suleimani was a terrorist. And punish.

Bombing of Barzeh as a punishment for un-investigated crime follows the template, duly approved by the sophisticated Europeans from a myriad of outfits like International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia. I would move all of them to Tiksi (check accuweather), a quiet and somewhat depopulated city on the shore of beautiful Arctic ocean, with an airport, a few thousand of empty apartments should accommodate them (if not, there are also former mining towns in the interior, although the may be colder). Cold Warriors should embrace the cold.

[Jan 22, 2020] Dissilution of the USSR turned the remnants of fascism into heroes

Notable quotes:
"... Many of those who sneaked out to Argentina and concealed themselves would have done better to have waited for Canada and the States to invite them to come and 'do their thing' in Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta. ..."
"... Which leads me to the point I came here to make: the astonishing thing about the OPCW hearing is that Henderson was denied a visa. That really is shocking and a measure of how brutal, intellectually and actually, the US government has become. ..."
"... Not to mention the imposition of semi colonial hegemony over Europe. ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

somebody@94
Don't underestimate the transformation of residual 'blood and soil' themes in fascism into foundations of the Green movements. They were not simply dissenters within the communist tradition but rabid anti-communists. It was the intellectual traditions and the residual popular support among generations schooled in fascism-often literally schooled- which were preserved and amplified by the wave of anti-communism which came in from America. Like the legendary 'cavalry' rescuing the embattled settlers the US swooped into Europe, when all seemed lost, and turned the remnants of fascism into heroes.

Many of those who sneaked out to Argentina and concealed themselves would have done better to have waited for Canada and the States to invite them to come and 'do their thing' in Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta.

Which leads me to the point I came here to make: the astonishing thing about the OPCW hearing is that Henderson was denied a visa. That really is shocking and a measure of how brutal, intellectually and actually, the US government has become. It has long been bad but things have reached the stage now where it has become clear that the likes Of Al Capone and the models for The Godfather movies, were babes in arms compared with the likes of Bolton or Pompeo.
When we consider Trump and the key, almost impossibly apt, fact that Roy Cohn was his mentor it is easy to forget that, in a sense, Roy Cohn was America's mentor. Cohn, who got the job of McCarthy's counsel, in competition with Bobby Kennedy, turned the Wisconsin Senator from a loose cannon into a guided missile against the residual American left and, a much easier target, the Intelligentsia.

And Cohn and McCarthy and the forces that they represented- the primordial forces of Capitalism- put the fear of poverty into them. It is impossible to understand the USA today, and its role in the world, without understanding that its intellectuals were intimidated into exile, silence, compromise, retreat and impotence as the new Imperialism set about its ruthless work. Look at the late forties, from Taft Hartley (and the crushing of the Unions)to such forgotten but signatory interventions as that in Guyana against Cheddi Jagan (repeated by JFK in 1960) Guatemala and Iran. Not to mention the imposition of semi colonial hegemony over Europe.

All these things have lasted. And Cohn's role in producing them was crucial-it was the bipartisanship of bigotry and brutality and Tammany gangsterism. (An old alliance that, between Jim Crow and the Machines.)

Trump is one of Cohn's kids but much more representative of them is Hillary Clinton, daughter of a John Bircher, a Goldwater girl, a 'feminist'-of the thoroughly sickening variety- and imbued with a hatred of Russia.


somebody , Jan 22 2020 21:00 utc | 118

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

Foundation members of the Greens were very diverse, for sure. The right wing ecofascist faction left them soon though - they were incompatible.

There is the elementary conflict between SPD/Linke voters and Greens though on industrial economic growth and consumerism.

karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 17:45 utc | 114

Bubbles @71--

The Soviet Union won the war, the United States won the peace... That didn't happen by accident.

The Outlaw US Empire immediately initiated the Cold War as soon as V-E day happened by collecting SS and Gestapo for redeployment into Eastern Europe to commit acts of terrorism, a preplanned exercise. It later held the farcical trials at Nuremburg. Walter's provided lots of nice insight into the aims of the Manhattan Project and real reason for murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese. The Great Evil that's today's USA got its start during WW2, but its philosophical underpinnings are as old as the Republic.

If History is going to be remembered correctly, then ALL of that History must be revealed--true and raw, just as Putin and the Russians propose to do with their historical memory project.

pretzelattack , Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115
another benefit for the u.s., all those german scientists via operation paperclip. helped keep the mic running after it would normally ramp down postwar.
pretzelattack , Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115 karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116
bevin @103--

Yes, Standing Ovation!! So much of that's now swept under the rug. Henry Wallace was all too correct about US Fascism in his 1944 essay. During WW2, Charles Beard wrote a book that was initially serialized in Life magazine beginning on 17 Jan 1944, The Republic: Conversations on Fundamentals , which was read by and sold more copies than any of his works--ever--and was the last major book he produced. Yet, when you look at the short bibliography at Wikipedia or the one provided by its link to the American History Association, it is omitted--WHY? I used it as a teaching tool for both history and polisci because of its brilliant construction--the way in which Beard composed it as a series of conversations. This link provides a hint , or you can join the archive and "borrow" it as there's no open downloading of this book available--WHY? Lots of his other works are feely available. It's not hard to find used first editions for under $4, which attests to the number published. But it certainly seems like we're not supposed to know of this work as its airbrushing from his AHA bibliography suggests.

Maybe what Beard wrote about was too contrary to The Plan. Aha!! Beard wrote that it was his rebuttal to Henry Luce--the owner/publisher of Life and Time magazines--and his idea of an American Century meaning American Empire a la Rome/Britain--Pax Americana. The mystery gets deeper upon reading the introduction at the first link above. I wish I could copy/paste, but I'm barred from doing that, so you'll need to read it yourself. One can envision Bradbury's Firemen rushing out to eliminate just such a book with its heretical ideas about how the US federal government's supposed to operate and for whom.

But back to bevin and his recounting of a critical historical chapter that's also being airbrushed. Some of us barflies are akin to Bradbury's "Train People" from Fahrenheit 451 , but how confident are we that the stories we have to tell are being heard AND remembered so they don't vanish with us?

karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 20:04 utc | 117
116 Cont'd--

This is more for Bubbles @71, but applies to all. This is from 2017 upon the release of UN Holocaust files held back on request by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassal Britain as reported in an excellent article by Finnian Cunningham:

"In other words, the Cold War which the US and Britain embarked on after 1945 was but a continuation of hostile policy towards Moscow that was already underway well before the Second World War erupted in 1939 in the form of a build up of Nazi Germany. For various reasons, it became expedient for the Western powers to liquidate the Nazi war machine, along with the Soviet Union. But as can be seen, the Western assets residing in the Nazi machine were recycled into American and British Cold War posture against the Soviet Union. It is a truly damning legacy that American and British military intelligence agencies were consolidated and financed by Nazi crimes.

"The recent release of UN Holocaust files – in spite of American and British prevarication over many years – add more evidence to the historical analysis that these Western powers were deeply complicit in the monumental crimes of the Nazi Third Reich. They knew about these crimes because they had helped facilitate them. And the complicity stemmed from Western hostility towards Russia as a perceived geopolitical rival.

" This is not a mere historical academic exercise . Western complicity with Nazi Germany also finds a corollary in the present-day ongoing hostility from Washington, Britain and their NATO allies towards Moscow. The relentless build up of NATO offensive forces around Russia's borders, the endless Russophobia in Western propagandistic news media, the economic blockade in the form of sanctions based on tenuous claims, are all deeply rooted in history. [My Emphasis]
"The West's Cold War towards Moscow preceded the Second World War, continued after the defeat of Nazi Germany and persists to this day regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Why? Because Russia is a perceived rival to Anglo-American capitalist hegemony, as is China or any other emerging power that undermines that desired unipolar hegemony.

"American-British collusion with Nazi Germany finds its modern-day manifestation in NATO collusion with the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and jihadist terror groups dispatched in proxy wars against Russian interests in Syria and elsewhere. The players may change over time, but the root pathology is American-British capitalism and its hegemonic addiction.

"The never-ending Cold War will only end when Anglo-American capitalism is finally defeated and replaced by a genuinely more democratic system."

The picture becomes clearer as we begin to realize that today's monsters--Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams, Rove, and others--are the same as yesterday's monsters, although they've moved from one side of the Atlantic to the other. What's currently happening ought to make informed people think again about who the Arc of Resistance is actually defending and what message Trump's murder of Soleimani is meant to convey--it's TINA once again: Neoliberal Fascism. It should also be noted that the release occurred soon after Trump became POTUS, giving a strong secondary motive for Russiagate and the Skripals shortly afterward.


karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 23:51 utc | 123
Bubbles @122--

Thanks for your reply. Are you aware of Operation Unthinkable , Operation Sunrise from which the former sprang, and Allen Dulles's activities in Italy and Germany during 1945?

AntiSpin @121--

Good to hear from you! I had a hard time digging up a copy of Life to read Luce's screed on the American Century which I photocopied. Today, a quick search now finds it online here (PDF), while here's a dissection that sets up the conflicting outlooks of Beard and Luce that IMO's useful. Indeed, Luce's views are quite the read given what the USA's become--do note the political party that feared and predicted such an outcome. It's a great misfortune that a discussion of the two doesn't even enter into graduate seminars about WW2; at least my undergrads got some exposure and learned of the two essay's existence.

AntiSpin , Jan 22 2020 23:11 utc | 121
@ karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116

Thanks much for the information on Charles Beard's "forgotten" book. I just ordered a copy.

[Jan 22, 2020] Journalism as the last escape of mathematically illiterates

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , Jan 22 2020 12:30 utc | 95

@ Russ | Jan 22 2020 8:33 utc | 86 (about the gas cylinder(s).

Any bright high-school kid who's been through the math curriculum and has some calculus can tell you, give you, a range of terminal velocities in air at that elevation. You have to assume that the thing fell in the "best" attitude, and also the "worst" attitude - a matter of aerodynamic drag. Obviously there's a terminal velocity - somewhere about 200 feet per second. There's a minimum altitude above which it doesn't fall any faster because of drag...and it has a krappy drag coefficient. You have to work with the numbers to get a fine understanding...but it's the sort of question you'd see in a university engineering exam.

The mass is assumed to be something like 100 pounds. Do the math.

Then there's the question of concrete quality...it's highly heterogeneous..but you can assume it's top quality, and estimate the rebar density and thickness from the pretty pictures.

And you can assume zero projectile deformation (not even straps torn off!!?) and the hole's not big enough.

The story's bull.

William Gruff , Jan 22 2020 13:48 utc | 98

somebody @96: "But Western main stream media does not report on it."

Of course not. The western corporate mass media does not have among their workforce "Any bright high-school kid who's been through the math curriculum and has some calculus..." that Walter @95 points out as being a prerequisite to see how bogus is the narrative they are tasked with amplifying. The workforce chose to major in Journalism specifically because they had difficulties with basic arithmetic, with such heartless and unyielding topics as addition and subtraction being forever beyond them in the absence of a calculator.

Many think I exaggerate or am joking, but this is literal truth. These individuals of which the corporate mass media are composed get their conception of physics from crappy syfy movies in which spaceship blasters make "Pew-pew!!" noises in the vacuum of space. If it is necessary for the plot that a flimsy canister is able to punch through steel rebar reinforced concrete with barely a scratch, then they are fine with it. If these new age journalists' "contact" in Langley (what we know to be their "handler" or "operator" ) says it is believable, they won't pause for an instant to question.

After all, earnest delusion and ignorance serves the Mockingbird mass media's handlers in the CIA far better than does cynical and deliberate deception, though that last does have a sizable role to play as well. Deliberate deception is difficult and requires some skill, while any American can do stupidity with the greatest of ease.

[Jan 21, 2020] UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports pretzelattack , Jan 21 2020 14:07 utc | 4

We have long maintained that the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7 2018 was faked by Jihadists shortly before they were evicted from that Damascus suburb.

By the end of last year leaked documents and a whistle blower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had proven that the OPCW managers had manipulated the report their staff had written about the incident. The OPCW inspectors who had investigated the case on the ground in Douma found that there was evidence that a chemical attack had happened. The murdered people seem in videos from the alleged attack must have died of other causes. The yellow canisters found at the locations of the alleged attack were not dropped from helicopters but clearly manually placed.


bigger

Using the Arria-formula , a procedure to have witnesses testify to the UN Security Council, Russia and China invited other UN members to listen to the testimony of OPCW inspector Ian Henderson. He denounced the false final report the OPCW management had published. Henderson, a South African engineer, was a team leader at the OPCW where he had worked for more than twelve years.

Henderson's testimony can be watched here . Philip Watson transcribed Henderson's speech:

Cont. reading: UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports

Posted by b at 13:34 UTC | Comments (58) the u.s. can veto any proposed action, but at least the representatives had to sit still and listen. they'll probably look hard for some way to kneecap him like the first head of the opcw ("we know where your kids are") or julian assange.


Piotr Berman , Jan 21 2020 14:22 utc | 6

The Arria meeting at UNSC was skimpily reported. RT and some other sources focused on Russian accusations. Google hits only one western report, The Times of London. I skip here little:

Western nations accused Russia of sowing misinformation ...

Yesterday Russia convened an "Arria" meeting, in which the Security Council hears from civilians and experts outside the United Nations. Alexander Shulgin, Russia's ambassador to the OPCW, said that the gas cylinders had been placed on the scene by Syrian opposition groups "for provocative purposes".

Showing the council a series of slides, he claimed that a hole in a roof did not correspond to the shape of one of the gas cylinders and questioned how one of them had come to rest on a bed. "Now, I weigh about 90kg," he said. "If I incautiously throw myself down on the bed I always break something, the strut falls out, the slat falls out or something else." Yet here, he said, was a gas cylinder, apparently filled with chlorine, that had rebounded "at a wild angle" and came to rest "like a light swan".

Russia presented a video featuring Ian Henderson, who worked with the fact-finding team but differed with the OPCW's conclusions in internal emails that were leaked last year. It also presented Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, who claimed that his group's research on the ground showed that no chemical attack had taken place.

The German ambassador, Christoph Heusgen, said that the Russian intelligence service itself had conducted a cyber attack on the OPCW last year, adding that this "shows how far Russia is prepared to go" in its efforts to discredit the organisation.

Mr Heusgen also questioned the expertise of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, saying that its experts "belong to the school of Russian scientists that believes Ukraine invaded Russia".

Mr Heusgen said that, listening to the presentation, "I was thinking of Alice in Wonderland. This belongs in literature to the genre of fantasy and absurdity. While Alice in Wonderland is a great fiction, what we heard today is a very sad fiction."

Karen Pierce, Britain's representative at the United Nations, said that Russia had shut down an investigative body that assigned responsibility for chemical attacks after it showed that the Syrian Arab Republic was responsible for a sarin gas attack in Syria in 2017.

Mr Henderson's challenge to the conclusions of the report reflected "any scientific process" in which "there are bound to be robust exchanges of views" before a conclusion was reached. She added: "Someone in Russia is a fan of English literature, specifically they are very fond of Lewis Carrol."

GMJ , Jan 21 2020 14:26 utc | 7
We should remember that the US, UK, and France (sort of - they missed the launch sequence) attacked without even waiting for this fake report/excuse. And the western media applauded widely. It is sad. https://www.georgemjames.com/blog/what-is-the-us-military-legacy-since-2003 I never thought that I would write such things. GMJ
/div> Time to sue the hell out of these liars and drag them to ICC by Syria. Let them prove their innocence there and it will also solve visa problem when these liars will feel the heat and stop travelling to other countries for the fear of being arrested. State sponsored terror by those who are pretending to fight the terror!

Posted by: Test123 , Jan 21 2020 15:16 utc | 12

Time to sue the hell out of these liars and drag them to ICC by Syria. Let them prove their innocence there and it will also solve visa problem when these liars will feel the heat and stop travelling to other countries for the fear of being arrested. State sponsored terror by those who are pretending to fight the terror!

Posted by: Test123 | Jan 21 2020 15:16 utc | 12

ak74 , Jan 21 2020 15:27 utc | 14
A War Crimes Tribunal is awaiting America, Britain, France, and their allies.

The Douma scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the American Axis' lies regarding not only Syria but many other nations (Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc.) that these war criminal "democracies" have attacked.

Waging wars of aggression based on deceptions like "Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction" cannot go unpunished.

somebody , Jan 21 2020 15:38 utc | 15
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 21 2020 14:37 utc | 8

Just checked. It is outside of the reporting of German main stream media. Same as wikileaks - they don't mention their leaks any longer.

According to opinion polls most Germans are against German military involvement in Syria.

If you ask people in Germany about "disinformation, misrepresentation and absurdities" most would connect it to Trump not Putin. The German government took the extraordinary step to confirm that they had been blackmailed versus Iran by Trump threatening tariffs for the car industry. There is also the case of Nord Stream II which will be built though the US threw everything they had at it.

There is a German-Russian community and they watch Russian media. There used to be a push by Russia to "protect" "our Russians" against immigrants in Germany but after some stern talks this has stopped. I guess Russian support for AFD has also stopped.

It is obvious that Germany will insist on trade with Russia and China. All Putin has to do is wait for Trump (and Boris Johnson) to cut the last Atlantic bridge.

There is a German version of RT, I just had a look, they sound pretty mainstream and relaxed on the disinformation front. Actually most of the non-Western stuff nowadays looks like this - Press TV, Xinhua. I guess they feel they can be a contrast to Donald Trump's post fact era - which Bush's "truthiness" for invading Iraq has started.

john , Jan 21 2020 16:12 utc | 17
ak74 @ 14 says:

A War Crimes Tribunal is awaiting America, Britain, France, and their allies

in 2011 the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found former US president George W Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair guilty of crimes against humanity, so they have a head start, but yeah, you just know that these criminal fuckers are shaking in their boots, what with the way things are trending and all. it'll be psychologically devastating for masses of Americans, though perhaps by that time the worst effects will have been ameliorated by all the writing on the wall.

BM , Jan 21 2020 16:33 utc | 18
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Bush and Blair guilty ... and subsequently Malaysia seems to have been forced to pay a heavy price, namely MH370 and MH17.
Bubbles , Jan 21 2020 16:50 utc | 20
More counter official OPCW narrative input,

"Important Douma OPCW update from Prof. Piers Robinson
vanessa beeley / 2 days ago "

https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/01/19/important-douma-opcw-update-from-prof-piers-robinson/


In depth;

"How the OPCW's investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled*"

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/how-the-opcws-investigation-of-the-douma-incident-was-nobbled


Brown Noses aka Bellingcat also receives attention for it's slippery ways above.

frances , Jan 21 2020 16:59 utc | 21
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Bush and Blair guilty ... and subsequently Malaysia seems to have been forced to pay a heavy price, namely MH370 and MH17.
Posted by: BM | Jan 21 2020 16:33 utc | 18

Yes, apparently the final straw was when the President refused to accept US aid, rebellions ensued and a S compliant and apparently quite corrupt govt is now in place.

jayc , Jan 21 2020 18:05 utc | 28
As described by Times of London - an extremely poor response by western representatives at the UNSC, all ad hominem attacks and incredulity. This story has been brewing for months, with a fair amount of established detail on the process used to arrive at the published report. To attempt to use the OPCW's own weak retort that it was merely a "robust exchange of views" rather than conscious manipulation, a line of argument long superseded by the collected facts, shows the western representatives are feigning ignorance, and they do so confident that most news "consumers" are in fact ignorant of these matters because they are simply not reported.
Harry , Jan 21 2020 18:07 utc | 29
Re Pyotr Berman

Lewis Carroll. How apt!

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'

I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!"

― Lewis Carroll

AriusArmenian , Jan 21 2020 18:15 utc | 30
Corruption and manipulation in western influenced and controlled institutions has become the norm in the West. The public has been normalized to blindly accepting lies by the political and corporate elites. The people are easily kept under control by narratives of fear and hate.

Truth and honesty from anything the western elites touch is now rare and precious.

William Gruff , Jan 21 2020 18:21 utc | 31
A quick note about the chlorine "bombs" that were seen in Douma: Those are 100# propane tanks. ASME, DOT, and UN standards only require they have a burst pressure of up to 400psi (ASME is only 275psi). In normal operation propane only pressurizes the tanks to around 100psi. Because of this the tank walls are usually made of 10 or 11 gauge mild steel... about .125" thick.

For comparison SCUBA tanks operate up to 3000psi and have wall thicknesses of over .25"... twice as thick as a 100# propane tank. They are also made from higher grade steels and not plain old cold rolled.

Large high pressure gas cylinders are fairly rugged items, but even so I have a difficult time imagining one punching through steel reinforced concrete and remaining largely undamaged.

Propane gas tanks are NOT high pressure gas cylinders. They are flimsy in comparison. It is not surprising that the OPCW team that actually visited the site of the supposed bombing dismissed the terrorists' narrative. What is surprising is the number of supposedly non-stupid people who believe that the tanks were dropped from helicopters, punched through steel reinforced concrete, and came to rest in the condition seen in the photographs. It takes habituated suspension of disbelief of a population perpetually plugged into the boob tube to accept that nonsense.

NoOneYouKnow , Jan 21 2020 18:50 utc | 34
Wikipedia is fine for unimportant info. I hope anyone who relies on it for serious subjects reads this: https://medium.com/@helen.buyniski/wikipedia-rotten-to-the-core-dcc435781c45
Also, in the penultimate sentence of Nebenzia's statement, "shelled" should be "shelved."
juliania , Jan 21 2020 19:21 utc | 40
In addition to the falsification of the report, now presented as undeniable fact to the Security Council, b takes note of two other atrocities - first:

"...Videos from Douma at the time of the incident showed some 30 bodies of dead persons. Most were children. It is up to day unknown who they were and who had murdered them. The OPCW manipulation of the original reports of its inspectors' findings is a cover up for that huge crime..."

There should be a thorough investigation of the identities of these victims. I am guessing the atrocities were perpetrated in a school, if most of the victims were children. Was it in this very building? Had some sort of hostage situation been taking place?

Secondly, the building totally destroyed and seen in b's coverage was one which researched medical and agricultural concerns for Syria - a huge loss in itself, not to mention if there were people within. I don't remember seeing news of that, would appreciate a link if anyone has it.

Thanks b, for your coverage here; it is most important. I had mentioned an argument with an anti-Assad person a while back. (Told him to come here and read; I hope he did.) His main point was the lie that Assad had 'gassed his own people.' Maybe I'll encounter him again.

I further think if the UN Security Council ignores this it will take on the same shade of black currently shrouding the USA. It's currently grey in my book.

Robert , Jan 21 2020 19:35 utc | 42
As I see it the real problem is the UN based in the US. Not mentioned is that the OPCW inspector's testimony had to be given by Tele conference because he could not get a visa to attend. Remember too that the Iranian foreign minister has been refused a visa to attend the UN. Remember that Bustani was forced to resign as the head of OPCW because of vile,naked threats against his family.
Paleene , Jan 21 2020 19:38 utc | 43
@ Norwegian # 30

Thank you very much for this absolutely disgusting information. Sheds a different light on the Breivik-affair. :-(

Guy THORNTON , Jan 21 2020 19:39 utc | 44
"What is surprising is the number of supposedly non-stupid people who believe that the tanks were dropped from helicopters, punched through steel reinforced concrete, and came to rest in the condition seen in the photographs."
Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 21 2020 18:21 utc | 31

Agreed. I've never understood why the Russians haven't filmed the dropping of a few similar cylinders from helicopters at various heights....onto flat roofs of concrete apartment blocks.....so that everyone can see the result for comparison instead of endless theorising. You'd have thought the OPCW inspectors would have done this....but no mention of it.

Formerly T-Bear , Jan 21 2020 20:02 utc | 48
Having watched the UNSC meeting concerning the OPCW perfidious economy with fact, the British permanent envoy to the UN's 'performance' made it hard to not think the 'woman' would make the perfect character to fill the part of the lead concubine for Star Wars Jabba the Hutt, the demeanour, the ethics (doubtlessly supplied by Integrity Initiative), the appearance.
Wondrous things are made on that small island just off the coast of Europe, and some should be best kept there. Poor Europe, so far from heaven, so close to Britain.
Jen , Jan 21 2020 21:35 utc | 53
Juliania @ 40:

Based on other online news I have seen in the past, I think it is likely that the dead children shown in the videos had been kidnapped by the takfiris in various villages and other communities, targeted for being Orthodox Christian or Alawite believers, over the years. If the videos have no time stamps on them, then we have no way of knowing how long these children have been dead; they could have been dead for years and the videos themselves of equal vintage before the takfiris decided to make them public. The children may not all be from the same community or school; they could have been grouped together before they were killed or their bodies removed from where they were murdered and then grouped together.

The children may not even have been killed by CWs. I have seen some online photos of Syrian children said to have died from CW suffocation and in some of those photos, there was evidence of blunt force trauma around the hairline near the foreheads and ears.

The only way we'd know the identities of the children is if their families and communities are able to come forward and see the videos and other visual evidence. That's if the relatives are still alive or still in Syria.

Mother Agnes Mariam el Sahib , speaking to RT, on the video footage purporting to show dead victims of CW attacks (August 2013) in East Ghouta:

"... I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.

The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o'clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.

The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don't see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children?

I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva ..."

The girls may have been separated from other hostages to be married off to takfiris or used in sex trafficking schemes; or if dead, their bodies disposed of somehow. The extreme religious beliefs of ISIS, al Nusra and other takfiris probably don't allow them to touch the bodies of dead women and girls.

[Jan 21, 2020] Russia Asks OPCW to Meet to Resolve Issues Over Report on Chemical Use in Syria Envoy - Sputnik International

Notable quotes:
"... Reports about an alleged chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta's Duma emerged on April 7, 2018. The European Union and the United States promptly accused Damascus of being behind it, while the Syrian government denied any involvement. Syria and Russia, a close ally of the former, said that the attack was staged by local militants and the White Helmets group. ..."
"... A week later, without waiting for the results of an international investigation, the United States, the United Kingdom and France hit what they called Syria's chemical weapons facilities with over 100 missiles in response to the reported attack. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | sputniknews.com

Russia urged to convene a briefing with the participation of OPCW Fact-Finding-Mission (FFM) experts, who worked on the report on alleged chemical attack in Syria's Duma in April 2018, to reach an agreement on this controversial case, Alexander Shulgin, Russia's envoy to OPCW, said at a Security Council meeting. On Monday, members of the UN Security Council, at the request of the Russian mission, held an informal meeting to assess the situation around the FMM's Final Report on the incident in the Arab Republic .

In November, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published an email, sent by a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission to Syria to his superiors, in which he voiced his "gravest" concerns over the redacted version of the report in question, which he co-authored. According to the OPCW employee, the document, which is understood to have been edited by the secretariat, misrepresented facts, omitted certain details and introduced "unintended bias," having "morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted."

"We once again propose to resolve the conflicting situation through the means of holding of a briefing under the auspices of the OPCW and, possibly, with the assistance of all concerned countries and with the participation of all experts of the Fact-Finding-Mission, who worked on the Duma incident, to find a consensus on this resonant incident," Shulgin said on Monday.

Shulgin also suggested that the working methods of FFM must be improved, stressing the necessity for its members to personally visit sites of alleged use of chemical weapons and collect evidence samples, as well as strictly adhere to the chain of custody over the items of evidence and guarantee geographically-balanced makeup of the mission.

In July, Shulgin said that the head of the mission probing claims of a chemical attack in Duma had never travelled to this city.

Reports about an alleged chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta's Duma emerged on April 7, 2018. The European Union and the United States promptly accused Damascus of being behind it, while the Syrian government denied any involvement. Syria and Russia, a close ally of the former, said that the attack was staged by local militants and the White Helmets group.

A week later, without waiting for the results of an international investigation, the United States, the United Kingdom and France hit what they called Syria's chemical weapons facilities with over 100 missiles in response to the reported attack.

[Jan 19, 2020] Johnson was probably one of the architects of Skripal fake poisoning and now can't admit that this false flag operation failed

Jan 19, 2020 | www.politico.eu

https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-vladimir-putin-uk-russia-relations-still-poisoned/

In a statement , No. 10 Downing Street said: "He was clear there had been no change in the U.K.'s position on Salisbury, which was a reckless use of chemical weapons and a brazen attempt to murder innocent people on U.K. soil. He said that such an attack must not be repeated."

There was no immediate statement by the Kremlin, but Putin has rejected the British allegations as baseless and Russian officials repeatedly demanded that U.K. authorities come forward with hard evidence.

In its statement, No. 10 portrayed Johnson as unbudging in his insistence that Russia end its extra-territorial mischief and said he had reiterated the two countries' responsibilities as world powers.

"The Prime Minister said that they both had a responsibility to address issues of international security including Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran," the statement said. "The Prime Minister said there will be no normalization of our bilateral relationship until Russia ends the destabilizing activity that threatens the U.K. and our allies and undermines the safety of our citizens and our collective security."

Johnson and Putin were in the German capital for an international conference aimed at achieving a cease-fire to end a long-running civil war in Libya.

[Jan 12, 2020] The Skripal Affair A Lie Too Far -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Strategic Culture

Search World The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far? Michael Jabara Carley April 18, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

On 4 March 2018 it was a foggy day in southern England, and the MI6 Russian spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia stepped out for a stroll, stopped at the local pub in Salisbury, went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then took a walk in the park where they collapsed on a park bench. What had happened to them? Did they suffer from food poisoning? Or was Sergei Skripal involved in some dark affaire and the object of a hit by persons unknown, his daughter being an accidental victim?

The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.

The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. "The Russians" had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, "the Russians," so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal.

On 12 March the foreign secretary summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him that a nerve agent, A-234, had been used against the Skripals. How did you do it, Johnson wanted to know, or did the Russian government lose control of its stocks of chemical weapons? He gave the Russian ambassador 24 hours to respond. In point of fact, the Russian government does not possess any stockpiles of chemical weapons or nerve agents, having destroyed them all as of September 2017.

Later that day, the British prime minister, Theresa May, declared in the House of Commons that the Skripals, then said to be in a coma, were poisoned with "a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia " (italics added) called a 'novichok', a Russian word having various possible translations into English (beginner, novice, newcomer, etc.). May claimed that since the Soviet Union was known to have produced this chemical weapon, or nerve agent (also known as A-234), that it was " highly likely " that the Russian government was guilty of the attack on the Skripals.

Here is what the prime minister said in the House of Commons: "Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." The hurried British accusations were redolent of those in 2014 alleging Russian government complicity or direct involvement in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 over the Ukraine. Within hours of the destruction of MH 17, the United States and its vassals, including Britain, accused Russia of being responsible.

The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was "sentence first, verdict later", as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland .

On 13 March the Russian embassy informed the Foreign Office that the Russian Federation was not involved in any way with the Salisbury incident. We will not respond to an ultimatum, came the reply from Moscow. The eloquent Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Mariia Zakharova, characterised the British démarche as a "circus show". Actually, Foreign Office clerks must have told Boris Johnson that Russia would not respond to such an ultimatum so that it was a deliberate British attempt to provoke a negative Russian reply.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that "as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons." After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: " The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that." The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997.

On 14 March the British government expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and a few days later the Russian side expelled 23 British diplomats and shuttered the offices of the British Council in Russia. At the same time, the British appealed to their allies and to the European Union to show solidarity by expelling Russian diplomats. Twenty-eight countries did so, though for most it was one or two expulsions, tokenism to appease the British. Other countries -- for example, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal -- refused to join the stampede. Going over the top, the United States expelled sixty diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded in kind with sixty expulsions and the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg. Momentum seemed to be building toward a major confrontation. The British prime minister even alluded to the possibility of military action .

In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. "I guess any reasonable person [has] realised," he said, "that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable." In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow?

Momentum is sometimes like a balloon, it blows up and then it suddenly bursts. The British case against Russia began to fall apart almost from the time it was made. In late March the Russian newspaper Kommersant leaked a British PowerPoint presentation sent to eighty embassies in Moscow. It asserted, inter alia , that the British chemical weapons facility at Porton Down had positively identified the substance, which allegedly poisoned the Skripals, as a Novichok, "developed only by Russia". Both these statements are false. On 3 April Porton Down stated publicly that it could not determine the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals. It also came out that the formula for making a so-called novichok was published in a book by a Russian dissident and chemist, Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States. You can buy his book (published in 2008), which includes the formula, on Amazon.com . In fact, any number of governments or smart chemists or even bright undergraduate chemistry students with the proper facilities could make this nerve agent. Amongst those governments having access to the original formula are Britain and the United States. The Russian embassy in London noted in a published report that "neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed an agent named 'Novichok'." The report further stated that "While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word 'Novichok' was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word 'Novichok' is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia."

The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to "Russian malign activity" including, inter alia , the "invasion" of Georgia in 2008, the "destabilisation" of the Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17 in 2014, and interference in the US elections in 2016. All of these claims are audacious lies , easily deconstructed and unpacked. The referenced events are also unrelated to the Salisbury incident and were raised in an attempt to smear the Russian Federation. In fact, the British PowerPoint slides represent vulgar propaganda, bourrage de crâne , as preposterous as any seen during the Cold War.

As Minister Lavrov pointed out, the Skripal case should have gone for resolution to the OPCW in The Hague. Russia would then be directly involved in the investigation and would have access to the alleged toxin, and other evidence to try to determine what had happened and who were the perpetrators. The British government at first refused to go to the OPCW, and then when it did, refused to authorise the Russian government to have access to the alleged substance, which had sickened the Skripals. That idea is "perverse", said British authorities. Actually, not at all, it is the procedure laid out in OPCW statutes, to which Britain itself agreed but has refused to respect. When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote of approval. The British were attempting to hijack the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation. Thus far, that stratagem has not worked. On 12 April the OPCW released a report stating that it had "confirm[ed] the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury ." The report said nothing about the origin of the so-called "toxic chemical". The British accusation against Russia thus remained unsubstantiated.

What I could not understand when I read the OPCW communiqué, is why the Skripals were still alive. The OPCW says that the toxic chemical used against the Skripals was "of high purity". Was it a nerve agent? Oddly, the OPCW published report avoids a straight answer. If it was a nerve agent, being of "high purity," it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately. Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Something does not make sense. Of course, there could be a simple explanation for this puzzling mystery.

On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. Traces of A-234 were also identified, but according to experts, such a concentration of the A-234 agent would cause death to anyone affected by it. "Moreover," according to the Russian embassy in London , "considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning," Could Britsh authorities have tampered with the samples? The public OPCW report gives no details, and refers only to a "toxic chemical". Nor did the report say that the OPCW had submitted specimens of the substance to a well-known Swiss lab , which promptly reported back its surprising results. The OPCW authorities thus lied when they said that the tests "confirmed" the British identify of the "toxic chemical". Unless Porton Down knew that the substance used against the Skripals was a BZ type toxin, and so informed the OPCW, or, unless the Tory government lied in claiming publicly that it was a novichok nerve agent. The British attempted hijacking of the OPCW has compromised its independence, for the public report issued on 12 April is misleading. Moreover, since the BZ toxin is made by the US, Britain and other NATO countries, it begs the same questions, which the Tories put to Moscow: how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London.

A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire . Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can't be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins' training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British "everyman" that gullible?

The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 "Zinoviev Letter", a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of "fake news". Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that "the letter" was in fact counterfeit.

The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu. Will it take seventy-five years to get at the truth? Are there any honest British cops, judges, civil servants ready to reveal the truth?

There is other evidence to suggest that the British narrative on the Salisbury incident is bogus. The London Metropolitan Police have sought to prevent any outside contact with the Skripals. They have taken away a recovered Yulia Skripal to an unknown location. They have until now denied Russian consular authorities access to a Russian citizen in violation of British approved consular agreements. Is there any chapter of international law, which the British government now respects? British authorities have denied access to Yulia Skripal's family in Russia; they have denied a visa to Yulia's cousin, Viktoria, to visit with her. Are British spooks grooming Yulia, briefing her to stay on the Tory narrative? Is she being manipulated like some kind of Manchurian Candidate? Have they induced her to betray her country in exchange for emoluments, a new identity in the United States, a house, a BMW and money? Are they playing upon her loyalty to her father? Based on a statement attributed to Yulia by the London Metropolitan Police, it begins to look that way . Or, is the message, sounding very British and official, quite simply a fake? The Russian embassy in London suspects that it is. What is certain is that British authorities are acting as though they have something to hide. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticised the British rush to indict Russia. Damage control is underway. Given all the evidence, can any person with reasonable abilities to think critically believe anything the Tories are saying about the Salisbury affair?

"They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying ." Mahfouz was not writing about the British, but all the same, he could have been. Are not his well-known lines apposite to the present government in London?

The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: May OPCW United Kingdom Print this article Michael Jabara Carley April 18, 2018 | World The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far?

On 4 March 2018 it was a foggy day in southern England, and the MI6 Russian spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia stepped out for a stroll, stopped at the local pub in Salisbury, went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then took a walk in the park where they collapsed on a park bench. What had happened to them? Did they suffer from food poisoning? Or was Sergei Skripal involved in some dark affaire and the object of a hit by persons unknown, his daughter being an accidental victim?

The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.

The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. "The Russians" had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, "the Russians," so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal.

On 12 March the foreign secretary summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him that a nerve agent, A-234, had been used against the Skripals. How did you do it, Johnson wanted to know, or did the Russian government lose control of its stocks of chemical weapons? He gave the Russian ambassador 24 hours to respond. In point of fact, the Russian government does not possess any stockpiles of chemical weapons or nerve agents, having destroyed them all as of September 2017.

Later that day, the British prime minister, Theresa May, declared in the House of Commons that the Skripals, then said to be in a coma, were poisoned with "a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia " (italics added) called a 'novichok', a Russian word having various possible translations into English (beginner, novice, newcomer, etc.). May claimed that since the Soviet Union was known to have produced this chemical weapon, or nerve agent (also known as A-234), that it was " highly likely " that the Russian government was guilty of the attack on the Skripals.

Here is what the prime minister said in the House of Commons: "Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." The hurried British accusations were redolent of those in 2014 alleging Russian government complicity or direct involvement in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 over the Ukraine. Within hours of the destruction of MH 17, the United States and its vassals, including Britain, accused Russia of being responsible.

The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was "sentence first, verdict later", as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland .

On 13 March the Russian embassy informed the Foreign Office that the Russian Federation was not involved in any way with the Salisbury incident. We will not respond to an ultimatum, came the reply from Moscow. The eloquent Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Mariia Zakharova, characterised the British démarche as a "circus show". Actually, Foreign Office clerks must have told Boris Johnson that Russia would not respond to such an ultimatum so that it was a deliberate British attempt to provoke a negative Russian reply.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that "as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons." After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: " The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that." The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997.

On 14 March the British government expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and a few days later the Russian side expelled 23 British diplomats and shuttered the offices of the British Council in Russia. At the same time, the British appealed to their allies and to the European Union to show solidarity by expelling Russian diplomats. Twenty-eight countries did so, though for most it was one or two expulsions, tokenism to appease the British. Other countries -- for example, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal -- refused to join the stampede. Going over the top, the United States expelled sixty diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded in kind with sixty expulsions and the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg. Momentum seemed to be building toward a major confrontation. The British prime minister even alluded to the possibility of military action .

In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. "I guess any reasonable person [has] realised," he said, "that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable." In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow?

Momentum is sometimes like a balloon, it blows up and then it suddenly bursts. The British case against Russia began to fall apart almost from the time it was made. In late March the Russian newspaper Kommersant leaked a British PowerPoint presentation sent to eighty embassies in Moscow. It asserted, inter alia , that the British chemical weapons facility at Porton Down had positively identified the substance, which allegedly poisoned the Skripals, as a Novichok, "developed only by Russia". Both these statements are false. On 3 April Porton Down stated publicly that it could not determine the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals. It also came out that the formula for making a so-called novichok was published in a book by a Russian dissident and chemist, Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States. You can buy his book (published in 2008), which includes the formula, on Amazon.com . In fact, any number of governments or smart chemists or even bright undergraduate chemistry students with the proper facilities could make this nerve agent. Amongst those governments having access to the original formula are Britain and the United States. The Russian embassy in London noted in a published report that "neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed an agent named 'Novichok'." The report further stated that "While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word 'Novichok' was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word 'Novichok' is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia."

The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to "Russian malign activity" including, inter alia , the "invasion" of Georgia in 2008, the "destabilisation" of the Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17 in 2014, and interference in the US elections in 2016. All of these claims are audacious lies , easily deconstructed and unpacked. The referenced events are also unrelated to the Salisbury incident and were raised in an attempt to smear the Russian Federation. In fact, the British PowerPoint slides represent vulgar propaganda, bourrage de crâne , as preposterous as any seen during the Cold War.

As Minister Lavrov pointed out, the Skripal case should have gone for resolution to the OPCW in The Hague. Russia would then be directly involved in the investigation and would have access to the alleged toxin, and other evidence to try to determine what had happened and who were the perpetrators. The British government at first refused to go to the OPCW, and then when it did, refused to authorise the Russian government to have access to the alleged substance, which had sickened the Skripals. That idea is "perverse", said British authorities. Actually, not at all, it is the procedure laid out in OPCW statutes, to which Britain itself agreed but has refused to respect. When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote of approval. The British were attempting to hijack the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation. Thus far, that stratagem has not worked. On 12 April the OPCW released a report stating that it had "confirm[ed] the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury ." The report said nothing about the origin of the so-called "toxic chemical". The British accusation against Russia thus remained unsubstantiated.

What I could not understand when I read the OPCW communiqué, is why the Skripals were still alive. The OPCW says that the toxic chemical used against the Skripals was "of high purity". Was it a nerve agent? Oddly, the OPCW published report avoids a straight answer. If it was a nerve agent, being of "high purity," it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately. Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Something does not make sense. Of course, there could be a simple explanation for this puzzling mystery.

On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. Traces of A-234 were also identified, but according to experts, such a concentration of the A-234 agent would cause death to anyone affected by it. "Moreover," according to the Russian embassy in London , "considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning," Could Britsh authorities have tampered with the samples? The public OPCW report gives no details, and refers only to a "toxic chemical". Nor did the report say that the OPCW had submitted specimens of the substance to a well-known Swiss lab , which promptly reported back its surprising results. The OPCW authorities thus lied when they said that the tests "confirmed" the British identify of the "toxic chemical". Unless Porton Down knew that the substance used against the Skripals was a BZ type toxin, and so informed the OPCW, or, unless the Tory government lied in claiming publicly that it was a novichok nerve agent. The British attempted hijacking of the OPCW has compromised its independence, for the public report issued on 12 April is misleading. Moreover, since the BZ toxin is made by the US, Britain and other NATO countries, it begs the same questions, which the Tories put to Moscow: how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London.

A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire . Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can't be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins' training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British "everyman" that gullible?

The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 "Zinoviev Letter", a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of "fake news". Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that "the letter" was in fact counterfeit.

The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu. Will it take seventy-five years to get at the truth? Are there any honest British cops, judges, civil servants ready to reveal the truth?

There is other evidence to suggest that the British narrative on the Salisbury incident is bogus. The London Metropolitan Police have sought to prevent any outside contact with the Skripals. They have taken away a recovered Yulia Skripal to an unknown location. They have until now denied Russian consular authorities access to a Russian citizen in violation of British approved consular agreements. Is there any chapter of international law, which the British government now respects? British authorities have denied access to Yulia Skripal's family in Russia; they have denied a visa to Yulia's cousin, Viktoria, to visit with her. Are British spooks grooming Yulia, briefing her to stay on the Tory narrative? Is she being manipulated like some kind of Manchurian Candidate? Have they induced her to betray her country in exchange for emoluments, a new identity in the United States, a house, a BMW and money? Are they playing upon her loyalty to her father? Based on a statement attributed to Yulia by the London Metropolitan Police, it begins to look that way . Or, is the message, sounding very British and official, quite simply a fake? The Russian embassy in London suspects that it is. What is certain is that British authorities are acting as though they have something to hide. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticised the British rush to indict Russia. Damage control is underway. Given all the evidence, can any person with reasonable abilities to think critically believe anything the Tories are saying about the Salisbury affair?

"They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying ." Mahfouz was not writing about the British, but all the same, he could have been. Are not his well-known lines apposite to the present government in London?

The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation. © 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Also by this author Michael Jabara Carley Professor of history at the Université de Montréal. He has published widely on Soviet relations with the West What Poland Has to Hide About the Origins of World War II The Canadian Prime Minister Needs a History Lesson The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West) Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism Lament for Canada Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


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© 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. <div><img src="https://mc.yandex.ru/watch/10970266" alt=""/></div>

[Jan 03, 2020] Skripals false flag along with Douma false flag and OPCW role in it, as well as DNC hack and Gussifer 2.0 false flags might be a watershed events in terms of the ability of the neoliberal MSM to control public opinion.

Notable quotes:
"... That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug. ..."
"... The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility ..."
"... What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors! ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Dec 31 2019 17:18 utc | 15

B, under the "major stories covered" title you should include Skripal, about which you wrote many important articles; I believe ultimately - like OPCW and Russiagate - it will prove to be history-making event in terms of impact on public perceptions of media and the ability of the media to control public opinion. Probably eventually whistleblowers will come forward like the OPCW, and only thin will it have it's maximum impact.

(Well, the original event was 2018 not 2019, but some of the reports were in 2019 anyway)

BM , Dec 31 2019 17:36 utc | 20

My predictions on these issue for next year are:
...
Mainstream media have suppressed all news about the OPCW scandal. This will only change if major new evidence comes to light.

That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug.

The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility. There are a few factors that could influence this independently of major new evidence, such as the behaviour of a few outlier MSM's that decide to release information (and whether or not that information then takes off in the public consciousness); pressure that could build up in social media calling for the MSM to respond and attacking MSM credibility; or other forms of pressure from the public calling on the MSM to respond. It is therefore a dynamic that is not entirely predictable.

Both of the above are distinct from the emergence of new major evidence, although both cases would seem likely to provoke new revelations in turn.

What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors!

[Jan 03, 2020] Skirpals, OPCW, and MH17, Assange, Russian athletic doping. Are there any believers still out there?

Jan 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Fisk via The Independent,

In the very early spring of this year, I gave a lecture to European military personnel interested in the Middle East. It was scarcely a year since Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chlorine gas against the civilian inhabitants of the Damascus suburb of Douma on 7 April 2018, in which 43 people were said to have been killed.

Few present had much doubt that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which represents 193 member states around the world, would soon confirm in a final report that Assad was guilty of a war crime which had been condemned by Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May.

But at the end of my talk, a young Nato officer who specialises in chemical weapons – he was not British – sought me out for a private conversation.

"The OPCW are not going to admit all they know," he said. "They've already censored their own documents."

I could not extract any more from him. He smiled and walked away, leaving me to guess what he was talking about. If Nato had doubts about the OPCW, this was a very serious matter.

When it published its final report in March this year, the OPCW said that testimony, environmental and biomedical samples and toxicological and ballistic analyses provided "reasonable grounds" that "the use of a toxic chemical had taken place" in Douma which contained "reactive chlorine".

The US, Britain and France, which launched missile attacks on Syrian military sites in retaliation for Douma – before any investigation had taken place – thought themselves justified. The OPCW's report was splashed across headlines around the world – to the indignation of Russia, Assad's principal military ally, which denied the validity of the publication.

Then, in mid-May 2019, came news of a confidential report by OPCW South African ballistics inspector Ian Henderson – a document which the organisation excluded from its final report – which took issue with the organisation's conclusions. Canisters supposedly containing chlorine gas may not have been dropped by Syrian helicopters, it suggested, and could have been placed at the site of the attack by unknown hands.

Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday reported in detail on the Henderson document. No other mainstream media followed up this story . The BBC, for example, had reported in full on the OPCW's final report on the use of chlorine gas, but never mentioned the subsequent Henderson story.

And here I might myself have abandoned the trail had I not received a call on my Beirut phone shortly after the Henderson paper, from the Nato officer who had tipped me off about the OPCW's apparent censorship of its own documents. "I wasn't talking about the Henderson report," he said abruptly. And immediately terminated our conversation. But now I understand what he must have been talking about.

For in the past few weeks, there has emerged deeply disturbing new evidence that the OPCW went far further than merely excluding one dissenting voice from its conclusions on the 2018 Douma attack.

The most recent information – published on WikiLeaks, in a report from Hitchens again and from Jonathan Steele, a former senior foreign correspondent for The Guardian – suggests that the OPCW suppressed or failed to publish, or simply preferred to ignore, the conclusions of up to 20 other members of its staff who became so upset at what they regarded as the misleading conclusions of the final report that they officially sought to have it changed in order to represent the truth . (The OPCW has said in a number of statements that it stands by its final report.)

At first, senior OPCW officials contented themselves by merely acknowledging the Henderson report's existence a few days after it appeared without making any comment on its contents. When the far more damaging later reports emerged in early November, Fernando Arias, the OPCW's director general, said that it was in "the nature of any thorough enquiry for individuals in a team to express subjective views. While some of the views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion [of the investigation]." The OPCW declined to respond to questions from Hitchens or Steele.

But the new details suggest that other evidence could have been left unpublished by the OPCW. These were not just from leaked emails, but given by an OPCW inspector – a colleague of Henderson – who was one of a team of eight to visit Douma and who appeared at a briefing in Brussels last month to explain his original findings to a group of disarmament, legal, medical and intelligence personnel.

As Steele reported afterwards, in a piece published by Counterpunch in mid-November 2019, the inspector – who gave his name to his audience, but asked to be called "Alex" – said he did not want to undermine the OPCW but stated that "most of the Douma team" felt the two reports on the incident (the OPCW had also published an interim report in 2018) were "scientifically impoverished, procedurally irregular and possibly fraudulent". Alex said he sought, in vain, to have a subsequent OPCW conference to address these concerns and "demonstrate transparency, impartiality and independence".

For example, Alex cited the OPCW report's claim that "various chlorinated organic chemicals (COCs) were found" in Douma, but said that there were "huge internal arguments" in the OPCW even before its 2018 interim report was published . Findings comparing chlorine gas normally present in the atmosphere with evidence from the Douma site were, according to Alex, kept by the head of the Douma mission and not passed to the inspector who was drafting the interim report. Alex said that he subsequently discovered that the COCs in Douma were "no higher than you would expect in any household environment", a point which he says was omitted from both OPCW reports. Alex told his Brussels audience that these omissions were "deliberate and irregular".

Alex also said that a British diplomat who was OPCW's chef de cabinet invited several members of the drafting team to his office, where they found three US officials who told them that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack and that two cylinders found in one building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors, Alex remarked, regarded this as unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW's principles of "independence and impartiality".

Regarding the comments from Alex, the OPCW has pointed to the statement by Arias that the organisation stands by its final report.

Further emails continue to emerge from these discussions. This weekend, for example, WikiLeaks sent to The Independent an apparent account of a meeting held by OPCW toxicologists and pharmacists "all specialists in CW (Chemical Warfare)", according to the document. The meeting is dated 6 June 2018 and says that "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there is no correlation between symptoms [of the victims] and chlorine exposure."

In particular, they stated that "the onset of excessive frothing, as a result of pulmonary edema observed in photos and reported by witnesses would not occur in the short time period between the reported occurrence of the alleged incident and the time the videos were recorded". When I asked for a response to this document, a spokesman for the OPCW headquarters in Holland said that my request would be "considered". That was on Monday 23 December.

Any international organisation, of course, has a right to select the most quotable parts of its documentation on any investigation, or to set aside an individual's dissenting report – although, in ordinary legal enquiries, dissenting voices are quite often acknowledged. Chemical warfare is not an exact science – chlorine gas does not carry a maker's name or computer number in the same way that fragments of tank shells or bombs often do.

But the degree of unease within the OPCW's staff surely cannot be concealed much longer. To the delight of the Russians and the despair of its supporters, an organisation whose prestige alone should frighten any potential war criminals is scarcely bothering to confront its own detractors. Military commanders may conceal their tactics from an enemy in time of war, but this provides no excuse for an important international organisation dedicated to the prohibition of chemical weapons to allow its antagonists to claim that it has "cooked the books" by permitting political pressure to take precedence over the facts. And that is what is happening today.

The deep concerns among some of the OPCW staff and the deletion of their evidence does not mean that gas has not been used in Syria by the government or even by the Russians or by Isis and its fellow Islamists. All stand guilty of war crimes in the Syrian conflict. The OPCW's response to the evidence should not let war criminals off the hook. But it certainly helps them.

And what could be portrayed as acts of deceit by a supposedly authoritative body of international scientists can lead some to only one conclusion: that they must resort to those whom the west regards as "traitors" to security – WikiLeaks and others – if they wish to find out the story behind official reports . So far, the Russians and the Syrian regime have been the winners in the propaganda war. Such organisations as the OPCW need to work to make sure the truth can be revealed to everyone. Tags Politics

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[Jan 01, 2020] OPCW fiasco with false flag operation in Douma might inflict serious damages in the long run even taking into account that the USA already lost all the credibility

Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Dec 31 2019 22:10 utc | 49

Congratulations from me too!
Especially your work on OPCW! Even a MSM "alpha journalist" like Hitchens was forced to give props to you reporting those otherwise not reported information about the hospital "victims" being there even before the alleged attack!

Sadly i dont see the US pulling out of Iraq. The US is wanted there by a huge part of the Iraqis (As counterweight to Iran), not only by Sunni, but also by many Shias.
Even a totally pro-Shia reporter like Elijah reports that. So with that large Anti-Iran sentiment the US will not be forced to leave until Iraqis from ALL confessions, tribes, political factions and other groups agree to force the US out.(I dont claim the Anti-Iran sentiment in Iraq is as valid as those people think, and it certainly is fueled by Gulf state and US propaganda, but it is a fact this sentiment is prevalent).

As Elijah writes, Iraqis are "emotional", in this context meaning easily manipulated by (anti-Iran) propaganda/fake news, and just like the protests/riots without coherent political plan, and realistic objectives.
Also Iran was pretty crude and Qassem Soleimani not as subtle as needed when they tried to use their soft power in the political struggle, opposed to the gulf states and the US. At least this is the prevailing view of the Iraqis, which makes it real for them, no matter how valid it is or not is.

Many Iraqis felt offended by this, and they now have a very strong patriotism, which fueled the riots and attacks on Iranian linked targets. They felt their honor was attacked, and they acted as their culture and society demands when someone offends you: They hit back, violently.

That the US has this time not used their power as much as before to influence Iraq in the elections, likely made Iran's use of soft power more visible, and therefore led many Iraqis to see the US and gulf states as the smaller evil.

This unreflected, emotional and often violent patriotism now seems to be universally for most Iraqis. Even the Shia religious leaders agitate for a sovereign Iraqis, without any interference from Iran or US. So the US clearly won the battle here for the moment in a hybrid war/soft power view concerning the public image of Iran in Iraq.
Only thing that could turn this around fast would be a public outcry against the US.

If the current air strikes are enough? i dont think so. The US can claim they only attacked Iran linked soldiers, even though they are now part of the Iraqi army command strucure, and many Iraqis have no problem with that.
And as Iraqis are sick of war, understandable, they also dont want those Iranian linked forces to use Iraq as a battleground against the US. And the multiple attacks in the last weeks against US installations to which the US did not react militarily, are seen by many Iraqis as just that; Iran misusing Iraq as a proxy battleground to fight the US. They think the US had to react sometime.

Then there is Al Sadr, who is rumored to be the main man who instigated the riots against Iranian targets with his forces. But he may change sides and now turn (again) against the US, who knows.
All in all, the US now seems less interested to influence politics in Iraq directly like the US always did before. Trump seems to really want to get out of the MENA and focus on China etc.
But Iran would have to act more cleverly with a soft power approach to turn the Iraqis currently bad image of Iran into something more positive and leverage that situation where the US is less focused on the Middle East.

Then, and only then, if the Iraqis would not see Iran as a threat to sovereignty anymore, would they force the US out of Iraq.
But all that may not matter anyway, as Iraq is on a downward spiral, and the whole political system reeks of Weimar.

Democracy is seen by the majority now as the rule of the corrupt. The protesters rallied for the Shia general (connected to the US) who (in their mind) saved them from Isis to take over and clean the corrupt politicians out. Just like Saddam was a hope for most Iraqis back in the day.
An "enlightened despot".

And while it may send shivers down many of our western political minds who believe that our ideology is universal to humanity(Social Democracy, Neo Liberal Democracy, Socialism, ..):
Maybe it is the only realistic option; The best realistic result based on realpolitik.

The Middle East is not Western Europe. Democracy does work not in tribalism, islamic tradition and law, sectarianism, without any real civil society whatsoever.
The only options are living like the last 1500 years politically; Anarchic and tribalistic. Or with a central state hold together by a ruthless despot that gouverns respecting popular demands.
Western Democracy in Iraq is an imperialistic project doomed to fail. As sad as this may be for many of us westerners.

[Jan 01, 2020] Abuse of UN by CIA connected jihadist groups

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russia has received a lot of criticism over the bombing of alleged 'hospitals' in Syria which were registered on a UN sponsored list. The Russian military argued that the positions on the UN list were not of real hospitals but of ammunition depots or command centers of the Jihadists. After it had published dozens of articles bashing Russia's campaign the New York Times has finally admitted that Russia was right:

The U.N. Tried to Save Hospitals in Syria. It Didn't Work.

United Nations officials only recently created a unit to verify locations provided by relief groups that managed the exempt sites, some of which had been submitted incorrectly, The Times found. Such instances of misinformation give credibility to Russian criticisms that the system cannot be trusted and is vulnerable to misuse.
...
The groups give locations of their own choosing to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the agency that runs the system.

A document prepared by the agency warned that participation in the system "does not guarantee" the safety of the sites or their personnel. The document also stated that the United Nations would not verify information provided by participating groups.
...
While investigating an airstrike in November, The Times discovered that a relief group had provided coordinates for its health center that were around 240 meters away. When another hospital was bombed in May, The Times found that the coordinates submitted by its supporting organization pointed to an unrelated structure around 765 meters north.

After questions from The Times prompted the organization to review its deconfliction list, a staff member discovered that it had provided the United Nations with incorrect locations for 14 of its 19 deconflicted sites . The original locations had been logged by a pharmacist. The list had been with the United Nations humanitarian agency for eight months, and no one had contacted the organization to correct the locations, a member of the organization's staff said.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 15:42 UTC | Comments (65)


alaff , Dec 29 2019 16:07 utc | 1

Interesting news. ANNA NEWS, in a recent report, announced an investigation into the infamous "White Helmets". The material promises to be very interesting, with an abundance of exclusive video, details, interviews etc. The film should be released tomorrow (December 30 at 19h Moscow time).

Here is the announcement (at 9'55).

Btw, I do not exclude the possibility that when this movie is released, the ANNA NEWS youtube channel account will suddenly be blocked again without explanation. Will see.

Brendan , Dec 29 2019 18:50 utc | 12
Breaking news from the NYT: 19 of the 20 reports so far of the destruction of the last hospital in Idlib were untrue. The incorrect locations were submitted by the White Helmets (just an honest mistake).
Jackrabbit , Dec 29 2019 20:51 utc | 17
Caitlin Johnstone: Narrative Managers Claim White Helmets Founder Was Driven To Suicide By Syria Skeptics

I linked to ZeroHedge's reposting because of the comments which reflect skepticism about the apparent death of Jeffery Epstein as well as James Le Mesurier:

Zappalives
This guy is probably having a cocktail with epstein and his new girl whores.

Kreator
Coroner concluded that this suicide was one of the most unusual ones that he ever saw. Founder of White Helmets was found stabbed, hanged and shot.

Colonel Klinks Ghost
This has CIA/Mossad written ALL over it. And Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. Got it!

Cluster_Frak
White Helmet is a CIA fraud, and the founder retired with full pension and benefits. Suicide was just a cover for a job well done exit.


Baghdadi's killing was also rather strange.

One either believes the Empire kills those in its service when they have become inconvenient liabilities or these guys (Le Mesurier, Epstein, Baghdadi) were extracted and are living comfortably in retirement.

!!

snake , Dec 29 2019 21:03 utc | 19
Thanks B, at my pay grade I am not able to say that White means terror and helmet means ism.

Source in Syria: militants transport chlorine in coordination with White Helmets

the food that feeds and powers the nation state system

http://whatdoesitmean.com/ <= has this site been removed it has been unreachable for days now.. ?/

Brendan , Dec 29 2019 21:59 utc | 25
I didn't see it in the NYT article, but the false reporting of the hospital locations by "multiple NGOs" was supposedly just done "accidently". That's according to an NYT investigator who used to work for Bellingcat.
https://twitter.com/trbrtc/status/1211384089472843778

My previous comment about the last hospital in Idlib was a joke, but the NYT's Mr. Triebert seems to be serious about the accidental fake news about hospital locations. RIP satire.

[Jan 01, 2020] Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Dec 29 2019 5:30 utc | 60

psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61

Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

The take away quote
"
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.

The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
"

[Jan 01, 2020] Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube,

Imbecilization of discussion of controversial issues like in case of your comment is a normal development typical for the periods of intellectual declines which naturally follows the economic decline of a given empire.
There's growing evidence the West is going through the same process as the USSR.
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Dec 29 2019 2:52 utc | 49
Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube, they are claiming Tulsi is "too religious" or "she is pandering to evangelicals." They have gone insane obviously and are hating on Tulsi for other reasons (she dares challenge Bernie for president). Pam Ho breaks it all down for you at Like, In The Year 2024

TJ , Dec 28 2019 18:10 utc | 10

OPCW-DOUMA - Release Part 4

We now have Voldemorts real name, Sebastien Braha.

augrr , Dec 29 2019 0:10 utc | 39
Re #10

Voldemort is on LinkedIn. I wanted to congratulate him on his ethics (NOT) but did not have the status with LinkedIn required to email someone.

Perhaps someone else in the bar could send him a message - needs to be a premium member.

psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61
Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

The take away quote
"
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.

The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
"

ak74 , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 62
"Why do so many people in the West have this knee-jerk need to try to build false equivalencies between their criminal empire and other systems, or voice cynical and unfounded assumptions of malfeasance by those other systems whenever those other systems demonstrate superiority? It is an egotistical tribal sickness."

It is a symptom of the "West is Best" syndrome.

Or in its specific American incarnation, the ideology that America is the Shining City on Hill, Exceptional Country, and Indispensable Nation.

People indoctrinated into this belief system cannot brook the idea that there may be an alternative to their own way of life that is, in some respects, better. Hence, they will instinctively attack and smear this alternative as bad.

In many ways, Western Liberal "Democracy" (or what passes for democracy) is a secular religion and fundamentalist ideology.

As Francis Fuckuyama stated at the end of the Cold War with his pronouncement of the End of History, Western Liberal Democracy is the highest form of human socio-political evolution and government.

There Is No Alternative.

uncle tungsten , Dec 29 2019 9:32 utc | 68
psychohistorian #61

Thanks for pointing that out, Caitlin Johnston may be revealing the extent to which Integrity Initiative or maybe Institute for Statecraft have now bought even more editors than previously revealed in those leaked papers. OUTRAGE is the mildest term that comes to mind. What spineless media bedevils this world.

Continued

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