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The first casualty


I’m not one for conspiracy theories – except the ones I like – but something about the Idlib sarin attack smells bad to me.

Everyone seemed quick to pin the blame, though it’s hard to see what Assad could hope to gain from it. It’s not tactical advantage. There were no sarin hardened special forces ready to swarm into the area even if it had been a key position. It’s not strategic advantage. Sarin destroys people, not infrastructure, and it’s almost impossible to target precisely. No one seems to be suggesting it fell near a concentration of key rebel personnel. And it’s not like it’s going to do Assad’s image much good, either in Syria or overseas. He solemnly swore he’d ditched his chemical weapons and slaughtering his people may not be the best way to make them stop hating him.

Maybe being the dictator doesn’t mean he’s effectively in control of the military and those who made the decision don’t care about all the work Assad and the Russians had put into improving his negotiating position. Or maybe he figures there’s no point relinquishing his chemical weapons. It didn’t help Saddam.

Could he really be the demented psychopath our media makes him out to be? After all, it’s not as if Trump’s reprisal attack makes sense so why should Assad? Maybe both are driven by Byzantine political calculations beyond my ken. Maybe they’re both fucking maniacs. At least when Obama bombed Syrian government positions he had the grace to say it was an accident.

On the other hand, this couldn’t have come at a better time for the anti-Assad coalition. The US was facing some embarrassing questions about its own recent slaughter of civilians in Syria and Iraq. Far more innocents than Assad is accused of murdering. All that Western made hardware raining down on women and children in Yemen is a bad look too. And the media consuming public was looking in askance at those ‘friendly’ Syrian resistance groups who only kill people ‘moderately’ and aren’t at all chummy with ISIS or Al Nusra. The ones who want a NATO no-fly zone just like the ones that worked so well in Iraq and Libya and who bring our media almost all the news we hear from the warzone.

The enemy was becoming way too murky. Some clarification was needed.

And why not steal some wind from those who say Trump is Moscow’s Manchurian candidate?

But the media is carefully dancing around the elephants in the room as it interviews ‘experts’ who assure us that the Russian story of bombs hitting a rebel chemical weapons dump must be a lie because bombs destroy sarin. Maybe they do, with a direct hit. But a collapsed warehouse full of damaged sarin canisters still sounds scary to me.

Dropped from planes? Escaped from ammo dumps? Released under a false flag? I’ve still got some questions. But instead of answers we’re offered missiles and circuses.


Postscript (26 June 2017).

Having been denied space in the US and British media, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh has just published this article in the German newspaper Die Welt. In it he relies on his usually impeccable US diplomatic and intelligence sources to thoroughly debunk claims that Syrian jets carried out a chemical attack on the Idlib town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.

According to Hersh the air strike employed a single Russian-supplied high explosive guided bomb against a rebel headquarters above a warehouse containing chlorine and organophosphate based pesticides. It was the rapid combustion and release of those chemicals that caused the horrific civilian casualties.

There are many other fascinating revelations in Hersh’s article and it’s well worth a read, but the most intriguing thing about it is  that such an important and well researched piece by perhaps the world’s most respected investigative war journalist is unpublishable in the Anglosphere.

From → confusion, politics, rant

  1. Yep.. A little too
    To be real..;$


  2. Marc permalink

    Michael here’s an even earlier rebuttal by Prof Theodore Postal of Massachusetts Institute of Technology….
    and Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq the Guy who staked his career on the fact that Saddam Hussein’s regime had no WMD’s


  3. Marc permalink

    by earlier i mean earlier than S.Hersh’s latest revelations
    and here’s something of more recent interest….


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