You will be seeing lurid accounts in the Western media of the latest report to the UN Human Rights Council from the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria. This was issued on 12 September.In particular it is being stated that the report vindicates claims that weaponised chlorine was used in Douma. This is not what the report (text below) actually says.If you read the actual report – you have to reach section 92 so obviously few hacks will do that – you will see that it is carefully worded.
The inspectors, who unlike OPCW did not actually visit the site, ‘received a vast body of evidence suggesting that..’ (of course they did, from the jihadis and from hostile intelligence services); ‘they received information on [deaths and injuries] (which is not the same as seeing bodies or examining victims); they ‘recall that weaponisation of chlorine is prohibited’ (but do not actually say that Syrian forces used it in Douma).
The following is from the Global Network for Syria [see bottom for names]:
[*Downloadable PDF here: Global Network for Syria_Statement_August 2018]
Statement on impending US, UK and French military intervention in Syria
We, members of the Global Network for Syria, are deeply alarmed by recent statements by Western governments and officials threatening the government of Syria with military intervention, and by media reports of actions taken by parties in Syria and by Western agencies in advance of such intervention.
In a joint statement issued on 21 August the governments of the US, the UK and France said that ‘we reaffirm our shared resolve to preventing [sic] the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and for [sic] holding them accountable for any such use… As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime’.
The three governments justify this threat with reference to ‘reports of a military offensive by the Syrian regime against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Idlib’.
On 22 August, Mr John Bolton, US National Security Adviser, was reported by Bloomberg to have said that the US was prepared to respond with greater force than it has used in Syria before.
These threats need to be seen in the context of the following reports and considerations.
Reports have appeared of activity by the White Helmets group, or militants posing as White Helmets, consistent with an intention to stage a ‘false flag’ chemical incident in order to provoke Western intervention. These activities have reportedly included the transfer of eight canisters of chlorine to a village near Jisr Al Shughur, an area under the control of Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham, an affiliate of the terrorist group Al Nusra. Some reports refer to the involvement of British individuals and the Olive security company. Other reports indicate a build-up of US naval forces in the Gulf and of land forces in areas of Iraq adjoining the Syrian border.
We therefore urge the US, UK and French governments to consider the following points before embarking on any military intervention:
- In the cases of three of the previous incidents cited in the 21 August statement (Ltamenah, Khan Sheykhoun, Saraqib) OPCW inspectors were not able to secure from the militants who controlled these areas security guarantees to enable them to visit the sites, yet still based their findings on evidence provided by militants.
- In the case of Douma, also cited, the interim report of OPCW inspectors dated 6 July based on a visit to the site concluded that no evidence was found of the use of chemical weapons and that evidence for the use of chlorine as a weapon was inconclusive.
- Western governments themselves acknowledge that Idlib is controlled by radical Islamist extremists. The British government in its statement on 20 August justified its curtailment of aid programmes in Idlib on the grounds that conditions had become too difficult. Any action by the Syrian government would not be directed at harming civilians, but at removing these radical elements.
- Any military intervention without a mandate from the United Nations would be illegal.
- Any military intervention would risk confrontation with a nuclear armed comember of the Security Council, as well as with the Islamic Republic of Iran, with consequent ramifications for regional as well as global security.
- There is no plan in place to contain chaos in the event of sudden government collapse in Syria, such as might occur in the contingency of command and control centres being targeted. Heavy military intervention could result in the recrudescence of terrorist groups, genocide against the Alawite, Christian, Druze, Ismaili, Shiite and Armenian communities, and a tsunami of refugees into neighbouring countries and Europe.
In the event of an incident involving the use of prohibited weapons – prior to taking any decision on military intervention – we urge the US, UK and French governments:
- To provide detailed and substantive evidence to prove that any apparent incident could not have been staged by a party wishing to bring Western powers into the conflict on their side.
- To conduct emergency consultations with their respective legislative institutions to request an urgent mission by the OPCW to the site of any apparent incident and give time for this mission to be carried out.
- To call on the government of Turkey, which has military observation posts in Idlib, to facilitate, in the event of an incident, an urgent mission by the OPCW to the jihadi-controlled area, along with observers from Russia to ensure impartiality.
We further call on the tripartite powers to join Turkish and Russian efforts to head off confrontation between the Syrian government forces and the militants opposing them by separating the most radical organisations such as Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham and Hurras Ad Deen from the rest, eliminating them, and facilitating negotiations between the Syrian government and elements willing to negotiate.
Dr Tim Anderson, University of Sydney
Lord Carey of Clifton, Crossbench Member of the House of Lords and former Archbishop of Canterbury
The Baroness Cox, Crossbench Member of the House of Lords
Peter Ford, British Ambassador to Syria 2003-06
Dr Michael Langrish, former Bishop of Exeter
Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Independent Labour Member of the House of Lords
30 August 2018
For enquiries contact Peter Ford 07910727317; email@example.com
A new war propagandist on the scene, seeking to make a name for himself among the Charles Listers, Eliot Higgins, Atlantic Council (NATO) types. Some reactions to his attempted smear on many of us, including yours truly. Note:
*I won’t include the shameful quote from Greenwald, who it seems never ceases to pander to establishment mindsets.
*Vanessa Beeley is *heavily* featured (smeared) in the (inaccurate and libelous) article… She has hit many nerves with her detailed exposing of the fraud that is the White Helmets, among many other issues.
From: “Chomsky, Hersh and… Boris Johnson? Twitter pundits ponder odd ‘Assadist’ blacklist,” August 27, 2018, RT.com
“…Featured on an unfrequented Medium blog, the “International Assadists References Directory” lists 151 people and organizations who have allegedly “expressed support and/or whitewashed the Assad regime.” The eclectic compilation of “Assadists” features individuals and groups of all political stripes and backgrounds, from the Greek nationalist political party Golden Dawn to Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters. Notable journalists such as Seymour Hersh, John Pilger, Peter Hitchens, Glenn Greenwald and Patrick Cockburn are also listed as reckless Assad apologists.
Independent journalist and RT contributor Eva Bartlett, who was accorded an extensive entry in the directory, was particularly amused by the inclusion of Boris Johnson. In an email to RT, Bartlett pointed out that the former UK foreign secretary “supported the ‘Assad must go’ theme.”
Likewise, she said it was strange that journalists Robert Fisk and Peter Hitchens were included on the list, since they “write openly about their contempt for the Syrian government, but have also written honestly on crucial issues like alleged chemical attacks and the White Helmets narrative.”
Bartlett also highlighted the fact that many of the individuals included in the list have extensive on-the-ground experience in Syria, conducting in-depth reporting that often contradicts with mainstream narratives about the seven-year conflict.
“In fact, instead of successfully smearing us, Kester has compiled a go-to list of people to follow for original and truthful content on important international issues today, particularly Syria, Palestine, and Yemen,” Bartlett said. “More importantly, readers should be aware that the author is advocating R2P [Right to Protect] on Syria, aka the humanitarian destruction of that country as per Libya. That alone shows his intent with the smear is to silence voices who starkly oppose such a genocidal position.”
August 24, 2018, RT.com
-by Eva Bartlett
This was entirely predictable because that chemical attack script has been read out, with salty crocodile tears, fake concern, and mocked indignation by US talking heads over the years – since 2012, in fact, when former US President Obama himself drew his red line on Syria.
The latest script-reader to toe the chemical hoax line is President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, who on August 22, stated: “…if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time.”
Beyond the tattered veil of moral superiority that is US war propaganda, Bolton’s words were clearly a very public command to Al-Qaeda and co-extremists to stage yet another fake chemical attack.
August 10, 2018, RT.com
-by Eva Bartlett
Ninety-eight members of the White Helmets, and a few hundred of their families, were evacuated by Israel and allies to Jordan late in evening of July 21. They will seemingly be shipped off to a few Western nations for resettlement: Canada, the UK, and Germany. So far, Canada has pledged to take 50 White Helmets and around 200 family members.
Wrongly dubbed the “Syrian Civil Defense” (the actual Syrian Civil Defense has existed since 1953), the White Helmets narrative is flawed in every conceivable manner.