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Syria: Another Western War Crime In The Making — Paul Craig Roberts   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-8-27 19:57:01 |Display all floors

US Attempts to Sabotage UN Chemical Weapons Investigation
                                                 
Decision to attack Syria already made over a year ago

Paul Joseph Watson
August 27, 2013

Desperate to maintain a narrative that will justify a cruise missile attack on Syria, the Obama administration is seemingly trying everything within its power to sabotage the UN chemical weapons investigation in Syria.


The reason is obvious – the last time the United Nations investigated claims of chemical weapons use in Syria, its inspectors concluded that it was the rebels and not Assad’s forces who were likely behind the sarin gas attack.

Eager to avoid a repeat that would completely derail the march to war, the White House in concert with Britain has repeatedly attempted to scupper the UN investigation or render it meaningless.

In the latest example, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration told UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that “there wasn’t adequate security for the U.N. inspectors to visit the affected areas to conduct their mission,” a clear warning (or a blatant threat) that inspectors should pull out entirely.

This warning followed an incident, almost certainly the work of US-backed rebels, where a convoy of UN vehicles was fired upon by a sniper, causing the inspectors to temporarily suspend their work. Rebels have repeatedly acted with hostility against UN workers and peacekeepers, with one FSA group kidnapping 21 peacekeepers back in March.

While discouraging the UN from completing its investigation, the US and Britain have already declared that last week’s attack involved the use of chemical weapons and that it was the work of Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, despite numerous other examples where rebels have prepared and used chemical weapons themselves.

Even when Syria allowed UN inspectors to enter the affected region, the Obama administration responded that it was “too late,” and that the evidence could have been destroyed – so why bother investigating at all?

Washington and Downing Street are preparing to dive headlong into another potentially catastrophic war in the Middle East based on the evidence of a collection of YouTube videos. As in Iraq, it doesn’t really matter how flimsy the actual justification is because the decision to attack Syria was already made over a year ago, with a hyped humanitarian crisis being the agreed upon pretext, and the intervening period was merely an exercise in manufacturing a casus belli.

Why is the Obama administration and the British government so keen to prevent or dismiss as irrelevant the UN’s investigation?

The only reason is that it would threaten the already agreed upon narrative that Bashar Al-Assad, in complete defiance of any logic, ordered a chemical weapons attack right when UN inspectors were already in the country, timing the attack at the most opportune moment to justify western military intervention.

With western warplanes now already in place in Cyprus, along with a number of warships at sea, the die has been cast and the UN chemical weapons investigation will continue to be sabotaged or simply ignored, lest it turn up evidence that contradicts the rush to war.

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Post time 2013-8-27 20:27:56 |Display all floors

This would be a wonderful wind of change from the daily US Global Tyrannies ...
Come on, you cowards!

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Nuclear Weapons in the U.S. and Russia

The U.S. and Russia keep hundreds of missiles armed with thousands of nuclear warheads on high-alert, ready to launch with only a few minutes warning.  High-alert status permits the launch a retaliatory nuclear strike before the arrival of a perceived nuclear attack.

Early Warning Systems (EWS), high-alert nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, and nuclear command and control systems, all working together, provide the U.S. and Russia the capability to Launch-on-Warning.

When Early Warning Systems warn of an impending nuclear attack, then decisions have to be made very quickly because the flight times of the missiles are very short.  30 minutes or less are required for a nuclear-armed land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) to travel between the U.S. and Russia and vice versa; 15 minutes or less for a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) to reach its target.

Thus, once the attack is detected, evaluated and passed up the chain of command, the U.S. and Russian president would have at most 12 minutes to make the decision to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike before the arrival of the perceived attack.

In the event an attack is believed to be real, the president must decide whether or not to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike before the arrival of the perceived attack is confirmed by nuclear detonations.  To launch a retaliatory nuclear strike based only upon electronic information derived from Early Warning Systems is to Launch-on-Warning.  If the perceived warning turns out to be false but a retaliatory nuclear strike has already been launched, then accidental nuclear war will have occurred.
The US and Russia are the only two nations believed to have the capacity to carry out Launch-on-Warning (they both have nuclear C3I systems connected to their nuclear weapon systems which  enable them to carry out LoW).
Accidental Nuclear War Caused by Terrorism

Under Launch-on-Warning policy, a false warning due to human error, technical error or terrorist sabotage can result in accidental nuclear war.  

Terrorists could carry out two forms of attacks which could cause a mistaken retaliatory launch using Launch-on-Warning policy.  First, terrorists could create the illusion of an impending nuclear attack.  They could do so by spoofing radar or satellite sensors of Early Warning Systems to imitate a nuclear attack.  This could also be accomplished by introducing computer viruses or software that mimic a full-scale nuclear attack into Early Warning System computers or computers which compromise the nuclear command and control systems.

Rather than create the illusion of an attack, terrorists could also gain access to high-alert nuclear weapons.  They could launch these weapons if they obtain launch codes and access to the command and control systems, or physical control of a weapon system

If the nuclear weapon states would eliminate the policy of Launch-on-Warning, accidental nuclear war based upon a false warning would be prevented (see Retaliatory Launch Only After Detonation, www.rload.org )

Is it possible to have a reliable defense against a nuclear attack?

Nuclear weapons can arrive at their targets in all manner of ways.  Weapons do not have come via missiles or strategic bombers, they can be smuggled across borders and arrive in a commercial airliner, a ship or truck.  A bomb can be exploded in the harbor of a nation before it is even taken ashore.  Even the most vicious police state will be hard-pressed to prevent nuclear weapons from entering its territory.
  
However, since most nuclear weapons in the US and Russia are mounted on some form of missile, the focus for years has been how to defend against a missile attack. Despite decades of research and tens of billions of dollars of expenditures, it has proven virtually impossible to construct a defense system which can reliably detect and shoot down missiles which travel faster than a speeding bullet.

Simple defensive measures, such as employing decoys which resemble warheads, are enough to overwhelm and defeat even the latest versions of missile defense.  US missile defense systems also have extremely limited capabilities in terms of the numbers of missiles which they could engage (even if they had 100% assurance of destroying each target, which they do not).  A single failure of such a system would likely result in the deaths of millions of people

Deploying and expanding these systems has historically only added fuel to an arms race which causes the deployment of more opposing missiles and the development of new technologies designed to overcome any defensive measures.  Furthermore, missile defense systems are often seen by the opposing side as a form of offensive weapon designed to “mop-up” any missiles which would survive a nuclear first-strike.

Thus missile defense systems have tended only to increase the danger and likelihood of nuclear war.  This was the reason that the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty was negotiated between the US and the Soviet Union in 1972 – both nations saw that there was no way to “win” by deploying ABM systems.  

As of 2008, there is no reliable defense against even a limited missile attack.
Can the population be protected in a nuclear attack?

It is virtually impossible to protect any population from a nuclear attack with even a single nuclear weapon.  Once a weapon is detonated, those inside the fire zone will not survive the ensuing firestorm, even if they are in a deep basement or underground shelter. Since the firestorm requires only tens of minutes to develop and create air temperatures well above the boiling point of water, along with hurricane force winds which drive the flames horizontally at ground level, there is virtually no time to escape. Strategic nuclear weapons create firestorms over total areas of hundreds or thousands square kilometers or miles.

Those outside the firestorm and downwind from radioactive fallout would need to be in underground shelters stocked with enough food and water to last for about one to three weeks, since it would take that much time before the radioactivity levels come down to levels low enough to preclude immediate sickness or death.  

However, in a large nuclear war, deadly climate change would cause average surface temperatures on Earth to become so cold that it would become impossible to grow food crops for many years.  Even those who escaped the initial fire, blast and radioactivity would eventually starve to death.

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Post time 2013-8-28 00:06:10 |Display all floors
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Hey but what do I know, huh?

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Post time 2013-8-28 11:10:58 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2013-8-28 05:21
So you, Robber and Laoda1 all share the same bed, underwear and girlfriend? Are you one poster usi ...

ADDRESS THE ARTICLE PLEASE!!!!!!!

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:09:35 |Display all floors

UK to set out Syria attack blueprint

28/8/2013
8 hours ago


The new head of Britain’s armed forces is to set out blueprint for military interventions in Syria.

At a meeting of the national security council (NSC) General Sir Nick Houghton is expected to brief British Prime Minister David Cameron over assisting US forces with cruise missile strikes from warships, submarines, and aircrafts.

The plans, which were worked on for several months, are expected to lessen the risk of retaliation from the Syrian government.

“A number of military options will be provided to the prime minister,” a Whitehall spokesperson said.

He also asked about the achievements and consequences of a potential attack in the Arab country, saying, Iraq and Afghanistan wars have taught œa lot about the dangers of getting involved in other people’s civil wars.”


Foreign-backed Syrian opposition and militants operating inside the country claimed on August 21 that 1,300 people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the capital city of Damascus.

The Syrian government, however, categorically rejected the baseless claim, and announced later that the chemical attack had actually been carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.

MOS/HE

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:12:39 |Display all floors

Total Fabrication Laid Bare in March to War With Syria

Brandon Turbeville
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

While the Western world gears up for possible military action against Syria using an alleged chemical weapons attack as justification, vastly more evidence points to the culpability of the death squads than to that of the Syrian government. Information continues to emerge disproving the mainstream media and Western government claims regarding the tragedy which took place last week.

I have written an article entitled “Propaganda Overdrive Suggests Syria War Coming Soon,”[1] in which I discuss the history of false flag chemical attacks to be blamed on the Syrian government, as well as deconstruct the official narrative regarding the recent “chemical weapons attack” which took place in the Eastern Ghouta region. I would encourage all of the readers to access this article in order to gain an important conceptual understanding and chronologically relevant perspective surrounding recent events.

Yet, even in that article, which desires to stand as a comprehensive discussion of situations such as the Syrian chemical weapons attack and the subsequent military action that might result from the spin placed around media and governmental reports of such attacks, vital information is often not available due to its gradual release.

For instance, on August 27, 2013, Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily[2] released an article detailing photos, audio recordings, and clear video evidence of Syrian “rebels” (more aptly-named “death squads”) possessing and using chemical weapons.



Indeed, in one of the videos, which can be viewed below, one can clearly see Free Syrian Army (FSA) death squad members launching a Sarin gas attack on a Syrian village.



In a separate video, which was posted to YouTube, one can see what appears to be the Syrian death squad forces loading a canister containing nerve gas onto a rocket which presumably would be used to fire on both Syrian Army soldiers and civilians alike given the history and track record of the death squads thus far.

In addition, another video shows an arsenal of weapons, including a sizeable portion of chemical agents and nerve gas weapons which were captured by the Syrian Army from a death squad holdout in Jobar, Syria. A close up of the video footage shows that the chemical weapons were actually manufactured by a Saudi Arabian corporation known as Sachlo,[3] the “Saudi factory for chlorine and alkalies.” It should also be noted that chlorine can easily be used as a chemical weapon if mixed and dispersed properly and it has been used for both in the past,[4] apparently even so in Syria.[5]



A report by RT demonstrates that even more chemical weapons and chemical weapons-related materials manufactured by Saudi Arabia were found by the Syrian military after seizing death squad weapons caches.



Corsi also reports that a translated conversation between a terrorist death squad member in Homs, Syria and his boss located in Saudi Arabia, which was broadcast on Syrian television, indicates that it was, in fact, the Syrian death squads who were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks, not the Assad government. As Corsi writes,
On Aug. 23, LiveLeak.com hosted an audio recording of a phone call[6] broadcast on Syrian TV between a terrorist affiliated with the rebel civilian militia “Shuhada al-Bayada Battalion” in Homs, Syria, and his Saudi Arabian boss, identified as “Abulbasit.” The phone call indicates rebel-affiliated terrorists in Syria, not the Assad government, launched the chemical weapons attack in Deir Ballba in the Homs, Syria, countryside.
The terrorist said his group, which comprises 200 terrorists escaped from al-Bayadah to al-Daar al-Kabera through a tunnel, needed to buy weapons to attack Homs.
The Saudi financier, who was in Cairo, asked the Syrian terrorists to give details about his group and how it will receive the money. The Saudi admitted his support to terrorists in Daraa and the Damascus countryside. The Syrian terrorist told him that one of the achievements of his “battalion” was the use of chemical weapons in Deir Ballba.
The recorded phone call disclosed the cooperation between two terrorist groups in Syria to bring two bottles of Sarin Gas from the Barzeh neighborhood in Damascus.
Russian media sources have consistently reported[7] Syrian military have discovered rebel warehouses containing chemical weapons agents and have documented rebel chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian civilians the military.
Of course, it should be pointed out that, even as far back as May, 2013,[8] Turkish security forces discovered a 2kg cylinder containing Sarin nerve gas after searching the homes of Syrian death squad members. The gas was apparently going to be used in a bomb.


The death squad attack was allegedly going to be used inside the Adana, Turkey area, thus demonstrating the intellectual prowess of the death squads given that Turkey has aided them and their movement since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.

Even more telling than the Turkish discovery, however, is the fact that Syrian Television networks have reported that Syrian Army soldiers found chemical weapons inside death squad tunnels located in the Damascus suburb of Jobar. Syrian State Television networks were being quoted as saying,[9] that “Army heroes are entering the tunnels of the terrorists and saw chemical agents. In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar."

Reuters also reports that,[10]
Syria accuses rebels of staging the attack to provoke intervention. State television said soldiers had found chemical weapons on Saturday in tunnels that had been used by rebels.
A presenter said five blue and green plastic storage drums shown in video footage, along with rusty mortar bombs, grenades, domestic gas canisters and vials labeled "atropine", a nerve gas antidote, were proof that rebels had used chemical weapons.
Of course, there also exists the claims that several videos showing the effects of the chemical weapons used in Eastern Ghouta, Syria were allegedly uploaded a full day before the events actually took place. Voice of Russia has stated,[11]
The Islamic politics and cultural website Islamic Invitation Turkey claims that several videos were uploaded one day before the reports on chemical weapons use near Damascus in Syria. This evidence shows that the terrorists massacred people then recorded the scenes to deceive the world, but they gave themselves away. Terrorists in Syria uploaded the video of their crimes in East Ghouta, Damascus on August 20, 2013 and then blamed the Syrian government for the attack early on August 21, 2013, says the IIT website.
This evidence supposedly shows the massacre by terrorists in Syria and their struggle to convince the public that the Syrian regime is behind the massacre. You will see that the terrorists uploaded the videos before the massacre and their so-called allegation of the time when the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian Army occurred.
NOTE: Screenshots, still photos, and video can be seen in the original Voice of Russia report linked above.


In the end, the propaganda being replayed on the television screens of millions of Americans and millions more Westerners in general is nothing more than the same script that has been replayed time and time again whenever the Anglo-American establishment sets its sights on war with yet another nation. Before military action is taken, a successful campaign of goading and warmongering must be waged on the domestic population so that the poor, working, and even middle class will be thoroughly aroused to hand over their lives and the lives of their children for a cause that only exists in the minds of those who will be fighting the battles.

Thus, we cannot allow false claims of atrocities or phantom threats of frightening weapons to be used to justify American military intervention in yet another Middle Eastern country. Indeed, our experiences with “incubator babies” and weapons of mass destruction should serve as a reminder whenever we are faced with nerve gas victims and chemical weapons.

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:14:53 |Display all floors

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On the eve of war with Syria

John Kerry’s “Colin Powell moment”

27 August 2013

Yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on national television to deliver a lying statement aimed at preparing public opinion for an impending US-NATO attack on Syria. It was his very own “Colin Powell moment.”

On February 5, 2003, Powell, then the secretary of state in the Bush administration, made an infamous presentation before the United Nations. For two hours, armed with photos, graphs and audio tapes, the chief diplomatic officer of the United States made the case for war against Iraq. He claimed that the evidence he presented showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which it was about to unleash on the world.

The media and politicians of both parties hailed Powell’s performance, declaring that the former general had made an overwhelming case that Iraq had enormous WMD programs. Six weeks later, bombs fell on Iraq as the US invasion began.

Powell’s speech was a pack of lies. Not one of his claims about yellowcake uranium from Niger, aluminum tubes, or mobile weapons labs was true. At the time, the WSWS wrote that the brief for war was “a diplomatic charade laced with cynicism and deceit… predicated on a colossal lie: that the coming invasion is about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and Baghdad’s supposed threat to US security and world peace.” And so it proved to be.

The speech ten years later by Kerry was no less dishonest, no less cynical. Indeed, by comparison, Powell’s presentation was a masterpiece of detail.

Kerry’s entire case against the Syrian regime consisted of a general moral denunciation of chemical weapons. Describing “gut-wrenching images” of casualties from the alleged chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, he said: “The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.”

The United States government and its allies in Britain, France and Germany are in no position to lecture the world on the “moral obscenity” of chemical warfare or anything else. A complete documentation of the war crimes and atrocities carried out by American and European imperialism would fill many volumes.

Washington has poisoned entire Iraqi cities with depleted uranium and white phosphorus. Earlier, it dropped 75 million liters of Agent Orange—a chemical weapon—on Vietnam, affecting millions of people. The US is the one country in the world that has used nuclear weapons on defenseless cities—not once, but twice, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It and the European imperialist powers—who pioneered the use of poison gas—are collectively responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

While invoking the “moral obscenity” of indiscriminate killings with chemical weapons, the Obama administration continues to fund the Egyptian military junta, which over the last month has slaughtered thousands of unarmed protesters in the streets.

Kerry could not present a single fact, beyond his own lurid allegations, to justify the claim that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces carried out a chemical attack in Ghouta.

Instead, he said: “Our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience, and guided by common sense … Chemical weapons were used in Syria. Moreover, we know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these weapons. We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets.”

Such arguments prove nothing. Though Kerry preferred not to mention it, it is well known that US-backed opposition militias have access to chemical weapons and have used them. Opposition groups have posted YouTube videos bragging of their ability to manufacture poison gas, and UN officials have repeatedly stated that investigations inside Syria showed that opposition forces, not the Assad regime, were responsible for previous chemical attacks.

The CIA, which has been transformed into a heavily-armed global paramilitary organization, has access to such weapons and could easily make them available to the opposition.

Kerry’s claim that his accusations against Syria are grounded in “common sense” is false: common sense, applied to the situation in Syria, leads one precisely to the opposite conclusion.

The opposition is on the run, losing the war; their only hope is massive military intervention by their backers in the US, Europe and the Middle East. The chemical weapons attack—previously described as a “red line” by the Obama administration—provides the desired pretext for this intervention.

In another remarkable statement, Kerry gave a back-handed acknowledgment that Washington does not intend to offer proof of its allegations against Assad. He stated, “as Ban Ki-moon said last week, the UN investigation will not determine who used the chemical weapons, only whether such weapons were used, a judgment that is already clear to the world.” That is to say that, regardless of what the investigation shows about the identity of the attackers, Washington will seize upon it as a pretext to attack the Syrian government.

After demanding that Syria allow “unrestricted” access to investigate the alleged attack, Kerry responded to the government’s acquiescence to this demand by declaring that it doesn’t matter anyway, since it was “too late to be credible.” All the demands are simply intended to pave the way for war. Short of opening up the country to foreign occupation, there is nothing the government could do to satisfy the ultimatums of US imperialism.

Only months after his 2003 speech on Iraq, it was clear that Powell had lied through his teeth. In the months ahead, Kerry, the one-time anti-Vietnam war protester, will also be caught up by the web of lies underlying the US war drive against Syria.

For WSWS coverage on Colin Powell’s February 3, 2003, speech to the United Nations click here.

Alex Lantier

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