Author: laoda1

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

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Post time 2013-8-30 18:41:01 |Display all floors

Evidence: Syria Gas Attack Work of U.S. Allies

Contrary evidence arises as U.S. considers punishing Assad regime

By Jerome R. Corsi
Global Research, August 28, 2013

As the U.S. considers a response to what it calls a chemical weapon attack by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime that killed hundreds of civilians, reliable Middle Eastern sources say they have evidence the culprits actually were the rebel forces trying to take over the government.

Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Assad government Monday of covering up the use of chemical weapons in “a cowardly crime” and a “moral obscenity” that shocked the world’s conscience. Kerry claimed the Obama administration had “undeniable” evidence “that the Assad government was culpable in the use of chemical weapons on civilians” in the Aug. 21 attack in Damascus suburbs.

Reports that the Obama administration is considering a military strike against the Assad government continued to circulate Monday. Meanwhile, U.N. weapon inspectors in Syria were fired upon by snipers as they attempted to investigate the site of the Aug. 21 attack.

Assad has rejected charges that his government forces used chemical weapons as “preposterous” and “completely politicized,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

He argues Syrian forces were in the targeted area.

“How is it possible that any country would use chemical weapons, or any weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its own forces are located?” Assad asked in the interview with Izvestia, according to a translation provided by Syria’s official news agency and published by the Los Angeles Times.

“This is preposterous! These accusations are completely politicized and come on the back of the advances made by the Syrian Army against the terrorists.”

Rebel attack?

With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.

A video posted on YouTube, shows Free Syrian Army, or FSA, rebel forces launching a Sarin gas attack on a Syrian village.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/video ... Ru9UQuLVzbr0S517LUT

Another video posted on YouTube shows what appears to be Syrian rebel forces loading a canister of nerve gas on a rocket to fire presumably at civilians and possibly government forces.

As seen below, a screen capture from the video shows rebel civilian forces placing a suspicious blue canister on top of a rocket-launching device.


A separate YouTube video from Syrian television shows a government-captured arsenal of what appears to be nerve gas weapons seized from a rebel stronghold in Jobar, Syria.

The image below shows canisters in the seized rebel arsenal from Jobar that appear to resemble the canister launched by rebel forces in the first image above.



A close-up from the Syrian television news report, seen below, shows a chemical agent identified as having been made by a “Saudi factory.”



A report from the Russian Arabic-language channel RT Arabic shows captured rebel arsenals apparently with chemical agents manufactured in Saudi Arabia and gas masks, supporting Russian claims that the rebels are the culprits in the alleged chemical attack.

On Aug. 23, LiveLeak.com hosted an audio recording of a phone call 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 Syrian military have discovered rebel warehouses containing chemical weapons agents and have documented rebel chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian civilians the military.

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Post time 2013-8-30 18:44:18 |Display all floors

US-NATO Campaign to Justify Syria War Disintegrates as Attack Looms

By Thomas Gaist and Alex Lantier
August 29, 2013

Washington’s campaign to justify war against Syria is disintegrating, as it becomes ever clearer that the war is illegal, and that Washington has no evidence to back up charges that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons in Ghouta. Despite press reports of an imminent US-NATO attack, US and British officials suggested yesterday that they might delay launching the war.

There is rising concern inside the political establishment about how to package a war in Syria modeled on the hated 2003 invasion of Iraq. Again, Washington and London are moving to launch a war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction and without legal sanction from the UN Security Council—that is, in violation of international law.

Even before war has begun, Obama administration officials are in disarray. In a PBS television interview last night, Obama attempted to back away from threats of an imminent attack: “We have not yet made a decision, but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place. If we are saying this in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this; that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term.”

Obama’s claim that his administration has not decided to move against Assad is an absurd lie. Washington has called for Assad’s overthrow for over a year, while the CIA massively armed Al Qaeda-linked Islamist opposition militias against his regime.

A senior US official contradicted Obama yesterday, telling NBC that US moves toward intervention in Syria are “past the point of no return,” and that strikes will be launched in days.

Obama is also encountering opposition to his attempt to launch a war without a vote in Congress, in violation of the US Constitution. A petition signed by 111 House lawmakers, 94 Republicans and 17 Democrats, warns that this would “violate the separation of powers.” The petition asks that Congress be reconvened so it can back the war and “share the burden of decisions made regarding US involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”

Yesterday the British Conservative-Liberal Democrat government retreated from its intention to take a vote today supporting war with Syria. With public support for war hovering in polls between six and nine percent and predictions of mass anti-war protests, as well as disagreements within the military and even the government, the opposition Labour Party declared that it would not support direct action by UK forces without a further vote in the Commons.

To provide a fig-leaf for its support for war, Labour insisted that the United Nations Security Council must be allowed to consider a report from weapons inspectors charged with investigating the alleged chemical weapons attack and that “every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any such action is taken.”

The UN has said that it will be at least four days before inspectors are able to finish their work in Syria.

The motion will now leave the door open for intervention, asking MPs to agree the principle that a “strong humanitarian response” is required from the international community that “may, if necessary, require military action that is legal, proportionate and focused on saving lives by preventing and deterring further use of Syria’s chemical weapons”

The fact that the US and Britain embarked on such reckless and unpopular policies—first arming Islamist opposition militias against Assad, then moving to illegally attack Syria—testifies to the fact that they are indifferent to public opinion. With their repeated, inflammatory statements, Obama and Cameron have staked their political authority on this war. They will seek at all costs to proceed with it, despite its unpopularity and rising international pressure.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov charged this week that Washington had no proof to back up its allegations that Assad’s forces gassed Syrian civilians in Ghouta. “They cannot produce evidence, but keep on saying that the ‘red line’ has been crossed and they cannot wait any longer,” he said, pointing out that “the use of force without the sanction of the UN Security Council is a crude violation of international law.”

Concerned that the Obama administration is undermining the credibility of the UN by pressing for war before inspectors have even investigated Ghouta, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon pleaded yesterday: “The team needs time to do its job. Give peace a chance; give diplomacy a chance, stop fighting and start talking.”

Obama administration officials have told the UN to call off the inspectors, however. According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration told Ban that UN inspectors’ efforts in Syria were “pointless.” CNN reported Wednesday that “US officials are all but telling United Nations inspectors in Syria to get out of the way.”

Washington clearly does not want the truth about what happened in Ghouta to come out. The chemical weapons incident itself could have been manufactured by US intelligence, in an operation aiming to provide the pretext for war. Since the middle of this month, the areas near the chemical incident have been flooded with CIA-trained militants led by US, Israeli, and Jordanian commandos.

Previous UN investigations found the US-backed rebels responsible for other chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

State and media propaganda maintains that US attack plans are a limited response to violations of international law by Assad. These claims, dutifully disseminated by a state-controlled media, are lies intended to disorient the public. The objective of the planned US strikes is to kill Assad and cripple his military, thus changing the balance of power inside Syria between the Assad regime and US-backed Islamist opposition militias.

The US offensive is based on a carefully prepared plan to destroy the Syrian regime’s military capability. According to CNN, “there is no indication that the missiles would target stockpiles of chemical weapons.” In fact, strikes against “military command bunkers” and airfields are being planned.

The US is moving significant forces into the region, including at least one nuclear submarine and four destroyers in the Mediterranean, and two aircraft carriers in the western Indian Ocean. Together with the British build-up of fighter-bombers and military equipment on nearby Cyprus, these deployments make clear that claims in the media that the Syrian war would be a limited pinprick operation are lies. The US and its allies are preparing devastating attacks that will kill thousands and savage Syria’s infrastructure.

The offensive by the US and its allies threatens to unleash a far broader regional and even global war. US hawks and military planners have pushed for war and “regime change” against Syria for a decade, aiming to clear the way for an attack on US imperialism’s main regional target, Iran, and set the stage for a US confrontation with Russia and China.

Iran has responded to the war threats by warning that attacks will be launched against Israel in retaliation. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said: “We want to strongly warn against any military attack in Syria. There will definitely be perilous consequences for the region. These complications and consequences will not be restricted to Syria. It will engulf the whole region.”

On Wednesday, apparently in response to the statements from Iran, Israel mobilized reservists and bolstered its missile defenses.

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Post time 2013-8-30 18:49:17 |Display all floors
This post was edited by laoda1 at 2013-8-30 18:52

Morality is Immoral according to US Global Tyranny

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US Lacks Moral Standing to Condemn Syria

by SHELDON RICHMAN
Aug 30-Sep 01, 2013

Whether or not democratically elected Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, President Obama has no legitimate grounds to intervene. And evidence are plenty in proving that the United States supplied sarin gas through Turkey and Saudi Arabia and then blame it on Syria.

U.S. airstrikes, intended to punish and deter Assad and degrade his military but not overthrow his regime, would deepen the U.S. investment in the Syrian civil war and increase the chances of further intervention. Obama’s previous intervention is what has brought us to this point. Instead of steering clear of this regional conflict, he declared that Assad must go; designated the use of chemical weapons as a “red line” the crossing of which would bring a U.S. response; and armed and otherwise aided Assad’s opposition, which is dominated by al-Qaeda-style jihadists who have no good feelings toward America. Once an American president does these things, further steps are almost inevitable if for no other reason than that “American credibility” will be said to be at stake.

One can already hear the war hawks berating Obama for his “merely symbolic” punitive airstrike that had no real effect on the civil war. Once he’s taken that step, will Obama be able to resist the pressure for imposing a no-fly zone or for more bombing? He and the military seem unenthusiastic about getting in deeper, but political pressure can be formidable. Will the American people maintain their opposition to fuller involvement when the news media turn up the volume of the war drums? How long before the pictures from the war zone create public approval for “humanitarian intervention,” which the hawks will then point to in support of their cause?

Make no mistake: the United States would be committing an act of war against Syria — and judging by the 2011 Libyan intervention, it would be doing so unconstitutionally, without congressional authorization. If history teaches us anything, it is that war is unpredictable. Even limited “surgical” strikes can have unintended consequences (civilian deaths and American losses) and could elicit unanticipated responses, including from Syria’s allies Iran and Hezbollah.

Exploiting unsubstantiated allegations about chemical weapons also runs the risk of repeating the blunder of a decade ago, when dubious intelligence was used to justify an unlawful war of aggression against Iraq. Are there grounds for confidence in the claims that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons? Maybe they did, but something does not add up. Assad has much to lose by their use, while the rebels have much to gain: Western intervention on their behalf. (In May a member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria concluded that the rebels may have used chemical weapons at that time.) As Peter Hitchens writes,

What could possibly have possessed [Assad] to do something so completely crazy? He was, until this event, actually doing quite well in his war against the Sunni rebels. Any conceivable gains from using chemical weapons would be cancelled out a million times by the diplomatic risk. It does not make sense.

Hitchens urges caution:

It seems to me that there are several reasons to be careful. The first is that we seek to believe evil of those we have already decided to be enemies, especially in democracies where voters must be persuaded to sign the vast blank cheque of war.

Finally, it is grotesque to see officials of the U.S. government, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, condemning anyone’s war tactics as something “morally obscene” that should “shock the conscience of the world.” Since 1945, the U.S. government has launched aggressive wars in violation of international law. It has tortured prisoners detained without charge. It has dropped atomic bombs on civilian centers, and used napalm, Agent Orange, depleted-uranium shells, and white phosphorus incendiary weapons. It has carpet bombed and firebombed cities. America’s unexploded landmines and cluster bombs still threaten the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. (Tens of thousands have been killed or injured since the war ended in 1975.)

Today the U.S. government cruelly inflicts suffering on Iranian men, women, and children through virtually comprehensive economic sanctions — just as it did to the Iraqi people from 1990 to 2003. It also threatens aggressive war against Iran.

And while it selectively laments the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the Obama administration bankrolls Egypt’s military government, which massacred over a thousand street demonstrators, and Israel’s repression of the Palestinians.

The U.S. government should get its own house in order and quit lecturing others.

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Post time 2013-8-30 20:01:49 |Display all floors

Syria War “Coalition” Dissolves: Britain, France, Canada and Most Other Countries Say NO to Syrian Attack

Posted on August 29, 2013

U.S. Is Isolated

Britain, France, Canada, Nato, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the rest of the world have said no to a Syrian attack.

The Arab League – which backed the war against Libya – has also  said no to an attack on Syria.

After it was revealed that U.S. claims that the Syrian government carried out recent the chemical weapons attack are wholly unsubstantiated, the U.S. has become isolated.

World opinion is firmly against war.

Congressman Grayson argues that  nobody wants a war except the military-industrial complex.

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Post time 2013-8-31 14:31:43 |Display all floors

Syrian Rebels tell AP reporter they mishandled chemical weapons, causing accident

Paul Joseph Watson
August 30, 2013 at 3:23pm

Militants tell AP reporter they mishandled Saudi-supplied chemical weapons, causing accident


Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

Image: YouTube

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak. (back up version here).

Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.

His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of an opposition rebel, also told Gavlak, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” The father names the Saudi militant who provided the weapons as Abu Ayesha.

According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.

“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government,” writes Gavlak.

If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.

The website on which the story originally appeared - Mint Press (which is currently down as a result of huge traffic it is attracting to the article) is a legitimate media organization based in Minnesota. The Minnesota Post did a profile on them last year.

Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar allegedly told Vladimir Putin, the Telegraph reports.

The Obama administration is set to present its intelligence findings today in an effort prove that Assad’s forces were behind last week’s attack, despite American officials admitting to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” that directly links President Assad to the attack.

US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk.”

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Post time 2013-8-31 14:34:31 |Display all floors

Ron Paul: Syria Chemical Attack A ‘False Flag’
                                                 

Mikael Thalen
August 30, 2013

During an interview on Fox Business’ Cavuto Wednesday, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) commented on the unfolding situation in Syria, specifically calling the recent chemical attack a ‘false flag’ likely carried out by the US backed Al Qaeda filled rebels.

“I think it’s a false flag…” said Paul. “Why don’t we ask about the Al Qaeda? Why are we on the side of the Al Qaeda right now?”

Despite the Obama administration’s attempt to immediately blame Assad’s forces for the chemical attack, multiple U.S. officials have said that the administration’s evidence is “not a slam dunk.” Officials also mentioned that the administration had no “smoking gun.” In fact, the rebels have now even claimed responsibility for the attacks, and Anthony Gucciardi has revealed that mounting evidence lends to the reality that the Syrian rebels carried out the attacks.

Even with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad presenting evidence to the UN that strongly points to a rebel led chemical attack, the Obama administration has continued to ignore any evidence that can’t be used to justify military action against Assad, including multiple YouTube videos showing rebels launching chemical weapons on civilian targets.

Paul also exposed the history of lies and propaganda used by the US government to justify military intervention, pointing specifically to the Iraq war.

“Look at how many lies were told to us about Saddam Hussein prior to that buildup, war propaganda. It’s endless, it happens all the time,” said Paul, also pointing to Donald Rumsfeld’s role in supplying chemical weapons to Saddam in the 1980′s.

Mounting evidence forced out by the alternative media has destroyed the government’s credibility, with now only 9 percent of Americans supporting military intervention in Syria. The international backlash also caused UK Prime Minister David Cameron to momentarily back down after the British parliament voted against authorizing military action. Cameron later decided to send military jets to Cyprus, claiming the move was purely “defensive.”

Last April during a speech in Austin, Texas, Paul warned of the system’s increasing war propaganda and predicted that a false flag incident would likely accelerate the US deeper into the Middle Eastern conflict.

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Post time 2013-8-31 14:41:18 |Display all floors



Syria: World reacts to Britain's decision

America was shocked, Israel outraged and Russia gleeful - here is how the world's press reacted to Thursday night's defeat of David Cameron's motion on Syria in the House of Commons.

By  Harriet Alexander, and Andrew Webster
7:22PM BST 30 Aug 2013

Pensive looking, his face creased into a frown, President Barack Obama was pictured on the front page of Thursday's New York Daily News with the headline "The British aren't coming!"

"President Obama is starting to look more like the Lone Ranger than Paul Revere," the paper said. "England joined Germany Thursday in abandoning the US march to war."

Their consternation at the United States having to "go it alone" was echoed across the American press – albeit in a more refined manner.

The Washington Post headline read "Obama can go it alone on Syria. More lawmakers clamour for vote. British cooperation seems unlikely." The Los Angeles Times said "US willing to go solo on Syria," and in an editorial the paper expressed its own reservations about military action.

"Military action against the abhorrent Assad regime may unintentionally help opponents of it, some of whom have ties to terrorist groups. As candidate Obama would have recognised in 2007, that is exactly why unilateral presidential action would be neither wise nor constitutional."

Israeli newspapers were published too early to cover the debate, but online commentators reacted strongly.

Particularly vocal was David Horovitz, The Times of Israel's editor, who wrote under the headline: "Perfidious Albion hands murderous Assad a spectacular victory."

"As a consequence of Cameron's absolutely staggering defeat in the House of Commons on Thursday night, an already hesitant US administration ... has lost its key ally in the unenviable, vital task of reining in the murderous tendencies of global, and especially Middle Eastern, despots.

"Assad must be delightedly flabbergasted, even as he braces for still-likely American intervention, having witnessed in Westminster how spectacularly wary the once mighty Britain has become of utilising force to uphold even the highest moral imperatives. The bottom line is that the UK, asked by its leader to stand up and fight against the use of WMD to kill innocent civilians in distant Syria, walked away."

Newspapers in France, the main remaining ally of the US on Syrian military action, were generally supportive of intervention.

Le Figaro accused Westerners of "procrastinating in awaiting the return of UN inspectors," while Le Monde featured an interview with Francois Hollande, the French president, headlined "It's not about toppling the Syrian dictator."

In the interview Mr Hollande told the paper that "there are few countries which have the capacity to inflict sanctions through appropriate means. France is one of them. And she is ready for that."

Elsewhere in Europe, the Commons defeat made headlines, with a photo of David Cameron on the front pages of Spanish newspaper El Pais. In an online commentary, the German tabloid Bild described the vote as an "unparalleled setback" for David Cameron, while the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera wrote that "a political mine has exploded inside the mini-coalition that was ready to strike Syria."

The paper continued: "This has not happened as far back as memory stretches. The vote arrived as a surprise late in the evening, when no one expected it. A failure that looks like a loud slap in the face for Cameron."

Russian newspapers were almost gleeful about the defeat for Mr Cameron, with the Moskovsky Komsomolets tabloid's headline: "Cameron wanted to punish Assad – but cut himself."

The paper noted: "The British public cannot forgive the government – regardless of which party is in power – for lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This poisoned arrow will remain lodged in the mind of the nation for a long time to come."

Writing for the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency, columnist Dmitry Kosyrev says the rebels actually did David Cameron a favour by getting him out of an unpopular war while saving face with the United States.

"In military affairs, Prime Ministers can sometimes act without parliament, so there is a suspicion that this maybe exactly what Cameron wanted. The opinion polls in the countries considering going to war are clear. In Britain, as the rest of Europe and the US, most voters do not want to go to war," he writes.

"There was an easy way to avoid embarrassment in front of Obama and keep the public happy – go to parliament."

And in a piece titled "Bravo Britain!" for the Liberal Echo of Moscow radio station commentator and historian Georgy Mirsky wrote: "Thank God there is such a parliament in the world, and thank god there is a government with such respect for it," he wrote. "No wonder people believe Britain is the birthplace of democracy."

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