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Turnbull blindly follows Trump into Syrian regime change disaster

“What the world saw last night was the United States Commander-in-Chief, and also a father and grandfather,” explains Kellyanne Conway, Counsellor to the President, on Friday. “The world recoiled in horror at babies writhing and struggling to live. And who could avert their gaze – and that includes our very tough, very resolute, very decisive President.”

Choked-up, yet resolute and tough, hunkered down in his Mar-a-Largo bunker, the man who walked right off the set of Celebrity Apprentice and on to a world stage, Donald J. Trump, shows everyone he’s made of the right stuff, bigly. Ham.

Trump mugs the camera; a Ronald Reagan parody of fake sincerity. He’ll stop Bashar Al Assad from gassing children. Why, Assad has affected him profoundly, personally. “… a chemical attack that was so horrific in Syria against innocent people, including women, small children and even beautiful little babies, their deaths were an affront to humanity.”

The President is responding to reports of a chemical attack on a building in Khan Sheikhoun, north-western Syria, that killed 80 civilians and left hundreds wounded. The Syrian Air Force is blamed for the bombing. Yet there is no proof.

Syria denies any involvement. Those responsible for the original report, the “White Helmets” are alleged to function as a propaganda branch of ISIL and have been criticised for their fake videos and disinformation. The group apologised last year for its viral Mannequin Challenge video in which it staged a fake rescue.

They are a political group. Max Blumenthal points out, The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, an explicitly political wing of the agency that has funded efforts at political subversion in Cuba and Venezuela.

Their website argues for a No Fly Zone (regime change) in Syria. Yet MSM takes for granted the organization’s self-proclaimed assertions they are an unarmed, impartial and independent Non-Government Organization (NGO) whose sources of funding are not derived from any of the conflicting parties in Syria.

The Shajul Islam video which purports to document Sarin gas in the Khan Sheikhoun attack is examined in detail by pharmacologist and lawyer Dr Denis O’Brien, author of Ghouta Massacre Murder in the SunMorgue, a detailed, forensic-pharmacological analysis of the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus, Syria in August, 2013.

O’Brien finds little or no evidence of Sarin gas but identifies symptoms consistent with cyanide poisoning. His reservations are echoed by other experts and critical observers. The “Sarin gas video” nevertheless receives widespread uncritical screening on MSM.

Trump is convinced. He orders a missile strike. It is set to launch during the main course of his welcome dinner for China’s president, for which he selects the a pan-seared Dover sole with champagne sauce and herb-roasted new potato from a plain menu which signals business function as much as an impressive lack of inspiration. He has a deal to seal with Xi Jinping. He’s already threatened that the US will “solve” North Korea alone, although experts are sceptical.

A mid-dinner missile strike on Syria ups the ante. Will North Korea be next? “I am not going to tell you” is all he will say. His deputy security adviser, KT McFarland, talks up North Korea’s nuclear threat. Trump says he wants China to “rein in” North Korea. “Trade is the key.” Yet he’ll need more than bluff and bluster if he is to seal any kind of deal. And he’ll need to deliver on his promises to put America first if he is to arrest his declining support at home.

“The Art of the Deal” author (ghost-writer Tony Schwartz) Donald, has always been an approval seeker. Now he’s keen to arrest his plummeting popular opinion ratings. Only 34 percent of Americans currently approve of the job Trump is doing, a figure two points below Obama’s all-time low, reports Investor’s Business Daily/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence (IBD/TIPP), a ten percent drop since March. He’d do anything to get America to like him again.

Setting up a Syrian strike to upstage his dinner with Xi Jinping certainly gets a rise out of China’s state media:

“This is his first major decision on international affairs, and his haste and inconsistency has left people with a deep impression,” says the Global Times. It’s hardly an auspicious beginning but the US still puts on an incredible show..

Australians are optically carpet-bombed Friday with sensational saturation video loop coverage of the firing of 59 long-range, all-weather, subsonic, Tomahawk cruise missiles Al-Shayrat air base in the Western Syrian province of Homs. A barrage of assertion, speculation and general ignorance is lined up in support. A case for regime change is brewing.

Across the nation, lounge rooms flicker in the ghostly glow of endless replays of giant missiles twisting skyward in early morning Eastern Mediterranean inky darkness. Swirling trails of thick smoke transform the Arleigh-Burke destroyers USS Ross and USS Porter, two of a US fleet of seventy-five, into ghastly fire-breathing, death-dealing, vengeful dragons.

It’s a top quality performance, a Pentagon son et lumière; a spectacular display of righteous might intercut with images of gas attack victims supplied by US-UK and NATO funded White Helmet rebels in Syria who always put on a good show in return for a retainer of $123 million a year. What it lacks in narrative coherence, it makes up for in special effects.

No expense is spared, although a 3.5% US Navy budget cut back to $152 billion in 2017 mean crews are halved to find savings. Replacing one destroyer would cost $1.8 billion. Each missile has a million dollar price tag. Yet inestimable; beyond all calculation is the value of each one of the lives of seven civilians, including four children who have been killed in areas nearby who remain unnamed statistics in a Reuters’ relay of a Syrian state news agency report.

The pipeline wars have taken a massive toll. More than 1 in 10 Syrians have been wounded or killed since the beginning of the war in 2011, according to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research in 2016 which finds the conflict has killed 470,000 either directly or indirectly. The United Nations stopped counting Syrian war dead in 2014.

Given these circumstances, it’s incredible that Trump’s humanity is affronted so late in the day. Also worrying is his blindspot – unless he’s seeking a diversion. Last month alone, 1472 civilians have been killed in his war on ISIS a result of his decision to alter risk/reward ratio calculations. Yet none of this dints the President’s Australian support base.

Down under we’re gung ho. Huzza huzza, four cheers for Trump. Trump has done something. Thumped Syria. He’s OK. Local commentators love a bit of biffo. Suddenly we are all applauding the man with a plan. Loving that line in the sand.

Panels of experts are mobilised instantly. Cobber Kim Beasley gets a guernsey. Kim loves guns and knows stuff about America. And can he talk! Bobbing up everywhere is model of compassion, jolly Jim Molan, architect of “Stop the Boats” (at any price) and our resident chemical weapons expert, a Major General seconded from the ADF to the US command who deployed white phosphorous in Fallujah in late 2004, a choice corroborated by U.S. Colonel Barry Venable in 2005.

The attack on Fallujah was launched by seizing the only hospital. Oddly, no-one asks for Jim’s special insights.

“Packed into an artillery shell, white phosphorous explodes over a battlefield in a white glare that can illuminate an enemy’s positions. It also rains balls of flaming chemicals, which cling to anything they touch and burn until their oxygen supply is cut off. They can burn for hours inside a human body,reports the New York Times

Prior to George Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, there was no ISIS; no civil unrest in Syria. A lot of explaining is left to do. Yet all the talk is of “bringing the Assad regime into line”, as Malcolm Turnbull puts it. Pressure must be put on Russia because Syria is a vassal state, he says. The Daily Telegraph raves about Donald Trump’s “well-considered” attack which it sees as a “circuit-breaker”. Words come cheap but it sounds ominously as if regime change is in the wind.

There is precious little discussion of the gas attack itself; no pause to consider why Syria’s president might gas his own people at a time when things were going very much his own way. The people of Syria would decide their own future leader said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as recently as 30 March.

A more plausible scenario which fits history and circumstantial evidence is that al-Qaeda, ISIS and/or other anti-Assad factions supplied the chemical weaponry. The White Helmets may have orchestrated the attack leaving US Neocons to supply the script. Yet our response has been largely uncritical, pliant and alarmingly receptive to official US propaganda.

More entreprenurial types want to take the false flag and run with it. Celebrity politician Christopher Pyne effortlessly blends expedience with rooting for Trump as he heroically battles over exposure and relevance fatigue to meet US Defence Secretary James Mattis. Like a rat up a torpedo tube, Pyne sees new opportunities for our “burgeoning defence industry” now Trump has upped US defence spending ten per cent.

How quickly we move on. In 2014, former Defence Minister David Johnston disgraced himself by saying he wouldn’t trust the ASC to build a canoe. Jim Molan saw red. Now we are touting our defence industry to the United States.

Other urgers are waiting. Kevin “boots on the ground” Andrews, a big fan of the US from its wacky fundamentalism to its divine right to regime change in Iraq, is saddled up, incommunicado, on Pollie Pedal with pal Abbott. Wild horses wouldn’t get his Grecian head on the box now. But he’ll be back to argue our need to boost our commitment in Syria.

In brief, with incredible unanimity, once again, our commentators, like our politicians are overwhelmingly, a pack of hawkish US sycophants or apologists. US cheer-leader Marise Payne appears on ABC Insiders Sunday to spin the sudden US flip-flop or Trump’s latest impulse as a “considered, calibrated and proportionate” response.

A new world disorder is born. Nothing is certain; everything is cast into doubt. Michaelia Cash will proceed with internships regardless of Senate approval and against all advice that it’s exploitation because it helps businesses, Amen . Turnbull’s Adani coal safari will still go ahead but that’s locked in by his coal lobby bosses.

Never to be upstaged, or to pass up on a slogan, “Bashar Al Assad has to go”, the PM says, finding his inner Tomahawk.

Trump’s Operation random Tomahawk attack would upstage anyone. Each missile carries 450 kg of explosive in its nose. Fittingly, for an era of leaders who worship technological disruption, or for the growing army of critics of a US President who has proved an inept stooge, tomahawk comes from Powhatan tamahaac,’to cut off by tool’.

The attack is not a random act of gratuitous violence to distract from investigations into his Russian connections. He may owe billions to Russian banks but who cares? No-one else would lend the multiple bankrupt the money.

Instantly Trump is a moral hero. No longer is he stunningly inept, an accidental president desperate to be taken seriously. He’s drawn a line in the sand, Barnaby Joyce, our man in touch with nature suggests, a signal to Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad that he’s gone too far. It won’t stop at a Tomahawk warning. Regime change is in the wings.

Not only is Assad’s responsibility for the gassing not established, Trump did not bother to check. What is clear is that Trump has violated international law. University of Sydney International law expert international law expert Professor Ben Saul says that force is legal only in self-defence or with the authorisation of the UN Security Council.

A Mexican wall of enmity is rising against him in Syria, if not throughout the Middle East. Russia threatens to shut down its “deconfliction channel” with the US a means by which the two nations co-ordinate their efforts in Syria. Friday Russia’s TASS news agency reports that the Admiral Grigorovich, a frigate armed with Cruise missiles has been despatched from the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Calling upon Russia to bring Syria to heel is having the opposite effect.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov suggests a “complex of measures” to strengthen Syrian air defences will be carried out to help “protect the most sensitive Syrian infrastructure facilities.” Not that he is impressed by the last attack.

Only 23 of the 59 missiles reached the Shayrat air base Konashenkov says “the combat efficiency of the U.S. strike was very low”. Photographs on Syrian and Russian media confirm that the airbase is still operational.

The attack has been a wonderful opportunity for our PM, leader of “a government that gets things done”, to posture patriotically, invoke sacrifice and to not so innovatively call for regime change in Syria, the very same mistakes John Howard made when he was seduced by propaganda about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

There’s a bit of naff Anzackery to take care of with stirring speeches from Kokoda before Mal must dash to India, doubtless, a mercy mission to soothe the pillow of the dying in a nation where coal smoke fed pollution brings premature death to 3000 people every day. He leaves his trusty deputy PM, Air Vice Marshall Barnstorming Barnaby Joyce on hand to deal with the more nuanced parts of governing and getting things done such as why Assad would gas his own people.

Joyce doesn’t make a lot of sense but you can tell he’d be keen himself to put a Tomahawk up Assad’s clacker.

To Barnaby, it’s all about a line in the sand, code for a finger wagging ultimatum, a foreign policy strategy not known for its success rate, historically, especially when dealing with leaders whose nations are already a hotbed of insurgency.

Effortlessly, Kaiser Barnaby, who has moved an entire government department single-handedly to shore up his own electoral prospects, grasps the nettle. He has the runs on the board when it comes to the high-handed, patronising arrogance and hypocritical posturing that a nation needs in a crisis. Not that there’s any crisis in our well-oiled economy.

Empiricism is so yesterday. But raise a glass. Government policy passes the pub-test this week. Despite its death spiral opinion polls and signs of an unbridgeable credibility gap in energy, environment, education and welfare and trickle-down economics, almost any policy area you can poke a stick at, really, the government has something to shout about.

Not only does the pub test trump all other forms of evaluation, – as everyone knows, it also means the Coalition won’t bother to explain its company tax cuts for firms with turnovers up to $50 million. This frees up government no end. We’ve already had a taste of how it liberates foreign policy from the dreary burden of proof into mindless sloganeering.

No need to commission another dodgy report like BIS Shrapnel’s March 2016 calculation that cutting negative gearing would drive up rentals and push down prices, a case based on some rubbery figures including shrinking GDP to $190 billion from its true figure of $1 trillion per year.

Treasury said of the whole government company tax project it would deliver a 1 per cent growth dividend and a wage increase of $2 a day – and that wouldn’t be for 20 years.

Even right wing Economist Saul Eslake is among the many experts who dispute that giving smaller companies a tax cut will generate the claimed benefits in jobs and wage increases. He points to much evidence. Joe Hockey rushed to give small businesses breaks. He gave a 1.5 per cent tax cut and an enlarged instant asset write-off in his second budget. Wages are stagnating; not growing. Unemployment and underemployment expand while our budget deficit soars.

A clearly elevated federal Treasurer Scott Morrison explains his government need not release any more fatuous fact-based projection, prediction or any other form of assessment to support its company tax cuts. It’s just not what small business folk are concerned about. He knows what’s best for us. Don’t you worry about that.

“If you go down the pub and you talk to small-business people, they’re not talking about econometric models. What they’re talking about is how they are going to grow their businesses.”

There’s a hint of Turnbull’s old saw, “the vibe of the thing” dressed down a bit as well as a flash of the old born to rule arrogance that is helping this government seal its fate.

Rivalling Pauline Hanson’s powers of clairaudience – or perhaps they are contagious, Morrison now claims he knows what’s on the minds of the Mum and Dads who own the businesses that are this nation’s backbone.

From your local Jim’s mowing to the bloke who fixes your car; from your corner hairdresser to your mobile nail technician, none can stop talking about growing their businesses. As a unicorn is always talking about growing its horn. Everyone is planning to expand. Sounds absurd, impossible? It’s because it is. But Morrison won’t hear a word against it.

In fact many small businesses are unincorporated and their proprietors will continue to pay tax at personal income rates.

Bugger the evidence. Truth is unassailable. Besides, who needs facts when you can hear the fat cats purring?

Sinking in the polls with not a stitch of useful policy to its name, a failing government grasps with both hands the news of Trump’s crusade against the bad, mad Aassad with his gas attacks on his own people without exercising due diligence, independence of though or even a modicum of common sense.

It is a disturbing sign. An all-consuming self-destructive collective madness stirs, a type of folie a foule which is totally immune to reason’s dictates. Writ small it expresses itself in a crusade for tax cuts, lower wages and a pogrom on the poor. Writ large it leads to foreign intervention and regime change; in brief, unholy, unmitigated disaster.

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  1. MichaelW

    Wow…Go David. Will have to read this again to digest everything.

  2. Kaye Lee

    “The Syrian Air Force is blamed for the bombing. Yet there is no proof.”

    How can you possibly know that?

    “the “White Helmets” function as a propaganda branch of ISIL and have long been discredited by Eva Barlett at the UN. for their fake videos and disinformation.”

    Eva Bartlett, the Russia Today blogger you mean?

    I will never understand why people are so ready to believe what the Russian state media puts out.

  3. Kronomex

    I don’t have a television (put mine out on the street about seven years ago and never looked back) so all I saw was a news piece about the gas attack and a couple of photos in the Guardian about The Donald’s missile strikes. All I could is think, “What is that effing madman doing?” Then I read about our handbag sized PM yapping on about what al-Assad supposedly did (is there any actual empirical evidence yet?) in his country and thinking, “Any money you like Yappy the Wonder PM will agree to sending our troops in to back up The Donald when ordere…ah, asked.”

    How many people did the US kill when they bombed Cambodia during the Vietnam war? How many innocents have they killed since they invaded Iraq and attacked other middle east countries? Oh that’s right, they did all those things in the name of democracy so I guess we can all sleep better for that.

    The Donald has well and truly gone from being a joke and political cartoonists dream to frightening.

  4. Alan Baird

    Trump may be unpredictable but Australia’s leaders are totally predictable. Just substitute the word “Simon” for the president. Put your hands in the air when I say so. Trumble and Bill the Leader are as one. Falling over each other in the rush for a medium. Preferably mass in nature. When war is in the air, TINA wins again. Don’t think twice, it’s all right. Now where’s my supply of Columbian Marching Powder? It’s bound to turn out just fine… fingers on buttons!

  5. Zathras

    The removal of Assad plus the toppling of Syria has been on various agendas for a while.
    Israel sees Syria as part of future “Greater Israel” territory and has even admittedly been giving medical assistance to wounded ISIS soldiers on their border – for “humanitarian reasons”.

    In addition it has been a non-aligned independent State and was previously the home for refugees in the area.

    As for Assad “killing his own people” – like Saddam – well so did Abraham Lincoln and most of the Kings and Queens of England over the centuries.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for what was a brutal attack on civilians but the USA cannot realistically claim “the High Ground”.

    How many women and children died during the “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad or the previous embargos that withheld medical supplies? No official figures were kept and none have ever been admitted.

    Likewise, the use of depleted uranium munitions during that war has left a legacy of birth defects that will last for generations.

    Then there was the indicriminate use of White Phosphorus bombs used by Israel in attacks on Gaza – technically a War Crime as well.
    Where was the outrage then?

    It’s always the weak, helpless and innocent that suffer.

  6. michael lacey

    Good article! Need to digest some of the points more! Australia’s problem is they do not have an independent voice in relation to foreign policy we are joined at the hip to the united States! Trump is suddenly the good guy now!

    Without any recourse to international law or the United Nations, the Trump administration has embarked on an act of international aggression against yet another sovereign state in the Middle East, confirming that neocons have reasserted their dominance over US foreign policy in Washington.

    So many incidences of aggression have been based on complete lies pushed in the media and history records those events WMD’s being one such moment.

    In 2013 Syria was accused of using gas turned out to be a complete fabrication and excuse for the United States to full fill regime change that backfired!

    NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims

    Blaming rebels or should I say terrorists for gas attacks is very plausible for when the Governments stockpile was cleaned out by inspection teams that however was only areas at the time they controlled; terrorist areas were certainly havens for the chemicals!

    I also notice we do not talk about the war in Yemen another war of aggression! The Saudi’s are the good guys!!

    We Don’t Need Conspiracies to Oppose US War in Syria! They are wars of aggression and should be challenged!

  7. Freethinker

    The chemical attack was terrible, the involvement of USA was USA unconstitutional, against the Geneva convention and the UN rules.
    The “precision”response from USA was alto technically terrible when only 50% of the missile hit the target and the others killed civilians including children ( the kill of the civilians and children is not mention much because it is a “regrettable collateral damage”
    Trump, and the Republicans criticised and blocked in the congress Obama request to do something if chemicals were used in Syria. Now it appears that it is Ok.
    After Iraq what we know that we cannot believe USA and their allied countries like also we cannot believe Putin.
    England supplied the raw material and technology for the Syrian government to manufacture chemical weapons
    At the end of the day I start wondering if China with their policy of no military intervention are the ones that acting correctly.
    The world is going mad and I do not trust any side.

  8. helvityni

    I don’t know who to believe any more, but agree with Freethinker that China is clever not to get involved.

    As for Oz, as always most obedient when it comes to following the good old US…ready when you are.

  9. urbanwronski

    Kaye Lee

    I am highly sceptical of Russian accounts including the latest explanation from the Russian Defence Ministry published on Facebook.

    At this stage, however, despite a frenzy in MSM to blame Assad, as a casus belli there is not sufficient proof that Syrian Airforce planes dropped Sarin gas on civilians. Indeed, it seems like a repeat of the false report of government gassing civilians in East Ghouta in 2013. Even the same rhetoric is recycled. It may prove another Gulf of Tonkin incident – or a repeat of the false claims made about Iraq’s WMD.

    At least one independent expert examination of the video finds little or nothing to support Sarin but suggests symptoms resemble cyanide poisoning.

    Information is still coming in, as The UN says

    With regard to the White Helmets University of Sydney’s Tim Anderson, in his book The Dirty War on Syria, 2015 links the group with terrorist groups and with a series of false reports accusing the Syrian government of atrocities. Here’s a small extract.

    The White Helmets (aka Syrian Civil Defence) group has been directed by James le Mesurier, formerly a British soldier and mercenary with the Olive Group (now merged with Blackwater-Academi into Constellis Holdings).
    The group hides its sources of finance but most is said to come from USAID and the British Government (Beeley 2015c). Several of its associates in Syria, Mosab Obeidat, Khaled Diab, and Farouq al Habib have strong links to the armed groups and their funders.

    Obeidat worked for Qatar’s Red Crescent for some years, then ‘with the US Department of State in Jordan’ (MayDay Rescue 2015). Diab also worked for the Qatar’s Red Crescent, where he was accused of providing about $2.2 million to terrorist groups in Syria (Cartalucci 2013). Habib was a member of the ‘Homs Revolutionary Council’ (Beeley 2015c).
    In one incident the group showed video of a fire in Daraya and a canister very similar to those rocketed into Damascus by the Islamic Front, claiming the Syrian Government had launched a ‘napalm attack on a school’. The British Guardian obligingly ran the story (Shaheen 2015).

    In August 2015 Avaaz and the Syria Campaign ran photos of dead children’s bodies in building rubble, claiming they were victims of Syrian Government attacks on Islamic Frontheld East Ghouta in 2015. That same photo had been used a year earlier to illustrate a story of ISIS having massacred 700 tribespeople in Deir Ezorr (Chronicle 2014). Tracked back further, the photo was claimed by Getty News in March 2014 and attributed to photographer Khaled Khatib as the child victims of earlier ‘barrel bombing’ in Aleppo (Getty Images 2014). Khatib is described as an ‘activist’ who operates in areas occupied by Free Syrian Army armed groups, and an ‘Aleppo member of ‘Syrian Civil Defence’, aka the White Helmets (al Khatib 2015; Laughland 2015).

  10. Goran

    Excellent article David! Factual and logical. It never seizes to amaze me though how so many people on the progressive side of politics always jump on the MSM for their awful reporting, yet are so happy to quote the likes of when it suits their own anti-Russian agenda. A bit hypocritical I think. Who gained from the gas attack? Was it Assad? I don’t think so. Funny how some find it easy to believe but under no circumstances RT. I simply don’t believe either 100%

  11. Kaye Lee

    I am utterly astonished at how people lap up what is written at globalresearch. Anti-vaxxers, chemtrails, 9/11, New World Order, GMFs, holocaust denial, climate change denial – it’s all there. But not one skerrick of criticism for Putin, Assad, or Kim Jong-un.

    The Western press is full of criticism of its own leaders. Show me one article, one interview on RT that is critical of Putin or Assad.

    I ask one question. Do you think that there is press freedom in Russia and Syria?

  12. Freethinker

    Kaye of course there is no freedom of the press in that countries and in many more.
    Also we can think in many countries that the press it is controlled by their owners or the government to inform and distort news to suit their agenda.
    My father and many friends were punished and some of them have to left a western country for publishing articles against the regime.

  13. John

    If you would like some different critics, how about expert medical opinion from Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, “Lifesaving procedures on the children showed in the White Helmets videos were found to be fake, and ultimately performed on dead children. The syringe used in the ‘intracardial injection’ performed on the male infant was empty, or its fluid was never injected into the child.” , or an opinion from F Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, “The U.S. strikes are a clear violation of international law and the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution. There is no evidence for any of Trump’s claims.”

  14. Freethinker

    Going by the news this event can finishing up on the 3rd world war.
    Quote: “The aggression against Syria oversteps all red lines. We will react firmly to any aggression against Syria and to any infringement of red lines, whoever carries them out,” said a statement on Sunday from the Syria-based joint operations room for government backers Russia, Iran and allied forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah..
    If the USA and members of the G7 put in place more sanctions against Russia it will give Putin more reason to do something that no one apart for Trump want.
    The danger is that Putin, Trump and another leaders are desperate to gain popularity in their own countries and if it take some collateral damage to gain it, so be it.
    We know from the past that the human values for some of the world leaders it is very low.

  15. John

    Excellent summary and context from James O’Neill over at John Menadue – Verdict First, Evidence Later: How the Australian Media Misrepresent Geopolitical Events.

  16. Goran

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would ever claim that RT is anything but Putin’s propaganda outlet but that was not the point here. There are dozens of independent sources from the US as well as around the world who question and doubt Trump’s version of events in Syria. Others here have provided a few links and if that’s not enough how about some more research with an open mind to wherever that might lead you?

  17. silkworm

    While we quibble over who is responsible for the chemical attack, we are missing the greater crime of the act of war that the US has committed against Syria. While there is doubt over the source of the chemical attack, the correct response should have been to launch an investigation under the aegis of the UN, but no, the US had to act unilaterally.

    This missile launch is clearly a pretext for effecting regime change, which has long been the wish of the US administration.

    Despite the fact that Bannon has been chucked off the NSC, I still think he is behind this attack on Syria.

    The attack also comes at a convenient time for Trump, who is facing accusations of getting too close to the Russians. Trump can now use the attack to disprove those accusations.

  18. silkworm

    Where does Labor stand on the US’s flagrant violation of international law?

  19. Freethinker

    silkworm, the ALP, the Coalition and few independents the do not care about UN conventions including the refugees when than conventions and agreements signed are not in agreement with their ways.
    The same applies in this case and not to forget the Iraq.
    We can be very close to be on a 3rd war and these cretins are playing with the live of billions.

  20. Caroline

    Hearing the exact 3 descriptors coming out of our Government’s mouth as out of the US’s is disturbing.
    I have intentionally stayed away from the ABC since knowing Jim would probably be on spouting his hate.
    Watching Trump supporters contort themselves to explain Trumps actions is far more interesting.

  21. wam

    ‘mindless sloganeering’ is the basis of advertising. Does advertising work? Ring now and you’ll get a steak knife with any of the answers.
    ps does this qualify as a:

  22. Kaye Lee

    Don’t get me wrong. I think Trump’s actions were wrong. They achieved nothing but to inflame tensions and were a direct attack on a sovereign state. He is so stupid he could easily be manipulated, whether to improve his “ratings” or to show a tough guy image or to be the pawn of other interests.

    I am concerned about the very concerted campaign to discredit the White Helmets. I am aware of their poor decision to take part in the Mannequin Challenge – something they concede was a wrong choice. I am aware of the allegations about other fake pictures, some of which may be valid, plenty of which are not. But the hysterical and very concerted effort to paint them as evil is not credible.

    They do not hide their funding but all the conspiracy sites will tell you they do and that they must be fakes because they are funded by “the Canadian government Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, the Danish government, the German government, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). USAID now appears to be the largest donor, having contributed at least $23 million from 2013 to March 2016. The British government had provided £15 million of funding between 2012 and November 2015, increased to £32 million by October 2016.”

    It’s not really secret when it’s on Wikipedia now is it.

    Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Breely seem to be on a mission where they are absolutely certain that Assad is a paragon of virtue. Perhaps they believe what they are saying but, for me, they are just like Jo Nova on climate change. Bartlett describes any Syrian who is not pro-Assad as a terrorist. That doesn’t wash for me.

  23. silkworm

    Canadian journalist and human rights activist Eva Bartlett divulged that the footage shown in the documentary “White Helmets” uses children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports.

    “… so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say, August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”

    Bartlett was a speaker at a United Nations panel on the current events in Syria. She delivers an incredibly insightful speech on what’s actually going on in Syria and how the White Helmets aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are, but rather a strategic terrorist group that’s funded by the U.S. and other interested countries and parties.”


    Why would anyone want to attack this whistleblower?

  24. david bruce

    We are so full of Kool-Aid! The media and NATO war against Putin and Assad is extremely one sided. The media is owned by the banksters, who are now owned by Lord Jacob. His primary agents now are Murdoch and Soros. The video of the dead twins was played on Yahoo News on Wednesday morning. Cyanide poisoning was the one of the possibilities. The next time I saw the video, it had been edited and the twins had black smudges on their faces and a new narrative attached! Reminds me of the “boy on the beach” images, and the number of Facebook likes and shares used to gauge public opinion.
    Britain and France (13 families) hate the Russians with a vengeance for their blockade and threat of war if they landed their marines to win the war of American Independence. Never forgive, never forget! The Russian Czar and family paid a high price. The Russian people paid a very high price. Now the descendants of the same bolsheviks from Russia are running the USA.
    How many of you remember the catch cry of “all the way with LBJ”? Australian politicians couldn’t wait to get our military involved in Vietnam. Now it is happening again with Vietnam Mark 2 in Syria. I went to Vietnam and many other places and saw the huge logistics effort put in place by the US military. It wasn’t designed to “win” the war, it was set up to consume military hardware and consumables. Then I heard Kissinger refer to the US military personnel as “useful idiots”, after he spent weeks disrupting the Paris Peace talks so the USGS could finish the seismic survey for oil off the coast of Vietnam with support from the US Navy! Why are we allowing Trump and Turnbull to Tweet us into another overseas war? Why is it so important to us for the Qatar gas pipeline to be built through Iraq and Syria to Turkey and then to Europe?

  25. Freethinker

    Thank you silkworm for the link, after my experience in South America nothing will surprise me, I believe more this article that all the news that come form the controlled media.

    As an example, IMO Kissinger is one of the most evil criminals since the second war and not only he is protected but also has a Peace Noble prize so what you can expected for USA and their friends.

  26. John L

    Freethinker – Obama had a Nobel Peace Prize, and, so far, has been one of the most lethal US presidents……

    Kronomez – “Yappy the Wonder PM ” – love it!

    Kaye – news reports – MSM from anywhere – take with a grain of salt. Western MSM sings from the same songbook – what they’re told to say. Have you been to the US? – so much “news”, so little facts…..Russian MSM – no doubt similar…my Russian isn’t the best. They do, however, give a different slant on things, and, don’t forget, they have a very recent example of what can happen to a society if “western” interests get their hooks into it. Russia isn’t trying to expand, it’s still trying to reconsolidate what it has.

    There are however, a lot of very reputable sites out there that do seem to have their fingers on what’s going on…not all of it, but weaving the reports together a fairly good picture of that chimeric “truth”, can be gleaned. Mind you, there are even more raving loony sites out there….it takes a while to sift out the worthwhile ones, confirmation bias notwithstanding.

    Things are not as they seem as portrayed on TV and heard on the radio!

  27. John

    Israel occupies the Golan illegally and wants to annex it permanently. Balkanization of Syria is the easiest way to prevent Syria from objecting to this. We have dirty tricks experts with a serious economic reason for assisting this, and the political influence to do it. At the very least News Ltd reporting on Syria is a conflict of interest.

    “Israel has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports. A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy will now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights.”

    The Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Oil and Gas; Michael Steinhardt (Wall St), Richard Cheney (Vice Pres, Halliburton), Marry Landrieu (US Senator), Rupert Murdoch (News) , Bill Richardson (Gov NM), Jacob Rothschild (Chair Rothschild), Dr. Lawrence Summers (Sec Treasury), R. James Woolsey (CIA). All are shareholders.

  28. silkworm

    Assad congratulates Al Qaeda for winning its first Oscar.

    The White Helmets provide clear evidence that the West is backing Al Qaeda in Syria.

    Also, there is doubt that this was a sarin attack. We only have the report from Turkey that the bodies were exposed to sarin, but the fact that the White Helmets did not use proper protective gear argues against sarin exposure.

  29. Kaye Lee

    “Eva Bartlett divulged that the footage shown in the documentary “White Helmets” uses children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports.

    “… so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say, August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”

    That is a very questionable claim by Ms Bartlett as shown in the following link.

    “Bartlett was a speaker at a United Nations panel”

    The speech was organised by the Syrian mission to the UN

    In my opinion, Ms Bartlett is not an independent “whistleblower”. She is hosted by the Syrian government. She writes for the Russian state-owned press and various conspiracy sites.

    She is a stooge for Assad.

  30. David Tyler

    Kaye, I removed my reference to Canadian Blogger Eva Bartlett on reflection because there are more independent commentators to support the point I was making that ‘evidence’ of Bashar al Assad’s gas attack is dubious and ought not to be taken at face value. In fact it eerily parallels the 2013 accusation, now discredited and much of the same rhetoric is recycled.
    I was also dismayed to read that Ms Bartlett’s claim that the same child named Aya was used several times is tendentious to say the least. There’s a convincing Channel 4 refutation.

  31. Kaye Lee

    David, my last comment was mainly in reply to silkworm. Check out the snopes link as well.

    You keep saying the 2013 accusation has been discredited. Could you provide your source for that claim? As far as I can find out, that is not the case.

    Autopsies on victims in Turkey shortly after the attack, monitored by the World Health Organization, concluded there was evidence of sarin exposure. Russia says the air raids targeted a rebel warehouse that contained chemical weapons but “A visit by the Guardian to the site of the chemical attack on Thursday found no evidence to back the Russian claim, and instead found an empty, abandoned warehouse and grain silos that were empty except for soil and animal feed.”

  32. Kaye Lee

    I am also very dubious about Tim Anderson who is also very pro-Assad and has a vested interest in his conspiracy theories.

    “Dr Anderson has also written a book, The Dirty War on Syria, published by the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalisation. The centre has been dismissed by PolitiFact and the Associated Press as a website that promotes conspiracy theories.”

  33. David Tyler

    Yes. Anderson has come under attack recently. Now that the general populace believes we are at war with Syria, he is being treated as some sort of traitor. I am sure the Daily Tele is doing a bit of demonising. I know The Australian is. I note in The Age that Anderson is a convicted terrorist – yet The Hilton bombing is widely believed to be an ASIO setup and the case has never been solved.
    ABC’s Media Watch Paul Barry was swinging his hatchet at him too, Monday complete with damning picture of the academic and Bashar al Assad.
    I bought Anderson’s book on the recommendation of James O’Neill – and it makes a compelling case – albeit a tad polemical – if nothing else for proceeding cautiously with the MSM line that the Syrian dictator is a mad butcher who must be stopped at all costs – after six years. Critics, however, are circling. I fear a witch hunt.
    Interesting – and alarming that the words “conspiracy theorist” are now some kind of general purpose smear or put down. Conspiracies are real and the truth is not well-served simply by discounting them. As a minor example, closer to home, look at the way Australia conspired agains East Timor, beginning its spying in 2012 in order to set up a dodgy oil and gas reserves treaty.
    Look at the way Australia colluded and conspired with the corrupt puppet government in South Vietnam in order to garner public support and draw its Australian ally into a war that was not quite the war against international communism as the US presented it.
    I will look for further references later Kaye, I have a bit of community work on this afternoon. In the meantime here’s an article in The London Review of Books by Seymour Hersh that contains a clear refutation of the popular line – and posits Turkey’s involvement.
    If in return you could find a reputable reference for authenticity of The White Helmets’ report, I would be much obliged.

  34. Freethinker

    What I can see is that many people are dubious of any news that come from Russia or media that have different view to those from the intelligence of the west.
    I do not believe in any of the two bad if I have to go for the past the information that come form USA is the worse of the lot and remember what can happen to any member of the intelligence services if leak the truth about USA interventions in another countries.
    Putin argument is what happens in Iraq, Libya, etc including from the beginning when the west, specially England and USA supplied arms to the wrong side, what happens with that arms. Not to mention how USA and their allies mislead all of us.
    Putin argument it is very valid and Russia suffered more terrorists attacks than USA so their interest are in the region are more genuine that the interest of USA.
    I guess that all of us have the right to express our opinions and believe one side more than the other based in our past experiences and information on hand.

  35. Kaye Lee

    “The Hilton bombing is widely believed to be an ASIO setup ”

    Oh puhlease. That is ridiculous.

    ” In the meantime here’s an article”


    “could find a reputable reference for authenticity of The White Helmets’ report,”

    What white helmet’s report?

    And you still haven’t shown me your proof that “the 2013 accusation has been discredited”

  36. Freethinker

    Where is a “reputable and credible” information that there are not the truth the allegations about the White Helmets”?
    So far I high the right to say that all your bases are not credible and what ever come for CIA or England intelligence services are dubious not to mention the controlled press from the west.
    Now, lived in South America and directly and indirectly was victim of the CIA and USA involvement and all it is well proven.
    Where you lived and in which manner you have experienced the contrary top discredit information from “the other side”?

  37. David Tyler

    Ridiculous? Many would dispute your dismissal, Kaye. There’s ample evidence of an ASIO bungle with fatal consequences.
    The argument goes that ASIO infiltrated Ananda Marga. Ananda Marga became a convenient target for a “terrorist” scare campaign that could justify expanded police and intelligence agency powers which duly followed the incident.
    Twice a caller contacted media before the bomb went off. Whoever planted it wanted it discovered before it was tragically detonated.

    NSW politicians didn’t think it ridiculous. Twice, in 1991 and again in 1995 both houses of the New South Wales State Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a fresh investigation into the bombing. The Federal Government refused to participate in any enquiry.
    My point is regardless of his aquittal and the murky circumstances of the case and the incident that sparked it, his past conviction – and certainly not his acquittal – is used to discredit Tim Anderson and any case he expresses for being cautious about the US version of events.
    Here’s the LRB link regarding the discrediting of the 2013 claims of missing from my earlier post:
    Report? I was referring to rhe first reports from inside Syria (on which the world relied) came from rebel news agencies and the ‘White Helmets’, a group set up in Turkey by a former British special forces officer which operates exclusively in rebel-held areas of Syria and has been closely associated with rebel military formations.
    Here’s a useful case for caution from Canadian Fr Justin Glyn published in a recent issue of Eureka Street just before Trump let slip the dogs (or tomahawks) of war.

  38. Freethinker

    Andrew Wilkie has questioned whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible for last week’s chemical weapons attack.
    He is the smart guy in Canberra and I share his views when he said, quote: “Frankly, I just don’t trust the Trump administration,”
    “It would make a lot of sense for them to beat the drums of war again when they are under so much pressure domestically.”
    “I’m actually sceptical about some of these claims … we need to be careful who we back too,” Mr Wilkie told ABC Radio.

    “About half of the anti-Assad groups are either jihadist or clearly Islamic State or associated with Islamic State.

    “It’s an absolute quagmire.

    “We shouldn’t have gone in the first place and we shouldn’t be there now and we shouldn’t be taking sides in this current mess.”

  39. silkworm

    The Channel 4 “Factcheck” article is Western propaganda. It says Eva Bartlett “is candid about her support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” but that is a blatant lie. The “is candid” is hyperlinked to, but nowhere on that site does Eva Bartlett say she supports the Assad regime.

    Then it goes into an an attempted refutation of the three photos of Aya from three different rescues. A close examination of the three photos side by side clearly leads to the conclusion that some kind of fakery has occurred, but the Channel 4 site simply fails to compare these three photos and instead goes off on some tangent.

    Instead of attacking the messenger, how about people start examining the evidence. The White Helmets are in attendance at an Al Qaeda execution; some of them carry assault rifles (so much for being “unarmed”); they attend Al Nusra rallies; they call Assad “trash.” The White Helmets are clearly affiliated to Al Qaeda, and they are up to their eyeballs in fakery, trying to discredit the Assad regime, all in the cause of regime change.

  40. Kaye Lee

    “which operates exclusively in rebel-held areas ”

    Well yes, because Assad will not let them operate in government areas. It is a meaningless red herring used all the time by the conspiracists.

    I did not refer to Anderson’s previous convictions. I referred to his book printed by conspiracy site globalresearch.

    I am very aware of the speculation about the Hilton bombing. Do you seriously believe that the police would conspire and allow their own to be blown up? You would be aware that Evan Pederick confessed and spent 8 years in jail. Why?

    A recent book cites a newspaper story published in 2003 that “plainly states that ‘Abhiik Kumar was the mastermind of the Hilton hotel bombing’ ” and comments that “this is pretty much what all the official agencies involved in the investigation of the bombing believe”.

    Kumar, one of the many aliases of the American-born leader of the Ananda Marga in Australia, has long been a person of interest to detectives but has never been charged in relation to the bombing.

    Bartlett was the guest of the Syrian government, accompanied by Syrian army soldiers as she asked people what they thought of Assad. I’m not sure what answer she was expecting considering criticism gets you locked up.

  41. Freethinker

    silkworm, I waiting for someone to discredit SWEDHR and Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli with facts about the White Helmets
    Who is going to put doubt about the comments done by pediatricians and cardilogists regarding the photo with the procedure of an intracardiac injection?
    Quote: “If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child!”
    Are Dr Leif Elinder, a known Swedish medical doctor profile, author and specialist in paediatrics and Dr Lena Oske cooperating with the Syrian regime? I like to see who will claim that.

  42. David Tyler

    Spot on, Freethinker. Wilkie also a whistleblower. Has the courage of his convictions. Sophisticated thinker, too. Attuned to complexity and alert to the specious arguments of governments and power elites.

  43. silkworm

    “The argument goes that ASIO infiltrated Ananda Marga.”

    I know this to be a fact. One of the Margis who sent a pig’s head to the Indian embassy admitted to some of his fellow Margis that he was working for ASIO.

    That the Hilton bombing was a failed ASIO operation is widely held, including by me. Ananda Marga was framed for this.

    “Ananda Marga became a convenient target for a “terrorist” scare campaign that could justify expanded police and intelligence agency powers which duly followed the incident.”

    The Hilton bombing came at the same time as people were starting to question the activities of SA and NSW police special branches, and as soon as the bombing occurred, all questioning stopped. Very convenient.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Statement by Swedish Doctors for Human Rights on misrepresentations referred in Veterans Today article on White Helmets

    The site “Veterans Today” published an article with the title “Swedish Medical Associations Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos”. This formulation is utterly inaccurate and do not represent our true position on the issue, neither what SWEDHR is as independent NGO organization of human rights, nor the conclusions reached by the doctors examining the White Helmets videos.

    Swedish Doctors for Human Rights is NOT a “Swedish medical association”.

    Swedish Doctors for Human Rights has never accused the Whte Helmest of “murdering children”. Neither we have accused of such atrocity the personnel showed in the video published by White Helmets.

  45. burniebobthe_b_

    The issues you mention are contained in an article link below so people can see the uncondensed statement.
    There were facts you overlooked as it was only a couple of quotes that were not legit

    Statement by Swedish Professors & Doctors for Human Rights on misrepresentations referred in Veterans Today article on White Helmets

    There were however links to the statements to what WAS witnessed

    White Helmets Movie: Updated Evidence From Swedish Doctors Confirm Fake ‘Lifesaving’ and Malpractices on Children

  46. David Tyler

    True. Veterans Today site is a perfect illustration of the disinformation that supplants objective reporting, in a type of Gresham’s law of reporting on the Syrian conflict. And more widely.

    SWEDHR is a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed with the participation of Swedish professors, PhDs, medical doctors and university researchers in the medical sciences and health-related disciplines, devoted to international issues in the human rights front.

    What SWEDHR in fact says in its online publiction Indicter with regard to exercising scepticism over gas attack allegations is

    “… the Syrian government is almost certainly not dropping chlorine on its people. Instead, as outlandish as it may sound, it’s quite likely that Islamist opposition forces in Syria are behind all of these events. ”

    What the organisation has to say about The White Helmets is:

    … the so called White Helmets who have bestowed upon themselves, the title of Syria Civil Defence, are actually fraudulently mimicking the REAL Syria Civil Defence, established in Syria (not in Turkey) in 1953 and the only Syria Civil Defence officially recognised as such, by the (UN affiliated) International Civil Defence Organisation, based in Geneva.

    This UK/US shadow state building project, in Syria, has been extensively investigated in the prominent work of independent journalist, Vanessa Beeley. [9] The authentic Syria Civil Defence serves an estimated 80 percent of the Syrian population inside Syria that lives under the protection of the Syrian state in Syrian government held territory.

    Conversely, the White Helmets operate exclusively in Nusra Front and ISIS terrorist-controlled areas and therefore would service less than 20 percent of the remaining Syrian civilian population, when one takes into account the sheer numbers of foreign mercenaries and militants who also occupy those areas. Added to which, these “moderate” extremist held areas are continuously dwindling as the Syrian armed forces and their allies inexorably reconquer the national territory of Syria and release it from the grip of externally funded terrorism. As the terrorist factions are pushed out of liberated areas, such as East Aleppo, we clearly see the White Helmets depart in tandem.

    Evidence of the White Helmet affiliation to the various terrorist factions is extensively documented. There are evidenced reports on one of the more prominent White Helmet leaders, Mustafa al Haj Yussef, in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib where many of the East Aleppo terrorists and their civil defence have fled. [11] These reports detail his declarations of allegiance to various extremist factions such as Ahrar Al Sham, responsible for many of the ethnic cleansing pogroms across Syria. Yussef has openly called for the shelling of civilians in Damascus during the 2014 elections. He has advocated robbery, looting and sectarian punishments and murder under certain circumstances. Imagine a Red Cross official calling for such reprisals, and you can understand how extraordinary this behaviour is for an Oscar winning, “neutral, apolitical, impartial” allegedly, humanitarian NGO.

    Yusef’s affiliations and behaviour are not the exception, the majority of White Helmet operatives have demonstrated the same ideological allegiances to extremist, armed groups in Syria.

  47. Freethinker

    From the SWEDHR:
    Dr Leif Elinder, a known Swedish medical doctor profile, author and specialist in paediatrics, summarised the following in his reply: [7]

    “After examination of the video material, I found that the measures inflicted upon those children, some of them lifeless, are bizarre, non-medical, non-lifesaving, and even counterproductive in terms of life-saving purposes of children”.

    Excerpts from Dr Lena Oske’s statement to SWEDHR: [8]

    “Intracutaneous injection with adrenalin may be used if any other resuscitation measure does not succeed. Especially under precarious circumstances – such as in field emergency settings– where safer ways for the administration of medication (i.e. endotracheal, intravenous, or intraosseus) might be difficult or unavailable. But not in the way shown in the video”.

    “In order to perform the injection, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) has to be interrupted, and then the CPR resumed immediately after. Which is not done in the procedures shown in the video.”

    “The technique is simple. Long needle, syringe with 1 mg adrenaline, find the 4th or 5th intercostal space and insert the needle just adjacent to the sternum, left side, deposit the medication after checking you are in the right position (aspiration of blood and no resistance), take out the needle and immediately resume CPR! So, the doctor who wrote the comment, ‘If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child’ was right! What a macabre scene; and how sad.” [8]

    [7] Dr Leif Elinder’s email communication to Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights – SWEDHR., 4 March 2017.

    [8] Dr Lena Oske’s email communication to Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights – SWEDHR., 4 March 2017.

    From Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights – SWEDHR: An examination of a White Helmets video, conducted by Swedish medical doctors, specialists in various fields, including paediatrics, have revealed that the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or simply fake, including simulated emergency resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.

    As you ca see Kaye, the above doctors from SWEDHR are reporting about the video from the White Helmets, if accusing them or not I leave it to you.
    IMHO it is plain clear.

    The source it is not form the Veterans site

  48. David Tyler

    Patrick Coburn quotes the UN report into allegations of gas weapons by Syria’s government in 2013 that where the gas canisters fell:

    “the locations have been well traveled (sic) by other individuals prior to the arrival of the Mission… During the times spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.”

    Cockburn, Patrick. Syria: Descent Into The Abyss: An unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportag (p. 626). Independent Print Limited. Kindle Edition.

  49. Freethinker

    About Dr Marcello Vittorio Ferrada de Noli, is a Swedish-Chilean medicine doktor and Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences / Epidemiology. He was formerly Professor of Epidemiology, and of International Health at the University of Gävle; and formerly Chair of the International and Cross-cultural Injury Epidemiology Research Group at the Karolinska Institutet.[1] He earned his PhD in Psychiatry at the Karolinska Institutet and was thereafter Research Fellow and Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. During his stay at Harvard he published most of the innovative[2][3] research below, judged as being a “pioneer contribution to epidemiological research”[4] (Academic awards). He is also known for his activism on Human Rights causes (See below, Swedish Doctors For Human Rights).

  50. Kaye Lee

    And the SWEDHR was very quick to distance itself from de Noli’s comments.

    “We took special care of formulating our conclusion as to exclude any accusation of intentional killing. This is instead the conclusion reached by the author of the SWEDHR article, Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli”

    I think I would prefer to listen to evidence from the people who actually did the testing than some guy watching a video whose own associates immediately printed that retraction.

  51. Freethinker

    Kaye, I do not from were you get that information but it is wrong please red the Conclusion, just the first line it is enough.
    Here is the official statement and to show you that your source is wrong you will see that the documents it is signed by the 3 most senior members of the board:
    The site “Veterans Today” published an article with the title “Swedish Medical Associations Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos”. This formulation is utterly inaccurate and do not represent our true position on the issue, neither what SWEDHR is as independent NGO organization of human rights, nor the conclusions reached by the doctors examining the White Helmets videos.

    Swedish Doctors for Human Rights is NOT a “Swedish medical association”. The text below is found at “About us” in the SWEDHR website:

    “SWEDHR is a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed with the participation of Swedish professors, PhDs, medical doctors and university researchers in the medical sciences and health-related disciplines, devoted to international issues in the human rights front. This participation is purely voluntary and made on a private basis. SWEDHR’s statements represent solely the members of this organization, not all Swedish doctors or any other institution or professional/academic association that the participants in SWEDHR are associated with.”

    Swedish Doctors for Human Rights has never accused the Whte Helmest of “murdering children”. Neither we have accused of such atrocity the personnel showed in the video published by White Helmets. We took special care of formulating our conclusion as to exclude any accusation of intentional killing. This is instead the conclusion reached by the author of the SWEDHR article, Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, after doctors at SWEDHR examined videos published by White Helmets in YouTube:


    ‘Lifesaving’ procedures on the children showed in the White Helmets videos were found to be fake, and ultimately performed on dead children. The syringe used in the ‘intracardial injection’ performed on the male infant was empty, or its fluid was never injected into the child. This same child showed, briefly, discrete life-signs (uncertain in my judgement) in the first segment of WH Vid-1. If so, this child might have died during the lapse in which the ‘lifesaving’ manoeuvres showed in the White Helmets movie went on. (Which is not the same than affirming that the personnel seen in the videos caused the dead of the infant. In forensic terms, the actual cause of death, as well as the mode and the issue of intent, refer to different items than those treated in our analysis).”

    The articles in the series published by SWEDHR are found here and here.

    Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman

    Professor Anders Romelsjö, vice-chairman

    Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, SWEDHR

    End of quote.

  52. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye, I do not from were you get that information but it is wrong”

    Freethinker, read what you just posted. The quote I gave is in the post you just made under heading II. I was getting my information from the same blog by de Noli as you are – The Indicter.

    All of this predated the latest gas attack of course.

  53. David Tyler

    When confected outrage is the order of the day, truth suffers.

    The US has avoided signing unreservedly the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning chemical weapons use.

    Despite, in 2013, ordering Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons by 2014 , the US did not do the same. In 2013, the United States still had some three thousand tons of sarin, VX, and mustard gas in violation of The UN Chemical Weapons Convention. Washington unilaterally extended the deadline to destroy the chemicals, indicating it would cost some $35 billion and couldn’t be completed until 2023 at the earliest.

    Erlich, Reese. Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect (Kindle Locations 1673-1676). Prometheus Books. Kindle Edition.

    The first army to use gas in the Middle East was the British under General Allenby, against the Turks in Sinai in 1917. Generally, however, Germany led the field in using twice the quantity of gas as the British. If the war had continued into 1919 both sides had planned on inserting poison gases into 30%-50% of manufactured shells. Gassing enemy combatants won’t be part of our next ANZAC remembrance, 25 April. Besides, we’ll be too busy expressing outrage over the use of gas in Syria.

  54. silkworm

    Here is more proof that the White Helmets are total fakes. In this video, beginning at 13:10, we clearly see a car bomb planted in an empty street, and then when the car explodes, actors, supplied by the White Helmets, run in and assume their position on the ground as the injured.

  55. Freethinker

    Kaye, from where you got this in your post, quote: And the SWEDHR was very quick to distance itself from de Noli’s comments.end of quote when Dr de Noli’s is the one that are written the official articles for the organization?
    The reports for legal reasons I guess do not accuse any party but are say, quote:have revealed that the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or simply fake, including simulated emergency resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.
    In another paragraph, quote: “The technique is simple. Long needle, syringe with 1 mg adrenaline, find the 4th or 5th intercostal space and insert the needle just adjacent to the sternum, left side, deposit the medication after checking you are in the right position (aspiration of blood and no resistance), take out the needle and immediately resume CPR! So, the doctor who wrote the comment, ‘If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child’ was right! What a macabre scene; and how sad.” End of quote,

    So they do not accuse of killing but are saying that if the baby was not dead the procedure will have killed the child.

  56. silkworm

    Warning, NSFW: The following video purports to show the public execution of a prisoner. It shows the White Helmets working hand in hand with the Al Qaeda execution team.

    … or the “execution” could be fake.

  57. silkworm

    “… the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or simply fake, including simulated emergency resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.”

    Or on mannequins. This would bring the fakery to a whole new level.

  58. Matters Not

    Butler’s take:

    No evidence for the US claim that Syria bombed Khan Sheikhun with chemical weapons (CW) has been provided, anywhere. Our political leaders, from both sides, have fulsomely supported the US action.

    Until evidence is provided, it is not possible to accept the claim. And, there are abundant reasons, from past experience, and a good deal of logic to support skepticism about it.

    The action by the US was an act of aggression, violating international law. It is not excusable on such clearly factual grounds that: what happened at Khan Sheikhun was dreadful, the Syrian regime is appalling, etc. What’s been happening across Syria for over 6 years, with the use of all manner of indiscriminate weapons, has been dreadful. 500,000 people have been killed, 6 million made homeless.

    … President Trump’s statement on it was derived from his sight of television images. He said so himself, and, his statement was crafted for television, the world in which he reportedly lives. There could hardly have been a more superficial basis, for such a serious decision.

    It has been credibly reported that US intelligence agencies doubted the claim that Syria had bombed with CW agent. They had insufficient evidence for this and they could not see why Assad would make such a dubious decision. The leadership of those agencies was then excluded from the presidential decision making deliberation : this was demonstrated by their absence from the group photo at the Mar-a- Largo “situation room.”

    Trump’s decision was motivated by domestic concerns, including: his wish to appear resolute, militarily; to distinguish himself from Obama who had declined in 2013 to take a similar action even though his “red line” on CW use had been crossed; and, to draw attention away from the scandals and enquiries in which his presidency is mired

    And Menadue’s comment.

    Trump may find it politically useful in attacking the Assad regime to counter suggestions that he is a Russian stooge but his actions will entrench even further Russian support for the Assad regime. It is again the story of unintended consequences.

    RICHARD BUTLER. US Missile Attack on Syria

    And another link provided in the comments.

    Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation

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