President Putin has called for justice and an “unbiased probe” into who is responsible for an alleged chemical gas attack at Khan Sheikoun, Syria, on April 4, which the Americans immediately claimed was an attack by the Syrian government, without providing any proof in fact nor any motive nor possible benefit to Syria. Syria and Russia state that it is the western backed terrorists who are responsible for making and storing chemical weapons at a sight the Syrians bombed or that it was a provocation by the terrorists and therefore by the Americans and their allies. Russia has several times called for a joint investigation with the Americans but its initiative has been, curiously, rejected out of hand.
In the days following April 4, the western media followed their usual pattern of jumping to conclusions convenient to the enemies of Syria and Russia. They published a blizzard of denunciations in articles and editorials, in print and television. The crudest insults were thrown against Russians and Syrians, and the trumpets of war sounded over images of indignant, puffed –up, western politicians horrified, absolutely horrified, about these new casualties; the casualties of their war, the war they started, the war they want, the war they wage.
The alleged incident was quickly used as a specious excuse by the Americans to increase their aggression against Syria with a mass cruise missile strike a few days later to show the Syrians, and everyone else in the world, that they are as ruthless as they are arrogant. This criminality was followed in quick succession by their childish demonstration in Afghanistan; the dropping of the “Mother Of All Bombs” on a few guerrillas hiding in some caves and tunnels, or so the Americans claimed. The main point was to have pictures of the big American bomb, and the big mushroom cloud it produced to show us all, once again, in case we had forgotten, that they are the wrath and the vengeance and we resist at our peril.
They continue this colonial gangsterism in Ukraine and Korea, Yemen, and Somalia, from Asia to the Baltic, to Africa, as enthusiastically threatening us with world war and nuclear annihilation as a child kicking over a sandcastle.
The Americans and the French, British and Germans have yet to provide any credible evidence that Syrian forces were involved in the April 4 incident while Dr. Ted Postol, professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has a substantial background in air dispersal, including how toxic plumes move in the air and has taught courses on weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological threats, has published an irrefutable analysis of the existing American and French reports that concludes there is no evidence Syrian forces were responsible. The French intelligence report, presented by the French minister of defence, Jean-Marc Ayrault, on April 27, titled: Chemical Attack in Syria – National Evaluation,” is shown to be as much a biased and distorted document as the Dutch Safety Board reports on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine.
Dr. Postol’s full reply to the French report is too long to include here so I will quote his conclusions:
“The FIR (French Intelligence Report) attempts to make its case that the Syrian government was the perpetrator of a possible nerve agent attack on April 4, 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun by citing evidence that is not supported by the known facts.
“It does not report on the details of the attack on April 4 but instead focuses on past attacks which it alleges leads to a strong conclusion that the Syrian government was the perpetrator of the April 4 attack.
“A short summary of the logic used in the FIR is that there is an unexplained attack, and, without valid evidence, the FIR concludes that a perpetrator who might have committed attacks in the past is with certainty the perpetrator of the unexplained attack.”
He also makes the crucial observation that,
“It is also worth noting that French intelligence coordinates with US intelligence and is also fully aware of UN activities. This therefore suggests that the FIR may not have been written by informed professional intelligence analysts in French intelligence.”
And that, “It therefore seems that there are serious discrepancies in multiple intelligence reports that, at a minimum, raise fundamental questions about the veracity of the White House Intelligence Report and the French Intelligence Report as well.”
The French report is also interesting in that it is subtitled: “Clandestine Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme.” Since the Americans, Russians and UN certified in 2013 that the Syrian government had eliminated all chemical weapons from its arsenal and the means to make them the Americans have a problem with their story. To get around that problem they, and the French, now claim Syria somehow secretly kept chemical weapons, again without any proof that this is so. But the truth for them is irrelevant. It is enough for the media to repeat it ad nauseum and, by simply repeating it, establish it as fact.
The French state that their report is based “on its own sources” but does not identify those sources, the chain of custody of any materials they examined, the reliability of the sources, their motivations or any of the factors that need to be taken into account by objective investigators.
Nor does the French report mention several important facts. The first is that members of the Turkish parliament discovered that Turkish companies and officials were involved in supplying sarin gas to the US backed “rebels” in 2013 and that criminal investigations into it were blocked at a high level. Second, the Turkish involvement was confirmed in April 2014, by the American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who stated that the US Defence Intelligence Agency issued a classified briefing that stated that Turkey and Saudi based “chemical facilitators” were attempting to obtain chemicals to manufacture sarin for the US proxy forces in Syria and that it was determined that the sarin used in the Ghouta attack did not match the batches known to exist in the Syrian arsenal at that time. Further, the UN investigation did not point the finger at Syrian government forces, whereas Carla Del Ponte, working as a UN human rights investigator on the issue stated on Swiss radio in May 2013 that,
“According to the testimonies gathered, the “rebels” have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas…it is …the opponents of the “regime” who are using sarin gas.”
The French report contained none of this. But of course the French are far from objective regarding Syria. The French have had their eyes on Syria since before the First World War and after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire took control of all of what is now Syria and Lebanon. They never gave up their ambitions there even when they had to withdraw their forces in 1946 at the end of their “mandate” or colonial rule. Now France is one of the most aggressive in trying to crush the Syrian government, and with the Americans and others impose their own agents on the people of Syria. How are we to accept their report when their intentions and motivations are so clear?
France wants to extend its power in the Mediterranean and Middle East, thus extending its influence from west Africa through to Asia. It wants to grab some of the spoils of war with the Americans, such as oil and gas supplies, and, with the Americans, to eliminate Hezbollah in Lebanon, then set up the campaign against Iran which can be more easily carried out if Syria is in western colonial hands. It is no coincidence that France’s aggression against Syria began in 2011 at the same time as the NATO attack on and destruction of Libya in which France played a role as dirty as any of the NATO countries.
The Syrian government responded to the French report by stating,
“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns the frantic campaign of misleading and lies and the fabricated allegations launched by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault regarding the crime of Khan Sheikhoun which shows without any doubt the involvement of France in preparing this crime in the framework of its full partnership in the aggression on Syria.”
“The French Government doesn’t have legal qualification or competence to decide what took place in Khan Sheikhoun and to jump to conclusions, and what it has circulated of lies and allegations represent a blatant violation of the authorizations of the specialized international organizations in an attempt to hide the truth of this crime and who stands behind it, and the objection of France and its allies at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the Russian-Iranian draft resolution on forming a neutral and professional investigation committee clearly proves that.
“The Western states have become professional in the art of lying, deception and misleading to implement their policies in imposing hegemony on the world and to return to the eras of colonization, mandate and guardianship.”
On Tuesday May 2, President Putin met with the German Chancellor, Merkel, and, in a joint press conference, stated that the “solution to the crisis of Syria” can be found through the United Nations brokered peace talks that take place in Astana, Kazakhstan and Geneva, Switzerland. Merkel stated that she is ready to support the cessation of hostilities in Syria but did not state on what basis and for whose benefit.
On May 3 it was reported that the peace talks in Astana between the Syrian government, Russia, Iran and the “opposition,” were suspended by the “opposition” on the excuse of Syrian government attacks on them. Once again the hand of the USA is seen pulling strings to block any possible peace initiative. In any event, these are all empty diplomatic gestures since there can be no peace in Syria until the Americans and their allies withdraw their invasion forces and stop supporting their mercenary forces they call “rebels” and stop their attempts to attack Syrian sovereignty. President Trump has clearly shown that this is not going to happen.
No, this is now a war of attrition with the Americans, French, British, Germans and the rest intent on tearing the country apart until the Syrian people and government are brought to their knees or those nations exhaust their treasuries and sow so much chaos in their own countries from all the rippling effects from this war that they crack under the self-imposed strain.
The war on Syria is part of the American global hybrid war to cause world-wide insecurity, to create reliance on American military force, a protection racket, to continue American dollar hegemony, to weaken or destroy any country that threatens or undermines that dominance and to keep the American people, whose lives become more miserable every year, focused on manufactured foreign enemies, instead of focused on their class enemies at home that fleece their pockets every day.
America has become world public enemy number one and with its gang in NATO is running amok destroying and killing wherever its flag is shown. It respects no laws, no morality, no humanity. It’s only purpose is to plunder and pillage so that now the word vandals is replaced by the word americans as a term for barbarism and destruction.
President Putin has called for justice but how is this to be achieved when outside my window the rain pours blood and ashes down upon the fields, the sun and moon have lost their light, Enlightenment stands with Reason hard pressed against a wall, Reaction strangles Progress, and Justice dangles from a tree.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”