Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Here We Go Again: Fabricating a Casus Belli with Syria

Last week it was Amnesty International's "HUMAN SLAUGHTERHOUSE: MASS HANGINGS AND EXTERMINATION AT SAYDNAYA PRISON, SYRIA," thoroughly demolished by Rick Sterling in his "Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War."

Then yesterday it was the Atlantic Council's "Breaking Aleppo," which, according to The New York Times' Michael Gordon, the man who helped bring us the 2003 invasion of Iraq, "The analysis shows that the hospital, contrary to claims by a Russian general, was bombed multiple times. It indicates that Russian aircraft used incendiary munitions and cluster bombs, despite the Kremlin’s denials, and concludes that Syrian forces used chlorine gas on a far greater scale than is commonly believed."

But all one needs to know about "Breaking Aleppo" comes midway through the article: "Much of the analysis of the photos and social media was done by [Eliot] Higgins, a Britain-based researcher who founded the investigative website bellingcat.com." To mention that Eliot Higgins is a principal author of the report (a guy who is clearly a government agent) without mentioning his role in using spurious arguments and bogus evidence to blame the Syrian government for the 2013 chemical attack in East Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, or his role in arguing for Russian complicity in the downing of MH17 in Eastern Ukraine is clearly misleading to the Gray Lady's readers. Once again with The New York Times we are in the realm of crass banana-fingered propaganda.

Now comes the absurd "Syria: Coordinated Chemical Attacks on Aleppo," released yesterday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Rick Gladstone, like his colleague Michael Gordon, another spook posing as a reporter, writes breathlessly in "Syria Used Chlorine Bombs Systematically in Aleppo, Report Says" -- the opening paragraph -- that
Syrian military helicopters systematically dumped canisters of chlorine gas, a banned weapon, on residential areas of Aleppo at least eight times late last year in the final weeks of the battle to retake the city from rebels, Human Rights Watch said in a detailed study released Monday.
But skim through the report --  it is not hard to do -- and for all the video links and purported photographic evidence there is not one image of a Syrian helicopter dumping chlorine canisters! An example of the willful suspension of disbelief that Human Rights Watch is asking of us can be found below:
Omar Arnaout, a photographer, said that he saw a helicopter drop an object near a cemetery in Qadi Askar at about 3 p.m. on November 28:
"Suddenly, yellow smoke started spreading followed by the smell of chlorine a few minutes later. It’s the smell of the liquid that we use to clean toilet, but more intense, much more intense. People were unable to breathe, they are coughing. Some children were throwing up. The smell was everywhere."
Arnaout said that about 20 civilians were injured in the attack and taken to hospitals for treatment.
If he is a photographer, why didn't he take a picture of the helicopter? I guess he didn't have his camera with him. Then why in this instance, which is supposed to document a Syrian helicopter dropping a chlorine bomb, mention that he is a photographer? Clearly it is a rhetorical sleight of hand meant to convey to the reader photographic evidence where there is none.

The HRW report is chock full of everything we've seen plenty of times before -- pictures of spent shell casings, eyewitness testimony from jihadis posing as citizen activists, photos of babies in emergency rooms receiving oxygen.

The overall idea is to reboot the Western war on Syria now that the Syrian-Russian-Iranian coalition is about to conquer the Western-backed jihadis; that, and block the Trump administration from working with Russia. With Flynn out it looks like the U.S. posture to Syria will be identical to the one during Obamatime.

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