Steve Lendman – Syria : Truth v. Lies On Chemical Weapons Use – 22 August 2013

StevelendmanSyria: Truth v Lies on Chemical Weapons Use 
By Stephen Lendman
Churchill was right saying “(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Today it circulates instantly. It does so virtually everywhere.
Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels said:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
(T)ruth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Media scoundrels understand. So do duplicitous leaders. Fingers point the wrong way. They do so with disturbing regularity.
In July, Washington accused Syria of chemical weapons use. No evidence whatever suggested it. Big Lies repeat.
New allegations surfaced. Ghouta was attacked. The incident was strategically timed. It came with UN investigators present in Syria. Doing so raises obvious red flags. Don’t expect media scoundrels to explain.
An unnamed senior US official said:
“There are strong indications there was a chemical weapons attack – clearly by the government.”
“But we do need to do our due diligence and get all the facts and determine what steps need to be taken.”
A duplicitous White House statement headlined:
“Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria,” saying:
“The United States is deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed in an attack by Syrian government forces, including by the use of chemical weapons, near Damascus earlier today. We are working urgently to gather additional information.”
“The United States strongly condemns any and all use of chemical weapons. Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable. Today, we are formally requesting that the United Nations urgently investigate this new allegation.”
“The UN investigative team, which is currently in Syria, is prepared to do so, and that is consistent with its purpose and mandate.”
For the UN’s efforts to be credible, they must have immediate access to witnesses and affected individuals, and have the ability to examine and collect physical evidence without any interference or manipulation from the Syrian government.”
“If the Syrian government has nothing to hide and is truly committed to an impartial and credible investigation of chemical weapons use in Syria, it will facilitate the UN team’s immediate and unfettered access to this site.”
“We have also called for urgent consultations in the UN Security Council to discuss these allegations and to call for the Syrian government to provide immediate access to the UN investigative team.”
“The United States urges all Syrian parties including the government and opposition, to provide immediate access to any and all sites of importance to the investigation and to ensure security for the UN investigative team.”
Fact check
US history includes generations of crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. Use of banned weapons and toxic substances reflect standard practice.
It happens at home and abroad. Examples are too numerous to mention. For decades, CIA operatives experimented illegally with toxic substances. Human subjects were used.
US agencies conducted numerous human radiation experiments. VA hospital patients and others were unwitting guinea pigs.
Chemical and biological agents were secretly released in US cities.
Military personnel are given experimental vaccines and toxic drugs. They’re administered without their knowledge.
Numerous experiments subject human subjects to toxic gases, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and other dangerous substances.
Radiation’s injected into newborns. Children are infected with hepatitis. Prisoners get horrific treatment.
Inmates are subjected to torture, illegal medical experiments, and other forms of abuse.
Agent Orange’s deadly legacy remains. It’s one of the most toxic known substances. It’s a potent carcinogenic human immune system suppressant. Minute amounts cause serious health problems and death.
It kills. It accumulates in adipose tissue and the liver. It alters living cell genetic structures. Exposure results in congenital disorders and birth defects. It causes cancer, type two diabetes, and numerous other diseases.
It remains toxic for decades. It affected millions of Southeast Asians. Many others were disabled and/or suffer from chronic illnesses. Future generations are affected like earlier ones.
Around three million US servicemen and women were harmed. So were many American civilians. Many died. Living victims suffer from diseases, birth defects, and other ill effects.
Truman bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki gratuitously. Japan sent peace feelers months earlier. General Douglas MacArthur sent Roosevelt a 40-page summary of terms.
Japan agreed to unconditional surrender with one exception. It asked only to retain its Emperor. Roosevelt categorically refused.
So did Truman. They wanted Soviet Russia sent a message. It already knew. It was well on its way to its own bomb.
US generals wanted to experiment with their new toy. They wanted to do so in real time.
Hundreds of thousands died needlessly. Lower numbers did initially. They rose in succeeding months and years.
Radiation poisoning kills. It causes grievous illnesses, disfiguration, and birth defects.
Decades later, they’re still felt. Bombing Japan twice was gratuitous slaughter. A prostrate nation was trying to surrender.
Failure to accept it honorably was one of history’s great crimes. Numerous others followed. They’re worse than ever today.
America’s waging war on humanity. Legal and illegal weapons are used. Superpowers don’t apologize. They look for new targets to attack.
America prioritizes permanent war. One country after another is ravaged. Millions die. Millions more suffer horrifically. It doesn’t matter. It’s a small price to pay for global dominance.
US concerns about others ring hollow. Human and civil liberties don’t matter. Nor do rule of law principles.
Washington rules alone count. Do what we say, not what we do, is policy.
On August 21, Itar Tass headlined “Syria’s military command denies chemical weapons use,” saying:
“Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said such claims on the part of the opposition were illogical and had been fabricated.”
Another Syian official said “Reports about the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian capital’s suburb have nothing in common with the truth.”
On August 22, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Foreign Minister: Allegations of armed forces using toxic gas in Damascus countryside untrue.”
Foreign Walidi al-Moallem categorically denied Syria used chemical weapons. Chemical or other weapons of mass destruction will never be used against Syria, he added.
He explained that Syria is cooperating fully with UN investigators. He called lies about Syria are well-known. They’re part of a campaign against its sovereignty. They perpetuate conflict. They prevent peace.
Israel’s dirty hands are all over events in Syria. Al-Moallem called Israel a “player in the war against Syria.”
“Israel is satisfied over the escalation of terrorism in the region, destruction of infrastructure, exhausting the economies, Arab armies, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Egypt,” he said.
“It is happy over the destruction in the region.”
“Any political analysis to the ongoing events in Syria should start from observing the Israeli stance which intervened, as a main player, in the field when it raided and attacked three Syrian sites and received wounded terrorist in its hospitals.”
Israel’s very much involved in destabilizing Syria. It supports regime change. It’s partnered in Washington’s war. It doesn’t surprise.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon turned truth on its head. He lied saying Syria used chemical weapons multiple times. Israel uses banned weapons in all its wars. Don’t expect Ya’alon to explain.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile lied saying “Assad has more than once declared that if the Syrian capital Damascus came under threat, he would resort to chemical warfare and the entire Middle East including Israel would go up in flames.”
Chemical weapons experts examined video footage on what happened. Doubts were raised about a chemical weapons attack.
Dan Kaszeta’s a former US army chemical corps officer. He now a leading consultant. He’s skeptical about what’s being reported, saying:
“None of the people treating the casualties or photographing them are wearing any sort of chemical-warfare protective gear, and despite that, none of them seem to be harmed.”
He believes this rules out most military-grade toxic chemicals. He includes the vast majority of nerve gases.
They don’t evaporate quickly. They contaminate bodies, clothing, soil and water. They harm anyone in contact with them unprotected hours after an attack.
“There are none of the other signs you would expect to see in the aftermath of a chemical attack,” he added.
They include “intermediate levels of casualties, severe visual problems, vomiting and loss of bowel control.”
Steve Johnson’s a leading UK researcher. He studies the effects of toxic substances exposure.
“From the evidence we have seen so far,” he said, “a large number of casualties over a wide area would mean quite a pervasive dispersal.”
“With that level of chemical agent, you would expect to see a lot of contamination on the casualties coming in, and it would affect those treating them who are not properly protected.”
“We are not seeing that here.”
Other experts raised questions about many deaths with no visible trauma signs. It remains to be seen what caused them. Blood, soil and water samples need to be analyzed.
Independent observers raised obvious questions. Why would Syria’s military launch large or small-scale chemical attacks any time?
There’s no tactical need. Syrian forces greatly outgun insurgent forces. They clearly outmatch them. They’re routing them impressively. They’re doing it conventionally. Chemical attacks are counterproductive. They’re self-defeating.
Launching them while UN investigators are examining previous sites is madness. Doing so makes no sense whatever.
Tacticians would never order them. Syria had nothing to do with what happened. Big Lies claim otherwise.
On August 21, the Security Council met in emergency closed door session. SC president Maria Cristina Perceval said there is “strong concern among the Council members.”
“There must be clarity on what happened, and the situation must be followed carefully. (SC members) welcomed the determination of the secretary-general to ensure a thorough, impartial investigation.”
“All council members agree that any use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances is a violation of international law.”
Itar Tass reported “well-informed sources (saying) member-states had failed to come to terms on the text of a statement for the mass media.”
Washington drafted a harsh anti-Syrian one. Russia and China rejected it. They did so responsibly.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukasevich called the attack “a provocation planned in advance.”
“All of this really looks like an attempt, at any cost, to create a reason to produce demands for the UN Security Council to side with the regime’s opponents and undermine the chances of convening the Geneva conference.”
What happened “draws attention to the fact that biased regional media have immediately, as if on command, begun an aggressive information attack, laying all the responsibility on the government.”
“A homemade rocket with a poisonous substance that has not been identified yet – one similar to the rocket used by terrorists on March 19 in Khan al-Assal – was fired early on August 21 (at suburban Damascus) from a position occupied by the insurgents.”
Doing so leaves little doubt who’s responsible. At issue is wrongfully blaming Syria. It’s perpetuating conflict. It’s preventing peace.
It’s about ravaging another country. It’s about destroying it altogether. It’s about doing it lawlessly. It’s about murdering tens of thousands of civilians. It’s about displacing many more.
It’s about eliminating Syrian sovereignty. It’s about regime change. It’s about about replacing independent governance with pro-Western subservience. It’s what the vast majority of Syrians oppose.
Syria’s Russian ambassador, Riyad Haddad called reports false. They’re aimed at repeating the “Iraqi scenario” in Syria, he said.
“Our Armed Forces have never used chemical weapons and all fabricated concoctions in this respect aim to disorient international observers and defocus their efforts in achieving the set goals,” he added.
“It is no secret for anyone that all these falsifications that appear from time to time about the use of chemical weapons are nothing but an attempt to repeat the scenario that was used in the past with regard to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
“Syria has not used and will never use” chemical weapons,” he stressed.
Russia wants a thorough independent investigation. Media scoundrels spurn objectivity. Inflammatory headlines substitute.
The New York Times headlined “Scores Killed in Syria, With Signs of Chemical War,” saying:
“Images of death and chaos poured out of Syria after what may be the single deadliest attack in more than two years.”
“Getting to the bottom of the assault could well alter the course of the conflict and affect the level of the West’s involvement.”
“President Obama said almost exactly a year ago that the use of chemical weapons was a red line.”
“The latest attack could tip (the) balance” toward direct US intervention.
Opposition Syrian National Council media spokesperson Louay Mekdad was quoted.
He called on the Security Council and international powers to “live up to their moral and historical responsibility” to protect civilians.
“If the international community doesn’t move now, when is it going to move,” he asked?
Washington Post editors urged direct US intervention many times. On August 21, they headlined “The US should examine allegations of chemical attack in Syria,” saying:
If opposition reports are true, “Obama Obama should deliver on his vow not to tolerate such crimes – by ordering direct US retaliation against the Syrian military forces responsible and by adopting a plan to protect civilians in southern Syria with a no-fly zone.”
Obama appears incrementally heading toward greater US involvement. At issue is whether Libya 2.0 follows. Signs suggest it.
A Final Comment
A previous article discussed Al Jazeera America’s (AJAM) debut. Hold the cheers, it said. Al Jazeera long ago fell from grace. Qatar’s ruling monarchy controls programming.
What’s planned for America replicates CNN and Fox News. On August 20, broadcasts began. Managed news misinformation substituted for truth and full disclosure.
Viewers can expect a disappointing daily diet. Legitimate journalism isn’t AJAM’s long suit. An example came straightaway. Misreporting on Syria was scandalous. So were follow-up reports.
On August 22, AJAM said “Syrian activists (offered) horrific images of dead and dying children from near Damascus…”
AJAM called it “proof of a chemical-weapons attack by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.” It did so with no verifiable evidence whatever. It repeated the usual Big Lie.
Independent assessments so far suggest otherwise. Clear evidence shows insurgents used chemical weapons multiple times before.
AJAM didn’t explain. Expect no better going forward. Propaganda journalism doesn’t operate that way.
AJAM launched inauspiciously. It’s potential reach is much less than expected. AT&T opted out. It did so at the 11th hour. Its U-Verse service cited “contractual disputes.”
Five million potential viewers are lost. AJAM’s suing. It may lose Time Warner Cable. TWC dropped Current after AJAM’s acquisition. It cited low ratings. New contractual discussions continue.
AJAM remains on Comcast, Verizon FiOS, DirectTV and Dish Network. Its potential audience size is 43 million households.
When they see what AJAM airs, numbers may drop substantially. CNN, Fox and MSNBC lost considerable market share. Growing numbers of viewers want real news and information.
US broadcasters and cable operators spurn it. AJAM’s no different. Another fake news operation isn’t needed. It isn’t what people want. Reliable alternative sources are gaining at their expense.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at
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