Taking the World to the Brink of Annihilation

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Written by Rick Sterling; Originally appeared at Global Research

Introduction

Western neoconservatives and hawks are driving the international situation to increasing tension and danger. Not content with the destruction of Iraq and Libya based on false claims, they are now pressing for a direct US attack on Syria.

As a dangerous prelude, Israeli jets flying over Lebanese airspace fired missiles against the T4/Tiyas Airbase west of Palmyra.

This was Predicted

As reported at Tass, the Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, predicted the current events almost a month ago. The report from March 13 says,

“Russia has hard facts about preparations for staging the use of chemical weapons against civilians by the government forces. After the provocation, the US plans to accuse Syria’s government forces of using chemical weapons … furnish the so-called ‘evidence’ … and Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts.”

Gerasimov noted that Russian military advisors are staying in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities in Damascus and “in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles.”

The situation is clearly dangerous with risk of sliding into international conflict and even WW3. If that happens, it would mean the demise of civilization. All of this so that the West can continue supporting the sectarian armed groups seeking to overthrow the Assad government … in violation of international law and the UN Charter.

The most powerful country in the world is now led by a real estate, hotel and entertainment mogul without political experience. Behind the scenes, there is a powerful foreign policy establishment determined to maintain and reclaim US unilateral “leadership” of the world. They don’t like the fact that the US is losing influence, prestige and power around the world. Israel and Saudi Arabia are especially upset that their plans for regional domination are failing.

East Ghouta, Damascus

East Ghouta is a district of farms and towns on the north-east outskirts of Damascus. For the past six years, various armed factions controlled the area. On a nearly daily basis, they launched mortar and hell cannon missile attacks into Damascus, killing many thousands. This author personally witnessed two such mortar attacks in April 2014.

By the end of March most of East Ghouta had been retaken by the government. With the peaceful evacuation of armed militants, civilians flooded into the humanitarian corridors and then government camps for the displaced. The campaign was proceeding quickly with minimal loss of life as the Russian Reconciliation officers negotiated agreements which allowed the militants to keep small weapons and be transported to Idlib in the north. Vanessa Beeley documented the situation including the happiness and relief of many civilians as they finally made it to safety. One described the feeling as “like being reborn”. Robert Fisk was on site and reported what he saw first hand in stories titled Watching on as Islamist fighters are evacuated from war-torn Eastern Ghouta and Western howls of outrage over the Ghouta siege ring hollow.

As reported at the Russian Reconciliation Centre, by the end of March, 105,857 civilians had moved into government controlled areas while 13,793 militants plus 23,433 family members had been transported north. Those who wanted to stay, including former fighters, were welcomed. They could rejoin Syrian society with the same rights and obligations as other Syrians.

The last remaining opposition stronghold was the town of Douma, controlled by the Saudi funded Jaish al Islam. Negotiations were prolonged because Jaish al Islam did not want to go to Idlib which is dominated by another militant opposition group, Jabhat al Nusra also known as Hayat Tahrir al Sham.

The Chemical Incident

On Saturday April 7 video and stories claiming a chemical weapons attack in Douma were broadcast. The video showed dozens of dead children. On Sunday the story grabbed western mainstream media headlines.  US President Trump quickly come to a conclusion:

“President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay”.

There has been no objective investigation. The media claims are based on statements and videos from members of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and White Helmets. Both organizations receive significant funding from the US government and call for Western intervention in Syria.

Chemical weapons have emerged as the quick and easy justification for aggression.  One year ago, in April 2017, it was the incident at Khan Shaykoun. That resulted in a US attack on a Syrian air base just days later. The subsequent investigation discovered that dozens of victims had shown up in hospitals in diverse locations and up to 100 kms away from the scene of crime BEFORE the event happened. Strangely, and indicating the investigation team bias, this red flag pointing to fraud was not investigated further. If it was just a few victims or just one location, it might be a mistake in time record-keeping. However in this case there were dozens of discrepancies in multiple locations, clearly raising the possibility of fraud.

Now we have the incident in Douma, at town on the outskirts of Damascus. The armed opposition is in retreat. They have tried to pressure the US and NATO to intervene directly since 2012. They have access to chemical weapons in East Ghouta and motive. They also have thousands of prisoners. This is the group which put hundreds of prisoners, primarily women and children, in cages on the streets of Douma.

Who Benefits?

The timing of the chemical weapons incidents is also noteworthy. As documented here, one year ago on 30 March 2017 Ambassador Haley said the US policy was no longer focused on getting Assad out. Five days later the chemical incident at Khan Sheikhoun happened, quickly followed by blaming the Syrian government, a US attack and a restoration of the demand that “Assad must go”. On March 29 Trump said that US forces will withdraw from Syria “very soon”. This was followed by outcries from the media and political establishment. Now, following the Saturday chemical weapons incident, the US is again threatening to intervene directly. The chemical weapons incidents have consistently resulted in the reversal of a proposed change in hostility toward Syria.

Neoconservatives and the supporters of ‘regime change’ foreign policy have various theories why the Assad government would perpetrate a chemical weapons attack. Senator John McCain says the Syrian President was “emboldened” by the previous Trump statement.

Juan Cole, an academic who promoted the assaults on Libya in 2011, has a different theory. He says

“Chemical weapons are used by desperate regimes that are either outnumbered by the enemy or are reluctant to take casualties in their militaries. Barrel-bombing Douma with chem seems to have appealed to the regime as a tactic for this reason. It had potential of frightening the Douma population into deserting the Army of Islam.”

In contrast with his theory, chemical weapons were used extensively by the US in Vietnam and Iraq when they were far from desperate. As evidenced in the flow of civilians into government held areas, most of the civilian population are happy to get away from the sectarian and violent Army of Islam (“Jaish al Islam”). Cole seems to be basing his theories on inaccurate western media coverage just as he did regarding Libya where sensational claims about a looming massacre in Benghazi were later shown to be fraudulent.

It’s clear who benefits from sensational media coverage about a chemical weapons incident: those who seek to demonize the Syrian government and President and want the US government to intervene militarily. Every time there is an incident, it is quickly accepted and used by the governments and organizations who have been seeking ‘regime change’ in Syria for many years.

Manipulating Public Opinion

The manipulation of western opinion about the Syrian conflict using fake events is not theory; it has been proven.  A good example is the fake kidnapping of NBC reporter Richard Engel in December 2012.  Engel and his media team were reportedly kidnapped and threatened with death by “shabiha” supporters of the Syrian president. After days in captivity the American team was supposedly rescued by Free Syrian Army “rebels” after a shootout. In 2015 it was confirmed this was a hoax perpetrated by the FSA and their American supporters. The entire charade was carried out by the “rebels”. The goal was to demonize the Assad government and its supporters, and to romanticize and increase support for the armed opposition. Neither Engel nor NBC confessed to the reality until it was about to be exposed years later, pointing to duplicity and collusion in the deception.

Four and half years ago, on 21 August 2013, the most famous chemical weapons incident occurred. The Syrian government was immediately accused of launching a sarin attack which killed hundreds of children and civilians. Over the next six months investigations were carried out. The conclusions of Seymour HershRobert Parry and the research site whoghouta.com concluded that the attack was almost certainly NOT from the government but actually from one of the ‘rebel’ factions with support from Turkish intelligence services. Two Turkish parliamentary deputies held a press conference and publicly revealed some of the evidence. The intent then, as now, was to provide justification and provocation for the US and NATO to intervene directly.

Conclusion

Today there is the imminent possibility of a major attack based on the allegations of a clearly biased source. What ever happened to international law and legal due process? Why is violence being threatened before there is a serious objective investigation of the chemical incident? If the accusations against Syria are true, why not have a serious investigation, especially now that the area has been liberated today (9 April) and safe access can be provided?

The drums of war are pounding. After over one year of incessant Russia bashing and disinformation, is the public ready to go to war with Russia over Syria? Neoconservative hawks and their Israeli and Saudi allies seem to want this. Their plans and predictions for Iraq, Libya and Yemen were delusional fantasies with the price paid in blood by the people of those countries and in treasure by Americans as well. Sadly, there has not been any accountability for the media and political establishment that promoted and launched these wars. Now they want to escalate the aggression by attacking Syria, causing vastly more blood to flow and risking confrontation with a country which can fight back.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be contacted at rsterling1@gmail.com

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  • EoF

    I’m scared

    • D boy

      Just grab your Beer because report coming out from Russia this morning shows they mean business

      • RichardD

        This report?:

        – Any US missiles fired at Syria will be shot down, launch sites targeted – Russian envoy to Lebanon –

        https://www.rt.com/news/423774-us-missiles-targeted-russia/

        • Joe

          Note more seriously … THE SHIPS will be tagetted.

          Imagine a US ship sunk like the Saudis’ sunk by the Houthis?
          US will surely have no where to hide their faces and will escalate for revenge … then maybe see you all in the other world …all of us.

  • r0b1n

    World War II began with deception.
    World War III …… too ??

  • 1691

    ” After over one year of incessant Russia bashing and disinformation, is the public ready to go to war with Russia over Syria? ”
    It is not “over Syria” but israhell.

  • hvaiallverden

    Yeah, so some people, by some obscure reason think that the Wankees will stop, have uh…. manage to come to their senses, are you tripping, because and I refer to what I see, in Norway the Russian hate propaganda is already inflicting problems, and I have noticed this since I am with an Russian, our Girl got hammered in school, thrown out because of been Russian, yeah, Norwegians cant wait to throw Russian sub-humans into camps so they can enjoy some good old fasion rape and their most populare sport, sodomizing, and the hate propaganda is ascelerating as we speak.

    There is nothing that make me belive the war isnt coming, nada, the propaganda will make sure of that.

    And when the Saudi-barbarians along with the hideous Brits drools something about human rights I start to wounder are they filling LSD in the tap water, huh, two of the most rotten scums walking on this planet talks about Assad been an evil man, you cant beat this level of hyporcasy, and when I read about the Gas attack in Norwegian news sites, nobody asks any critical questions, even when every bloody Mitirary exp. know fully well this is an moronic made propaganda video, but it helps to portray the children, its like the Incubatore narrative, children in the news, yeah, animal assad.

    What I find equally intreresting is how Iraq bended over and alows the Wankees to use their air space, yeah, and then we have the back stabbers, the rotten Turks, why isnt Ankara wiped out Russia, nobody would make an deal of that, just wipe the Turks from the face of this earth, pronto.
    And I will celibrate that with an chockolade cake.
    And as we all know the flight paths of Wankees and ISISrael I recomend that Lebanon etc, is saturated with Surface to Air ManPads, so any Joojo plain is fired at the moment they are seen.
    Cost line, guarded, etc, since the range is limited the wankees needs to get closer, and that places them to in the firing line.
    And if the real deal breaks loose, invade ISISrael and wipe them off the face of our earth, they cant bomb their own, to just flush inn and kill everything you see, ISISrael is tiny, and should not be an big problem when the fronts multiplys over the war theater.
    And then give the rats several fronts to fight, and bomb their infrastructure to grawel, like Airports, harbor ports, oil/fuel intalations etc, etc, criple them to an extent where they have to fight for their lifes.
    Let this be the ISISraeli rats last war, and this time, wipe them out.
    Show no mercy, since mercy have never been shown nor given, then its up to you, wipe them out.

    So, wanna bet, huh, I bet the war is coming, of course there can be alternatives, witch is or isnt in the making as we speak, but again, Trump is just another ISISraeli bitch, no surprice what so ever, and Trump will do what ISISrael tels Him to do, period.
    Yeah, we have been Bolted, nice scums, huh, and with an spineless amobea to president, witch even makes Bush look like an highly intellegent person, yeah, what could possibly go wrong.

    Its to late to do anything, the Wankees dont five an f….. Kardashians is much more intresting than standing on the brink of an all out Nuclear war.
    Noboy in Europa gives an f….

    This time Russia, is no turning back, because even you should know by now, the Wankees will go to war against Russia, that is their end goal, full spectrum dominance.
    And I hope the Chines arent that ignorant tp think they will get away, to think that, is what I define as High treason.
    The wankees are terminaly insane and should be regarded as sutch, evil greedy bastards.

    peace

    PS: there is nothing more scary than when people sits down and do nothing becuase they await an saviour, that, people is an big, big, lie, there will come non, period.
    Living lies, to think there is an sort of superman coming, the last one, yeshua, didnt do anythng and do you idiots know why, because its ours responcebility, nobody elses than ours.And its to late anyway, what happens next, is doe to you, there is nothing called neutrality, its either for or against, its all yours, second, thats the verdict, you reap what you have sawn, and now comes the harvest.
    I could tell you more, but its in fact irrelevant, I leave whatever comes to our Lord, my hands are cleen.

    • Ma_Laoshi

      Iraq is allowing the USAF to fly over its territory because–well what else could they do? Syria is a much smaller country and long-term Russian ally, and they STILL don’t have the tools and assistance to seal their airspace. The Kremlin is so sure they did everything right by being mature and non-provocative, but (potential) allies have been slipping away one by one because at the hour of truth, the Bear can’t or won’t protect you. But yeah, the Kremlin critters have made a lot of money selling weapons to their mortal enemies, so there’s that.

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        Those same Russian bears are now showing their claws and puny non venomous rattlesnake will be eaten alive. Must ask how many people liked the first test of Syrian Russian like Khibilny system 5 of 8 not bad, not even NATO defense systems can boast an actual testing number that high.

        • Ma_Laoshi

          I don’t claim to have any military qualifications, but who cares since *it’s not about the toys*. Nobody doubts Russia has the firepower to seriously hurt all comers. But in two years, they’ve only ever used it against cheap, replaceable jihadi trash–and even those usually make it to the green bus to fight another day. So the Empire figures that it can strike Syria with impunity one more time, but now real hard. I find this reckless and despicable, but that’s just how the Dark Throne rolls. If you don’t want this outcome, you should have *deterred* it.

  • Mountains

    WW3 won’t happen and at the end of the day Assad dosen’t mean that much for Russia to begin WW3 and risk everything

    • Joe

      That’s what you surely wish for as usual and you evil regime gets to kill Assad’s soldiers for free and you guys at last saved those terrorists which US is sooooooooo concerned about them (even though they chops children’s heads)/

      You guys until now still have this kind of view … really no more hope for you.

    • Nosferatu

      WW3 won’t happen and at the end of the day Assad dosen’t mean that much for USA to begin WW3 and risk everything

  • Law Se

    It seems that common sense went out the door…Trump is playing a bad hand he doesn’t understand that once the shooting starts his wealthy family political power and everything be holds dear like his trophy wife will be dead and gone in a heart beat…I cannot believe this fool…it would have been better to leave another black president the world isn’t safe with their white ones ..and the west thinks Putin is unreasonable..He apparently has to think for this Yankee jackass as well God guide him….