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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/11/17

Us Strikes on Syria Based on Another Lie

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Message Barry Kissin

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On April 6, 2014, the Frederick News-Post published my op-ed in which I wrote about the previous lie by our government claiming that the Assad government had unleashed a chemical attack outside Damascus in August, 2013 killing 1,400 or more:

"Kerry and Biden are the characters who vehemently proclaimed at the end of last August [2013] that Syria had to be bombed immediately because of their 'certainty' that the Syrian government had perpetrated the chemical attack of Aug. 21, 2013 near Damascus.

"In December, 2013, Pulitzer prize winning Seymour Hersh exposed that the intelligence coming into the White House leading up to the chemical attack of Aug. 21 was that the 'rebels' were in possession of sarin gas. Hersh's piece was published in the London Review of Books, because no mainstream publication in America would touch it.

"In January, Richard Lloyd, a former U.N. weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published regarding the design of the rockets that delivered the sarin gas. Their conclusion: It would have been impossible for the rockets to have been fired from inside areas controlled by the Syrian government.

"That is, the chemical attack of Aug. 21 that was the basis for Obama's decision to bomb Damascus came not from the Syrian government but from the (al Qaida-linked) 'rebels,' on whose behalf we continue to intervene in Syria."

Hersh also exposed that British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the Aug. 21 attack and analysis at Porton Down (England's Fort Detrick) demonstrated that the gas used didn't match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army's chemical weapons arsenal.

On Dec. 10, 2015, Turkish Member of Parliament Eren Erdem testified about how Turkey's intelligence service helped deliver sarin precursors to the rebels in Syria. Later, Erdem stated that the sarin attack of Aug. 21 probably was carried out by Western-supported jihadists with sarin gas smuggled through Turkey. This confirmed Hersh's account. Hersh has also substantiated involvement of our close allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have been supporting regime change in Syria continually since before 2011, partly for the sake of a desired pipeline from Qatar and Saudi Arabia across Syria to Turkey.

The recent "attack" of April 4 has many of the hallmarks of the Aug. 2013 fraud, as well, for that matter, as the WMDs in Iraq fraud of 2002-2003. Within two days of the April 4 attack, we first have Tillerson before the strike and then Trump just after expressing certainty ("no doubt in our mind") that the Syrian government was responsible. This without presenting any verifiable evidence and despite the obvious fact that there had been no time for any kind of objective investigation.

It is already coming out that CIA Director Mike Pompeo on April 6 (before the strikes) briefed President Trump that Assad was likely not responsible for the chemical attack. This explains why neither Pompeo nor any other intelligence official was in the photo released on April 7 of the 17 advisers gathered around Trump helping him to decide to strike.

There is a very obvious, huge problem with pretending Assad did this. Why would he?? Assad's government is now prevailing against the rebels. There is only one way for the rebels to rebound -- that is with the U.S. attacking Assad. The deal after the August 2013 attack was that Syria would destroy all of its chemical weaponry. Why now would Assad risk openly violating that agreement by chemically attacking civilians (not combatants) in a town controlled by (al Qaida-linked) al Nusra? Ron Paul on April 5: "It doesn't make any sense for Assad, under these conditions, to all of a sudden use poison gas. I think it's zero chance he would have done this." Former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford on April 5: It is "highly unlikely" that Russia or the Assad regime was behind the attack.

In fact, Syria did destroy all its chemical weaponry as agreed. Wikopedia: "Within a month of the attacks, Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention and allow all its stockpiles to be destroyed. The destruction began under [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] OPCW supervision on 6 October 2013 " By 18 August 2014, all toxic chemicals were destroyed aboard the US naval vessel MV Cape Ray."

Just this past January, during an interview on National Public Radio, former National Security Adviser Rice had occasion to state: "We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile." In June, 2014, Secretary of State Kerry stated: "We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out."

From the Washington Post of April 5: "Clearly emotional, Trump said the chemical attack in Syria that killed scores of civilians, including children, 'crossed a lot of lines for me' " at least 72 people were killed." Trump thus justified the "humanitarian intervention" that he ordered the next day. This itself smacks of contrivance. Reports from the ground in Yemen, Mosul, and Syria all share a consistent theme. Our military's "rules of engagement" under Trump are being relaxed, directly resulting in increased civilian deaths. Merely two weeks before the April 4 chemical attack, U.S. airstrikes in western Mosul neighborhoods killed at least 200, "among them children and women," according to the chairman of Nineveh Provincial Council in Iraq. CNN: "The US military is investigating whether it was responsible for the deaths of nearly 300 Syrian and Iraqi civilians in three different sets of airstrikes [in the month of March] " the US is not contemplating a pause in military operations."

There our very powerful forces in our society that want more and more war to the insane extent of provoking a Russian military response, going so far as to include in the lies the accusation that Russia was "complicit" in the attack of April 4. Secretary of State Tillerson stated Russia had either been "complicit or simply incompetent." Neocon Senators Rubio, McCain and Graham, truly representing the "deep state" and our military-industrial complex, echoed the baseless accusation of Russian complicity. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, himself either complicit or simply incompetent, stated on ABC News: "Absolutely [the Russians were] complicit."

Trump's campaign promises to reject the goal of "regime change" in Syria and so to avoid a confrontation with Russia are thus already abandoned. (Trump during campaign: "We should stay the hell out of Syria, the 'rebels' are just as bad as the current regime." "You're going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.") Once again we blithely violate the most fundamental norm of modern international law, the law against aggression in the absence of self-defense. And once again the executive department violates the U.S. Constitution by ignoring the required declaration of war by Congress. (On August 30, 2013, citizen Trump tweeted: "The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!")

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