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Here We Go Again: US Accuses Iran Of Hiding Chemical Weapons

In a trite refrain straight out of the standard Washington regime change playbook, the United States has lodged a formal complaint alleging Iran is developing nerve agents “for offensive purposes”.

Like Syria before (and Russia), first comes the “outraged!” human rights violations rhetoric, then come crippling sanctions and international “pariah status”, and for the final push comes unfounded chemical attack claims, a charge now being formally prepped and set in motion against Tehran by the West.

After the AP first revealed a week ago that the U.S. is set to accuse Iran of violating international bans on chemical weapons, an American diplomat has told the global chemical weapons agency in The Hague that Tehran has not declared all of its chemical weapons capabilities.

On Thursday Ambassador Kenneth Ward told a meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that Iran was in violation of an international non-proliferation convention.

“The United States has had longstanding concerns that Iran maintains a chemical weapons program that it has failed to declare to the OPCW,” Ward said at an OPCW conference.

“The United States is also concerned that Iran is also pursuing central nervous system-acting chemicals for offensive purposes,” he added. He connected this with the general White House charge and theme that Iran and Russia had “enabled” Syria in attacking civilians with nerve agents, according to claims of officials in the West.

Specifically Amb. Ward claimed Iran has been hiding a production facility for filling aerial bombs while simultaneously maintaining a secret program to procure banned toxic munitions, include nerve agents.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Russia Squelches Trump’s New Plan to Invade Syria

Russia Squelches Trump’s New Plan to Invade Syria

On Friday, August 31st, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia has handed to the OPCW (Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), and to the U.N., “proof” that the U.S. Government has been working with Al Qaeda to set up a chemical incident that the U.S. and its allies can then use as a supposed justification for invading Syria as a ‘humanitarian’ response to a chemical attack allegedly by Syria’s Government, but actually done by U.S.-backed forces, to re-ignite the 7-year-old ‘civil war’ between Syria’s Government and U.S.-backed ‘rebels’, who consist almost exclusively of fundamentalist-Sunni jihadists that are trained and led by Al Qaeda in Syria, with U.S. help and Saudi financing.

On August 29th Global Research headlined “Video: US Creates Strike Force to Attack Syria”, and posted an August 28th report from South Front saying:

Reports are appearing that the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF) have already started preparing to repel an expected US-led missile strike by deploying additional specialists and air defense systems near the crucial objects of the infrastructure, which they expect may be targeted.

On August 22, US National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed that

“if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time.”

This was only one of a series of threats to the Syrian government issued by the US, the UK and France. While all these threats are clearly exploiting the chemical weapons narrative, their main goal is to prevent the defeat of the terrorists in Idlib by delaying the Syrian Army operation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

OPCW Investigators Reportedly Found “No Evidence” Of Chemical Weapons At Syrian Facilities Bombed By US

While it will likely take the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons weeks or even months to issue their final report on the alleged gas attack in Douma (an attack for which journalists and other independent parties have failed to find any evidence), the organization’s investigators have apparently spoken with Russian military officials after visiting the site of the Barzeh research center in Damascus – one of the three facilities targeted by the strikes.

The Barzah Research and Development Center in Damascus, Syria, before it was struck by coalition forces on Saturday.

This satellite image, taken Monday morning, shows the Barzah Research and Development Center in Damascus after it was struck by coalition forces.

At the time we noted Paul Craig Roberts’ ‘awkward question’ to Washington’s warmongers:

If this were true, would not a lethal cloud have been released that would have taken the lives of far more people than claimed in the alleged Syrian chemical attack on Douma?

Would not the US missile attack be identical to a chemical weapons attack and thus place the US and its vassals in the same category as Washington is attempting to place Assad and Putin?

And now, according to Sputnik, the investigators, who spoke with Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, revealed that they had found no evidence of chemical weapons in the remains of research facilities that were supposedly integral to the Syrian Army’s chemical weapons program. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise: After all, if the US, France and the UK really did bomb a building filled with chemical weapons, there would’ve been thousands – possibly tens of thousands – of bodies to show for it.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria…And Does it Matter?

What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria…And Does it Matter?

Inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have finally arrived in Douma, Syria, to assess whether a gas attack took place earlier this month. It has taken a week for the inspectors to begin their work, as charges were thrown back and forth about who was causing the delay.

Proponents of the US and UK position that Assad used gas in Douma have argued that the Syrian and Russian governments are preventing the OPCW inspectors from doing their work. That, they claim, is all the evidence needed to demonstrate that Assad and Putin have something to hide. But it seems strange that if Syria and Russia wanted to prevent an OPCW inspection of the alleged sites they would have been the ones to request the inspection in the first place.

The dispute was solved just days ago, as the OPCW Director-General released a statement explaining that the delay was due to UN security office concerns for the safety of the inspectors.

We are told that even after the OPCW inspectors collect samples from the alleged attack sites, it will take weeks to determine whether there was any gas or other chemicals released. That means there is very little chance President Trump had “slam dunk” evidence that Assad used gas in Douma earlier this month when he decided to launch a military attack on Syria. To date, the US has presented no evidence of who was responsible or even whether an attack took place at all. Even right up to the US missile strike, Defense Secretary Mattis said he was still looking for evidence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why the April 14th Missiles-Invasion of Syria Was a Historic Turning-Point

Why the April 14th Missiles-Invasion of Syria Was a Historic Turning-Point

Why the April 14th Missiles-Invasion of Syria Was a Historic Turning-Point

The April 14th invasion was the apogee, the turning-point downward, for American hegemony, the end of the mono-polar world or U.S. dictatorship that ever since 24 February 1990 the U.S. Government has imposed on all of its foreign allies for them to join the U.S in imposing against Russia — the only other nuclear super-power and thereby the only effective counter-weight to America’s global dictatorship. The strategy, ever since that time, has been to pick off, one-by-one, Russia’s allies, and bring them into NATO, so as to place missiles right on and near Russia borders, and, effectively, compel Russia to surrender to the will of America’s leaders.

The embarrassing ineffectiveness of the April 14th invasion — it didn’t even get the OPCW, Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, to cancel its planned investigation of the evidence in Douma Syria regarding whether it was Assad and Putin who have been lying, or instead Trump and his foreign allies who were lying — caps what is actually the U.S. Government’s defeat in its decades-long plan for global hegemony, global dictatorship.

The Washington Post reported, on April 16th, that Trump is angry at his “aides” for their falsehoods, misrepresentations to him about what the result would be if he were to select a particular policy-option — their false advice and predictions on the basis of which he had made the decisions that he had decided, on the basis of their advice, to make, and which results did not happen as they had predicted. It reported that:

Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions [of Russian diplomats]. “There were curse words,” the official said, “a lot of curse words.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Exposes British Lies on Skripal, but Trail Leads to US

Russia Exposes British Lies on Skripal, but Trail Leads to US

Russia Exposes British Lies on Skripal, but Trail Leads to US

Moscow says it has proof that the agent used in the UK attack is a chemical weapon patented in the US. So was this a covert operation aimed at ratcheting up tensions between the West and Russia?

The sensational case of the poisoning of the ex-MI6 agent and former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal on March 4 in Salisbury, in the UK, is becoming more and more curious. Under a blinding spotlight from Moscow, the British allegation regarding a Russian hand in the poisoning of Skripal is getting exposed. An engrossing plot in big-power politics is also unfolding. There is stuff here for a Le Carre novel.

Are we witnessing a replay of the false flag Gulf of Tonkin attack of August 1964, the imaginary “incident” concocted by the US military to provide legal and political justification for deploying American forces in South Vietnam and for commencing open warfare against North Vietnam?

To recap, Britain alleged without any empirical evidence that a military grade nerve agent of a type known as Novichok was used in Salisbury, saying it was originally developed in the former Soviet Union, and therefore, Moscow’s hand – possibly, even President Vladimir Putin’s hand – was “highly likely”.

Moscow has maintained, on the other hand, that it had destroyed all its chemical weapons and an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation verified and testified to that.

The British allegation quickly morphed into a large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats (over 100 of them) by western capitals, under heavy pressure from Washington and London. The US alone expelled 60 Russian diplomats, while Britain expelled 23.

Egg on May’s face

Britain is studiously ignoring the Russian requests for samples of the chemical agent used in the Salisbury attack and for consular access to be granted to the former spy’s daughter Yulia. Meanwhile, Britain instead approached the OPCW to investigate.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How The Guardian Fulfills George Orwell’s Prediction of ‘Newspeak’

How The Guardian Fulfills George Orwell’s Prediction of ‘Newspeak’

How The Guardian Fulfills George Orwell’s Prediction of ‘Newspeak’

On Sunday April 15th, Britain’s Guardian bannered “OPCW inspectors set to investigate site of Douma chemical attack” and pretended that there was no question that a chemical attack in Douma Syria on April 7th had actually occurred, and the article then went further along that same propaganda-line, to accuse Syria’s Government of having perpetrated it. This ‘news’ story opened [and clarificatory comments from me will added in brackets]:

UN chemical weapons investigators were set on Sunday to begin examining the scene of a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, which had prompted the joint US, French and British strikes against military installations and chemical weapons facilities near the capital, Damascus.

The arrival of the delegation from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) came as the Syrian military announced that it had “purified” [no source provided, but this — from 7 March 2018  is the only source that existed prior to the April 14th missiles-invasion of Syria, and its meaning is very differentthe region of eastern Ghouta, of which Douma is a part, after a two-month campaign that killed nearly 2,000 civilians [no source provided as regards either the number, or that all of them were ‘civilians’ and that none of them were jihadists or “terrorists”], following years of siege.

The propaganda-article continued directly:

“Units of our brave armed forces, and auxiliary and allied forces, completed the purification of eastern Ghouta, including all its towns and villages, of armed terrorist organisations,” the general command statement said.

No source was provided for that, but this sentence is a sly mind-manipulation, because here is what the Syrian Government’s General Command had actually said: “Statement of the Army General Command declaring Eastern Ghouta clear of terrorism” as headlined by the Syrian Government itself.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Search for the Truth in Douma

The Search for the Truth in Douma

This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine.

War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.

As Dr Assim Rahaibani announces this extraordinary conclusion, it is worth observing that he is by his own admission not an eyewitness himself and, as he speaks good English, he refers twice to the jihadi gunmen of Jaish el-Islam [the Army of Islam] in Douma as “terrorists” – the regime’s word for their enemies, and a term used by many people across Syria. Am I hearing this right? Which version of events are we to believe?

By bad luck, too, the doctors who were on duty that night on 7 April were all in Damascus giving evidence to a chemical weapons enquiry, which will be attempting to provide a definitive answer to that question in the coming weeks.

France, meanwhile, has said it has “proof” chemical weapons were used, and US media have quoted sources saying urine and blood tests showed this too. The WHO has said its partners on the ground treated 500 patients “exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Former OPCW official: no conclusive proof of Russian complicity in Salisbury attack

Former OPCW official: no conclusive proof of Russian complicity in Salisbury attack

But Russia’s denial of past ‘Novichok’ programmes is misleading

  • Nerve agent found in Salisbury does not conclusively prove Russian complicity
  • Russia’s denial of a Novichok programme is true but misleading — a secret nerve agent programme to create Novichok-type agents was run under a different name
  • Western states have extensively researched and synthesized the Novichok class of agents
  • Novichok was most recently synthesized by Iran, details of which were provided to the OPCW
  • Russian Novichok stockpiles were destroyed in the 1990s, but it is theoretically possible that some capability still exists, though no evidence for this is available

The US and its European allies have coordinated the largest collective expulsion of Russian diplomats in history. Russia has promised to retaliate in kind. Yet despite the sense of certainty around Russian culpability in the Salisbury incident, questions remain around the state of the available evidence.

As contradictory narratives proliferate amidst conflicting Western and Russian government statements and media reports, a clearer picture of the secret history of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury poisonings is emerging.

In an exclusive interview with INSURGE, a former senior official at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from 1993 to 2006, Dr Ralf Trapp, said that at this stage there is no conclusive evidence that Russia was the source of the nerve agent used in Salisbury. He pointed to compelling evidence that Russia did run a secret research programme to create Novichok-type nerve agents — and strongly criticised Russia’s denials of that programme. While justifying grounds for suspicion, there is as yet no decisive proof that Russia retained such a Novichok programme or capability today, he said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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