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The World: What is Really Happening

The World: What is Really Happening


If you want to understand what is really happening in the world today, a mid-ranking official named Ian Henderson is vastly more important to you than Theresa May. You will not, however, find anything about Henderson in the vast majority of corporate and state media outlets.

You may recall that, one month after the Skripal incident, there was allegedly a “chemical weapons attack” in the jihadist enclave of Douma, which led to air strikes against the Syrian government in support of the jihadist forces by US, British and French bombers and missiles. At the time, I argued that the Douma jihadist enclave was on the brink of falling (as indeed it proved) and there was no military advantage – and a massive international downside – for the Syrian Army in using chemical weapons. Such evidence for the attack that existed came from the jihadist allied and NATO funded White Helmets and related sources; and the veteran and extremely respected journalist Robert Fisk, first westerner to arrive on the scene, reported that no chemical attack had taken place.

The “Douma chemical weapon attack” was linked to the “Skripal chemical weapon attack” by the western media as evidence of Russian evil. Robert Fisk was subjected to massive media abuse and I was demonised by countless mainstream media journalists on social media, of which this is just one example of a great many.

In both the Skripal and the Douma case, it fell to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to provide the technical analysis. The OPCW is a multilateral body established by treaty, and has 193 member states. The only major chemical weapons owning powers which are not members and refuse the inspections regime are the pariah rogue states Israel and North Korea.

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The Global Economy and Political Murder: Why Trudeau Won’t Stop Arms Sales to Saudis

The Global Economy and Political Murder: Why Trudeau Won’t Stop Arms Sales to Saudis

Photo Source 2017 Canada Summer Games | CC BY 2.0

Almost 5,000 miles from the city in which his corpse was secretly buried – in one piece or in bits – by his Saudi killers, Jamal Khashoggi’s murder now rattles the scruples and the purse-strings of yet another country. For Canada, land of the free and liberal conscience – especially under Justin Trudeau – is suddenly confronted by the fruits of the bright young prime minister’s Conservative predecessors and a simple question of conscience for cash: should Trudeau tear up a 2014 military deal with Saudi Arabia worth $12bn?

When Ottawa decided to sell its spanking new light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to the Saudi kingdom, the Saudis already had a well-earned reputation for chopping off heads and supporting raving and well-armed Islamists. But Mohammed bin Salman had not yet ascended the crown princedom of this pious state. The Saudis had not yet invaded Yemen, chopped off the heads of its Shia leaders, imprisoned its own princes, kidnapped the Lebanese prime minister and dismembered Khashoggi.

So the Conservative Canadian government of Stephen Harper had no scruples about flogging off its LAVs – as these little armoured monsters are called – to Riyadh, specifically for the “transport and protection” of government officials.

Now you can hardly accuse Trudeau of being a supporter of the Saudi regime. Back in August, Mohammed bin Salman’s lads ordered the expulsion of the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh and closed down trade agreements with Canada after Trudeau’s foreign minister had complained about the arrest of women’s rights campaigners in the kingdom. The Canadians had made “false statements”, claimed the Saudis – whose own reputation for false statements would soon achieve proportions worthy of a Hollywood horror epic. Trudeau was in the Saudi doghouse as well as Washington’s because, only two months earlier, Trump had called him “dishonest and weak”.

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Robert Fisk: “I Traced Al-Qaeda Missile Casings In Syria Back To Their Original Sellers”

Finally, a journalist for a mainstream UK media outlet is methodically tracking weapons shipment serial numbers and English-language paperwork recovered from al-Qaeda groups in Syria, and he’s literally showing up at arms factories and questioning arms dealers, including officials at the Saudi Embassy in London, asking: why are your weapons in the hands of terrorists? 

Veteran Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk recently published a bombshell report entitled, I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to. In it Fisk recalls a bit of detective sleuthing he’s lately been engaged in after stumbling upon a batch of missile casings and shipment paperwork last year hidden in what he describes as “the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo” with the words “Hughes Aircraft Co/Guided Missile Surface Attack” emblazoned on the side of the spent tubes.

Of course, the Syrian government recaptured the area from Islamist insurgents including al-Nusra terrorists and their allies in December 2016, and has made rapid gains throughout the country’s east and south since; and Fisk has been trekking around the country to see what he can find.

Image source: Washington Business Journal

His “detective story” as he calls it actually seems to solicit the help of the public, and begins as follows:

Readers, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year.

…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…

American and British Reporters Reach Douma, Syria: Discover There Was NO Chemical Weapons Attack

Well-known British reporter Robert Fisk says that a doctor at the hospital which treated the victims of an alleged chemical weapons attack said there were no chemical weapons … and that it was a member of the White Helmets who started the false rumor.

And American reporter Pearson Sharp says the same thing, that none of the local residents heard anything about a chemical weapons attack, and the locals said that the Islamic terrorists faked the attack in order to create enough chaos and confusion that they could slip out of town:

This would appear to confirm what the former British ambassador to Syria says.

Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy

Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy

Oh, the hypocrisy of it. The ignoble aims. The distraction. The outrageous lies and excuses.

I’m not talking about America’s tweet-from-the-hip president and his desire to escape from the cops’ raid on his lawyer’s office – there’s a Russian connection, all right.

And I’m not talking about his latest sleaze. Life with Melania might not be great at the moment. More distracting to sit with the generals and ex-generals and talk tough about Russia and Syria.

I’m not talking about Theresa May, who wants to step out of the Brexit ditch with any distractions of her own: Salisbury attacks, Douma – even Trump. So Trump telephoned Macron, when the poor lady thought she’d won his hand. What is this nonsense?

Macron has now hitched his own wagon to the Saudis against Iranian “expansionism” – and no doubt arms sales to the Kingdom have something to do with it. But how sad that the desire of young French presidents to act like Napoleon (I can think of a few others) means that they devote themselves to joining in a war, rather than pleading against it.

Now we have our spokespersons and ministers raging about the need to prevent the “normalisation” of chemical warfare, to prevent it becoming a part of ordinary warfare, a return to the terrible days of the First World War.

This does not mean any excuses for the Syrian government – though I suspect, having seen Russia’s Syrian involvement with my own eyes, that Putin might have been getting impatient about ending the war and wanted to eradicate those in the last tunnels of Douma rather than wait through more weeks of fighting. Remember the cruelty of Grozny.

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

Famed Journalist Robert Fisk: Canada’s Moral Power Is Lost

Famed Journalist Robert Fisk: Canada’s Moral Power Is Lost

Middle East sage on ISIS, refugees, Harper, ‘short-termism’ and more. A Tyee interview.

Arguably the world’s most famous international war correspondent, Robert Fisk has been travelling to strife-ravaged regions of the world for over 30 years. His columns — he has been contributing to the British newspaper the Independent since 1988 — are trenchant, often angry analyses of missteps in military interventions in the Middle East.

Fisk has interviewed numerous leaders and figures in the region, including Osama bin Laden (three times). The current refugee crisis, created by instability in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, is the worst of its kind since the Second World War, he says.

Fisk argues the bombing campaign against ISIS — of which Canada is a part — is a huge mistake, one that will only complicate matters. “It amazes me,” he wrote in a column in May, “that all these warriors of the air don’t regularly crash into each other.”

Fisk blasts both politicians and the media for lack of historical perspective on the region. In particular, he points to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, in which the British and French colonial powers covertly agreed to carve up much of the Middle East between them. It was a secret agreement that was later exposed by the Russians, one Fisk points to as a valid reason for ongoing resentment throughout much of the Middle East.

Currently on a cross-Canada tour, Robert Fisk spoke to The Tyee about the deepening crisis in the Middle East and how the global community should react to it.

 

The Tyee: Seeing the images coming out of the Middle East, of so much of Syria destroyed, of the things ISIS is up to, of the droves of refugees, of dead children on the beach, people feel a sense that something must be done. You have pointed to the dire complications presented by the bombing campaigns. What is to be done?

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

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