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Former British Ambassador to Syria says OPCW turning into NATO tool for war

It looks like the stage is being set for another show




Between the Skripal poisonings and the staged Douma chemical attack, the West has been on a mission to find a solid pretext for ramping up their hysteria against Russia even further, to ever more so isolate it, and for developing a good excuse to escalate the West’s military participation in Syria with an aim of eliminating the Assad government.

The need for support from international organizations towards these efforts has never been greater. However, up until now, they’ve never been able to turn up evidence which conclusively or convincingly pointed the finger at either of these parties, being poorly orchestrated charades as they were. Now, however, they’ve successfully managed to win for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) the power to assign blame for chemical, and other, attacks.

Additionally, suspected members of the US funded White Helmets group, which orchestrated the Douma debacle, have recently been spotted prepping for another such incident. It looks like the stage is being set for another show, and this time, it might just provide the ending that America and its allies have been working so hard to secure, and that is a good excuse to drop some more bombs on Syria and to potentially launch a US-led coalition invasion to take out the Syrian government.

Former British envoy to Syria, Peter Ford, recently described this agenda to the Sputnik News Agency:

OPCW members have passed the UK’s draft extension of the organization’s powers, with the move harshly slammed by Russia, which said the West will be tempted to struggle for greater influence over the OPCW’s decision making. Former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford has given his take on the motion.

Sputnik: Has the decision come as a surprise for you?

Peter Ford: Not really, because the British and the Americans have been trying for a number of months to recreate a body that previously existed for Syria called the Joint Investigative Mechanism, which did have a power to attribute responsibility for alleged chemical attacks, and this mechanism expired.

Russia, with some other countries, prevented the renewal of the mandate of this JIM, with the British looking for ways to reverse this decision, and they think they have found this through this extraordinary, in all ways, very extraordinary meeting of the OPCW council. And it’s all about Syria, in my opinion. It’s all about finding a pretext for the next round of the Western war against Syria; an investigation is currently underway into alleged chemical incidents in Douma on the outskirts of Damascus in April.

The Western powers have been failing, so far, in their attempt to pin blame on Damascus; another of these commissions which is inquiring on Syria refused to be pressured by Britain and America into pointing the finger at Syria. So, I think in response, the British went to The Hague, where it’s easier to manipulate decisions.

Sputnik: Earlier Moscow dubbed the UK proposal as politicized. Would you agree with that? What’s your take on that statement?

Peter Ford: 100 percent politicized. In fact, the OPCW, I’m sad to say, is being turned into a branch of NATO, an arm, a tool of NATO. Already, the Western powers have immense influence within the OPCW. The head of it, the director, is a Turk; Turkey is a member of NATO. The staff is mainly from Western countries.

The whole culture of the place is anti-Russian, pro-Western. This latest move is a nail in the coffin of the impartiality of an important international institution. It just diminishes the architecture for control of prohibited weapons. This politicization is very short-sighted and in the long term will backfire on the West.

Sputnik: Some experts have noted that Britain was trying to push this initiative to decrease public interest in the lack of proof of Russia’s involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals. Would you agree with that sentiment?

Peter Ford: No, because I think it’s worse than that, because it’s all about Syria. What’s happening here, and it’s very important to understand this, is the countdown to the next war, to the next round of the war against Syria.

What this is, it represents a milestone in the British-led (Americans are not far behind) attempt to prepare a pretext to bomb Syria again, as happened in April. Only next time, the bombing is going to be much heavier. What’s happening with this Hague decision is the conditioning of the international opinion, the conditioning of Western public opinion to prepare for the coming strike.

Sputnik: This event that is now happening in terms of the decision, the OPCW has gone against the West; is that now going to ratchet further actions to exacerbate the situation? Is that the way you see it?

Peter Ford: It is exactly. We see that the Western powers have deliberately painted themselves into a corner. After the carefully targeted, calibrated strikes of April, thanks to Russia, which put on enough pressure to ensure that nothing too terrible happened; after that the Western powers threatened that next time, the brakes will be off, no restraint.

They have put themselves under pressure next time to strike much more heavily at President Assad personally: they will try, I expect, to attack, to bomb his residence, the command and control centers of the Syrian army. This is what they were planning to do in April, but were prevented from doing by Russian pressure. […]

It’s quite possible that a new allegation of chemical weapons use, pinned naturally on the Assad regime, could be carried out in Syria, to be investigated by an OPCW which may conduct a politically skewed investigation to assert that it was carried out by Assad’s government, to be followed up with a swift US coalition assault on the Syrian government in Damascus. With the US openly funding the White Helmets, with White Helmets being openly linked to terrorists operating against the Syrian government in Syria, and with the White Helmets being the one making the assertions of the Douma attack, which was utilized as a pretext for a US led coalition airstrike, it’s not absurd to expect that this course of action could become a manifest reality, especially if the main stream media is prepared to sell it to the public.



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my2CentsGeneral KreegCharles Recent comment authors
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Well that was rather obvious wasn’t it. No big revelation here.

General Kreeg
General Kreeg


Charles Pettibone
Charles Pettibone

There is zero political will for a ground invasion of Syria. It simply will not happen. Assad could murder children on live television while laughing maniacally and gassing Ronald McDonald. There still wouldn’t be a ground invasion of Syria. I could see US and coalition airstrikes- but the last airstrikes were 100% for show (zero casualties and hitting some empty buildings) and I imagine another round would be the same.


When contemplating the horrible schemes of the British government, I am somewhat reminded of Bertrand Russell’s comment about Ancient Greece. The prevailing tyranny (whether of one man, the few or the many) was mitigated by the inefficiency of the police, which allowed a larger proportion of decent people to survive.

Downing Street and Whitehall contain many ghastly creeps with frightful plans – but luckily for us, they are also immensely incompetent.

I am hoping that the presence of Russia in Syria will be a deterrent in any attack by british and american terrorists.


It seems the entire plan is contingent on another false flag chemical attack which will be presented in videos choreographed by the White Helmets and friends. Since a great deal is known about the pending attack, why don’t Syrian and Russian forces simply wipe out those who are preparing to perform the scam? Destroy the White Helmets, their chemical weapons, their leaders, their vehicles, everything. It will take a long time for them to reconstruct and resume their sneaky little scam. Now is a good time to do it since the U.S. isn’t likely to come to their defense just… Read more »


The SAA+allies+regional powers on the ground have made such sacrifices in the last several years, leading them to the brink of an historic victory of such global significance, that they will simply not now allow a US-driven “invasion” from a coalition that has literally run out of significant boots-on-the-ground. The US knows that, even if it succeeded (and that is a very big ‘IF’) the ‘during’ and ‘after’ would come with such a huge financial, political and casualty price tag as to be beyond any justification. The reason Trump is meeting Putin in July is to negotiate the US withdrawal… Read more »

Erik Skjold
Erik Skjold

When will the OPCW publish their forensic findings from Douma? Its been 10 weeks, maybe findings only confirm the bluff. In the Skipal incident it took Porton Down only 10 days to pronounce their findings.


The problem is that to pass a true stories from Syria is extremely difficult because midstream media lie and majority of population listening to them and watching news are convinced about this lie as a true story. Personally think that Russia should engage more actively in a combat in Syria and less be involved with diplomatic involvement seeking for stabilisation in Syria only military operations and victorious side that coming out of it can count on frill success.


I suspect,like many others will, that I can pre-empt the conclusion for any forthcoming
events involving chemicals that the OPCW will investigate. The level of
credibility in international organisations, for me at least, is so low as to be
a negative percent. Also. Can anyone with sufficient knowledge give me an
explanation how ‘Chlorine bombs’ are so deadly, other than damage caused by


Skripal and Khashoggi: A Tale of Two Disappearances

Two disappearances, and two different responses.



Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London’s case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities. Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months, since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of “evidence”, the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a “botched interrogation”.

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi’s body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What’s more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat “rogue killers” and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there “will be severe consequences” for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by “rogue killers”.

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for “a credible investigation” into the disappearance. But other than “tough-sounding” rhetoric, none of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “concerned” by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi’s killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain’s venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: “In Trump’s Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out”.

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed “Davos in the Desert” by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called “reforming” Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain’s rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou



According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.
The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

“With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and US tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained,” he said.

According to Bloomberg US President Donald Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement isn’t that different from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it replaced. But hidden in the bowels of the new trade deal is a clause, Article 32.10, that could have a far-reaching impact. The new agreement requires member states to get approval from the other members if they initiate trade negotiations with a so-called non-market economy. In practice, “non-market” almost certainly means China. If, for example, Canada begins trade talks with China, it has to show the full text of the proposed agreement to the U.S. and Mexico — and if either the U.S. or Mexico doesn’t like what it sees, it can unilaterally kick Canada out of the USMCA.

Although it seems unlikely that the clause would be invoked, it will almost certainly exert a chilling effect on Canada and Mexico’s trade relations with China. Forced to choose between a gargantuan economy across the Pacific and another one next door, both of the U.S.’s neighbors are almost certain to pick the latter.

This is just another part of Trump’s general trade waragainst China. It’s a good sign that Trump realizes that unilateral U.S. efforts alone won’t be enough to force China to make concessions on issues like currency valuation, intellectual-property protection and industrial subsidies. China’s export markets are much too diverse:

If Trump cuts the U.S. off from trade with China, the likeliest outcome is that China simply steps up its exports to other markets. That would bind the rest of the world more closely to China and weaken the global influence of the U.S. China’s economy would take a small but temporary hit, while the U.S. would see its position as the economic center of the world slip into memory.

Instead, to take on China, Trump needs a gang. And that gang has to be much bigger than just North America. But most countries in Europe and East Asia probably can’t be bullied into choosing between the U.S. and China. — their ties to the U.S. are not as strong as those of Mexico and Canada. Countries such as South Korea, Germany, India and Japan will need carrots as well as sticks if they’re going to join a U.S.-led united trade front against China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the record trade surplus that positions China with a bit more leverage than Trump anticipated.

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Via Zerohedge Trump Threatens China With More Tariffs, Does Not Seek Economic “Depression”

US equity futures dipped in the red after President Trump threatened to impose a third round of tariffs on China and warned that Chinese meddling in U.S. politics was a “bigger problem” than Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

During the same interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, in which Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the Saudis are found to have killed WaPo reported Khashoggi, and which sent Saudi stock plunging, Trump said he “might,” impose a new round of tariffs on China, adding that while he has “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and noting that Xi “wants to negotiate”, he doesn’t “know that that’s necessarily going to continue.” Asked if American products have become more expensive due to tariffs on China, Trump said that “so far, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.”

“They can retaliate, but they can’t, they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate,” Trump says, “We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

Trump was also asked if he wants to push China’s economy into a depression to which the US president said “no” before comparing the country’s stock-market losses since the tariffs first launched to those in 1929, the start of the Great Depression in the U.S.

“I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. So far, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports totaling $250 billion, prompting China to retaliate against U.S. products. The president previously has threatened to hit virtually all Chinese imports with duties.

Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Trump quickly turned back to China. “They meddled,” he said of Russia, “but I think China meddled too.”

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China … is a bigger problem,” Trump said, as interviewer Lesley Stahl interrupted him for “diverting” from a discussion of Russia.

Shortly before an audacious speech by Mike Pence last weekend, in which the US vice president effectively declared a new cold war on Beijing (see “Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II”), Trump made similar accusations during a speech at the United Nations last month, which his aides substantiated by pointing to long-term Chinese influence campaigns and an advertising section in the Des Moines Register warning farmers about the potential effects of Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, in a rare U.S. television appearance, China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.

“We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests,” said China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui also dismissed as “groundless” the abovementioned suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that China has orchestrated an effort to meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Pence escalated the rhetoric in a speech Oct. 4, saying Beijing has created a “a whole-of-government approach” to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence’s comments were some of the most critical about China by a high-ranking U.S. official in recent memory. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo got a lecture when he visited Beijing days later, about U.S. actions that were termed “completely out of line.” The tough words followed months of increases tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing that have ballooned to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio, Cui said the U.S. has “not sufficiently” dealt in good faith with the Chinese on trade matters, saying “the U.S. position keeps changing all the time so we don’t know exactly what the U.S. would want as priorities.”

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “probably meet” at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November. “There’s plans and discussions and agendas” being discussed, he said. So far, talks with China on trade have been “unsatisfactory,” Kudlow said. “We’ve made our asks” on allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, he added. “We have to have reciprocity.”

Addressing the upcoming meeting, Cui said he was present at two previous meetings of Xi and Trump, and that top-level communication “played a key role, an irreplaceable role, in guiding the relationship forward.” Despite current tensions the two have a “good working relationship,” he said.

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

The Duran



“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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