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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

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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 Pettibonetomlynettechaplin@virgilio.it Recent comment authors
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my2Cents
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my2Cents

Well that was rather obvious wasn’t it. No big revelation here.

General Kreeg
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General Kreeg

Sickening!

Charles Pettibone
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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.

tom
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tom

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.

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

dave3200
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dave3200

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 »

ColinNZ
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ColinNZ

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
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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.

Jack
Guest
Jack

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.

ourblue
Guest
ourblue

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
impact?

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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