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OPCW report on Douma chemical attack points to false flag operation (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 94.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) final report on the alleged chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria last year, which points to a jihadist false flag.

The report manages, however, to provide the necessary cover for the Trump White House, UK, and France to avoid an embarrassing apology for launching an attack on the Syrian government based on yet another White Helmets/jihadist hoax.

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Via 21st Century Wire


The OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has presented its final report regarding an alleged chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria on April 7, 2018. Despite attempts by the Western media to hail it as “proof” that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in Douma – the report says nothing of the sort.

In fact, the report fails to link any of the alleged 43 deaths to apparent chlorine found at the scene of the alleged attack.

Claims of the attack were made by US-backed militants on the eve of their defeat – with the Syrian military retaking Douma the following day. Initial reports claimed sarin or chlorine chemical weapons were deployed through the use of two yellow gas canisters modified as bombs.

No sarin of any kind was found by OPCW inspectors.

While the report suggests two modified yellow gas canisters were used in the attack and that they appeared to have been dropped onto two buildings (locations 2 and 4), the report also mentions that OPCW inspectors found a nearly identical canister in a workshop used by militants to construct weapons.

The alleged “chemical weapons” attack prompted the United States, UK, and France to launch missiles strikes against Syrian military targets on April 14, 2018, long before the first OPCW inspectors even arrived at the sites of the alleged attack on April 21.

No Link Between Chlorine and Casualties

The OPCW report would note video and photographic evidence of alleged victims of chemical exposure could not be linked to any specific chemical including traces of chlorine OPCW inspectors found. The report would specifically claim (emphasis added):

Many of the signs and symptoms reported by the medical personnel, witnesses and casualties (as well as those seen in multiple videos provided by witnesses), their rapid onset, and the large number of those reportedly affected, indicate exposure to an inhalational irritant or toxic substance. However, based on the information reviewed and with the absence of biomedical samples from the dead bodies or any autopsy records, it is not currently possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical.

In other instances, the OPCW report would cite witnesses – including medical staff who allegedly treated victims of the supposed attack – who expressed doubts of the presence of any chemicals at all.

The report would state (emphasis added):

A number of the interviewed medical staff who were purportedly present in the emergency department on 7 April emphasised that the presentation of the casualties was not consistent with that expected from a chemical attack. They also reported not having experience in the treatment of casualties of chemical weapons. Some interviewees stated that no odour emanated from the patients, while other witnesses declared that they perceived a smell of smoke on the patients’ clothes. 

Other accounts reviewed by the OPCW suggest a large number of casualties were owed to smoke and dust inhalation from conventional bombardment.

The report would specifically state (emphasis added):

Some witnesses stated that many people died in the hospital on 7 April as result of the heavy shelling and/or suffocation due to inhalation of smoke and dust. As many as 50 bodies were lying on the floor of the emergency department awaiting burial. Others stated that there were no fatalities in Douma Hospital on 7 April and that no bodies were brought to the hospital that day.

The conflicting witness reports, the lack of any evidence linking chlorine to even a single death on April 7, and other inconsistencies and contradictions make it impossible to use the report’s conclusions as “proof” that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack on the eve of its victory in Douma.

Similar Canisters Found in Militant Workshop

While the Western media has focused on the report’s conclusion that chlorine was present and possibly emanated from the two canisters that appear to have been dropped onto two buildings in the area, another crucial finding has been predictably glossed over.

A militant-run weapons workshop investigated by OPCW inspectors revealed a large number of resources for working with chemicals to make explosives. Among an array of chemicals and equipment associated with making explosives, a yellow gas canister was found.

The report would admit:

Although the team confirmed the presence of a yellow cylinder in the warehouse, reported in Note Verbale of the Syrian Arab Republic (Annex 10, point 2) as a chlorine cylinder, due to safety reasons (risk involved in manipulating the valve of the cylinder, see Figure A.8.2) it was not feasible to verify or sample the contents. There were differences in this cylinder compared to those witnessed at Locations 2 and 4. It should be noted that the cylinder was present in its original state and had not been altered.

The lack of interest by the OPCW in the canister despite the obvious implications of its presence in a weapons workshop controlled by militants calls into question the inspectors’ diligence and agenda.

The canister’s “differences” are owed to the fact that those at locations 2 and 4 were modified to appear as bombs, while – admittedly – the canister in the militant workshop remained unaltered.

The obvious implications of a nearly identical canister turning up in a militant workshop making weapons is that the militants may likely have also made the two converted canisters found at locations 2 and 4. OPCW inspectors found other improvised ordnance in the workshop including, “a number of 20-litre metallic drums, some fitted with crude cord-type fuses, which appeared to have been filled with plastic explosives to serve as improvised explosive devices.”

Western media organizations have tried to dismiss the presence of the canister at the workshop by suggesting it was a “setup” orchestrated by the Syrian Arab Army. Huffington Post UK senior editor Chris York would go as far as referring to the workshop as:

…the rebel explosives lab that had been captured by the SAA days before and which they were desperately trying to make look like a chemical weapons lab.

In reality, the OPCW itself would suggest nothing of the sort, and noted that all of the equipment present was consistent with a weapons workshop. Nowhere does the OPCW suggest anything was altered – including the canister – which the OPCW specifically noted “had not been altered.”

The presence of a canister nearly identical to those found at locations 2 and 4 in a militant weapons workshop provides at least as much evidence that militants staged the supposed chemical attack as the Western media claims the canisters at locations 2 and 4 suggest it was the Syrian government.

In the absence of definitive evidence regarding who created and deployed the canisters found at locations 2 and 4, or how they truly ended up there, a better question to ask is “why” they would have ended up there.

Chemical Weapon Attack in Douma… Cui Bono? 

Why would the Syrian government – in the middle of a major military offensive it was on the literal eve of concluding in complete victory, drop only 2 canisters filled with a limited amount chemicals to kill – at most – 43 people? A simple artillery barrage could kill just as many people – or very likely – many more.

The use of chemical weapons even on a large scale have historically proven less effective than conventional military weapons – and the use of chlorine on such a small scale as claimed in Douma serves no conceivable purpose at all – at least not for the Syrian military.

Despite claims otherwise, the Syrian government has derived no benefit whatsoever had it been behind any of the chemical attacks it has been accused of by militants and their Western sponsors over the course of the Syrian conflict.

The Douma attack – were it the Syrian military – would have served no tactical, strategic, or political purpose. Conversely, it would serve as one of the very few actions the Syrian government could take to jeopardize its victory by justifying a large scale Western-led military attack on Syrian forces.

In fact, just one week after the alleged attack, the US, UK, and France would indeed launch as many as 100 missiles into Syria in retaliation, the Guardian would report.

On the other hand, militants who had been occupying Douma had every reason to stage the attack.

By staging the attack on the eve of their defeat and producing graphic scenes of human suffering – particularly among children – the militants would have a propaganda tool readily able to invoke global public concern, sympathy, and outcry in defense of their cause – a propaganda tool their Western sponsors eagerly amplified through their global-spanning media platforms.

With the United States having previously launched entire wars based on false accusations of merely possessing chemical weapons, the militants correctly assumed the US would use the staged attack as a pretext  for further direct military aggression against the Syrian state – possibly saving them.

The US still to this day cites “chemical weapons” and the Douma incident on April 7, 2018 specifically – as part of its pretext to maintain its illegal occupation of Syrian territory and its continued support of militants attempting to overthrow the Syrian government.

The alleged use of “chemical weapons” by the Syrian government also regularly serves as a primary talking point used by the Western media when attacking anti-war politicians, pundits, and commentators.

The OPCW report’s conclusions are too ambiguous to draw a conclusion one way or the other. The presence of a nearly identical canister in a militant workshop raises serious questions and associated implications suggesting the attack was staged – questions that must be adequately investigated and answered.

That the Syrian government gained nothing from the attack and was only further jeopardized politically and strategically by it – raises questions about motivations that likewise need to be answered before drawing conclusions.

But as the Western media has proven many times before – it is fully capable of producing entirely irrational lies based on tenuous evidence or no evidence at all – and even repeating those lies after being blatantly caught telling them previously.

That the Western media is still attempting to sell WMD lies regarding Syria after being caught fabricating them to justify war in neighboring Iraq should be at the forefront of the global public’s mind when considering their “interpretations” of this latest OPCW report regarding Douma, Syria.

***
21WIRE contributor Tony Cartalucci is an independent writer, researcher and global affairs analyst, and editor and founder of the blog site Land Destroyer. A previous version of this article was published at New Eastern Outlook.

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Why aren’t you guys inviting Mark Sleboda to the live YouTube sessions anymore? Trouble in paradise?

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In my mind, Mark Sleboda became a little full of him self lately.
Was he drunk or high?
Good move to let him rest a little maybe?
Bad TV for RT and Theduran to have him on.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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