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Rain of fire: US attempt to destablise Middle East

"I dream of snakes ... 
I kill one and a yet bigger one appears ..."
         - Cuban troubadour, Silvio Rodriguez

I refer to the NYT article With the World Watching, Syria Amassed Nerve Gas which does not give any detail of the material released by wikileaks however it does make the following statement:

Sarin gas has been identified by the United States as the agent loaded atop small rockets on Aug. 21 (2013) and shot into the densely populated suburbs of Damascus, killing more than 1,400 people, according to administration officials.

This contradicts the UN weapons inspection team’s mission statement that says Sellstrom’s inspection team was charged with determining whether deadly agents were used in Syria, not who was responsible (my emphasis). All we have from the UN so far is the reports of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon statement on 13 Sept 2013 that a report on last month’s deadly attack in Syria would be “overwhelming” in showing that chemical weapons were used in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, 2013.

No evidence has yet been produced that Sarin gas was used, nor that it was placed on rockets, nor that it was fired into ‘densely populated suburbs of Damascus,’ nor that 1,400 people were killed … unless you accept bald assertions made by unidentified sources curiously referred to in the NYT article as “administration officials”.

Did these events occur and are the perpetrators who the US says they are? Remember WMDs in Iraq. The US has admitted providing Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons to use against Iran in the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s. Yet both the United States and Iraq are now signatories to the convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Has the US simply outsourced its supply of chemical weapons?

No whistle blower has provided evidence of claims by ‘the United States’ that the Syrian government used sarin gas against its own people in the NYT article or anywhere else.

There are Russian counter claims (equally specious?) that rebels are responsible for the chemical attack in Damascus. There is no mention of those counter-claims in the NYT article.

So what assistance do such articles about wikileaks give someone interested in finding out what is happening in Damascus?

All the Murdoch press wishes to do is find a basis for slagging off at Obama for failing to do what the United States does best – bomb civilian populations in countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia, Iraq, Libya, Mali …

Nowhere in the Murdoch press do you see published the deadly use of phosphorus against the civilian population of Gaza by Israel nor do you read of the daily use of toxic water canon and tear gas used against the people of the West Bank (sometimes to deadly effect). No mention either of the cluster bombs Israel used against people in Southern Lebanon not to mention Israel’s nuclear warheads.

The supporters of WikiLeakes and Assange need to ask why they claim that the Syrian Civil War is a sectarian conflict when it is clearly a war for oil, gas and US strategic interest over Iran.

We do not need leaks from the US military to tell us that. Nor do we need leaks to know that Syria is now a member state to the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons whereas Israel is a signatory to the convention that prohibits chemical weapons but has never had its membership ratified.

Israel’s use of chemical weapons against Palestinians is reported weekly – toxic sludge, tear gas, phosphorus are some of the known chemical weapons used by Israel on the West bank and Gaza. The UN Secretary of State never asks Israel for immediate and unfettered access to its nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, as it did today with Syria. [Israel signed the chemical weapons prohibition convention on 13/01/1993 but never ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention].

The Goldstone report found in September 2009 that Israel had a policy of deliberately targeting civilians during its bombing of Gaza. No action was taken against Israel by the UN as a result of the ongoing killing of Palestinians in the Gaza and West Bank. The United States is protecting Israel and its strategic interests in the Middle East over the human rights of people trying to survive new Israel settlements and new military attacks.

Rather than relying on the New York Times, Wikileakes, the European press I recommend that people access the many English language websites in the Middle East particularly for News and Current Affairs. Critical reading of such websites is important, look to the website’s affiliation (Al Manar with Hezbollah, Press TV with Iran, Al Jazeera with Doha etc). A number of the Lebanese Websites are well resourced and therefore provide reliable news updates long before our local press here in Australia. There is a blackout on certain reporting here in FairFax, Murdoch and ABC – this screening for western bias limits what we know about important events in the region. The hegemony of US interest is maintained.

Ian Curr
16 Sept 2013

References
Rain of Fire – Israel’s Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza
Last Train to Mirabad
OPCW Director-General Welcomes Agreement on Syrian Chemical Weapons

3 responses to “Rain of fire: US attempt to destablise Middle East

  1. Syria: Accidental Diplomacy in the Devils' Playground

    “Washington politicians’ chagrin at the prospect of a peaceful resolution makes one thing very clear: they do not care about chemical weapons, they do not care about dead children, and they do not care about Syrians, period. If they did, they might have themselves put forth the fairly unimaginative proposal that Syria give up its stockpile of chemical weapons. They might have not helped to nurture the Islamist insurgency that has hijacked what was once a national struggle for democratic reforms. And they might have put their weight behind a peace plan before the death toll topped 100,000, with a third of the country now refugees from their own land.”

    “We keep hearing on cable news that if the U.S. doesn’t attack Syria, the Iranians may continue to work on their dramatically overhyped nuclear weapons program. But this is a rhetorical feint, meant to obscure a much more grim reality: that Syria is only an appetizer for a much more destructive campaign against Iran, initiated by Israel and destined to be executed by their praetorian American backers. After all, most of the jihadist forces fighting the Syrian government are not better than the current, odious regime of Bashar Al-Assad, and the U.S. and Israel know it. And so what they strive for is not the downfall of Assad, but a state of perpetual chaos in Syria. “

    “Some may argue that what is “threatened” by a stable Syria is the plan to attack and destabilize the Assad regime’s Shia patrons in Iran, a nation which lives in the crosshairs of the United States and Israel, and whose leaders use the threat of foreign attack as justification for a militarist fundamentalism of their own.”

    “The American people, scarred by lies and fatigued from wars that have profited them nothing, came out in massive opposition to Obama’s “punitive” bombing of Syria. It seems they are coming around to the idea that there is no such thing as a humanitarian bombing, and that such conditions for war bring only more war.”

    from Syria: Accidental Diplomacy in the Devils’ Playground” by founder/director of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE NETWORK , posted on 09/16/2013 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iara-lee/syria-accidental-diplomac_b_3934689.html

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  2. One section of United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic reads:

    “49 years old male living in Zamalka, Al Mazraa. He was on the first floor at the time of the alleged incident. Eight of 20 family members reportedly lost their lives. A rocket fell 20 meters away from his residence.”

    According to the UN weapons inspection report ‘M14 artillery rockets‘ were used against civilians in Ghouta, Damascus. They were ‘launched from a single, multi-barrel launcher‘. Samples later confirmed to contain Sarin were recovered from a majority of the rockets or rocket fragments. The UN inspection report discloses the the numbers on the rocket casings and the trajectory of the rockets fired. Yet does not say who fired the deadly rockets. Why? Has anyone in the UN speculated who fired the rockets and why? Is it because the inspection team says in the report that it is

    “continuing our investigation of allegations of other incidents involving the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic and will report thereon as soon as possible.”

    If they say who the culprits are it is unlikely they would get out alive. Hence the inconclusive report?

    Earlier the US admnistration backed by the Murdoch press made claims that the Syrian army shelled the area concerned to prevent evidence from being taken by the UN inspections team. This apparently is not the case as the inspections team has come up with clear findings that rockets carrying about 56 litres of sarin each were used in the attack. They provide photographic evidence of the rockets invovled Yet the UN report makes no clams as to who fired these rockets.

    The report states:

    The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons and believes that this act is a war crime and grave violation of the 1925 Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare and other relevant rules of customary international law. The international community has a moral responsibility to hold accountable those responsible and for ensuring that chemical weapons can never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.

    Is this hypocrisy given the failure of the UN to act on findings by Goldstone that Israel targetted civilians in its attacks on Gaza in 2009?

    And the US and its proxies remains above international law when you consider this report:

    Sarin was used four times against Iranian soldiers in April 1988 at the end of the Iran–Iraq War, helping Iraqi forces to retake control of the al-Faw Peninsula. Using satellite imagery, the United States assisted Iraqi forces in locating the position of the Iranian troops during those attacks (wikipedia).

    Reference
    United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic – Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013

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  3. Thanks, Ian, for a very much needed alternative critical analysis.

    Israel’s chemical weapons came to light when an El Al cargo plane crashed at Bijlmer near Amsterdam. Following the crash a spike in birth defects occurred in the area and hundreds of people involved in the crash came down with serious health problems. Depleted uranium was used in the ailerons of the aircraft which burns and aerosolises at the kinds of temperatures that occur in an aircrash fireball. Later DU dust was found in the hangar housing the wreckage. However, it later emerged that the El Al jet was using a false cargo manifest and that it was carrying sarin precursors. The Dutch government never completed the inquiry and there is evidence that they and other governmental agencies did their best to cover up the whole story.

    Now the WHO is refusing to release its report into the health effects of DU. Israel, of course, stands indited on both counts because there is good evidence it has used DU weapons in Gaza and has stockpiles of chemical weapons about which we hear nothing from the US.

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/1992-el-al-bijlmer-crash-cover-chemical-inferno/5250

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has categorically refused in defiance of its own mandate to share evidence uncovered in Iraq that US military use of Depleted Uranium and other weapons have not only killed many civilians, but continue to result in the birth of deformed babies. (http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-refuses-to-publish-report-on-cancers-and-birth-defects-in-iraq-caused-by-depleted-uranium-ammunition/5349556).

    Cheers,

    Gareth

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