The US Has Given Up on the Overthrow of Assad

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by MCP, May 2, 2018.

  1. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    [​IMG]
    https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26...make-underwhelming-case-chemical-attack-fake/

    Russia Brings Syrians to The Hague to Make Underwhelming Case Chemical Attack Was Fake
    [​IMG]Robert Mackey
    April 27 2018, 12:46 a.m.
    Over the objections of chemical weapons inspectors, who are still at work in Syria trying to determine if gas was used to kill dozens of civilians in the former rebel stronghold of Douma on April 7, Russia flew 17 Syrians from the war zone to The Hague, Netherlands, on Thursday, where they all testified that they had seen no sign of a chemical attack.


    A young Syrian boy, one of a group of several Syrians bought to the #OPCW chemical watchdog in The Hague by the @rusembassynl to attempt to prove that the video of the #Douma attack was fake. pic.twitter.com/RtrRWCDXsL


    — Ed Brown (@edmunddbrown) April 26, 2018

    The Syrians were chosen because they had been seen in video that was recorded by an opposition activist in the immediate aftermath of the attack. The activist’s footage showed what looked like frantic efforts in the town’s hospital to treat survivors for possible exposure to a chemical agent, by dousing them with water and helping them to breathe.


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    Even though no one claimed that the hospital had been attacked with chemical weapons, Russia has made undermining the credibility of that video the centerpiece of its effort to prove that no chemicals were used in the Syrian government’s final bombardment of the town, which passed out of rebel hands the following day.


    The group it brought to the Netherlands included several medical workers seen in the footage and one patient, 11-year-old Hassan Diab, who has been described by Russian officials as the star witness in support of its case that the entire incident was a hoax, staged by volunteer rescue workers to provoke Western military intervention against Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


    When Hassan told Russian state television last week that he had been given sweets in return for taking part in filming of the video in the hospital, and his father said the boy had been doused in water for no reason, since there was no sign of any chemical attack, Russia’s United Nations ambassador announced plans to screen the interview for the U.N. Security Council.


    However, Russia has failed to acknowledge concerns that the boy and his father might not have felt free to accurately describe what happened, given that the interview was filmed at a Syrian army facility used by Russian military advisers.


    Former colleagues of the Douma hospital workers told The Guardian that Syrian officials had subjected the medics to “extreme intimidation,” threatening to harm their families if they made any mention of chemical weapons.


    When they arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, Hassan and the medical workers were first taken to the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for a presentation of Russia’s case that the attack was a hoax.


    The joint briefing of the Russian Federation ?? and the Syrian Arab Republic ?? has started at the #OPCW. All national delegations were invited to this unique event with the participation of real witnesses of staged “chemical attack” in Douma. pic.twitter.com/u3Ata9ik0a


    — RussianEmbassyNL (@rusembassynl) April 26, 2018

    During the presentation, text on a screen behind Russia’s permanent representative to the OPCW, Alexander Shulgin, described the footage shot in Douma’s hospital as “fake video,” produced by the volunteer rescue workers known as the White Helmets. But the original video was in fact shot by one of the activists who helps run the Douma.Revolution Facebook pages. The images of the hospital used by Russia in its video analysis were copied from a compilation of that footage posted online hours after the attack by another Douma.Revolution activist, and are clearly marked with one of the group’s logos.


    It is unclear why Russian officials insist on incorrectly attributing that footage to the White Helmets instead of the Douma.Revolution activists. One possible explanation is a preexisting campaign to demonize the well-known rescue workers, who receive funding from Western governments and have documented the aftermath of Russian airstrikes on rebel-held areas. (Earlier this week, Russian state television’s main evening news broadcast tried to argue that the White Helmets had been caught staging atrocities by misrepresenting photographs that were actually production stills from a fiction film about the Syrian civil war as evidence.)


    Russia had ignored a request from the OPCW to allow its inspectors in Syria to interview the witnesses first, and wait until after the investigators had filed their report to present its theory of the case.


    When the Russian briefing went ahead, it was denounced as “a crude propaganda exercise” by 17 nations that boycotted it, including the United States, Britain, and France. Those three countries are convinced that the Syrian government did use chemical weapons, and carried out retaliatory airstrikes two weeks ago, before the OPCW inspectors had even begun their work.


    The Syrian entourage was then presented to the media at a bizarre press conference in which the opposition activist’s video of each of them in the hospital on the night of the attack was projected onto a big screen behind them as they delivered prepared remarks to reporters.


    Hassan Diab shown on video in presser as his father says they were told on April 7th go to hospital. Tyres being burned and smoke. People started pouring water on Hassan. Later told it was fake, saw no poisoning. All in good health pic.twitter.com/CM2VJpuiMA


    — Michelle Clifford (@skynewsmichelle) April 26, 2018

    Many reporters in the room expressed disquiet at the spectacle of the young boy, who addressed them for all of 40 seconds, speaking in defense of the government that has been shelling his hometown for half his life.


    A child used by Russia and Syria….. pic.twitter.com/alcIRxQoX9


    — Rupert Evelyn (@rupertevelyn) April 26, 2018

    In his brief remarks, the boy merely said that he had been doused with water in the clinic, and made no mention of having been enticed with sweets to cooperate in the filming of a staged scene or of any encounter with members of the White Helmets.


    No attack, no victims, no chem weapons: #Douma witnesses speak at #OPCW briefing at The Hague (VIDEO) https://t.co/N0ASiMzsXn pic.twitter.com/QIgWL5BV2z


    — RT (@RT_com) April 26, 2018

    Perhaps the most striking aspect of the event, though, was how deeply beside the point it seemed. For nearly two hours, witness after witness testified that there had been no sign of chemical exposure and no deaths among the patients they treated in the hospital, and Hassan’s father insisted that no one in his family had been sickened by gas, but there was no testimony at all related to what took place that same night in a nearby residential building — where activists had filmed piles of dead bodies, some with foam on their lips, and a large yellow canister identical to those used in previous chlorine gas attacks.


    The exclusive focus on what took place in the hospital that night, in nearly two hours of testimony, was particularly bizarre because two different witnesses told reporters in Douma last week, on a government-led press tour, that their families had been killed by gas in that residential building.


    One witness, Nasser Amer Hanen, told Stefan Borg, of TV4 Sweden, that he had survived the attack but lost his wife, mother, and brothers to gas. When the same man spoke to Seth Doane, of CBS News, inside his ruined home in the building, he led the reporter to an upper floor, where the large yellow gas canister was still resting.





    ==Kyodo" style="-x-ignore: 1">

    Nasser Amer Hanen, who told reporters that he had survived an attack on his apartment building in the Syrian town of Douma, but lost his wife, mother, and brothers to gas, showed the press a gas canister on the roof of his apartment building on April 16, nine days after the attack.


    Photo: Kyodo


    Another witness in Douma, Kahled Mahmoud Nuseir, told Bassem Mroue, of the Associated Press, that his wife and two daughters had been killed by gas in a basement shelter that still had a peculiar smell nine days later.


    Speaking to the AP outside Douma’s hospital, Nuseir blamed the gas attack not on the Syrian government but on the Islamist rebels who held the town until April 8. He also faulted the White Helmets for failing to save his family.


    Although it contradicts the Russian claim that no gas was used anywhere in Douma — and that the images from the hospital were fabricated by the White Helmets at the direction of British intelligence — footage of Nuseir’s AP interview was later obtained and posted online by Press TV, an English-language channel owned by Syria’s ally Iran.


    SEE FOR YOURSELF: Horrific account from eye witness of the alleged chemical account in Syria's Douma links the attack to the CONTROVERSIAL US & British-BACKED so-called WHITE HELMETS group. #TheIsle pic.twitter.com/sr6oiingXB


    — PressTV Programs (@PressTVPrograms) April 25, 2018


    Bizarrely, Nuseir was also interviewed by Russia Today on the same day that he spoke to AP, but the Kremlin-financed network reported that he called reports of a chemical attack fake. RT showed Nuseir speaking to a reporter for its Arabic-language channel and then provided an English translation in which he reportedly said: “people poured water over our heads, repeating that we had been attacked with chemical weapons; somebody ran out from outside shouting about a chemical attack, we don’t know who that was.”


    Despite these conflicting accounts from Douma, throughout Thursday’s news conference, Shulgin and Syria’s envoy, Ghassan Obaid, acted as if the witness testimony made an overwhelming case that there had been no gas attack at all.


    Near the end of the event, Shulgin compared what he called the hoax chemical attack to the Gleiwitz provocation, a false flag attack carried out by Nazi Germany and used as a pretext for the invasion of Poland at the start of the World War II. He also blamed the West’s actions in Syria for bringing the world closer to the threat of direct military conflict between the U.S. and Russia than at any point since the Cuban missile crisis.


    “The world is now at a very dangerous crossroads. God forbid there was any kind of nuclear confrontation,” Shulgin said ominously. “Everyone in Russia says that, God forbid there is another war, we lost 27 million people in the last war, all we want is peace.”


    Speaking later to the state-owned Russian news agency Ruptly, Shulgin said it was “a pity” that American, British, and French representatives had missed the opportunity to hear what he described as irrefutable evidence of a hoax. “Maybe they were afraid to look into the eyes of little Hassan,” the Russian ambassador said. “We caught them red-handed, our Western colleagues, because it’s absolutely proven now: They have been lying — to themselves, to the world community.”



    Top photo: Russia’s permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Alexander Shulgin, left, Syrian Deputy Representative Ghassan Obaid, the young witness Hassan Diab, and his father, Omar Diab, in The Hague on April 26, 2018.
     
  2. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    [​IMG]

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/29/the-us-has-given-up-on-the-overthrow-of-assad/

    by Robert Fisk

    It will be called the great betrayal. And it was a long time coming. But the grim message from Washington to the anti-Assad fighters of southern Syria – that they could expect no help from the West in their further struggle against Assad’s regime or the Russians – will one day figure in the history books. It’s a turning point in the Syria war, a shameful betrayal if you happen to belong to the wreckage of the “Free Syrian Army” and its acolytes around the city of Deraa, and a further victory for the Assad regime in its ambition to retake all of rebel Syria.


    Already Russian missiles and Syrian bombs are embracing the countryside south and east of Deraa and outside Quneitra and Sweida after the opposition fighters refused a negotiated peace last week. Refugees are again fleeing the towns. But the words of the American message to the fighters, seen by Reuters and so far not denied by the US, are both bleak and hopeless: “You should not base your decisions on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us … We in the United States government understand the difficult conditions you are facing and still advise the Russians and the Syrian regime not to undertake a military measure that violates the [de-escalation] zone.”


    When Washington “understands the difficult conditions” its militia allies are facing and says it “advises” the Russians and Syrians not to violate a ceasefire – which was Moscow’s idea in the first place – you know that the Americans are pulling the carpet from beneath another set of allies.


    But the US also realises that its millions of dollars worth of training and weapons have been passed on to al-Nusra – aka al-Qaeda of 9/11 infamy – and that the Nusra front holds villages and positions within the area outside Deraa nominally held by those well-known “moderates” of the FSA (whose mythical strength, you may remember, was once put at 70,000 by one David Cameron).


    Neither the Hezbollah nor the comparatively fewer Iranian Revolutionary Guards appear to be involved in the battle for southern Syria; and be assured that the Americans and the Russians – and thus the Syrian government – have agreed that this should be a Russo-Syrian offensive. Both Vladimir Putin and whoever thinks they speak for Donald Trump will have assured the Israelis that this will be an internal battle and will not endanger the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The so-called Military Operations Centre in Amman – its acronym “MOC” almost sums up its ambitions – is supposed to arm and finance the group of militias still fighting in north of the Jordanian border. But no more, it seems.


    The Israelis have hitherto attacked Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria – but never the cult-Islamist Isis executioners nor Nusra/al-Qaeda. US policy, despairing of ever “collapsing” Assad, now appears to have given up on the armed opposition to the Damascus government, presumably advising Israel that a return to the status quo on Golan which existed before the Syrian war – where Israeli and Syrian forces were separated by a UN buffer zone – is preferable to risking a shootout with Iran or, indeed, with the Syrian army.


    The MOC, according to a former opposition fighter in Damascus, chose to control all rebel activities – in theory, the “FSA” – and specifically refused help four years ago when fighters in the capital sought mortars and artillery to assault the presidential palace. The MOC officers – a British major and a Saudi officer, according to the source – offered only a resupply of small arms. But this was only a warning of things to come. The Kurds have since learned what this means in the north of Syria.


    They, of course, have twice supped from the vile chalice of betrayal. Kissinger served it up to them when he made peace between Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran in 1975, cutting off a $16m (£12m) CIA operation to help the Kurds assault the Iraqi dictator. Then the Americans watched Saddam destroy the Kurds in 1991 after telling them to rise up against the Baghdad regime following the liberation of Kuwait.


    Syria fears that the Israelis will now create their own “buffer zone” below Golan, similar in style, weaponry and ruthlessness to Israel’s former occupation zone in southern Lebanon. This lasted for 22 years, but fell to pieces when Israel’s local Lebanese militia, the South Lebanon Army – as inefficient, untrustworthy and occasionally as fictitious as the “Free Syrian Army” – retreated along with the Israelis in 2000.


    Across the map of Syria, however, it is the West’s power which now appears to be in retreat. If it is prepared to turn its back on its erstwhile allies in southern Syria and in the north, then Russia is the winner (as well as Assad) and all the eggshell militias which remain – in Idlib, along the Turkish border and certainly in the south, are doomed. The instruction from the US to its allies outside Deraa – “surrender” might sum it up best – may be presented as a small victory: Washington can claim to have kept Iran away from Israel. But it will also mean that America and Nato have given up on the overthrow of the Assad family.
     
    COINTELPRO likes this.
  3. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    So what will Trump and Putin have to talk about now in their upcoming summit? If not Golan, then Golden???
     
  4. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    That's a great question. In relation to the question of Syria, it's Assad and the Russians who are holding the ace cards.
     
  5. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    And, as it relates to Golden, (as in “Shower”), it’s Putin and the Russians who are holding the cards. No?

    __________
    EDIT:

    Is this retreat in Syria, the complete failure to say anything derogatory about Putin or the inability to acknowledge even the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 election, etc., — evidence that there is truth of the existence of the so called “Dossier” in which it is alleged that the Russians secretly taped women pissing on trump (“Golden Shower”), etc. — hence, Putin and the Russians are holding all the cards???

    In otherwords, The Blackmail of a Whitemale.

    Of course, these still unproven allegations could be nothing more than dirty politics.

    But, the look . . .
     
  6. trstar

    trstar Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    Assad
    Syria
    had always been Russia’s boy
     
    MCP likes this.
  7. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Pretty much.
     
    MCP likes this.
  8. Mr.Mojo

    Mr.Mojo Well-Known Member Registered

    U.s just March up in your country like fuck this shit y'all leader ain't bendin that knee.
     

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