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Alternative Hypotheses in the “Chemical Warfare” Strike Meme

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[5]COMMENT: In the rush to judgement about the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad government in Syria, a number of important points have been eclipsed:

  1. Winning the war via conventional means, Assad had no motive to launch a chemical attack, inviting a military response by the U.S. and the West.
  2. Shortly before the alleged chemical warfare attack, Trump had indicated that he wished to terminate the U.S. military mission in Syria, bringing home the roughly 2,000 U.S. military personnel.
  3. The alleged chemical weapons attack and the response was foreshadowed [6] by Russian chief-of-staff Valery Gerasimov a month before the alleged attack! 
  4. Veteran journalist Robert Fisk has written in The London Independent that there was no chemical weapons attack at all. Rather, Fisk wrote, a strong wind kicked up a dust storm in the ruins of the bombed city and that cloud caused respiratory problems in refugees sheltering in underground clinics. ” . . . . A few days ago, Fisk visited the Syrian town of Douma and spoke to a doctor, who works in a subterranean clinic, in which victims of the alleged April 7th gas attack were being treated. The doctor explained that on that day a strong wind blew a huge dust cloud into the city’s destroyed basements and cellars where numerous people were seeking refuge. Many were therefore suffering from acute oxygen loss and came for treatment to his clinic. ‘Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet,’ shouted ‘Gas!,’ and a panic began.’ This can be seen on a video being used in the West as ‘proof’ for the use of poison-gas.[1] . . . “
  5. [7]The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) in Barzah, destroyed in the Western retaliatory strike, does not appear to have been a chemical weapons production facility at all: ” . . . . It has also become known that the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) in Barzah, which was destroyed during Saturday’s air strikes, had been inspected last November by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). According to the OPCW, the SSRC had not served for research on chemical weapons, as has been alleged to justify the bombings. On the contrary, the Organization found no suspicious substances, nor did it observe any suspicious activities, according to its report that was published on March 23 – three weeks before the bombing.[2] . . . .”
  6. The White Helmets–at the center of the chemical weapons attack charges–have been financed by elements of Western intelligence: ” . . . . Reporter and author Max Blumenthal has tracked [8] the role of the White Helmets in the Syrian conflict. He reported that the White Helmets were created in Turkey by James Le Mesurier, a former British MI5 agent. The group has received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office and $23 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as millions from the Kingdom of Qatar, which has backed a variety of extremist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda. . . .”

1.     “In the Wake of the Bombs;” German Foreign Policy; 4/18/2018. [9]

Douma, April 7, 2018

. . . . A report by the renowned British Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, published in London’s daily “The Independent,” [10] raises questions about the legitimacy of Saturday’s air strikes. A few days ago, Fisk visited the Syrian town of Douma and spoke to a doctor, who works in a subterranean clinic, in which victims of the alleged April 7th gas attack were being treated. The doctor explained that on that day a strong wind blew a huge dust cloud into the city’s destroyed basements and cellars where numerous people were seeking refuge. Many were therefore suffering from acute oxygen loss and came for treatment to his clinic. “Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet,’ shouted ‘Gas!,’ and a panic began.” This can be seen on a video being used in the West as “proof” for the use of poison-gas.[1] The “White Helmets,” a “civil defense organization” of Syrian insurgents are being financed to a large degree by the British government.

No Suspicious Activities

It has also become known that the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) in Barzah, which was destroyed during Saturday’s air strikes, had been inspected last November by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). According to the OPCW, the SSRC had not served for research on chemical weapons, as has been alleged to justify the bombings. On the contrary, the Organization found no suspicious substances, nor did it observe any suspicious activities, according to its report that was published on March 23 – three weeks before the bombing.[2] . . . .

. . . . [1] Robert Fisk: The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack. independent.co.uk 17.04.2018.

[2] Note by the Director-General: Progress in the Elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme. OPCW Executive Council. EC-88/DG.1. 23 March 2018. . . .

2.    “Beware of White Helmets Bearing News” by Ann Wright; Consortium News; 4/21/2018. [11]

. . . . Reporter and author Max Blumenthal has tracked [8] the role of the White Helmets in the Syrian conflict. He reported that the White Helmets were created in Turkey by James Le Mesurier, a former British MI5 agent. The group has received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office and $23 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as millions from the Kingdom of Qatar, which has backed a variety of extremist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda.

Blumenthal writes, “When Defense Secretary James Mattis cited [12] ‘social media’ in place of scientific evidence of a chemical attack in Duma, he was referring to video shot by members of the White Helmets. Similarly, when State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert sought to explain why the US bombed Syria before inspectors from the OPCW could produce a report from the ground, she claimed [13], ‘We have our own intelligence.’ With little else to offer, she was likely referring to social media material published by members of the White Helmets.” . . . .

3.    “Taking the World to the Brink” by Rick Sterling; Consortium News; 4/10/2018. [6]

. . . . As reported [14] at Tass, the Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, predicted the alleged use of chemicals almost a month ago. The report from March 13 says, “Russia has hard facts about preparations for staging the use of chemical weapons against civilians by the government forces. After the provocation, the US plans to accuse Syria’s government forces of using chemical weapons … furnish the so-called ‘evidence’ … and Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts.” . . . .