Last month, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the nerve agent used in the attack was delivered in liquid form. Police had previously said they believed the pair had been poisoned at the front door of Skripal’s home as specialists found the highest concentration of the nerve agent on the door.
Almost 200 military personnel in protective suits and boots will spend months decontaminating nine sites in the town.
So the story changes again. The Skripals must have been sprayed with Novichok rather than having been exposed to it through its being smeared on their front door handle by Russians trained in the art of door knob smearing. That makes so much more sense and explains the nine hotspots. But hang on .. Were the Skripals sprayed nine times with a lethal fast acting nerve agent in nine different places or were they sprayed once and trailed the lethal fast acting nerve agent around with them to nine different places? Perhaps there was a Russian with a water pistol following them from place to place and continuially missing until that one last time. It’s a miracle no one else was harmed by this stupendeously clumsy assassin.
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
I sometimes wonder if the point of this theatre of the absurd is to condition us to believe all the improbable and impossible arguments that the government wants to sell to us.
BTW The Wikipedia definition of ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ is jarringly relevant to our current situation:
The Theatre of the Absurd (French: théâtre de l’absurde [teɑtʁ(ə) də lapsyʁd]) is a post–World War II designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work focused largely on the idea of existentialism and expressed what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.
It’s hard to believe that I posted these pictures of some newspapers to Facebook just two days ago. In the space of three days since Monday morning the world has come to the point where the two most powerful nuclear armed nations are threatening to go to war with each other.
Douma is part of the East Ghouta where the Syrian government have been fighting the rebel/jihadi groups that have occupied the area. THey had defeated most of the rebels and recaptured most of East Ghouta when the Douma incident happened and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemical weapons on Douma.
Over the past three days I have posted a lot of stuff to Facebook and taken part in a number of discussions in Facebook groups. I don’t want to lose track of that content so I am reproducing some of my Facebook posts to this blog.
Propaganda and media distortion has been a feature of the Empire’s war on Syria since 2011.
Blaming Assad for all the killings in Syria is part of the West’s strategy to destabilise or destroy that country but people who have been to Syria and spoken to Syrians often report widespread support for Assad and question the ‘Butcher of Damascus’ narrative. This 2013 report by Mairead Maguire challenges that narrative:
“The US and the CIA should stop this illegal and counter productive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and should stay focussed on fighting who our enemy is, the Islamic extremist groups.”
I like this congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard. But Wolf Blitzer’s attempt to blame 200,000 to 300,00 deaths on Assad should be challenged. As well as supporting the insurgents militarily the US and its allies have been waging a propaganda campaign targeting Assad. We should not trust anything we hear on the mainstream media without examining it thoroughly.
For anyone who does not remember the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016. The US was doing its best to talk up an impending massacre a humanitarian disaster Samantha Power asked of Russia “have you no shame?”
Maria Zakharova had this reply from Russia:
When Aleppo was retaken by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies in December we did not see the massacres of civilians that Clinton and much of the US and UK mainstream media predicted instead we saw people relieved, celebrating their liberation from the oppression of the terrorists that Clinton, Obama, Cameron and Hollande had enabled. I highly recommend that you watch this short French documentary featuring interviews with the people of Aleppo:
As East Ghouta is liberated from the terrorists we see moving videos of their hostages exiting the liberated neighbourhoods. They are grateful to the army, they shout ‘God, Syria, Bashar’. This looks like a film produced by a state broadcaster but can anyone look at the faces, the emotions of these people and tell me that they are not genuine?
False Flag in Douma
The Russians informed the UN about chemical armaments found in liberated areas of East Ghouta almost a month ago.
They warned that “In East Ghuta, rebel jihadist fighters were preparing the staging of another alleged use of chemical weapons, which would then be blamed on the Syrian government and serve as a cause for a USA “reprisal” strike against Damascus.”
This video of suffering and dead children is distressing. Maybe it indicates that they were victims of chemical agents but it does not indicate that the were victims of the Syrian government using chemical weapons. It is counter intuitive, contrary to reason, to believe that with the Syrian Army on the brink of victory in Ghouta that they would needlessly use weapons whose use would give the worrld’s most powerful armed forces to attack them.
I don’t know how the chemicals might have gotten to the rebels/jihadists but look at this video from Tom Duggan a British journalist living in Damascus. He is walking through an arms factory in a liberated area of East Ghouta. It is clear that the rebels/jihadists have access to quite sophisticated armaments. It is clear that military supplies are coming in from somewhere.
The stakes are high. I’m not going to speculate about the Skripal case here but the way it has been used is to try to isolate Russia. This fits in with an agenda to attack Syria while Russia is on the backfoot. There is clearly coordination between the US and UK governments.
For me this image says it all – Syria, by the way, is the lady in the middle:
They are liars. And they know that they are liars
Here Syria’s ambassador Bashar Ja’afari responds to the threats of the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Halley, quoting the famous writer Najib Mahfouz:
“They are liars. And they know that they are liars.
And they know that we know that they are liars.
Even so, they keep lying very loudly so”
Exactly so. Everyone who looks knows that the US/UK are lying. Ja’afari tells them that he expects them lie about a chemical attack in order to justify an attack and a month later there is a chemical attack and they are using it to justify attacking Syria.
It is no big secret that false flags are standard practice for the Americans
Speaking of liars, here is Boris Johnson explaining how much the UK was giving in ‘non-humanitarian aid’ (what that) to help the White Helmets and to fund ‘police forces’ in Hama, Aleppo and Idlib, you know, the areas that were occupied by rebel/jihadists aka terrorists, at the time. What justifies setting up police forces in someone else’s country?
Unlike the case in other incidents Russian forces now have control of part of Douma and are able to inspect and invite inspections of the alleged chemical attack site.
The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, opened the meeting by describing the reports about the alleged chemical attack in Douma and the subsequent airstrike against the Syrian T-4 air base. He called for an “independent investigation” of the alleged chemical incident and urged restraint for all sides, in view of the airbase attack.
Russia is deeply concerned by the fact that some capitals, Washington as well as London and Paris, which are “blindly following” their US allies, have engaged “in a confrontational policy against Russia and Syria without any justification,” The Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said during the meeting. He went on to say that Moscow recently faced “slander, hawkish rhetoric, sanctions, blackmail” and even “threats of force.”
When push comes to shove will Russia shove back?
There is no evidence that ‘Assad’ carried out a chemical attack, there is no verifiable evidence that there was a chemical attack, evidence is beginning to emerge that there was no chemical attack.
Update on the march to nuclear war: The West led by the US continues to threaten the nuclear armed bear. Putin is not mincing his words. He says:
We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.
How do we not understand what is going on? Are we really so politically stupid? American dissedent writer Paul Craig Roberts writes:
The world is now faced with the prospect that insouciant Americans will elect a crazed and incompetent criminal or semi-criminal as their president, a person who has declared the President of Russia to be “the new Hitler.” The stupid bitch’s statement is a declaration of nuclear war, and this dangerous, reckless, incompetent, careless person has been selected by the Democratic Party as the next POTUS !!!
The ignorance and stupidity of the American people will destroy the world.
Little wonder that Vladimir Putin, the only responsible world leader other than the president of China, is desperate that the Western media understand that their irresponsible negligence to the truth is helping Washington drive the world to nuclear war.
Putin does not want war. He is doing everything in his power to avoid it. But Putin is not going to surrender Russia to Washington. The trip-point of World War III will be the installation of Washington’s missiles in Poland and Romania. As Putin recently made clear to the imbecilic Western journalists, these missiles can easily and secretly be changed from anti-ballistic missiles to nuclear attack missiles that can strike their Russian targets within 5 or fewer minutes of launch, thus depriving Russia of its retaliatory deterrent. Once these missiles are in place, Washington can issue orders to Russia.
Whatever the evil men and women in Washington who are gambling with the life of the planet think, Russia is not going to accept these missiles.
Where does world leadership reside? In Washington, the war criminal capital of the world that is driving the world to nuclear war, or in Russia whose leadership accepts countless affronts and provocations in an effort to avoid war?
Do we not understand what is going on? What would you do if you were president of Russia and missiles that could destroy your country’s ability to retaliate to a nuclear attack were being parked next door in Romania and Poland? I would launch airstrikes on military bases in Poland and Romania before the missiles were deployed. Putin is, of course, much more intelligent than I am and may come up with a better solution. I hope so.
This is an amusing and not entirely uncritical look at a song that apparently took Russia by storm. Whatever people may think of the man himself the song is actually very good and it’s easy to see why it resonates with many Russians. Putin did not sponsor it but as a piece of propaganda he couldn’t wish for anything better.
Not reported in the British press is the challenge to the apparent conclusion of the Dutch Safety Board investigating the MH17 downing that the plane was brought down by a BUK surface to air missile.
Journalist John Helmer writes:
The Australian Federal Police and Dutch police and prosecutors investigating the cause of the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 believe the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) has failed to provide “conclusive evidence” of what type of munition destroyed the aircraft, causing the deaths of 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
Testifying for the first time in an international court, Detective Superintendent Andrew Donoghoe, the senior Australian policeman in the international MH17 investigation, said a “tougher standard than the DSB report” is required before the criminal investigation can identify the weapon which brought the aircraft down, or pinpoint the perpetrators. Their criminal investigation will continue into 2016, Donoghoe told the Victorian Coroners Court (lead image) on Tuesday morning. He and other international investigators are unconvinced by reports from the US and Ukrainian governments, and by the DSB, of a Buk missile firing. “Dutch prosecutors require conclusive evidence on other types of missile,” Donoghoe said, intimating that “initial information that the aircraft was shot down by a [Buk] surface to air missile” did not meet the Australian or international standard of evidence.
This article from the Irish Times also casts doubts on conclusions reached by the DBS:
The Dutch government has been warned that the criminal case against those who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 could be undermined because the Ukrainian security service, the SBU, which has provided key evidence, is widely regarded as institutionally corrupt.
Both justice minister Ard van der Steur and the Dutch public prosecutor’s office are coming under increasing pressure to make statements about the integrity of the evidence gathered by the SBU following a string of scandals, including the sacking of its boss, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko.
The SBU has played a crucial role in two elements of the MH17 investigation. It has handed over phone conversations between pro-Russian rebels intercepted shortly before the jet, with 298 passengers and crew on board, was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile on July 17th, 2014.
It was also responsible for securing the main elements of the Boeing 777’s shattered fuselage in the hours after it crashed in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, spreading debris over 50sq km.
The clip is from the protest I attended in Parliament Square on Tuesday last week, the day before the UK Parliament’s decision to bomb Daesh in Syria without Syrian government invitation or consent. Here are some stories related to the conflict:
1. Syria on Monday accused the U.S.-led coalition of bombing an army camp in the eastern part of the country, killing three Syrian soldiers and wounding 13, but a senior U.S. military official said the Pentagon is “certain” the strike was from a Russian warplane … http://dailym.ai/1PW5eZS
This cartoon pretty accurately illustrates the confused situation of two coalitions purported working to defeat a common enemy but at the same time having competing goals. The depiction of the US as an innocent bystander is of course laughable.
2. Crowing about the vote in Parliament to bomb Daesh in Syria, George Osborne boasted to the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in the US that Britain has “got its mojo back” after the failure to get agreement to attack the Assad government two years earlier. http://bit.ly/1R8n7V5
I don’t mean to be crude but isn’t Osborne basically saying that the thought of being able to hurt people makes him horny, and isn’t that pretty much the definition of a dickhead.
3. Germany’s vice-chancellor has publicly accused Saudi Arabia of financing terrorists in the West.
Sigmar Gabriel claimed the country was funding mosques linked to extremism, which he said were becoming a threat to public security. http://ind.pn/1m8WiDJ
I agree with the vice-chancellor but must ask why his country is joining a coalition that includes the people who have been sponsoring extremism.
4. According Russian Official’s Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov Two Turkish F-16s penetrated Syrian airspace. Russian Sukhoi SU-34 interceptors were called to intercept Turkish F-16s. The F-16s were warned off by the Russians and left Syrian airspace. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b75_1449522593
“The US and the CIA should stop this illegal and counter productive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and should stay focussed on fighting who our enemy is, the Islamic extremist groups.”
I like this congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard. But Wolf Blitzer’s attempt to blame 200,000 to 300,00 deaths on Assad should be challenged. As well as supporting the insurgents militarily the US and its allies have been waging a propaganda campaign targeting Assad.
Blaming Assad for all or the majority of the killings in Syria is part of the West’s strategy to destabilise or destroy that country but people who have been to Syria and spoken to Syrians often report widespread support for Assad and question the ‘Butcher of Damascus’ narrative. This 2013 report by Mairead Maguire challenges that narrative:
I think it is well known that the majority of Syrians support their president and it is known that the West and its regional allies are using the Islamist insurgents as proxies in a war against Assad. In this video a BBC journalist is accused of spreading lies:
This is worth watching. John Simpson presents the standard BBC/ mainstream media trope that Russia is taking an aggressive or threatening geopolitical stance. Putin’s response is very clear and that should be the end of it in a rational world instead Simpson’s failed argument continues to be trotted out by the political and media establishment. Why? How can anyone take this anti Russia rhetoric seriously?
John Simpson, Bbc: Western countries almost universally now believe that there’s a new Cold War and that you, frankly, have decided to create that. We see, almost daily, Russian aircraft taking sometimes quite dangerous manoeuvres towards western airspace. That must be done on your orders; you’re the Commander-in-Chief. It must have been your orders that sent Russian troops into the territory of a sovereign country – Crimea first, and then whatever it is that’s going on in Eastern Ukraine. Now you’ve got a big problem with the currency of Russia, and you’re going to need help and support and understanding from outside countries, particularly from the West. So can I say to you, can I ask you now, would you care to take this opportunity to say to people from the West that you have no desire to carry on with the new Cold War, and that you will do whatever you can to sort out the problems in Ukraine? Thank you!
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for your question. About our exercises, manoeuvres and the development of our armed forces. You said that Russia, to a certain extent, contributed to the tension that we are now seeing in the world. Russia did contribute but only insofar as it is more and more firmly protecting its national interests. We are not attacking in the political sense of the word. We are not attacking anyone. We are only protecting our interests. Our Western partners – and especially our US partners – are displeased with us for doing exactly that, not because we are allowing security-related activity that provokes tension.
Let me explain. You are talking about our aircraft, including strategic aviation operations. Do you know that in the early 1990s, Russia completely stopped strategic aviation flights in remote surveillance areas as the Soviet Union previously did? We completely stopped, while flights of US strategic aircraft carrying nuclear weapons continued. Why? Against whom? Who was threatened?
So we didn’t make flights for many years and only a couple of years ago we resumed them. So are we really the ones doing the provoking?
So, in fact, we only have two bases outside Russia, and both are in areas where terrorist activity is high. One is in Kyrgyzstan, and was deployed there upon request of the Kyrgyz authorities, President Akayev, after it was raided by Afghan militants. The other is in Tajikistan, which also borders on Afghanistan. I would guess you are interested in peace and stability there too. Our presence is justified and clearly understandable.
Now, US bases are scattered around the globe – and you’re telling me Russia is behaving aggressively? Do you have any common sense at all? What are US armed forces doing in Europe, also with tactical nuclear weapons? What are they doing there?
Listen, Russia has increased its military spending for 2015, if I am not mistaken, it is around 50 billion in dollar equivalent. The Pentagon’s budget is ten times that amount, $575 billion, I think, recently approved by the Congress. And you’re telling me we are pursuing an aggressive policy? Is there any common sense in this?
Are we moving our forces to the borders of the United States or other countries? Who is moving NATO bases and other military infrastructure towards us? We aren’t. Is anyone listening to us? Is anyone engaging in some dialogue with us about it? No. No dialogue at all. All we hear is “that’s none of your business. Every country has the right to choose its way to ensure its own security.” All right, but we have the right to do so too. Why can’t we?
Finally, the ABM system – something I mentioned in my Address to the Federal Assembly. Who was it that withdrew unilaterally from the ABM Treaty, one of the cornerstones of the global security system? Was it Russia? No, it wasn’t. The United States did this, unilaterally. They are creating threats for us, they are deploying their strategic missile defence components not just in Alaska, but in Europe as well – in Romania and Poland, very close to us. And you’re telling me we are pursuing an aggressive policy?
If the question is whether we want law-based relations, the answer is yes, but only if our national economic and security interests are absolutely respected.
We negotiated WTO accession for 19 years or so, and consented to compromise on many issues, assuming that we are concluding cast-iron agreements. And then… I will not discuss who’s right and who’s wrong (I already said on many occasions that I believe Russia behaved the right way in the Ukrainian crisis, and the West was wrong, but let us put this aside for now). Still, we joined the WTO. That organisation has rules. And yet, sanctions were imposed on Russia in violation of the WTO rules, the international law and the UN Charter – again unilaterally and illegitimately. Are we in the wrong again?
We want to develop normal relations in the security sphere, in fighting terrorism. We will work together on nuclear non-proliferation. We will work together on other threats, including drugs, organised crime and grave infections, such as Ebola. We will do all this jointly, and we will cooperate in the economic sphere, if our partners want this.