“Khan Shaikoun” will surely go down in history – at some time when the true history of the war on Syria is written – as the name of the defining moment in the whole six years of the war. Not because anything particularly different or irregular happened in this town, occupied by Al Qaeda-style militants, but because of America’s act of war against the Syrian state that followed it.
This is something that has somehow failed to register, in the minds of Western commentators and “opinion leaders” – that an unequivocal and unprovoked attack on Syrian government forces, so long threatened by NATO and begged for by the Western cheer squads of the “Syrian Opposition”, was finally launched – and at that moment everything changed.
But it’s not the only thing that has failed to register. Even Syria and her supporters were drawn into the war of words over claims and accusations of a Sarin attack, so that little attention was paid to what actually took place in Khan Shaikoun on the morning of April 4th 2017. Even less attention was given to the rationale for the US military’s (“Trump’s”) actions, or the legality of them.
As the “West” doubles down on its entirely fictitious and fabricated claims that the Syrian government intentionally killed dozens of civilians with a chemical weapon, dropped from the air during Syrian government operations against terrorist groups in Hama province, it is time to examine in detail both of these “unattended” matters, dealing with the US missile strike first.
We are all so inured to decades of US “responses” to events in foreign countries that mostly present no possible threat to US citizens at home, that we have forgotten such violent behaviour is contrary to the UN Charter, failing authorisation by the UN Security Council. And the UN Charter is quite categorical – military action against a sovereign state other than in self-defence is illegal.
Evidently this restriction on their freedom of action that has resulted from Russia’s UNSC veto, is against the interests of the “Imperial powers” – the US, UK, France principally – so much thought has gone into devising tortuous justifications for unauthorised actions, as “humanitarian intervention” or “responsibility to protect”. It is worth reading a paper prepared for the UK parliament in November 2013, following the rejection by that parliament of the UK government’s plan to attack Syria after the Ghouta “Sarin incident”.
Although this legitimisation of their own military action outside the UN Charter has been accepted by NATO countries and their populations, and thanks partly to their cultural exceptionalism is considered morally justified, it suffers a fatal weakness even on their terms – the need for conclusive and incontrovertible evidence of the alleged crime and of a state’s culpability for it. For action to be taken, contravening that state’s sovereign rights, the crime must also “constitute a threat to international peace and security.”
The briefest consideration of the Khan Shaikoun “attack” will show that none of these requirements is met, even if one believes that the footage and accounts of opposition activists and “White Helmets” members are genuine. It should be remembered that the use of lethal military force against citizens of a foreign state whether civilians or soldiers, is the “ultimate” crime if these most stringent conditions are not met. It is in fact no different from “international terrorism” except in scale, but the scale is far greater; millions die in the wars that begin with such criminal acts of aggression.
But of course the opposition videos and accounts are NOT genuine, and it is hard to believe that they could ever be accepted as such, leave alone by so many millions of people. Most or all of the video “evidence” purporting to show the aftermath and treatment of civilian victims of a Sarin gas bomb originated from one source – the White Helmets. Enough is known about this UK and US funded propaganda organisation and its record, both of staged “child rescues” and of collaboration with Al Qaeda, to know that those videos are not genuine, even if they appear to be. Such is the view in Syria and Russia, and amongst their supporters in the West, that a White Helmets video automatically identifies its subject as misleading and fraudulent, and unlikely to show what is being claimed.
Such pre-judgement might be seen as jumping to conclusions, but this works both ways; supporters of the Opposition and the supposed victims have long jumped to conclusions that the Syrian Army and Bashar al Assad are always guilty, and on the basis of little more than “hearsay”. In the case of the alleged attack on Khan Shaikoun, this hearsay and “hear-see” was inflated into a “casus belli”, as the US missile attack was launched before any investigation or collection of physical evidence.
This equivalence of pre-judgement, of the White Helmets by one party and of Bashar al Assad by the other, does not however make them in any way comparable; the accusations against the Syrian and Russian governments are allegations based entirely on prejudice and ignorance, while those against the White Helmets and their terrorist associates are judgements based on their record of fabrications and crimes, as well as their cooperation with Al Qaeda and foreign government agencies.
But none of this will change the mind of those in the West who continue to incite aggressive action in Syria based on the lie that the Syrian Army has killed people with chemical weapons. It is understandably impossible for them to believe that this story is not true and never has been, when their leaders and commentators and NGOs continue to repeat it. The two recent reports from the UN’s “Joint Investigative Mechanism”, “certifying” that the Syrian Government was responsible for attacks using both Chlorine and Sarin against civilian targets has practically written this story into history. This is even despite some serious doubts being expressed by the “JIM”, as analysed by MoA.
The certification of the false story of Syria’s use of chemical weapons by all sections of Western society, including human rights NGOs, charities and the UN, as well as governments and mainstream media may make “our” job almost impossible, but it also makes it the only job we must do. For us, this weight of “opinion” – in truth, of prejudice based on misinformation and lies – may count for nothing, but its continuing existence presents a terminal threat to us all.
So what of the actual physical evidence for what is alleged to have occurred at around 6.30 am on April 4th in Khan Shaikoun? Astonishingly there is none – at least none that can be certified. As in the alleged Sarin attack in Ghouta of August 2013, no autopsies were carried out demonstrating the presence of Sarin and its lethal symptoms. Neither were any verifiable and credible environmental samples tested indicating its presence at the alleged site, regardless of its source. In addition, few of the alleged victims shown in the White Helmets bizarre videos demonstrate symptoms of Sarin poisoning – notably cyanosis and paralysis.
In fact the videos show the opposite; rosy-faced children struggling to breathe. It’s worth repeating that Sarin causes rapid paralysis of muscles, and the inability to breathe. This also means that giving Oxygen is useless and in this context is merely a theatrical performance – like the “fire-hose treatment” administered to the victims, which has been shown so many times in TV reports that we now know all the moves by heart.
Once it is appreciated that White Helmets videos are not authentic, but are performances staged to twist and pervert Western public opinion to suit the agenda of Syria’s enemies, new questions follow. If the intent was to demonstrate that the Syrian Air-force dropped a Sarin-filled bomb – that killed eighty people, and “mostly women and children”, then why do we not see scenes like those witnessed following the notorious gas attacks on Kurds in Halabja? Can we really believe that these so-called Syrian “civil defence” workers still have no idea what Sarin victims should look like? Surely they saw what happened in Ghouta three and a half years earlier? (notwithstanding that it too was a fabrication).
But this is simply more evidence that the whole story is a fabrication, along with all the previous stories alleging the Syrian government used Sarin or Chlorine as a weapon against innocent civilians. The only reasonably well certified use of Sarin – or “kitchen Sarin” – was in Khan al Assal near Aleppo in March 2013, where Al Nusra militants appeared to have fired a Sarin loaded missile against Syrian soldiers and “pro-Government” civilians. Russian officials visited the site and took samples, and submitted the result to the UN. The UN agreed to send an investigating team, but opposition forces delayed it for months and “rebel” occupation meanwhile destroyed all the evidence.
In reality, the staging of an authentic-looking Sarin attack would be neither convincing nor effective as propaganda. There can be no “heroic assistance” for victims, because such first responders would likely collapse or die unless wearing full protection – as happened in Halabja. More importantly though, the sight of an immobile corpse doesn’t elicit the emotional response necessary to bypass cognitive processes, in the way that an innocent child struggling to breathe does. Far from being ill-informed about the symptoms and needs of Sarin attack victims, these bogus “civil defence workers” have actually been expertly schooled in performances that hit the right nerves amongst their real victims – the Western mainstream media audience.
We in turn can learn more about their schooling from observing these performances, and some things stand out, epitomised by the child Omran Daqneesh, sitting stunned, wounded and alone in an ambulance.
How can it be that a child, just heroically rescued from a bombed building, is immediately abandoned? Where is his mother to comfort him, amongst all these rough men? How can we help him? Imagine instead a scene of rescue and re-unification, where we can sleep easy knowing someone is helping the poor children of Syria, and hoping finally things will begin to improve?
Wrong message! So they tell us that “no-one is helping” and that we must act now to stop the carnage. These “Syrian civil defence” workers just don’t know what to do, and hospital staff can’t cope either as their hospitals are bombed. And we must act even though the UN hasn’t authorised it.
Well it’s time to end this charade; we simply cannot let it pass any longer, thinking that in time the truth will prevail because the truth always prevails. The truth did not prevail four years ago when Turkish and Saudi-backed militants staged a “Sarin Attack” on Damascus suburbs, and it does not prevail now, in Khan Shaikoun or in Raqqa or in Eastern Ghouta.
While this call may be fanciful – and it’s hard to imagine just what we can do to unlock the millions trapped in the West’s bubble of lies – it is also a rallying cry; we can’t hope to succeed without conviction in the truth and the determination that comes from seeing it constantly denied.