Aletho News


Be Careful What You Ask For: Wasting Time with Manafort, Cohen, and Russiagate

By Jim Kavanagh | The Polemicist | August 23, 2018

So, Paul Manafort, described by the New York Times as “a longtime lobbyist and political consultant who worked for multiple Republican candidates and presidents,” was convicted of bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to report a foreign bank account. And Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, pled guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud (making false statements to obtain loans), and breaking campaign finance laws by paying off two women who claimed to have had sexual affairs with Trump. Because Cohen says those payoffs were made at Trump’s direction, that is the one charge that directly implicates Trump.

On the basis of the these results, the NYT editorial board insists: “Only a complete fantasist … could continue to claim that this investigation of foreign subversion of an American election, which has already yielded dozens of other indictments and several guilty pleas, is a ‘hoax’ or ‘scam’ or ‘rigged witch hunt.’” Democrats concur, saying the results “put the lie to Mr. Trump’s argument that Mr. Mueller was engaged in a political investigation.”

But these crimes are tax fraud, money laundering, and credit app padding that have nothing to do with Donald Trump, and campaign-finance violations related to what a critic of Trump aptly describes as “a classic B-team type of bumbling screw-up of covering up mistresses.” I question the level of word play, if not fantasizing, necessary to claim that these crimes validate “this investigation of foreign subversion.” None of them has anything to do with that. The perils of this, that, these, and those.

Do these results disprove that the Mueller probe is “a political investigation”? I think they imply quite the opposite, and quite obviously so.

Why? Because these convictions would not have occurred if Hillary Clinton had been elected president. There would be no convictions because there would have been no investigation.

If Hillary had been elected, all the crimes of Manafort and Cohen—certainly those that took place over many years before the election, but even, I think, those having to do with campaign contributions and mistress cover-ups—would never have been investigated, because all would have been considered right with the political world.

The Manafort and Cohen crimes would have been ignored as the standard tactics of the elite financial grifting—as well as of parasitism on, and payoffs by, political campaigns—that they are. Indeed, there would have been no emergency, save-our-democracy-from-Russian-collaboration, Special Counsel investigation, from which these irrelevant charges were spun off, at all.

The kinds of antics Manafort and Cohen have been prosecuted for went unnoticed when Donald Trump was a donor to the Democratic and Republican parties, and if he had stayed in his Tower doling out campaign contributions, they still would be. It’s only because he foolishly won the Presidency against the wishes of the dominant sectors of the ruling class that those antics became the target of prosecutorial investigation. Lesson to Donald: Be careful what you wish for.

If Trump weren’t such an idiot, he probably would have realized that this is what happens when you run for president without prior authorization from the ruling classes, and win. #ManafortTrial #MichaelCohen #Trump

— Consent Factory (@consent_factory) August 21, 2018

What the NYT calls “a culture of graft as well as corruption” that “suffused” the Trump campaign is part and parcel of a culture of politico-capitalist corruption that suffuses American electoral politics in general. Manafort, who has indeed been “a longtime lobbyist and political consultant,” is only one in a long, bipartisan line that “enrich [themselves] by working for some of the world’s most notorious thugs and autocrats.”

Have you heard of the Podestas? The Clinton Foundation? Besides, the economic purpose of American electoral politics is to funnel millions to consultants and the media. Campaign finance law violations? We’ll see how the lawsuit over $84 million worth of funds allegedly transferred illegally from state party contributions to the Clinton campaign works out. Does the media report, does anybody know or care, about it? Will anybody ever go to prison over it?

The Republicans and Democrats would just as soon leave this entire culture of graft and corruption undisturbed by the prosecutorial apparatus of the state. That kind of thing can get out of hand. Only because the election of Donald Trump was a mistake from the establishment point of view has that apparatus been sicced on him. The frantic search, anywhere and everywhere, for some legal charges that can stick to Trump is driven by a burning desire to get something on Donald Trump that will fatally wound him politically, and serve as “objective” grounds for impeachment or resignation.

So, it’s my contention that, without the political opposition to Donald Trump as president, none of this legal prosecution would be taking place. The convictions of Manafort and Cohen don’t put a lie to the idea that the Mueller investigation is political; they are an effect of the fact that it is.

At any rate, there can be no doubt that the Manafort and Cohen convictions have upped the political ante for everybody. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal (second wealthiest Senator; net worth ~ $80 million) has now invoked the dreaded word, from which it’s hard to retreat: “We’re in a Watergate moment.”

Yup, the anti-Trump establishment, led by the Democrats, has now succeeded, via a legal ground game, in moving the ball into the political red zone where impeachment talk is unavoidable. But going forward from here, the plays and paths available are very dangerous to the establishment and the Democrats themselves, and the whole game is getting to the point where it can—indeed, almost inevitably will—seriously disrupt the system they want to protect.

First of all, the Democrats will now face increasing demands for impeachment from the impassioned members of their base whom they have riled up to see Trump as the epitome of the Putin-Nazi evil that threatens “our democracy.” If the Democrats insist these convictions are not just matters of financial hijinx, irrelevant to Mueller’s “Russia collusion” investigation, and irrelevant in fact to anything of political substance; if they assert that the payoffs to Stormy and Karen (the only acts directly involving Trump) disqualify Trump for the presidency, then they will have no excuse but to call for Trump’s impeachment, and act to make it happen. Their base will demand that Democratic candidates run on that promise, and if the Democrats re-take the House, that they begin impeachment proceedings immediately.

So, if, after all the “only a complete fantasist” talk, the Democrats don’t act to impeach Trump, they will further alienate their base, and drive more liberals and progressives to withhold their votes, if not abandon the party altogether. And evil Putin-Nazi Trump will be strengthened.

If they try to impeach and fail (which is likely), well, then, as happened to the Republicans with Clinton, they will just look stupid, and will be punished for having wasted the nation’s political time and energy foolishly. And Trump will be strengthened.

If they were to impeach, convict, and remove Trump (even by forcing a resignation), a large swath of the population would conclude, correctly, that a ginned-up litigation had been used to overturn the result of the 2016 election, that the Democrats had gotten away with what the Republicans couldn’t in 1998-9. That swath of the population would likely withdraw completely from electoral politics, leaving all their problems and resentments intact—hidden for a while, but sure to erupt in some other ways. It would deeply undermine any notion that the political system holds the confidence of the people, and intensify division, disruption, and the sense of incipient civil war in the country more than any number of Russian Facebook posts.

Furthermore, if the Democrats were successful in removing Trump, their own base would be confronted with the terrible beauty of the Pence presidency to which they had given birth. After such a fight, Pence, who is a much more serious, organized, and ideologically-coherent religious proto-fascist than Trump, will benefit from the inevitable propensity of Democrats to calm things down and protect the stability of the system. Progressive Democrats will find, again, that the two-party system has produced no good result. In other words, the result of a successful impeachment effort might very well be more disaffection from “our democracy” by Democrats.

In short, through a process of litigation and prosecution, the Democrats are getting what they asked for: The field of political discourse and action will now increasingly center on the possibility of removing or impeaching the president. Given their construction of the Manafort-Cohen verdicts, they must move forward on that, or they will be perceived as weak and back-pedaling, and Trump will be strengthened. But if they do move forward, that will initiate a political battle that will tear the country apart and end up either with their defeat or the victory of Mike Pence.

Of course, the Democratic leadership knows all this. Which is why they have always said they do not want to push for impeachment or removal, and probably will not. They also know—and they know that Trump’s supporters know—that a campaign-law violation has no more political substance than Bill Clinton’s perjury. They know that they are not likely to win that fight in the Senate. They know the can of worms they are opening with charges that could be levied against most rich politicians. And, most importantly, they know the fight they will have to wage will be intensely divisive and will deeply undermine confidence in the political system, however it ends up.

The Democrats much prefer to have Trump in office to kick around politically. The most likely scenario is that they will make a cloakroom agreement with Republicans not to go too far, while they continue to whip up Trump-Putin “Russiagate” fever among their constituency. They will continue to stoke anticipation of a smoking “collusion” gun from Mueller, which will probably never come. The Democrats are not really after impeaching Trump; they are after stringing along their progressive voters.

In the meantime, the delightful Trump-effect—his constant embarrassment of American political self-righteousness and discomfiting of both political parties—will continue apace.

By the way, for those who think that Manafort’s conviction portends a smoking gun, based on his work for “pro-Kremlin Viktor Yanukovych,” as the NYT and other liberals persistently call him, I would suggest looking at this Twitter thread by Aaron Maté. It’s a brilliant shredding of Rachel Maddow’s (and, to a lesser extent, Chris Hayes’s) version of the deceptive implication—presented as an indisputable fact—that Manafort’s work for Yanukovych is proof that he (and by extension, Trump) was working for Putin. As Maté shows, that is actually indisputably false. Manafort was working hard to turn Yanukovych away from Russia to the EU and the West, and the evidence of that is abundant and easily available. It was given in the trial, though you’d never know that from reading the NYT or listening to MSNBC. As a former Ukraine Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “If it weren’t for Paul, Ukraine would have gone under Russia much earlier. He was the one dragging Yanukovich to the West.” And the Democrats know this.

And if you think Cohen is harboring secret knowledge of Trump-Russia collusion that he’s going to turn over to Mueller, take look at Maté’s thread on that.

We are now entering a new period of intense political maneuvering that’s the latest turning point in the bizarre and flimsy “Russiagate” narrative. I’ve been asked to comment on that a number of times over the past two years, and each time I or one of my fellow commentators would say, “Why are we still talking about this?” It was originally conjured up as a Clinton campaign attack on Trump, but, to my and many others’ surprise and chagrin, it somehow morphed into the central theme of political opposition to Trump’s presidency.

Donald Trump is a horrid political specimen. I witnessed his flourishing into apex narcissism and corruption over decades in New York City, as chronicled by the dogged reporter, Wayne Barrett, and I would be surprised if there weren’t financial crimes in his closet that any competent prosecutor could ferret out. Anyone who knows his history knows that this is the kind of dirt the Mueller investigation was most likely to find on Donald Trump; anyone who’s honest knows that this is the kind of dirt it was meant to find. Russiagate was a pretext to dig around everywhere in his closet. Trump was clueless about the trap he was setting for himself, and has been relentlessly foolish in dealing with it. It is a witch hunt, and he’s riding around on his broom, skywriting self-incriminating tweets.

There are a thousand reasons to criticize Donald Trump—his racism, his stupidity, his infantile narcissism, his full embrace of Zionist colonialism with its demand to attack Iran, his enactment of Republican social and economic policies that are destroying working-class lives, etc. That he is a Kremlin agent is not one of them. His election was a symptom of deep pathologies of American political culture that we must address, including the failure of the “liberal” party and of the two-party system itself. That Donald Trump is a Russian agent is not one of them. There are a number of very good justifications for seeking his impeachment, starting with the clear constitutional crime of launching a military attack on another country without congressional authorization. That he is a Kremlin agent is not one of them.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party and its allied media do not want to center the fight on these substantive political issues. Instead, they are centering on this barrage of Russiagate litigation—none of which yet proves, or even charges, Russian “collusion”—which they are using as a substitute for politics. And, in place of opposition, they’re substituting uncritical loyalty to the heroes of the military-intelligence complex and “our democracy” that only a complete fantasist could stomach. I mean, when you get to the point that you’re suspecting John Bolton’s “ties to Russia”….

Now, with the Manafort and Cohen convictions, the Russiagate discourse is moving to a new stage, and it’s unlikely that we will ever stop talking about it, as long as Trump is president. Nothing good can come of it.

Our country is in, and on the verge of, multiple crises that threaten to destroy it. That Donald Trump is a Russian agent is not one of them. Political time is precious.

What a waste.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , , , , , | 2 Comments

UNRWA head: ‘One cannot simply wish away 5m people’

MEMO | August 23, 2018

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has spoken out against efforts underway to see the organisation dismantled, stating: “One cannot simply wish away five million people”.

Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), made the remarks in an interview with Foreign Policy.

Krahenbuhl also spoke to the impact US funding cuts have already had on URNWA’s operations, noting that in the Gaza Strip, the agency “had to announce cuts to some of our emergency services like community mental health, job creation” and “there was even a risk for our food distribution”.

According to the Swiss diplomat, the protests in response to job cuts led to UNRWA losing control of its compound in Gaza for “about 20 days”.

Asked by Foreign Policy about the claim made by Israel and the Trump administration that “Palestinians are the only people in the world who are allowed to pass their refugee status down through generations,” Krahenbuhl said this was “clearly a misrepresentation”.

“UNRWA, in ways that are no different from the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], considers children and descendants of refugees as refugees,” he said, before citing Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Burundi and Sudan as cases of protracted refugee situations where “the children and grandchildren of the original refugee[s]” are also considered refugees.

“It rests on the notion that family unity, the principle of family unity, is keeping families united and together as one of the key parameters of managing refugee crises,” he added.

Pressed as to what life would be like for refugees were UNRWA to be dismantled – a key demand of many Israeli and US politicians – Krahenbuhl replied:

“If UNRWA didn’t exist tomorrow, and even if UNHCR didn’t exist, the world would still have to tackle the reality of protracted, long-term refugee situations that are impacting the well-being of people, but also the security and stability of states in many parts of the world. One cannot simply wish away five million people”.

Read also:

Politicising UNRWA

The plan to end UNRWA will not take away Palestinians’ right of return

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UK Labour self-destructs under ‘anti-Semitism’ onslaught

Einstein’s famous quote, which most have never heard of. Now you know why.
By Stuart Littlewood | Veterans Today | August 22, 2018

The ‘anti-Semitism’ rumpus engulfing Jeremy Corbyn and tearing the Labour Party apart comes at the very moment when the country needs an alert and dynamic Opposition to May’s shambolic administration. The campaign, so obviously orchestrated by powerful pro-Israel interest groups to bring down Corbyn, threatens to derail all prospect of worthwhile change at the next election, which could be called anytime given the chaos over Brexit. This would be a calamity not just for Labour but the whole country.

The distraction is such a blot on the political landscape and so disruptive that Corbyn must neutralise it without giving ground. The question is how.

Clarity please – who are the Semites?

What is the argument about? It’s the S-word, ‘Semitism’. At least, that’s the cover-story. The real issue, as many realise, is something deeper. But let’s stick with ‘anti-Semitism’, which is the weapon. It is stupid to go to war without asking questions. So who exactly are the Semites? They may not be who they seem, or who we’re told they are. So let us first deal with the cover story, anti-Semitism, by setting up a learned panel to review the research by Shlomo Sand, Arthur Koestler, Johns Hopkins University and others, turn the S-word inside out, shake it all about, and establish (if that’s possible) who is, and who is not Semitic enough to be offended by certain remarks.

For example, DNA research by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and published by the Oxford University Press in 2012 on behalf of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, found that the Khazarian Hypothesis is scientifically correct, meaning that most Jews are Khazars.

The Khazarians were never in ancient Israel. They converted to Talmudic Judaism in the 8th Century. Even if you believe the myth that God gave the land to the Israelites, He certainly didn’t give it to the Khazarians. Russian and East European Jews like the thug Lieberman, Israel’s defence minister, and countless others who flooded into the Holy Land intending to kick the Palestinians out, have no biblical or ancestral claim to the land.

Probably no more than 2% of Jews in Israel are actually Israelites, according to the findings. So most of those living today who claim to be Jews are not descended from the ancient Israelites at all. Palestinians, who are indigenous to the Holy Land, are the real Semites.

Of course, there’s no rush by Israelis or their admirers to acknowledge this.

Has the Johns Hopkins study been refuted? If they and others who came to the same conclusion have got it right, the whole anti-Semitism thing becomes an upside-down nonsense – a hoax – in which the anti-Semites are actually the racist Israeli regime and its Zionist stooges who stalk the corridors of power and have been oppressing the Palestinians for decades with impunity.

Until the topic is thoroughly aired and we have clarity, all anti-Semitism allegations ought to be withdrawn. And no organisation, let alone the Labour Party, should import any definition of anti-Semitism onto its rulebook without looking into the basics.

In the meantime, yes, Jeremy Corbyn needs to dislodge the anti-Jew morons and racist crackpots, of which there are many in all parties. He should also disband Labour Friends of Israel, an aggressive mouthpiece for a foreign terror regime that has no place in British politics.

Job done – Israel’s stooges now in control and doing the dirty work

Meanwhile the concerted fear-mongering by the Zionist Inquisition and browbeating by Jewish community leaders seems to have worked. As I write, Jeremy Corbyn is touring Scotland talking about important things like his ‘Build it in Britain’ plan to regenerate Scottish industry. But the media are gloating over a story involving a former Scottish Labour MP being suspended by his local constituency party and publicly shamed for alleged anti-Semitic remarks – on the strength of just one complaint apparently.

Furthermore the local party executive, in a statement, have already found him guilty. iNews and other media outlets report Renfrewshire North and West Constituency Labour Party Executive Committee as saying: “We fully condemn the anti-Semitic comments expressed by Jim Sheridan, and it is right that he is subject to a full investigation by the Labour Party…. The views expressed by Jim Sheridan in no way reflect the views of the members of the Labour Party in the Renfrewshire North and West constituency…. [His] comments are in direct conflict with the Labour Party’s values of anti-racism, equality and solidarity.”

That’s before he’s had a chance to defend himself.

Cllr Sheridan had tweeted: “For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering. No longer, due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”

Bearing in mind that the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies claim to represent the Jewish community in the UK and have been instrumental in the damaging anti-Semitism campaign against Labour and Corbyn, it is difficult to see anything objectionable in Cllr Sheridan’s remark. But it amounts to a flogging offence, it seems, in the minds of some Labour officials.

Cllr Sheridan said he was restricted from making comment at this stage but told me, as a matter of fact: “I haven’t had a hearing yet or a date for that to happen. You may wish to know that I visited Auschwitz along with a group of schoolchildren and fellow MPs and saw at first hand the horrors and felt the pain and anguish the Jewish prisoners must have felt. Also, in all the years as an MP I signed the annual Holocaust remembrance book in the House of Commons.”

Does that sound like an ‘anti-Semite’ speaking?

In Renfrewshire they seem hell-bent on destroying the Labour Party’s credibility without any further help from the Israel lobby. It is a vivid example of self-harm by brainwashed twits from within. If the press story is to be believed, somebody makes an allegation, the accused is immediately suspended, publicly shamed and possibly has his reputation damaged irreparably without being heard and before the allegation is substantiated. The accused is gagged from making public comment while the local party executive committee feel free to pass judgement and prejudice the whole matter by declaring to the world that the accused is guilty and stating that nobody else in the local party shares his views. ‘Due process’ is conspicuously absent from the proceedings and party officials in Renfrewshire seem to think it’s OK to issue a statement condemning the accused when he hasn’t been told when his side of the story will be heard and by whom.

It’s medieval.

And last month another Scottish Labour councillor, Mary Bain Lockhart of West Fife, was suspended voicing suspicion that Israeli spies might be plotting to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader after three Jewish newspapers published a joint front page warning that a Corbyn-led government would pose an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country”.

She wrote on social media: “If the purpose is to generate opposition to anti-semitism, it has backfired spectacularly. If it is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader, it is unlikely to succeed, and is a shameless piece of cynical opportunism. And if it is a Mossad assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour Government pledged to recognise Palestine as a State, it is unacceptable interference in the democracy of Britain.”

She added: “Israel is a racist State. And since the Palestinians are also Semites, it is an anti-Semitic State.”

Those paying attention will remember, back in January 2017, revelations that a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, had been plotting with stooges among British MPs and other maggots in the political woodwork to “take down” senior government figures including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan. It should have resulted in the ambassador himself, Mark Regev, a vile propagandist, a master of disinformation and a former personal spokesman for the Zionist regime’s prime minister Netanyahu, also being kicked out. But he was let off the hook. Regev is still here exercising his shifty talents and oiling his links to Mossad.

Masot’s hostile scheming was captured and revealed by an Al Jazeera undercover investigation and not, as one would have wished, by Britain’s own security services and press. “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed,” said the British government. The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, who is Jewish, also declined to investigate.

So Cllr Lockhart is entitled to be suspicious. Nevertheless a complaint about her remarks was lodged by former Labour MP Thomas Docherty. It was Docherty who wrote to the Culture Secretary in 2015 urging a debate to ban Hitler’s Mein Kampf, a best seller on Amazon, arguing that it was “too offensive to be made available”.

And Paul Masterton, the Tory MP for East Renfrewshire, complained that, given how “offensive” Cllr Lockhart’s comments were, the Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard had been too slow to act and should have spoken out against her behaviour immediately. “Instead we have continued silence from him and a failure to prove to the Jewish community that he and his party are taking this issue seriously. It’s clear to the vast majority of people that Mary Lockhart is no longer fit to hold office, and Scottish Labour must understand that a suspension doesn’t go far enough.”

What the media didn’t tell us is that Mr Masterton is chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews which is funded, supported and administered by The Board of Deputies of British Jews which, along with the Jewish Leadership Council and others is heavily implicated in picking a fight with Corbyn and trying to ram the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, unedited, down Labour’s throat.

The IHRA definition, which has been allowed to consume Labour when the Party has better things to do, seems to be having its intended effect. It is obvious that many members still haven’t read the two caveats proposed by the Home Office Select Committee and the legal criticism by Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sir Stephen Sedley. Had they done so, more would insist on it being drastically modified or rejected altogether.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

What the Brennan Affair Really Reveals

By Stephen F. Cohen | The Nation | August 22, 2018

Valorizing an ex-CIA director and bashing Trump obscures what is truly ominous.

Ever since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, every American president has held one or more summit meetings with the Kremlin leader, first and foremost in order to prevent miscalculations that could result in war between the two nuclear superpowers. Generally, they received bipartisan support for doing so. In July, President Trump continued that tradition by meeting with Russian President Putin in Helsinki, for which, unlike previous presidents, he was scathingly criticized by much of the US political media establishment.

John Brennan, CIA director under President Obama, however, went much further, characterizing Trump’s press conference with Putin as “nothing short of treasonous.” Presumably in reaction, Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance, the continuing access to classified information usually accorded to former security officials. In the political media furor that followed, Brennan was mostly heroized as an avatar of civil liberties and free speech, and Trump traduced as their enemy.

Leaving aside the missed occasion to discuss the “revolving door” involving former US security officials using their permanent clearances to enhance their lucrative positions outside government, Stephen Cohen thinks the subsequent political media furor obscures what is truly important and perhaps ominous:

Brennan’s allegation was unprecedented. No such high-level intelligence official had ever before accused a sitting president of treason, still more in collusion with the Kremlin. (Impeachment discussions of Presidents Nixon and Clinton, to take recent examples, did not include allegations involving Russia.) Brennan clarified his charge: “Treasonous, which is to betray one’s trust and to aid and abet the enemy.” Coming from Brennan, a man presumed to be in possession of related dark secrets, as he strongly hinted, the charge was fraught with alarming implications. Brennan made clear he hoped for Trump’s impeachment, but in another time, and in many other countries, his charge would suggest that Trump should be removed from the presidency urgently by any means, even a coup. No one, it seems, has even noted this extraordinary implication with its tacit threat to American democracy. (Perhaps because the disloyalty allegation against Trump has been customary ever since mid-2016, even before he became president, when an array of influential publications and writers – among them a former acting CIA director -began branding him Putin’s “puppet,” “agent,” “client,” and “Manchurian candidate.” The Los Angeles Times even saw fit to print an article suggesting that the military might have to remove Trump if he were to be elected, thereby having the very dubious distinction of predating Brennan.)

Why did Brennan, a calculating man, risk leveling such a charge, which might reasonably be characterized as sedition? The most plausible explanation is that he sought to deflect growing attention to his role as the “Godfather” of the entire Russiagate narrative, as Cohen argued back in February. If so, we need to know Brennan’s unvarnished views on Russia.

They are set out with astonishing (perhaps unknowing) candor in a New York Times op-ed of August 17. They are those of Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover in their prime. Western “politicians, political parties, media outlets, think tanks and influencers are readily manipulated, wittingly and unwittingly, or even bought outright, by Russian operatives . . . not only to collect sensitive information but also to distribute propaganda and disinformation. . . . I was well aware of Russia’s ability to work surreptitiously within the United States, cultivating relationships with individuals who wield actual or potential power. . . . These Russian agents are well trained in the art of deception. They troll political, business and cultural waters in search of gullible or unprincipled individuals who become pliant in the hands of their Russian puppet masters. Too often, those puppets are found.”

All this, Brennan assures readers, is based on his “deep insight.” All the rest of us, it seems, are constantly susceptible to “Russian puppet masters” under our beds, at work, on our computers. Clearly, there must be no “cooperation” with the Kremlin’s grand “Puppet Master,” as Trump said he wanted early on. (People who wonder what and when Obama knew about the unfolding Russiagate saga need to ask why he would keep such a person so close for so long.)

And yet, scores of former intelligence and military officials rallied around this unvarnished John Brennan, even though, they said, they did not entirely share his opinions. This too is revealing. They did so, it seems clear enough, out of their professional corporate identity, which Brennan represented and Trump was degrading by challenging the intelligences agencies’ (implicitly including his own) Russiagate allegations against him. It’s a misnomer to term these people representatives of a hidden “deep state.” In recent years, they have been amply visible on television and newspaper op-ed pages. Instead, they see and present themselves as members of a fully empowered and essential fourth branch of government. This too has gone largely undiscussed while nightingales of the Fourth Branch – such as David Ignatius and Joe Scarborough in the pages of the Washington Post – have been in full voice.

The result is, of course – and no less ominous – to criminalize any advocacy of “cooperating with Russia,” or détente, as Trump sought to do in Helsinki with Putin. Still more, a full-fledged Russophobic hysteria is sweeping through the American political-media establishment, from Brennan and – pending actual evidence against her – those who engineered the arrest of Maria Butina (imagine how this endangers young Americans networking in Russia) to the senators now preparing new “crippling sanctions” against Moscow and the editors and producers at the Times, Post, CNN, and MSNBC. (However powerful, how representative are these elites when surveys indicate that a majority of the American people still prefer good relations with Moscow?) As the dangers grow of actual war with Russia – again, from Ukraine and the Baltic region to Syria – the capacity of US policymakers, above all the president, are increasingly diminished. To be fair, Brennan may only be a symptom of this profound American crisis, some say the worst since the Civil War.

Finally, there was a time when many Democrats, certainly liberal Democrats, could be counted on to resist this kind of hysteria and, yes, spreading neo-McCarthyism. (Brennan’s defenders accuse Trump of McCarthyism, but Brennan’s charge of treason without presenting any actual evidence was quintessential McCarthy.) After all, civil liberties, including freedom of speech, are directly involved – and not only Brennan’s and Trump’s. But Democratic members of Congress and pro-Democratic media outlets are in the forefront of the new anti-Russian hysteria, with only a few exceptions. Thus a generally liberal historian tells CNN viewers that “Brennan is an American hero. His tenure at the CIA was impeccable. We owe him so much.” Elsewhere the same historian assures readers, “There has always been a bipartisan spirit of support since the CIA was created in the Cold War.” In the same vein, two Post reporters write of the FBI’s “once venerated reputation.”

Is this liberal historical amnesia? Is it professional incompetence? A quick Google search would reveal Brennan’s less than “impeccable” record, FBI misdeeds under and after Hoover, as well as the Senate’s 1975 Church Committee’s investigation of the CIA and other intelligence agencies’ very serious abuses of their power. Or have liberals’ hatred of Trump nullified their own principles? The critical-minded Russian adage would say, “All three explanations are worst.”

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Russian hackers not found… again: DNC retracts claim voter database targeted by cyber-attack

RT | August 23, 2018

The latest alarming news on a sophisticated cyber-attack on the Democratic National Committee’s voter database may have cemented one’s worst fears over Russia hacking into the US elections… except it was really a “phishing test.”

Bob Lord, the committee’s chief security officer, raised the alarm on Wednesday after detecting a fake login page that mimicked the access page for Votebuilder, a program used by Democratic Party officials across that country that hosts the party’s voter database.

“This attempt is further proof that there are constant threats as we head into midterm elections and we must remain vigilant in order to prevent future attacks,” Lord said in a statement. However, within a few hours it became clear that blaming Moscow, no matter how tempting, would not be an option.

In a follow-up statement, Lord clarified that the fake login page was “built by a third party as part of a simulated phishing test.” He claimed that the security test was not authorized by the DNC.

“While we are extremely relieved that this wasn’t an attempted intrusion by a foreign adversary, this incident is further proof that we need to continue to be vigilant in light of potential attacks,” Lord’s anticlimactic clarification said.

It’s not uncommon for corporations or organizations to hire consultants to test for security weaknesses in their computer systems – although it’s unusual for it to be done without any knowledge of the organization, as Lord has insisted.

Still, even when reporting that the scary DNC hack was a false alarm, CNN made sure to remind its readers that Microsoft recently announced (citing no concrete evidence) that it had thwarted an attempt by hackers working for Russian military intelligence to target the US Senate and conservative think tanks that advocated for tougher policies against Moscow.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 4 Comments

The Three Musketeers, Poison Gas, and Dead Schoolkids

By Michael Howard | American Herald Tribune | August 23, 2018

Winking and nodding to the “freedom fighters” hunkered down in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, the world’s schoolmarm (formally known as The West) has issued a stern warning to President Bashar al-Assad: don’t use chemical weapons “again,” or else. Said warning came via a joint statement from the US, UK and France (henceforth known as The Three Musketeers), as the Syrian government prepares its offensive to retake the country’s last remaining “rebel” stronghold. The three great and benevolent powers are “gravely concerned,” they said, about the upcoming military campaign, explaining:

We also underline our concern at the potential for further—and illegal—use of chemical weapons. We remain resolved to act if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons again. As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, which has had such devastating humanitarian consequences for the Syrian population.

Read it again, and take note of the crafty way in which the statement messes around with language to manipulate its target audience (us). The use of chemical weapons is accurately, and superfluously, described, and emphasized with em dashes, as “illegal,” as though there was a soul on this earth to whom this is news. Then, alluding to their coordinated missile strikes against Syria this past April, which were unleashed to much pomp and circumstance, The Three Musketeers pledge to “respond appropriately” to any such illegal action on the part of the Syrian government.

Since they insist on begging questions, we must insist on demanding answers. For instance, how “appropriate” was the aforesaid missile attack? Assuming that, in this context, a direct link exists between appropriate and legal (and only an outlaw could reject that assumption), there was certainly nothing “appropriate” about The Three Musketeers’ unilateral decision to use military force against a sovereign country last April. Quite the reverse.

The missile strike, like the one a year before, was carried out in flagrant violation of the law. There are a total of two circumstances in which the use of military force is legally justified: when greenlit by a UN Security Council resolution, or when done in self-defense, that is to say in response to a direct military attack. Neither condition was met when The Three Musketeers rocketed Syria. On the other hand, Syria is accorded the legal right under international law to strike back at its attackers, and moreover to form a coalition for that purpose. As Chapter VII Article 51 of the UN Charter states:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

Mildly ironic, then—is it not?—that, in “appropriately” bombing the Syrian government, we granted it the legal right to bomb us back? It’s a crying shame: if only Assad and his allies were sufficiently nihilistic … we could’ve had another exhilarating World War on our hands—the third and last. To borrow a quote from of Trump’s favorite general: “Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so.” On that note, I think it’s high time we substitute “War” for “God” in our Republic’s official motto. Who besides Rand Paul would vote against the proposal?

All of which is to say nothing of the fact that the alleged chemical attack in Douma, which served as the pretext for The Three Musketeers’ “appropriate” bombing raid, almost certainly didn’t happen. The first chink in the armor came in the form of Robert Fisk’s report, from the actual site of the alleged attack, that quotes a local doctor as saying:

There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night—but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!” and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia—not gas poisoning.

By his own count, Fisk interviewed more than twenty Douma residents; he was unable to find a single person “who showed the slightest interest in Douma’s role in bringing about the Western air attacks. Two actually told me they didn’t know about the connection.” Moreover, many of those he spoke with told him they “never believed in” the chemical weapons narratives promulgated by Western media.

Despite the fact that it squared with the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights’ (the West’s go-to authority on the Syrian conflict) assessment of the event, Fisk’s journalism was easy enough for Western ideologues to ignore or deride. He’s only one person, they countered, and he only spoke to a handful of residents and a single doctor, all of whom probably have a pro-Assad agenda. Therefore, his report is worthless and so is he.

This position grew a little less tenable when, a week after Fisk’s story was published, Russia presented to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was holding a conference in the Hague, seventeen eyewitnesses, a mix of residents and doctors, all of whom testified that there had been no chemical attack in Douma. As Jonathan Cook explained (yes, one had to visit his personal blog or some equally marginal source to read about this), “the US, UK and France boycotted the meeting, denouncing Russia for producing the witnesses and calling the event an ‘obscene masquerade’ and ‘theatre’”—not a very surprising reaction from a self-righteous party whose fabricated narrative is coming apart at the seams.

Then came the coup de grâce. On July 6, the OPCW published the conclusion of its fact-finding mission in Douma. Before quoting from it, I’ll jog your memory a bit. According to the Western version of events, Assad used both sarin and chlorine (or perhaps a physical mixture of the two, a nonsensical theory), in his attack on Douma—which, incidentally, had already effectively “fallen,” raising questions as to why Assad would feel compelled to use chemical weapons at all, apart from the sheer sadistic fun of it. Regardless, sarin and chlorine, said the West. Not so, said the OPCW:

OPCW designated labs conducted analysis of prioritized samples. The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties [my emphasis]. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.

Not a trace of sarin, in other words. Attempting to ascertain why “various chlorinated organic chemicals” were found at the site is a pointless exercise for someone, like myself, who knows nothing of chlorinated organic compounds. The most perfunctory research indicates that such chemicals are used for a variety of non-murderous applications, for example as solvents, and that they stick around for a long time after they’ve been introduced to an environment. The basic point, which hordes of media fixers promptly got to work obscuring, is that the Western narrative was false. The US government, in concert with its unctuous allies, lied. Go figure.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a supposed chemical attack in Syria has been called into question. Those curious about whether Assad used sarin to murder hundreds of civilians in the suburb of Ghouta in 2013, as was, and is, claimed by The West, would do well to read two essays by Seymour Hersh—“The Red Line and the Rat Line” and “Whose Sarin”—both published in the London Review of Books, both available online. Hersh also examined the chemical incident that took place in Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017—also used as a pretext for illegal US military action. This time, however, his reporting was too heretical even for the London Review of Books (not to mention the New Yorker), and so had to be published in Die Welt, which no one in the US has ever heard of, let alone read. That Hersh, the preeminent investigative journalist of his time, has been pushed into no man’s land speaks to how narrow the spectrum of permissible discourse has become in this, our great Republic. The schoolmarm is cracking her whip. At this rate Hersh will soon be relegated to the personal blog.

For other dissident views re: chemical weapons in Syria, do yourself a favor and consult the work of former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and MIT professor and munitions expert Theodore Postol, as well as the late journalist Robert Parry of Consortium News, all of whom have written extensively, and cogently, on the subject. Or you can keep reading the Washington Post. You’re free to decide.

But what exactly did The Three Musketeers have in mind when they broadcast their latest threat? It’s a fair question to ask. On its face, the statement appears to reflect a genuine aversion to poison gas, and a genuine hope that the Syrian government will refrain from using any in Idlib. Fair enough. Having said that, how averse could they really be, given that gas attacks provide for them the only remotely plausible excuse to lob more cruise missiles out of the Mediterranean—an activity from which they, and their media sidekicks, derive the utmost pleasure? They are, after all, incorrigible hawks. It must cut them to the bone to have to stand by and watch from the sidelines as a perfectly good war winds down, handcuffed, helpless to effect the desired outcome. How pitiable the plight of the poor impotent imperialist! Flaming warmongers need love too.

Anyway, call me schizophrenic, but when I read the words of The Three Musketeers, I couldn’t help but pick up the faint sound of a dog whistle—aimed straight at the “moderate rebels” holding down the fort in Idlib. Read between the lines, the statement is an assurance to one party dressed up as a warning to another. If there’s a “chemical incident,” we will attack: you have our word. That’s the message sent to, and received by, al-Qaeda (I don’t know what they’re calling themselves these days, and I care less) and its various affiliates. Make no mistake: The Three Musketeers have just invited, oh-so-subtly, bin-Laden’s foot soldiers to stage a chemical atrocity in Idlib (God knows how many “various chlorinated organic chemicals” they’ve got on hand there), the resulting pictures of which will duly splash across every television screen in America so as to whip up … well, you’ve heard this song before.

So here’s a new one: a bunch of kids walk onto a school bus in Yemen. As the bus steers through a crowded marketplace, Saudi Arabia drops a bomb on it, killing forty small children and injuring scores more. The bomb is later identified as a “laser-guided” precision missile (precision being the operative word), manufactured by our very own Lockheed Martin, while the mangled school bus is described by Col. Turki al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, as a “legitimate target.” Meanwhile, back in illustrious Washington, Pentagon bureaucrat Rebecca Rebarich is asked to comment on the “legitimate” massacre of forty schoolkids.

“The US has worked with the Saudi-led coalition to help them improve procedures and oversight mechanisms to reduce civilian casualties,” she says. “While we do not independently verify claims of civilian casualties in which we are not directly involved, we call on all sides to reduce such casualties, including those caused via ballistic missile attacks on civilian population centers in Saudi Arabia.”

Translated from vapid officialese: “I don’t really give a shit.”

On the bright side, we’re “gravely concerned” about the coming battle for Idlib, where the babies are beautiful and, most importantly, the bombs that kill them are un-American.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Kabul Confirms to Sputnik It Won’t Attend Moscow Conference on Afghanistan

By Ksenia Shakalova – Sputnik – 23.08.2018

MOSCOW – The conference in Moscow will be held amid a conditional ceasefire between the Taliban movement and the Afghan government, which was announced by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday.

“We are not going to attend [the Moscow conference]… The peace process should be led by Afghanistan only, only by the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan,” Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi told Sputnik on Thursday.

Ahmadi added that it was an independent decision that had nothing to do with Washington.

The spokesman also said that the government already had its own peace council that was working on negotiations with the Taliban.

“Of course we will lead the peace process, but by the way, we have very close relations with Russia and Russia is a big country and a powerful country in the region and one of our friends. And we have very good relations with Russia,” Ahmadi concluded.

On Tuesday, Russia said it had invited officials from 12 countries, including the US, to attend the Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan. Moscow also confirmed that the Taliban movement expected to participate in the upcoming conference.

A US Department of State official, commenting on the talks, stated that Washington would not take part in the meeting, doubting that the talks would help to establish peace in Afghanistan.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Goldman, JPMorgan object to Russian proposal to limit their ability to move money out of the country

RT | August 23, 2018

A total of 15 foreign lenders are protesting against a new plan proposed by the Russian central bank to reduce the amount of cash they can move abroad from their units located in Russia.

Russian subsidiaries of banking majors, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Raiffeisen, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings, have voiced their objections to plans that would limit the Russian units to depositing just 20 percent of their capital abroad at their parent companies. Under the current regulations, there is no limit for banking operations of this kind.

The Central Bank of Russia proposed the rationing measures in response to fresh anti-Russia sanctions from the US and Europe that could allow foreign lenders to block access to the funds for its units based in Russia, two sources close to the issue told Bloomberg. The targeted lenders say they will have to reduce their loan services in Russia, according to unnamed people quoted by the agency.

If the new rules enter force, most of the local units run by foreign banks will inevitably be in violation of the mandated capital ratios. Some of the lenders, including Nordea Bank and Commerzbank, say the measure will create “unequal” conditions for local banks and foreign-owned subsidiaries.

Ahead of the US mid-term elections in November, the US Congress is actively discussing potential punitive measures against Russia over its alleged meddling in US elections. Among the penalties is a ban on using US dollars for some of Russia’s biggest banks. In August, local banking bonds brought investors a loss of 5.1 percent in dollar terms, the worst of any sector domestically, according to a Bloomberg Barclays index.

According to the Central Bank of Russia, the final version of the rule is still being discussed. The regulator didn’t elaborate on the goal of the restrictions or on the fate of the proposal.

See also:

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | | 4 Comments

Leaving Afghanistan Won’t Be Easy

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 23.08.2018

Getting into Afghanistan was easy. Working with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, US special forces and CIA paramilitaries quickly overcame resistance leading to the fall of the capital Kabul. American Marines and Army units soon followed to finish the job. By the time I arrived in Kabul in late December 2001 both a US Embassy and CIA Station were up and running and fully staffed. Soon thereafter, the country had an interim government to be followed by Hamid Karzai as the new president, reportedly because he was able to speak good English, which made him ipso facto the best qualified candidate.

To be sure, Usama bin Laden and many Taliban escaped to Pakistan due to the pusillanimous decision making of General Tommy Franks at the battle of Tora Bora, but the United States could nevertheless have pulled up stakes at that point and left the country to the Afghans to sort out. The Bush Administration thought otherwise and decided to stick around for a while to stabilize the situation and “build democracy.” More than 100,000 American soldiers eventually wound up in the country supplemented by NATO allies to suppress any Taliban or al-Qaeda resurgence while rebuilding the Afghan Army.

That was nearly seventeen years ago and 14,000 US troops remain in country. More than 2,000 Americans and 90,000 Afghans have died in the process of nation building while more than a million more Afghans are refugees. The Afghan Army continues to struggle with a 30% annual desertion rate and some are beginning to ask how it is that a lightly armed and relatively untrained Taliban is able to engage it with success, in the process reacquiring control over more than a third of the country. And al-Qaeda is still around while ISIS has also appeared, having been largely driven out of Iraq and Syria.

Even though President Donald Trump has taken his generals’ advise and increased the number of US soldiers in Afghanistan – yet another surge – many in Washington believe that he is seeking a way out and will order a staged withdrawal before the end of the year, possibly before the November elections. If that is so, the recent talks between US diplomats and Taliban representatives are significant in that they might lead to a political settlement in which the Taliban has some designated role in a new government arrangement. Skeptics, of course, note how such agreements are not worth the paper they are written on and the Taliban will simply bide its time before eliminating its weaker coalition partners.

Those who are arguing for what would appear to be a permanent US military presence backed up by air power believe that there are several good reasons for hanging on. The basic argument is that it is essential to keep the Islamist Taliban out. It is also argued that the appearance of ISIS and persistence of al-Qaeda suggest that a genuine terrorist threat remains. And then there is the always useful geostrategic issue, namely that the increasing role of China in seeking to develop a “new silk road” through Afghanistan to the West must be monitored lest it bring about a new political alignment in central Asia. China is, of course, the over-the-horizon threat to American military hegemony that the military industrial complex dreams about to keep the money flowing into the coffers of the defense contractors and congressmen.

There are several problems with the thinking behind the permanent garrison in Afghanistan that is being promoted:

  • First of all, there are no indications that the Afghan Army will ever become more effective, meaning that whatever happens the Taliban will continue to gain strength and territory until it again becomes the Afghan government. Trying to avert that outcome by way of a money pit training program is futile.
  • Second, the terrorist threat is greatly overstated. Both al-Qaeda and ISIS are non-government actors that are in Afghanistan and Pakistan only because it is currently available. They are not friends of the Taliban and any Taliban government would not share power with them with the understanding that the US would bomb Kabul back into the stone age if it were to accommodate them.
  • And third, what China does will not be seriously impacted whether it is being watched by Washington or not. Beijing has been successful exploiting its own form of economic imperialism and it is a neighbor to Afghanistan. An empowered US Embassy backed up by a few thousand troops will not change that.

So getting out of Afghanistan is a lot harder than getting in and the US military appears to be mired in a conflict where it is most engaged in avoiding defeat. A continued large US presence in Afghanistan does little more than create a group of hostages to a policy that is not working and which has already cost trillions of borrowed dollars. It is time to end the farce right now and leave. The Afghans are a fiercely independent people who recognize an invasion and occupation by foreign armies when they see it. They successfully resisted Alexander the Great, the Mongols, the Mughal Emperors of India, the British Empire, Soviet Russia and eventually they will also outlast the United States. Time for America to realize all that and pull the plug.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

West leading campaign of hypocrisy on use of chemical weapons: Syria

Press TV – August 23, 2018

Syria has denounced a recent statement by the US, Britain and France on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Damascus government, saying the trio is leading a campaign of misinformation against the Arab country in line with their support for terrorists.

An official source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates told SANA news agency on Wednesday that the fresh Western threats against Damascus came amid the Syrian army’s territorial gains against foreign-backed terrorists.

Washington, London and Paris, in a statement on Monday, claimed that they “shared resolve to preventing the use of chemical weapons” by the government of Syrian President Basher al-Assad.

They also noted that their position on the Damascus’ “use of chemical weapons is unchanged. As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons” by the Syrian government.

The statement was published on the fifth anniversary of the deadly chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Syrian Foreign Ministry source stressed that the Western countries had once again resorted to “a campaign of threats, hypocrisy and misinformation against the Syrian Arab Republic as part of the continued declared support for the armed terrorist groups, particularly Jabhat al-Nusra and its affiliated groups.”

“Syria has repeatedly asserted that it considers the use of chemical weapons immoral and condemns its use anywhere, under any circumstance and against anyone. Syria reiterates that it has no chemical weapons,” he added.

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN.

The source also said it is not Syria which uses chemical weapons, but rather the armed terrorist groups that enjoy direct support from Western and regional countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

Syria, the source added, has recently “informed the relevant international bodies about preparations by armed terrorist organizations to use poison gas in several areas” in the country.

The statement of these countries is nothing more than a sign of support for “any chemical aggression that these terrorist organizations may undertake in the next few days to use this as a pretext for aggression against Syria, as it did in its brutal aggression on 14 April 2018.”

The Western statement seeks to “justify the use of chemical weapons by terrorist organizations, prolong the war against Syria and support the terrorist organizations,” the source pointed out.

On April 14, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

The strike came one week after an alleged gas attack on the Damascus suburb town of Douma.

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | 4 Comments