Vladimir Putin weighed into the issue, seeking to restore some sense of rationality, judgement and caution against reckless actions which would have extremely dangerous consequences.
Alex Christoforou, writing for The Duran, sums up perfectly Putin's balanced position, his words of caution to world leaders agitating for swift military action, the same leaders hasty and rash judgement on the issue and how preposterous it is to believe that Assad could see any benefit in launching such a murderous attack when he is on the front foot in the war against Western-backed terrorism in his country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has seen the intelligence and unlike western counterparts, he did not rush to judgement. This is what leaders and statesmen do...they wait to get the information before rendering a guilty verdict.
In particular, Putin "pointed out that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation. In the absence of one (par for the course) today Putin stated that the Russian intelligence services had information that another similar attack was planned for the Damascus area, with the intent of blaming Assad again.
Using chemical weapons is an act of desperation, when you are losing a war, not when you are winning as Assad is.
Three things stand out here:
1. Putin is the only sane adult in the room. He is the one who is not allowing outright greed and an agenda of pedaling interests of his countries corporate giants to justify any outrageous actions and blatant lies.
2. The Assad government is on the front foot and has no need to resort to acts of desperation. It would gain zero advantage, scuttle the political settlement, and incur the wrath of already hostile Gulf States, Turkey, Israel and western powers.
3. Putin is calling out Netanyahu, and clearly, others like Tillerson, Haley, Hollande and the rest of the merry band of reprobates for making groundless accusations. Moreover, he is slamming them for using such a ready-made pretext to justify escalating aggression. Their threats are diametrically opposed to the path Syria, Iran and Russia have painstakingly embarked on to incorporate all legitimate groups into a robust and sustainable peace. These destructive forces appear to have plans in mind, waiting for a pretext to justify enacting them.
Implicit in such comments is a resolve to oppose implementing the threats being made by those who are the enemies of Syria and the enemies of peace. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley offensively holding up pictures of dead children who in all likelihood are dead because of the terrorists she supports reaches a level of grotesqueness and hypocrisy beyond description.
Haley said that the red line has been crossed again and that countries are "compelled to take our own actions." Once bitten, twice shy. An armed to the teeth superpower run by war addicted, maniacal, internally contradicted deep state forces knows only the way of war when it perceives its power and authority is being challenged. Like a mafia boss, to let such challenges go without vicious, disproportionate responses risks losing credibility.
That is what it is all about; the US is fast losing its credibility, dominance and threat of force as deterrence. It is desperate to re-impose itself through brute force and desperate to act on the slightest pretext. It is tempting to say (as Putin has) that the US has agreed to, or even created a false flag to give public legitimacy to strike at Assad. As for concern over children, let's recall this is the country that gave us Madeline "it's worth the price" of 500,000 dead children, Albright. So let's not give any kudos to Haley or those backing her for this ostentatious display of cynical manipulation of the suffering of children. If the death cult of Albright still holds sway in Washington, a handful of dead children causes no consternation at all for these people.
It is wise to caution against false flag accusations, because, as Putin says, "it is unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation." However we reserve the right to remain skeptical and entertain the idea based on the long history of the effectiveness of false flags in propelling forward preordained agendas. There is evidence of this being a false flag which will be expanded upon further.
I say "we" as there are many real (sorry that doesn't include you fakerstan media) journalists out there digging for evidence to gain as many facts as possible to be able to make sustainable and robust arguments.
War hawk without peer, John McCain spoke to CNN about his outrage that the US had changed its position to no longer insisting that Assad must go. McCain said without a touch of irony, "I'm sure they took note of what our Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) said just the other day that the Syrian people would be determining their own future themselves -- one of the more incredible statements I've ever heard." Worse still, he couldn't stop himself from smirking as he said it, obviously amused at the concept that Syrian people should determine their own futures. In the same statement he said "the United States of America is going to be on the side of people who fight for freedom." This is obviously McCain's own peculiar version of freedom where Syrians getting to determine their own future is ridiculed.
Cheerleaders for the terrorists
World leaders lined up to make their instantaneous evidence free accusations against the government of Bashar Al-Assad.
The pusillanimous Francois Hollande said in a statement, "Once again the Syrian regime will deny the evidence of its responsibility for this massacre."
The horrid Theresa May lined up for the chorus of condemnation, saying, "It is a despicable attack, I think if it is the case it is being conducted by the Assad regime is shows the barbarism of that regime."
T-Rex Tillerson, fully on board the neocon regime change train has no doubts Assad was responsible, saying it will "require a serious response."
Geopolitical dilettante, EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy head, Federica Mogherini, said the Syrian government bore "primary responsibility" for the suspected chemical weapons attack.
John McCain wannabe, Republican Adam Kinzinger advocated airstrikes to ground the Syrian air force and crater their runways.
Flip-flopper Erdogan drew into question his suitability as a guarantor to the cease fire by pledging to support US military action in response to the attack. Note that Erdogan met with Tillerson last week. Plotting against Syria perhaps?
Sputnik News reported the great orange bumbler, Donald Trump, as saying, "I think what Assad did is terrible," and that the recent tragedy constitutes a "truly egregious" crime. "I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes. It shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't be allowed to happen."
When asked whether Assad should leave power, Trump replied, "He's there and I guess he's running things, so something should happen."
Speaking at The White House Trump said "people were shocked to hear what gas it was - that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line."
Adam Garrie, of The Duran, said Trump's remarks "are terribly worrying because they are terribly wrong." Placing responsibility for atrocities rightly at the feet of the terrorists controlling Idlib, Garrie offered 5 possible reasons for Trump's about-turn.
1. He caved to the 'Deep State'
2. He Is Stupid
3. Calculated Rhetoric
4. Speaking To His Audience
5. An Excuse To Divide Syria
Only time will tell what really motivated the sudden switch of Trump, but we can't discount the fact that he has shares in Raytheon, the arm manufacturer that produces the Tomahawk missiles fired at the Syrian airfield. Raytheon's stock jumped on news of the strike.
And no list of war addicts would be complete without the inclusion of the cacophonous utterances of the goddess of war herself, Hillary Clinton. She crawled out from under whatever rock she had been hiding from following her non-election humiliation, saying, "I really believe that we should have — and still should — take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them."
Fakerstan media and the likes of Hollande, May, Clinton and Haley rely on emotional manipulation and scant facts to reach instant conclusions. They lie in order to continue to lie. They lie to destroy Syria. They lie so that the optimism of peace evaporates. They lie to protect the most brutal of terrorists. Their lies spit in the face of Syrians bravely seeking a better future as they respect the dead and displaced from this war on Syria perpetrated by these very same liars.
Russia has called for a thorough investigation into the incident that should be led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), It would be an on the ground evidence finding mission subject to approval by the UN Security Council.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Syrian air force had targeted and struck a warehouse storing chemical weapons bound for Iraq. Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said symptoms displayed by the victims of the attack in Khan Sheikhoun were similar to those of victims of a chemical attack in Aleppo in 2016 perpetrated by Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham-led terrorist groups.
In a statement that failed to stop the war hecklers, Kim Won-soo, the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, said that there is as of yet no independent evidence on the suspected chemical weapons attack.
The events and aftermath of the Idlib incident is so reminiscent of the August 2013 Ghouta incident that it feels like we are in Groundhog Day.
Back then we had instant identification of what happened and that Assad was responsible. We had the controlled media obediently towing the company line in reporting speculation as fact. We had world leaders ready to pull the trigger, including Barack Obama and his arrogant threats that crossing the red line meant Assad would pay a heavy price.
Then in stepped the dedicated and real journalists to do the heavy lifting, the behind the scenes long hours sans the glamour, to uncover the evidence that might reveal what happened and who was responsible. I refer to people like Seymour Hersh, Tim Anderson, Brandon Turbeville, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Sharmine Narwani and Radwan Mortada, Christof Lehmann and others who take pride in going beyond the imperial serving soundbites of lazy fakerstan media journalists.
The Sources for the Attack
The very same lazy fakerstan journalists and political puppets of Washington would have you believe the evidence of another Assad atrocity is rock solid.
However let's look at the sources.
First we have the Idlib Media Centre, a western supported carry over of the Aleppo Media Centre. They transferred to Idlib with their terrorist allies after the liberation of Aleppo. The AMC became famous for their "dusty boy" Omran Daqneesh photos in the back of an ambulance, sitting there looking confused while there was a scramble to photograph him, but not tend to any injuries.
Omran's photographer, Mahmoud Raslan, took selfies with Nour Al-Din al-Zenki, infamous for the beheading of 12 year old Abdullah Tayseer Issa.
as Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley wrote, has been "inventing a narrative of what's happening in Syria that fits Western foreign policy interests."
The one man band of Rami Abdul Rahman certainly has connections in Syria; with the opposition forces he fully supports. Being full aligned with the opposition he acts as a conduit for their propaganda and lies. His projection of the terrorist narrative is unfortunately ignored by the mainstream media who quote him constantly, usually with few questions.
Last but not least, we have the favorite humanitarians of the regime change brigade, the White Helmets. Headed by Raed Saleh, who was deported from the US in 2016 for what the State Department said was possible "extremist connections." Saleh penned a piece for The Guardian last week, urging more war against the Syrian people. Rather an odd attitude for the head of a group which is supposed to save lives and call for peace, not agitate for more war
Their function as a western intelligence front masquerading as first responders is summed up by Miri Wood.
"Despite having received $23 million from the CIA, and millions more from the intelligence agencies of the EU, the gang still does not own a stethoscope, still does not utilize spinal precautions, still has not learned CPR. They do, however, know how to get nominated for a Nobel, win an Oscar, abuse corpses, and be friends with terrorists who cut off the head of a 12 year old child."says:
"No Western journalist or news crew would dare set foot there, or indeed in any part of opposition-controlled Syria, knowing that as soon as they did they would be kidnapped and butchered."On the issue of a possible false flag attack, about 250 people from Majdal and Khattab were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists more than a week ago. Local sources have claimed many of the dead from the chemical weapons were those from Majdal and Khattab.
This suggests an all too familiar pattern of false flag attacks and accusations of atrocities leveled at the government on the eve of upcoming peace negotiations.
We also can view images of White Helmets workers without masks and skin protection, leaving themselves vulnerable to exposure. If it was Sarin gas, it would penetrate their skin, leading to an agonizing death within minutes. A person would have to have head-to-toe protection and a special mask to safely enter an area where Sarin gas had just been released.
Again referring to Miri Wood, we had the obviously psychic reporter from Orient TV, ready to give the scoop on deadly Syrian and Russian attacks. Unfortunately he tweeted 5 hours before the attacks took place.
Here is the tweet from the psychic who planned to report on chemical weapons attack 5 hours before they were announced.
Do people think the idea the terrorist groups would kill people for the cameras is far fetched? If so, they should pause and reflect on the fact that the Wahabbist ideology many of these nutjobs espouse leads them to kill without the slightest hesitation. There is a long history of civilian massacres across Syria in the last six years by the terrorist groups, so one more should not surprise in the least. Given the huge propaganda boost this incident has provided them, it may have been an opportunity too good to pass up. Given their history of chemical weapons use, they have the means at their disposal.
The possession and threats to use chemical weapons can be traced back to 2012, when masked men in a building in Turkey filled with the deadly nerve agent VX, "threatened to unleash the quick acting neurotoxin against the Syrian people, specifically the Alawite minority, and all supporters of the Syrian government, and their president."
So we are entering perilous waters in Syria where the threats of action over the Idlib incident and the threat of partition of the north east through the US/Kurdish campaign to drive ISIS from Raqqa, undermines promising initiatives to achieve a lasting peace. Now more than ever, the wisdom and diplomatic skills of people like Vladimir Putin is badly needed.