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Thu, 29 Jun 2017
The World for People who Think


Attention

White House says Syria planning "another" chemical attack: Is U.S. planning another false flag?

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters
The White House claims that the Syrian government is preparing "chemical weapon attacks". This is clearly not the case. Syria is winning the war against the country. Any such attack would clearly be to its disadvantage. The White House announcement must thereby be understood as preparation for another U.S. attack on Syria in "retaliation" for an upcoming staged "chemical weapon attack" which will be blamed on the Syrian government.

In August 2013 Syria invited inspectors of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian army. As soon as the inspectors arrived in Damascus a "chemical attack" was staged in Ghouta near Damascus. Lots of Jihadist video coverage of killed children was published and the "western" media blamed the incident on the Syrian government. It never explained why targeting a militarily irrelevant area with chemical weapons at the same time as inspectors arrived would have been a rational decision for a Syrian government that was just regaining control and international standing.

Comment: What interesting timing, coming as it does just after Sy Hersh's expose of the Khan Sheikhoun attack that was falsely used as a justification for the Tomahawk attack on the Syrian air base. The Duran's Alexander Mercouris is probably right: this is "a panicked reaction to Seymour Hersh's exposure of the truth behind the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun which appeared a few hours earlier in Welt."
In typical fashion Donald Trump is responding to a story which casts his actions following the Khan Sheikhoun attack in a bad light by doubling down and making wild threats that he is about to do the same thing all over again.

Meanwhile the Russians are furious, President Assad is visiting Russia's Khmeimim air base in a public Russian show of support for him, and the rest of the US government - apart from Nikki Haley, who longs for more pictures of her "standing up to the Russians" - are baffled.

What all this means is that almost certainly no US attack on Syrian forces is being planned. The media is mistaking a blundering attempt at news management for a real threat.

Unfortunately that does not mean that a US attack on Syria will not take place. The risk with making wild threats of the kind the White House has just made is that there are any number of dangerous people in Syria who will seize on them and try to make them a reality. The risk of another staged 'chemical attack' intended to put pressure Trump to act on his 'warning' is now very real.

It is to be hoped that cooler heads within the US government - Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster first and foremost - will be warning the President of this, and telling him to cool down.



Airplane

Air Strike in Syria: "We got a f***in' problem!"

After publishing Seymour Hersh's exposé on the reality behind the alleged 'chemical weapon' attack in Syria in April this year, the German newspaper 'Welt' has followed up with the publication of a chat protocol of a security advisor and an active American soldier on duty at a key base in the region at the time of the bombing. The information from this chat protocol was provided to Hersh and was used as source material in writing his article.

Alarm Clock

Seymour Hersh: There Was No Chemical Weapon Attack On Khan Sheikhoun


Tomahawk missiles from the "USS Porter" on the way to the Shayrat Air Base on April 6, 2017
On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence.
"None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump."
Within hours of the April 4 bombing, the world's media was saturated with photographs and videos from Khan Sheikhoun. Pictures of dead and dying victims, allegedly suffering from the symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, were uploaded to social media by local activists, including the White Helmets, a first responder group known for its close association with the Syrian opposition.

Comment: While the information presented by Hersh is interesting in that it confirms our take on the alleged 'chemical weapon' attack at the time - that it was a lie - we are under no illusions that this is the full story.

As noted by Hersh in his article, one week before the bombing, Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson stated publicly that the Trump administration was no longer seeking the removal of Assad. What are the odds that within one week of that statement, the tired old 'chemical weapon' allegation would be pulled out to demonize Assad (and Russia) and, in theory, put his removal 'back on the table'?

The odds are therefore, in favor of the agents of Western powers, most notably the CIA, having placed chlorine and other compounds in the building that was to be bombed. After all, the Russians have given 48 hours advance warning and the location of the target building.

From this perspective, Trump's response makes more sense. His hand was, to some extent, forced by these 'deep state' actors in that he was required to accept the mainstream media/intel agency narrative that "Assad had gassed his own people", make a strong statement and take action.

Yet, assuming Trump knew the nature of this set up, it seems that he refused to swallow the bait entirely, and instead opted to make an apparent show of force that had some mainstream media pundits metaphorically wetting their pants, while inflicting no damage on the Syria military or Assad's position as president.


Eagle

Beneath the radar and above suspicion: The invisible US empire

When the United States went to war with Spain in 1898, it did so in a media environment of "yellow journalism," that played no small part in the advent of the Spanish-American War. Yellow journalism was basically the use of sensationalism and poorly researched reportage to stir up excitement and pad the bottom line. In February on that year, the mysterious sinking of the American cruiser Maine on a quiet night in Havana harbor was seized upon by western media outlets like William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer's New York World to create an atmosphere rife with tension, accusation, and defamation. War fever was loosed upon the population. The McKinley administration was soon ensnared in combat, which it won in ten weeks across the Caribbean and Pacific theaters, effectively erasing the Spanish imperial footprint from the Philippines and Caribbean, and delivering American control over Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. American author Mark Twain wasn't fooled by the jingoistic broadsheets, nor by the administration's claims of support for Cubans, nor by its claims to want to bring democracy to the Philippines, a former Spanish colony. Twain said, "...we have gone there to conquer, not to redeem."

Comment: "...we have gone there to conquer, not to redeem."


Bomb

Truth bomb: Washington Senator calls US base in Syria a violation of international law, Assad would easily win new election

© Press Service of the President of Syria
State Senator from Virginia Richard Black said that the establishment of a US military base in Syria, a "sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards" America, is an "obvious violation of international law."

The US base in Syria's At Tanf area is a clear violation of international law, State Senator from Virginia Richard Black told Sputnik.

"We've even set up a base at Al Tanf in the southern part, it's an American base within the country of Syria," Black said. "You can't get a more obvious violation of international law than to actually move in and set up a military base in a sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards our country."

Comment: Very refreshing to hear some truth from the US but will this be enough to change Washington's foreign policy?


Arrow Down

Compelled speech comes to Canada: Citizens using the 'wrong' gender pronoun could be accused of hate crimes

© Shutterstock
Canada passed a law Thursday making it illegal to use the wrong gender pronouns. Critics say that Canadians who do not subscribe to progressive gender theory could be accused of hate crimes, jailed, fined, and made to take anti-bias training.

Canada's Senate passed Bill C-16, which puts "gender identity" and "gender expression" into both the country's Human Rights Code, as well as the hate crime category of its Criminal Code by a vote of 67-11, according to LifeSiteNews. The bill now only needs royal assent from the House of Commons to pass into law.

"Great news," announced Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister. "Bill C-16 has passed the Senate - making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove."

Comment: The demise of Western Civilization: "Gender fluidity" as a harbinger for Postmodernist Hell

Oh, Canada... Read it and weep: excerpts from the Ontario Human Rights Commission recommendations on identifying discrimination, upon which Canada's new C-16 law is leveraged:
Discrimination is not always direct and is often hard to detect. The claimant must show on a "balance of probabilities" (more likely than not) that adverse or negative treatment happened. The analysis should be flexible and look at all relevant factors in the situation including circumstantial evidence as well as the full impact on the affected person or group. While there may be evidence of "intent," this is not needed to prove discrimination. Gender identity, gender expression or other protected characteristics need only be one of the factors in the negative treatment for discrimination to exist.

Once prima facie discrimination is established, the burden then shifts to the organization or person responsible to either provide a credible non-discriminatory explanation, or justify the conduct or practice using one of the defences available under the Code.
Many trans people are vulnerable to harassment because of their gender identity and gender expression. Trans people also experience harassment that is sexual in nature (sexual harassment) that may be because of their gender identity, gender expression and/or sex.

Gender-based harassment can involve:
  • Derogatory language toward trans people or trans communities
  • Insults, comments that ridicule, humiliate or demean people because of their gender identity or expression
  • Behaviour that "polices and or reinforces traditional heterosexual gender norms"
  • Refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name and proper personal pronoun
  • Comments or conduct relating to a perception that a person is not conforming with gender-role stereotypes
  • Jokes related to a person's gender identity or expression including those circulated in writing or by email or social media
  • Spreading rumours about a person's gender identity or expression including through the Internet
  • "Outing" or threatening to "out" someone as trans
  • Intrusive comments, questions or insults about a person's body, physical characteristics, gender-related medical procedures, clothing, mannerisms, or other forms of gender expression
  • Other threats, unwelcome touching, violence and physical assault.



People

Colbert's interview with Oliver Stone: YouTube comments show most Americans are not buying into the anti-Russia agenda

Ordinary Americans are not buying the anti-Russian conspiracy.

Stephen Colbert's recent interview with film-maker Oliver Stone is a surprisingly good encapsulation of everything wrong with the Russophobia that has gripped America since the middle-years of the Obama administration, a phenomenon which has vastly accelerated since Hillary Clinton labelled the winning candidate, now POTUS Trump as a man compromised by 'Russian links' which are totally non-existent by any objective standard.

There is much to objectively praise and criticize about Trump, but the idea that he is 'in it for Russia' is not only a sign of the childishness and pettiness which has run rife in US politics thanks to the Democratic party of Hillary Clinton along with their neo-con fellow travelers, but it is also symptomatic of America needing a foreign enemy to avoid tackling its burning internal issues.

Propaganda

Politico report: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

Politico, the most read "Capitol Hill" publication online, has released an investigation arguing that Veterans Today and SouthFront are shaking pillars of American society, foremost among them the military.

From our own point of view the article written by Ben Schreckinger provides another evidence of a high evaluation of our collaborative effort by mainstream media outlets and think tanks funded by corporates and governments. It explains why more and more people turn away from the mainstream coverage and analysis of the military and geo-political issues of our time.

Video

Oliver Stone's film about Putin must mean the filmmaker has a weak spot for dictators, right?

In Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, Susanna Martin was executed for being a witch. The evidence against her was compelling and irrefutable. In capital cases like this, testimony by at least two eyewitnesses was required to convict. One man testified that in 1660 he had seen Ms. Martin bewitch a horse. Another testified that she had broken uninvited into his dreams 20 years later. The judges ruled that this constituted two eyewitnesses to the same crime because witchcraft was a "habitual" crime. She was hanged on July 19.

By similar logic and equally "solid" evidence, Joel Sucher, in a piece titled "Has Oliver Stone Ever Met a Dictator He Doesn't Admire?" published in the Observer in January accuses Oliver of despotophilia, which Joel too identifies as a "habitual" crime. Joel thinks he knows Oliver. He made a highly laudatory documentary about Oliver in the early 1990s when, he recalls, "Oliver was an aw' shucks, pot-smoking, break your balls, tweak your chain, say outrageous things" kind of guy. But he and Oliver have had little if any relationship since.

I, myself, have been close friends with Oliver for more than 20 years. Oliver and I co-authored The Untold History of the United States documentary film series and New York Times bestselling book between 2008 and 2013 and have been writing articles together and doing screenings and lectures around the world for the past four years. In his article, Joel describes me as a "friend and a legit American University historian, an anti-nuclear activist." Joel has been trying to reach Oliver through me for years, but Oliver spurned all his requests, telling me he didn't "trust" Joel.

Comment: Listen to the SOTT interview with Peter Kuznick: Behind the Headlines: Untold History of the U.S. - Interview with Peter Kuznick


USA

What It Means To Be A Good American

© Jörn Schubert | CC BY 2.0
The Pink Revolution of 2017, better known as Russiagate, is now more or less a fait accompli. Whether the corporatist ruling classes and their servants in Congress formally impeach him or force him to resign in disgrace, Donald J. Trump is being regime-changed, or at the very least effectively neutralized until he can be replaced with a grown-up, i.e., someone who will serve their interests without getting the masses all riled up about "taking the government back from the elites," putting "America first," and, well, just generally making an ass of himself.

At this point, not even a war will save him. Even if he could somehow manage to convince the boys in the Pentagon to back an invasion of Iran, or Syria, or wherever, the corporate-owned press would crucify him, and you can't arbitrarily invade other countries without the support of the corporate media. No, the simple fact is, the Corporatocracy has decided to make an example of Trump, to remind folks who is really running things, and what happens when you attempt to defy them, and there's nothing Trump can do about it, other than rant and rave on Twitter.