A quick search for the UN Report of the Chemical attack in Ghouta wasn’t so quick. I scrolled through pages and pages of articles confirming Assad did it. One would think the UN’s actual report would come up real fast, but no. Human Right’s Watch, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The ABC and The BBC News – Syria Crisis: UN Report confirms Sarin war crimes. In fact they say the UN confirms “unequivocally” that it was the government, on and on it goes before the real story is allowed to emerge; if you can scroll through 20 pages first. These media outlets depend on you not discovering the actual parameters of the report much less actually reading it. So, here’s one I prepared earlier, in January, not long after arriving home from Syria. Read the report in full, also some additions to my original.
A HUNGER OF GHOULS
The ABC blatantly lied regarding the chemical attacks in Syria and in the process defamed peace activist; Catholic nun Mother Agnes. We know of the lies of Iraq, we know the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ committed war-crimes, not allegations of war-crimes. Still, the western media persist in cheer leading for more wars of Empire. It is the media’s job to hold governments to account, not to be handmaidens of hegemony, although that is their greatest skill.
Exerts from ABC’s ‘The Drum’ Episode 10, 24/01/14
Adam Spencer, Mathematician/Comedian: “…..the descriptions I have read by the Catholic nun they’re associated themselves with of gas attacks by Assad against his own people is all fake…well, the United Nations has found absolutely nothing to substantiate that and said that the Syrian government forces are the only people who could have done it. As far as I understand it she’s got no qualifications at all as a weapons inspector as a rapporteur of anything in that field.” Hear more …
Kerry says: “Definitive” U.N. Report Confirms Assad Behind Chemical Attack”
A “definitive” United Nations report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria confirms that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons to kill over 1,000 Syrians on Aug. 21, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday. Read more …
6PR, Perth – Interview with Paul Murray and Julie Bishop; Australian Foreign Minister
Julie Bishop: I have a high level of confidence that the Assad regime was behind it. Read transcript here …
United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic
UN Report on Ghouta Gas Incident Points to Evidence Tampering, not Syrian Culpability
September 17, 2013, Stephen Gowans
The United Nations report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghouta area of Damascus on August 21 does not, as newspaper headlines have indicated, “point to Assad’s use of gas” ; confirm that rockets were loaded with sarin ; or “come closer to linking Assad to sarin attack” . Nor, as US officials and some journalists have declared, does it “reinforce the case that Mr. Assad’s forces were responsible” ; “confirm Damascus’s responsibility” ; or “undercut arguments by President Bashar al-Assad of Syria that rebel forces … had been responsible.”  Read more …
Mother Agnes De La Croix: Report on the Fabrication of Images From the Ghouta CW Attack
Dr. Bashar al Ja’afari
Bashar Al Jaafari, Syria’s UN Permanent Representative talking to the media on 12 Sep. 2013 on his country’s accession to the Chemical Ban Treaty
Seymour Hersh Exposes US Government Lies on Syrian Sarin Attack
10 December, 2013
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has published an article demonstrating that the US government and President Barack Obama knowingly lied when they claimed that the Syrian government had carried out a sarin gas attack on insurgent-held areas last August. Read more …
Document: Questions Plague UN Report on Syria
For several days following the 16 September 2013 release of the UN report on the use of Chemical weapons in Syria on 21 August 2013,  there was a sustained cacophony in the Western commercially-controlled media asserting that the report provided clear proof of Syrian government responsibility for the atrocity. For a while, the voices of both common sense and reason were drowned by the shrill, pompous, ridiculous, hypocritical, faux-outrage of western politicians, with an agenda – an agenda that requires the overthrow of the Syrian government above any and all other considerations. The spectacle would have been hilarious if it were not so tragic in its utterly predictable consequences for those on the receiving end of their relentless humanitarian bombing advocacy.
This article is a cool sober assessment of the reality of the UN report content, together with its production and post-publication leaks by some of the gagged officials responsible for it. Read more …
NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis
Dec 29, 2013, Consortium News
The New York Times has, kind of, admitted that it messed up its big front-page story that used a “vector analysis” to pin the blame for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack on the Syrian government, an assertion that was treated by Official Washington as the slam-dunk proof that President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people.
But you’d be forgiven if you missed the Times’ embarrassing confession, since it was buried on page 8, below the fold, 18 paragraphs into a story under the not-so-eye-catching title, “New Study Refines View Of Sarin Attack in Syria.” Read more…..
Finally Mairead Maguire Nobel Peace Laureate
I have visited Syria and have witnessed their sorrow and their joy. During my visit to Syria, I was inspired by many peace activists, including Mother Agnes Mariam and Mussalaha reconciliation movement, and many other people from both the religious and civil communities. The Government and opposition forces need to talk, but the missing link in the middle (as happened in Northern Ireland) is the civil community who at the grassroots help reunite and re-knit. Read more …
Post Script April, 2016 – More from Seymour Hersh
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad. Read more …
The Red Line and the Rat Line
In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.＊ Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous. Read more: …
Post Script February, 2017 – Again from Seymour Hersh
The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in two previous articles in the London Review of Books («Whose Sarin?» and «The Red Line and the Rat Line») has reported that the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria; and Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn’t come from Assad’s stockpiles. Hersh also said that a secret agreement in 2012 was reached between the Obama Administration and the leaders of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, to set up a sarin gas attack and blame it on Assad so that the US could invade and overthrow Assad. «By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria». Hersh didn’t say whether these «arms» included the precursor chemicals for making sarin which were stockpiled in Libya, but there have been multiple independent reports that Libya’s Gaddafi possessed such stockpiles, and also that the US Consulate in Benghazi Libya was operating a «rat line» for Gaddafi’s captured weapons into Syria through Turkey. So, Hersh isn’t the only reporter who has been covering this. Indeed, the investigative journalist Christoph Lehmann headlined on 7 October 2013, «Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria» and reported, on the basis of very different sources than Hersh used, that «Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry». And, as if that weren’t enough, even the definitive analysis of the evidence that was performed by two leading US analysts, the Lloyd-Postal report, concluded that, «The US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT». Obama has clearly been lying. Read more …