Killing Syrians – A Game Anyone Can Play

by craig on May 6, 2013 10:24 am in Uncategorized

Israel’s massive air strikes against Syria are, beyond argument, illegal. There is no provision in international law that enables you to bomb another country because that country is in internal chaos. Yet the reporting on the BBC, and indeed throughout the mainstream media, makes no mention of their illegality, and makes no mention of the people killed. Contrast this to the condemnatory tone of BBC reporting of North Korean ballistic missile tests, or of Iran’s civil uranium enrichment programme, both of which I view as neither wise nor desirable, but both of which are undoubtedly quite legal.

I have previously noted that Israel does not want the Syrian regime to fall. Tel Aviv has looked long and hard at the likely result, and decided that the risks are too great; an Israel-friendly Sunni strongman could yet be engineered, but a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them. This Israeli coolness is the major reason that the Obama government have stepped back from stoking directly the flames of war, although they continue to do so through their Saudi, Qatar and other allies.

But a Syria tearing itself to pieces is, so long as it lasts, pretty acceptable to Netanyahu. He can step in when he wants and destroy Syria’s military infrastructure, such as the defensive installations just wiped out in massive strikes around Damascus. This is very helpful to Israel’s long term military domination. Normally the scale of this devastating Israeli attack on Syria’s ability to defend itself against Israel air strikes would have brought the most profound world condemnation, but suddenly it is “humanitarian intervention” – and nobody in the western media has even felt the need to justify the narrative that Damascus’ air defences were a humanitarian threat to rebel populations.

In the meantime, a clear statement from the United Nations that the evidence points to rebels, not the government, using the chemical weapon Sarin in Syria, does appear on the BBC website but I have not heard it broadcast, and it does not figure in western media with a hundredth of the prominence given to the unsubstantiated claims of Assad forces using Sarin.

I am in no sense a supporter of Assad. I should dearly love to see his regime overthrown and a democratic government representing the Syrian people installed instead. But the attempt to subvert Syria and influence the country towards the installation of a US and House of Saud backed puppet regime, backed by an extraordinary barrage of distorted propaganda to fool western populations over the course and meaning of events, is sickening.

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  1. Assad’s Syria: Perhaps better the devil we know to the ones we don’t who will fill his shoes.

  2. Carla Del Ponte – ex-ICC, now of UN – reports her high suspicion of sarin gas being used by the rebels in Syria.

  3. @Syhayl

    She didn’t work at the ICC – she worked at the ICTY (and ICTR). I should know I used to work for her!

  4. Israel and Syria are still officially at war, so Israelis probably legally entitled to attack any Syrian military establishment it chooses.

  5. Israel has no automatic right to attack.

  6. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Escobar: Israel gets US’s blessing to bomb Syria!


    I have stopped listening to Radio 4 Today. Cannot take any more of the state broadcaster. The new director of news Harding is supposed to have left his baggage (pro Israel) at the door according to Patten.

    Thank goodness I missed this exchange this morning recorded on Medialens.

    TODAY : �First, Jeremy Bowen, then to an Israeli for the last word”

    Posted by George Brennan on May 6, 2013, 10:30 am

    Today Programme today the sixth at ABOUT 8.36 am. Above is not a exact verbatim quote but it captures the spirit. I think the Editors have somewhere shown that Today has form in this regard.

    The legality of the action was not discussed. A spokesman from the violated nation was not heard from. A Hezbollah spokesman was not heard from. An international lawyer was not heard from. The legitimacy of any �pre-emptive� strategic assault by Israel was taken as given; all that was questioned was the true target of the strategy. The interviewer suspected that the real target was not Hezbollah but the Syrian regime. Probing stuff! That would of course be an added reason for hearing the Syrian side of things.

    To be fair. I did not hear the full three hours. Perhaps there was redemption elsewhere. The Today programme will not go i-player until tomorrow the seventh of May.

    Posted by Richard on May 6, 2013, 10:51 am, in reply to “TODAY : �First, Jeremy Bowen, then to an Israeli for the last word””

    I listened to it and it was disgraceful, totally one-sided and benevolent towards Israel No questioning of the legality of Israels raids, it seems such actions are deemed acceptable by the BBC but any reprisals by Hezbollah, Syria or Iran are not. Iran is tainted as a pariah state and the cause of the troubles in the Middle East whereas Israel, which acts illegally and in contravention to all norms of international law is portrayed as the victims and saviours of “western democracy”.
    The reporter said Israel attacked an arms site in order to stop “sophisticated Iranian weapons reaching Hezbolla”, thus justifying the attack using propaganda from the Israeli side.
    Although Jeremy Bowen did say that it was hard to fathom why Iran would send weapons to Hezbollah via Syria when they could just fly them straight into Lebanon’s airport.

    The BBC also insinuated that Iran is sending surface to surface missile into Lebanon. Another unsubstantiated statement.

    The BBC is not only the progandist for the Tory government and the USA but also Israel. They really do need pulling up.

  7. “The BBC is not only the progandist for the Tory government and the USA but also Israel. They really do need pulling up.”

    Not pulling up – abolishing!

  8. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    Yes agree there Craig.

    A journalist friend who knows the region wrote this morning:

    Remember in the run up to the attack on Iraq (2003) the constant drip was that “Saddam was a threat to his neighbours” and thus must be invaded. All the “neighbours” without exception, even Iran kept saying he was not a threat, but out came the same line from US-UK Inc. Now that Israel has proved yet again that it is a paramount threat to its “neighbours” and the entire region, there is not a word.

    And by the way, how long is it that Syria has kept the peace over the Golan which is not recognised as Israel’s and most definitely IS Syria’s?

    If Israel triggers all-out war in the region, there will be nothing left – including Israel. Truly terrifying times.

  9. Craig: “….I am in no sense a supporter of Assad. I should dearly love to see his regime overthrown and a democratic government representing the Syrian people installed instead… ”

    Syria has a new constitution since 2012

    Assad was re-elected with a clear majority,_2012

  10. I think it fairly obvious that the main purpose in attacking Syria is to start a war with Iran. The US/NATO/Israel axis are presumably hoping that Iran will get sucked in to the conflict as they have a defence pact with Syria. If there is any retaliation against Israel then the US will have the pretext it needs for military action against Syria and eventually against Iran.

    Even if ethical considerations are left aside this is very dangerous stuff. The BRICS countries and the Chinese in particular simply cannot allow the western plutocracies to seize control of Iran and its oil. We may well be headed for Thermonuclear war.

  11. The BBC really is beyond parody when it comes to Israel; Israel is beyond parody when it comes to its perennial whining victimhood – and both continue to get away with it! Like the man who, having murdered his parents, demands sympathy for his status as an orphan, ‘Chutzpah’ no longer does justice to the phemomena. I despair at the purblind stupidity of western populations, I really do.

    Any other country doing what Israel has done would have sparked an immediate UNSC debate. Not only did they attack a sovereign state that has kept the peace with them for over 40 years (in spite of having part of its sovereign territory occupied throughout that time), but they violated the airspace of another sovereign state to do so.

    Israel simply does not give a shit about international law, or any of the norms of civilised behaviour when it sees advantage to itself. It is a racist apartheid state that was spawned by terrorists and has been ruled by terrorists ever since – and, with its routine Ingsoc-like doublethink, our sanctimonious foreign policy establishment affects not to notice any of it.

  12. Sorry OT(ish)

    They’re at it again with the memory of Walter Scott too, who rapidly turned against the union, and wrote of its consequences scathingly and with bitter regret till the end of his days, romanticising the rebels and rebellion, lamenting greatly the great damage done to highland and lowland culture, the course events had taken and the political betrayal of the nation. A slew of programs from Great Lives to Frostrup’s Open Book were all turned into one-sided screeds against independence, vain and crude re-writes of history and his works.

  13. Your blog-post says it so well. When I saw footage of the alarming explosions on the outskirts of Damascus I thought in terms of violation of international law, but then when you think of the state of Israel you know they have no regard for international law and wonder if they have ever observed it, except by accident. Violations include the development of nuclear weapons, abduction by MOSSAD of Mordechai Vanunu, theft of land and other resources from Palestinians. International Organisations, even if they had the will to enforce the law, are powerless against a nation state like Israel (Banker to the world).

  14. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    6 May, 2013 – 11:42 am

    “Israel and Syria are still officially at war, so Israelis probably legally entitled to attack any Syrian military establishment it chooses.”

    And vice versa would you not agree?

  15. Thanks, exexpat. You’re quite right, I stand corrected. Carla Del Ponte worked for the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia), not for the ICC (International Criminal Court).

    And good on you, if you worked with her!

  16. A close protection officer working out of Dubai has explained how Israel moved to a Plan B after the December 2012 and March 19 2013 sarin gas false-flag attempts in which British and French governments had written to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations confirming the transfer and then use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, failed to gain US and international leverage.

    Israel’s Brigadier General Itai Brun, speaking at a security conference in Israel, unfolded a modification of the S-plan with the announcement:

    “To the best of our professional understanding, the regime used lethal chemical weapons against the militants in a series of incidents over the past months,” Brun said, according to an Associated Press report from Tel Aviv. “Shrunken pupils, foaming at the mouth and other signs indicate, in our view, that lethal chemical weapons were used.”

    The CP officer has confirmed the original S-Plan was required to prove chemical weapons were being moved to Lebanon and Hezbollah from Syrian storage sites. The S-Plan made use of small aluminium vials containing binary precursors to sarin that required mixing.

    Fragmenting expectations of Syria falling after Assad agreeing to safe passage by the West and these recent stalemates has lead to the current in your face aerial attacks by a frustrated Israel, intended to destroy Assad’s military capability, again with a pretense, a masquerade that high tech weaponry was being transferred to Lebanon.

  17. From an ex-US Army Officer. Interesting site:

    “UK special forces are being pulled out of Afghanistan ahead of a planned mission to help Syrian rebels. SAS and SBS commanders are drawing up top secret plans to give the fighters much-needed weapons. A Whitehall source revealed SAS and SBS veterans are being “quietly” withdrawn from Afghanistan to prepare for their new mission. They will be working with guidance from MI6 and their French counterparts, the Directorate-General for External Security, to get a £20million Brit-funded arsenal stockpiled in neighbouring countries into rebel hands.”

  18. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 2:58 pm

    “At least 42 soldiers killed, 100 missing after Israeli raid on Syria – NGO”

    “Israeli air raids on three military sites near Damascus killed at least 42 soldiers at the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an updated toll on Monday. “At least 42 soldiers were killed in the strikes, and another 100 who would usually be at the targeted sites remain unaccounted for,”

    Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. The Britain-based watchdog group earlier said at least 15 soldiers had been killed.”

  19. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 3:00 pm

  20. OT, there again, maybe not ?.

    “Why Donald Ogden Stewart was Blacklisted.”

  21. Another interesting conjunction. The uncle of the alleged Boston bombers married a CIA Officer and it is alleged that he worked for the CIA, funding Chechen Jihadist paramilitaries. So, this man, who was interviewed so often in the immediate aftermath of the bombings, was meant to be simply, ‘an uncle’ but in fact may have been more like ‘The Man’ From Uncle’.

  22. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Back to the BBC. John Hilley writes.

    Israel bombs Syria – an act of war and another ‘red line’ crossed
    Monday, 6 May 2013

    Israel has just committed at least two significant acts of war in bombing Syria. Many people are, most likely, dead and injured as a result. Yet, the BBC has nothing to report about the true status of the aggression and little about the human cost.

    Consider if this had been a violation of Israeli airspace, an actual bombing of Israel or any such attack on a Western country. Imagine the ‘international crisis’. The context would have been immediate and specific: ‘an act of war’, the coverage of victims massive and detailed.

    Nor are Israeli ‘strikes’, rather than bombings, reported by the BBC as specifically inhuman or illegal. They’re described, rather, with a basic insouciance, as though ‘terror states’ and their people should routinely expect such treatment.



    The Australian state broadcaster’s output is very similar to the BBC’s – Israel is described as ‘a regional stabilizer’ by the presenter.

  23. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 3:31 pm


    “If the EU and US say nothing about these [Israeli] attacks, approval is granted”

  24. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 3:55 pm

    Perhaps while we are on the question of what is and what isn’t legal under international law perhaps Craig and others might wish to express their views on the legality of the long running interference of both Syria and Iran in the sovereign affairs of Lebanon and their support for Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel. Not that one illegality can be used as the basis for another – but perhaps it is not just the BBC that is unable to see both sides of the story.

    BTW where has anyone described the Israeli attacks as an “humanitarian intervention”?

  25. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    @Doug Scourgie


    “If the EU and US say nothing about these [Israeli] attacks, approval is granted”

    Good to see that the old witch dunking test lives on. Now what do you say nothing about Mr Scourgie? Do you believe that the human rights record of the Assad regime amounts to a breach of human rights law? Do you believe that any of the attacks on Israel amount to a breach of international law?

  26. Re: ‘Hezbollahs attacks on Israel’

    A typical start the clock whenever its convenient for your case sort of comment.

    Naturally the fact that Hezbollah didn’t even exist until Israel invaded Lebanon can be completely ignored right? Israel has twice invaded Lebanon and are the creators of the enmity between the shias of Lebanon and the state of Israel. Also Israel is still occupying the Shebaa farms area which is claimed by Lebanon, a claim accepted incidentally by Syria.

  27. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    Two weeks ago SecDef Hagel announced the Syrian govt may have used chems; two days later the cautious Obama said the same but said we need some corroboration. The noveau Neo-cons (McCain et al) immediately began hammering on the ‘red line’ and it’s crossing. They sure want to ‘help’ the Rebels, maybe because they are so concerned with establishing FEMAcracy in the ME.

    As to who used chems, I think this has not been related.

  28. The long list of lies produced by enemies of the Syrian government in the last few years have been quite staggering. The bloke in Coventry has employed every ounce of his imagination in trying to shape opinion against Assad. Anyone can Google Rami Abdulrahman to uncover the truth about this obnoxious little man who is causing havoc in Syria whilst remaining safe in his semi-detached Coventry home. What kind of serious news organisation would use the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims to headline its news stories?

  29. Sorry, I forgot to make it clear that my last comment was a response to ‘resident dissident’

  30. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    @April Showers/Mary

    And given that the BBC/Amnesty/HRW is out of bounds – could you please let us know where we should go for up to date information about the human rights situation in Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea etc. etc and the interference of countries other than the UK, US and Israel in the affairs of others. The sources you suggest appear to be a little short of information in those areas.

  31. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    The defector Col. may just be the new Chalabi or ‘Curveball’. Good sourcing, guys. Your MO doesn’t change.

    “On a recent day, Col. Abduljabbar Aqidi, an army defector who heads the newly formed Aleppo Military Council, drove into the city with a small convoy. It felt a bit like a political campaign as he grabbed a Kalashnikov rifle, thanked rebels for their duty and posed with them for photos. At one point, in the Bab al-Hadid neighborhood, Aqidi stood on top of a fallen poster of Assad as he shook hands with children.”

  32. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:22 pm


    I think you will find it very hard to justify the legality (or morality) of all of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel – I have no problem whatsoever in accepting the illegality of much of what Israel has done in Lebanon. But I’m afraid the same logic applies to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – do you agree?

  33. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 4:25 pm

    “Of course anyone whose brain fired on more than one cylinder should have questioned why in the hell the Syrian government would use in such a limited and militarily insignificant way the one weapon it knew would likely bring on a US and NATO Libya-style intervention. It made no sense at all for the Syrian government to use “just a little” sarin — not enough to do more than kill a few people, nothing to alter the course of the war — knowing about “red lines” and a US/Saudi/Qatari/Israeli/Turk bloodlust to invade.

    On the other hand, it made all the sense in the world for the insurgents to release some sarin here and there, make some videos of the victims, and email the links to some very willing Israeli generals and McCainian rabid warhawks in the US and their absurd poodles in the UK and France.”

  34. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:28 pm


    “The long list of lies produced by enemies of the Syrian government in the last few years have been quite staggering.”

    Yes – daresay there has been quite a few lies – so lets just stick to the one basis underlying truth i.e. that the human rights record of the Assad family is disgusting and is in clear breach of international law and any moral code accepted by decent human beings.

  35. RD 4:28:
    so lets just stick to the one basis underlying truth i.e. that the human rights record of the Assad family is disgusting and is in clear breach of international law and any moral code accepted by decent human beings

    The ‘decent human beings’ that comprise the ruling elites of say, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and the UK’s other feudal allies do you mean? – oh, and lets not forget that other bastion of ‘decent human governance’ – Israel – with over 7,000 political prisoners and a litany of gross abuses of its Arab populations and neighbours that would shame the Devil himself.

    By their Standards, Syria is a model of moderation. Christians used to feel safe there but not any longer.

    You should consider changing your handle to ‘Resident Official Narrative Apologist’

  36. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    Already OT; Does anyone have some personal experience with this?

    Average household earnings in 2011 were about £37,000, according to the most recently available data from the Office for National Statistics.

    Among the group who used savings or credit to pay for food:

    Eight out of 10 (82%) worried about food prices
    More than half (55%) said they were likely to cut back on food spending in the next few months
    Nearly six out of 10 (57%) said they found it difficult to cope on their current income
    A third (32%) borrowed money from friends and family in April

  37. BBC now reporting the Carla Del Ponte claims of use of sarin by rebels on News Channel. She is the “controversial Carla Del Ponte” though according to BBC. Al Jazeera also reporting her claims while trying to debunk her at the same time. Neither BBC nor AJ running it as a lead story.

    RT Moscow running with it as lead story. They are not attacking Del Ponte though.

  38. Resident Dissident: The crimes I suspect Assad has committed are extremely serious , although it’s generally agreed that his father was much worse. I’d happily see him answer those charges in a court of law. The same should apply to anyone responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the brutalisation and degradation inflicted on those people. When it comes to human rights and international law, Israel will face more questions than any nation.

  39. The news in Oz of the Israeli attack on Syrian targets, coincides with reports of anti-semitic protests in Hungary and the awarding of the first honorary citizenship to Raul Wallenberg who rescued J*ws in Nazi-occupied Hungary. So don’t expect any cries of outrage from Oz against the state of Israel.

    I am, however, curious about the timing of the attack with reports of “new” anti-semitism (what happened to the old one?) and awarding a long-presumed dead hero an honorary citizenship. Call me a cynic, but I don’t believe these kinds of things happen coincidentally.

    A dead man becomes a citizen of a country he never visited – hooray!

    Will New Anti-Semitism go the way of New Coke?

  40. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 5:36 pm

    R2D2 attempts to defend the indefensible by throwing up chaff. As teacher says, ‘must try harder’.

    Try this for size:

    I see that we abstained, as usual, in 1982 on the Sabra Shatila atrocity. Carrington was the Foreign Sec until April 1982 then followed by Francis Pym for a year, then Howe. Thatcher moved her chess pieces around didn’t she.

    Investigation into violation of International Law

    See also: Sabra and Shatila massacre, section MacBride commission report

    On 16 December 1982, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the Sabra and Shatila massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide.[90] The voting record[91][92][93] on section D of Resolution 37/123, which “resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide”, was: yes: 123; no: 0; abstentions: 22; non-voting: 12. The abstentions were: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany (Federal Republic), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Côte d’Ivoire, Papua New Guinea, Barbados and Dominican Republic. Some delegates disputed the claim that the massacre constituted genocide.

    In 1982, an international commission investigated into reported violations of International Law by Israel during its invasion of the Lebanon. Chairman was Seán MacBride, the other members were Richard Falk, Kader Asmal, Brian Bercusson, Géraud de la Pradelle, and Stefan Wild. The commission’s report[94] concluded that “the government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law”, that the government of Israel had no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of Lebanon, and that the Israeli authorities or forces were directly or indirectly responsible for the massacres and killings, which have been reported to have been carried out by Lebanese militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in the Beirut area between 16 and 18 September.[94]


  41. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    A diversion

    I believe that this is the brother of the man who sadly died in the speedboat accident yesterday. He is a photographer and produced a book about Lebanon and previous ones on Ghana and Peru. His name is Max Milligan and he was speaking at a press conference earlier today about his deceased brother and niece and the four other members of the family in hospital, struggling all the while to contain his emotions.

    He speaks (in English) on this video. He loves Lebanon and describes it as a beautiful country with which he fell in love.

    Max Milligan Lebanon

    The book on Ghana Reviews all good.

    and his photos of Scotland

  42. Resident dissident

    It is a pleasant surprise to get a reasonable response to my comment, I feel that you deserve a similarly reasonable response to your enquiry.

    I dislike arguing morality in this sort of context so I will focus on legality. My starting position is that all parties should obey international law, if that had been done from the outset then the world, and the middle east in particular, would be a happier and more peaceful place. The fact that Israel is in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute, but many of the accusations leveled at Iran, Syria and Hezbollah appear to be simply that (ie accusations)

    If you could give me some examples of the aforementioned countries/organisations breaches of international law then I would be prepared to comment on them. However I will not accept allegations as evidence, particularly allegations made by their enemies.

    There is another question worth asking, which is whether entities which are in breach of the law are entitled to its protection. And what of those people who are palpably not getting justice under the law. The illegal Israeli occupation and settlement of occupied lands have been ongoing for decades, yet nothing has been done about it. If international law is to mean anything, then it must be applied impartially to all.

    A few decades ago there was a series of UN resolutions, tabled by the USSR if I recall correctly, calling upon all states to obey international law. All were vetoed by the US. That said it all really.

  43. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    Israel …. again.

    White Slaughter in Black Africa: Genocide and Denialism
    Dr. Gerald Caplan and the Rwanda Genocide Cranks

    by Keith Harmon Snow / May 3rd, 2013

    War and plunder continue to rip apart great swathes of Africa. The perpetrators are known, and many have been named and exposed. The Pentagon, NATO countries and Israel continue to foment covert international guerrilla wars, while their proxy regimes continue to persecute and defraud their own people, even (at this
    writing) engaged in genocide. Meanwhile, leading white (and some black) apologists whitewashing war crimes and genocide in Africa continue to squeal about anyone who does not tout the racist white power establishment line they worship and profit from.


    Scroll down and you can see the variety of articles Keith Harmon Snow. He is particularly well informed on Central Africa and knows the names of all the players.

  44. I think what the West,Israel and Qatar are looking for is a Muslim Brotherhood government, who I believe have made a secret agreement with Israel.

  45. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 8:05 pm

  46. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    resident dissident
    6 May, 2013 – 4:03 pm
    @Doug Scourgie

    “Good to see that the old witch dunking test lives on. Now what do you say nothing about Mr Scourgie?”

    “Do you believe that the human rights record of the Assad regime amounts to a breach of human rights law?”

    Yes I do.

    “Do you believe that any of the attacks on Israel amount to a breach of international law?”

    Yes I do.

  47. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    Resident dissident
    6 May, 2013 – 4:28 pm

    “…the human rights record of the Assad family is disgusting and is in clear breach of international law and any moral code accepted by decent human beings.”

    Ditto Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE…

  48. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 8:50 pm

    6 May, 2013 – 6:52 pm

    “I think what the West, Israel and Qatar are looking for is a Muslim Brotherhood government, who I believe have made a secret agreement with Israel.”

    What makes you believe that, Ruth?

  49. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    Ms Del Ponte is being hung out to dry.

    On WATO they had a Lord Williams on. At the beginning after the ‘news’.

    This is the Lord Williams now a ‘Distinguished Visiting Fellow’ of Chatham House. He wants diplomatic action. As if that will happen. He is persuaded by Israel that they only took action to prevent weapons going into the wrong hands. He disparaged Ms Del Ponte’s report on the use of sarin by the rebels.

    Note Caroline Wyatt, Defence Correspondent BBC in this list.

  50. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    6 May, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    John Goss writes :

    “powerless against a nation state like Israel (Banker to the world).”


    I suppose that Mr Goss is also a firm believer in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    6 May, 2013 - 9:42 pm

    Resident Dissident – splendid to see you back and in good form!

    I notice, by the way, that you managed to get an admission or two out of Doug Scorgie.

    As I did, on a related subject, I believe, some time ago.

    You will however have noticed that Dougie always has to be pushed into admitting propositions like “Assad is a tyrant who violates human rights “; he will never volonteer such a thought.

    And even when he does make the admission he does so with bad grace (clue : “what about Saudi Arabia, UEA, Bahrain…etc”).


  52. Now it looks as if Carla del Ponte is being marginalised. Having “our” guys use nerve gas clearly doesn’t fit the correct narrative. As Assad’s forces gain the upper hand, the campaign to get “us” involved has gone into overdrive.
    The Syrian army are fighting to keep Syria as a functioning, unitary state, and from what I’ve read I think the majority of Syrians know this. They know that NATO and Saudi/Qatar are behind al Nusra, and they don’t want that kind of murderous liberation. They see what happened in Libya. Speaking of which, where’s big Johnny Simpson on the road to Ras Lanuf, telling us how the country has been shattered into rival fiefdoms? Again, that’s off-script, so don’t tune in for that. Still, Libya is our kind of chaos, rather than another chapter in the Arab Spring. Job done. In the same way as Iraq is now a beacon of democracy, and Maliki is of course nothing like Saddam and has no fondness for torturing and imprisoning opponents. And don’t dare imply that he has! Thanks John. The knighthood’s in the post.
    Thank Christ for Robert Fisk, the corporate media’s single saving fucking grace.

  53. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    6 May, 2013 - 9:51 pm

    HEY, April Showers/mary – wake up, please !!!!!

    There’s a very interesting question, very politely expressed, waiting for an answer from you (see below).

    Please do not disappoint us.

    “And given that the BBC/Amnesty/HRW is out of bounds – could you please let us know where we should go for up to date information about the human rights situation in Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea etc. etc and the interference of countries other than the UK, US and Israel in the affairs of others. The sources you suggest appear to be a little short of information in those areas.”

  54. English Knight

    6 May, 2013 - 9:57 pm

    Does the continued comatose state of Sharon mean he is not wanted in Hell either?!! What happens to his 72 ladyboys, promised to all chosen evil doers upon entry into Hell, in the Talmud?

  55. “In the meantime, a clear statement from the United Nations that the evidence points to rebels, not the government, using the chemical weapon Sarin in Syria, does appear on the BBC website but I have not heard it broadcast”

    It was repeatedly broadcast on BBC Radio Wales news as the headline item for most of Monday morning.

    *this is not a defence of the BBC, just an observation.*

  56. As Chomsky always points out, we are responsible for what our country does, because that’s the only vote we have. I’m ashamed of the UK’s Foreign Policy, and my (hopefully) adopted country Australia’s is little, if any better. There seems to be an acceptance in certain circles that dictators, who are bad people, can be removed by the west – who are presumably Good People – because that’s the right thing to do. Bluntly, a 6th Former would fail his History exam with those arguments. The desire to rid Syria of Assad is fair enough, but the consequences have to be considered. But they never are.

    I should note, the ‘Israeli’ foreign policy is probably no more supported by actual Israeli’s than ours is supported by UK citizens. I’m told the debate is quite vigorous within Israel, and consiencious objectors have support. I wonder if we should begin to use other terms than specifically nation state terms. Words are important. So, it’s not the ‘UK’ or ‘Israel’ but ‘Nu Lab’ or ‘Likud’. Or perhaps just ‘elite decision makers in [insert country].’ There’s never been a referendum on war, after all.

  57. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 11:36 pm

    Brendan; That’s an important point. Is there really that much difference between a republic and a dictatorship?

    @ the market;

    Sir/Madam, would you like a paper bag or plastic?

    Choices and voter influence !!!

  58. “White House “highly skeptical” Syrian rebels used chemical weapons”

    What’s interesting here is not the ever mendacious nature of the American junta, but their difficulty in holding their narrative together.

    There’s much chatter too about Obama’s dithering and failure to lead. Let’s hope that’s an observation about structure rather something more personal in nature.

  59. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 11:43 pm

    Herbie @ 11:37

    Not defending Obama in the Big Pic, but in this instance, he and Hagel have been skeptical about the Syrian adventure. (see my links above) Both were skeptical about Iraq, and don’t want any deja vu messing up their legacies. They don’t want to be associated with the Bush Regime, other than Guantanamo and Dronz, that is.

  60. Invoking ‘the Assad family’ is media newspeak – my blood father was a ‘bar-steward’ – I am not.

    American propaganda in Iraq has taught the FSA terrorists well.

    The so-called “Massacre of Homs” or “Blood Night in Syria” is unverified and still unconfirmed, just like most Western main stream reports on the situation and events in Syria. As Doug Scorgie tells us the Western media still relies on the questionable “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, based in London.

    Pure hysteria. The western media were falling over themselves with lurid reports of a massacre by the Syrian army in the city of Homs just before the UNSC vote. CNN showed a tank firing in Homs (all the other tanks, according to AL had withdrawn – how? and that tank flew the green/white/black rebel flag – Doh!

    Abandoned/obsolete base taken over by rebels [propaganda]:

    I appreciate differences in opinion here with relish however we have now witnessed the slaughter of Syrian soldiers and civilians by an illegal preemptive strike, by a foreign government too boot, who is/was under no real threat whatsoever.

    And the UN buries it’s head in sand.

    I have trustworthy and dependable information, a known good intelligence source in/out of Syria. Be assured, guaranteed foreign fighters in Syria will murder, will rape, will cut babies throats and will blow kids heads off for dollars. This is ‘human being’ remote killing; with this blood money flowing who needs drones for extrajudicial murder to enact regime change in Syria and install a corrupt western puppet; a monarchical thug who will further smash the infrastructure, encourage slaughter by divide, accept bribes and communicate cipher with western intelligence.

  61. Interesting insight here into how the American state terrorist mind is currently thinking about Syria.

    This is precisely the game they played during the Iraq/Iran war too. In that case direct intervention wasn’t possible, and that is obviously the conclusion they’ve come to on Syria for the moment.

  62. Ben

    Sure. They’re not going so far as to remove material support from the rebels though.

    It seems that the policy is to support rebels materially and every so often Israel will attack should the Syrian govt show any sign of prevailing.

    Meanwhile more and more people are slaughtered, butchered and die.

    Western policy is exposed as pure evil.

    We can only hope these terrorists lose control.

  63. Del Ponte is pretty much persona non grata with the US State Dept, earning their obloquy for accusing (in 2008)the KLA of organ harvesting during the 1999 conflict when they, like the anti Assad forces today, were the officially designated ‘good guys’.The Foggy Bottom in house magazine has just published a hit piece on her at this link (registration required)-

  64. Interesting article, casting further doubt on the veracity of the noises emerging from Washington, as if that were needed given their history of proven, routine and familiar lying.

    “As we consider the conflicting reports of the use of chemical weapons that have emerged from Syria over the past weeks, it is worth recalling that the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria has in the past used crude chemical weapons on multiple occasions in neighboring Iraq.”

  65. It’s worth pointing out that there is little material difference between Del Ponte’s statement and her office’s supposed retraction.

    And additionally her office’s statement does not support the position of Washington.

    It inclines much more to her statement than the position of Washington, who have simply been caught misinterpreting the findings again.

  66. ‘Thank Christ for Robert Fisk, the corporate media’s single saving fucking grace.’

    I second that!

  67. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 7:01 am

    O/T and by the by

    The Queen is not attending the Heads of Government Commonwealth conference for the first time since 1973. It is being held in Sri Lanka in November. It has obviously been decided that it is politically unadvisable for her to visit or maybe it is her own decision. P. Charles will deputise.

    I watched an excellent and balanced Our World report by Charles Haviland the other day. ‘Not currently available on iPlayer.’ Why not when they have repeats of trivia and dross like soaps?
    Our World :
    Sri Lanka’s Open Wounds
    Duration: 30 minutes

    It is four years since Sri Lankan government troops crushed the Tamil Tiger separatist militants, ending the civil war. But 30 years of violence has left a bleak legacy.

    Politically motivated ‘disappearances’ continue along with suppression of critical voices. The BBC’s correspondent in Sri Lanka, Charles Haviland, reports for Our World on the lasting trauma for victims of the war who feel their voices are not being heard.

    Charles asks whether Sri Lanka can have the bright future its leaders promise if it does not address the darker aspects of the country’s recent past, and its present.
    (Not available)

    I think of Liam Fox and Adam Werritty’s involvement there.

    and from Ron Ridenour

    ‘Critics assert that the US and Europe are not seriously advancing the rights of Tamils nor actually sanctioning GoSL for its brutal war crimes, and certainly not its 65 year-long genocide against the minority Tamils. They point out that the US, its side-kick Israel and NATO countries, always aided the Sri Lankan government.

    The Western powers provided Sri Lanka’s military with weaponry, money, counter-intelligence, and training to win the long war against Tamil nationhood. Then, since their mutual victory, the Western axis criticizes the Asian government for having committed excesses. This “human rights” approach is the best of all possible worlds for Western dictates: world domination for the cause of humanity is what they say if you read between the lips of communicators for globalization.’

    He is also critical of other countries’ involvement. What is it about Sri Lanka that draws all these players in? Is there some strategic importance?

    ‘China, Russia, Iran, India and Pakistan also militarily and economically assisted Sri Lankan governments in avoiding federalism for the two peoples—majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils—yet they did so without the hyperbole of “protecting human rights.” Unfortunately, Cuba and its seven associates in the Latin American-nation Bolivarian Alliance of the peoples of the Americas (ALBA) got caught up in the geo-political game and supported Sri Lanka.’

  68. Habba… 9:27pm:

    I suppose that Mr Goss is also a firm believer in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    Straight from the Hasbara manual of substance-avoiding put downs. Wearing a bit thin now though, as anyone who has taken the trouble to read that benighted but startlingly prohetic document can attest.

    Whoever were its authors – and the Tzar’s Okhrana are favourites for the version that causes all the fuss – they certainly knew their Pharisaic Judaism. Its repellant insults against us Goyim are in fact mild compared to the uncensored Babylonian Talmud (pretty much unobtainable in English – I wonder why?) which, under pain of death (I kid you not), non-Jews are forbidden from study, and which remains at the heart of Orthodox belief. As for the substance of its overall narrative, it is uncannilly akin to what has and continues to unfold, as anyone who has actually read it can attest.

    For those who have not yet committed that unforgivable sin of judging for themselves – and forgive me for suspecting H to number among them – Here it is in all its forbidden allure

  69. From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.

  70. From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.

    Thanks for that reassurance, Craig, what if it is Habbakuk?

  71. Quite right Craig…it was getting boring !

  72. From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.

    At the next election, I will vote for any candidate of whatever (secular) persuasion, who undertakes to make this sensible policy law.

    Yes, it must be remembered that Assad is an ally of Iran. And as no-one quite dares to start an unprovoked war with Iran, even to save poor little Israel from its perpetual feeling of existential dread, neocon policy continues to prefer destabilising its allies. And neocon policy can rely on Israel’s ability to spot a bad situation and make it even worse. So I guess the recent strikes, which were transparently not on Hizb’ullah-bound weaponry, but on Assad’s arms dumps, one close to a nerve gas repository, had the full blessing of Obama, and whichever dual-citizenship lowlifes are advising him these days.

    R4 last night and this morning was reporting the UN’s findings re. nerve gas.

  73. As well as the plain common sense of Robert Fisk’s article linked by Doug Scorgie and now me two things caught my attention. The date is wrong, being given as Sunday 5 May, and comments are closed for legal reasons. The first is most likely a simple mistake. Comments being closed for legal reasons means that those who control the media do not want people to express opinions which contradict authority.

    Fisk’s argument that if the US and UK do not condemn Israel for these attacks they condone them. There has been no condemnation. When Israel made an alarming overkill attack on Lebanon William Hague, not noted for his criticism of Israel, called it disproportionate.

    Peter Oborne in his Despatches coverage of William Hague’s condemnation pointed out how Jewish donations to Tory funds stopped in retaliation for the aforementioned honest appraisal by Hague, and this brought the Tories quickly back into line. In my comment yesterday I called Israel the Banker to the world and the above shows how governments are bought for Israel’s many violations of international law. Only a collapse in the corrupt financial systems of the world can make human rights an important issue again. Nathan Rockefeller, when questioned by Aaron Russo about proposed killing of other people to achieve world domination, asked Russo why should he be worried about them. As one of them I am concerned.

  74. Neocons: Hear also what Mother Jones saith –

    But real neocons, it seems, do not get squishy when the question is US troops on Syrian soil. After Obama’s press conference, a publicist for the American Center for Democracy shot out a press release touting the group’s director, Rachel Ehrenfeld, and her proposals for action in Syria. She has three simple steps for the United States: bypass the United Nations and impose a no-fly zone in Syria; stop giving arms to rebels associated with Al Qaeda; and deploy US troops within Syria to secure chemical-weapons facilities. Given that Syria probably has scores, if not hundreds, of chemical-weapons sites, such a force would entail tens of thousands of US troops, perhaps hundreds of thousands. And these soldiers would likely have to fight their way to these sites. (No cake-walking here.)

    Her proposal would entail invading Syria with a massive force of US troops. But Ehrenfeld’s position is not that surprising, considering the board members and advisers for her American Center for Democracy. They include Richard Perle, one of the most hawkish neocons, who led the cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq, and former CIA chief R. James Woolsey, who after 9/11 promoted the neoconnish conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was the secret puppet master controlling Al Qaeda. On the ACD’s list of advisers are retired Lt. General Thomas McInerney and retired Maj. General Paul Vallely, who were each over-the-top supporters of the Iraq War on Fox News.

    One sign that Syria is indeed a hard case is that the neocons and the usual hawks are not entirely united. They are torn over whether to arm the anti-Assad forces, substantial portions of which are aligned with jihadists and extremists hostile to the United States, Israel, and the West. Some are squeamish about sending in US troops. Yet Bill Kristol, the son-of-the-godfather of the neocons, a few days ago denounced Obama’s reluctance to take military action in Syria and proclaimed, “No one wants to start wars, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” Ehrenfeld and the American Center for Democracy are demonstrating that the most hawkish neocons are ready to heed Kristol and go all-out in Syria. They want American boots on the ground, and they’re not likely to stop squawking until there is an invasion.

    Ehrenfeld (and many old favourites – Woolsey, Perle, and Nina Rosenwald (of JINSA and MEMRI)are gathered conveniently together here:

  75. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 10:24 am

    @ Craig (and Wikispooks) :

    Come on, I was merely pointing out that repeating the tired old saw that “Israel is “the banker to the world” (that was John Goss) is as silly as believing in the authenticity of the ‘document’ the name of which we are not allowed to mention. Repeat : both are tired and pernicious untruths.

    What on earth is wrong with saying that?

  76. Well, next time find another analogy.

  77. Excellent analysis of Israel’s aggression here:

    (Untainted by jingoist neocons or apologists for Assad)

  78. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 10:30 am

    @ Mark Golding :

    “Invoking ‘the Assad family’ is media newspeak – my blood father was a ‘bar-steward’ – I am not.”


    But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? You didn’t ‘inherit’ your father’s job (and you were presumably not groomed to), whereas Assad the Son inherited his father’s, without anyone else – and certainly not the Syrian people – having any say in it.

  79. There are many indications that the attack was carefully planned a long time in advance, and some that the US actively participated in the planning. According to a Reuters report published last month, the American-brokered Israeli apology to Turkey in March was geared precisely toward such a strike, since Israelis and Turks had played aerial brinkmanship over Syria and Lebanon on recent occasions in the past. [4]

    Also the timing of a “surprise” Israeli drill in the north, which started days before the attacks, suggests that the raids had been carefully scripted, as does recent open talk by Hezbollah about a war in the next six weeks. Given the long rostrum of American and Israeli officials which visited each other’s capitals lately, and the support voiced by the White House for Israel’s right “to take the actions they feel are necessary to protect their people”, it is hard to believe that Obama was surprised by the operation.

    Ibid. Above.

  80. Here’s William Jefferson Hague on the attack: … insists Israel’s right to defend itself must be respected…

    Is that to your satisfaction, Bibi? If there is any deficiency in my computer-generated response to your efforts to promote regional peace, please do not hesitate to inform one of the servants, and it will be rectified immediately. And thanks for the donation to Tory funds, which arrived as usual via one of our regular cutouts.

    Oh, and Obama please copy:

    The Foreign Secretary also said the recent escalation in the conflict and Israel’s airstrikes showed that the conflict risked spreading beyond Syria’s borders to the wider Middle East and reiterated it was time to consider lifting the arms embargo on Syria’s opposition.

    “The longer this goes on, the stronger the case becomes for lifting the arms embargoes on the National Coalition, on the Syrian opposition, if we’re left with no other alternative to that,” William Hague said.

    Yes, you got that right. The wording is perfect. Israel isn’t singlehandedly encouraging the conflict to become regional. It’s showing us the threat to which we can best respond by making the conflict regional. And that’s terrific.

    Honestly. The lad should have been a politician…

  81. Concur, Komodo, this unilateral action by a rogue element NATO cannot control, makes it a volatile mix operating there.
    So called arch enemies, Salafist’s from various western countries, working with Israel, who can see vast swathes of land it can hold under ‘occupation’, just as the Golan, all working to oust Assad.

    Turkey is the key to his future and I can’t say that Erdogan is enthralled by Netanyahu’s Syrian attacks, but he also accuses Bashar of covering up a massacre supposedly happening at the same time.

  82. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 11:52 am

    The Syrian ‘inheritance of power’ sounds just like that of our ruling monarchy.

  83. Correction to my post at 12.11am above

    It seems that US policy is to support rebels materially up to a certain level of weaponry, and Israel will provide strategic support by attacking with heavier weaponry as necessary.

    Both the US and Israel don’t want to provide heavier weapons to the rebels directly for fear they may be used against Israel at a later stage.

    Israel isn’t defending itself at all. It’s attacking Syria on the rebels behalf.

  84. “a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them.” – I strongly disagree.

    The so called “Jihadists” are NOT fighting their ‘natural’ enemy, not now nor before the implosion of Syria. No, they are fighting Assad.

    Actually the amorphous nature of the so called “Jihadists” makes it all but impossible to ‘read’ them (and their goals), but it’s clear they are NOT attacking the Zionist entity an it’s not too hard to come up with simple and plausible reasons as to why that is.

  85. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 12:11 pm

    @ April Showers/Mary :

    “The Syrian ‘inheritance of power’ sounds just like that of our ruling monarchy.”


    Come on now, you’re not being serious.

    Hint : key word : “power”.

  86. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    @ Craig :

    Will try! Suggestions welcome, but how about the Zinoviev letter?

  87. Influential Republican lawmaker John McCain said Israel’s air strikes on Syria could add pressure on the Obama administration to intervene, but the U.S. government faces tough questions on how it can help without adding to the conflict.

    “We need to have a game-changing action, and that is no American boots on the ground, establish a safe zone and to protect it and to supply weapons to the right people in Syria who are fighting, obviously, for the things we believe,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    “Every day that goes by, Hezbollah increases their influence and the radical jihadists flow into Syria and the situation becomes more and more tenuous,” he said.

    Love that equation between Shi’a Hizb’ullah (hate AQ’s guts) and “radical jihadists” (codespeak for Sunni-aligned Salafists – hate everyone’s guts).

    Philologists will also appreciate the word ‘tenuous’, there. And will wish for the situation to become more and more tenuous until it disappears… I don’t think McCain is a philologist, somehow.

    Some of his eggs at any rate are in a familiar basket –

  88. Nevermind – thanks for the link. Erdoğan is someone for whom I have some respect, and he’s between a rock and a hard place. Turkey’s borders have been alight for decades and he must be wishing for stability on these. A further complication is the Kurdish presence in N. Syria. I’m glad he can still see the Israeli action for what it is, and I don’t think he’ll find too much sympathy in S. Turkey for arming Kurds.

  89. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    If this is true, the Israelis are even more evil than I thought.

    Israel used depleted uranium in airstrike on Syria: Report

    A senior Syrian official says Israel has used depleted uranium in its recent airstrike against the Jamraya Research Center in the outskirts of Damascus.

    The official, who was present near the attack site on Sunday morning, told Russia Today that Israel used “a new type of weapon” during the airstrike.

    “When the explosion happened, it felt like an earthquake,” the official, who asked not to be named, added.

    “Then a giant golden mushroom of fire appeared. This tells us that Israel used depleted uranium shells,” the Syrian official said.

    “Several civilian factories and buildings were destroyed. The target was just an ordinary weapons warehouse. The bombing is an ultimatum to us,” he added.

    The Syrian official also refuted the claims by Western intelligence sources that the airstrike targeted transfers of weapons from the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah to Syria.

    Jamraya Research Center had been targeted by another Israeli airstrike back in January.

    The Sunday attack came shortly after Tel Aviv confirmed that its warplanes had hit another target in Syria on Friday.

    On Saturday, US President Barack Obama said the Israeli regime has the right to launch airstrikes on Syria.

    Syria’s Foreign Ministry has sent letters to the United Nations and its Security Council stating that Israel’s aggression shows the link between Tel Aviv and terrorist groups operating in Syria including the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

    Meanwhile, the anti-Syria countries including Turkey and several Arab states in the region have been mum on Tel Aviv’s acts of aggression against Syria.

  90. I’d rather see a chemical analysis of the dust….other accounts suggest that the bombs used were fuel-air. These cause heavy blast damage over a wide area, which is what we are looking at here –

    There would be no particular reason to use DU except as a penetration weapon, or as powder in an enhanced explosive…in which case the blast range is reduced, though intensified locally. An unmodified fuel-air weapon gives the biggest bang available short of a nuke.

  91. @ April Showers
    Not only are they using radioactive uranium, but Chris Bubsy found that the Zionist entity used enriched uranium (Against the people of Lebanon in the Summer of 2006)

  92. surplus illegal uranium feedstock perhaps and doubtless they believed it will harm and kill more people.

  93. Never trust a scientist who wears a beret, LWTC. And please support your assertion re. enriched uranium with a link, eh?

    There’s actually no need to exaggerate Israel’s crimes. If any other country committed them, it would be under sanctions.

  94. technicolour

    7 May, 2013 - 1:48 pm

    “the Israelis are even more evil than I thought”…

    how can the Israeli (government) be even more evil than you thought?

    Amnesty International said a fact-finding team found “indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorus” in crowded civilian residential areas of Gaza City and elsewhere in the territory.[44] Donatella Rovera, the head of an Amnesty fact-finding mission to southern Israel and Gaza, said: “Israeli forces used white phosphorus and other weapons supplied by the USA to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes.”[45]

    On 5 January the Times reported that telltale smoke associated with white phosphorus had been seen in areas of a shelling. On 12 January it was reported that more than 50 phosphorus burns victims were in Nasser Hospital. On 16 January the UNRWA headquarters was hit with phosphorus munitions.[46] As a result of the hit, the compound was set ablaze.[47]

    Many other observers, including Human Rights Watch military experts, reported seeing white phosphorus air bursts over Gaza City and the Jabalya refugee camp.[48] The BBC published a photograph of two shells exploding over a densely populated area on 11 January.[49]

  95. Some not-very pretty pictures of white phosphorus use by our friends, if your browser permits-

    You can see the care they take to ensure no, er, collateral damage such as might happen if a 110 mm WP shell were to airburst above a residential neighbourhood. Obviously it’s being legally used as illumination – it’s as bright as day in many of those shots, and let no naysayer allege that this is because it is day…

  96. Anyway, they’re going to give it up because it doesn’t photograph well. Just when you thought its career in Hollywood was assured –

    Lighten up, Komodo. And get back on topic –

    Glenn Greenwald, asking a question which needs answering.

    …if Syria this week attacks a US military base on US soil and incidentally kills some American civilians (as Nidal Hasan did), and then cites as justification the fact that the US has been aiding Syrian rebels, would any establishment US journalist or political official argue that this was remotely justified? Or what if Syria bombed Qatar or Saudi Arabia on the same ground: would any US national figure defend the bombing as well within Syria’s rights given those nations’ arming of its rebels?

  97. @ Komodo
    “Never trust a scientist who wears a beret” LOL
    But I’m afraid it’s become never trust a scientist NOT wearing a beret”
    (other than military ones of course! – but that’s a no-brainer)

  98. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    7 May, 2013 - 3:17 pm

    Craig; I hope you don’t find this amongst your ‘prophecy’ derogations…

    (I have to run, no time to read completely, but it is supposed to be a translation of the Zion Master Plan.)

  99. In which, yer man opines, “Dr Busby’s initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. “The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash … The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium.”

    As to the first, using any kind of uranium would be pointless, as magnesium or zirconium would do the job much better, and are in addition relatively light. The second is a well established piece of weaponry, several of which have been sold by the US to Israel. As to why they would be used in Lebanon, we can probably assume that Israel was well aware of Hizb’ullah’s sneaky tendency to use underground shelters when being attacked.

    Busby’s results have been challenged, and in any case do not point to a high level of enrichment. Worrying, especially if the weapons were American made, but not out of the (Israeli) ‘ordinary’ and not proven.

    If I understand him correctly, his U-238/U-235 analyses are on the high side of what is usually called depleted uranium (and well above US military specifications), but still well below the U-238 content of naturally occurring uranium ores.

  100. resident dissident

    7 May, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    @Mark U

    “The fact that Israel is in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute, but many of the accusations leveled at Iran, Syria and Hezbollah appear to be simply that (ie accusations)

    If you could give me some examples of the aforementioned countries/organisations breaches of international law then I would be prepared to comment on them. However I will not accept allegations as evidence, particularly allegations made by their enemies.”

    Perhaps you might wish to look at the UN report on Syria’s involvement in various assassinations of Lebananese politicians who opposed Syria’s occupation of their country. And then you could look up Nasrallah’s own comments on suicide bombers in Israel. And you might wish to look up the Hama massacre.

    Might I suggest that trying to argue that either side has a monopoly of evil or playing some kind of evil regime “Top trumps” game really isn’t going to achieve anything whatsoever – and really is the type of game that the zealots on both sides are all too happy to indulge in.

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