The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative 365

The ruling Establishment has learnt a profound lesson from the debacle over Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. The lesson they have learnt is not that it is wrong to attack and destroy an entire country on the basis of lies. They have not learnt that lesson despite the fact the western powers are now busily attacking the Iraqi Shia majority government they themselves installed, for the crime of being a Shia majority government.

No, the lesson they have learnt is never to admit they lied, never to admit they were wrong. They see the ghost-like waxen visage of Tony Blair wandering around, stinking rich but less popular than an Epstein birthday party, and realise that being widely recognised as a lying mass murderer is not a good career choice. They have learnt that the mistake is for the Establishment ever to admit the lies.

The Establishment had to do a certain amount of collective self-flagellation over the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, over which they precipitated the death and maiming of millions of people. Only a very few outliers, like the strange Melanie Phillips, still claimed the WMD really did exist, and her motive was so obviously that she supported any excuse to kill Muslims that nobody paid any attention. Her permanent pass to appear on the BBC was upgraded. But by and large everyone accepted the Iraqi WMD had been a fiction. The mainstream media Blair/Bush acolytes like Cohen, Kamm and Aaronovitch switched to arguing that even if WMD did not exist, Iraq was in any case better off for having so many people killed and its infrastructure destroyed.

These situations are now avoided by the realisation of the security services that in future they just have to brazen it out. The simple truth of the matter – and it is a truth – is this. If the Iraq WMD situation occurred today, and the security services decided to brazen it out and claim that WMD had indeed been found, there is not a mainstream media outlet that would contradict them.

The security services outlet Bellingcat would publish some photos of big missiles planted in the sand. The Washington Post, Guardian, New York Times, BBC and CNN would republish and amplify these pictures and copy and paste the official statements from government spokesmen. Robert Fisk would get to the scene and interview a few eye witnesses who saw the missiles being planted, and he would be derided as a senile old has-been. Seymour Hersh and Peter Hitchens would interview whistleblowers and be shunned by their colleagues and left off the airwaves. Bloggers like myself would be derided as mad conspiracy theorists or paid Russian agents if we cast any doubt on the Bellingcat “evidence”. Wikipedia would ruthlessly expunge any alternative narrative as being from unreliable sources. The Integrity Initiative, 77th Brigade, GCHQ and their US equivalents would be pumping out the “Iraqi WMD found” narrative all over social media. Mad Ben Nimmo of the Atlantic Council would be banning dissenting accounts all over the place in his role as Facebook Witchfinder-General.

Does anybody seriously wish to dispute this is how the absence of Iraqi WMD would be handled today, 16 years on?

If you do wish to doubt this could happen, look at the obviously fake narrative of the Syrian government chemical weapons attacks on Douma. The pictures published on Bellingcat of improvised chlorine gas missiles were always obviously fake. Remember this missile was supposed to have smashed through ten inches of solid, steel rebar reinforced concrete.

As I reported back in May last year, that the expert engineers sent to investigate by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) did not buy into this is hardly surprising.

That their findings were deliberately omitted from the OPCW report is very worrying indeed. What became still more worrying was the undeniable evidence that started to emerge from whistleblowers in the OPCW that the toxicology experts had unanimously agreed that those killed had not died from chlorine gas attack. The minutes of the OPCW toxicology meeting really do need to be read in full.


The highlights are:

“No nerve agents had been detected in environmental or bio samples”
“The experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure”

I really do urge you to click on the above link and read the entire minute. In particular, it is impossible to read that minute and not understand that the toxicology experts believed that the corpses had been brought and placed in position.

“The experts were also of the opinion that the victims were highly unlikely to have gathered in piles at the centre of the respective apartments, at such a short distance from an escape from any toxic chlorine gas to much cleaner air”.

So the toxicology experts plainly believed the corpse piles had been staged, and the engineering experts plainly believed the cylinder bombs had been staged. Yet, against the direct evidence of its own experts, the OPCW published a report managing to convey the opposite impression – or at least capable of being portrayed by the media as giving the opposite impression.

How then did the OPCW come to do this? Rather unusually for an international organisation, the OPCW Secretariat is firmly captured by the Western states, largely because it covers an area of activity which is not of enormous interest to the political elites of developing world states, and many positions require a high level of technical qualification. It was also undergoing a change of Director General at the time of the Douma investigation, with the firmly Francoist Spanish diplomat Fernando Arias taking over as Director General and the French diplomat Sebastian Braha effectively running the operation as the Director-General’s chef de cabinet, working in close conjunction with the US security services. Braha simply ordered the excision of the expert opinions on engineering and toxicology, and his high-handedness worked, at least until whistleblowers started to reveal the truth about Braha as a slimy, corrupt, lying war hawk.

FFM here stands for Fact Finding Mission and ODG for Office of the Director General. After a great deal of personal experience dealing with French diplomats, I would say that the obnoxious arrogance revealed in Braha’s instructions here is precisely what you would expect. French diplomats as a class are a remarkably horrible and entitled bunch. Braha has no compunction about simply throwing around the weight of the Office of the Director General and attempting to browbeat Henderson.

We see now how the OPCW managed to produce a report which was the opposite of the truth. Ian Henderson, the OPCW engineer who had visited the site and concluded that the “cylinder bombs” were fakes, had suddenly become excluded from the “fact finding mission” when it had been whittled down to a “core group” – excluding any engineers (and presumably toxicologists) who would seek to insert inconvenient facts into the report.

France of course participated, alongside the US and UK, in missile strikes against Syrian government positions in response to the non-existent chlorine gas attacks on Douma. I was amongst those who had argued from day one that the western Douma narrative was inherently improbable. The Douma enclave held by extreme jihadist, western and Saudi backed forces allied to ISIL, was about to fall anyway. The Syrian government had no possible military advantage to gain by attacking it with two small improvised chemical weapons, and a great deal to lose in terms of provoking international retaliation.

That the consequences of the fake Douma incident were much less far-reaching than they might have been, is entirely due (and I am sorry if you dislike this but it is true) to the good sense of Donald Trump. Trump is inclined to isolationism and the fake “Russiagate” narrative promoted by senior echelons of his security services had led him to be heavily sceptical of them. He therefore refused, against the united persuasion of the hawks, to respond to the Douma “attack” by more than quick and limited missile strikes. I have no doubt that the object of the false flag was to push the US into a full regime change operation, by falsifying a demonstration that a declared red line on chemical weapon use had been crossed.

There is no doubt that Douma was a false flag. The documentary and whistleblower evidence from the OPCW is overwhelming and irrefutable. In addition to the two whistleblowers reported extensively by Wikileaks and the Courage Foundation, the redoubtable Peter Hitchens has his own whistleblowers inside OPCW who may well be different persons. It is also great entertainment as well as enlightening to read Hitchens’ takedown of Bellingcat on the issue.

But there are much deeper questions about the Douma false flag. Did the jihadists themselves kill the “chlorine victims” for display or were these just bodies from the general fighting? The White Helmets were co-located with the jihadist headquarters in Douma, and involved in producing and spreading the fake evidence. How far were the UK and US governments, instrumental in preparing the false flag? That western governments, including through the White Helmets and their men at the OPCW, were plainly seeking to propagate this false flag, to massively publicise and to and make war capital out of it, is beyond dispute. But were they involved in the actual creation of the fake scene? Did MI6 or the CIA initiate this false flag through the White Helmets or the Saudi backed jihadists? That is unproven but seems to me very probable. It is also worth noting the coincidence in time of the revelation of the proof of the Douma false flag and the death of James Le Mesurier.

Now let me return to where I started. None of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the Guardian nor CNN – all of which reported the Douma chemical attack very extensively as a real Syrian government atrocity, and used it to editorialise for western military intervention in Syria – none of them has admitted they were wrong. None has issued any substantive retraction or correction. None has reported in detail and without bias on the overwhelming evidence of foul play within the OPCW.

Those sources who do publish the truth – including the few outliers in mainstream media such as Peter Hitchens and Robert Fisk – continue to be further marginalised, attacked as at best eccentric and at worse Russian agents. Others like Wikileaks and myself are pariahs excluded from any mainstream exposure. The official UK, US, French and Spanish government line, and the line of the billionaire and state owned media, continues to be that Douma was a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on civilians. They intend, aided and abetted by their vast online propaganda operations, to brazen out the lie.

What we are seeing is the terrifying rise of the zombie state narrative in Western culture. It does not matter how definitively we can prove that something is a lie, the full spectrum dominance of the Establishment in media resources is such that the lie is impossible to kill off, and the state manages to implant that lie as the truth in the minds of a sufficient majority of the populace to ride roughshod over objective truth with great success. It follows in the state narrative that anybody who challenges the state’s version of truth is themselves dishonest or mad, and the state manages also to implant that notion into a sufficient majority of the populace.

These are truly chilling times.

In the next instalment I shall consider how the Establishment is brazening out similar lies on the Russophobe agenda, and sticking to factually debunked narratives on the DNC and Podesta emails, on the Steele Dossier and on the Skripals.


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365 thoughts on “The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative

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  • John Goss

    “These are truly chilling times.”

    The above brief statement sums it up. I covered the same issue (the Douma false flag) in a post explaining why we needed to put Jeremy Corbyn in power.

    Now we have missed that opportunity I despair completely, Your pledge to come out campaigning even stronger this year in an environment where the media owners direct the narrative seems forlorn too. And even when conclusions from academics that WT7 was brought down by controlled demolition mainstream media virtually ignores it (sadly this blog does too) it makes me even more forlorn with further realisation that these are as you say “truly chilling times”.

    Dr Hulsey’s report released in September last year is currently under peer-review and due to be released imminently.

    • Goose

      Needn’t despair that much.

      I think Keir Starmer, should he become leader, is honourable and basically incorruptible, hence why the entire media establishment and parts of the RW PLP seem to want to install the unpopular Jess Phillips as leader instead. Starmer may be much better at holding the govt to account than Corbyn was; crippled as JC was by the treachery and plotting of the ever mutinous PLP. Many have raised Corbyn’s support for the Palestinians, but in four years as leader, he never raised their plight once at PMQs believe it or not.

      I don’t see Starmer as another Blair, taking the UK into illegal wars built on cooked up dodgy WMD dossiers.

      • John Pretty

        Hmm Goose, I don’t agree with you. “Sir” Keir Starmer is an establishment figure in my book. He’s certainly not on the Left. I would not say he was a friend of jeremy Corbyn or his supporters.

        George Galloway in September 2018 (15 months ago) predicted that Starmer’s actions in keeping Remain on the table would cost Labour the next election:

        • Goose

          Yes, I Know, but George Galloway wants Ian Lavery.

          With all due respects to Ian Lavery, he can barely string a sentence together. When he appears on BBC’s Question Time it’s just plain embarrassing how dim he comes across – like listening to a drunk Gazza talking politics. The media would absolutely destroy him. George Galloway in full flow , he ain’t.

          • John Pretty

            Goose, I’m not talking about Ian Lavery.

            I don’t agree with everything that George Galloway says, but I think he may have been correct in his analysis with regard to Starmer.

            I can see on George Galloway’s twitter feed that he has retweeted something that Ian Lavery has been reported as saying about Brexit. I’m wondering if you can give me a link to where he endorses Lavery as the next Labour leader as I’m interested to see what he says.

      • Goose

        If that post seems to contradict my earlier comment, what I trying to say is that given his legal background in defending human rights, Starmer is very much a man who’ll play by international law and rules. Not someone who’ll play fast and loose.

        • John Pretty

          He has a mixed record on military issues. He has voted against a proposed investigation into some aspects of the Iraq war and has voted for an upgrade to Trident. But has twice voted against military intervention in 2015:

          He appears to have been against the Iraq war, but this was a long time before he was an MP:

          • Goose

            That intervention against the Iraq war from 2003 is quite impressive.

            He describes himself as a proud socialist, some may say, so what? But many New Labour types wouldn’t go even that far.
            From a recent interview

            “A Labour party that strays too far from its values, loses. In the end, the Labour party strayed too far from its values between 1997 and 2010,” he[Starmer] said, citing the Iraq war and the failure to reduce inequality.

            “My dad was a toolmaker and my mum was a nurse. And not everybody knows that and that’s because I don’t say it very often,” he [Starmer} said

            Starmer also said half his time as a lawyer was spent doing pro bono work for people who needed his assistance. He cited a life-saving, decades-long project to get rid of the death penalty in the Caribbean and in Africa. “That was work done for free, out of a deep sense of cause … Politics can be done in many different ways and many different forms.”

            Famously, he defended Dave Morris and Helen Steel in the “McLibel” case. Less well known is that he was on the picket line at Wapping “as a legal observer, but in the middle of the crowd as the horses were charging towards us,” and brought numerous cases against the Blair government. “I’m sure actually Blair would disown me.”

        • Borncynical

          I hadn’t seen this post before I posted my comment below at 21.50. Whilst he should be “a man who’ll play by international law and rules”, I’m afraid he has demonstrated otherwise and I myself do not think he is to be trusted one iota.

      • bevin

        Starmer, by pushing for the compromise on Brexit that, together with his and his fellow Shadow Cabinet members’ promise to campaign for Remain whatever the outcome of the promised negotiations, was instrumental in ensuring Labour’s defeat.
        If he was unaware of what the fudge he proposed would lead to he was a dupe of the Blairites. He doesn’t strike me as being so silly however: he knew what he was doing, ensuring Corbyn’s defeat. And now he proposes himself as successor. Nobody in the PLP, which was entirely responsible for what happened, ought to be considered to lead the Labour Party

        • Goose


          I think that’s a little too cynical. I think that was Tom Watson’s game, as he quit after getting what he demanded. But Starmer genuinely believed in remain.

          I have my doubts about Starmer , but do we know anything about R Long-Bailey? I think Long-Bailey would be easier for the establishment to manipulate than Starmer.

          • John Pretty

            I think Starmer is the Establishment, Goose.

            As to your suggestion that Rebecca Long-Bailey may be easy (or easier) to manipulate. Have you any evidence for this assertion?

            I’m not really fond of any of the people I have seen proposed so far, but personally I would prefer Rebecca Long-Bailey over Starmer.

            Interestingly, Labour has never had a woman as leader (Harman and Beckett were short term “acting leader” only).

          • Goose

            @John Petty

            You could well be right. I honestly don’t know whether Starmer would move the party to the right, in power.

            But RLB won’t have the support team around her Corbyn had and if things go badly(polling wise) she hasn’t got the membership following Corbyn had, leaving her vulnerable to the RW PLP.

          • Michael

            If Starmer becomes Labour leader the opposition will be so ineffective Britain will become a one-party state, with a red Tory wing dominated by a hard-right blue Tory wing. Starmer is a traitorous backstabber who knew his demands for a second referendum would kill socialism in this country. And there were questions over some of the people he refused to prosecute as “not being in the national interest”, though I can’t remember who. I think his knighthood is a temporary title as this establishment kiss-ass has earned a Lordship, all ready for him after he’s helped create the one-party state.

      • Borncynical

        If Starmer is “honourable and basically incorruptible” he hides it well. I clearly recall seeing him on BBC Question Time impassively leading the calls on the panel for Western allies to bomb Syria without delay or hesitation in response to Assad’s ALLEGED chemical attacks, with no thought to calling for a full objective investigation. This from a barrister. The thought of the cold and charmless Starmer at the helm of the Labour Party chills me to the core. And it would certainly be the end of my allegiance to the Party, not that I have any preference for any of the other prospective leadership candidates.

        • Goose


          I didn’t know that. If true, and he made those comments without caveats, that’s concerning.

          The problem is, Corbyn is going and there is no one to pass the torch to with any confidence.

    • John Goss

      I actually thought the second link in my comment was most likely to be debated since that event was the key issue which led to MSM’s victory in the information war. The winners write the history.

      • Goose

        But did Corbyn ever challenge that MSM narrative, John?

        I know that’s harsh, but Corbyn was no George Galloway slaying sacred establishment dragons and taking on the PLP.

        Corbyn’s decency, his admirable pacifism and non-confrontational , often apologetic, approach, allowed parts of the PLP and MSM to walk all over him. It was reported by correspondents, he’d sit in silence at PLP meetings while MPs launched in to tirades against him. . Look how he never raised anything controversial at PMQs or defended Chris Williamson or the membership fropm the bogus antisemitism smears.

        As much as I admire his principles he wasn’t tough enough.

        • John Goss

          “But did Corbyn ever challenge that MSM narrative, John?”

          I think it was Corbyn’s decency trying not to offend that may have been his downfall. We only know that he did not challenge the MSM narrative publicly. Curiously MSM towards the election was a lot less biased than it had been for the year before. But there was the “anti-semitism” slur whcih went on throughout. Perhaps he wasn’t tough enough. I don’t blame Corbyn. It’s the electorate that’s to blame.

          • Goose

            But how tiring did the antisemitism slurs become after two and a half years of media headlines built largely on froth?

            The membership, undefended and under a constant cloud, felt demoralised and largely abandoned by the leadership(Corbyn).

            When he was criticised over antisemitism, all Corbyn would give is his stock reply, about how he abhors all forms of racism. Even the Chief Rabbi and Archbishop of Canterbury joined in this nonsense during the actual campaign! How many votes did that cost the party in England?

            It needed contesting from the start, with demands for evidence, not simply acknowledging as true. Once Corbyn admitted there was a big problem, his enemies, who were clearly weaponising the issue, had already won.

        • Borncynical


          I agree entirely with your analysis of Corbyn. I felt let down by him on many occasions for failing to sustain momentum when he had the opportunity. One prime example was immediately after the Salisbury events when he stood up in PMQs and challenged the official narrative about the Russians being responsible, on the basis of lack of evidence. He cited technical inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the official line. I was thrilled that he had seemingly pushed May into a corner that she could not wriggle out of. Theresa May responded with the familiar “We know they did it because they’re Russian” or something to that effect and that was it …Corbyn meekly sat there and never uttered another word then or since about the absurdities in the official narrative. He’s reacted similarly to so many events, and I’m sure that if he’d had the strength of character to stand up for his (apparent?) principles his leadership and the Labour Party wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in now.

          • Goose

            The worst thing, is how Corbyn fluffed introducing open selection. His friend and ally Chris Williamson paid a hellish price for touring the country campaigning for its introduction. Had Corbyn done that one thing, whoever becomes leader next would’ve been on a tight membership/CLP leash. Drift too far right and the membership could’ve course corrected by selecting more left-wing candidates at election time. As it is now, the party is ripe for another Blairite takeover and mass membership exodus.
            When Corbyn became leader, Chris Mullin, former Labour MP, journalist and author of A Very British Coup, stated with no animosity, that he didn’t think Corbyn had the aptitude to lead.

            Leadership requires something special, beyond simply having principles. It’s a damn shame the late, great Tony Benn missed having the opportunity Corbyn was given.

          • Tony

            I was outside yesterday and a sudden breeze hit my face.
            Now, imagine if that had happened to those two Russian agents as they sprayed the Skripal door handle with a deadly nerve agent.

            They would probably have been killed as they were not wearing any kind of protective clothing. So how credible is that story?

          • Borncynical

            Tony (@12.40)

            You’re forgetting that the originally alleged fine powder (which we were informed at the outset was used in Zizzi’s, or then at the park bench, or maybe came through the Skripal’s car’s aircon system) subsequently morphed into a gel which was applied to the Skripal’s front door handle, but then morphed into a fine, liquid spray to be deployed via a perfume atomizer. Oh, and we mustn’t forget that the table where the Skripals sat in Zizzis was incinerated within two or three days because it was covered in a fine powder which was identified by investigators as nerve agent residue – key ‘evidence’ one would have thought but, no, it had to be destroyed. The whole story is fiction from beginning to end. It’s just unbelievable that so many people are taken in by it.

        • Bramble

          What we need is a leader who represents the best of human nature, not the worst. Being tough, aggressive, confrontational, all those other alpha male markers, just ensures we get yet another leader who pushes for “me first” policies and English Exceptionalist positions. I want a leader who stands firm for international law and order abroad and for social justice at home, and who doesn’t see the world in terms of friends and enemies, us and them etc – just in terms of “us”. Because “we” are the ones facing the climate crisis and it will take commitment and humility and a willingness to talk to everyone else to deal with it. We need better values in the 21st century. Meanwhile, alpha leader Trump goes around murdering the citizens of other countries and I have yet to see a British government statement condemning his lawlessness. Not that I expect one.

          • Magic Robot

            “I want a leader”.
            And so, you vote.
            (Years pass).
            Then, you vote again, and again.
            “I want a leader”.
            And so, you vote…etc.

            The definition of madness, is to keep on doing the same thing, and yet expect a different result.

      • John Pretty

        I still think it’s a bit contentious, John. Though I recognise that many now hold the controlled demolition view.

        I liked your blog piece on Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve not seen a better essay demonstrating his long term role in opposing antisemitism.

        • Goose

          No one disputes Corbyn is a good man.

          Too good for this vicious media environment and the political establishment we have in the UK.

          He’d have needed to be a real scrapper to survive and overcome what was thrown at him.

          • Bramble

            If people had stood up for him, he would have survived. Our culture doesn’t value “good” people, only “successful” ones.

        • John Goss

          It is contentious. Unfortunately only one side of the contention is publicly available. It really does need to be thoroughly debated.

          Thanks for the compliment.

          • Magic Robot

            One has to read the October 1995 edition of ‘Scientific American’ article by Mark and Douglas Loizeaux – ‘Demolition by Implosion’, and find that a few scraps of burning old office furniture cannot bring a ‘scraper down.
            These people were international expert consultants on these methods.

          • John Goss

            Could not agree more M. R. However everybody has the right to his/her opinion. What annoys me most is very intelligent people dismiss all but the mainstream narrative. It rankles.

      • Mark Russell

        I did too. I guess it’s gone eighteen years now and there’s a generation who have no idea what happened that day and the significance to current events. Don’t know if you noticed, John, but many of the original youtube material has been taken down and accounts closed. Rewriting history indeed. I hope I live long enough to see Newton’s Third Law upheld.

    • LeeJ

      I do a thing called the 30 second test. I ask do you believe the official version of 9/11? If they say yes then I ask are they prepared to do the 30 second test. Intrigued they say yes.

      Preamble: I will ask a question, you will agree, then you will contradict your own statement and then you will deny the laws of physics or have to agree that 9/11 was a false flag.

      Start: If you throw a brick through a window what will happen?
      Answer: It will break.

      Question: If you fly a plane threw a window what will happen?
      Answer: (quizzical look on face) it will break.

      Question: Here is a photo of unbroken windows of the pentagon on 9/11, explain?
      Answer: Are the photos real, erm, I dont know, blah, blah, blah.

      Question: Convinced?

      • pretzelattack

        how many windows in the pentagon on 911? would a plane break all of them? it’s a big building. most of the windows in the twin towers didn’t break.

  • FranzB

    CM – “It does not matter how definitively we can prove that something is a lie, the full spectrum dominance of the Establishment in media resources is such that the lie is impossible to kill off, and the state manages to implant that lie as the truth in the minds of a sufficient majority of the populace to ride roughshod over objective truth with great success.”

    We saw that with Corbyn re Venezuela. Once the lie is out there (e.g. about rigged elections (say)) commentators will connect Corbyn with Venezuela in order to discredit the ideas of democratic socialism or redistribution. They will probably try the same with Sanders in the USA – the antisemitism slander bandwagon has already started.

    I see the BBC is frothing at the mouth today about Northern Rail’s poor performance. No facts of course in the usual way – just lots of Vox Pops. We all know (don’t we) that neoliberalism, i.e privatisation of all state assets, is the answer to everything. Except that the Northern Rail franchise is run by Aviva which is owned by Deutsche Bahn which is publicly owned by the German government. Compare German ticket prices (publicy owned) to UK ticket prices (privately owned) and I think you’ll agree that the free market is so much better than nationalisation, which was much ridiculed at the last election.

  • Mary

    I don’t see any mention of Robert Stuart’s part in exposing the fake stories from Syria promulgated by Pannell and the BBC. His work was very important

  • Michael Berks

    Craig, I posted the text below in November on my Facebook feed. I suspect one aspect of the memory holing will be to play down that Douma was a major incident at all, so went through the archives of the BBC’s website and screen-grabbed the home page of BBC News, showing Douma and the US/UK/Fr response was the primary banner headline (and often secondary story too) for at least 9 days straight from 8th April 2018. Screen grabs are here (annoyingly the timestamps can’t be seen):

    >> My Facebook post from 19th Nov >>
    On 7th April 2018 there was an alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria, used as justification by the US, UK and France to order a lethal missile attack against the Syrian government (an act of war). This was major news in the UK at the time, as evidenced by the attached photos, showing some variant of the story was the lead headline on the BBC news homepage for the following 9 days, often with several accompanying sub-stories.
    For many reasons, there were many sceptics from the outset that the Syrian government was responsible, or even that any such attack had actually taken place.
    The OPCW investigated the incident, and initially produced an interim report in 2018, ruling out the use of Sarin gas. The report left open the possibility of a chlorine gas attack, although there were inconsistences in the report, and it wasn’t clear that the levels of chlorine found at the scene were greater than expected in any normal environmental sample (chlorinated organic compounds being common in every household).
    The final report, published in March 2019, then explicitly claimed a gas attack had taken place, and that the Syrian government had been responsible. The veracity of this report was questioned almost immediately. In May 2019, an OPCW inspector stated that the OPCW management had suppressed an internal engineering report that contradicted the key finding that the cylinders must have been dropped from the air, whereas the assessment was that the cylinders were far more likely placed on the scene by hand (in other words a fake staged attack).
    Then this month, a second OPCW whistle-blower has stepped forward with even more damning allegations of OPCW management. These can be read in full in the link below, but in summary, it is claimed the OPCW management, under pressure from US officials, rewrote and ignored the factual reports from the on-the-ground investigating team, to make the final published report fit the pre-decided agenda that the Syrian government were responsible for a chlorine gas attack. The following quote from the whistle-blower seems particularly damning: “Most of the Douma team felt the two reports on the incident, the Interim Report and the Final Report, were scientifically impoverished, procedurally irregular and possibly fraudulent”.
    You would think this would be HUGE news. As noted above, the alleged attack and the response from the US, UK and French governments was one of the major news stories in the UK throughout 2018. If the allegations of the whistle-blower are true, it would call into question (amongst many other things):
    – The legality of the UK’s airstrikes, with the possibility that even under their own justification (itself questionable under international law), Theresa May and co committed war crimes
    – The accuracy/impartiality of intelligence given to the UK government
    – Wider assumptions about the role of the supposed ‘moderate rebels’ and our heroic friends the White Helmets in Syria
    – The impartiality of the OPCW, whether they have been prejudiced in other recent international events involving the US, UK and Russia (eg the Skripal affair), and whether they are fit-for-purpose for future events
    Now you might dispute the whistle-blowers’ allegations and try to refute them, but what you surely, surely, cannot do is ignore them and deny that they are newsworthy. If the original story headlined the BBC for 9 days straight (and again many times over following months), the above implications are just as big, and must have been covered by the BBC too, right? So go on, search “Douma” in BBC news and see what comes back…
    Check the final picture if you want to know the score now. Free and impartial reporting my arse.

    • Paul Damascene

      I think the same questions now being asked of the OPCW should be asked of other pillars of the international order: HRW, Amnesty, MSF, ICC. Each could be corrupted in a general drift of decline of the West and the institutions it controls, or each could have been actively suborned during the unipolar moment, when history had ended and even Russia was trying to join the club, and when full spectrum dominance might have made it seem, as they say, “Resistance is futile.”

      • Bramble

        My rule of thumb is that any international organisation containing an American representative and/or representatives of American allies can be assumed to be corrupt. They all believe in the big lie and the “need” to maintain western dominance. That goes for WADA too. Very obviously politicised to pursue American objectives.

        • Tom Welsh

          Unfortunately it’s even worse than that, Bramble. Even if there is not a single American (or proxy) representative, the god of the US religion is always in the room.


  • Iain Stewart

    “Remember this missile was supposed to have smashed through ten inches of solid, steel rebar reinforced concrete.”
    A veteran constructor writes: Forgive the technical criticism, but other photos published at the time showed a simple beam and block roof structure, common in the Middle East, which could be punctured without causing more damage than this. (The phrase ‘ten inches of solid, steel rebar reinforced concrete’ sounds like it was written by an American.)

    • Tatyana

      Iain Stewart, forgive the Russian housewife’s criticism, but Mr. Henderson report says: “Impact alone could not have bent the bars to their angle away from the impact location, which was more consistent with an explosive blast.”
      There were bars there, clearly visible at ‘other photos published’.
      I blame it on your NHS, unable to bring good oculist service to veteran constructors 🙂

      • Kempe

        ” Impact alone could not have bent the bars to their angle away from the impact location ”

        Where’s his proof? Where are his calculations and modelling? Anyone could make a bland statement like that.

        The photos in the OPCW report clearly show the roof to be constructed of hollow blockwork, similar to breeze blocks, which really wouldn’t provide much resistance. The re-bars are nothing more than thick wire and would be easily bent or pushed aside. It would be interesting to know where this “ten inches of solid, steel rebar reinforced concrete” comes from as it’s clearly incorrect. Nobody builds roofs that thick, it would need massive strong supporting walls to take the weight and in the ME the concrete is often only just strong enough to support it’s own weight.

          • Tatyana

            from the letter linked above:
            “Ian Henderson WAS part of the FFM and there is an abundance of official documentation, as well as other supporting proof, that testifies to that… He deployed to Douma on three occasions… he subsequently deployed to a forth location to re-examine the cylinders and apply seals…He was, in fact, the only engineer in the team and consequently the only one with the skills to do a proper engineering assessment.”

            The right question from you, Kempe, must be “How can OPCW dismiss their only engineer’s assessment out from final report?”

        • Magic Robot

          A roof made of breeze blocks!?
          You better not come ’round mine offering building services, cowboy.

          • Tatyana

            page 57 and 58, made screenshots of photos
            I see the surface formed by a concrete plate, photo-operator takes pictures as if standing on it. There is a hole in the plate, a damaged metal structure is visible in the hole, which clearly is a cross structure (grating) in the thickness of the concrete plate. Around the concrete plate there is a fence (wall) made of large blocks. The proportions of the blocks and their appearance (color, texture, seams) coincide with the debris lying on a horizontal concrete plate. In the pieces of those debris, technological voids of the regular shape are visible (normal technological thing while casting blocks), which allows to identify the debris as parts of aerated concrete blocks. Considering that the hole in the horizontal plate demonstrates that it was not made of aerated concrete blocks, but the enclosing structure, made of them was not damaged, I conclude that the debris may possibly come from destroyed wall located behind the camera’s back. Their position (piling around the hole) may be thereby cover possible traces of blackening or combustion explosion materials.

  • bevin

    This is a first rate piece. The best summary that I have read of the implications of the indefensible defence of the OPCW’s criminality.
    What stands out is this question, which the work of the OPCW technicians raises:
    “Did the jihadists themselves kill the “chlorine victims” for display or were these just bodies from the general fighting?”
    It is hard to believe that there can be any explanation of the sudden and convenient discovery of piles of corpses of dead infants in Douma than the obvious one that the White Helmets-sponsored and celebrated by NATO’s governments- killed them and arranged them to be photographed.
    And, at the very least and putting the most optimistic gloss on it, Bellingcat, the BBC and the media in general have been whitewashing this cold blooded crime of Herodian proportions, accessories in the killing of children in order to facilitate the killing of thousands more.
    As Craig adds:
    “The White Helmets were co-located with the jihadist headquarters in Douma, and involved in producing and spreading the fake evidence.”

    • Ken Kenn

      Perhaps when the non MSM blogs etc pass on an MSM story it should be prefaced with;

      ” Once upon a time………………..”

      Storytelling at its best.

      In the aftermath of the election I heard many people say that they voted for the Tories ” for a change ”

      Now propaganda of that magnitude shows the power of Mainstream Media persuasion.

      More Jackanory to come from Monday.

      A BBC Production.

    • John Goss

      I agree that this is an excellent post. I look forward to the sequel: particularly the Podesta (one of the untouchables) emails, the Steele dossier and the Skripal farce.

    • duplicitousdemocracy

      A number of apparently random mass kidnappings occurred during the part of the war when government forces began to enjoy increasing success. Christian, Alawite, Shia and President Assad supporting villages were targeted with no obvious military benefit. I believe this is where the victims of these bogus chemical attacks came from.
      The fact that they were regarded as ‘unbelievers’ and therefore worthless in the twisted minds of the murderous, drugged up criminals claiming to be the purest of Muslims, allowed them to commit the most vile acts in their quest for victory. The countries that supported these, and the equally barbaric White Helmets will be forever shamed for financing them.

  • Crispa

    The Anna News (Russian) video is well worth a watch detailing how the White Helmets were recruited, trained and operated all with British government sponsorship and funding to provide intelligence to promote regime change. it neatly makes the connections and fills in some of the gaps in one’s knowledge that I have always had a gut feeling about.

    • John Goss

      Thanks for that Crispa. I did not even know that James le Mesurier was dead though I am not surprised now the main hostilities in Syria have ceased that he was being hounded. Because I have absolutely no faith in MSM I don’t know what to believe about his death, any more than the deaths of Epstein and Osama bin Laden. But the video tends to confirm what many of us suspected.

  • lysias

    When the Nazis manufactured the Gleiwitz incident meant to justify their attack on Poland, they had no compunctions about killing people and leaving dead bodies on the scene.

  • Tom Welsh

    “Rather unusually for an international organisation, the OPCW Secretariat is firmly captured by the Western states…”

    I beg to disagree. OSCE, WADA, the UN itself with all its subsidiary organizations, the IMF, the World Bank… the list goes on and on. They are all run by ambitious and greedy political hacks who will do literally anything for money. And Washington is the inexhaustible fountain of money – mainly because they simply print it.

      • Tom Welsh

        Yes, John, and I admire him for it. But the only reason the UN allowed him to publish that statement was that no one has paid any attention to it.

      • Borncynical


        I strongly suspect the UN is currently having kittens about Melzer’s assessment of the Assange situation and will most likely be under serious instruction from the US and UK to dismiss him asap from his current contract, which isn’t due to expire until 2022. Melzer first officially reported on Assange in May and his assessment doesn’t appear to have been met with any reaction by the UN itself and the UK (Jeremy Hunt) just dismissed it disrespectfully and abusively.

        Special Rapporteurs are independent of the UN although they report to them. They are not paid any remuneration by the UN for their work. According to the Wikipedia page on Special Rapporteurs there was consideration given previously to prohibiting them from discussing their UN work with the media but “a compromise was reached”. I haven’t gone so far as identifying what the Rapporteur/media relationship is as laid down in their code of practice but this link provides interesting information.

        Consistent with @Tom’s opinion I consider that the UN is definitely not to be trusted to act appropriately and independently on any issue that doesn’t support the interests of “the West”.

    • Paul Damascene

      Yes, WADA. And can we actually say that the Hague can still be considered uncorrupted?

  • Tom Welsh

    “They intend, aided and abetted by their vast online propaganda operations, to brazen out the lie”.

    But of course. Professional criminals have always known that, when captured and interrogated, the safest course is to deny everything.

    It is only recently that Western governments have been wholly taken over by professional criminals.

    • John Pretty

      “It is only recently that Western governments have been wholly taken over by professional criminals.”

      – Do you know nothing of the history of the United States?

      • Tom Welsh

        Actually I have studied the history of the USA quite thoroughly since I specialised in it while taking my history degree at Cambridge.

        In the 18th and 19th centuries the US government (and the state governments) were often largely at the disposition of rich and powerful criminals. But it was not until more recently that the criminals formed an actual majority of the government itself.

        With apologies to Mark Twain, who had an axe to grind (several, actually). (“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress”).

        • John Pretty

          Tom, I apologise. I didn’t initially understand your point. Not always easy to pick up nuances of communication from the written word alone.

          • Brianfujisan

            I have found that you admit your errors..and Quick to apologise.. That’s to be Applauded…Still, I hope you learned from your Somewhat Rash post.

            I have Native American Friends From the Nez Percé, Nation

            Best wishes – Brian.

          • Tom Welsh

            Thanks, John. I am sorry if my reply was a bit sour – our replies crossed one another in passing.

            It looks as if we are in complete agreement.

            And thank you for your courtesy and open-mindedness.

          • John Pretty

            Sorry Brian, I don’t understand your post here???

            I was not supporting the United States! I was saying that the criminality of the United States is not recent!!!!!!!!

            I fully recognise the genocide of American Indians.

            I hope that you too will be quick to apologise for your error!

        • Darren Sharrocks

          You’re totally right about the american establishment in the 18th and 19th century being the handmaidens of rich criminals. The revolution was just a criminal act, brazened over by propaganda and lies

    • Paul Damascene

      Sorry, Tom. But Craig’s more interesting point, in my view, is that they are not denying it but rather remaining silent. To build on your analogy: not denying, or even asking for a lawyer, but rather remaining mute. Indeed it might be more akin to effecting not to understand the language they are being questioned in (and the underlying principles upon which they have been summoned for interrogation).

  • Clark

    Extinction Rebellion’s Demand 1: Tell the Truth.

    OK, XR’s Demand 1 is “Tell the Truth about the climate and ecological emergency“, but actually truth is not divisible because reality is not divisible; telling the truth about any one part of reality implies that truth must be told about all of it. In the context of this blog post the truth is very simple – conflict in the Middle East is about control of liquid fuel resources, and the connection to the climate emergency is obvious.

    Harvesting renewable energy is very easy, and becoming cheaper every day – the UK spot electricity price quite often becomes negative; they actually pay certain customers to consume it. But electricity doesn’t get us liquid fuel. When liquid fuel is mentioned most people think of cars because that is their major personal connection to it, but battery-powered cars can be made quite easily. The real problem is mobile power – primarily agriculture, aviation and the military. A typical, relatively small combine harvester as used in the UK burns forty litres of diesel per hour, and is tended by two tractors together burning fuel at a similar rate. Battery-powered alternatives would be too heavy, and would sink into the ploughed soil.

    We just don’t have a replacement of comparable energy density. We need to invest in infrastructure to produce liquid fuel. Until that infrastructure is built, the wars and the lies to justify them will continue.

    Just like the climate emergency, the longer we leave it the worse the problem becomes:

    Politically, the Energy Trap is a killer. In my lifetime, I have not witnessed in our political system the adult behavior that would be needed to buckle down for a long-term goal involving short-term sacrifice. Or at least any brief bouts of such maturity have not been politically rewarded. I’m not blaming the politicians. We all scream for ice cream. Politicians simply cater to our demands. We tend to vote for the candidate who promises a bigger, better tomorrow—even if such a path is untenable.

    – The only way out of the political trap is for a substantial fraction of our population to understand the dimensions of the problem: to understand that we’ve been spoiled by the surplus energy available through fossil fuels, and that we will have to make decade-level sacrifices to put ourselves on a new track. The only way to accomplish this is through sober education, which is what Do the Math is all about. It’s a trap! Spread the word!

    That is why, come April, you need to go to your capital city, block the roads and get arrested. XR Principle 2: “We set our mission on what is necessary – mobilising 3.5% of the population to bring about system change”:

    • Mark Russell

      Hydrogen-fuel cell motors have been around for a few years – Honda and Toyota have production models on sale, but there are only three outlets selling hydrogen fuel in the UK. Principal opposition – the oil companies. Hydrogen can be manufactured easily and from the electrolysis of water and air using wind turbines. Might Scotland have a generous supply of all three? You still need a battery and electric motors, but the critical issue is supply and infrastructure – fuel points. The only thing coming out the exhaust is water.

      Think of the work that could be created in Scotland in that industry alone. Hydrogen manufacture and storage, car conversions – swapping the petrol and diesel units for HFCs and electric motors. There’s a fleet of buses in Mexico using HFCs – boats, train and generators too. You don’t hear much in the UK – no doubt vested interests and media influence have their part to play.

      • Brianfujisan

        You’ve Hit on it Mark

        Scot Gov… and EU policy is try get cars Electric..

        Multi -Trillions £ to Scotland..We Do Not need the Oil…Not that we get much from it ..Ever Seen the London Sky line ..Before -and after our Oil… Virtually None of Scotland’s City Sky lines have changed.. It’s not that I want to see Stupid mega Structures here.. But Poverty..Food Banks..on Quite possibly the Richest Nation on this Rock

        • Brianfujisan

          ” Quite possibly the Richest Nation on this Rock ”

          Resource wise per the Entire EU..A Lot of People are not told about this Fact

          In Fact
          the very Fact is deliberately
          Hidden and that’s a FACT

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Mark Russell January 3, 2020 at 00:43
        We have hydrogen buses in London – have had for some years, though they are in the minority.

          • Mark Russell

            Thanks Paul – wasn’t aware they were running buses here too. As Brian illustrates above, it’s all about money. Much of our ‘economy’ is based on the revenues from fossil fuels – and governments and oil companies won’t be doing anything quickly to imperil the status quo – despite what is happening across the planet. Perhaps the penny will drop when people start dying from suffocation, but to be honest, I’m not that confident. Humanity is like the chronic smoker who’s just had their legs amputated and told another cigarette will kill them but has just sent out for another packet to cope with the news. It’s already too late.

            Two decades ago this civilisation reached its high water mark – our technical creativity showed us the potential of what could be achieved – if only we could overcome our greed and pitiful, inconsequential self-obsessions.

      • Clark

        Hydrogen’s major problem is the one I already mentioned; the appropriate infrastructure needs to be built, and that’s a political obstacle.

        Hydrogen’s not too bad but it has its drawbacks. The energy density isn’t as high, it needs high pressure containment to keep it liquid, if that containment fails it’s a severe explosion risk, and as if to amplify those last two points, it not only diffuses through just about everything (it’s the smallest molecule going) it also embrittles metals… And “The only thing coming out the exhaust is water” – not when you burn it in Earth’s atmosphere, which is 78% nitrogen.

    • Natasha

      The modern world has been built on high energy density fossil liquid fuel which supply 87% of global energy and rising – wind & solar together supply only about 2% and cannot replace fossil fuels, because they need fossil fuels to build the plants themselves, plus connection hardware over vast tracts of land & grid back up when there’s no wind or sun. Global copper, lithium, cobalt etc… supplies cannot even remotely keep up with the Electric Vehicle myth. Only nuclear powered hydrocarbon chemical plants have any chance of replacing big fossil.

    • Mishko

      The truth, THE truth? Not even lying by omission?
      By all means, do math, and educate.
      In my life-time I have witnessed the de-industrialisation of my home country
      the Netherlands, in combination with never ending immigration
      we do not need. Immigration caused by NATO and its missions of terror
      and destabilisation.
      The EU is another means of levelling down and causing instability in europe.
      The climate change narrative is another billy-club to hit the general
      population over the head with.
      Death by a 1000 cuts. Anti-humanism.

  • N_

    French diplomats as a class are a remarkably horrible and entitled bunch.
    Mostly graduates of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, énarques, like Macron.

      • Mishko

        Why indeed. What is up with that guy?
        At first glance Macron is a total gaylord with an old lady as “his beard”.
        One of Joe Atwill’s life-time actors, if you will.
        And then there is his disgraceful humiliation at the CRIF Diner
        of Feb 2019. I almost could not believe my lying eyes. Wow. Triple wow.

  • Paul Damascene

    I think you have identified a particularly chilling implication of these developments. But although you obliquely reference the mystery of where these bodies came from, including, presumably, bodies exhibiting a foaming from the mouth that toxicologists found inconsistent with the regent theory, I do not see you going so far as to ask if these people were conceivably murdered through exposure to some other form of toxic agent, and were just possibly murdered to stage this scene, with the connivance or at the direct instigation of Western covert actors.

    There may still be a few crimes too heinous to brazen out, and yes, those in the know might need to be suicided.

    I have to admit that as this event was roughly coincident with Salisbury, I have long been expecting that it would eventually be revealed that “Novichok” was used in Syria. What did this people die of, and how, when and why were they killed. If there a story to remain silent on, that would be one.

  • Craig John Macfarlane

    Craig…How far do you think the British Establishment will go to stop Scottish Independence? I’m suspicious that MI5 interfered in the last indyref (though l doubt it will ever be proved) but will they go as far as putting troops on the streets of Scotland? Because we both know they will be fucked if we end the union and it worries me the lenghts they will go to avoid this ever happening??

    • craig Post author

      If they think they have to, definitely. But no end of underhand tricks they can play before that – and an ability to prevent the SNP actually doing anything about Independence seems pretty openly on display.

    • Brianfujisan

      Craig. John Macfarlane

      We KNOW MI6 had their Slimey Claws All over Indy 2014.

      They will Try it.. Banking on BBC / Sky Hypnotics of the Public..

      And I second Craig’s comment above.

    • lysias

      They certainly put lots of troops on the streets of Ireland in 1919-21, but it didn’t stop Irish independence.

  • Cameron Leckie

    Excellent article Craig. The Australian media is no better. I have not been able to find a single report from any mainstream media organisation on the scandalous behaviour of the OPCW although they covered the initial incident, the missile strikes and the OPCW Report extensively.

    I had this published yesterday calling the Australian media out as propagandists:

    Happy new year to you!

    • Brianfujisan


      your work is appreciated ..Thank you.. Hope the Fires doon there ease sometime soon

      • Cameron Leckie

        Thanks Brian,

        I’m okay where I am but there are an awful lot of people who are being affected. We need rain desperately but there is not a lot forecast. This could go on for another couple of months. It is pretty disastrous.

  • Antonym

    So why would US & UK special forces aid KSA against semi-secular Assad?
    Because of the Anglo-Arab oil dollar protection racket which started after 1971’s Bretton Woods. Keep oil trade in dollars and we will fight your enemies (Iran mostly, but Saddam and Assad too) That WMFinancialD is still live….
    US dollars still can be printed unrestricted because they are backed up by Sunni Arab oil reserves. Unlimited funds for the CIA and the US mil-industrial complex.
    So no criticism of Islam allowed in the West in the MSM and also most blogs, like this one here.

    • Laguerre

      What criticism of Islam? You’re an Islamophobe, then, prejudiced against a whole religion?

      • Antonym

        Islam is like Stalinism and different from most religions/ ideologies: only interested in 100% domination. No tolerance of differences.
        On top of it quite misogynous. Not allowing apostasy contrary to mild cousin Christianity.

  • Goose

    Oh dear, looks like it’s all going to kick off with Iran after Trump’s outrageously provocative assassination of Iran’s top General Qassem Suleimani, basically Iran’s General Patton.

    This after a US contractor was allegedly killed in rocket fire. The US have provided no evidence afaik, that that attack was coordinated by Iran or proof of the perpetrators’ identity, the attack on General Qassem Suleimani’s convoy seems wholly disproportionate a response. Unless the US is trying to goad Iran into more drastic action, so they justify escalation.


    • Sarge

      Craig was always leaving himself a hostage to fortune praising the good sense and isolationism of Donald Trump. Nothing Jackrabbit posted on the previous page at 20:36 is a secret.

      • Laguerre

        The US is hardly monolithic. The war party is on constant guard, and Trump easy to trick.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Laguerre January 3, 2020 at 05:07
          The war party is monolithic – it has two faces, Repugs and Demoprats. Same Puppet Masters.

    • Antonym

      Learn to discern between US factions these days : Trump wants to pull back troops, the mil-industrial complex led by the CIA wants to keep up their budgets through war for Sunni Arab oil sheikhs. The last independent US president before was JFK.

      • pretzelattack

        the guy that ran on a fake missle gap, took the world to the brink of nuclear war, and supported joe mccarthy was not independent of the mic.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ pretzelattack January 3, 2020 at 05:58
          JFK made a deal with Russia; Russia was to remove the missiles from Cuba, in return the U.S. was to remove it’s Nuke missiles from Turkey (less well known, but a fact).
          Among many other excellent intentions, come another (inevitable without the assassination) election as President, JFK had vowed to dismantle the CIA, and replace it with an accountable intelligence agency, to retire J.Edgar Hoover from the F.B.I., and he was intent on stopping Isra*l from getting nuclear weapons.
          In contrast, his Vice President, on his ‘windfall’ Presidency, created another cliff-hanger WWIII incident, by colluding with another ‘Rogue Regime’ to attack the U.S.S. Liberty, which was to be sunk with no survivors, and blamed on Egypt, which was to be nuked in ‘retaliation’. The nuclear-armed planes were already on the way and three minutes from targets when they were recalled, as the ‘Liberty’ had not sunk, and had managed to get out an S.O.S. (Peter Hounam, ‘Operation Cyanide’).
          JFK was certainly no angel, but he was a damn site better than any of his followers (only the peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter, came close).

          • fwl

            Thanks PB I hadn’t heard of but will now read Op Cyanide. Have read some Peter Dale Scott who basically suggests all this rogue deep state stuff started off with the assassination of JFK. I suspect its always been there in one way or another and that it’s firmly entrenched now.

            Confused as what to make of today’s developments in Iraq. Has Trump decided (notwithstanding all his previous isolationist declarations) to turn a Cold War into an open one, or is he up to his wild carding tricks again – albeit it ratcheting it up somewhat?

          • Tony

            Paul Barbara:

            Your comments on JFK are absolutely correct. We have to understand the enormous pressure he was under. I believe we owe him a lot.
            JFK was so worried about a military coup that he persuaded John Frankenheimer to make a film of the book ‘Seven Days in May’.
            But, in fact, the coup came from his vice president assisted by the CIA, the military, FBI etc. And so he did not get that quite right.

            However, you are far too kind to Jimmy Carter.
            His administration threatened nuclear war, adopted a nuclear war fighting strategy (PD59), de-stabilized Afghanistan in order to provoke a Soviet invasion which it then cynically exploited. Not a good record at all.

          • pretzelattack

            paul, jfk’s second term would have been obama’s second term. the world came to the brink of war as russia responded to the us placement of similar missles in turkey. there was no need whatsoever for all the drama and blockade which risked nuclear war. i believe jfk’s actions, just like i believed obama’s, not their purported intentions. it could all have been worked out by negotiation, the us and russia both remove the missles. the us was trying to maintain a strategic nuclear advantage. that was on mr. missle gap.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ pretzelattack January 3, 2020 at 18:05
            ‘ could all have been worked out by negotiation, the us and russia both remove the missles..’
            It was worked out by negotiations – both removed their missiles from Cuba and Turkey respectively.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tony January 3, 2020 at 13:12
            Yes, I had forgotten Carter’s role in the destabilisation of Afghanistan. I know he continued to sell counter-insurgency OV10 warplanes to Suharto’s Indonesia, who used them to devastating effect in East Timor.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ fwl January 3, 2020 at 11:53
            Extremely detailed book. It is an almost unknown incident, but nuke armed A4’s were on their way to bomb Egypt, and were recalled with three minutes to spare.
            IMO, I believe it was much closer to WWIII than even the Cuba brinkmanship.
            Here is an hour-long video by Peter Hounam, who was commissioned by the BBC (back in the days when they did put out some good material) to make a documentary on the ‘Liberty’. He later wrote the far more detailed book.

    • Mary

      Trump is satisfying the demons in Tel Aviv who lust for war.

      As planned and promised.

      ‘“The secretary and prime minister reaffirmed the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel,” Ortagus said.
      It is the second time that Pompeo and Netanyahu have discussed the situation with Iran this week – the two spoke on the phone on Monday as well.’

      • Tom Welsh

        ‘“The secretary and prime minister reaffirmed the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel”.

        I wonder if they would stand up to the temperatures in the middle of a thermonuclear explosion.

        Just asking.

        • michael norton

          Pompeo had already put off his little trip to put backbone into the Ukraine Regime
          because he knew this “incident” in Iraq was about to kick off.

    • Tom Welsh

      The salient fact is that the USA invaded Iraq illegally in 2003, killing (in the long run) over 1 million Iraqis, destroying the infrastructure and dismantling government, armed forces and society.

      Ever since the USA has continued its military occupation of Iraq. As the initial invasion was an illegal war of aggression – the supreme international crime according to the Nuremberg Principles and contrary to the UN Charter – the occupation is also illegal. Iraqi citizens and others have just as much right to fight back against the occupying forces as, say, the French Resistance did to fight the Germans in 1940-5.

      As the occupying power, the USA is obliged by international law to take responsibility for all the functions of government in Iraq – including, obviously, the maintenance of peace and good order. Arbitrarily murdering people does not conduce to that end.

      The “Pottery Barn Rule” still applies: every evil that stems from the American invasions of Iraq is the responsibility of the US government – and not anyone else.

    • Tom Welsh

      “That will definitely put the Iraqi government in a most awkward situation”.

      Not really. It provides them with all the reasons they need to tell the USA to fuck off out of their country, and take all their weapons with them. And their Israeli spies and murderers.

      If they refuse, the Iraqi government should order all Iraqi citizens and foreigners in Iraq to boycott all US government personnel and assets. Don’t speak to them, don’t buy or sell anything, don’t work for them.

    • Tom Welsh

      I see that the US embassy in Iraq has told all US citizens to leave the country.

      I do hope that includes all members of the US armed forces, secret death squads (aka “Special Forces”) and of course the denizens of the embassy themselves.

  • Robyn

    I don’t read any MSM so haven’t read the Fisk OPCW article, but Catte Black (Off-Guardian, 2/1/20) cites this paragraph by Dr Fisk:

    “The deep concerns among some of the OPCW staff and the deletion of their evidence does not mean that gas has not been used in Syria by the government or even by the Russians or by Isis and its fellow Islamists. All stand guilty of war crimes in the Syrian conflict. The OPCW’s response to the evidence should not let war criminals off the hook. But it certainly helps them.”

    Black goes on to wonder wonder Fisk ‘freely chose to add this xenophobic, jingoistic nonsense to his otherwise pretty honest piece’ and whether it’s indicative of the way the story will be ‘castrated and distorted’ if it eventually gets to the MSM.

  • Jack

    Well, Iran should have got nuclear deterrence decades ago, they should have taken that path instead they are getting bombed by nuclear state.

    I also wonder why Iraq never kicked out the americans from Iraq, in part this presence made this act of war possible.

    • Tom Welsh

      “I also wonder why Iraq never kicked out the americans from Iraq, in part this presence made this act of war possible”.


  • Laguerre

    I think the Sulaimani assassination is going to prove a very serious crisis. I had the same feeling as when I first heard of 9/11, but of course Iran doesn’t have the military power of retaliation as the US. But like the US in that case, Iran won’t retaliate immediately. A grave miscalculation by the US.

    • Jack

      Exactly, Iran doesnt have the means or even will, unfortuantely that fact will be taken as a weakness by US, Israel to keep carry on with these attacks I am afraid.

  • Squeeth

    As the Nazi regime [US empire] developed over the years, the whole structure of decision-making was changed. At first there were laws. Then there were decrees implementing laws. Then a law was made saying, “There shall be no laws.” Then there were orders and directives that were written down, but still published in ministerial gazettes. Then there was government by announcement; orders appeared in newspapers. Then there were the quiet orders, the orders that were not published, that were within the bureaucracy, that were oral. Finally, there were no orders at all. Everybody knew what he had to do.[39]

    • Tom Welsh

      Squeeth, in the interests of balance I would like to quote the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry to which you linked.

      “Raul Hilberg (June 2, 1926 – August 4, 2007) was an Austrian-born Jewish-American political scientist and historian. He was widely considered to be the world’s preeminent[1][2][3] scholar of the Holocaust, and his three-volume, 1,273-page magnum opus, The Destruction of the European Jews, is regarded as a seminal study of the Nazi Final Solution”.

      Just so everyone knows the context.

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    I’m not so shure about Robert Fisk either. His last report ends with “The deep concerns among some of the OPCW staff and the deletion of their evidence does not mean that gas has not been used in Syria by the government or even by the Russians or by Isis and its fellow Islamists. All stand guilty of war crimes in the Syrian conflict. The OPCW’s response to the evidence should not let war criminals off the hook. But it certainly helps them.” What is his evidence for these “war crimes”.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘What is his evidence for these “war crimes”’.

      Yet again, I feel that the following century-old remark explains a great deal.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”.
      – Upton Sinclair

      • Glasshopper

        Of course there have been war crimes committed by all sides in Syria. Fisk, who is vastly more knowledgeable on the topic than the kind of wingnuts who frequent places like this – and Off Guardian – has spent decades in that region and knows his stuff.
        Of course, Syria could not have lasted under the Assad family if it were not a robust police state that responded to resistance with extreme – and often unlawful – violence. The same is true of most other countries in that neck of the woods.

    • SA

      Fisk has always maintained a sort of neutral stance by condemning both sides. The truth I guess is that in any war atrocities are committed, in fact the very act of war itself is an atrocity and an abomination. But of course the blame should always lie with those who start the war and continue to fuel it. Fisk is trying to be a reporter of facts that he observes, his interpretations may not be that accurate.

  • SA

    What is really terrifying is not the narrative but the zombie state itself under the leadership of Trump. How can any ally trust the US? The US troops in Iraq have acted against the wishes of the Iraqi government in bombing of its bases and now in the murder of Soliemani. This came after the selling out of the Kurds to appease Turkey. The US appears to be acting with impunity presumably on the assumption that any retaliation would be met with great force. It is a truly lawless situation.

  • David

    as Craig points-out, BBC & similar ‘bought-media’ continue to lie, unashamedly.

    look at this morning’s breaking news on bBC’s Radio4 toddy program – around 8am they were reporting this game-changing US missile attack on Iran’s Solemani in Iraq, and the Beeb astonishingly turned to, allowed on-air unchallenged, for five minutes “resistance hero” James Clapper(*)

    I immediately switched off, and watched France24 TV news instead – for a measured analysis of this “most extreme US-ME foreign policy event ever” situation,

    France24 actually gave me calibrated relevant news not simply a trite useless BBC editing allowing an Obama MIC stooge on the radio to guff whatever meaningless & irrelevant spite he could come up with!

    (*)this link includes a December Trump tweet indicating that he might soon be arresting “resistance”, following Durham report – so why would BBC invite on-air a named member of that anti-Trump resistance to explain the most important middle-east policy intervention ever….

    • Mary

      An Iranian professor, Mohammad Marandi*, told some truths to Mishal Husain, the Radio 4 Today presenter running today’s dose of BBC propaganda. It was quite refreshing to hear what he said and that they did not cut him off. ‘Your government has blood on its hands…..etc;’ He was followed by Alistair Burt, ex Tory MP and FCO minister and ex officer of the CFoI and a member of the Henry Jackson Society!

      1hr 30mins in


      • Laguerre

        Marandi is the Beeb’s go-to person in Tehran. I’ve heard him several times on the Toady programme, when they want an acceptable voice of Tehran.

        • fwl

          I listened to the Today Programme this morning. Professor Marandi was extremely and repeatedly outspoken. He was very obviously not taking any pro-British or American patsy line whatsoever.

          • Borncynical

            I’m surprised that the BBC repeatedly call upon Prof Marandi to comment on Iranian matters. I assume they don’t realise that he is an Iranian affairs analyst on RT. He is a regular commentator on their International News and on Peter Lavelle’s discussion programme Cross Talk. He always talks sense. We probably won’t see him on the BBC much longer.

            He also gave his opinion on RT this morning. He is a very gentle, intelligent and mild mannered man but it was clear that his patience has now been tested to the limit by the US actions in murdering Suleimani. He was very, very angry, and with every right to be.

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