by Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone:
There have been many US military interventions that were based on lies. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is not some kooky blogger’s opinion. It is an extensively documented and indisputable fact.
Nothing has ever been done to address this extensively documented and indisputable fact. No laws were ever changed. No war crimes tribunals were ever held. No policies or procedures were ever revised. No one was ever even fired. No changes were implemented to prevent the Iraq deception from happening again, and, when it happened again, no changes were implemented to prevent the Libya deception from happening again.
When you make a mistake, you take measures afterward to ensure that you never make the same mistake again. When you do something on purpose, and you intend on doing it again, you do not take any such measures.
There is a large and growing body of evidence that we have been lied to about Syria to an extent and to a level of sophistication that may be historically unprecedented. One particular aspect of the US-centralized empire’s military involvement in that nation, the 2018 airstrikes by the US/UK/France alliance and the alleged chemical weapons incident which preceded it, has been subject to intense scrutiny ever since it took place. And with good reason: there are many pieces of evidence indicating that the Douma incident was staged to falsely implicate the Syrian government.
I don’t claim to know exactly who would have been involved in such a staging and to what extent. It is technically possible, as the UK’s Admiral Lord West speculated at the time, that it was perpetrated independently by the vicious al-Qaeda-linked Jaysh al-Islam forces who’d been occupying Douma, a last-ditch attempt to provoke a western military response that might save them from the brink of defeat at the hands of the surging Syrian Arab Army. Jaysh al-Islam has an established record of deliberately massacring civilians, and of using civilians as military leverage by locking them in cages on rooftops in strategic Douma locations to prevent airstrikes. The narrative management operation known as the White Helmets would also have been involved to some extent, and it’s very possible that Saudi Arabia, who backs Jaysh al-Islam, was involved as well.
Any number of other allied intelligence agencies could have also been involved to some degree (perhaps with the more expanded goal of ensuring continued US military commitment in Syria during an administration that is vocally opposed to it), and it’s unknown if anyone involved would have had direct contact with any part of any US government agency regarding any of this. All we know for sure is that there’s a growing mountain of evidence that the Syrian government was not involved, and that this raises extremely important questions about (A) who really killed those civilians in Douma and (B) how seriously any future demands for military action should be taken from the US power alliance.
That mountain of evidence includes the following 12 items. Taken individually they are reason enough to be skeptical of the narratives that are being promoted by a government with a known history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to advance preexisting military agendas. Taken together, and looked at with intellectual honesty, they are enough to obliterate anyone’s trust in what we’ve been told about Douma.
1. A leaked OPCW Engineering Assessment concluded that the gas cylinders on the scene were manually placed there.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a purportedly neutral and international watchdog group dedicated to eliminating the use of chemical weapons around the world. In May of this year, a leaked internal OPCW document labeled “Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at the Douma Incident” was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. The Engineering Assessment was signed by a South African ballistics expert named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018, and its authenticity was quickly confirmed by the OPCW in a statement sent to multiple journalists that it was “conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.”
Henderson ran some experiments and found no scientifically grounded theory for how the cylinders could possibly have been dropped vertically from the air while being found in the condition and locations that they were found in, concluding instead that they were manually placed on the scene. This is a huge difference, since the Assad coalition was the only side with aircraft and Jaysh al-Islam were the only forces on the ground.
“The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft,” Henderson wrote. “In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”
“In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft,” Henderson concludes.
This is unsurprising, since the hypothetical physics of the empire’s airdrop narrative make no sense to anyone with any understanding of how material objects move. To get a simple explanation of this, watch the breakdown in this three-minute animation. For a more in-depth look, check out this long Twitter thread by Climate Audit’s Stephen McIntyre.
The existence of Henderson’s report was kept secret from the public by the OPCW, which might make more sense after we get through #2 on this list.