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14 April 2017

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begob

Thanks to both author and publisher.

Mikey

.@bellingcat It's worth pointing out that Khan Sheikhoun silos and warehouse were already largely damaged since February 2017.

https://www.terraserver.com/view?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_text=&searchLat=&searchLng=&lat=35.450025&lng=36.649950&bbox=&center=

Is the rocket fragment and crater in the road a remnant of an earlier rocket attack using conventional weapons and is totally unrelated to any gas attack?

The grain silos are destroyed and the large building adjacent to the silos is partially destroyed in the February 2017 image from Terraserver.

robt willmann

Here are the two articles by Professor Theodore Postol that have been referred to in earlier postings and comments--

http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Postol-SyriaReport.pdf

http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Postol-SyriaReport-Addendum.pdf

Also, here is a brief interview he did the other day--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOKOwgeFcG4

The White House "background" press briefing of 11 April 2017 is here; it is a "summary" based on "declassified information"--

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/11/background-press-briefing-syria-4112017

Philippe Lemoine

Thanks again for this. I also didn't know about the "Who Attacked Ghouta?" blog until a few days ago, but since then I have read some of the posts and it's a great resource. I have already mentioned it previously, but if you're interested in what happened in Khan Sheikhoun and what lessons should be drawn from the attack in Ghouta in 2013, I have written a very detailed post on my blog where I argue that we should not rush to judgment and accept the guilt of Assad's regime before more evidence is presented. I spend a lot of time on the attack in Ghouta, after which everyone jumped to conclusions and asked for a military intervention against Assad's regime because they assumed it was responsible for the attack, even though this narrative unravelled in the months and years after the attack. I argue that, several years later, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that rebels were responsible and document a pretty shocking bias in the media, which has largely ignored evidence that surfaced later when it contradicted the official narrative. This post has been shared pretty widely and many people have criticized some of the points I make, but I don't think their arguments are very convincing and, more often than not, it's clear they haven't read my post very carefully since it already addresses their objections. I plan to post a follow-up sometime next week in which I will respond to objections and examine in more detail the publicly available evidence about the attack in Khan Sheikhoun. I agree with Prof. Postol's view that the White House's case is extremely weak and plan to say more about why. I think a reasonable observer should remain agnostic about who is responsible, especially given how great the stakes are, now that Russia has such a strong military presence in Syria. Anyway, sorry if you have already seen that, I hope that Col. Lang will not mind that I'm sharing my analysis here again. Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think.

Marko

I don't see how any chemical analysis provides a definitive proof about who conducted the attack.The reason is that when Assad's stockpile was rounded up and destroyed , the country was overrun with rebels , terrorists , intel agents of a half-dozen or more countries , and no doubt many mafia-type international CW brokers looking to make a fast buck. Any or all of these parties would have reasons to covet "Assad Select" sarin or binaries , and all would be expected to conceal it if they obtained it , and to lie about having it if they ever came under suspicion. State actors in this case might be even more inclined to lie and conceal than non-state.

Assad at one point claimed that 1/3 of his sites were out of gov't-controlled areas. This then dropped to some lower fraction , but never during the rounding-up and disposal process was there absolute certainty that all of Assad's CWs that could have been found were in fact found.

If just a few of these actors each squirreled away 3 or 4 10-gallon jugs of sarin , a tremendous number of small-scale false-flags could ensue over a period of many years. And all of the sarin would have the same "Assad Select" chemical fingerprint.

Think about it. Rebels in Idlib could have had 20 or so captives bound to chairs in a room somewhere , and at the appropriate time , a couple guys in biohazard suits go in and apply 2-3 ml. of sarin to the skin of each. ( Put the sarin on a blotter between two surgical masks , and instead of using 2-3 ml per captive , you get similar results with only 10-20% of that amount.) Say 10-15 die and 5-10 survive. That's all you need. Chlorine , phosphine ,ammonia , mustard , and probably other cheap and easy-to-get stuff can make you plenty more sick patients.

Spray another 10 ml of sarin on the inside walls of your delivery canister and the same into your pothole. Now you've got your Assad-linked sarin attack , OPCW-ready , using only 70 ml , or less , of your sarin stock.

Jackrabbit
"The decision by President Trump ... makes an ironic contrast with the behaviour of his predecessor.... President Obama decided to follow the example of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and seek the approval of Congress for air strikes."
IMO this contrast give Obama waaay too much credit. President Obama's was just as willing to bomb Syria on trumped up evidence as Trump was. When announcing his decision to punt to Congress he said that he was ready to give the order.

In the first iteration of this post, a commenter (RichardStevenHack, I believe) provided info that Obama thought there was a good chance that Congress would approve the bombing (no doubt with the help of AIPAC).

Obama's history of serving powerful interests via public deception and covert ops, re-enforces the correctness of this view. Because he couldn't bomb, Obama supported ISIS instead. Consider:


> Obama ignored the rise of ISIS, calling them "al Queda's JV team" and intelligence about the the growing danger of ISIS was distorted (resulting in a public action by dozens of military intel analysts);

> Obama's meek anti-ISIS air campaign allowed ISIS' oil business to flourish;

> "Moderate rebels", supported by CIA were a known conduit of arms to al Queda and ISIS;

> A $500 million effort (approved by Congress) to train anti-ISIS fighters graduated less than 100 fighters who promptly joined the extremists. As reported by CBS News, hundreds of other trainees dropped out before graduating to join the extremists (saying that Assad was a bigger threat).

> Obama justified his anti-Assad efforts as "leading from behind".


It was the Russians - not Congress or Obama's wisdom or God almighty - that prevented the bombing as you acknowledge when you write:
As a result of the deal to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal mediated by the Russians, the possibility of such strikes then quite rapidly became moot.

Obama punted to Congress because he could not finesse the attack. There were too many objections from IC and other knowledgeable people. It wasn't just Dempsey. Obama must have thought that a democratic 'stamp of approval' would nullify these complaints.

Jackrabbit
It is not simply that as a result of their [Western elites] follies, problems of jihadist terrorism, and mass migration, have been greatly exacerbated. The – hardly unpredictable – result of these [failures] has been populist revolts, which the élites who have done so much to create them cannot understand, so that they have little prospect of producing sensible responses.
Rubbish.

The elites very sensible response has been to install faux populist leaders: Obama and Trump.

The Borg is at war with the people - and the Borg is #winning.

Jackrabbit
"An unsurprising result of all this bungling was a covert alliance between elements in Israel and its supporters in the United States and Britain, and Sunni Arab governments in Saudia Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, to attempt to break the ‘Shia Crescent’ by striking at its supposed weak link in Syria."
No.

The plans of this unholy Alliance to attack Syria were hatched WELL BEFORE the 'bungling' that you describe.

Sy Hersh wrote about this in 2007! In "The Redirection" he described the plan to use extremists as a weapon against Syria in order to counter Iranian influence. The New Yorker refused to publish him after that (that's why his future writings are published in LRB).
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

Bill Herschel

Beautifully written, beautiful work. John Baron was apparently one of the leaders of the group who scotched Cameron's initial attempt to bomb Syria in 2013.

The Russians are going to empower Syria to shoot down planes trying to destroy their infrastructure. I think. If they do, things are going to get very hair-raising. The first step in both Iraq phony wars (in the sense that Iraq had never threatened the U.S. and was not a military power... sort of like Syria) was the destruction of their air defenses. That will apparently be more difficult in Syria.

Russia is playing for keeps. And playing intelligent. Trump is about the worst conceivable person on earth to face them. He is going to end up looking like a monkey. All the neocon's horses and all the neocon's men won't be able to put Trumpty back together again.

Dany Shoham


Dear Col. Lang,

I am Dany Shoham, mentioned in the above analysis written by you, which is remarkable, may I say.
May I have your e-mail address please.
I would be most grateful for your reply.
Best wishes,
Dany

Peter AU

From an outside perspective (non US).
Dissecting propaganda in minute detail?
MH17 - social media as evidence - US intelligence receives Ukraine intelligence through social media.. is this a joke?
The current CW attack in Syria.. no different. Worse.
US have 'declassified' social media intelligence in White House release? Is this for real? Or is the US general public that far into reality TV and WWF that they believe this...?

The Porkchop Express

This is grossly off topic, so I beg your indulgence Col. Lang and apologies all around.

But the topic has come up before, particularly with respect to the Colonel's critique of the "baleful impact of social scientists on history, " but I thought this was too good not to share. Particularly as I recall having a conversation with someone on here about Saul Alinsky but have since forgotten (my apologies to whoever it was).

The Wakeup Call Podcast from February 17, 2017 gets into the history of political correctness with Dr. Stephanie Maier. It's quite good and covers a lot of ground that has been covered here before; the Fabians, Critical Theory, The Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse, Saul Alinsky, and the "borg" more generally.

Maier ties it together very cogently and links it to the grossly underreported impact it has had on US history during the last 100 years. It's very good and well worth a listen for those of you with time/inclination.

http://www.wakeupcallpodcast.com/pc-history/

turcopolier

Dany Shoham

The author of this post is David Habakkuk, not I. This is clearly indicated in the title of the piece. Habakkuk resides in the UK. I don't see your name in the piece. Where is it? pl

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Will US bomb Idlib to smithereens?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39613313

turcopolier

Babak

Why would the US do that? Our thinly disguised allies control the province. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I was being ironic.

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