Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 28, 2016

German Pro-Atlantic Paper Admits: Ghouta Sarin Attack Committed By Al-Qaeda

The German paper Die Welt is staunchly pro-NATO and pro-U.S. It always follows the official, conservative propaganda lines up to the dot on the last i. But in today's Sunday edition one of its well-connected journalists and department head argues for a change of direction on Syria. Assad is not going to go away and "the west" needs to accept that to prevent a Salafist take-over of that country.

Buried in the German language piece is this version of events of the 2013 Sarin attack in Ghouta and the "lack of response" by the Obama administration (my translation):

When on August 21 2013 the nerve gas Sarin was used in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, [Obama] had to make a decision. He ordered to prepare an attack by sea-launched cruise missiles. But the British secret service was in possession of a sampling of the used Sarin. An analysis showed it not to be Sarin from the Syrian regime, but from the inventory of al-Nusra. Obama dropped his plan.

There are several problems with this line of events. The British parliament had rejected an attack on Syria. The U.S. congress refused to authorize one. If Obama would have attacked, the Republicans would have, without doubt, started impeachment procedures against him. The domestic policy implications, not the origin of the Sarin,  stopped Obama's attack plans.

The explanation of Die Welt reporter, that al-Nusra Sarin's was different from Syrian government Sarin, is also dubious. According to a recent extensive report based on interviews with an al-Qaeda aligned "rebel" in Syria, al-Qaeda acquired the Sarin from a storage facility of the Syrian regime when it conquered the Syrian base of Regiment 111 in late 2012. This was before the split of al-Nusra and the Islamic State. There would thus be no difference between "regime Sarin" and "al-Qaeda Sarin".

But even completely independent of the origin of the Sarin, U.S. missile experts had long concluded that the missiles which carried the Sarin in the attack could not have been fired from government held areas. Their range was simply too short. Thus the event must have been a false flag attack.

Nonetheless, the German newspaper analysis is a sign that the tide has turned and that the official "regime change" storm is calming down. The dismantling of a major official propaganda item, like the Sarin attack, points to the introduction of a new narrative. How that will develop further is yet to be seen.

Posted by b on August 28, 2016 at 8:39 UTC | Permalink

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I think you got it wrong here. it's just a way to clear the past to present new "evidence" of chemical attacks like the latest UN report to be used to justify another attack.
ofc chlore is a bit less sexy than sarin on "schock&horror/the public demands humanitarian slaug...ahem, intervention" scale, but it'll do as one more step on the stairway to full Clinton war

Posted by: ratatat | Aug 28 2016 8:48 utc | 1

The tide is turning. Biden has just been to Ankara to polish Erdogans boots. Offer a blow job, offer his butt, whatever it takes to keep Turkey onNATOside.
It will be a scorched earth policy as the empire retreats.

Posted by: Peter AU | Aug 28 2016 8:55 utc | 2

It's a clear sign of b's desperation to avoid how bad it's looking for Syria.

Just a few days ago the US was condemning Syrian government for unproved lies of chemical attacks.

Posted by: tom | Aug 28 2016 9:02 utc | 3

French MSM have not reported on that
as they were busy telling us that people in Daraya have been starving and eating the grass, something that the pictures of the evacuated families certainly did not show.
But the question remain: since Asad cannot be considered as responsible for the fact that some adults are instrumentalizing children in PR, in killing, and in human trafficking (Yazidis, Boko Haram etc) and that we have enough evidence (names, pictures etc) why does the West want to present of itself an emasculated picture of "we can't do anything"?
In the case of the pirates who had killed a French man in the Red Sea a few years ago, the guys were caught and the trial did not take long to take place (

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28 2016 9:07 utc | 4

Looks like Germany jumped ship.

From the open thread:
Deutsche Welle on the Qatari-Turkish pipeline as the reason for the Syrian war.

Germany considers Nord Stream 2 involves only National Law - not EU law - in German

From the beginning of this year - Deutsche Welle on Turkey's gas problems

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2016 9:48 utc | 5

5 days after Ghouta:
Assad used napalm on a school (they said)

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 28 2016 9:53 utc | 6

Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims 'like the walking dead'
29 August 2013 Last updated at 22:43 BST

A BBC team inside Syria filming for Panorama has witnessed the aftermath of a fresh horrific incident - an incendiary bomb dropped on to a school playground in the north of the country - which has left scores of children with napalm-like burns over their bodies.

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 28 2016 10:05 utc | 7

On 29 August 2013, as the UK House of Commons vote on possible military intervention in Syria was underway [1], BBC News at Ten broadcast a report by Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway which claimed that a Syrian fighter jet had dropped an incendiary bomb containing a “napalm-type” substance – possibly thermite – on the playground of an Aleppo school.

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 28 2016 10:18 utc | 8

@ From The Hague, #6, 7

Think you'll find the creditability of BBC totally used up. The Guardian has stepped into the breach and has suffered a great loss of integrity as a result. Nothing either news organ headlines concerning MENA can be trusted for what once was investigative journalism's veracity, those days are long gone. It is amusing to see Duhmerican readers refer to such material, invariably unaware that neither the historic BBC nor what became of The Manchester Guardian retain those qualities that gave each their renown, neither can even fill the shadow of their former estate. Sad degenerate times these. Occasionally one can find unadulterated information out of far right political papers that have not felt the weight of the British government, MI5/6 and GCHQ 'total surveillance'™, but those are becoming rare.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 28 2016 10:25 utc | 9

Tukish-Kurd fighting in Northern Syria is the "big event" the West needed to soon flood all other the place (incl. camps etc). Today the French MSM is all "first Turkish soldier killed; first Turkish collateral damages killing 20 civilians..."
my bet...

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28 2016 10:47 utc | 10

Ghouta sarin "attack" was another goddam hoax.

Posted by: xyz | Aug 28 2016 11:17 utc | 11


This is an important story so it's worth examining in some detail. I don't think Abu Ahmad's story about finding "barrels filled with chlorine, sarin and mustard gas" at Regiment 111's base is credible. There's no evidence that the Syrian military has ever stockpiled or used chlorine, and sarin would be stored as binaries. The Syrian government has always maintained that none of its sarin stocks fell into opposition hands, even though this would have been an easy way to blame the opposition for the sarin attacks.

The story in Die Welt appears to be based on Seymour Hersh's article "The red line and the rat line" in the LRB in April 2014. David Habakkuk, a contributor to Pat Lang's blog, has drawn together all available evidence on this story, and his interpretation can be found in the comments to several posts. He infers that UK and US defence intelligence officials were well aware by the summer of 2013 that a sarin false flag was being planned with the collusion of the civilian intelligence agencies, and worked together to block this from being used to launch a war.

There is ample evidence that (1) the Nusra Front was producing sarin, and (2) that the sarin used in Syria in 2013 was kitchen sarin that did not match the synthetic pathway used for Syrian military stocks. Mokhtar Lamani, the UN Special Representative in Damascus, had reported to the UNSG in March 2013 that Nusra was bringing nerve agents into Syria through the border at Azaz. The Russian lab that analysed environmental samples from the Khan-al-Assal attack in March 2013 reported that the sarin had been produced under "cottage industry" conditions. It's likely that Porton Down had obtained similar results from their own analysis of a sarin sample from Uteybah, and were able to compare the Russian findings with their own (very helpful when trying to interpret mass spectrometry results on a complex mixture). This would have helped to establish the credibility of the Russian in this matter.

The phone transcripts of the Nusra team arrested in Turkey in May 2013 showed that they were buying sarin precursors in quantities of hundreds of kilos, including white phosphorus. The OPCW labs reported that the sarin used in Ghouta contained hexafluorophosphate. This indicates that the synthesis started with phosphorus trichloride or elemental phosphorus, and that intermediate reaction products were not purified at each step. The Syrian government's sarin production started with trimethyl phosphite, bought in large quantities from the UK and India during the 1980s. Finally, Seymour Hersh has reported that the US, which fitted out the ship Cape Ray as a sarin disposal facility, obtained samples of the sarin binaries given up by the Syrian government and determined that their chemical profile did not match the Ghouta sarin.

The story in Die Welt misleadingly states that "the British secret service" was in possession of environmental samples from Ghouta. It wasn't MI6 but Porton Down, which is under the UK Ministry of Defence. MI6 was reported to have provided the earlier samples from Uteybah, perhaps without realizing that the profile of impurities in environmental samples (not blood samples) would give the game away. Hersh reported that the Russians provided these samples to Porton Down and that Sir Peter Wall, then the head of the British Army, called General Martin Dempsey with the results. Dempsey then met with Obama, and forced him to call off the attack on Syria by threatening to testify to Congress (and to prime them to ask the questions) that he had told Obama that the sarin used in Ghouta did not come from regime stocks. It was at this point, on the evening of 30 August, that Obama effectively called off the attack by announcing that he would seek Congressional approval (which he knew he was unlikely to get). Up to this point he had been planning to attack without Congressional approval.

On 29 August, just before the House of Commons met to debate the resolution for war on Syria, the UK Joint Intelligence Committee released a report to the Prime Minister stating that there was "no evidence for an opposition CW capability" and therefore "no alternative to a regime attack scenario". Yet only one day later, Obama had been informed that both these statements were false. It's clear that the UK defence lab scientists and defence intelligence officials were well aware that the JIC was misleading the House of Commons (a crime against the constitution) and that they resorted to passing information via the military chain of command.

Posted by: pmr9 | Aug 28 2016 11:19 utc | 13

Mustard gas was used too. I recall Kurdish Syrians telling me when IS was expanding East of Raqqa that each time people could see yellow smoke above the places they bombed.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28 2016 11:39 utc | 14

Seymour Hersh provides details regarding the Sarin story:

Global Empire - The World According to Seymour Hersh [Part Two]

Posted by: pantaraxia | Aug 28 2016 11:48 utc | 15

More on Germany jumping the ship - A new European security structure needs Russia -
Die Welt interviewing Die Linke's Gysi.

This after Steinmeier argues in FAZ that a new weapon's control policy with Russia is needed.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2016 11:56 utc | 16

What's the simplest line we can draw? Syria, Russia, Iran agree with Turkey that there willbe no grand Kurdistan. So some rhetoric against evil assad can be walked back as a small aim of his is lined up with a large aim of Turkey.

What confuses a bit is the US (assumedly) getting the Kurds to expel the SAA out of Hasakah. Was it something like, clear the west euphrates and we'll support your fully autonomus if not soveriegn fantasies if you die for us in the race Raqqa?

When you only have one friend, it's hard not to comply. The only option is not to fight. I think there is NATO fantasy about using the Kurds to open up yet another front against the SAA, but that's a bit far fetched.

Russia permitting these Turkish incursions might be a message in that regard, become an anti SAA proxy and we'll look away as Turkish tanks roll up everything you've gained in the last 5 years.


Posted by: Cresty | Aug 28 2016 11:58 utc | 17

Another point that is striking me is the idea that when IS crimes became known (and they did their best to make them known), there was no alliance of the enemies against this new enemy immediately.
I would think that in the ancient way people were doing wars, including "fraternization", "pauses" etc (as happened several times in Syria actually), this type of new barbarian enemy would have been fought first, through a temporary alliance.
Instead the world has beens sold some sort of banalization of the most horrible war-crimes.
Somehow IS marked some moral points here, showing the whole world that unless the victims are white and rich, there is no hope to count on the expensive international organizations to come to the rescue.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28 2016 11:59 utc | 18

@9 Formerly T-Bear
Reminds me of this excellent performance from Pete Seeger (1964, BBC....)

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

What dit you learn from NYT, WaPo and Guardian today,
You intellectual, democratic, civilised, left, critical, modern, emancipated and/or progressive reader?

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 28 2016 12:03 utc | 19

It may also signal the end of ISIS as a real threat, if the kurds can be insulted this directly, when they are the US proxy force against them. Or the more nefarious plot of lessening kurdish support and letting ISIS simmer to be used as boogeyman at will?

Maybe a little fear of losing Incirlik?

Many many questions

Posted by: Cresty | Aug 28 2016 12:05 utc | 20

Heard today "what Erdo doesn't want is a Kurdistan dominated by PKK", i.e. there will be Kurdistan, it's part of the plan, but it has to be directed from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28 2016 12:33 utc | 21

Posted by: Cresty | Aug 28, 2016 8:05:09 AM | 20

ISIS occupied/occupies the parts of Syria and Iraq Turkey is interested in and has a historical claim for ie. Mosul and Aleppo province. It is to early to judge the outcome but it is sure to bet that a huge ethnic cleansing campaign was intended.

Kurds are interested, too.

A large part of the "Syrian refugee crisis" is a Kurdish refugee crisis.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2016 12:39 utc | 22

@somebody 16:

By creating some space between Turkey and the EU and dangling a Turkish controlled pipeline to Europe as a serious possibility, Russia has now flushed Germany out of the fold as it is loath to loose control of EU's gas supply. Simple as that. Business drives morals, not the other way around.

Divide and conquer. Classic strategy.

Posted by: Vapors | Aug 28 2016 13:52 utc | 23

I think it was a set up so reason, logic, and factual evidence was not enough. They were hell-bent on bombing to destroy Assad. It was only Russia's adament opposition and Russia's proposal that Assad give up his chemical weapons that prevented the bombing.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 28 2016 13:59 utc | 24

When Mint Press reported this they were hammered.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 28 2016 14:13 utc | 25

@25 So mintpressnews earns credit!

Maybe I change my mind about Mugabe..

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 28 2016 14:30 utc | 26

The story is bogus. No gas attack happened in Ghouta in August 2013. The "event" exists mainly in YouTube. Dying people are shown in rebel field hospitals and morgues. Most likely these people were hostages who were gassed to death in some cellar prison.

There is no evidence that any chemical agent was ever released into the atmosphere. There are no photos or videos in situ of people dying in their homes or their beds (it was 3 am, remember). No video of abandoned homes after the bodies were were carried out. No video of any search and rescue work. (Where the hell were the White Helmets in 2013? They could have produced wonderful videos of rescuing dead babies from their cribs.)

The only place we see bodies in situ outside the morgues is the Zamalka Ghost House, a hoax set up by the well known Douma massacre artists.

Most likely the gas used was chlorine released in confined spaces. The Vulcan / UMLACA thermobaric rockets have nothing to do with the gas attack. They might have been fired the same day or during the week before. If sarin was found on the spot, it was planted there for the OPCW investigators to find.

See our extensive but disorganized research spread out here.


If the British were in possession of a sarin sample, then most likely it was from some earlier CW attack, possibly the one in Khan Al-Asssal near Aleppo on March 19, 2013 that the OPCW investigators were there to investigate.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 28 2016 14:36 utc | 27

My recollection is that the chemical agents came from an industrial plant/warehouse in Turkey, the shell casing was crudely manufactured and not military-grade, and the rebels controlled all of the nearby government locations that could have launched the attack.

Posted by: Les | Aug 28 2016 15:01 utc | 28

@ Mina #4

DAMASCUS: The Syrian government has formally accused France of using and providing chemical weapons in the East Ghoutaa on August 21, 2013. Needless to say, French media is not reporting this. But, we will.


Posted by: Yul | Aug 28 2016 15:01 utc | 29

I think it was a set up so reason, logic, and factual evidence was not enough...
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 28, 2016 9:59:00 AM | 24

That's right.
Poking around in false flags and rumors, as an excuse to resolve a controversy, is a waste of time. The top crime solvers in most societies are the cops. They're not as good as they could/should be, but they're better than anyone else at investigating and solving crime. They also have good tech resources and access to "legal privileges". And they ALWAYS begin with a search for people with a possible MOTIVE and focus their investigation on those 'suspects' by eliminating each person from their list of suspects - using verifiable FACTS.

The huge problem I have with the Ghouta "investigations" is that no-one has ever examined the motivations of the "Assad must go" crowd who have always been the most likely suspects.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 28 2016 15:26 utc | 30

@ somebody 5, 16

Some financial analysts have been expecting Germany to jump ship on both economic and political fronts. Germany’s Titans of Commerce already did; quietly by-passing sanctions on Russia through direct investments.

In a new blow to Obama’s legacy here goes TTIP and `NordStream 2. Ditto TTP.

TTIP negotiations between EU and US have de facto failed’ – German economy minister

[.].“[In my opinion the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it,” the minister told ZDF broadcaster, according to a written transcript of the interview to be aired on Sunday.

They] have failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands.”

He noted that throughout 14 rounds of talks the two sides have not been able to find common ground on a single chapter of the deal being discussed. Among the stumbling blocks is a US objection to opening public tenders to European companies.”[.]

[] “Forget Poland, Russia’s Gazprom Doubles down on Nord Stream 2”

Biden said Nord Stream 2 is a bad idea. He overlooked the other shareholders. Russia’s Gazprom is one of several EU energy firms…Energie, OMV, Shell.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 28 2016 15:31 utc | 31

One of the strongest clues – in addition to his decision not to attack Assad militarily – that Obama knows that Assad was not responsible for killing all of those people we saw in the Ghouta videos is that he also stopped abusing Assad verbally. In the days immediately after the Ghouta Massacre both Obama and Kerry were repeatedly spouting the meme that “Assad gassed his own people.” But soon that rhetoric was buried and the administration has never gone back to it. Years have passed and not a single “he gassed his own people” accusation. The problem is that Obama never had the balls to tell the world that there was no sarin attack in Ghouta, and certainly no sarin attack by Assad.

As Petri says, small amounts of sarin or other organophosphates were almost certainly used by the insurgents to support their false flag YouTubes – evidence planted for the UN/OPCW teams to “find.” Unfortunately, the UN/OPCW were too stupid to see that they were being taken for a ride.

What happened to all of those dead women and children we saw on dozens of simultaneous YTs, all screaming "sarin"? Those victims were almost certainly gassed by carbon monoxide or cyanide, you can tell that by how rosy the noses and cheeks of the corpses are. Sarin turns people and corpses blue. CO/cyanide turns them red/pink. Because of the physical characteristics of CO and cyanide, that means the people were almost certainly rounded up and executed in closed rooms or chambers.

Ghouta was a false-flag stunt using murdered children as bait to try and lure Obama into attacking Assad. Here's a 280 page online book that proves that point beyond reasonable doubt. And here's Part III of a much shorter explanation. And here’s an excellent, spooky video by Adam Larson that focuses on one important piece of the evidence -- one of the Ghouta victims had his throat slit while he lay on the floor of the morgue in Kafr Batna.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 28 2016 15:37 utc | 32

Add to #30.
And the huge problem I had with 9/11 is that it was only a crime - albeit a spectacular one but a simple crime nonetheless. Had it been treated as a crime and given to the FBI/cops to solve (with upgraded resources and privileges) the perps would have been identified and convicted years ago.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 28 2016 15:38 utc | 33

The independent reported it

Syria blames France for nerve gas attack in Gouta that almost took Britain to war

The atrocity killed hundreds of civilians in Ghouta, sparking a vote on military intervention

The switch of the villain from Turkey and Saudi Arabia to France is interesting.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2016 15:39 utc | 34

thanks b... ditto @ 11 xyz's comment.. this shit never stops.. it's all about the oil pipeline and some bigger power dictating the direction of the flow..

@24 jackrabbit's comment.. ditto that too..

mina - great comments all around especially @18. thanks..

Posted by: james | Aug 28 2016 15:42 utc | 35

Obama’s seeds of chaos /war crimes in ME. .. In addition to Syria, a blind nod to Israel in Palestine, Yemen also comes to mind. No troops on the ground furiously denied!

Pentagon withdraws assets from Riyadh amid mounting death toll in Saudi-led Yemen war

The US forces assisting the Saudi-led coalition in coordinating air strikes in Yemen have largely withdrawn from Riyadh in an apparent move to distance themselves from the mounting civilian death toll in the 17-month long conflict, Reuters has learned.

~ ~ ~

The intercept: “One lone Congressman’s campaign”

[.]“I taught the law of war when I was on active duty,” he told The Intercept. “You can’t kill children, newlyweds, doctors and patients — those are exempt targets under the law of war, and the coalition has been repeatedly striking civilians,” he said. “So it is very disturbing to me. It is even worse that the U.S. is aiding this coalition.”

Lieu released a statement two days later, harshly condemning the attack. “The indiscriminate civilian killings by Saudi Arabia look like war crimes to me. In this case, children as young as 8 were killed by Saudi Arabian air strikes,” he wrote.
“By assisting Saudi Arabia, the United States is aiding and abetting what appears to be war crimes in Yemen,” Lieu added. “The administration must stop enabling this madness now.”

~ ~ ~ ~

Like his predecessor Bush, Obama is destined to be entered on the no-fly-list.

Media blackout and deferred into the 23rd century as DOJ Blocks:

The California Civil Lawsuit against George W. Bush et al (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and Wolfowitz)

~ ~ ~ ~

Obama signed NDAA so, we expect upon leaving office, he will grant pardons to the 6.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 28 2016 15:53 utc | 36

Biden visited Erdogan.
I like the photos.
Erdogan rejects the US.

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 28 2016 16:14 utc | 37

Sayf al Islam Qaddafi free and in Moscow since almost a week, and no report on it? You notice MSM went silent on Libya lately

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28 2016 16:33 utc | 38

It's entertaining watching b try to spin the UN Chemical Weapons group report that produced verifiable evidence of Assad gassing Syrians without even mentioning it. Resurrecting the old and unverified rumors about the Ghouta attacks relying on Russian supplied Sarin samples and German news opinions is quite feeble.

The French are pushing for a UN resolution based on these facts about Assad's gassing of Syrians and it will be interesting how the Russians and Chinese, who authorized and participated in this investigation, respond to the facts not rumors.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 28 2016 16:44 utc | 39

Posted by: Mina | Aug 28, 2016 12:33:37 PM | 38

I think that is a rumour spread because Gaddafi might be of political importance again. If he flies to Moscow he presumably is out of the game.

Libya’s three dimensional chess board

RT let it known about month ago that he was freed but his mental state was not good ...

It might be true though that they think they have to get him out for safety as he would know who robbed Libya of what.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2016 17:19 utc | 40

@3 tom - you must concede that the head-choppers have a media arm - however basic this is (and it is, always getting it wrong) you might not expect the BBC to be involved with such propaganda - but you'd be wrong...

This proves, to my mind, that Robert Stuart has proved beyond all manner of doubt that the UK government, via the BBC, is complicit in the ultimate crime of invasion of sovereignty when they carried out plans of infiltration within Syria.

Posted by: fredjc | Aug 28 2016 17:53 utc | 41

Russia seems to be backing Saif Gaddafi.

The return of Gaddafi

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2016 17:57 utc | 42

The West's vicious propaganda and support for "moderate" head choppers can only be seen as a win win for the West, they hoped that the Islamists could gain control and Saudi Arabia,Turkey,Qatar and Israel could each benefit geopolitically with pipe lines and such. They now cynically move on to plan b to prolong the war and see much of Syria physically destroyed. Plan b will not work either, how could it, Syrians know the only alternative to Assad is a descent into the middle ages and the end of the secular Syrian state? What worries me is the Russian attempt to get the US on board to negotiate a political solution. IS/AlQaeda [just like the US] are not interested in a political solution, except on their sectarian terms, they have to be defeated on the battle field.Unfortunately the stakes are very high, the US and Saudi [GSS and Israeli] roles in the middle east against the 'arc of resistance' [Syria, Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah backed by Russia with China in the background] will prevail because it is quite simply an existential threat to them all, plus they have the majority backing of their huge electorates, can the same be said for the Saudi and other despotic Kings and Emirs who think their money can buy anything?

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 28 2016 18:00 utc | 43

@42 somebody - Saif Gaddafi - probably recognizes how precarious his position is, but that he is capable of rising the tribes behind him, is a distinct possibility. Who he has around him is another story!

Posted by: fredjc | Aug 28 2016 18:06 utc | 44

wayoutwest @39:

... facts not rumors.
The fact is Assad didn't need to "gas his own people". In fact, doing so would've only been counter-productive.

But the headchoppers needed the US to bomb.

It would take another two years and lots more money before the rebels/headchoppers got into a position that threatened the Assad government (summer 2015) - at which point Iran-Russia intervened (at the Assad government's request).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 28 2016 18:20 utc | 45

The US not only didn't stick to its "red line" on chemical weapons because even the average low brainer knew this was a false flag attack (why on earth would the Syrian government fire sarin on people when UN inspectors just landed in Damascus and after having begged the UN for half a year to come and investigate a previous jihadi chemical gas attack?) but also because the Russian blocked the initial attack and took out two missiles fired by the US on Syria. The US did not want a direct open war based on an easily refutable lie. At the beginning of September, 2 missiles were fired and fell into the mediterean. Only ignorance would make one think this is coincidence.

Maybe the sarin narrative will change to villify Erdogan who the Atlanticists seem less happy about every day despite Joe Bidens charade. Ironically it was Joe Biden who 2 years ago said: "Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria," "And we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them [terrorists], "

Posted by: Pico | Aug 28 2016 20:35 utc | 46

Petri @ 27

Although I agree that ACLOS and Denis's study of the Kafr Batna videos have established beyond reasonable doubt that most of the bodies shown on the Ghouta videos were massacred captives, I think it's not quite fair to describe the sarin attack story as "bogus". From the interviews conducted by the OPCW team, it sounds as if there were at least a few casualties among people living within 50 metres of the rocket impact sites in Zamalka, and the survivors tested positive for exposure However there's no evidence that any rockets landed at the other alleged attack site in Moadimiya: OPCW took blood samples from the alleged victims at this site but were not allowed to interview them.

Seymour Hersh's latest interview, linked by pantaraxia @ 15, contains one nugget that is relevant to this. At 18.45, he states that "You had to walk into this stuff - it wasn't that toxic ... if you were next to it you felt sick and you recovered in a couple of weeks". This is consistent with other evidence that the sarin was of low quality, and that the only casualties were among those very close to the impact sites. Unfortunately he doesn't say how he knows this.

Posted by: pmr9 | Aug 28 2016 20:43 utc | 47


The UN has shown that Assad felt the 'need' to use gas on Syrians and the latest reports of his need to use incendiaries shows that he will use any weapon he has to meet his need to stay in power.

I'm sure some of the rebels whether they are headchoppers or livereaters would cheer US bombing of Assad then or now but there is no evidence they did anything to further that action.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 28 2016 21:33 utc | 48

Way out West conceived a child with a Yazidi women in a cave in the Poconos as part of a satanic ritual. The high priestess Lindsey Graham presided over the union bathed in blood. Nine months later Al Bagdadi was hatched out of an egg in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and Isis was born. So it goes.

Somewhere in the desert of the southwest United States a figure roams the plains, with a lions body and the head of a jackass, with a gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun. He decorates Christmas trees with dead babies and eats tacos made of irradiated coyote meat. He's way out there, and he won't rest until his hour is at last at hand

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 28 2016 21:43 utc | 49

re: pmr9 | Aug 28, 2016 4:43:50 PM | 47

While we surely have to allow that there was some sarin or other organophosphate detected by the OPCW, but as Petri says that means nothing. A couple of reasons I say that.

1. One can put sarin in water and it immediately decomposes and becomes harmless, but it can be safely sprayed from a spray bottle anywhere to leave break-down products as “evidence” of sarin. So if the insurgents had access to a small volumes of even low-grade sarin, they could have de-activated it and spread it anywhere, including on bomb casings or craters from prior Assad attacks.

In Jan14|16 I published an analysis called Assad’s sarin-rockets hoax after I discovered GoogleEarth satellite photos that had been taken on Aug24|13 – 3 days after the Ghouta Massacre but 4 days before the UN/OPCW guys started taking samples. From the analysis of the GE satellite photos and various YTs, it is clear that the insurgents were moving the rockets all over the place. With a little sniffing around it became clear that the whole line of “evidence” of a sarin rocket attack is just bullshit – pure bullshit.

2. The UN/OPCW teams were idiots for not following their own protocols. For one thing, their protocols require that they be given unfettered access to the entire area they are investigating. But here, as they clearly reveal in the report, the insurgents were 100% in control of where they went and what they saw. In my Oct11|2013 report Pigeon Poop on the Pump Handle I discussed how incredibly flawed the UN/OPCW report was – a complete disaster.

3. You state that “it sounds as if there were at least a few casualties among people living within 50 metres of the rocket impact sites in Zamalka, and the survivors tested positive for exposure.” The so-called UN/OPCW “clinical data” were also bullshit – I mean pure bullshit as I explain in detail in Section D of the “Pigeon Poop” report. For instance, there are a number of organophosphate compounds, including some medicines, that can be safely given to humans and that will produce miosis and metabolites indistinguishable from sarin in blood or urine. Furthermore, the UN/OPCW did not investigate a single corpse – not even the bodies of birds, dogs, or goats that were supposed to have died – and they did not analyze any blood or tissue samples from a single one of the 1500 victims who were supposed to have been killed by sarin. Bullshit – pure bullshit. (Did I already say that? I can’t emphasize it enough.)

Yes, there was very likely some sarin in the hands of the insurgents before, during, and after Aug21|2013, but that does not mean sarin is what killed all those people we saw in the flood of vids published by the insurgents.

Maybe Der Welt suggesting that the sarin that was used was not the same as Assad’s sarin is a step in the right direction, but until media sources stop with the bullshit story that those kids were murdered by sarin, it will be very difficult to sort out the truth and discover who the perpetrators were. If there’s anybody in this world who deserves a good, swift decapitation, it’s those pricks.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 28 2016 22:11 utc | 50

all those factors listed kept the US/NATO from turning syria into libya but remember it was also lavrov calling kerry's bluff when the state dept frankenstein's monster yapped about "getting rid of the stockpiles" thinking it would never happen. that was an early chapter in russia's involvement and probably a major factor in the US going the proxy route instead.

Posted by: the pair | Aug 29 2016 0:00 utc | 51

hc @49 LOL!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 29 2016 1:07 utc | 52

pmr9 | Aug 28, 2016 4:43:50 PM | 47

By "bogus" I mean the part about the British secret service being in possession of a sampling of the used Sarin used in Ghouta. I do not believe it, unless the rebels sent some of the trace sarin they were planing as fake evidence.

As for Seymour Hersh: he has not investigated anything. He is simply repeating what his reliable inside sources in the U.S. administration are telling him. In this case is consistent with our investigation.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 29 2016 1:14 utc | 53


I think the Russians supplied those first samples tested at the Porton Down lab in the UK. The disagreements over that analysis of the Sarin breakdown products is what led to the Bathtub Sarin fantasy and those samples couldn't have been compared with Assad's Sarin because he was still denying its existence, at that time, and samples weren't available until his stockpile was turned over for destruction.

Sy Hersh is just parroting the nonsense he is fed by his old and new but never identified Company friends who must still do spit-takes when they read his rambling rants.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 29 2016 2:25 utc | 54

@49 hc, lol.. that sums up wow quite well!

Posted by: james | Aug 29 2016 4:14 utc | 55

I just can't jump into this fray anymore. With all due respect to the work pmr9, Petri Krohn and Denis have done, we're still just like a dog chasing its own tail on the 'truth' behind the East Ghouta massacre. We know what it was NOT, but we can't ever prove what it WAS. That is by very purposeful design of the powers that be.

Denis said it best: "...but until media sources stop with the bullshit story that those kids were murdered by sarin..." But the media's paycheck depends on them never EVER stopping the "Assad murdered his own people's kids with Sarin," so we will never get any closer to the truth, the public will never believe it and the perpetrators get off this time without a scratch.

If effort put into finding the truth = justice eventually dispensed, then I would keep flogging this damn dead horse until it was reincarnated OR I joined it beyond this mortal coil. But poor Wilbur is just not coming back from the dead - not now, not ever. There is no Hand of God logic that's going to make people understand the truth. It's frustrating as hell, but the game has far bigger players that have too much to lose. All the post hoc analysis in the world isn't going to change the fact that they won this battle in the feeble minds of the public.

There is no smoking gun yet to be discovered. At some point, you just have to concede that the public doesn't care enough, or doesn't have enough critical thinking skills to ever see the truth, no matter how you polish it up and present it to them.

It's pointless to cling to this one battle forever. The psychopaths have made a lot of mistakes. People understand a pattern of evil even if they won't buy the Sarin false flag story. Why get an ulcer over what Porton Down knew from what evidence and when? If the analytical chemists themselves came out with sworn statements, people are still going to believe Assad gassed his own people.

Sometimes, stupid is just stupid - it can't be fixed by the truth.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 29 2016 7:32 utc | 56

@ b

I have been reading your site for quite some time now.

One question.

Why do you keep two or three resident trolls or perhaps better put, why do you allow two or three full time trolls to troll here?

Balance? I can read their crap in any MSM.

Posted by: Peter AU | Aug 29 2016 7:32 utc | 57

@ #57.
I'm just guessing, but my guess is that if one is running an anti-Imperialist blog (ie taking sides in a squabble) then it'll become fly-paper for trolls. MoA's content looks as though b puts a lot of time into research and verification before publishing. On the other hand, troll-hunting/banning could become a full-time occupation. So, given that trolls are a fact of life, why not just pick some tolerable ones and delete any irritating and offensively stupid blow-ins to limit the numbers?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 29 2016 8:08 utc | 58

Posted by: fredjc | Aug 28, 2016 2:06:35 PM | 44

Will Russia reengage in Libya?

Will Russia supply arms to Libya?

Russia's growing influence in Libya

Having Saved Syria, Putin Now Looking to Do the Same to Libya

Meanwhile, in the eastern city of Tobruk, the elected parliament of Libya, the House of Representatives, increasingly alienated from the government by the intrusion of Dawn into the political process in Tripoli, is being attracted into the sphere of influence of the rebel General Haftar who controls the East of the country, most of the oil fields, and who is backed by Russia.

Now the Russians have just reportedly helped the East to print 4bn dinars, backed by that oil, and to consolidate a rival central bank to the one in Tripoli. In effect, Putin is helping Haftar build parallel state institutions to those in the West of the country. And, with their superior wealth and military power, the East can expect that in the medium-to-long term they will steadily usurp the legitimate institutions of the state, and eventually take over the whole of Libya.

I don't know anything about Libyan tribes. But it seems to me that Gaddafi can at least connect Zintan plus a few other Western tribes to the East.

For some reason the US military is now interested in removing the IS "barrier" between the two parts in Sirte.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 29 2016 8:08 utc | 59

So - who is taking Sirte? Tripoli or Benghazi/Egypt?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 29 2016 8:29 utc | 60

@ 58

You could be right. But after running through comments in MSM it would be good to get away from the WOW's and the P's and T's. P,s and T's do a bit of trolling over at the Saker blocg but there is no wow factor there.

Posted by: Peter AU | Aug 29 2016 8:50 utc | 61

The Sirte waiting game

It is beginning to look like another US-Russia proxy war.

Who is going to lead the Libyan army?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 29 2016 8:55 utc | 62

@57 This has always been a feature of MoA. Note also that b seldom responds to posts in the talkback.

You can see the same thing in some sites like Sic Semper Tyrannis: b will occasionally post a comment that is at odds with the author's conclusion, and this can provoke a snide comment back, and then..... nothing.

b just won't take the bait, either here or in any other web site.

He has an opinion, and he lets us all know what that opinion is, but he doesn't appear to have an ego to be bruised.

Which is a refreshing change, in MHO.

The times that I have seen b ban a troll is when they are attempting a crude false-flag e.g. posting deliberately inflammatory statements in an obvious attempt to attract hate-groups to this site.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 29 2016 9:29 utc | 63

"b's desperation"

Tom, I have no idea what b's ultimate intention is, or was ever. I may have been mis-guessing so far.

It's interesting though, he choose to not pay any attention to two names* surfacing, which may have influenced the passage he cites, while focusing on something that may or may not have been helpful in justifying something he wrote on an earlier point on his blog's time axis. ... OK, maybe I shouldn't have written that.

Personally, I might have focused on some seemingly irrelevant linguistic matters surfacing in the author's descriptions of reality. Although, admittedly, I wondered if he was reporting from the ground at one point. But then there was a locus of a voice in his narration.

* one of these names caught my attention over here earlier. ... He didn't say anything new really. Although, from fast reading judgment, not much space either.

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 29 2016 14:00 utc | 64

not much space = not given much space

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 29 2016 14:03 utc | 65


You seem to be trying to convince yourself that what you believed about Assad is still defensible. The UN determined that Assad did gas Syrians, this study was authorized by and included Russians, so the basis for your belief about Ghouta being a false flag, that Assad wouldn't gas Syrians, has been swept away.

When I first read about the Ghouta gas attacks I also thought there could be some validity in the reports of someone other than Assad being responsible because his being responsible didn't appear rational. I waited patiently for some verifiable evidence to be produced to indicate who was responsible but all that was produced was multiple theories and repetition of unverified rumors. When after years nothing but theories and opinions having been produced I had to reevaluate what rational action meant to Assad. We now know that Assad continued to gas Syrians after Ghouta and is now using incendiaries to terrorize the Sunni population in rebel held areas. These are the facts that people who support Assad have to live with now, denial is no longer possible without a complete break with reality,

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 29 2016 15:10 utc | 66


My shining a little light on the dark side of the Moon does seem to stir up the natives but you don't need to worship me as some mythical beast. I've never joined in the games played here of disappearing the dead or injured children Assad has killed or terrorized, you and others are the ones who display that macabre denial.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 29 2016 15:32 utc | 67

Wayoutwest @66 (emphasis is mine):

We now know that Assad continued to gas Syrians after Ghouta and is now using incendiaries to terrorize the Sunni population in rebel held areas.
AFAIK, these reports are unreliable as there is no independent verification. And those making these reports are suspect. In other words, this is probably propaganda.

So, "we now know" is just spin.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 29 2016 15:34 utc | 68

jr - we know wow is 100% spin..

Posted by: james | Aug 29 2016 15:50 utc | 69

It's nice to see wow back from his bog snorkelling holidays, his form has never looked so good.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 29 2016 16:14 utc | 70


Most of what reports are unreliable, the one from the UN about Assad gassing Syrians or the latest reports of the use of incendiaries? One is undeniable but I expect the other will be denied repeatedly even after the UN verifies it happened. It's amazing to me how much this Cult of Personality that surrounds Assad resembles the Clintonite cult where no errors or malice is ever admitted.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 29 2016 16:39 utc | 71

Most of these reports about gas attacks seem to be traceable to one source. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon. There is lots about him on google. He is very active on twitter too and no doubt totally impartial when it comes to Syria.

Posted by: dh | Aug 29 2016 16:48 utc | 72

Wayoutwest @71

Cult of Personality that surrounds Assad
I'm not pro-Assad. I'm anti-neolibcon oligarchs and their puppets/sycophants that use people as tools for selfish ends.

Faceplant much?

... resembles the Clintonite cult where no errors or malice is ever admitted.
Wow, did you think this false equivalence would fly here? For one thing, foreign mercenaries haven't invade the US to overthrow the Clintons.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 29 2016 17:23 utc | 73

wayoutwest@66 - No, the notion that Syria did this is easily shot down. The ham-handed staging of this in the media is obvious (to everyone except you, I guess). The only thing that's pointless to slice and dice any further are the exact chain of perpetrators and the technical details of exactly how they pulled it off.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 29 2016 17:56 utc | 74


You are making assumptions about this crime based on feelings and beliefs not the facts available today. I waited for over a year before coming to any conclusions about these gas attacks and they weren't based on any MSM opinions or the rumors and theories projected by other sources. When the Chemical Weapons group determined that the Sarin used in Ghouta was functionally identical to Assad's stockpile all the varied theories about other sources were null and void leaving only one perpetrator responsible for these deaths, Assad. The recent uncontested finding that Assad continued to gas Syrians with chlorine after he gave up his Sarin stockpile removed any question about whether he would gas Syrians to terrorize the people who support those who would remove him from power.

If you and others are going to continue to support Assad you have to take responsibility for what you are supporting which means you are ready to justify this murderous inhumane behavior by Assad for whatever political goals you seek.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 29 2016 19:09 utc | 75

My shining a little light on the dark side of the Moon does seem to stir up the natives but you don't need to worship me as some mythical beast

Accursed imposter!
This is not the chthonic beast of old who bespake himself in riddles,
Declare yourself, doomed freak!
Had your diazepam auto injection for the day?


Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 29 2016 19:10 utc | 76

@76 Same equivocal language though. What does 'functionally identical' mean exactly? Performs the same function? Has the same effect?

Perhaps all will be revealed tomorrow. There are even murmurs of the ICC getting involved.

Posted by: dh | Aug 29 2016 19:32 utc | 77


Excellent points. Mark of the beast. Six six six. Carry on, wow.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 29 2016 19:42 utc | 78

wayoutwestW75 - "...When the Chemical Weapons group determined that the Sarin used in Ghouta was functionally identical to Assad's stockpile all the varied theories about other sources were null and void leaving only one perpetrator responsible for these deaths, Assad..."

Of course, you have no backing for such a ridiculous claim. You're confusing your own wishful thinking with suggestions (not official findings) of the OPCW Team, or repeating unsubstantiated claims made by that group itself while ignoring the political pressures that tainted Sellstrom's report. Everyone I named above sliced and diced that report to death as well as the bumbling exploits of the sampling teams and unfounded, leading conclusions of the final report. They were following their own limited, self-imposed mandate, not searching for anything remotely resembling the truth in East Ghouta. It was an embarrassment to the UN OPCW team and the shoddy work laughed at by analytical chemists everywhere. They found exactly what they were paid to find - nothing more, and nothing less. That's by their own admission.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 30 2016 2:54 utc | 79

Two turkish CHP MPs (Eren Erdem, Ali Seker) claimed in 2015 that Al-Quaida reiceived their Sarin via turkish secret service.

Seymor Hersh mentioned in an article, that there is evidence for Al-Quaida's "low quality sarin homebrew capability".

So i don't agree, that "There would thus be no difference between "regime Sarin" and "al-Qaeda Sarin"."

Posted by: rvs | Aug 30 2016 14:02 utc | 80


Again you are falling back on opinions and unproven theories in an attempt to discredit revealed facts. No one has shown any verifiable evidence, just speculation and rumor, that anyone other than Assad had or had the ability to produce Sarin, No One! You are correct that the OPCW's mandate was only to verify that Sarin was used in Ghouta and that is all they did. The comparison of those samples with Assad's stockpiled Sarin came later when samples from that stockpile were collected.

What do you think this latest UN finding of direct responsibility for Assad's use of gas on Syrians?

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 30 2016 16:17 utc | 81


Politicians are practiced prevaricators who know they don't usually have to back up their claims with evidence. I don't think Turkey has ever produced chemical weapons and is a signatory to international treaties that prohibit them. The chemicals used to produce Sarin are closely monitored to make certain of their proper and final use. The reports and rumors that proliferated after the Ghouta attacks were interesting and somewhat creative fables and fantasies that tried to deflect from the fact that Assad was the only possible source of the Sarin used. When one impossible source became unlikely a new source was quickly imagined to maintain the frenzy of deflection away from the actual and only proven source, Assad.

Sy Hersh and others seem to thrive in these rumor mill situations propagating more BS about who, besides Assad, had any ability to produce Sarin.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 30 2016 16:49 utc | 82

@ PavewayIV | Aug 29, 2016 3:32:37 AM | 56

But the media's paycheck depends on them never EVER stopping the "Assad murdered his own people's kids with Sarin," so we will never get any closer to the truth, the public will never believe it and the perpetrators get off this time without a scratch.

I don’t know whether or not the MSM are on the take to keep the sarin meme alive. It’s a little hard for me to see that and I don’t know of any supporting evidence. Ultimately the cui bono finger points at Yisrael as the one who benefits the most by getting rid of Assad and opening a flight-path over Syria to target Iran, so there might be an argument to be made that GoY is pulling the MSM’s strings.

But I think it more likely that the insurgents’ PR campaign was so well organized that the sarin meme had spread around the world before any objective observer could take in the horrible videos that flooded the internet on Aug21|13. A malicious lie will circle the earth 10 times before the truth can boot its browser, if I may bring the old Churchill saw up to date. Of course, the mere fact that the insurgents PR machine was already in place when the Ghouta Massacre happened is Exhibit ‘A’ in the case that the insurgents were the guilty ones. But once a lie like the Sarin Myth gets embedded in millions of people’s minds, it’s awfully hard to snuff out, especially if those minds are dim enough and unskeptical enough to embrace a lie like that in the first place.

OTOH once the truth did get its browser up and running, it made a hell of an impact. I don’t think we appreciate how significant Obama’s “turn-around” was or how effective online warriors were in pushing back against the insurgents’ ghoulish false flag operation. The people who executed those kids in Ghouta might escape punishment, but they didn’t accomplish their goal of drawing Obama into the fray and attacking Assad. I can’t over emphasize how important that is and how different our lives and the world would be today if Obama had waded into Syria. According the Hersh, B-52s were waiting to deliver the bunker busters and we know Obama had put Bibi on a 48-hour heads up of the attack. Maybe the MSM refused – and still refuses – to publish the truth, but millions of people online all around the world were getting the truth online, and Obama finally got the truth.

For example, when I first stumbled into A Closer Look On Syria about a month after the Massacre, I was dumbfounded at how much effort the activists there had put into collecting info and analyzing it. It was a massive effort by a small kernel of very bright people. It is still an impressive and vital repository of information on the Ghouta Massacre. By following the threads at ACLOS one appreciates how much time it took to process the videos, collate and organize the information, and draw conclusions. And all that time – thanks to bullshit spread by self-serving media go-to guys like Elliot Higgins, Dan Kaszeta, and Rami Abdulrahman -- the Sarin Myth became more and more entrenched.

Recall that at the time of the Ghouta Massacre the Da’esh decapitations had not yet shocked the world. In Aug2013 it was a pretty hard sell to convince the world that any group could be vile enough to round up a bunch of kids and gas them just to bait Obama into attacking Assad; it was much easier psychologically to blame another US-proclaimed bogeyman/dictator. But 3 years later and thousands of executions by these fucking Salafists there is no doubt whether or not they are vile enough to have done what the online warriors accused them of in Ghouta.

Will the perps get off without a scratch? I tend to agree with you. But we now know that the perps who killed those kids in Ghouta are the ones in the videos pretending to be first responders. In most cases their faces are hidden in the vids, but in many cases they aren’t and perhaps someday investigators will ID them. In putting all of those videos online in a futile attempt to pull off their false flag, they were also providing evidence that could be used to identify and convict them. I know, I know . . . what a wet dream, but when you get old, sometimes that’s all ya’ got, unless, of course, you’re Anthony Weiner.

Yeah, I agree with you when you say stupid is just stupid - it can’t be fixed by the truth. But I don’t think that’s a reason to stop talking about and promoting the truth because evil is evil and it can’t be stopped by ignoring it or capitulating to it.

I hope I haven’t misstated anything you said.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 30 2016 16:49 utc | 83

wayoutwest@81 - "...What do you think this latest UN finding of direct responsibility for Assad's use of gas on Syrians?..."

Gosh, you're not concerned with the findings about the head-choppers using a manufactured chemical weapon? OK, let's talk about the most useless CW ever used: chlorine.

Glad you were already able to draw conclusions for a report that has not even been released publicly yet. Try next week at the earliest - it's only being released to the security council today.

But let me guess: you read the MSMs accounts of the UN reporting on Assad's use of 'industrial chlorine'. The OPCW will censor out the details of this most improbable and impractical use so they won't once again be the laughing stock of chemists. Not to mention al Nusra or ISIS holds the only chlorine plant in Syria and has for years. Then we'll be left with the fantasy that a helicopter pilot would allow anyone to bring a one tonne pressurized container of anhydrous chlorine on his helicopter to use as a weapon.

The UN 'findings' will all be based on, "The locals said something from a helicopter fell around here and leveled a building. We saw green smoke and smelled chlorine and started coughing. Then we found this crushed container that must have been what they threw from the helicopter." The OPCW will report finding traces of chlorine. Yawn...

Even the Jihadis don't use chlorine because it's useless as a weapon no matter how you deliver it. But I'm sure this won't stop CNN and the NYT from going with the planned narrative, so you'll have plenty to work with. I will once again concede defeat against the onslaught of the Wall of Stupid.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 30 2016 18:01 utc | 84

Denis@83 - I agree completely with what you said.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 30 2016 18:14 utc | 85

Turkish secret service should have different possibilitys to organize sarin.
What about friendly secret sevices?
What about friendly jihadist terrorist groups?

In the last 2 years, we had several reports from media, western government oficials, etc. about Daesh using mustard gas and other chemical weapons to a small extent.

NYT and others also claim, that Daesh has the capabilty to produce at least mustard gas, based on crew/equipment from of Mossul University.

In june 2014 Deash conquered Muthanna-Complex 75 km NW of Baghdad and captured mustard gas, sarin and other substances.
The sarin probably expired, but who knows. Maybe they also found some basic materials there?

Posted by: rvs | Aug 30 2016 18:59 utc | 86

Who knows how many chemical weapons/substances Daesh/Al-Quaida captured in the years before?

Sorry, still not convinced that Al-Quaida-Sarin = Syrian-Government-Sarin

Posted by: rvs | Aug 30 2016 19:02 utc | 87

Denis - Apologies for my rant a few days ago at you again. I had mistaken an earlier troll post for yours, and was confused by what looked like contradictions in your pipeline posts - which I misinterpreted as intentional the second time. Sorry - I was wrong on both counts.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 30 2016 21:57 utc | 88


Speculation such as that in your first three sentences is fine but eventually evidence must be produced and if it can't be produced the speculation remains nothing more than speculation. Many of these scenarios have possibility but none has been shown to be probable or verifiable so they remain in the rumor category.

The findings released about the latest UN investigation on gas used in Syria stated that besides the direct implication of Assad's use of chlorine they verified that the IS had used mustard gas which will now produce more speculation about how or from where it was supplied. I think it might have come from Libya but that is just speculation.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 30 2016 22:38 utc | 89

RVS - "...In june 2014 Deash conquered Muthanna-Complex 75 km NW of Baghdad and captured mustard gas, sarin and other substances. The sarin probably expired, but who knows. Maybe they also found some basic materials there?..."

The Muthanna Complex was essentially cleared by the UN of any usable chemical weapons, synthesis equipment and precursors years before that. In fact, that's where they had the incineration facility. The only thing that was still potentially intact were storage bunkers for unusable equipment (made so by the UN) or the odd shells in munitions bunkers that were struck by air-dropped weapons at the start of the war and destroyed. I think the UN filled them with concrete and buried them rather than sift through the contaminated craters looking for leftover shells.

Even if ISIS would have randomly happened to find a fully-intact, sealed shell that the UN missed, the Iraqi Sarin would have been nearly completely degraded. It was impure when fresh and wouldn't have lasted five years, much less a bombing and the fifteen-plus years that passed by time ISIS got there. Nitrogen mustard is even more unstable and has to be periodically re-distilled every few years. Again, unlikely to have survived intact by time ISIS got there.

That makes Muthanna unlikely as a source, but who knows what some enterprising Saddam Baathist could have done with some of the old Iraqi CWs. I remember reports that they were trucking them to be hidden away in Syria in 2001. Who knows.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 30 2016 23:45 utc | 90

PavewayIV | Aug 30, 2016 5:57:27 PM | 88

Thanks. We're cool. And pretty much on the same side of things.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 31 2016 3:07 utc | 91

some times I allow myself to hope again that the situation in Syria will not further descend into hell. it is encouraging to read the words of Paveway and Denis and my hat is off to those who were able to get a truthful version of the alleged gas attack to the world. it is out there now and will be difficult to erase.

one quibble about truth pulling on her boots, I thought it was a Mark Twain quote but when I looked it up it seems there were many others much earlier with the same thought. see here for more info.

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 31 2016 8:33 utc | 92


The commenters you mention seem to be continuing to run from the 'truth' and have continued to project rumors and fantasies to protect Assad from paying for the results of the truth, he gassed Syrians.

I would prefer that Syrians administered Assad's deserved punishment but the facts/truth just released by the UN and the coming UNSC resolution on Assad means that other powers will administer that punishment, one way or another.

We do owe a debt of gratitude to Putin for helping to strip Assad of his stockpile of CW which he can't use now.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 31 2016 15:01 utc | 93

Not to rain on Samantha's parade but Vitaly wants more evidence....

"We continue to, of course, analyze the report, but again there are two cases, which, they suggest, are the fault of the Syrian side. We have very serious questions," Churkin said Tuesday.

Earlier, at a security council meeting, Churkin said, "Clearly there is a smoking gun. We know that chlorine most likely has been used -- that was already the finding of the fact-finding mission before -- but there are no fingerprints on the gun."

Posted by: dh | Aug 31 2016 15:24 utc | 94


That is a pretty mild statement from Churkin that doesn't really debate the finding that Assad gassed Syrians and even if it was proven that the rebels also used gas that wouldn't excuse the Syrian Government under Assad of their crimes. I think the best the Russians can do is abstain from supporting this resolution but we will have to wait and see how they and China react.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 31 2016 16:48 utc | 95

@95 I think Churkin's point is that chlorine and the gas canisters could have been inserted into the bomb site at some point by people with ulterior motives. In other words there is no conclusive evidence. The Russians would likely agree to further investigation by an impartial team.

Posted by: dh | Aug 31 2016 17:01 utc | 96

@ dan of steele | Aug 31, 2016 4:33:16 AM | 92

Thanks for that link to the research on truth getting its boots on. The version I had in mind has been attributed to Churchill and says "before the truth can get its pants on." The article you linked to ignores Churchill and this version altogether but if you Google "before the truth can get its pants on" your screen will light up with dozens of cites to Churchill and dozens of related images.

But here's the thing, since you raised the issue -- I cannot find any actual cite to a speech, book, article or any other specific source for either Twain or Churchill making the comment. So I dunno . . . both citations may be urban legend. But "before the truth can boot its browser" (tm) is mine! First used in my online book about the Ghouta Massacre: "Murder in the SunMorgue." LOL.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 31 2016 17:08 utc | 97


Putin had this investigation delayed for as long as possible and then required Russians to be included in the team so the time for delay and deflection has passed. What Putin/Russia face now is a decision to live up to his description of his Russia as being wise, conservative and especially a moral leader of the multipolar world. If they reject or try to delay further this resolution they appear to be choosing not to be what they claim and are acting in the interest of Russian imperialism and geostrategic interests by coddling and protecting a psychopathic killer.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 31 2016 22:50 utc | 98

@98 You need more than allegations. What you need is conclusive evidence that Assad or some high-ranking Syrian officer ordered the gas attacks. Until you get it the Russians don't have to do anything and many people will go on believing the jihadis faked the evidence. I guess further investigations are possible but I don't see them coming up with much.

Posted by: dh | Aug 31 2016 23:24 utc | 99


Putin, Lavrov and Churkin know that Assad is an uncontrollable maniac and so do other leaders who look to Putin for leadership. Most of these leaders don't base their judgments on beliefs and rumors from fringe blog sites or other propagandists.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Sep 1 2016 0:46 utc | 100

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