Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2018

F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won?

Last night France, the UK and the U.S. launched an illegal attack on Syria and bombed several military and civilian sites within the country. They justify their attack as revenge or punishment for an alleged 'chemical attack' that had taken place a week earlier.

The 'chemical incident' on April 7 in Douma was designed to reverse Trump's publicly announced decision to order the U.S. military out of Syria. The Saudi financed Salafi 'rebels' in Douma collected bodies, probably from another incident, and stacked them up in one apartment to stage a scene and to create fake videos of a 'chemcial attack' which they falsely attributed to the Syrian government.

Trump pretended to fall for the videos and tweeted threats against Syria and Russia. Russia threatened to respond with strong force should any U.S. attack hurt its soldiers or interests in Syria.

The UK and France, who like the U.S. were only recently visited by the Saudi clown prince and showered with fresh Saudi billions, jumped onto the case. France now admits that its 'intelligence' of the Douma incident is solely based on the obviously staged youtube videos and claims made by 'western' financed propaganda operations who cooperate with the Jihadis.

Yesterday the Russian Defense Ministry accused Britain of having organized the 'chemical incident':

Today, there are other evidences at the disposal of the Russian military department, which testify to the direct participation of Great Britain in organizing this provocation in the Eastern Ghouta.

The Russian party knows for certain that from April 3 to 6, representatives of the so-called White Helmets were influenced by London for the speedy implementation of the provocation prepared in advance.

The White Helmets received information that Jaysh al-Islam militants were to conduct a series of powerful artillery shelling of Damascus on April 3 to 6.

This will promote a response from the government troops, which the White Helmets’ representatives will have to use to carry out provocations with alleged chemical weapons.

The 'White Helmets' are financed by the British government and are led by a 'former' British military intelligence officer. The direct accusations against Britain may have been a factor in the hasty launch of last night's strike. Another was surely the arrival of technicians of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Damascus. These will today investigate the alleged incident in Douma and will likely find that it did not take place. That the three countries did not even wait for preliminary results from the investigation must be seen as an admission of guilt. They know that the 'chemical attack' did not take place.

The U.S. military was wary of any potential conflict with Russia. Intense negotiations took place over the last week between the Pentagon and the Russian defense ministry. Secretary of Defense Mattis is said to have talked Trump out of a more serious strike. World War III was avoided.

Last night some 107 missiles and cruise missiles were fired against two research sites and eight military airports in Syria by U.S., French and British forces. The Russian and Syrian forces were warned. People and equipment had been moved. The Russian forces did not directly respond as their areas in Syria were not targeted. The Syrian air defense managed to shoot down or divert 71 of the incoming missiles before they reached their target. The Pentagon claims that none of its missiles were destroyed or diverted from its aim. A well known Syrian opposition outlet disagrees with the Pentagon's claim:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights managed to monitored interception by the regime forces to tens of missiles which targeted their positions and military bases in the Syrian territory, where several intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, that the number missiles that were downed, exceeded 65 missiles ...

A 60 to 70% air defense success rate against incoming missiles is stunning. Most of these will have been killed by the Pantsir-S1 systems Russia supplied to Syria. Every Syrian military airport is now protected by such short range systems and while eight were targeted only one was hit.

One of the targets that were hit was the undefended Barzah Scientific Research Center near Damascus. The Pentagon claims that chemical weapons are made or stored there. That claim is obviously a lie:

  • In 2013 Syrian joined the Chemical Warfare Convention and gave up all its chemical weapons.
  • The OPCW has checked all accessible former chemical weapon sites in Syria and observed the destruction of the production equipment.
  • It has since visited and inspected (pdf) the Barzeh facility at least twice. That last time in November 2017.
  • One does not attack a site with normal bombs if one knows that chemical weapons are stored their. The bombs would distribute the dangerous chemicals and everyone downwind would be seriously affected.
  • After the U.S. strikes people can be seen walking through the fresh ruins. None wear any protection. There surely was nothing 'chemical' there.

The same holds for the Jaramana facility hit by the strikes. The Pentagon's claim that the strikes hit Syrian 'chemical production and storage facilities' is a lie.

No one has been reported killed by the strikes. The Russian Defense Ministry assessment says that three people were injured. Further assessments of the strikes can be found here: 1, 2 and 3.

What will be the consequences of these strikes?

Last weeks push by the media, by interventionists and by neoconservatives for a wider war on Syria (and Russia) has now been calmed down. Even John McCain, who always wants more wars, seems somewhat satisfied.

The President of Russia Vladimir Putin issued a strong statement:

An act of aggression against a sovereign state that is on the frontline in the fight against terrorism was committed without a mandate from the UN Security Council and in violation of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law.

The Chinese government likewise laments the violation of international law and the UN charter.

In ordering the strike President Trump also broke U.S. law specifically the War Powers Resolution.

A Security Council meeting will take place today but, as the U.S., Britain and France have vetos, will have no consequences.

One issue the U.S. is certainly not happy about is the successful demonstration of the Russian supplied air defenses which was used last night against the U.S. strikes. This announcement from the Russian Defense Ministry statement will create additional headaches:

It is to be stressed that several years ago given the strong request by our western partners, Russia opted out of supplying the S-300 AD systems to Syria. Taking into account the recent incident, Russia believes it possible to reconsider this issue not only regarding Syria but other countries as well.

More countries will now be able to buy and receive state-of-the-art Russian air defense equipment. Future interferences by the U.S. as well as Israeli strikes against Syria will become significantly more risky. When Syrian receives the S-300 systems it will have the reach to detect and attack any Israeli plane flying over Lebanon. Israel has often used Lebanese airspace to attack targets in Syria.  It will soon lose that luxury.

Syria, Iran and Hizbullah all issued statement promising retaliation for the attack. Their responses will likely come on the ground against U.S. targets and assets in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. The Syrian people in Damascus could observe the success of the air defenses and were quite happy with it. They will respond with more support for their government and its plans to liberate all of Syria.

Trump evaded the public pressure created by the fake 'chemical attack' with a more or less symbolic airstrike. He tweeted "Mission Accomplished!" I expect that he will continue to press for an end of U.S. operations in Syria. Whoever instigated the faked attack has won nothing.

Trumps reaction to the incident is also an invitation to Jihadis and those who influence them to repeat such stunts whenever it suits them.

The Pentagon keeps the option open for such further 'chemical attack' stunts and U.S. strikes. It today claimed that Syria still has additional chemical weapon facilities. If this were really the case why isn't the U.S. demanding an inspection and dismantling of these facilities by the OPCW? Syria has signed the Chemical Warfare Convention and would have to accept that.

The obvious U.S. disregard for any international law and for the international organizations like the UN, the OPCW and IAEA will have serious consequences. The U.S. can now surely forget about its desire for an disarmament agreement with North Korea. Russia, China and others will use the example of last night's strikes to disregard international law when it will suit them. There will be no more favors like holding back S-300 systems or adhering to U.S. sanctions against other countries.  

In the end the instigators of the incident, the U.S., and its partners in crime will have hurt themselves more with these strikes than they hurt Syria.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the 'chemical attack' in Douma and its consequences.

April 8 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II)
April 9 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation
April 11 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar
April 11 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't
April 12 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back
April 13 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated

Posted by b on April 14, 2018 at 17:09 UTC | Permalink

next page »

F/UK/US. Love it!

Now to find a way to work Israel into the formula.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Apr 14 2018 17:15 utc | 1

Analysts now chime in their esteemed opinions. Here's mine!

Posted by: michael weddle | Apr 14 2018 17:25 utc | 2

I don't want to give Putin any ideas, but a very simple and elegant solution would be for Russia to supply Syria and Iran with some turn key nukes. Game, set, match.

Posted by: Qualtrough | Apr 14 2018 17:26 utc | 3

the knowns are known
the unknowns will be known soon
north south east and west syria
gas and chemical weapons sites will
be revealed.
not to mention the mobile labs
hero nikki haley un said just now
we are locked and loaded and ready for action jackson.
the mobile labs the fixed buildings
the buildings that become gas labs overnight
all must be targeted after salsbury fair
is it not crystal clear what putin and henchman assad has in store for
innocent uk,france and usa usa not forgetting little isreal.
we must wack a mole
at every known and uknown breach of the rules of sea law and reptile humanity

Posted by: norm | Apr 14 2018 17:29 utc | 4

Seems like a nice assessment of what is known at this moment.

"There are no casualties among civilians and Syrian military servicemen after the US missiles strikes, according to preliminary data, Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Directorate Sergei Rudskoi told reporters at a press briefing in the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday."
No casualties from US-led strikes on Syria, emphasizes Russia’s General Staff

Sounds like diplomatese for "our red line doesn't seem to have been crossed". Let's hope things calm down now.

Posted by: xor | Apr 14 2018 17:32 utc | 5

Russia is now talking of delivering S-300's to Syria and other countries. China may well help with financing this, perhaps even manufacturing.
Global times editorial from 27th March
"....It is beyond outrageous how the US and Europe have treated Russia. Their actions represent a frivolity and recklessness that has grown to characterize Western hegemony that only knows how to contaminate international relations. Right now is the perfect time for non-Western nations to strengthen unity and collaborative efforts among one another. These nations need to establish a level of independence outside the reach of Western influence while breaking the chains of monopolization declarations, predetermined adjudications, and come to value their own judgement abilities.

It's already understood that to achieve such international collective efforts is easier said than done as they require foundational support before anything can happen. Until a new line of allies emerges, multi-national associations like BRICS, or even the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, need to provide value to those non-Western nations and actively create alliances with them.

What Russia is experiencing right could serve as a reflection of how other non-Western nations can expect to be treated in the not-to-distant future. Expelling Russian diplomats simultaneously is hardly enough to deter Russia. Overall, it's an intimidation tactic that has become emblematic of Western nations, and furthermore, such measures are not supported by international law and therefore unjustified. More importantly, the international community should have the tools and means to counterbalance such actions...."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 17:34 utc | 6

The attack by FUKUS on Syria, which was not sanctioned by the UN, is therefore a war crime. Yet, the motion to condemn this war crime failed to pass the UN Security Council just now with a margin of 8 to 3 with 4 abstentions. Just another episode of FUKUS turning the UN into a farce.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Apr 14 2018 17:34 utc | 7

Rudskoy did not mention use of the Pantsir S1 in his assesment though I ve read about 40 systems were deployed in Syria but thats academic, a 69% kill ratio is excellent. This isnt Libya, if the Coalition of the Killing wants to seriously degrade SyAAD, it will take major hardware..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 14 2018 17:39 utc | 8

"Trump evaded the public pressure created by the fake 'chemical attack' with a more or less symbolic airstrike. He tweeted "Mission Accomplished!" I expect that he will continue to press for an end of U.S. operations in Syria. Whoever instigated the faked attack has won nothing."

I really hope this is true, Trump seemed to offer the hope of a saner America, and I hope he is still on the side of peace.

Posted by: David Bailey | Apr 14 2018 17:45 utc | 9

the democratic depleted uranium beatings will infinity continue
assad gives up his hidden gas agents
he says he has none left yet ignores the bell pottinger site intel group rita katz white helmets movie facts not on the ground
the man is crazy crazy

Posted by: norm | Apr 14 2018 17:49 utc | 10

Here we go,

US and its pathetic european allies vote DOWN Russian resolution of deescalation!

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 17:49 utc | 11

Indeed a good question is what next. I disagree that Russia and China will disregard international laws, it's working for them. In particular Putin is very strongly on the side of lawful actions. You notice how few of the "coalition" there were? Yes, some others mouthed support but I would assess as a sop for the fools. This has demonstratebly weakened all three quite deeply. The legal pursuit of the poison investigation is something I see vigorously done and as publicly as possible. How desperate will the guilty be? Will trouble be stirred up in Ukraine? The ME has been a safe place for the most part for wholesale slaughter because it's far from Europe, but Ukraine? Still, I can't see what else can be done in ME without escalating quite a bit.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14 2018 17:52 utc | 12

RT (OPCW) has just reported that the Skripal's poison is likely 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ) -- an atropin like drug. Could be that the doctors knew this from the beginning, the symptoms of an anti-cholinesterase and an M2 anti-muscarinic are very different. For example the nerve agent would give you a slow heart rate (Bradycardia [until you had the AVN node takes over]) whereas the BZ would speed it up a Tachycardia. Also you would have very low levels of functional cholinesterase in your plasma after a nerve gas attack-- BZ ought not to change that.
So I think this fits with the Consultant's letter to the Times, which underlines that the Skripal's toxin was not an anticholinesterase (nerve agent)-- it was something else, BZ, a very British toxin. So we finally get to the bottom of it, it's beginning to make sense. It certainly isn't the Russians and it looks like a real false flag-- the only question is `who done it?'. May is basically busted she made an idiot of herself, she'll simply have to go.

Posted by: cj | Apr 14 2018 17:59 utc | 13

@ Nuff Sed #1
Unfortunately for AIPAC Israel is not part of the permanent UNSC. It was the WAGS covering the UNSC who came up with FUKUS !

Posted by: Yul | Apr 14 2018 17:59 utc | 14

@13 Just a bit of a clarification that is important. OPCW didn't identify the poison, that was from the Swiss lab. This provides weasel room for the British.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14 2018 18:08 utc | 15

This article is so painfully truthful and so willfully wrong. Yes, yes, what FUKUS did (brilliant acronym) was evil and wrong and all about lies and might makes right, but SO EFFING WHAT?! Russia doesn't operate on the basis of truth and righteousness. Russia and its apologists specifically eschew any such basis for Russian policies, enthusiastically embracing real-politik and machiavelli - ie Might Makes Right! The vicious games that Russia has played with its AA systems, dangling them to states that desperately need it, like Iran and Syria, but never giving it to them or delaying unconscionably, while doling it out generously to states that do not need it or deserve it, like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Geez, Russia makes a point, almost a religious principle, of making the most nookie with the worst leaders and states in the world. It encourages the rogue actors, those who sneer the most at international law, whilst claiming to stand by international law. For God's sake, Putin's best friend seems to be Netanyahu.

Putin needs to start putting real friends before fake new ones, truth before lies, and needs to decide whether he wants to be on the side of the bullies or on the side of the bullied. Yes building bridges is important. But Putin isn't doing that. He's clearly on the side of the global bullies. He just wants to be in the gang. If that perception is wrong, let him change it.

So prove me wrong, Putin. Follow through on those s-300s to Syria. Throw in some s-400s. They would have prevented last night. BUT YOU WON'T WILL YOU? No you damn well won't and your apologists will still defend you. But I think more and more people, all around the world and in Russia too, are beginning to see through you, to that ugly heart of ice.

Posted by: paul | Apr 14 2018 18:08 utc | 16

Another explanation for Trump's about face on pulling out of Syria is this. He knows that when FBI (who he is unwilling or unable to reel in) raided Cohen's office they're likely to have found evidence of raunchy dishonest conduct along with bribes and other crap. No one is responsible for his embarrassing behavior but him and he may prefer to do as he's told rather than be shown as a louse and a cad.

Apparently the missiles weren't "make believe" missiles they were pretending to fire, they were fired but most of them just got shot down.

Posted by: chunga | Apr 14 2018 18:21 utc | 17

My first or maybe second thought on this would be, that Russia and the US compromised on a way so both can save their faces. US gets to bomb something, russia does not take casualties and doesn't have to prove their "retaliatio against launch platmforms" (have they actually said that at all?).
It seems this strike does have no tactical or strategic impact at all. Both can declare themselves top dog.

Maybe it's been agreed on, that mainland syria will stay syrian with russian protection? Following (german) mainstream media, parallel to jingo rhetorics there have been some "Assad won and we'll have to come to terms with it" voices lately. This would be my explanation from an armchair point of view.

After Ghouta and the rest of the smaller terrorist enclaves have been cleared, it will be interesting to see what will happen to the eastern border / kurdish occupied territory. What we've seen in the last week might be a prelude to a bigger confrontation in eastern syria? Any thoughts? Cheers.

Posted by: radiator | Apr 14 2018 18:25 utc | 18

Where does the info of BZ come from? Is this something Russia has spread? Or was it in the OPCW report? I dont follow..

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 18:26 utc | 19

Gavin Williams would like a word with you: go away and .... ..

Posted by: Kaiama | Apr 14 2018 18:26 utc | 20

Hi Bakerpete,
sorry about that-- I thought the Swiss were part of the OPCW. But I am pretty sure the Consultant's letter is important in this context-- it's not an nerve agent. So if it is BZ then -- why did it take so long for them to recover? Did they get a very large dose? [An alternative idea is that a compound like BZ might be useful in treating nerve gas poisoning, and the Swiss lab is seeing that. But I don't think it would be any better than atropin in treating acetylcholine overload].
Certainly this whole episode needs a thorough analysis-- it has really soured our relationship with Russia, and brought us closer to an extermination event. We can't afford any more messing around a real war would set us back a thousand years-- it'd would be the end of science for sure.

Posted by: cj | Apr 14 2018 18:31 utc | 21

@Bakerpete (15). I might be wrong about this, but I believe that the Swiss lab performed the chemical analysis for the OPCW, and yet the OPCW withheld key portions of the lab’s report. One can reasonably infer that the OPCW is dominated by the Empire and may not be trustworthy.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 14 2018 18:34 utc | 22

Nice work, b!
Fewer than 24 hours have passed since the Colonial Christian ratfuckers attacked Syria on the basis of "evidence" they faked, and anyone interested in the unvarnished truth can Read All About It at MoA.
How long will it take MSM to catch up? 1 year? 5 years? 20?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2018 18:36 utc | 23


Chemical Weapons: Anticholinergic Incapacitating Agents (BZ)

“the central nervous systems effects tend to be delayed, you can have a prodomol period of several hours”

All the evidence points at this moment to BZ being the only chemical that effected the Skripals, that the government engaged in perjury at the Court of Protection and that the Skripals were deliberately unnecessarily put into a coma ( Offence against the Person?) to avoid them being able to communicate or otherwise interfere with the governments ongoing criminal activity.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 14 2018 18:37 utc | 24

@21 Induced coma by the hospital not BZ.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 14 2018 18:41 utc | 25

Re: "Big Noise: Apocalyptic Tweets, Limited Strikes" by Patrick Cockburn

Sorry if this was mentioned in the previous comments thread, but Cockburn matter-of-factly asserts... well, see this excerpt:

Possibly it was the Syrian government’s frustration at the continued resistance of part of Jaysh al-Islam, the Saudi-backed jihadi movement in Douma, that led it to use chlorine gas. It had done so before without provoking an international reaction, but this time authentic-looking video was broadcast around the world showing dying children gasping for breath. The pictures provoked a wave of international fury which culminated in the US-led airstrikes on 14 April.
I'm not sure what to make of it-- but the bland, cut-and-dried insertion of this controversial assertion towards the end of the article makes my crap detectors tingle mightily.

Also, there seems to be an implicit contradiction between the unequivocal claim that the Syrian government used chlorine gas and the coy "authentic-looking video". I suppose he's implying that the videos may be fake, but the underlying charge isn't.

This seems to be another example of the trend of having it both ways-- something like Glenn Greenwald buying into the "Assad did it" mantra, while simultaneously insisting that he's opposed to the Western interventions justified by such smears and slanders.

So, what's up with Cockburn?

Posted by: Ort | Apr 14 2018 18:42 utc | 26

RT (OPCW) has just reported that the Skripal's poison is likely 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ) -- an atropin like drug."

But apparently the Swiss Lab is not going along with Lavrov. I wonder where Lavrov's idea came from.

Well someone's wrong, and if it's Lavrov it seems there are people in the diplomatic corps who don't know what has happened yet is tasked to go out and advocate. Not getting basic facts right looks really, really bad.

Posted by: blah | Apr 14 2018 18:49 utc | 27

Good short video summary on the dire situation Trump have put the world in:

On Syria: Columbia international affairs professor & UN advisor, Jeffery Sachs

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 18:50 utc | 28

@Rob 22 It would be very good is the Swiss did the analysis for OPCW which would make it much more "authentic". I would regard the opaque report from OPCW to be just typical legal caution more than something suspicious, at least for now.
@TJ 25, good reminder of the induced coma.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14 2018 18:51 utc | 29

Would you pull @2 down, please. It's intentionally offensive, misleading and should not be on here.

Posted by: mrd | Apr 14 2018 18:51 utc | 30

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14 2018 18:51 utc | 31

Excellent summary of the situation. Thanks, b - we can always get the straight dope here.

Along with Bakerpete up-thread, I also disagree that Russia and China will use the lawlessness of the US as reason to flout international law.

We have a world without the ability to enforce the agreements between nations. This is not a sustainable situation, and there are only two ways to fix it. Either, nations walk away from existing conventions, form alliances of strength with others, and grow the new order out of the barrel of a gun. Or, nations work to contain the rogue actors, and to preserve and reinforce the existing conventions, and make them work wherever they can.

The frameworks and means for both options are largely in place in the world, with diplomatic relations, treaties, security and trade associations, and the like.

But what would it cost to create, for example, an alternative United Nations, versus the cost of living with the existing one? What would it take Geo-politically for such a thing to occur? China, with massive future heft in the world, could contemplate such a future project, and so could Russia. I assume there is body of analysis that gets continually updated, addressing this very scenario.

But we're not quite there yet with feasibility. We move closer every time the US pulls stunts like last night, especially as two European nations join in the same lawlessness. It remains to be seen how far in Europe this lawless rot will spread. How will domestic politics punish people like May and Johnson, for example - and Trump for that matter? It remains to be seen.

I haven't studied this at all, but I suspect this problem of lawlessness must become more of a front-burner topic in the coming years. And reality being what it is, there are probably countless shades of gray possible in my simplistic either/or presentation. The question must begin to be asked around the world: how do we get the west to obey the laws of the world?

Lawfulness can only be enforced by strength of arms, and Russia has shown great dominance here over the US. And the west is waning as the multi-polar world is waxing, and this dynamic is everything - the relative strengths change almost daily, and this sets the pace of things and the timetable for things.

As far as I'm concerned, MAD is back, and the US is cowed by it. And MAD not only prevents conventional warfare, it also allows it, in various offshore theaters. And I think the US is cowed by Russia's conventional weaponry, but hides behind MAD as a way not to acknowledge this fear. The US inflicted a great defeat on itself on Friday night, and the multi-polar world won a great victory. This has changed the relative strength equation in ways that have yet to be seen.

But one of the ways, perhaps, is that nations can turn up the volume on the nagging question, how do we get the west to obey its own laws and agreements? I have great faith in the sanity of the world's nations to solve this growing dilemma, and I'll be interested to watch it happen.

Musings on a wonderful Saturday - we are all still alive, and only the missiles, and not the sky, fell.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 14 2018 18:58 utc | 32

Sorry b, Trumpty Dumbdy wasn't "pretending" to fall for those fake videos. It would seem Mattis managed to talk some sense into the Orange Genius, probably on the strength that he was the only one in the room that didn't draft dodge. Chickenhawks like Bolton and Trumpty (bone spurs) would hate being reminded what cowards they were when called to "defend" the banksters' wars.

Bolton wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”[ Ross Goldberg and Sam Kahn, “Bolton’s conservative ideology has roots in Yale experience” Archived September 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Yale Daily News, April 28, 2005.]

So why would Bolton think continuing/escalating the war in Syria (and going after Iran asap) was a good idea, as it is "lost" to the US? Maybe because the Rothschilds want the Zionist Oded Yinon plan to succeed no matter how many non-Jews die to make it happen?

So Trumpty wasted at least $100 million to find out even decades-old Russian S-150/200 anti-missile tech is more than adequate against the US' crap Tomahawk systems. The US missiles are about as "smart" as its president and the neo-con thinktanksters. Raytheon stock to jump. I wonder where Raytheon gets its titanium? Not from Russia anymore.

Posted by: A P | Apr 14 2018 18:59 utc | 33

thanks b.. excellent overview and commentary to which i fully agree with..

i can't understand how france can get away with their proof statement based on this "The French services analysed the testimonies, photos and videos that spontaneously appeared on specialized websites, in the press and on social media in the hours and days following the attack." france is more pathetic then i thought... as for the timing of this.. yes - do it prior to the opcw inspection and do it bypassing international law... this will end badly and this is just act 1 in what is going to be an escalation into ww3 that is coming down the pike..

there is no way anything is going to change here... the west is committed to it's propaganda, false flags and white helmet videos while ignoring international protocol.... how this that going to end favourably? it's not... thanks for the update..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 19:01 utc | 34

Operation Stormy Daniels was a fail...

Back to the missing Skripals and the genocide of Palestinians by the satanic AshkeNAZI regime.

Posted by: Dee Wrench | Apr 14 2018 19:03 utc | 35

This is a major win for Syria and Russia.

1. it is clear the West would not dare to confront Russia directly. The world (particularly China and Europe) will have noted this.

2. The West dare not field its air forces over Syria.

3. it must be very worrying how poorly the stand-off weapons performed.

4. the West is fragmenting, judging by the number of countries that refused to join in, and even internally in the US - witness the statements of Mattis and his extreme discomfort in having to lie at the press conference. And as the truth emerges on the Syria and Skripal false flags, and it will, then the West will fragment even more.

5. if I were shopping for air defences well there is only one place I would be looking now.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 14 2018 19:04 utc | 36

From a cynical point of view. The vow by Syria, Iran, and Hizbullah to retailiate is very concerning.

It opens the door to false flags and war with Iran.

We can’t assume that this whole episode has played out.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

As for OPCW inspectors: FUKUS will just say that Russia’s control of the site allowed them to manipulate the site as well as “eyewitnesses”.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 14 2018 19:05 utc | 37

Its a message, and the goal is:
Bachar quit power or we strike Syria like Lyria (falling of state, blow-of infrastructures).
For US/UK/FR a permawar in Syria is needed for futur false-flags.

Posted by: Rowbi | Apr 14 2018 19:06 utc | 38

If every nation member of the united nation stand up to the criminals members such as USA , Great Britain ( not so great after all ) , France and Israel may these members will pay for illegal behavior , but it seems no body cares for this reason they get away with criminal U.N. human behavior.
The international community should move the United Nation head quarter out of New York City.
I think The BRICS should sick rogother more and stand up against the Christian west ( I emphasize the Christian ) because in the name of Jesus and Christianity , they do the worst of the worst against humanity from occupation , colonization and on and on to keep their Christian belly full of food on the back of the poor and unfortunate.

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 14 2018 19:08 utc | 39

"But apparently the Swiss Lab is not going along with Lavrov. I wonder where Lavrov's idea came from."

The article they link to is a week old before they even tested. It's unlikely the PR person in control of the twitter account knows anything except for recent news articles.

That being said, Lavrov is making a pretty big claim out of left field. Completely unnecessarily as I have no doubt novichoks could be manufactured to frame Russia. If Lavrov is wrong he's shooting himself in the foot.

Posted by: blah | Apr 14 2018 19:09 utc | 40

Rowbi @38

The war in Syria is lost for the West.

I now expect Russia will speed things up massively. The gloves will come off.

And there will be piles of discarded white helmets found in Syria.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 14 2018 19:10 utc | 41

@36 cdvision.. i agree..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 19:11 utc | 42

@37 jr - i agree with your view as well.. it is hard to work around this..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 19:12 utc | 43

Going by b's take, the symbolic strike has taken pressure off Trump. The strike has showcased what old refurbished Soviet systems and a scattering of Pantsirs can achieve.
Russia would not have held back with its own systems free of charge. Today we hear from Russia the findings of the Swiss scientists re OPCW Skripal samples.
A number of players have put in a big effort into cornering Trump into attacking Syria and Russia.
It would be good if the price Russia charged for the strike was solid intel on the conspiracy that can be made public.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 19:13 utc | 44


I dont see where Lavrov was wrong? Could you summarize? Lavrov's comment comes today, that report is from 5th of april?

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 19:14 utc | 45

Germany, France, UK, US to discuss next steps in London on Sunday after Syria strikes

So will the west keep bombing or or will they start a regime change process? Psychopaths.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 19:16 utc | 46

Don't know who runs this site but the content is suis generis. Absolutely gold.

Posted by: Berkman | Apr 14 2018 19:18 utc | 47

Anon @46

They would be better employed re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

I expect Germany to halt their ambitions (maybe not publicly - so expect some bullshit press release).

The reality is: there is nothing they can do.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 14 2018 19:19 utc | 48

The Australian Media coverage has been on the back back burner through all this .
Ultimately Australia's geostrategic position is made more vulnerable if there is continuing breakdown of International law and precedence . Many in Australia have been warning (for thirty years) that Australia's craven support for the Anglo resource wars in Western Asia will boomerang back on Australia's own safety and security. I fear my country will one day need a ' rules based order ' that she has so singularly ignored .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Apr 14 2018 19:22 utc | 49


Your username adequately describes your comments.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 19:22 utc | 50

ashley albanese 49

Our anglosphere politicians, while standing behind big brother and hurling insults at Russia and China will leave us in a very bad position when the US is defeated, and it will be defeated by China/Russia combined.
If their is any sort of shooting war, there will be some extremely pissed off victors.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 19:29 utc | 51

@27 The lab is pointing to an article here-

It is an interview with Stefan Mogl head of the Department of Chemistry in the laboratory. Mogl is so brilliant a chemist he was able to identify nerve gas from video in an attack back in 2013, no science needed-

My assumption at this point is that Mogl is a Western government asset and has been told to sell Novichok as the chemical that effected the Skripals.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 14 2018 19:30 utc | 52

While I tend to think of this as an orchestrated event by the anti-Syrian fighters, let's keep in consideration that there is a nonzero chance that individual units used chemical weapons. AFAIK The Syrian government prohibits the use of chemical weapons, but we're still mired in the fog of war. The OPCW may just announce findings that are totally contrary to Russian claims.

Syria's military may not have a rigid structure, so there's always a possibility that some idiots attached to the SAA conducted a chemical weapon attack. That's why a formal investigation needs to be conducted.

The Western coalition's behavior was one of "I don't care, we're going to stage a show of force". They're going to run with whatever events they can use to forward their agenda, which is the continued desire for regime change, countering Iranian influence, and/or for Syria to be stuck in a state of war.

Ultimately, Syria + Iran + Russia need to win the peace ASAP

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 14 2018 19:31 utc | 53

@13 cj
From a pharmacological perspective, it would be difficult to find a drug more dissimilar to anticholinesterases than 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ, also called QNB), as the former would cause activation of all acetylcholine receptors (both muscarinic and nicotinic), while the latter would inhibit the activity of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.

Antimuscarinic drugs may be used clinically in small doses, e.g., in eye exams to dilate the pupils. Overdoses as you point out would cause heart rate to increase, as well as dry mouth, and involuntary muscle jerking. If they reach the brain, such drugs are incapacitating, causing sedation, amnesia, delirium, hallucinations, and agitation.

Some of these effects are consistent with the reported symptoms of the Skripals when they were found (MoA March 16):
Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.
It's hard to know exactly what symptoms the last statement refers to, but drugs like this would tend to reduce gastrointestinal activity, so it's not clear if this is a perfect match.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 14 2018 19:34 utc | 54

ashley albanese @49

Don't worry. As usual Australia is 5 years behind events. But is a pragmatic country, and can and will change sides when it suits. In reality most trade is with SE Asia, and there are plenty of Asians in Aus, but few Americans. There is no love of America.

And anyhow, the Commonwealth Games is on and Aus have a bagful of medals. So what do you expect the media to report?

I wouldn't mind sending Julie Bishop to the Syria front line, though.

BTW I live in Sydney.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 14 2018 19:34 utc | 55

Reports indicate an Iranian base in Syria has been hit, once again, by Israel. Each such incident, in which Russia's allies in Syria are attacked by air with impunity, sends a strong message about Putin and about Russia. At this point, Putin has to be considered complicit in these attacks. Putin preaches about international law, but his behavior preaches Might Makes Right. Why does Putin continue to refuse to give Syria the robust air defense it needs if National Sovereignty is to mean anything for Syria? Or is it only those who have powerful militaries that get to not only have sovereignty for themselves, but get to have their neighbor's sovereignty as well?

Posted by: paul | Apr 14 2018 19:35 utc | 56

b, I agree with this: "The direct accusations against Britain may have been a factor in the hasty launch of last night's strike. Another was surely the arrival of technicians of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Damascus."

But I disagree that "Last weeks push by the media, by interventionists and by neoconservatives for a wider war on Syria (and Russia) has now been calmed down." There are mixed messages coming out. Mattis emphasizes "one-off" strike and strongly implies that US strike ensures that no more chemical attacks could be forthcoming "for years;" other officials spoke of the strike as a whole as an initial "wave", and May seems to be committed *both* to the position that Assad's chemical munitions have been destroyed *and* to the position that these strikes represent the new normal of FUKUS strong diplomacy against the "regime." I think there is still an ongoing power struggle between military lifers like Mattis and generals in field and anglozionist bureaucrats in FUKUS governments and anything could still happen, especially with the increased pressure on U.K. re Skripal and Ghouta. This is exactly the kind of situation in which Israel could tip the scales, disastrously.

To follow up on the question of strategic implications of the success of the Syrian air-defense, I wonder what the likely take away for Russia and US military intelligence is from this strike? Was it too symbolic to relay any legit insight as to US ballistic capabilities and Russian ability to thwart them? The success of even the older technology manned by the Syrians (if Russia really did not use anything of its own) might lead one to infer that the S-400's success rate against a similar volume of incoming threats (90-110) might near 100% effectiveness. Is the US worried that the only way to overcome the S-400 (given Syria's own success) would involve launching missiles in such large quantities at a time (say 300-400 per wave) as would prove operationally difficult, perhaps impossible, to sustain in a limited theatre. Another way of putting this: might the US now think that no direct but limited attack upon Russian interests is even possible, given the superiority of contemporary Russian defensive ballistic technology?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 14 2018 19:45 utc | 57

Added a comment @260 on the thread for the Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back thread regarding the Swiss lab's BZ finding. In hindsight, the OPCW weasel-like wording is twice as damaging as they only confirmed that Spiez (the Swiss Porton Down) found the same thing as Porton Down. The BZ part was omitted and only available in the classified report, because the public can't handle the truth! (without stringing up their leaders from lamp-posts).

BZ has nothing to do with whatever they used in Ghouta for the false flag. I remember there was a suspicious chemical attack in Homs in 2012 where some of the victims showed signs consistent with BZ, but others seemed more like nerve agent exposure.

Regarding the attack yesterday, there is only one thing of significance:

Russia did not use any of their SAMs AFIK. This was a Syrian-only response just like when Israel attacks. Radar help from the Russian network as usual, but it was only Syrian air defenses that intercepted the incoming Tomahawks and Storm Shadows with their short- and medium-range SAMs.

I can think of nothing whatsoever that would piss of the Russian military commanders more than taunting them by forcing them to play such a deadly game.

Russia certainly would have defended against attacks directed at their bases. That's where you have kind of a WW III problem, though. Tomahawk and Storm Shadow cruise missiles would never use a direct path - they program in complex mid-course paths and the missiles are programmed to approach the target from whatever direction is best. It may look like it's zig-zagging towards one base, then turn abruptly mid-course and target another, then another. You can't tell where their target is on radar until they actually hit something. Any of the Tomahawks fired from the Red Sea ship(s) or a B-1 over at Tanf may be targeting Damascus, or they may continue on and take out Tartous - you just don't know.

See the problem with that for Russia? They would normally just assume any modern cruise missile traveling any direction within several hundred km of their base is a direct threat, and the aircraft/ship that fired it are also direct threats. The US would do the same. Nobody is going to wait until it's obvious they are the target.

Russia had two choices last night:

1) Depend ENTIRELY on assurances from the US/UK/France that Russian sites/personnel would not be targeted and no missiles would turn at them the last minute. That's insanely risky by ANY nations' standards, especially if the neighborhood bully is making such a promise to you.

2) React like any normal military and assume any approaching cruise missile or launching aircraft/ship is targeting you. You make the problems go away - that's your job. Then WW III starts, with ZATO shrieking about an unprovoked attack on our aircraft/ships.

I have to wonder what Mattis and Dunford are thinking today. They, more than anyone in the nuthouse, have to understand the effect this cheap-assed, dishonorable, humiliating trick has on Russian commanders and Putin.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 14 2018 19:50 utc | 58

@44 Peter: That's a very interesting idea.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14 2018 19:54 utc | 59

To the questions raised above regarding Lavrov's relying on an identification by a Swiss lab of the chemical used against the Skripals:

The linked article in German can be translated on line and, as noted above, this is really just a statement by the head of that lab, Sefan Mogl, BEFORE the Swiss lab's results, that he was sure Porton Down must have been correct in identifying the agent as a Novichok because it's such a highly regarded lab.

Of course, this doesn't really explain where Lavrov got his information, but the RT story certainly made it sound as though the Russians had somehow gotten a copy of the full classified report to the OPCW.

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Apr 14 2018 19:57 utc | 60

Information War Israel vs. Russia

Regarding the plethora of comments 'both sides got what they wanted, the U.S. played the hero, and Russia got off with a slap on the wrist'. Yeah but Russia is continuously cast as the supervillain in one more deed that will remain in the collective mind of the west.

Putin / Russia have the attitude, don't be distracted by the information war, keep your eye on the prize. Okay but you risk dying the death of a thousand cuts. Now contrast this with tiny Israel who has a zero tolerance policy on any negative publicity. If you say something bad about Israel you disappear, people complain about it but hey, as distasteful as it is, it looks legal to me. A columnist who uses the word Zionist is not guaranteed a job anywhere, that's hardball and it looks like the Israeli way pays dividends to them.

The Russian punching bag way? Don't know. People say the 'Empire is dying' is it, or is it getting its second wind. Maybe Trump / May are the new Reagan / Thatcher, or worse yet, think they are (Hearing 'God Save the Queen' in my head, make it stop)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 14 2018 19:58 utc | 61

PavewayIV 58

The way you have put it there makes me feel more strongly that Russia demanded a very high price from the US to hold back. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days and weeks. Already, Russia has named the toxin that was used against the Skripals.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 19:59 utc | 62

Correction at 60: "Stefan Mogl"

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Apr 14 2018 19:59 utc | 63

everything you need to know about usa-uk-france and all the other weak kneed poodles on the world stage...
"Russia’s UNSC resolution calling to stop aggression against Syria does not receive enough votes."

i guess nikki haley was trying to stay positive and walked out on this to have her nails polished or?

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 20:01 utc | 64

The French Intelligence Report

You have GOT to be kidding me. I am actually shocked they would admit to this piece of crap but then again, the sheep in the U.S. just heard, 'French Intelligence confirms Assad's guilt'. So chalk one up in the Information War, drip, drip, drip.

They actually said, they just reviewed the videos and trust the groups who took them. Oh, and that it was new production, not recycled images. That is the only thing I believe that it was freshly staged.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 14 2018 20:02 utc | 65

@58 paveway.. thanks..

@62 peter.. what do you think that price would be? you might be right.. i am not sure how that would work..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 20:04 utc | 66

@65 christian.. that report makes the french look like a bunch of bozos..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 20:05 utc | 67

PavewayIV @58

You have to assume in the last week that the Russians pointed out(in rather chilling terms) what would happen to the US if Russians were harmed or targeted. Gerasimov spelled this out earlier.

And don't forget there are 4500 American hostages in their mini-bases in Syria that would now be mince-meat.

I happen to think, after said warning, that Mattis and Dunford pulled this thing back from the abyss.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 14 2018 20:06 utc | 68

Amidst all this mayhem and confusion, has anybody noticed how Assad has shows more quality then any other leader/politician of this time ? He withstands the most brutal bloodbath by the terrorists for seven continues years, and has seen the country through against the most powerful adversaries of this age by not only his intellect but also his restrain and above all his courage.

I've grown respect for the man.

And just for the record-

Hillary - Assad must go
David Cameroon - Assad must go
John Kelly - Assad must go
Barak Obama - Assad must go
And many others, all of them GONE

But guess who's still there and even more dominating then every passing year.

Posted by: Fantome | Apr 14 2018 20:08 utc | 69

Ok, can go for BZ, clean forgot about that one, funny what falls between the memory cracks in something like 50 years, there were no cracks in the memory when it started. BZ was not regarded as a dangerous type nerve agent, rather an agent used to incapacitate and hinder. That it produced effects similar to drug OD was reason for resistance to nerve agent which usually was Sarin (an aerosol) or VX (an oily mist that covered everything - touch at risk). Mystery abated. Watching the head of Porton Down sit there and lie (blinking eyes a la Tony Blair), gave the suspicion why Porton Down could not identify source was because Porton Down was it. Not a wonder they ID so quickly, they had the stuff in stock. Perfidious Albion, when will ye ever learn. But this could not happen to a finer set of home isle grown political scoundrels and charlatans. Now to watch the tangled web woven unravel. Best part of living in interesting times that.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 14 2018 20:10 utc | 70

Amidst all this mayhem and confusion, has anybody noticed how Assad has shows more quality then any other leader/politician of this time ? He withstands the most brutal bloodbath by the terrorists for seven continues years, and has seen the country through against the most powerful adversaries of this age by not only his intellect but also his restrain and above all his courage.

I've grown respect for the man.

And just for the record-

Hillary - Assad must go
David Cameroon - Assad must go
John Kelly - Assad must go
Barak Obama - Assad must go
And many others, all of them GONE

But guess who's still there and even more dominating with every passing year.

Posted by: Fantome | Apr 14 2018 20:12 utc | 71

The terrorists May, Macron and Trump work for are not impressed with the strike on Syria-

Posted by: TJ | Apr 14 2018 20:14 utc | 72

Any excuse to demonise Russia and Syria. If it wasn’t chemical weapons it would be because Assad micturated on Trump’s rug.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 14 2018 20:15 utc | 73

@60 Indeed, there was a press conference during which Lavrov pointed out that

1) there was a full classified report to the OPCW prepared by the Swiss.
2) Russia got a hold of it (leak by Swiss?)
3) Lavrov quoted the report as saying:

"Based on the results of the examination, the traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors belonging to the chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are found in the samples. The BZ is a nerve agent temporarily disabling a person. Psychotoxic effect is achieved in thirty- sixty minutes after application and lasts up to four days. This recipe was in the arsenal of the US Army, Great Britain and other NATO countries. In the USSR and Russia, the development of such chemical no connections were made" (Google translated from

4). He then proceeded with a question to the OPCW if the quote had been true why
these findings by the Swiss experts were later dropped from the final document released to everyone

"If, of course, the OPCW refutes the very fact of using the laboratory of the city of Spiez, then it would be interesting to hear these explanations," he concluded.

Posted by: usikpa | Apr 14 2018 20:19 utc | 74

"2) Russia got a hold of it (leak by Swiss?)"

Not saying this happened, but leaking a fake report to the Russians so they go on a tangent making wild claims would be a great dark PR trick. And one I hope they considered.

Posted by: blah | Apr 14 2018 20:26 utc | 75


You are wrong. Makes no sense spreading fake info on something that can be verified or not, but it wouldnt surprise me if the Spiez Lab change its phrasing after the pressure they sure must encounter now from the west.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 20:29 utc | 76

BTW, German Focus magazine has Vitaly Churkin speak to the Security Council:

He died more than a year ago.

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Apr 14 2018 20:35 utc | 77


Fidel Castro sure outlasted a lot of U.S. presidents who wanted him gone.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 14 2018 20:36 utc | 78

"You are wrong. Makes no sense spreading fake info on something that can be verified or not, but it wouldnt surprise me if the Spiez Lab change its phrasing after the pressure they sure must encounter now from the west."

Sure it could make sense. If you can get someone to make statements they think are true but are verifiably false then from a PR standpoint it makes their future statements seem less reliable. It can make that person seem crazy or guilty.

Posted by: blah | Apr 14 2018 20:37 utc | 79


So its a conspiracy theory now?
You cant spread fake info on something that physically say something else, thus Lavrov will of course not spread this info if he wasnt sure it
was factual. You suspect Lavrov is a moron. I believe hes not.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 20:41 utc | 80

ISIS, financied by Saudi Arabia, used chemical,chlorine weapons multiple times in #Syria & Iraq according a report from last year:

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 20:42 utc | 81

I think I read that Russia is entitled to the full OPCW report because they are an involved state party.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Apr 14 2018 20:46 utc | 82

What was the point? Last night's attack was like coming home to find your house has been burgled, only to realise that they took the cushions and then left.

If the chemical 'attack' was staged, or that the US and its allies were in on it - thereby explaining the rush to strike before the investigation of the OPCW - what was the purpose if the strikes resulted in seemingly material damage? If not to bring down the Syrian Government then what? To scupper Syrian peace efforts? I don't follow.

There's a bigger picture here but I can't quite see it.

Salisbury and Douma coming so close together is surely too much of a coincidence. Was Assad not in fact the real target, but Russia.?

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Apr 14 2018 20:47 utc | 83

@81 anon... would be good if you could link direct to wikileaks.. thanks

See more of Wikileaks on Facebook, lol.. fuck'm...

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 20:47 utc | 84

it looks like iran has set up gas and chemical weapons bases possibly nay probably mobile maybe mobile analysis states that the labs could be a combination of both fixed and mobile possibly caravan winnebago portacabin on wheels.

these folks in syria just will not lie dowm.

At Least 20 Dead After Israeli Warplanes Strike Iranian Military Base In Southern Syria: Reports

Posted by: norm | Apr 14 2018 20:51 utc | 85

@ pat 83... i think there are a few reasons for what seems irrational... it appears that the usa-uk-france - are being good servants to israel and the neo cons on the one hand... it saves some face for trump.. it also cements the idea is some weak minds that they wouldn't do this unless they had proof, even though we know that is b.s. and, it is an ongoing motion that is ultimately leading towards more of the same and ultimately ww3... the west is saying - we will believe the white helmet videos immediately and we will wait for the facts after, but the facts we don't really care about as they can be manipulated by russia/syria.. that is what i get from all this... - basically slow grind to ww3.. i give it to 2020..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 20:51 utc | 86

Iran should have kicked out western ambassadors after this assault on Syria. Again, the response are so pathetically weak.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 14 2018 20:57 utc | 87

james 66

Its just a thought at the moment on Russia charging a heavy price, but if that were the case, then rock solid info on the conspiracy to frame Russia and corner Trump into attacking Syria and Russia.
If that where the case, then the Swiss scientist findings may be part of it.
The US would have better access to that type of intel as the US neocons and Zionists are part of the conspiracy. Something like this would be of benefit to both Trump and Russia, yet it would be a heavy price as the US military would be passing on what I guess would be classified secrets.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 21:03 utc | 88


Russia does have the full OPCW report. The Swiss findings are not included in the report.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14 2018 21:08 utc | 89


You're right...but the war never came to Cuba they way it came to Syria.

Posted by: Fantome | Apr 14 2018 21:17 utc | 90

"F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won?"
Obviously nobody. This is a lose lose lose game for everybody. And I'm sure this time they won't wait a year to attack again. The MSM are still producing propaganda enough to fill whole libraries. In no time they will prepare the next fairy tale. The Israeli government tries hard to get a reaction from Iran in order to start the real shooting. They want war, and it's easier to trigger one than to avoid it. So they will succeed.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 14 2018 21:21 utc | 91


Iran is playing smart by acting like a sleeping turtle until the May 12 deadline for JCPOA passes and Trump would commit the gravest diplomatic mistake of his term. Then Iran will take full advantage of it not just diplomatically but also in the war.

These mistakes are just paving the way for the end of the empire. It may be coming sooner then one might think. I personally believe that May 12 will eventually set the road map for a grand war in the Middle-East, the last one the empire would fight.

Posted by: Fantome | Apr 14 2018 21:22 utc | 92

This is likely silly speculation however with Douma being cleared of terrorists I was wondering if the missile attack was used to destroy remaining evidence of US and friends support for said terrorists.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14 2018 21:35 utc | 93

@88 peter.. thanks.. we'll see...

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2018 21:39 utc | 94

From the unclassified OPCW report:
"12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties."

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Apr 14 2018 21:52 utc | 95

These low level attacks work for all the states involved except Syria. Having enemies is essential to control those at home. Using weapons feeds the MIC's hungry beast. Flouting international and domestic law reinforces the idea that the law is what they say it is. They are above the law. Feeding the public obvious lies without being challenged by MSM provides assurance the propaganda machine is working well and reinforces the belief that their citizens are stupid or weak. Nothing to fear there.

Russia has the respect from the US they crave, even if its only fear of military conflict with an army that can fight back. The market for their weapon systems/missile defense has never been better and they have more leverage over countries that may be on the US radar in negotiating trade/military deals

The take home here is we have an Evil Empire not bound by international law or constrained by their own domestic law since the democratic processes that enforce the laws have been broken and exist in name only. They will do whatever they choose. Russia and China will go along and exploit the opportunities presented, taking care direct military conflict is avoided. The oligarchs must be protected and a foreign enemy directs anger away from themselves over their increasing neoliberal policies that feed the oligarchs

This is a well scripted soap opera. No wonder Hollywood has not time for making good movies. Enjoy the show.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 14 2018 21:53 utc | 96

Copy-pasting this comment from another blog. Thought the points were salient...

"Consequences of the failed Syrian strike …..

1) Trump looks like….
a) a fool who believes anything on social media
b) a loudmouth blowhard who’s tweet is much worse than his bite.
c) has people wondering if he isn’t some combination of senile and insane.
2) The US military looks powerless and ineffective (again).
3) The jihadists suffered a major defeat. They played their Trump Card with the fake chem weapons attack and all it got them was a blown up dismantled old lab complex.
4) Israel showed they are equally powerlless and ineffective with their weak and symbolic attack on the T-4 airbase.
5) Everyone now knows that it is highly likely that Theresa May is a baldfaced liar.
6) Everyone now knows that Germany will not stand with this coalition.
7) Everyone now knows that even older Russian/Soviet air defense systems can stop a US missile strike.
8) Everyone now knows that Israel and the US are afraid to fly into Syrian airspace and challenge those old air defenses. They only launch weak attacks from very long range.
9) Everyone now knows that the governments of the UK and the US both hate democracy. Trump didn’t follow the US Constitution and get even a fig-leaf “use of force” resolution. May had to directly overturn the Parliamentary democracy and launch her attack on only her say so.
10) The US just lost access to rocket engines and titanium parts.
11) Everyone now knows that if they are Putin’s ally then the US can’t hurt them."

Posted by: David | Apr 14 2018 21:56 utc | 97

Next Astana meeting in one month, May 14-16, exact date not yet set.

Meanwhile, in Idlib, the crazies are killing one another, as they have for over a year. The Russian plan of pouring all the "retreaters" into one province was brilliant. The Russians knew each group of AQ, al Nusra and ISIS terrorists would fight one another.

Turkey will protest and try to protect "their guys" but the inevitable will occur. Putin already allowed Turkey to do its thing against the Kurds. Afrin, and its months long ground assaults Olive Branch massacres of Kurds is all Erdogan will get.

If he sticks his nose in the final destruction of the Idlib holdouts, he will get slapped down by Russia.

His place at the table of big three is dependent on agreeing with Putin. The Kurds are looking to make a deal with Putin for a piece of the Syrian pie.

The US is betting they can scuttle Astana and force everyone to their manipulation of the Geneva talks.
But Astana has always set the terms and conditions. Geneva is just the use of the UN. If the US forces the issue, Geneva will be left at the station, so to speak.

The Syrian Opposition, which boycotted Sochi Peace talks in January, have no place to go but the battlefield. If they don't get into the political development of Syria, they will lose all relevance.

The US is trying to get an insurgency war started to keep the conflict going, to justify their staying in Syria.

I suspect the Russian Aerospace will have the last vote on such insurgency. And maybe a few thousand of Kadyrov's Chechen Spetsnaz who have all the experience in Chechnya, and all the credibility as Sunnis in Syria to destroy such a bogus insurgency.

The coming summer and autumn will be interesting times.

Ukraine, the World Cup, and the winding down of "civil war" in Syria.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 14 2018 21:59 utc | 98

@ cj 13
I need some chemistry help-- Lavrov's statement does not help us (me) see any link between known OPCW statements on Salisbury and this new chemical "BZ". From what you and others say, BZ does not seem to correspond in any plausible way to what Porton Down (or UK govt) has publicly said: Novichoks, or from that class of agents or a closely related agent". Yet Mr. Lavrov's claims seem to suggest that BZ is not inconsistent with the OPCW confirmation of Porton Down's identification of the substance (what substance--biophysical analysis of metabolites in blood and tissue? Or bench quality (vs. weapons grade) high purity substances found elsewhere--doorknobs, park bench...

Posted by: Paul | Apr 14 2018 22:02 utc | 99

Porton Down - officially the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) - tested the samples and prepared a classified report for that mean-assed May guy and parliament.

May says Novichok - Russia did it and must be disciplined.

DSTL Chief Gary Aitkenhead (Ache-in-head, get it?) pokes head out of rabbit hole and says that his scientists only identified substance as 'a Novichok-like military-grade nerve agent' - that's it. Said they didn't make any determination where it came from. Not their job. MI6 and that May guy made that conclusion on source with additional, secret alternative facts.

Russia cries foul becuause they're allowed to see either the DSTL technical report (classified by UK and unwilling to share with Russia). May: "How DARE you question the British Empire! We'll get the OPCW to confirm your guilt." UK delegation to the OPCW requests technical assistance to verify findings.

OPCW collects Salsbury samples, sends of to some of their five permanent labs. I'm surprised they didn't send to Porton Down - one of the five - and then hide that fact. In any case, the Swiss Spiez Lab (Spy's - get it?)gets original DSTL analysis, analyzes the new samples and confirms Porton Down's findings. Sends classified full analysis and report back to OPCW.

OPCW prepares the Technical Assistance Report for UK based on their original request, which was for independent confirmation of DSTL/Porton Down findings. The UK did NOT ask for nor specify the name of the agent to be confirmed. Just yes/no - do you agree with Porton Down's findings or not?

UK then tells OPCW Technical Secretariat they can share the still-classified yes/no report with the rest of the OPCW party states. The otherwise sanitized report either had some information on the chemical structure without naming it, or the Russians found out what Spiez found. Russians look at it and say, "What the hell? That's BZ!"

Technical Secretariat prepares dumbed-down summary report as well for public consumption - obviously without any of the technical detail identifying it as BZ. Russia now demanding that UK and/or OPCW release the full Technical Assistance Report or the full Porton Down/Spiez analysis.

That will be considered and rejected, of course. None of the other OPCW members apparently know or are willing to disclose the BZ detail. Evil gasser Russia left to twist in the wind.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 14 2018 22:07 utc | 100

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