Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 13, 2018

Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated

[Update April 14, 5:00 UCT]

Last night the U.S., UK and France launched a symbolic attack on Syria. It was not intended to hurt the Syrian government, its people or its allies. It did not hit any of Syria's allies. So far there is no report of anyone being killed or wounded.

This was a one-off:

Mattis [...] said the assault was a “one-time shot,” so long as Assad does not repeat his use of chemical weapons.

The only purpose of the attack was to do 'something' and to somewhat calm down the warmongers within those three 'western' countries. It was probably insufficient for that.

As we wrote yesterday in the piece below. World War III had been called off.

A report from an observer on the ground in Syria:

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 4:22 UTC - 14 Apr 2018

#USA #France #UK: 3 countries to bomb 3 #Syria/n objectives in #Homs #Damascus? A centre of research, a Control & command and an ammunition warehouse? And before the OPCW investigation expected today?

A say In ME: Huge mountains moving to give a birth to a small mouse!
No "Political hits: (Presidential Palace or gov or security HQ)
No #Iranian objectives hits
No #Hezbollah objectives hit
No Syrian Army key capabilities hit.#
And of course no #Russian deployment w/ #SAA hit
#USA looks weaker than ever with this "strike".
The giants trio hit (#USA #UK #France) fired from US base in #Qatar is celebrated in #Damascus government controlled area with #Russian #Iranian #Syrian and #Hezbollah flags, dancing and mocking @realRonaldTrump's strike
This is the 1st time in history where a capital, #Damascus, is hit by foreign power and people celebrate it in the street few hours later, challenging the attackers and expressing their solidarity with the government by dancing in the street: #USA #UK #France boosted #Assad today
#USA #UK #France targeted empty objectives in #Syria since the entire #SAA was dislocated. @realDonaldTrump wanted to save his image: the Syria people's reaction (1000s in the street expressing solidarity with Assad) to the hit is seriously damaging him.

To limit the attack to the absolute minimum was a wise decision by U.S. President Donald Trump. The people who had faked the 'chemical attack' in Douma on April 7 wanted to pull the U.S. into a wider war with Syria and Russia. They failed. Russia's threat of retaliation for any attack was strong enough to deter the U.S. military. Secretary of Defense Mattis saved the situation when he publicly doubted the evidence and held Trump back from a spontaneous 'revenge' response. Netanyahoo will be furious and the neocons will now try to kick Mattis out.

[End-Update - the original post, written before the attack, follows below]

It seems to me that World War III has been called off - for now. Sanity prevailed over a stampede of warmongering which erupted after dubious but well timed claims of a 'chemical attack' in Syria.

Secretary of Defense Mattis let know of his doubts about the alleged 'chemical attack' in Douma which the 'rebels' attributed to the Syrian government. This changed the tone of Donald Trump's tweets and the international conversations on the issue. Several NATO countries, including Germany and Canada, said they would not take part in any threatened 'revenge' operation.

Today the Russian Defense Ministry accused Britain of having directed the staged attack:

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, released statements by medics from Douma’s hospital who said a group of people toting video cameras entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons and causing panic. The medics said none of the patients were hurt by chemicals.

Here are videos of that hospital scenes from the 'rebel' propaganda outlets. The 'treatment' by the 'rebels', dousing with water and administering some asthma spray, is unprofessional and many of the 'patients' seem to have no real problem. It is theater. The real medical personal is seen in the background working on a real patient.

The people in the video scenes were "rent-a-mob" actors which the Russians say they have found. They also found the medics and videotaped their statements. They Russian government claims to know the main culprit:

"Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom’s direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta," [Igor Konashenkov, the defense ministry’s spokesman] said.

An OPCW technical team has arrived in Damascus. It will investigate the scene and talk to the witnesses.

Cause of the recent panic were a few videos by several propaganda outlets associated with Takfiri 'rebels' in Ghouta. These videos immediately looked staged to me. Yes, they showed dead people - mainly children - in a basement or apartment. But the bodies were not in the place where they had died and were probably not, as was claimed, killed by chemical weapons.

In the videos some 20 dead children and a few women lie on the floor as if they were thrown in there. The scene was obviously manipulated several times. The various videos show the bodies in different positions. They have been moved around for presentation. Later videos show, for example, a baby in diapers on top of two older kids. In an earlier video that baby is not there.

The 'rebel' claim that the people were killed by chlorine and a nerve agent: "Look, the dead have foam at their mouth." (Foam at the mouth  is wrongly assumed to be a sure symptom of exposure to a nerve agent.)

Yes, they have foam at their mouth. But it seems to be shaving foam and/or some white gel, not a human secretion. We have seen this trick before.

Compare for example this video from the scene uploaded by فادي عبد الله on Apr 7, 2018 at 20:49:26 UTC with this video from the same scene by Yaser AlDoumani2 uploaded on Apr 7, 2018 at 22:43:16 UTC.

A screenshot from the first video (graphic):


The corridor where the cameraman stands at that moment is filled with dead bodies. The body with the white bonnet on its head lies in a backroom. The detail picture below is turned 180 degree:


A screenshot from the second video. The body with the white bonnet has been moved from the backroom to the corridor and added to a pile of other bodies.


Detail of the body with the white bonnet turned 180 degree:


It is the same body with the same cloth in a different position. It seems obvious that shaving cream or something similar has been added to the body after it was moved. The shaving cream simulates "foaming at the mouth".

Stephen McIntyre found and collected several other discrepancies between the various videos from the scene.

The people shown have died. They probably suffocated after a shelter collapsed as the Syrian Observatory reported on that day. But the videos were likely not made at the scene of that incident. The bodies had been moved and manipulated. There were likely no chemical weapons involved in their death.

It would have made no sense at all for the Syrian government to launch a 'chemical attack' on a nonmilitary target in the Douma situation. Its imminent victory was already guaranteed. The 'rebels' and their supporters had their reasons to fake such an 'attack'. It was an attempt to drag the U.S. into destroying the Syrian government and its army. It nearly succeeded.

The various 'leaks' and media claims around the staged 'attack' have reached comical grounds.

CNN headlined today: Biological samples from Syria attack site test positive for chlorine and nerve agent, official says:

Biological samples from the area of the alleged chemical attack in Syria have tested positive for chlorine and a sarin-like nerve agent, according to a US official familiar with the US analysis of the test results.
Medical sources and activists in Syria said blood, urine and hair follicle samples were smuggled in batches to Turkey after rebel groups and their families were pushed out of the area by the Assad regime, CNN reported earlier on Friday.

The sources did not know what happened to the samples after they reached Turkey.

That chain of evidence is joke and the claim is nonsense. There is simply no way to diagnose chlorine exposure in blood, urine or hair samples.

The Center of Disease Control notes of Chlorine exposure:

Laboratory criteria for diagnosis:

Biologic: No biologic marker for chlorine exposure is readily available.

Chlorine is highly reactive. When it enters the bloodstream it turns into chloride and associates with sodium and potassium and other basic elements. The natural chloride level in a body is already quite high and changes often. We all eat and naturally dispose of table salt, aka sodium chloride, each and every day. The chloride level in a body can be measured but it is not a criterion for chlorine exposure. The 'official' who made those claims to CNN is lying.

The evidence for a 'chemical attack' in Douma is simply not there. The videos provided by the 'rebel' propaganda outlets are manipulated. Medical personal in Douma dispute their propaganda claims.

Secretary of Defense Mattis spoke out and U.S. allies refused to swallow the faked evidence. Donald Trump pulled back from his earlier aggressive threats. There will likely be no bombing of Syria and in consequence no violent conflict with Russia. 

Trump already began to change the headlines. He just pardoned Dick Cheney's former errant boy Scooter Libby. He is preparing the grounds for pardoning his own staff should they be caught up in the Mueller investigation.

This will give the media enough material to cover throughout the weekend and to forget about attacking Syria.

The staged 'chemical attack' was designed to draw Trump back into the conflict over Syria after he announced that he wants the U.S. military to pull out. Has it changed his mind? Will those who initiated this stunt, probably the Brits, try again?

Will Russia be able to prove its claim of British involvement? If so could it free Yulia Scripal?

Posted by b on April 13, 2018 at 04:12 PM | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

sputnik news saying Russia considers this an act of aggression and USA has violated all international norms - the Russian says Trump can be called a second Hitler - He has attacked at the same time Hitler did

Posted by: Mother of God! | Apr 13, 2018 10:09:07 PM | 101


One part cretin genetics, two parts religious zealotry, three parts of ass covering and no parts connected to the reality of 99.9% of the human population who will be affected by this potential anthropological fart.

The world is being "softened up" for something or we are watching the end of empire, I can't tell yet.

I am excited to see this sort of human watershed in my lifetime.....even if it ends with our extinction as an anthropological fart in the cosmos.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 13, 2018 10:11:29 PM | 102

My facial muscles are...tingling...and stiff...and I feel terrible to be part of the nation which did this horror. Not that it's the worst horror, but there will be more horrors.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 13, 2018 10:11:44 PM | 103

I've yet to see any reports that Douma is one of the areas targeted by the englanders & amerikans. They bombed the research center where samples were being analysed, but that is some distance away in Damascus, is there any reports of the original site that usuk reckoned the cw attack occurred has been bombed?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 13, 2018 10:11:56 PM | 104

SecDef Mattis and Chairman JCS Dumford giving a presser now, state this is a one-off attack, US role is now complete (22:11hrs EDT). Said they used routine deconfliction channel to inform Russian armed forces.

Posted by: howard in nyc | Apr 13, 2018 10:12:26 PM | 105



Posted by: A bee | Apr 13, 2018 10:12:46 PM | 106

I’m thinking Russia allowed this

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 13, 2018 10:14:08 PM | 107

RT appears to confirm @104 . . .

Posted by: jalp | Apr 13, 2018 10:14:32 PM | 108

So, is Mattis going to put US boots on the ground to invade? Or just send in the US Storm Troopers, aka, ISIS?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 13, 2018 10:15:35 PM | 109

An outrageous breach of international law. Full condemnation of the political establishments of all responsible parties.

If the escalation can somehow be limited, I suspect the geopolitical ramifications for the belligerent parties will be exceptionally unfavourable - to their surprise.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 13, 2018 10:16:51 PM | 110

From the Sputnik piece linked in @21, cf @30 and @38:

They are believed to be a part of international military forces deployed in the region to launch a ground assault in Damascus in cooperation with the US. According to the report, the US and other NATO countries, Jordan and Israel planned to launch attacks from several fronts, but the plot failed as Syrian armed forces made a series of rapid advances in Eastern Ghouta in March. The plot allegedly involved massive airstrikes by US and Israeli planes that were supposed to pave the way for ground forces.

So far there is no Israeli presence, thank God. But the multiple fronts including Jordan and coordination with reported ISIS ground attacks fits very well.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 10:17:33 PM | 111

Simultaneous DOS attack on Can’t get to it

Posted by: ran | Apr 13, 2018 10:17:51 PM | 112

Putin sent a strong message to the world tonight - though not a message of strength.

Posted by: paul | Apr 13, 2018 10:18:08 PM | 113

More from Bundy:

ntercept incoming. Russian planes snapped towards vector of UK and French planes.

Mainly the missiles are coming from the South and from the East. High air activity over Jordan. Jet fighters attack launched from Al-Edid Air Base, Qatar

No ships are taking part. Syria has coastal defenses that can sink them maybe why.

Matts just claimed that US destroyed all the chemical facilities of Syria, keep this in mind for when the next lie come

Posted by: Plod | Apr 13, 2018 10:18:15 PM | 114

@ A bee with link of coming protests against war.....thanks.

It is good to see these activities getting more exposure. Hopefully they will be well attended and make a difference.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 13, 2018 10:19:20 PM | 115

Seems the attack is over.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 13, 2018 10:21:24 PM | 116

Yep, there's gonna be a war. Patrick Lange at Sic Semper Tyrannus frames it properly, without saying anything too overtly concerning Russia-Trump-Pentagon cooperation.

"Remember the Maine!"

Not the first nor by any means most important false flag in history, I am deeply heartened to see many people in the alt-media mindspace coming to their senses and telling evermore truth as the nature of this war (primarily psychological) starts to become more widely understood. As more and more people become familiar with the term false flag it will slowly become more difficult for the UK Zionist Octopus Cabal to continue fooling the planet into submission.

And so it is with the fake war now being created by Russia and 'partners' in the Trump Administration.

You need to build your psychological weapons the same way the Russians build their S400's. Each system has missiles with ranges of (roughly) 50, 150, 250 and 400kms. In the same way in the cyberwar we are fighting (including legions of government paid trolls in comment sections) some websites outght to tell a few truths, for those who might find it difficult to comprehend the longer range and bigger picture facts. Other websites need to have much greater reach, with the biggest weapons being those websites who tell the most trurh possible without getting themselves removed from the cyberspace battlefield altogether.

And there are risks. No question. It may very well happened that the Britis and NATO Gladio Deep State Nazis attempt to attack Khenimim airbase, for example, timing the strike to coincide with an attack on already emptied Syrian military infrastructure made by the US and other ships gatherng in the eastern Meditteranean. We need to be prepared for any possible scenario but what I would be most worried about is a repeat of what was done when Israel attempted to sink the USS Liberty, to bring the United States into war against Egypt.

Posted by: C I eh? | Apr 13, 2018 10:23:52 PM | 117

I suspect a deal was cut. The Nazis were allowed to conduct a militarily insignificant attack to allow May. Trump and Macron to save face and satistfy Israel and Saudi.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 13, 2018 10:24:11 PM | 118

Mattis is still answering questions (22:20 EDT). (I flipped to CNN for the press conference). He said approx twice as many missiles used tonight than last year's attack. He said targets were not announced to the Russians, but air lanes that would be used were described. He is also being very cagy answering questions about the 'proof' of the chemical attack, and of which chemicals were used (chlorine or sarin). He looks quite uncomfortable telling blatant lies.

Posted by: howard in nyc | Apr 13, 2018 10:25:00 PM | 119

From Bundy:

The Pentagon declares the US strike over.

70 minutes long. Could have been worse, great performance by the Syrian air defences today.

What a bunch of wankers!! A lot of whites were able to get their rocks off tonight after being frustrated for so long. They must be exhausted.

Posted by: Plod | Apr 13, 2018 10:26:30 PM | 120

It's over for Trump.   No more 2020.   Done.  Like.  Dinner.  DONE!

I'd like to see what November brings about.

Posted by: Ian | Apr 13, 2018 10:27:32 PM | 121

Syrians bears the burden of this illegal and outrageous act, with Russia doing the heavy lifting of defense, but where is the rest of the world? Russia can't be expected to single handedly stand against the bastard neo-cons.

Why won't countries like Brazil or China cut off diplomatic relations with the three criminal countries? Shun the bastards.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 13, 2018 10:28:15 PM | 122

Not quite over yet it seems

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 13, 2018 10:29:06 PM | 123

When exactly do we see the "very grave consequenxes" that Russia very publicly warned about?

Posted by: Perimtr | Apr 13, 2018 10:29:06 PM | 124

@89 "why would strikes be happening in the exact place being investigated."

Isn't it obvious? If the site is on the target list then it is axiomatic that the Russians can not guarantee the safety of the OPCW investigators, ergo, they cannot and will not investigate.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 13, 2018 10:32:27 PM | 126

We don't know the detail yet, but its sounds like a token face-saving event. Its not a strategic game-changer in Syria.

But if I were Jordan/Saudi Arabia/Qatar/UAE and even Israel I would be feeling nervous.

I expect Russia to speed up the cleanup in Syria.

Iran will not be idle either.

This is the nadir of the Empire.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 13, 2018 10:33:47 PM | 127

Seems like a show trial.. for now. Hopefully its over.

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 13, 2018 10:33:50 PM | 128

Chris @121:

Money still rule the day.   China, or any other nation, has no reason for self-inflicted damage to it's economy.   However, it's certain now that the PetroDollar demise will be accelerated.

Posted by: Ian | Apr 13, 2018 10:34:07 PM | 129

I am reading the attack as designed to appear more than merely symbolic to all the necessary constituents without actually being more than merely symbolic. Now that we've punished Assad 'Merika-style and destroyed all his chemical weapons facilities (lol) can we PLEASE GET THE FUCK OUT OF SYRIA ALREADY? Why do I feel the answer to that question must be "No."

I hope there is a hell for Trump and May and Macron to rot in.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 10:37:31 PM | 130

The impotence of the mopes, revealed. Oh well, back to my PTSD recurrent nightmares, now augmented by what my sleeping consciousness imagines it will feel like to get blasted by a thermonuclear weapon... heat, no breath, silence... Yes, you people, go out into the streets and "protest." Blog until the Blob pulls the plug on you. Like that will make a bit of difference in "policy." This feels like the story in that movie, "Independence Day," where the ugly black alien ships move into position over all the Earth's major cities, and the clock counts down, the clock embedded in the code that the genius Jeff Goldblum detects in the code from the aliens. Once the "assets" are in place, the gunports open, and death spews forth.

And folks, we are just like those "aliens," with their prehensile tentacle appendages. Using up the planet, and now planning to move on to other worlds, to loot and extract and destroy.

Makes you proud to be an American, Brit, Frenchie, human, don't it? I guess Putin blinked? so these Fokkers will get away with another one of these "one-off" episodes of lies and cruise missiles and regime change... I see Raytheon's stock is up.

Posted by: JTMcPhee | Apr 13, 2018 10:37:51 PM | 131

Now, Congress now has cause to impeach Trump. There is no way he could use AUMF to justify this. But they won't, which shows that Democrats really aren't that serious.

Now, we also need to have the UN disbanded. It's clear it's meant to be a club and front to justify Western brutality.

Posted by: P walker | Apr 13, 2018 10:41:40 PM | 132

So, was/is this attack a war crime, or not?

Posted by: Mother of God! | Apr 13, 2018 10:42:58 PM | 133

Russia issued a statement that includes the sentence: "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences."

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 10:43:31 PM | 134

I see Trump playing his part as an Apprentice plutocrat quite well.

I just read the speech he gave in announcing the strikes against Syria. It was a set of bald face lies cover in a sheen of American exceptionalism BS.

The elite are acting like cornered rats....though not quite as cute....

May our species evolve......soon. If Russia really does have proof that this bombing is a cover-up for a false flag gone bad and it is able to bring it to the world stage, we may see a drastic change is the global lineup of nations aligning against the US/UK/France/Israel/SA/???? axis of EVIL

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 13, 2018 10:44:30 PM | 135

Can Russia drop intel heavy enough to penetrate the S-400 defenses of the Western propaganda machine? Call me skeptical.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 10:46:35 PM | 136

Stavka's multiple warnings last month paid dividend I believe. This is a token US response to blow off some steam..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 13, 2018 10:46:49 PM | 137

Good source for in-Syria blow by blow:

Bundy as already cited here several times (a commenter at SyPer) seems to have roughly the same information.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 13, 2018 10:48:34 PM | 138

Russia does not need to reply by militarily striking the US, France or U.K. they can use this for political advantage and to justify booting the US from Syria. The can do a lot in the political theatre. I would very surprised if they do something that provides them no strategic or military gain.

No more titanium for Boeing would for eaxample hurt quit a bit but I expect more than that.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 13, 2018 10:53:21 PM | 139

Deal was cut. Putin was in it. Fireworks went off. And stop this war hysteria FOR CRIST SAKE. This is what it is all about.

Covering up utter los of credibility, semen stained dress, massive strikes and hatred to Macron, and collapse of !ay government all to Blow up US budget deficit to 2 trillions cut your pension and SS if you have one under coming debt crises.


Posted by: Kalen | Apr 13, 2018 10:53:44 PM | 140

Russian Ambassador to the US just released a statement. Not very diplomatic sounding. I am afraid to post a URL link cause I've seen how they sometimes screw up the width of the page, but it is near the top of their twitter feed: @RusEmbUSA

Here is the text:

The worst apprehensions have come true. Our warnings have been left unheard.

A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.

All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris. Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible. The U.S. - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries.


Several people tonight are chagrined because Putin/Moscow has not responded immediately. I think responding later, even much later, may well be best. I can see the wisdom of no quick military response by Russia, just continue the clean up of Jihadists in Syria (or speed it up, as cdvision said above @126). Putin/Russia's position, in opposition to our evil empire, seems little changed tonight. There is even plenty of potential downside to Thump/Macron/May. I'm still sad for the chaos which this could presage, as well as the innocents dead and wounded tonight.

Posted by: howard in nyc | Apr 13, 2018 10:53:54 PM | 141

Dude claiming SAA source first says 50 total, then ups it to 90%, of Tomahawk missles successfully intercepted by Syrian defense.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 10:55:16 PM | 142

The US and its allies are trying to drag the Russians/Syrians/Iranians into a larger conflict, with the hopes of overthrowing Assad and removing Russians and Iranians from the country. The latter will not fight back as it would mean suicide. Even if they don't, the 'rebels' might use the strikes as an opportunity to stage an attack. All destined to fail in the end but it will not stop them from trying.

Posted by: ninel | Apr 13, 2018 10:55:24 PM | 143

Oops link:

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 10:55:37 PM | 144

So I'm sure you all know by now but the Pentagon is saying it was a one-time strike to "send Assad a message". Let's hope it was.

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 13, 2018 10:56:28 PM | 145

The reason for the target is obvious. Once they blow a building to smithereens, nobody can prove what was there before. Obviously Syria and Russia already offered the international chemical weapons organization to inspect the place, which would have proven the UK and USSA are bald-face liars. These predators have become so transparent, one has to wonder whether they actually want everyone on planet earth to understand they are utterly craven lying scum.

Posted by: norm | Apr 13, 2018 10:56:36 PM | 146

We need a Cablegate Part II, including State Department cables from the last few years up to now, to show the funding of USAID to groups like Syrian American Medical Society.

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 13, 2018 10:57:50 PM | 147

Concerning the story below from ZeroHedge, here is the first update. Pay close attention to what has been targetted.

Trump Orders Syrian Military Strikes, 3 Waves Of Airstrikes Launched At Various Targets

“A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad.”

“This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime.”

“These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead.”

“The combined American, British, and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power, military, economic, and diplomatic.”

“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”

“In 2013, President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons.”

“Assad’s recent attack and today’s response are the direct result of Russia’s failure to keep that promise. Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.”

“The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.”

“Tonight, I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions. We pray that God will bring comfort to those suffering in Syria.”

The Syrians must be devastated at the loss of their chemical weapons making facilities. LOL.

Second last line, Trump is telling you "the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people."

Indeed it does. Time for the US to go home.

Posted by: C I eh? | Apr 13, 2018 10:59:02 PM | 148

If this stirke succeeded in destroying the evidence before the OPCW got there, Britain will still have to deal with Russia's accusation that the former was involved in the planning and execution of the chemical attack. This is a very serious accusation for the Russian MoD to be making on the international stage, they better back it up with hard, irrefutable evidence. This kind of accusation is unprecedented, I don't think Russia would have gone public like this if they couldn't back it up. Let's see...

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 13, 2018 11:00:22 PM | 149

So, three countries just attacked a sovereign nation without a mandate from UNSC.

I suppose things have to become visible and then highlighted and then plunged into existential crisis before they change, at least if some forces are clinging to the old order. International law is a phrase often used but not clearly defined or seen. It draws closer to the light.

The time is not yet for the UN crisis when it has to decide what world it belongs in, or which nations belong on the Security Council - I'd give it at least a couple of years yet before that crisis develops, but the first stirrings of it are already coming onstage. I guess UNSC is essentially the nuclear club, that's why UK and France will stay on it. I know there are other nuclear nations, but I don't see India or Pakistan getting to the top table. Again, there's a lot of legacy from the former rulers.

All of this will change but none of this will change very quickly.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 13, 2018 11:00:50 PM | 150

Trump wanted a sustained attack; looks like Mattis' common sense may have prevailed. Although, I don't trust that Trump is satisfied. Trump porn has been replaced with military/war porn in the media, so tuff-guy Trump didn't get his sustained attack; but he changed the subject and got part of what he wanted, and since it worked; I wouldn't put it past him to try this again.

Trump is an egomaniac who will use anything and anyone to cover his ass: bombing Syria, the military, Syrian children, the Presidency, his fixer lawyer...anything.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 13, 2018 11:01:09 PM | 151

Vanessa Beeley and others suggesting that missles striking inbound from over Lebanon likely fired by Israel. That would surprise me. Anybody more knowlegble have a view?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 13, 2018 11:03:05 PM | 152

@howard NYC: Use this HTML code to embed links without screwing up the page: Text for link (not the URL)

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 13, 2018 11:04:14 PM | 153

Cirse @150

I disagree, I don't think "it worked".

Nothing has changed strategically. And do you think the attitude of Russia/China has hardened or softened towards the US.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 13, 2018 11:04:51 PM | 154

Apologies, here it is (remove the spaces):

< A HREF="">Text for link (not the URL) < /A >

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 13, 2018 11:06:15 PM | 155

Putin's choice may be likened to facing a raving lunatic waving a gun who has just beaten your daughter's beloved puppy. 1) Show your daughter that bullies and criminals must be dealt with (high risk your family ends up dead). 2) Back away from the lunatic (stay alive but lose daughter's respect as well as having to deal with an injured puppy).

The lunatics are the U.S. and their minions; the gun is nuclear weapons; the puppy is Syria; the daughter is the Russian and Syrian people.

I hope the daughter will be understanding of the choice her father made.

Posted by: kabobyak | Apr 13, 2018 11:07:20 PM | 156

Perhaps this mission should be dubbed Operation Stormy Daniels.

IIRC, Mattis claimed during the press conference that the legal authority for the strike falls under Article II of the US Constitution, citing "protection of vital US in interests" in Syria (?!? -- perhaps alluding to US military personnel in the country) -- reviewing that article, I can find no clause that plausibly covers this. Of course, the US don't need no stinking justification/evidence. None of the intrepid press corps present pressed him on this, as they were probably mesmerized by those massive bags beneath his eyes.

Posted by: hamstak | Apr 13, 2018 11:12:05 PM | 157

As I wrote earlier @42, the problem was that the US knew that Russia's response would be conservative. Russia lacks the ability to surprise the US in large part because its government is riddled with foreign agents, neoliberals, oligarchs for whom nothing matters more than the next crooked deal on a western stock exchange and admirers of the US 'way of life.'
The US and its poodles act irrationally- the whole world knows that the gas excuse is ridiculously faked, the action was designed to prevent the truth from being revealed and yet, irrationally, the US goes to war. Because it knows that its adversary is rational, respects international opinion and is looking to the future.
The imperialists are desperate to maintain a crumbling position, they are ready to take risks because they know that defeat is just a matter of time.
What do they gain by this?
Some domestic credit among racist voters, the approval of losers like bin Salman and Netanyahu, (with large amounts of money changing hands) plus a limited bragging right over Russia-we hit your ally, you did nothing. Very little, nothing of importance among intelligent people, and at the cost, which will keep on piling up, of losing credibility, acting like an outlaw and proving to be completely untrustowrthy.
The bottom line is that a large number of people were killed to amuse the worst elements of US and British society and in the hope of diverting the attention of French people from the counter revolution being carried out by Macron and his fascist backers.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 13, 2018 11:13:30 PM | 158

Kalen | Apr 13, 2018 10:53:44 PM | 139

Yes! This is the fat ass elite trying to preserve/extend their fortunes. They don't have the will to fight a war against a real, formidable military. But they do have the corporate media and the uniparty politicians. These assets can continue to bamboozle us with distraction, misdirection and fake news and causes, screwing the bottom 80% for our dwindling 'surplus value', until we abandon them entirely.

And, for those commenters who imagined a major was about to unfold need to reconsider why they got this one wrong. Those thoughts might make an interesting post.

As for Russia, Putin will not be distracted by "gotta retaliate" b.s. He'll just keep helping Syria win its war. If those 2,000+ U.S. or other Western military and intelligence personnel get in the way they may die, but it would just be giving in to distraction and trolling to deliberately go after them.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 13, 2018 11:14:16 PM | 159

Thank you George @154. I got it your first post, from the page source. I kinda know my way around html, but it's been a few years, I am old, and code makes my head hurt.

Posted by: howard in nyc | Apr 13, 2018 11:16:53 PM | 160

Apparently the US targeted publicly well known scientific facilities. Syria is a member of OPCW. Its facilities would be audited. If Syria were conducting illegal research/production of CW, it would not be at known facilities.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 13, 2018 11:17:35 PM | 161


“The bottom line is that a large number of people were killed to amuse the worst elements of US and British society and in the hope of diverting the attention of French people from the counter revolution being carried out by Macron and his fascist backers.”

No my friend. This was done for Israel, Zionist’s living in the countries you mentioned and for the Gulf Monarchs but especially for Clown Prince Bin Salman.

Lives were last but the attack did nothing to achieve the goals of the Saudis or zionists.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 13, 2018 11:17:44 PM | 162

Russia issued a statement that includes the sentence: "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences."

Really? I only see the Empire imposing consequence after consequence. How about you stop barking and start biting for a change.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 13, 2018 11:17:45 PM | 163

Its funny when you think of it. We all thought the fall of Communism and end of the Cold War would lead to a more peaceful world. Instead it unleashed the megaton gorilla controlled by neoliberal dark forces who no longer had a competing ideology or military to worry about.

One war after another follows, all backed by lies. Iraq, Yugoslavia, the GWOT that followed 9/11 led to Iraq, Afghanistan and later the Arab Spring where we took out or tried to take out Libya, Sudan,Yemen and Syria

How many millions have died and for what?

Anyways, I don't expect Russia or China to do squat. Their oligarchs have too much to lose and little to gain. The bigger danger is a false flag that takes out an American ship and excuses a much larger operation that includes Crimea and Iran and seizing Russian assets. Maybe total domination and capitulation is for the best and we can get on with finalizing the New World Order. It seems inevitable.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 13, 2018 11:22:00 PM | 164

Per @Partisangirl the attack was halted shortly after Russian jets went airborne. Inconsistent accounts on whether they were on an intercept path or headed towards Al Tanf.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Apr 13, 2018 11:22:50 PM | 165

Maybe it's time to admit that the imbecile Trump is playing 2D checkers.

Posted by: Perimtr | Apr 13, 2018 11:25:48 PM | 166

@ Grieved who wrote: "All of this will change but none of this will change very quickly."

I respectfully disagree. I believe that history/archeology will show that the slow part of this shift has been going on for some time and now the speed will increase and major adjustments/jerks will occur in ??? directions. I think this event broke the ship's moorings loose so to speak.

We are watching our future play out in front of us and it sure is ugly in parts but that is because the future is not spread evenly...

Will leadership emerge/evolve and from where? This is not to say that Xi and Putin are not there already but now requires a stepping up of leadership and more are needed to form a working coalition that goes beyond the High Court fakery that the UN provides.....GET TO IT LEADERS!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 13, 2018 11:27:43 PM | 167

@162, Circe
Because of Russia, Syria is going to survive. Because of Russia, the US and its euro poodles conducted a strike that they knew would have no effect on the outcome of the war in Syria. Because of Russia, much of even that limited attack was stopped by air defenses. Because if Russia, the west was called out in its false flags for the first time ever. What other country is doing more than Russia to restore some rule of law to the world?

Posted by: lysander | Apr 13, 2018 11:27:46 PM | 168

Now is a good time to remember and to educate others about the attack on the USS Liberty, by Israel, as a false flag meant to be blamed on Egypt in order to get the US to overthrow Nasser's Arab Nationalist regime.

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 13, 2018 11:31:20 PM | 169

Starting to look like a token strike so Donald can say he did something. A few questions come to mind. Have there been any Russian casualties? Will this satisfy the people who want to see Syria destroyed? Will this be the end of the 'gas attacks'?

Posted by: dh | Apr 13, 2018 11:31:39 PM | 170

What if Russian were to quietly take out a couple of Israeli subs? Or all of them. That would put paid to their Samson option.

Posted by: qualtrough | Apr 13, 2018 11:32:06 PM | 171

@164 Interesting. I've read that from another source or two as well but I think (hope) the planned amount of Tomahawk was simply exhausted...

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 13, 2018 11:36:11 PM | 172

What if the Russians gave Lebanon/Hezbollah some air defenses.....Game changer.

Ditto if the provide air defenses and/or anti ship missiles to the houthi.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 13, 2018 11:37:29 PM | 173

@160 "Apparently the US targeted publicly well known scientific facilities."

Apparently the American understanding of the "challenge inspection" provision of the Chemical Weapons Convention is to send Tomahawk missiles to kick in the front doors.

Exceptional indeed.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 13, 2018 11:39:06 PM | 174

George Lane

“Remember the Maine” incident as well, when the US ship exploded in the harbor at Havana at the start of the Spanish-American War. Or the Gulf of Tonkin incident

RT Special Live Coverage of Syria

Posted by: ninel | Apr 13, 2018 11:40:08 PM | 175


FYI, Trump wanted a sustained attack. If it's limited to this strike today; it won't be thanks to his rationale! Trump is and has always been a Zionist quisling.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 13, 2018 11:40:24 PM | 176

Yep, I called it. Donald little hands just had to fire off some missiles to act big. What a pitiful animal.

Posted by: Cycloben | Apr 13, 2018 11:43:40 PM | 177

Alex Jones

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 13, 2018 11:48:48 PM | 178

The thing now is that if Russia reacts in any way that is seen as a direct response, it will have handed the US a rationale to escalate.

On the other hand, Russia has promised a direct response. To do nothing now will be seen as weakness which will only invite more of this shit.

What to do ... what to do? We've got a conundrum here.

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 13, 2018 11:52:59 PM | 179

I'd like to understand more about the Russian planes in the air and what this did to the US attack. Time will tell.

There will be responses, for sure, and I suppose some of the Russian response will not be seen publicly, and some of it will not be recognized as a response. I suspect that a tremendous body of knowledge has been gained by the Kremlin tonight, which it will digest at its leisure.

Because what does stand out most clearly above all things is the extraordinary care that the US took not to cross over a Russian red line. I'm quite sure this is because everyone in the US believes fully that Russia will respond without one second of hesitation if a clearly communicated red line is crossed.

Apparently tonight, no Russian red line was crossed. Or perhaps the attack flew right along the razor's edge, and slipped a millimeter or so? Not sure yet.

But now we see clearly that Russia sits like the sword of Damocles over US military adventurism. In a night of some pretty sordid events, Russia remains the solid rock which you cannot shift, but upon which you are welcome to fling yourself, and break.

As we assumed all along, but confirmation is most welcome.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 13, 2018 11:53:46 PM | 180

JTMcPhee @130:   The Russians may have gambled that the attack would come from the US carrier group.

P walker @131:   The brutality would continue regardless if the UN existed or not.

Mother of God! @132:   Illegal, IF you believe in International Law.

Alaric @138:   Doubtful if US/NATO forces can be forcibly removed from Syria.

Perimtr @165:   Trump was eating the board pieces, not playing checkers.

dh @169:   TPTB will not be satisfied until Assad is gone, expect more attacks.

Posted by: Ian | Apr 13, 2018 11:57:26 PM | 181

Grieved, 179
Deftly expressed. Not sure I can summon the optimism right now to agree.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 13, 2018 11:58:54 PM | 182

the US said Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction and it didn't.
But now Iraq is poisoned by depleted uranium the U.S. used on it and it "will remain radioactive for more than 4.5 billion years".

Posted by: Laura Roslin | Apr 14, 2018 12:01:36 AM | 183

Peter AU 1 @177:

LOL   AJ is many things and most of his antics are for show but I share in his disappointment.

Posted by: Ian | Apr 14, 2018 12:02:04 AM | 184

This may read like a bit OT but bear with me.

In earlier comments here I have written about how the future is here but it is not evenly distributed and then an example.

Here is another example as we react to the criminal behavior of a country that makes/distributes/glorifies statues of Civil War losing side "heroes". It also speaks volumes about the values expressed by China outwardly.

Karl Marx statue as gift from China erected in Trier, Germany

The take away quote
A 4.4-meter monumental bronze statue of Karl Marx presented by China as a gift to the great thinker's hometown, was erected here Friday ahead of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary since Marx's birth.

Designed by famous Chinese sculptor Wu Weishan, the statue arrived in the Western German town of Trier last month and is scheduled to be officially unveiled to the public on May 5, 200 years to the day Karl Marx was born in 1818.

"This is a gift of friendship which we receive from China rather than a political statement," Trier Mayor Wolfram Leibe told Xinhua, welcoming the statue as a new attraction of the city and expecting more Chinese visitors to come to Trier this year.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 14, 2018 12:02:47 AM | 185

Will the title of the next blog be "US, French, and British attack on Damascus and Syrian military forces fails to start World War 3"?
It seems to me that the Russian red line is becoming a bit harder to identify for the non-specialist.

Posted by: Perimtr | Apr 14, 2018 12:03:27 AM | 186

This strike was definitely agreed to with Russia.

Posted by: ab initio | Apr 14, 2018 12:03:34 AM | 187

Russia will reciprocate but typically in a asymmetrical fashion. Remember maskirovka..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 14, 2018 12:04:00 AM | 188

Fyi ya'll - the US and UK obviously took the warnings of the russians very seriously

Within Syria @WithinSyriaBlog 2h2 hours ago

So far everything suggests that the strike was very limited, fully avoided any area with Russian presence

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 14, 2018 12:09:56 AM | 189

Grieved @179

I completely agree. The US did not risk crossing the Russians. Which is very telling.

I'm sure Russia spelled out beforehand what would happen.

And I'm sure there will be consequences - maybe not of the fireworks-for-show variety, but serious nonetheless.

And China will be watching all this carefully.

Thirdeye @164

The Russian AF taking to the air is an interesting part of this story yet to emerge.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 14, 2018 12:14:06 AM | 190

Great Twitter thread recap here:

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 14, 2018 12:17:14 AM | 191

Our Reality TV Show President premiers an illegal military aggression against a sovereign country on PRIME TIME TV.

Just as Damascus was able to be secure after 5 years of terrorist shelling from Douma/Eastern Ghouta, US/UK/France drops 1,000 pound explosives on them for an hour.

Civilian casualty reports are coming in. I feel sick.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 14, 2018 12:22:00 AM | 192

When you have a large budget you have to spend it to keep it next year. I guess they needed to use up100 million or so of missiles so they can place another order. The beast must be fed

Posted by: Pft | Apr 14, 2018 12:23:30 AM | 193

Americans are the most dumb-assed people on the planet. That's why the choice they ended up with was between two evils. The Hillary Zionist witch and the Trump Zionist bitch. And before that it was Bush and Obamba. I hope Trump gives both sides more grief than their worst nightmare could conjure. Can't say they don't deserve him; he's the image and likeness of what America stands for - total, depraved self-indulgence.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 14, 2018 12:28:23 AM | 194

@193 -- As N. Chomsky has said: set a narrow boundary (Plutocracy) and give the illusion of 'free choice' within it.

Posted by: imo | Apr 14, 2018 12:34:45 AM | 195

I believe this attack was rushed in order to provide the U.K. cover for the Russian expose of their most recent Syrian adventure--which stretches from Salisbury to Ghouta, I am betting. Mattis said this was a "one-off" strike, and it is being presented as having successfully taken out Syrian chemical weapons sites (which don't exist). This suggests that there could in principle be no more "chemical attacks" to respond to, hence no future strikes in addition to this one. But I am afraid I do not believe that is the case. This strike served only the short-term interest of the U.K. by distracting from the very recent and (I would bet) unanticipated public accusations of their masterminding the Ghouta trick. The U.K. is in full damage control mode, and the same day as the attack has planted another huge piece of propaganda in defense of the Skripal charade: a sudden revelation of a secret intelligence dossier purporting to tie the Skripal poisoning to a broader Russsian chemical weapons program. It even mentions doorknobs. Yet the problem is that tonight's strike does nothing to forward the long-term goal of Israel, KSA, and the US/UK. That goal remains the destruction of Syria for the sake of the destruction of Iran. It has not changed, because nothing that happened tonight gave them any reason to abandon it. The difficulty now becomes one of further prolonging the war by appeal to some pretext other than Assad's use of chemical weapons. But Assad's Syria is luckily not the only country in theater that has (or rather, that had) chemical weapons. Russia has them too (so we will hear). And I wouldn't be shocked to learn that Iran is in on the game, too. (Recall that Trump claimed that both Russia and Iran were supporting a regime that used chemical weapons. They are already fellow travelers in the public's eye.) The goal of removing Assad requires the removal of Russia. Full Stop. I hope that whatever "consequence" Russia has in store--which I agree may not even be direct military reprisals--is able to convince the powers that be that Russia is not leaving Syria unless it is taking those countries--not to say the world--with it. At the moment, though, and absent the revelation of these "consequences," we should expect more of the same. And we should expect it sooner rather than later.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 14, 2018 12:40:52 AM | 196

Everyone calm down. It had to happen, too much bluster. Negligible damage. SyAAD did a great job. The army continues to roll back the goat molesters. Russia’s restraint saved us from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Back to work everyone. The evil empire continues to lose credibility. Play the long game. Strike back cleverly and without warning. Stay focused people.

Posted by: Michael | Apr 14, 2018 12:51:06 AM | 197


Verified account

Follow Follow @OPCW
In case you missed it: In response to media queries, the Spokesperson for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirms that the #OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team is on its way to #Syria and will start its work as of Saturday 14 April 2018.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 14, 2018 12:51:40 AM | 198

pft 192 - the Syrian Arab Army said in prelim report on FB that the first wave of missiles alone probably cost usa taxpayers 500 million. They're saying out of 3 waves of missiles only 2 or 3 total reached the ground and all others were nailed in mid air by Syrian Arab Air Defense. They've promised more details to come.

Posted by: Mother of God! | Apr 14, 2018 12:54:08 AM | 199

@MoG 198:

From the video I saw on RT, more than 2 or 3 missiles struck. I saw what must have been 8 or 10 in the limited video frame in just a few seconds.

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 14, 2018 1:00:09 AM | 200

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