Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 21, 2020

UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports

We have long maintained that the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7 2018 was faked by Jihadists shortly before they were evicted from that Damascus suburb.

By the end of last year leaked documents and a whistle blower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had proven that the OPCW managers had manipulated the report their staff had written about the incident. The OPCW inspectors who had investigated the case on the ground in Douma found that there was no evidence that a chemical attack had happened. The murdered people seem in videos from the alleged attack must have died of other causes. The yellow canisters found at the locations of the alleged attack were not dropped from helicopters but clearly manually placed.


Using the Arria-formula, a procedure to have witnesses testify to the UN Security Council, Russia and China invited other UN members to listen to the testimony of OPCW inspector Ian Henderson. He denounced the false final report the OPCW management had published. Henderson, a South African engineer, was a team leader at the OPCW where he had worked for more than twelve years.

Henderson's testimony can be watched here. Philip Watson transcribed Henderson's speech:

I need to point out from the outset, I am not a whistleblower. I don’t like that term. I am a former OPCW specialist who has concerns in many areas and I consider this a legitimate and appropriate forum to explain again these concerns.Secondly, I must point out that I hold the OPCW in the highest regard. As well as the professionalism of the staff members who work there.

However the concern I have does relate to some specific management practices in certain sensitive missions. The concern, of course, relates to the [Fact Finding Mission] investigation into the alleged chemical attack on the 7th April in Douma in Syria. My concern, which is shared by a number of other inspectors, relates to the subsequent management lock-down and the practices in the later analysis and compilation of the final report.

There were two teams deployed. One team which I joined shortly after the start of field deployments was to Douma in Syria, the other team deployed to Country X. The main concern relates to the announcement in July 18, of a new concept, the so-called FFM Core Team which essentially resulted in the dismissal of all the inspectors who had been on the team deployed to locations in Douma and had been following up with their findings and analysis.

The findings of the final FFM report were contradictory, were a complete turn-around, with what the team had understood collectively. During and after the Douma deployments and by the time of release of the interim report in July 2018 our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred.

What the final FFM report does not make clear and thus does not reflect the views of the team members who deployed to Douma. (In which case I can really only speak for myself at this stage). The report did not make clear what new findings, facts, information, data or analysis in the fields of witness testimony, toxicology studies, chemical analysis, engineering and or ballistics studies had resulted in a complete turn-around in the situation from what was understood by the majority of the team and the entire Douma team in July 2018.

In my case I had followed with a further six months of engineering and ballistics studies into the cylinders. The results of which had provided further support for the view there had not been a chemical attack. This needs to be properly resolved, we believe (Douma FFM Team), through the rigours of science and engineering.

In my situation it is not a political debate. I am very aware that there is a political debate surrounding this.

Perhaps a closing comment from my side, is that I was also the inspection team leader who developed and launched the inspections, the highly intrusive inspections, of the Barzah [Scientific Studies and Research Center] facility outside of Damascus. And I did the inspections and wrote the reports for the 2 inspections prior to and the inspection after the chemical facility, or the laboratory complex at Barzah SSRC, had been destroyed by the missile strike. That however is another story altogether and I shall now close.

The Barzah SSRC was destroyed in a large scale U.S. missile attack shortly after the Douma incident. It had been a civil institution concerned with agricultural and medical research. No prohibited substances were found there during intrusive OPCW inspections before and after the U.S. strike.

Barzeh Research center before and after - bigger

In his closing remarks at the UNSC Russia's Permanent Representative at the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said:

Today’s discussions reveal one thing clearly – that something fishy is cooking in the OPCW. When we point at it, our colleagues tell us every time that OPCW, the 2013 Nobel peace prize laureate, is the gold standard of professionalism, integrity and impartiality. We would like it to be such and we adopted a PRST in November 2019 exactly aiming at this. Unfortunately, the impartiality and integrity of the OPCW TS is seriously questioned, and not just by us and other member states, as today’s presentation demonstrated. Members of the “Courage Foundation” can hardly be labeled as “Russian agents”. They are reputable personalities and include such figures as Jose Bustani, first OPCW DG, respectable members of academic community, former senior officials of the US and UK intelligence community, and such names as Noam Chomsky and Oliver Stone to name a few. (You were provided with a copy of their letter and related materials).
Why do some of our colleagues so vehemently defend the reports by the OPCW FFM, which some are believed were fabricated? Because any seed of doubt about chemical episodes conclusions would lead to challenging the expediency and legitimacy of already illegitimate missile attacks against a sovereign UN member state. In that light the Douma incident plays a key role. Because if it transpires that the FFM report was made up, it would lead to questioning earlier episodes like Khan-Shaykhun and others, which resulted in the termination of [Joint Investigation Mechanism].
Our colleague from Viet Nam asked what to do next, what are the nest steps. I think that this issue must be discussed at the OPCW. Legitimate questions and issues that member states face should be addressed and discussed. The question why the first report of the OPCW FFM was shelled initially, and then disappeared and destroyed should be answered. So far we are denied – we and other member states – are denied such an opportunity.

Videos from Douma at the time of the incident showed some 30 bodies of dead persons. Most were children. It is up to this date unknown who they were and who had murdered them. The OPCW manipulation of the original reports of its inspectors' findings is a cover up for that huge crime.

The manipulation of the investigation of the Douma attack by the OPCW management also raises doubt about other issues, like the Skripal affair in Britain, in which the OPCW was involved. The OPCW needs to come clean. It must fire the managers who were involved in the manipulation of the Douma reports. Other cases the OPCW was involved in need to be re-investigated.

Previous Moon of Alabama coverage of the Douma incident and its aftermath:

April 8 2018 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II)
April 9 2018 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation
Apr 11 2018 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar
Apr 11 2018 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't
Apr 12 2018 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back
Apr 13 2018 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated
Apr 14 2018 - F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won?
Apr 16 2018 - Syria - Pentagon Hides Attack Failure - 70+ Cruise Missiles Shot Down
Apr 19 2018 - Syria - Who Is Stalling The OPCW Investigation In Douma?
Apr 20 2018 - Syria Sitrep - Cleanup Around Damascus - WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack
Jul 6 2018 - Syria - OPCW Issues First Report Of 'Chemical Weapon Attack' in Douma
Jul 7 2018 - Syria - Mainstream Media Lie About Watchdog Report On The 'Chemical Attack' In Douma
May 13 2019 - Syria - OPCW Engineering Assessment: The Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged
Nov 16 2019 - OPCW Whistleblowers: Management Manipulated Reports - Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged
Nov 29 2019 - OPCW Manufactured A Pretext For War By Suppressing Its Own Scientists' Research
Nov 30 2019 - OPCW Manipulation Of Its Douma Report Requires A Fresh Look At The Skripal 'Novichok' Case
Dec 2 2019 - As The OPCW Is Accused Of False Reporting U.S. Propaganda Jumps To Its Help
Dec 15 2019 - Media Suppressed Evidence Of The OPCW's 'Chemical Attack' Manipulations - There Is Now More Of It

Posted by b on January 21, 2020 at 13:34 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 22 2020 13:37 utc | 97

I used Google News and "OPCW UN" as search

Telepolis reports on it and German RT. And of course German Sputnik. In English media Max Blumenthal, the Grayzone reports.

Interesting enough, Carnegie Endowment for Peace analyzes Russian Foreign Policy in a kind of appreciating way.

Russia’s participation in the UN is governed by an interlocking series of concepts, starting with Russia’s definition of international law, narrowly based on the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions, as opposed to a “rules-based order” that Russia defines as expansive and promoting the interests of Western powers. This division enables Russia to reject on principle commitments regarding human rights and democratic governance. A second concept, multipolarity, asserts that an oligarchic group of states must take collective action on the basis of equality and consensus. At the UN, this plays out among the permanent members of the UNSC as an alliance with China against Western interests.

The concept of a multipolar oligarchy leads to the Russian concept that true sovereignty is possessed by only a few great powers; the sovereignty of states it views as dependent on great powers is limited. The territory of true sovereigns and those states under Russian protection is sacrosanct and can be defended by force; for the others, it is impermissible to regain territory that is “in dispute” by force. As an example of the former, consider the lengths to which Russia has gone to protect Syria’s use of armed force against its own population, whereas the sovereignty of former Soviet states such as Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine must be negotiated.

Russia’s defense of Syria demonstrates another concept that flows from sovereignty: legitimacy. In Russian practice, the legitimacy of recognized governments is absolute regardless of their origins, governance, human rights record, or any other external norm. This concept echoes Russian domestic preoccupations in the era of color revolutions, the Arab Spring, and domestic unrest.

The rejection of all external norms has led to the breakdown of the modus vivendi at the UN since the days of the Korean War: deferring issues involving great power interests while engaging elsewhere in peacekeeping, mediation, and humanitarian relief. Neutral powers that share democratic values are best placed to defend against the legitimation of autocratic governance.


The record of the great powers of the West—of colonialism in previous centuries and of neoconservative proselytization for spreading democracy by force more recently—has seriously compromised their ability to debate Russia on these issues in the UN. It falls to other states that share the values of democratic governance and universal human rights to step up to the responsibility of promoting those values to member states that waver between traditionalist, militarist, and absolutist values on the one side and those of a humanist and democratic world on the other.

It sounds like they are taking the "external rule based order" off the table.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 22 2020 14:52 utc | 101

The American Conservative/Scott Ritter talked about it.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 22 2020 14:55 utc | 102

Don't underestimate the transformation of residual 'blood and soil' themes in fascism into foundations of the Green movements. They were not simply dissenters within the communist tradition but rabid anti-communists. It was the intellectual traditions and the residual popular support among generations schooled in fascism-often literally schooled- which were preserved and amplified by the wave of anti-communism which came in from America. Like the legendary 'cavalry' rescuing the embattled settlers the US swooped into Europe, when all seemed lost, and turned the remnants of fascism into heroes.
Many of those who sneaked out to Argentina and concealed themselves would have done better to have waited for Canada and the States to invite them to come and 'do their thing' in Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta.

Which leads me to the point I came here to make: the astonishing thing about the OPCW hearing is that Henderson was denied a visa. That really is shocking and a measure of how brutal, intellectually and actually, the US government has become. It has long been bad but things have reached the stage now where it has become clear that the likes Of Al Capone and the models for The Godfather movies, were babes in arms compared with the likes of Bolton or Pompeo.
When we consider Trump and the key, almost impossibly apt, fact that Roy Cohn was his mentor it is easy to forget that, in a sense, Roy Cohn was America's mentor. Cohn, who got the job of McCarthy's counsel, in competition with Bobby Kennedy, turned the Wisconsin Senator from a loose cannon into a guided missile against the residual American left and, a much easier target, the Intelligentsia.
And Cohn and McCarthy and the forces that they represented- the primordial forces of Capitalism- put the fear of poverty into them. It is impossible to understand the USA today, and its role in the world, without understanding that its intellectuals were intimidated into exile, silence, compromise, retreat and impotence as the new Imperialism set about its ruthless work. Look at the late forties, from Taft Hartley (and the crushing of the Unions)to such forgotten but signatory interventions as that in Guyana against Cheddi Jagan (repeated by JFK in 1960) Guatemala and Iran. Not to mention the imposition of semi colonial hegemony over Europe.
All these things have lasted. And Cohn's role in producing them was crucial-it was the bipartisanship of bigotry and brutality and Tammany gangsterism. (An old alliance that, between Jim Crow and the Machines.)
Trump is one of Cohn's kids but much more representative of them is Hillary Clinton, daughter of a John Bircher, a Goldwater girl, a 'feminist'-of the thoroughly sickening variety- and imbued with a hatred of Russia.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

I entirely agree. The really shocking thing was to denial of a visa for Henderson. That undermines the entire functioning of the UN as an entity at least to an extent independent of the US. The UN cannot function like that. It can only be a puppet of the US - and an open puppet, not concealed control (as many here have accused over the years).

Trump is not very subtle, he has wrecked many US policies, by exposing them in the open - for example, the treatment of the EU as a prime enemy. Nobody knew (though they guessed) how much the US treated the EU as a competitor. Now it's declared in the open.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 22 2020 15:58 utc | 104

: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

Ray C.

I remember, and I was only a kid, but I knew people, adults...and this was in Hollywood and among the young professional class post war.

Cohn was a daily topic for me, as were the clicks on the phone. I felt relief when he died.

What you wrote is 100%

Posted by: Walter | Jan 22 2020 16:03 utc | 105

@ Laguerre | Jan 22 2020 15:58 utc | 104

Trump's great virtue is his incompetence. But help is on the way, some say, in the form of a "coup" like nixon's...and presto! Prez Pence. Hail Jeeevuus!

Posted by: Walter | Jan 22 2020 16:05 utc | 106

somebody | Jan 22 2020 14:52 utc | 101

"I used Google News and "OPCW UN" as search
Telepolis reports on it and German RT. And of course German Sputnik. In English media Max Blumenthal, the Grayzone reports."

And all these are far away from the main stream and from public attention. In Germany like "alterntive media". Within any public debate everybody would question you if you dare to cite those sources. Conspiracy theory, whatelse?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 22 2020 16:19 utc | 107

This is a relevant quote from a commentary in NYT, March 26, 2018 by Kadri Liik (@KadriLiik) is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the former director of the International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia.

"The world does not yet know the full details of the Skripal poisoning, but it does not feel like waiting, as the expulsions make clear. Too often in the past, Moscow has denied its involvement in cases that later end up being traced to the Kremlin or its proxies. The result is that its denials lack credibility. Now, the successful use of “plausible deniability” in all the previous cases collides with the Kremlin’s current interests and contributes to the verdict: guilty until proven innocent."

Punishment before the proof, if you reverse the order you [do what Putin wants|make Putin happy], the outcome so ghastly that we cannot risk it. The truth has to be declared, and then, optionally, proven. Another option is to just repeat that, say, Qassim Suleimani was a terrorist. And punish.

Bombing of Barzeh as a punishment for un-investigated crime follows the template, duly approved by the sophisticated Europeans from a myriad of outfits like International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia. I would move all of them to Tiksi (check accuweather), a quiet and somewhat depopulated city on the shore of beautiful Arctic ocean, with an airport, a few thousand of empty apartments should accommodate them (if not, there are also former mining towns in the interior, although the may be colder). Cold Warriors should embrace the cold.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 22 2020 16:32 utc | 108

snake there isn't much democracy to protect in the u.s., glad to help out. the pentagon prioritizes protecting the war racket. see smedley butler and the businessman's plot.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 22 2020 17:06 utc | 109

piotr cold warriors apparently love the heat, which is why they parrot the propaganda that protects the likes of exxon.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 22 2020 17:07 utc | 110

relevant jimmy dore

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 22 2020 17:23 utc | 111

don't forget, bevin, that bobby kennedy was the enthusiastic assistant counsel of mccarthy's committee, the kennedy family were heavily involved in the anticommunism you allude to, including their close relationship with joe mccarthy. kennedy named mccarthy a godfather to his child. and i have no idea what "blood and soil" has to do with environmentalism, hitler hijacked that as he did the swastika. hitler also liked dogs; this does not demonstrate a connection between dog lovers and fascism.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 22 2020 17:37 utc | 112

the u.n. and related international organizations like the imf were created to be creatures of the u.s., this is nothing new. they grew a bit, like the frankenstein monster, to be out of the total control of their creator, but there is always somebody like bolton to threaten their kids.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 22 2020 17:42 utc | 113

Bubbles @71--

The Soviet Union won the war, the United States won the peace... That didn't happen by accident.

The Outlaw US Empire immediately initiated the Cold War as soon as V-E day happened by collecting SS and Gestapo for redeployment into Eastern Europe to commit acts of terrorism, a preplanned exercise. It later held the farcical trials at Nuremburg. Walter's provided lots of nice insight into the aims of the Manhattan Project and real reason for murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese. The Great Evil that's today's USA got its start during WW2, but its philosophical underpinnings are as old as the Republic.

If History is going to be remembered correctly, then ALL of that History must be revealed--true and raw, just as Putin and the Russians propose to do with their historical memory project.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 17:45 utc | 114

another benefit for the u.s., all those german scientists via operation paperclip. helped keep the mic running after it would normally ramp down postwar.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115

bevin @103--

Yes, Standing Ovation!! So much of that's now swept under the rug. Henry Wallace was all too correct about US Fascism in his 1944 essay. During WW2, Charles Beard wrote a book that was initially serialized in Life magazine beginning on 17 Jan 1944, The Republic: Conversations on Fundamentals, which was read by and sold more copies than any of his works--ever--and was the last major book he produced. Yet, when you look at the short bibliography at Wikipedia or the one provided by its link to the American History Association, it is omitted--WHY? I used it as a teaching tool for both history and polisci because of its brilliant construction--the way in which Beard composed it as a series of conversations. This link provides a hint, or you can join the archive and "borrow" it as there's no open downloading of this book available--WHY? Lots of his other works are feely available. It's not hard to find used first editions for under $4, which attests to the number published. But it certainly seems like we're not supposed to know of this work as its airbrushing from his AHA bibliography suggests.

Maybe what Beard wrote about was too contrary to The Plan. Aha!! Beard wrote that it was his rebuttal to Henry Luce--the owner/publisher of Life and Time magazines--and his idea of an American Century meaning American Empire a la Rome/Britain--Pax Americana. The mystery gets deeper upon reading the introduction at the first link above. I wish I could copy/paste, but I'm barred from doing that, so you'll need to read it yourself. One can envision Bradbury's Firemen rushing out to eliminate just such a book with its heretical ideas about how the US federal government's supposed to operate and for whom.

But back to bevin and his recounting of a critical historical chapter that's also being airbrushed. Some of us barflies are akin to Bradbury's "Train People" from Fahrenheit 451, but how confident are we that the stories we have to tell are being heard AND remembered so they don't vanish with us?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116

116 Cont'd--

This is more for Bubbles @71, but applies to all. This is from 2017 upon the release of UN Holocaust files held back on request by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassal Britain as reported in an excellent article by Finnian Cunningham:

"In other words, the Cold War which the US and Britain embarked on after 1945 was but a continuation of hostile policy towards Moscow that was already underway well before the Second World War erupted in 1939 in the form of a build up of Nazi Germany. For various reasons, it became expedient for the Western powers to liquidate the Nazi war machine, along with the Soviet Union. But as can be seen, the Western assets residing in the Nazi machine were recycled into American and British Cold War posture against the Soviet Union. It is a truly damning legacy that American and British military intelligence agencies were consolidated and financed by Nazi crimes.

"The recent release of UN Holocaust files – in spite of American and British prevarication over many years – add more evidence to the historical analysis that these Western powers were deeply complicit in the monumental crimes of the Nazi Third Reich. They knew about these crimes because they had helped facilitate them. And the complicity stemmed from Western hostility towards Russia as a perceived geopolitical rival.

"This is not a mere historical academic exercise. Western complicity with Nazi Germany also finds a corollary in the present-day ongoing hostility from Washington, Britain and their NATO allies towards Moscow. The relentless build up of NATO offensive forces around Russia’s borders, the endless Russophobia in Western propagandistic news media, the economic blockade in the form of sanctions based on tenuous claims, are all deeply rooted in history. [My Emphasis]
"The West’s Cold War towards Moscow preceded the Second World War, continued after the defeat of Nazi Germany and persists to this day regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Why? Because Russia is a perceived rival to Anglo-American capitalist hegemony, as is China or any other emerging power that undermines that desired unipolar hegemony.

"American-British collusion with Nazi Germany finds its modern-day manifestation in NATO collusion with the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and jihadist terror groups dispatched in proxy wars against Russian interests in Syria and elsewhere. The players may change over time, but the root pathology is American-British capitalism and its hegemonic addiction.

"The never-ending Cold War will only end when Anglo-American capitalism is finally defeated and replaced by a genuinely more democratic system."

The picture becomes clearer as we begin to realize that today's monsters--Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams, Rove, and others--are the same as yesterday's monsters, although they've moved from one side of the Atlantic to the other. What's currently happening ought to make informed people think again about who the Arc of Resistance is actually defending and what message Trump's murder of Soleimani is meant to convey--it's TINA once again: Neoliberal Fascism. It should also be noted that the release occurred soon after Trump became POTUS, giving a strong secondary motive for Russiagate and the Skripals shortly afterward.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 20:04 utc | 117

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

Foundation members of the Greens were very diverse, for sure. The right wing ecofascist faction left them soon though - they were incompatible.

There is the elementary conflict between SPD/Linke voters and Greens though on industrial economic growth and consumerism.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 22 2020 21:00 utc | 118

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 22 2020 16:19 utc | 107

Telepolis tends to be taken seriously. They can boast of the Grimme award - which is as mainstream acceptabel as you can get.

But in this case it is not a conspiracy theory but something happening at the UN that is not reported on. You can be sceptical but you have to report on the Russian claim. Or you fail to inform.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 22 2020 21:08 utc | 119

The corporate media don't talk about this. I heard about it thanks to Ron Paul.

Posted by: Steph | Jan 22 2020 23:08 utc | 120

@ karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116

Thanks much for the information on Charles Beard's "forgotten" book. I just ordered a copy.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 22 2020 23:11 utc | 121

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 17:45 utc | 114

and 117.

I am aware of a great deal of the history. My personal views are nuanced, and not biased. I'm aware of what the quote I posted above meant. The Soviet Union won the war, the United States won the peace.

The US had a great advantage in accomplishing it's goals of course, the horror did not take place in America.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 22 2020 23:16 utc | 122

Bubbles @122--

Thanks for your reply. Are you aware of Operation Unthinkable, Operation Sunrise from which the former sprang, and Allen Dulles's activities in Italy and Germany during 1945?

AntiSpin @121--

Good to hear from you! I had a hard time digging up a copy of Life to read Luce's screed on the American Century which I photocopied. Today, a quick search now finds it online here (PDF), while here's a dissection that sets up the conflicting outlooks of Beard and Luce that IMO's useful. Indeed, Luce's views are quite the read given what the USA's become--do note the political party that feared and predicted such an outcome. It's a great misfortune that a discussion of the two doesn't even enter into graduate seminars about WW2; at least my undergrads got some exposure and learned of the two essay's existence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 23:51 utc | 123

This is a phenomenal thread of comments. I really appreciate the input of Karlof1, Pretzelattack (same as the Intercept of old?), Piotr and others. One can get quite an education here in comments alone!

Posted by: Lurker in the Dark | Jan 23 2020 6:07 utc | 124

Russia's Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin told an informal session of the UN Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

"You know, this story with a very murky official report by the OPCW looks like a festering sore, to be honest. We cannot move forward until we eliminate it," Shulgin said.

Some Russian officials really are good in diplomacy. To call this problem a 'festering sore' is a wise choice of words. It does not put the blame on some party or nation, it only describes the problem. In his remaining speech Shulgin was more specific.

Posted by: Phil | Jan 23 2020 6:43 utc | 125

@ 117 Just to kibitz... K said> "The never-ending Cold War will only end when Anglo-American capitalism is finally defeated and replaced by a genuinely more democratic system."

The picture becomes clearer as we begin to realize that today's monsters--Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams, Rove, and others--are the same as yesterday's monsters, although they've moved from one side of the Atlantic to the other."

Well said!

The nature of these people, then and now, is properly seen as "Ejusdem generis". (of the same kind).

Or as Forest Gump might have said, "nazi is as nazi does".

Posted by: Walter | Jan 23 2020 13:32 utc | 126

The start of the New Year finds the world facing four looming threats to human progress: surging geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday.

In a wide-ranging speech to the General Assembly, the UN chief outlined strategies to address what he called the “four horsemen in our midst”, and he urged countries to take advantage of the UN’s 75th anniversary year to secure a peaceful future for all people.

Posted by: Mao | Jan 23 2020 13:52 utc | 127

Why is there even any discussion about the alleged attack in Douma? Anyone watching the ridiculous video of the "victims" storming the Douma hospital and throwing water on themselves can see it is a hoax and a poorly executed one at that. It is obvious from a cursory look at the pictures of the alleged chemical carrying bombs that the only way they could have gotten into the positions they were in is if they were placed there manually. You don't need to be an engineer to know that. There were no chemically related deaths. There were no chemical weapons used. It is absurdly obvious.
Anyone following events on the ground in Syria would have predicted that there was a high likelihood the desperate jihadists would resort to another false flag. Anyone who thought that Assad would place in jeopardy the victory he had already essentially won by using a gas that could confer no military advantage but could be used as a pretext for the West to renew their failed efforts is a damn fool.

Posted by: David | Jan 26 2020 15:29 utc | 128

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