ONCE, it would be nice to encounter a Western journalist willing to
challenge the “International Community’s” official line.
Someone willing to acknowledge that the term “International
Community” is, itself, a cynical misnomer intended to cloak the
self-interested policies of the United States and its Nato allies in
the highfalutin language of global solidarity. Someone willing to
have a crack at sifting a nugget of awkward truth from the dross of
this morning’s story about the use of poison gas against Syrian
civilians. There would appear to be little doubt that somebody
released the deadly nerve agent Sarin in the rebel stronghold of Khan
Sheikhoun, killing scores of civilians, including women and children.
Before the last victim of the attack had been loaded into an
ambulance, however, the world was being told that the party
responsible for this hideous attack was the government of President
thought to ask the obvious question: “Why would Assad do such a
thing?” Syria was en route to a new round of peace talks. More
importantly, she was about to enter negotiations in which the usual
American, British and French demands that “Assad must go!” were
to be, for the first time since the Syrian Civil War broke out in
earnest, quietly put to one side. Having won the war on the ground,
the Assad regime was on the brink of clearing away its enemies’
unrealistic preconditions. Finally, a serious conversation about
Syria’s future could begin.
yet, we are being invited to believe that, with all this at stake,
President Assad ordered the use of Sarin gas on his own citizens.
Somehow, instigating a reprehensible war crime against women and
children was going to strengthen his moral authority. Somehow, by
revolting the entire world, he would improve his chances of being
accepted as Syria’s legitimate ruler. Somehow, by embarrassing the
Russian Federation, his country’s most valuable military ally, he
would enhance Syria’s national security. The whole notion is
much more obvious interpretation of the chemical attack on Khan
Sheikhoun is that it was intended to inflict as much damage on the
Syrian Government as possible. That it would stop in their tracks all
moves towards accepting that Assad must be involved in peace-making
process. That it would ensure that the flow of arms to Assad’s
enemies continues – and might even be increased. That it would
place the Russians under increasing international pressure to abandon
their alliance with the Assad regime. That it would force the Trump
Administration to back away smartly from its “Assad can stay”
many birds with just one, Sarin-smeared stone.
failure of Western journalism is made all the greater by the fact
that its “Assad uses poison gas on his own people!” headline has
been used before. On 22 August 2013, the world awoke to the news that
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Syrian civilians living in the
rebel-controlled Ghouta suburb of the Syrian capital, Damascus, had
been attacked with what appeared to be chemical weapons,
specifically, the deadly nerve agent Sarin. The author of the attack
was immediately identified as – you guessed it! – Bashar
the International Community, opined (through its journalistic
mouthpieces) President Barack Obama’s “red line” had been
crossed. Surely, it was time for the USA to intervene?
a story appeared on the Mint Press News website based in Minnesota.
From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel
fighters and their families, freelance journalists Dale Gavlak and
Yahya Ababneh concluded that the attack had been carried out by rebel
forces using chemical weapons supplied by Saudi Intelligence.
International Community and its flacks weren’t buying any of it.
And yet, for some reason, Obama declined to be stampeded into war by
the Ghouta outrage. Could it be that US intelligence officers and
their Israeli counterparts uncovered exactly the same evidence as the
Mint Press News? Did Russian Intelligence approach them with
corroborative intercepts? Whatever the explanation, the USA declined
to escalate the Syrian conflict.
peddling the same “Assad did it!” line in 2017 should, perhaps,
ask themselves whether the person currently occupying the White
House; the man who believes himself besieged by his own intelligence
agencies; the man whose quick temper and sensitivity to criticism is
legendary; the man currently in the market for a major political
distraction; will allow himself to be steered away from diplomatic
and military responses certain to inflame the already critical
situation in the Middle East?
once, I wish the Western news media would use its fucking head!