Friday, 13 April 2018

How US and allies uphold international law

President Macron has stated that he has proof that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in Douma last Saturday. However, he did not present any evidence to support his claim. It is worth contrasting Macron's claim with the fact that the US Defence Secretary, General Mattis, informed Congress that the US does not have any evidence to support the allegation, and admitted that the US is relying on social media reports: a direct reference to the White Helmets' video. Similarly, the government of the United Kingdom is convinced, without any evidence, that the Syrian government is to blame. Regardless of their conflicting claims about the evidence, all three countries are agreed that the Syrian government must be punished for the war crime of using chemical weapons.

When the United Nations Security Council met to discuss the alleged chemical weapons attack, the US put forward a draft which would have enabled an "investigation" to be conducted remotely; presumably by looking at social media and accepting the claims of the White Helmets and the Syrian American Medical Society. The Russian Federation had an alternative draft. The Russian draft called for an on site investigation to be conducted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. France, the US and the UK voted against the Russian call for a proper investigation. Russia voted against the US call for a faux investigation.

The same three countries, France, the US and the UK, are all certain that the Syrian government is guilty. They are so certain, they are opposed to a proper, forensic investigation being conducted by the appropriate body. (No one in the corporate media appears to be able see any contradiction here.)

The disregard for evidence and due process and international law is further seen by the dismissal out of hand of the fact that the Syrian Arab Army and the Russians secured the alleged crime scene on Sunday (the day after the alleged attack) and the Russian Ministry of Defence has clearly stated that there is no evidence of a chemical weapons attack. No people were treated for chemical poisoning. The residents of the area were unaware of anyone suffering from a chemical weapons attack. The Russian army chemical weapons experts were unable to find any traces of chemical substances.

Today, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has stated that the alleged chemical weapons attack was staged with the assistance of an external intelligence service. He did not say which, and there are a number of countries this could refer to, but the United Kingdom would be high on the list of potential suspects, as the White Helmets was created by a "former" MI6 officer and is funded by the UK Foreign Office (amongst others). Another obvious suspect is, of course, the US as the Syrian American Medical Society is an oft cited source of the claim that a chemical weapons attack occurred. The Syrian American Medical Service is funded by USAID, and is part of its (that is the US government's) democracy promotion operations, which are more accurately described as US regime change operations. Macron's claimed proof also suggests that the French intelligence service might be involved. It is, of course, all of a piece that these three countries are the major suspects, as they are the three western countries that have been pursuing regime change in Syria since 2011, at least. They have been funding, arming, training, and providing military, diplomatic and propaganda support for the jihadists.

Using jihadists as fighters to bring about regime change is, of course, a tried and tested tactic for western regime change operations. It was under President Carter that the tactic was first deployed in Afghanistan, when the US supported the jihadists as way overthrowing the government and in order to weaken its ally, the Soviet Union. It was Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor, who devised the tactic, one which the US and its allies have used over and over again.

The fact that France, the US and the United Kingdom are all agreed that military action must be taken against the Syrian government in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons should be of serious concern to everyone. These countries are behaving as outlaw nations. They are threatening aggression, which is a war crime. They are doing so, by their own rationale, for the purpose of retaliation, which is a war crime. They are doing so, not only without evidence to support their allegation, but whilst actively trying to prevent a proper, forensic, on site investigation, which is contrary to international law. And with straight faces, they claim they are doing so in order to uphold international law and protect civilians. These are the same people who have caused the deaths hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and the displacement of millions by their regime change operation (contrary to international law), and now we are supposed to believe that they are motivated by a desire to protect the people of Syria and uphold international law. And they propose to do this by killing more people in Syria.

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