Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Propagandising for war

The supposed chemical weapons attack in East Ghouta on Saturday is a blatant jihadist propaganda stunt. Yet the western politicians and the corporate media are all treating it as though it is an unquestionable fact. The war drums are beating.

The allegations are based on claims made by the jihadist groups, the White Helmets and Jaysh al Islam. The video released by the White Helmets, which allegedly shows the victims of the attack, is simply incredible on its face - and the politicians and corporate journalists who are jumping up and down with moral indignation must know this. It simply is not credible that they believe first responders and medical staff rescue and treat victims of a chemical weapons attack without protective clothing.

The staging of the "chemical weapons attack" does, however, make perfect sense from the point of view of the jihadists and their allies. The Syrian Arab Army and its allies have almost completely defeated the jihadists in East Ghouta. President Trump had publicly announced that he would be removing the US from Syria "very soon". The only hope for the jihadists in East Ghouta was to create an incident that resulted in western military intervention - and the west has repeatedly told the jihadists that if Assad uses chemical weapons, they will take action.

A year ago (4 April) the jihadists in Idlib were in danger of being defeated by the Syrian Arab Army. A "chemical weapons attack" was staged and the corporate media played the jihadi produced videos and demanded that something be done. Two days later, Donald Trump obliged and contrary to international law launched tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian Arab Army air base.

As the corporate media play the jihadi produced videos of the current "chemical weapons attack" Donald Trump claims we have all "witnessed" (if it is on television, it must be true) a terrible atrocity and promises (with John Bolton, an inveterate warmonger, as his National Security Advisor, at his side) to make Syria pay.

The west's political media elite are dangerously out of control. The failure of the electorates of western democracies to hold the lying warmongers, who illegally bombed Yugoslavia, invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, destroyed Libya, promoted a fascist coup d'etat in the Ukraine and have pursued a murderous regime change operation in Syria (to mention only the highlights) to account has endowed with them with the belief that they can act with complete impunity. That arrogance has resulted in them pursuing a course of action that potentially risks an armed conflict with a nuclear power.

Russia has informed the United Nations Security Council that the alleged chemical weapons attack in East Ghouta did not happen - and the Syrian Arab Army and Russia are in control of the alleged crime scene. They have interviewed residents and doctors. They have searched for evidence of chemicals. They have invited the UN to send investigators to the site to verify their assertions. Yet, the US and its allies are clearly not interested in evidence (vide the Skripal case, for example). Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council that the US is prepared to "slap" Russia. She told the Council that the US is prepared to act unilaterally. These assertions are effectively a renunciation of international law and an ultimatum: accept US hegemony or face the consequences.

Indeed, by its own words, the US has made it perfectly clear that it sees Russia as a threat because Russia sees the world in terms of sovereign nation states, bound by the rule of international law, working to promote their own interests. This is a threat because it challenges US global dominance and the very idea that the US is exceptional.

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