• First real evidence emerges proving U.S. ally behind Syria attack
AMERICAN FREE PRESS is opposed to military interventions and wars that are not in this country’s interest and only benefit the military-industrial-banking complex and Greater Israel. And with that in mind, this week, AFP examines how doctored intelligence reports, an incoherent foreign policy and powerful special interests have the potential to lead the United States into World War III.
By Victor Thorn
Once restricted merely to conspiracy circles, the term “false flag attack” became part of the popular lexicon during the recent Syrian chemical weapons debacle. Former Representative Ron Paul (R-Tex) referred to allegations that the Syrian government had used sarin gas as a false flag before adding, “The group most likely to benefit from it is al Qaeda.” But even though Muslim revolutionaries were most likely involved in the use of chemical weapons, the source of these heinous attacks can be traced to familiar players.
On September 17, Jason Ditz, news editor of the website “Antiwar.com,” wrote, “Israeli ambassador Michael Oren revealed that the Israeli government has privately been seeking change in neighboring Syria for the past two years since the ongoing civil war began.”
Four months earlier, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s right-hand man during his term in the Bush administration, spoke of an earlier chemical attack in Syria.
“This could have been an Israeli false flag operation,” he said. “You’ve got basically a geo-strategically, geo-political — if you will — inept regime in Tel Aviv right now.” Wilkerson is known for calling intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in October 2005 a “hoax.”
In regard to Syria, respected ex-Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst Ray McGovern averred that so-called evidence presented by the Obama administration “would not stand up in a court of law.” According to McGovern, despite Israel’s attempts at perpetual instability in the Middle East, saner heads prevailed via our military’s top brass.
Scott Baker, senior editor of the liberal website “Op-Ed News,” addressed this issue on September 11. “McGovern says the military got to the president, overriding even the objections of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff,” wrote Baker on his website.
On September 2, popular news website “The World Tribune” editorialized about the military’s wise request to slow down the path to war in the form of General Martin Dempsey, who showed his reluctance to be a participant in this potential fiasco.
“Dempsey has been unusually blunt in his remarks with both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden,” opined the “Tribune.” “His assessment is that any U.S. war against Assad will involve his foreign allies, and that means Tehran and to a smaller extent, Moscow.”
Already, comparisons between Obama and President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have been made, particularly in terms of lies and exaggerations regarding weapons of mass destruction. For example, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that 1,429 people, including 426 children, died in the August 21 chemical attack just outside Damascus. Yet humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, which has doctors on the ground in Syria, estimated the total at only 355. Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh directly contradicted Obama administration claims that a Syrian man had tested positive for traces of toxic gases in his bloodstream.
Yossef Bodansky, the senior editor for Defense & Foreign Affairs magazine, took it a step further in a September 1 article published on the news agency’s website, entitled “Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?”
As former director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Bodansky’s sources acknowledged that on August 13, at a Turkish military prison in Antakya, representatives from Qatar, Turkey and the U.S.—including U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford—met with Syrian opposition leaders to unleash a “war changing development.”
Saleh Muslim, overseer of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, agreed with Bodansky’s assessment, asserting that this secret meeting was “aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction.”
World Isn’t Buying Syria Story
• Doubletalking American leaders have lost all credibility
To provide the most accurate picture possible of what really transpired in Syria, this writer interviewed four experts on alleged chemical weapons use in Syria. The first was Caleb Maupin, a political activist for the International Action Center, which opposes domestic and international injustices.
Maupin began with this definitive statement: “I absolutely believe that the Syrian chemical attacks were a false flag. It wasn’t in Assad’s best interest to take such actions, especially with UN inspector forces staying 10 minutes away. Rebels had already been arrested in Turkey for using sarin gas, plus, in May, UN official Carla Del Ponte verified that rebels used chemical agents.”
With these words, Maupin turned his attention to the rebels. “The so-called Syrian revolution is manufactured,” he said. “The plan Obama instituted is similar to Libya where foreign-based rebel groups were set up to destabilize the region. These rebels have committed horrible atrocities, including beheadings, using underage soldiers and recruiting children from other parts of the Middle East. In addition, the rebels are expelling Christians from Syria and slaughtering Alawite citizens.”
Alawites consist of a minority of Shiite Muslims in Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s family are Alawites.
Maupin continued this line of thought. “Apparently, the motive all along was for the rebels to carry out these attacks. One of their leaders even told the Daily Mail they were going to do it and then blame it on the Assad government.”
In terms of the big picture, Maupin explained: “The U.S. government is arming these rebels to destabilize Syria. Permanent civil war is the game plan, just like in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The goal isn’t stable governments, but chaos.”
Jerry Policoff, a senior editor for the popular news website “Op-Ed News,” voiced similar concerns. “I’m suspicious of the rebels, particularly after hearing all sorts of stories about the Saudis giving them chemicals,” said Policoff. “I think Assad is perfectly capable of gassing his own people, but he’s not that stupid to do it with UN inspection teams only blocks away.”
Chris Reith, a member of the protest group Hands Off Syria, offered a slightly different perspective. “I’m not even certain that the rebels were responsible,” said Reith. “It could have been other terrorists in the area that brought weapons through Turkey. All it takes is a couple grams of sarin to cause major damage.”
Reith cited a report that was published in the September 30 issue of AFP. “Alawite children were kidnapped before the chemical attacks, and then their corpses were used for propaganda,” he said.
When asked who may be responsible, Reith responded: “The CIA is in Syria courting the rebels, and Israeli Mossad involvement is always possible. [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu knows the Golan Heights [a part of southern Syria occupied by Israel] has [natural] resources, and Israel has been trying to push into that area for years. Once they take out Syria and Hezbollah, the next target is Iran.”
As for U.S. leadership, Policoff—a fervent Democrat since the 1960s—argued: “I don’t believe anything Obama or John Kerry say. When the British Parliament denied Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama got cold feet. That was a huge smack down. Then, when he realized Congress wouldn’t approve his plans for attack, Obama really looked like an amateur. On the other hand, Kerry is nothing more than an opportunist. You have to wonder about anyone who’s a member of Skull & Bones.”
Finally, popular independent journalist Zen Gardner, who maintains his own news website, told AFP: “That an inept career chameleon politician like John Kerry was used as a frontman is so apt, it makes one wonder if this whole charade wasn’t set up to fail.”
‘Peace President’ Fomenting War
Conflicting reports are surfacing as to the extent of U.S. involvement in arms shipments to Syrian rebels. Clarissa Ward of CBS News depicts the Free Syrian Army, the rebel group backed by the U.S., as a band of ragtag soldiers barely able to supply bullets for their guns. Others see the situation far differently.
On September 5, reporter Athena Yenko of the International Business Times described 400 tons of weaponry being delivered to Syrian rebels.
Yossef Bodansky of Defense & Foreign Affairs magazine agreed. In a commentary published in August, Bodansky wrote: “Opposition forces received . . . mainly anti-aircraft weaponry from shoulder-fired missiles to ammunition for light guns and machine guns. The weapons were distributed from storehouses controlled by Qatari and Turkish intelligence under the tight supervision of U.S. intelligence.”
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr introduced another element in a September 12 column.
“The weapons are not American-made, but are funded and organized by the CIA,” she wrote. These include anti-tank weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and high-tech communications equipment.
Rounding out the picture, on September 11 Ernesto Londono and Greg Miller of The Washington Post wrote: “The CIA has been delivering weapons to rebels in Syria . . . as had been promised by the Obama administration. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Dept. of vehicles and other gear—a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.”
‘Kerry a Liar,’ Says Russia
While Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama and other White House spokesmen would like the world to believe that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was the criminal party behind the August 21 chemical attack in Syria, a UN fact-finding team led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom refused to cast blame. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon conveyed a similar verdict, saying: “It is for others to decide whether to pursue this matter further to determine responsibility.”
On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin had choice words for America, calling Kerry a “liar” when denying to a congressional committee that al Qaeda was operating in Syria.
The Russians also released a 100-page report in March claiming that a chemical attack outside of Aleppo where 26 residents died had been conducted by U.S. allies, not Assad.
On September 5, Matthew Schofield of the McClatchy News Service reported on these findings: “The statement’s summary said that neither the munitions nor the poison gas in the Khan al Asal attack appeared to fit what is possessed by the Syrian government.”
To date, three chemical attacks have actually occurred in Syria this year: one in Aleppo, the second in Saraqib and a third outside Damascus in Ghouta.
Of course, similar crimes against humanity stretch back a century to the use of mustard gas in WWI, phosphorous grenade bombs in WWII, Agent Orange and napalm during Vietnam, Saddam Hussein’s gassing of Kurds in 1988, plus the release of white phosphorous and depleted uranium by Israeli and U.S. forces against Palestinians and Iraqis in the early-to-mid 2000s.
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 40 books.