As the US government amps up the media blitz for war with Syria, it seems appropriate to stop and consider the credibility of the justification for war (something we Americans always seem to forget to do until it’s far too late). Here’s what we know: about a year ago, President Obama said that the US would only intervene in Syria if the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own citizens, which he described as a “red line” that Assad’s regime should not cross. In the past year he’s reiterated that statement a few times in different forms. Since then, there have been allegations of several chemical weapons attacks within Syria. So the UN demanded access to the country to determine if chemical weapons had indeed been used. The day the UN inspectors arrived in Syria, chemical weapons were used against a civilian population a few miles from where the inspectors were staying, killing somewhere between 100 and 355 people. The whole incident was even filmed and put on YouTube. Immediately, Western media and governments blamed the Syrian government and began eagerly asking Obama daily when he was going to invade. In the past few days, US warships and other military assets have been moved into place to facilitate an attack on Syria. The UK and France have pledged to join the US invasion. And Obama’s rhetoric has gotten progressively less characteristically coy and cryptic and more blatantly belligerent day by day.
There’s just one problem though. There is absolutely no evidence that the Syrian government is responsible for this attack, and given the context it seems extraordinarily unlikely that it is. Here’s the government’s supposedly irrefutable evidence that the Syrian government is behind the attack according to CBS News:
“The senior administration official said the U.S. intelligence community based its assessment given to the White House claiming the Assad regime was responsible for the attack on “the reported number of victims, reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured,” and witness accounts. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.”
Those three pieces of evidence make a pretty convincing case that there was indeed a chemical weapons attack in Syria on a civilian population, but I don’t see how any of that proves or even suggests that the government was behind it. At this point it’s just the government’s word against the opposition’s. The very fact that the US government is telling us there is “‘very little doubt’ that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians,” despite the complete lack of evidence to prove this either way, is highly suspect. It suggests that regardless of who actually carried out the attack, the US wants to blame Assad so it can justify an invasion.
Since there’s no real evidence to prove who is behind this attack, we should ask the old question cui bono (who benefits from this?). The Syrian government certainly does not benefit from this chemical attack at all. The Syrian government was fully aware of Obama’s threat to invade if chemical weapons were used. If they really wanted those few hundred civilians dead, they could have easily killed them with other weapons. Why then would they do the one thing that they know is guaranteed to get them removed from power and hanged?
In order to have ordered this attack, President Assad and his advisors would have to be not just evil, and not just stupid–THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE SUICIDAL. If you seriously believe that President Assad and his advisors ordered a massive chemical weapons attack on women and children the day that UN weapons inspectors arrived a few miles from where they were staying, you must also believe that Assad and his advisors have a death wish. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to imagine that Assad saw Sadam Hussein and Kadafi being dragged from their hidey holes and hanged by the marines and said “Hey, we should really give the US an excuse to invade us and topple my regime. In fact, let’s do the ONE THING THAT OBAMA HAS REPEATEDLY SAID FOR A YEAR WILL CAUSE HIM TO INVADE.”
The opposition, on the other hand, has a great deal to benefit from this chemical weapons massacre. They’ve wanted the US to intervene pretty much since the civil war began, or at least since they realized they could never topple the regime without foreign military intervention. And before you object that the opposition would never do such a heinous thing to their own people, please remember that many of the remaining active opposition fighters aren’t even Syrian, but members of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other fundamentalist militant groups from outside the country. The opposition is my primary suspect for now.
The other suspect is the Obama administration and intelligence community. The US government had motive and opportunity, and let’s face it, a long history of committing such crimes. Syria is sitting on one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, and the US government has demonstrated time and time again that it will gladly fabricate evidence to justify invading countries in the Middle East to gain control of their energy resources. If you think that’s far fetched, consider that the CIA recently admitted to overthrowing the democratic government of Iran in the ’50’s to gain control of their oil, and there’s ample evidence to prove that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were planned long before 9/11 and were conducted in order to steal those country’s oil reserves.
In addition, Syria has strategic value for containing and eventually invading Iran. And out of all the countries that pose a serious threat to the hegemony of the US government (China, Russia, Iran, and Syria), Syria is currently the easiest prey.
Lying to the American people and manipulating us into demanding war in order to serve US foreign policy interests is standard government practice, and it has been since at least the Spanish-American War, so it’s certainly plausible that the US government staged the attack in Syria. But is there any evidence to suggest the US government’s culpability? There is actually. In January, a British defense contractor named Britam was hacked. Thousands of their internal documents were released. Among them was this email:
We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.
We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.
Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?
Is the email genuine? It’s impossible to tell for sure. But if it is, it’s evidence that the chemical weapons attack in Syria was a false flag operation by the US government. Keep in mind that this allegedly leaked email was released in January, and the attack happened in August. Could it really be a coincidence? Probably not. The Assad regime must have known about this email. Which means that if the Assad regime is responsible, they must have carried out the attack and filmed it hoping that this long forgotten leaked email would somehow magically convince the international community that the US was behind the attack, which would be the single most obviously doomed to failure strategy I’ve ever heard of, especially since even if it worked it wouldn’t help the Syrian government in any significant way.
Britam has stated that the hack was real and all the documents leaked were genuine except this particular email, which they claim was planted. Since then, the British newspaper that originally published the story about this email has removed the article from their site and published an apology, stating “We now accept that email was fabricated and acknowledge there is no truth in any suggestion that Britam or its directors were willing to consider taking part in such a plot, which may have led to an atrocity.
We apologise to each of them and have agreed to pay substantial damages.”
I’m not saying I know who ordered the tragic chemical weapons attack last week. I really don’t know. What I do know is that despite what the Obama administration and the mainstream media propaganda machine would have us believe, there is currently no evidence that proves who was truly responsible for this heinous crime. In fact, common sense and the scant evidence that is currently available suggest that either the Syrian opposition or the US government are behind this attack, not the Syrian government.
Let’s be honest with ourselves and accept that there is nothing we the American people can do to prevent our government from invading Syria. But please, learn from every single other time our government has lied to us and manipulated us into clamoring for war under false pretenses and at the very least demand to see the evidence that Obama claims to have of Assad’s guilt. In the immortal words of our last president who tricked us into going to war, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice–you can’t get fooled again.” Let’s hope so Mr. President.