28 November 2018 — NEO
On the heels of another alleged chemical attack in Syria – the Western media has responded with skepticism – even silence. This acutely different response to its regular “chemical weapons” hysteria is because unlike previous incidents, it appears this most recent attack was blatantly carried out by Western-backed militants operating in Idlib, Syria.
While evidence of this most recent alleged attack must still be collected and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has yet to arrive and carry out its investigation, it should be remembered that none of this was previously required by either the Western media to create a storm of hysteria accusing perpetrators – mainly Damascus – and demanding a Western military response, or by Western leaders who would promptly carry out such military responses.
Compare and Contrast
With no actual evidence in hand, the United States along with the UK and France would carry out military strikes on Syria in April of this year after an alleged chemical attack the West claimed was carried out by Syrian forces in Douma, just six miles northeast of Damascus.
British state media – the BBC – would unquestioningly repeat claims by dubious organizations like the “White Helmets” that chemical weapons were used and killed scores of civilians. In one BBC article titled, “Syria war: At least 70 killed in suspected chemical attack in Douma,” it was claimed:
The pro-opposition Ghouta Media Center tweeted that more than 75 people had “suffocated”, while a further 1,000 people had suffered the effects of the alleged attack.
It blamed a barrel bomb allegedly dropped by a helicopter which it said contained Sarin, a toxic nerve agent.
The Union of Medical Relief Organizations, a US-based charity that works with Syrian hospitals, told the BBC the Damascus Rural Specialty Hospital had confirmed 70 deaths.
Buried deeper in the article – past rhetoric aimed at preparing the public for a Western military strike – the BBC would eventually admit that the Syrian government had taken most of the surrounding territory through years of fighting – assumably through the use of conventional weapons – and that the remaining opposition-held territory was occupied by Jaish al-Islam – one of several US-NATO backed Al Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria.
The article, and many like it, would begin by claiming:
At least 70 people have died in a suspected chemical attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, rescuers and medics say.
Compare that with the BBC’s article regarding the most recent chemical attack on Aleppo titled, “Syria war: Aleppo ‘gas attack’ sparks Russia strikes,” which begins by claiming:
Russia has carried out air strikes against Syrian rebels it accuses of launching a chemical attack on the government-held city of Aleppo.
The BBC would immediately provide denials made by militants operating in Idlib and frame the entire incident as a likely fabrication to justify Russian air strikes on militant positions.
The article fails to point out that even if the mortar rounds allegedly containing chemical weapons were instead conventional – the militants would still be in violation of a provisional buffer zone created between Syrian forces and Idlib-based militants – and would still be viable targets for Russian military aviation as well as Syrian military retaliation.
The sudden skepticism and incredibly ironic “whataboutism” displayed by other appendages of Western war propaganda, including human rights fronts like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as NATO’s “Nonresident Senior Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Future Europe Initiative” Eliot Higgins, also highlights the disingenuous, cynical abuse of human rights and “open source investigations” as war propaganda by the West.
Kenneth Roth – executive director of Human Rights Watch would declare in his only post on social media regarding the attack that:
Syria asks the UN Security Council to condemn an alleged rebel chlorine attack–the same Security Council where Syria’s ally Russia vetoed extension of an investigation that could identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks.
Absent from Roth’s timeline is the same sort of hysteria, repetitive demands for justice, and calls for immediate action against the perpetrators following other alleged chemical attacks – the only difference being who the accused perpetrators are/were.
The Atlantic Council’s Eliot Higgins would spend the day after the attack posting pictures of alleged munitions used in the attack on Aleppo – an admission that an attack and thus a violation of the agreed upon buffer zone had indeed taken place – claiming that none of them could have contained chemicals despite not being any sort of weapons expert and having never set foot inside of Syria, let alone having investigated that actual scene of this particular attack.
Chemical Weapons or Not, Militants Violated Idlib Buffer Zone
It would be premature to conclude what sort of munitions were used in the recent attack on Aleppo. However it is indisputable – even among the West’s various propaganda organs – that militants in Idlib carried out some sort of armed attack.
The attack was – regardless and undoubtedly – a violation of agreements made to deescalate fighting between Syrian government forces and their allies and the remnants of the West’s mercenary forces in Idlib – and required a military response.
When the OPCW investigators arrive, and as time passes, evidence can be collected and the true nature of the attack can be ascertained with further measures taken against Idlib-based militants if necessary.
And regardless of the outcome of these investigations – the West has suffered yet another tactical, strategic, and now political defeat as another loop of the long rope given to it by its opponents wraps around their collective necks, strangling the remnants of their credibility.
For organizations like British state media – the BBC – its transparent bias and politically-motivated inconsistency has so fully permeated its reporting that side-by-side comparisons of its headlines serve as the greatest indictment against – and parody of – of its legitimacy as a news organization.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.