Moon of Alabama — Update April 14, 2018
Last night the U.S., UK and France launched a symbolic attack on Syria. It was not intended to hurt the Syrian government, its people or its allies. It did not hit any of Syria’s allies. So far there is no report of anyone being killed or wounded.
This was a one-off:
Mattis […] said the assault was a “one-time shot,” so long as Assad does not repeat his use of chemical weapons.
The only purpose of the attack was to do ‘something’ and to somewhat calm down the warmongers within those three ‘western’ countries. It was probably insufficient for that.
As we wrote yesterday in the piece below. World War III had been called off.
A report from an observer on the ground in Syria:
Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai – 4:22 UTC – 14 Apr 2018
#USA #France #UK: 3 countries to bomb 3 #Syria/n objectives in #Homs #Damascus? A centre of research, a Control & command and an ammunition warehouse? And before the OPCW investigation expected today?
A say In ME: Huge mountains moving to give a birth to a small mouse!
No “Political hits: (Presidential Palace or gov or security HQ)
No #Iranian objectives hits
No #Hezbollah objectives hit
No Syrian Army key capabilities hit.#
And of course no #Russian deployment w/ #SAA hit
#USA looks weaker than ever with this “strike”.
The giants trio hit (#USA #UK #France) fired from US base in #Qatar is celebrated in #Damascus government-controlled area with #Russian #Iranian #Syrian and #Hezbollah flags, dancing and mocking @realRonaldTrump’s strike
This is the 1st time in history where a capital, #Damascus, is hit by a foreign power and people celebrate it in the street a few hours later, challenging the attackers and expressing their solidarity with the government by dancing in the street: #USA #UK #France boosted #Assad today
#USA #UK #France targeted empty objectives in #Syria since the entire #SAA was dislocated. @realDonaldTrump wanted to save his image: the Syria people’s reaction (1000s in the street expressing solidarity with Assad) to the hit is seriously damaging him.
To limit the attack to the absolute minimum was a wise decision by U.S. President Donald Trump. The people who had faked the ‘chemical attack’ in Douma on April 7 wanted to pull the U.S. into a wider war with Syria and Russia. They failed. Russia’s threat of retaliation for any attack was strong enough to deter the U.S. military. Secretary of Defense Mattis saved the situation when he publicly doubted the evidence and held Trump back from a spontaneous ‘revenge’ response. Netanyahoo will be furious and the neocons will now try to kick Mattis out.
[End-Update – the original post, written before the attack, follows below]
Secretary of Defense Mattis let know of his doubts about the alleged ‘chemical attack’ in Douma which the ‘rebels’ attributed to the Syrian government. This changed the tone of Donald Trump’s tweets and the international conversations on the issue. Several NATO countries, including Germany and Canada, said they would not take part in any threatened ‘revenge’ operation.
Today the Russian Defense Ministry accused Britain of having directed the staged attack:
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, released statements by medics from Douma’s hospital who said a group of people toting video cameras entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons and causing panic. The medics said none of the patients were hurt by chemicals.
Here are videos of that hospital scenes from the ‘rebel’ propaganda outlets. The ‘treatment’ by the ‘rebels’, dousing with water and administering some asthma spray, is unprofessional and many of the ‘patients’ seem to have no real problem. It is theater. The real medical personal is seen in the background working on a real patient.
The people in the video scenes were “rent-a-mob” actors which the Russians say they have found. They also found the medics and videotaped their statements. The Russian government claims to know the main culprit:
“Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom’s direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” [Igor Konashenkov, the defense ministry’s spokesman] said.
An OPCW technical team has arrived in Damascus. It will investigate the scene and talk to the witnesses.
Cause of the recent panic were a few videos by several propaganda outlets associated with Takfiri ‘rebels’ in Ghouta. These videos immediately looked staged to me. Yes, they showed dead people – mainly children – in a basement or apartment. But the bodies were not in the place where they had died and were probably not, as was claimed, killed by chemical weapons.
In the videos, some 20 dead children and a few women lie on the floor as if they were thrown in there. The scene was obviously manipulated several times. The various videos show the bodies in different positions. They have been moved around for presentation. Later videos show, for example, a baby in diapers on top of two older kids. In an earlier video, that baby is not there.
The ‘rebel’ claim that the people were killed by chlorine and a nerve agent: “Look, the dead have foam at their mouth.” (Foam at the mouth is wrongly assumed to be a sure symptom of exposure to a nerve agent.)
Yes, they have foam at their mouth. But it seems to be shaving foam and/or some white gel, not a human secretion. We have seen this trick before.
Compare for example this video from the scene uploaded by فادي عبد الله on Apr 7, 2018, at 20:49:26 UTC with this video from the same scene by Yaser AlDoumani2 uploaded on Apr 7, 2018, at 22:43:16 UTC.
A screenshot from the first video (graphic):