By Theodore A. Postol for Information Clearing House – “Truth Dig”- This is my third report assessing the White House intelligence Report (WHR) of April 11. My first report was titled “A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria,” and my second report was an addendum to the first report. This report provides unambiguous evidence that the White House Intelligence Report contains false and misleading claims that could not possibly have been accepted in any professional review by impartial intelligence experts. The WHR was produced by the National Security Council under the oversight of national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The evidence presented herein is from two selected videos that are part of a larger cache of videos that are available on YouTube. These videos were uploaded to YouTube by the SMART News Agency between April 5 and April 7. Analysis of the videos shows that all the scenes taken at the site the WHR claims was the location of a sarin release indicate significant tampering with the site.
By Kasia Anderson for Truth Dig – It’s been more than a week since the Trump administration abruptly switched out of “America first” mode and into intervention mode by dropping 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airfield. As Chris Hedges and Alternet journalists Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton argue in this episode of “On Contact With Chris Hedges,” the American public has been lacking something very important before—and after—that strike. Simply put, that would be context. More specifically, it comes down to crucial questions that are not being addressed publicly by members of the U.S. government or the mainstream media. Take these questions, for example: What’s the relationship between the regime change in Libya, encouraged and enabled by the Obama administration in 2011, and the ongoing refugee crisis? Or between that crisis and Brexit? Who are the White Helmets? How are all these questions related to the current conflict in Syria, and the role of the U.S. in that conflict? What role do Iran and Saudi Arabia, in addition to Russia, play in Washington’s stance toward Syrian President Bashar Assad?
By Staff of NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East and Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War – The event attracted several non-traditional protesters in addition to the “usual suspects” – those of us that have been protesting war for years. This is a very significant matter because it demonstrates that a more organized approach to mass organizing can result in a massive anti-war uprising which is the only way forward toward the world’s survival. There was a student from a Jersey City college that has only been in the US for 3 months. A college roommate of mine joined us – after I invited his participation just this morning. Several other first time participants were on board and there was a decent number of youth in the ranks. Plus my younger son was out to his first ever protest! As usual, there was a range of diverse and on point presentations from participants, we had an open mic format for that. We were also pleasantly entertained by one of New Brunswick’s finest veteran activists Albert Valeri who accompanied his mostly a capella performance of a song in support of the NO DAPL movement with occasional pulls on his harmonica.
By The Saker. I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that Assad or anybody else in the Syrian government really ordered a chemical weapons attack on anybody. To believe that it would require you to find the following sequence logical: first, Assad pretty much wins the war against Daesh which is in full retreat. Then, the US declares that overthrowing Assad is not a priority anymore (up to here this is all factual and true). Then, Assad decides to use weapons he does not have. He decides to bomb a location with no military value, but with lots of kids and cameras. Then, when the Russians demand a full investigation, the Americans strike as fast as they can before this idea gets any support. And now the Americans are probing a possible Russian role in this so-called attack. Frankly, if you believe any of that, you should immediately stop reading and go back to watching TV.
By Greg Johnson for Counter-Currents. Donald Trump’s dizzying about-face on Syria has won the temporary applause of his enemies, but he has forever lost the respect of his most ardent supporters on the Alt Right, the people who actually believe in and defend his nationalist-populist message, including his America First foreign policy. I thought Trump’s willingness to fight a two-front war against the Democrats and his own party was sufficient proof that he was sincere about his America First foreign policy. But he ditched it at its first real test. I no longer trust Donald Trump. But it is worse than that. I no longer like or respect Trump either. Trump didn’t just betray us. He betrayed us over something utterly stupid. We’ve seen this all before.
By Gareth Porter for Truthout – Two unnamed senior Trump administration officials briefing journalists Tuesday asserted that a Syrian regime airstrike in the city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 had deliberately killed dozens of civilians with sarin gas. The Trump administration officials dismissed the Russian claim that the Syrian airstrike had targeted a munitions warehouse controlled by Islamic extremists as an afterthought to cover up the Syrian government’s culpability for the chemical attack. Moreover, the Trump officials claimed that US intelligence had located the site where the Syrian regime had dropped the chemical weapon. However, two new revelations contradict the Trump administration’s line on the April 4 attack. A former US official knowledgeable about the episode told Truthout that the Russians had actually informed their US counterparts in Syria of the Syrian military’s plan to strike the warehouse in Khan Sheikhoun 24 hours before the strike. And a leading analyst on military technology, Dr. Theodore Postol of MIT, has concluded that the alleged device for a sarin attack could not have been delivered from the air but only from the ground…
By Trevor Timm for The Guardian – Donald Trump’s missile strikes on Syria have attracted worldwide attention (and disgraceful plaudits) in recent days. But much less airtime is being given to his administration’s risky and increasingly barbaric military escalations on several other fronts across the world. Let’s put aside, for the time being, that the Trump administration openly admits it has no clue what it is going to do in Syria next. Or that key members of Congress and in the administration are clearly eager for “regime change” in Syria with no plan for the aftermath. And the fact that hardly anyone seems to care that Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev said over the weekend that Syrian strikes put the US “on the verge of a military clash with Russia”…
By Staff of Consurtium News – We issued our first Memorandum for the President on the afternoon of Feb. 5, 2003, after Colin Powell’s ill-begotten speech at the United Nations. Addressing President Bush, we closed with these words: No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is “irrefutable” or “undeniable” [adjectives Powell applied to his charges against Saddam Hussein]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.
By Adam Johnson for FAIR – Of the top 100 US newspapers, 47 ran editorials on President Donald Trump’s Syria airstrikes last week: 39 in favor, seven ambiguous and only one opposed to the military attack. In other words, 83 percent of editorials on the Syria attack supported Trump’s bombing, 15 percent took an ambivalent position and 2 percent said the attack shouldn’t have happened. Polls showed the US public being much more split: Gallup (4/7–8/17) and ABC/Washington Post (4/7–9/17) each had 51 percent supporting the airstrikes and 40 percent opposed, while CBS (4/7–9/17) found 57 percent in favor and 36 percent opposed. A list of the editorials with quotes showing support or opposition can be seen here.
By Fightback News. Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville community quickly rallied to the defense of their beloved community leaders and activists. On April 8, over 200 people, including leaders in the labor movement, Black community, and progressive groups assembled to demand that all the charges against the Jacksonville 5 be dropped. Supporters chanted “Drop the charges” and the mother of Connell Crooms gave a tearful testament to Connell’s character. Community leaders called for a full independent investigation into the police misconduct on April 7, and an investigation into the police spying program on progressive activists in Jacksonville. Just weeks earlier, Jacksonville’s Florida Times Union reported that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) had been spying on protesters, amongst them, Dave Schneider, Connell Crooms and Christina Kittle.
By John Wight for Sputnik News – Two competing narratives on the same event and therefore grounds for an independent UN-led investigation in order to ascertain which one is accurate and which is false. Russia has called for such an investigation, as have the Iranians, yet in Washington those calls have been contemptuously dismissed, swept aside in service to a rush to judgement and, with it, a hail of tomahawk missiles. It is a rush to judgement that invites the question: what are the Americans afraid of? Is this a repeat of the UN investigation into whether Saddam possessed WMD back in 2003, when Hans Blix and his investigation team were precipitately withdrawn from Iraq at the point at which it had become obvious they were about to confirm that Iraq did not have any WMD…
By Sam Husseini for Counter Punch – Many are claiming that Trump is being inconsistent in illegally attacking the Syrian regime with cruise missiles. After all, he had been saying the U.S. should focus on defeating ISIS, and now he seems to be going after Assad. But contradictions from Trump are a dime a dozen. A closer examination shows a deeper pattern of remarkable consistency in U.S. policy toward Syria that is far more critical than the perennial contradictions of politicians like Trump. To summarize U.S. actions and non-actions in terms of direct publicly announced U.S. air attacks targeting the Syrian regime: In 2013, when Assad was losing the war, Obama refrained from strikes that may well have ended his regime.
By Diane Randall for FCNL – This week’s abhorrent chemical weapons attack was an act of unspeakable violence against civilians, and we are heartbroken over the deaths of Syrians, including many children. The Trump administration’s escalation is not the solution, and will only cause more killing and suffering for Syrian civilians. The U.S. should fully support the ongoing investigation of the chemical weapons attack and work with the international community to bring the perpetrators to justice. In all decisions about the U.S. course of action, policymakers must recognize that years of direct U.S. military intervention, support of extremist armed groups, and weapons shipments to anti-government rebels in Syria have only added fuel to the fire and put Syrian civilians in greater danger.
By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – Amidst growing calls for greater military action in Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack, the United States military launched more than fifty Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airfield near Homs. Democrats along with neoconservatives, who long pushed for U.S. military forces to topple President Bashar al Assad’s regime, advocated for military force in response to alleged chemical attack. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called for strikes on airfields in Syria. “Assad had an air force and that air force is the cause of most of the civilian deaths as we’ve seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days.” “I really believe we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them,” Clinton added.