Idiot Wind: West Embraces al Qaeda (again) to Advance Agenda in Syria

In this piece from Huffington Post, we find the views of an actual expert on WMD, someone who doesn't actually profit from war and weapons like the "experts" paraded across the media in the last week. It is interesting to note that 1) the initial eye-witness accounts of the victims of the attack do not correspond to the use of weaponized sarin gas, cited as the reason for directly attacking Syrian positions; and 2) the entire narrative has been driven by al Qaeda, whom the Western news media is now treating as the most credible source of information in Syria, while lauding them as valiant rebels -- even as they persecute the people under their control and continue to plot and push attacks against the West. There is also the fact that the main beneficiary of the attack has been ISIS, which immediately launched an offensive while Syrian forces were shut down or pulled back in the wake of the American assault.

Again, with no brief for Assad, whose regime (recently a US partner in torturing "War on Terror" captives) is capable of any evil, we are in a curious place: bombing people on the word of al Qaeda, to the benefit of ISIS. Why, you'd almost think that quelling terrorism was not, perhaps, the principal aim of the "War on Terror," but that it has more to do with old-fashioned hardball power games among amoral nation-states (and their various proxies), jockeying for domination and servicing their militarist elites.

But I suppose we mustn’t indulge in such cynical thoughts. Let’s get with the program instead: Trump done good! Al Qaeda speaks truth! Turn ISIS loose! It’s the best of all possible worlds! As always, Shakespeare put it so well: “Love be not love if left unparaded upon a social platform.” (Or was that Zuckerberg? I’m always getting those guys mixed up.)

Some excerpts from Scott Ritter's article:

Al Nusra has a long history of manufacturing and employing crude chemical weapons; the 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta made use of low-grade Sarin nerve agent locally synthesized, while attacks in and around Aleppo in 2016 made use of a chlorine/white phosphorous blend.  If the Russians are correct, and the building bombed in Khan Sheikhoun on the morning of April 4, 2017 was producing and/or storing chemical weapons, the probability that viable agent and other toxic contaminants were dispersed into the surrounding neighborhood, and further disseminated by the prevailing wind, is high.

The counter-narrative offered by the Russians and Syrians, however, has been minimized, mocked and ignored by both the American media and the Trump administration. So, too, has the very illogic of the premise being put forward to answer the question of why President Assad would risk everything by using chemical weapons against a target of zero military value, at a time when the strategic balance of power had shifted strongly in his favor. Likewise, why would Russia, which had invested considerable political capital in the disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons capability after 2013, stand by idly while the Syrian air force carried out such an attack, especially when their was such a heavy Russian military presence at the base in question at the time of the attack? ...

Even slick media training, however, cannot gloss over basic factual inconsistencies. Early on, the anti-Assad opposition media outlets were labeling the Khan Sheikhoun incident as a “Sarin nerve agent” attack; one doctor affiliated with Al Qaeda sent out images and commentary via social media that documented symptoms, such as dilated pupils, that he diagnosed as stemming from exposure to Sarin nerve agent. Sarin, however, is an odorless, colorless material, dispersed as either a liquid or vapor; eyewitnesses speak of a “pungent odor” and “blue-yellow” clouds, more indicative of chlorine gas.

And while American media outlets, such as CNN, have spoken of munitions “filled to the brim” with Sarin nerve agent being used at Khan Sheikhoun, there is simply no evidence cited by any source that can sustain such an account.  Heartbreaking images of victims being treated by “White Helmet” rescuers have been cited as proof of Sarin-like symptoms, the medical viability of these images is in question; there are no images taken of victims at the scene of the attack. Instead, the video provided by the “White Helmets” is of decontamination and treatment carried out at a “White Helmet” base after the victims, either dead or injured, were transported there.

The lack of viable protective clothing worn by the “White Helmet” personnel while handling victims is another indication that the chemical in question was not military grade Sarin; if it were, the rescuers would themselves have become victims (some accounts speak of just this phenomena, but this occurred at the site of the attack, where the rescuers were overcome by a “pungent smelling” chemical – again, Sarin is odorless.)

Mainstream American media outlets have willingly and openly embraced a narrative provided by Al Qaeda affiliates whose record of using chemical weapons in Syria and distorting and manufacturing “evidence” to promote anti-Assad policies in the west, including regime change, is well documented.  These outlets have made a deliberate decision to endorse the view of Al Qaeda over a narrative provided by Russian and Syrian government authorities without any effort to fact check either position. These actions, however, do not seem to shock the conscience of the American public; when it comes to Syria, the mainstream American media and its audience has long ago ceded the narrative to Al Qaeda and other Islamist anti-regime elements. …

History will show that Donald Trump, his advisors and the American media were little more than willing dupes for Al Qaeda and its affiliates, whose manipulation of the Syrian narrative resulted in a major policy shift that furthers their objectives.