Last weekend, the world was pushed to the brink of international war when the leaders of the United States, Britain and France ordered air strikes on Syria over an alleged chemical-weapons attack.
US President Donald Trump was joined by British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron in unleashing over 100 missiles on Syrian territory. Fortunately, there were no casualties from the barrage.
Nonetheless, and rightly so, the Syrian government, as well as Russia and Iran, among others, denounced the US-led attack as an “unlawful aggression” and a grave violation of international law.
If those strikes had inflicted casualties, the consequences could have escalated into a wider war, involving the NATO powers and Russia.
Trump, May and Macron were gambling with world security in the most reckless way.
Within days of the US-led strikes, it is emerging that the alleged chemical-weapons assault in Douma on April 7 was nothing but a fabrication. A deliberate provocation orchestrated by Western-backed militants whose purpose was to incite an external military attack on Syria to destabilize the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.
This week, Russian news channel, Rossiya 24, carried interviews with an 11-year-old Syrian boy named Hassan Diab and his family who claimed that they were forced unwittingly into a propaganda stunt by unknown “activists” in Douma’s hospital. Like many other civilians in the hospital, the boy was doused with water hoses amid an induced panic over chemical weapons. The chaotic scenes were caught on video cameras by other “activists”. The footage was promptly and widely broadcast by Western mainstream news outlets as “evidence” of a chemical attack.
In the hours and days after April 7, an hysterical Western response was triggered condemning the Syrian state forces and their Russian allies for an “atrocity”.
President Trump, Britain’s May and France’s Macron led the stampede to accuse Syria and Russia of “barbarity”. A week later, the NATO powers then bombed Syria on April 14.
But it is now highly dubious that the alleged chemical-weapons attack even took place.
Even Western media outlets have begun publishing reports that totally contradict the initial claims of what happened in Douma. Britain’s Mirror newspaper, among others, reported the Rossiya 24 interview with the Syrian boy and his family, with a fair, open mind.
Britain’s Independent published a report by its veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk interviewing local residents and medics in Douma who all dismissed claims of the alleged chemical atrocity. Their version of events corroborated what the young boy told Rossiya 24. That the incident was a fabrication, a stunt orchestrated for the cameras.
Other Western media figures have, to their credit, also voiced skepticism about the initial “atrocity” claims. In the US, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson has repeatedly questioned the official narrative, going as far to call the incident a “false flag”.
From on the ground this week in Douma is this live report for One America News by Pearson Sharp. He interviewed dozens of locals. All of them unanimously said that there was no chemical attack. They said it was “a hoax” staged by the Jaish al Islam terror group as a means to get the Syrian army “off their backs” and make good their escape. Pearson Sharp’s report is real journalism. Unlike much of the corporate Western media. For example, France 24’s “reports” on Syria habitually come from some “correspondent” sitting in an office in Lebanon’s capital Beirut telling viewers about “what happened” in Douma. France 24 has been one of the main purveyors of the “atrocity story”.
Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs also called the Douma incident a provocation during a debate on the MSNBC channel. Sachs went even further and put the whole Syrian war in the context of a seven-year attempt by the US and its allies to illegally pursue regime change. Watch this incisive and hilariously cutting sketch on the Jimmy Dore show.
Another dissenting voice was US Senator Rand Paul who told CNN that the incident in Douma was likely a false flag and that NATO air strikes on Syria were unwarranted.
Several other reports and alternative voices have emerged on American and European news media outlets, which challenge the reckless rush to condemn Syria and Russia over the Douma incident.
It is increasingly clear that the incident was a fraud. Just as the Syrian government and Russia strenuously claimed from the outset.
That means that Trump, May and Macron just carried out, on the face of it, a war crime. They attacked a sovereign country with over 100 missiles based on a concoction of lies. Their emotive claims of “alleviating human suffering” by bombing Syria are contemptible.
It now transpires that one of the alleged chemical laboratories that they destroyed with their bombs was actually producing life-saving pharmaceuticals. So much for Western leaders’ “concern” for human suffering.
However, the issue goes way beyond “faulty intelligence” and “rash action”. The fact is that the US, Britain and France have been caught out conducting a most grave crime against international law.
This should not be left as a case of “oh well, we made a mistake”. These three NATO powers stand accused of committing a war crime and inciting an international conflict. They had little moral authority to begin with, but now their pretentious credibility is in utter shreds.
If there were any justice, the leaders of the US, Britain and France should be facing prosecution in an international court.
This is the deeply troubling dilemma of our time. Three nations sitting as permanent members of the UN Security Council are behaving as rogue regimes that act above the law. Not for the first time either.
Yet, they have the audacity to glibly accuse Russia and China of undermining global order. When it is they who are trashing that order.
The impunity must stop. Because when those who claim to uphold the law break the law, then there is no law.