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Falsehoods and Lies: Inciting War Is a War Crime

Strategic Culture Editorial, February 16, 2018

The torrent of reckless false accusations against Russia made by the US and its NATO allies is hitting warp speed.

This week saw more baseless allegations of Russian cyber attacks on American elections and British industries.

There were also crass claims by US officials that Russia was behind so-called sonic attacks on American diplomats in Cuba.

Then a Dutch foreign minister was forced to resign after he finally admitted telling lies for the past two years over alleged Russian plans for regional aggression.

Elsewhere, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed this week during a tour of the Middle East that “the primary goal” of his nation’s involvement in Syria is “to defeat” Islamic State (Daesh) terrorism.

This is patently false given that the US forces illegally occupying parts of Syria are launching lethal attacks on Syrian armed forces who are actually fighting Islamic State and their myriad terrorist affiliates.

Meanwhile, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of blocking peace efforts in Syria – another audacious falsehood to add to her thick compendium of calumny.

Perhaps the most barefaced falsehood transpired this week when French President Emmanuel Macron candidly admitted that his government did not have any proof of chemical weapons being used in Syria.

“Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population,” said Macron to media in Paris.

His admission follows that of US Defense Secretary James Mattis who also fessed up earlier this month to having no evidence of chemical weapons being deployed in Syria.

“We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,” said Mattis to reporters at the Pentagon. “We do not have evidence of it.”

Yet, only a few weeks ago, the French and US government were condemning Syrian President Assad for alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces. France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also accused Russia of bearing responsibility because of its alliance with Damascus.

But now we are told that the French and US governments do not, in fact, have any evidence concerning chemical weapons in Syria.

This is in spite of US President Donald Trump unleashing over 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Arab country last April in purported reprisal for the “Syrian regime” dropping chemical munitions on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province on April 4 2o17.

Macron went on to make the absurd declaration this week that “if” chemical weapons were found to be used then he would order military strikes on Syria.

Both Syria and Russia have categorically and repeatedly rejected claims of using chemical weapons, pointing out that Syria’s stockpile was eliminated back in 2014 under a UN-brokered deal.

When Mattis said “we have reports from the battlefield” he was referring to groups like the CIA covertly-sponsored terrorist outfit Al Nusra Front and their media outlet, the so-called White Helmets.

Western news media footage over the past two weeks seemingly depicting Syrian and Russian air strikes on civilian areas is sourced from the White Helmets. This group is embedded with Al Nusra.

The same warped narrative claiming Syrian and Russian violations during the liberation of Aleppo from the terrorists at the end of 2016 is being played out again in East Ghouta and Idlib. And again the Western news media are amplifying the dubious propaganda from the likes of the White Helmets as if it is independent, verified information.

This week in Paris Abdulrahman Almawwas, the so-called vice president of the White Helmets, which also go by the name of Syria Civil Defense, told the Reuters news agency that France and other NATO powers must intervene in Syria.

“It’s time to take real action and not just talk about red lines,” said Almawwas, who was clearly disappointed after hearing Macron’s admission of no evidence for chemical weapons.

Tellingly, the White Helmets’ envoy was hosted by senior French government officials while in Paris, including Macron’s chief diplomatic advisor, according to Reuters.

He also went on to complain – unwittingly – that the White Helmets have received less funding from foreign governments this year compared with last year.

Reuters reported: “Almawwas said the group’s financing for 2018 from foreign governments [sic] had dropped to $12 million from $18 million a year earlier.”

According to the White Helmets’ own website, the foreign governments whom they receive financing from include: the United States, Britain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Canada, among others.

In other words, this so-called humanitarian relief organization is a NATO-sponsored entity, which evidently operates freely in areas of Syria controlled by Al Nusra and other internationally proscribed terror groups.

And this is the same “source” which has been used by the NATO governments and Western news media to disseminate claims about Syrian state forces using chemical weapons against civilians – claims which senior US and French officials are now belatedly negating.

What we have here is demonstrable peddling of falsehoods and lies by Western governments and their news media.

Not just with regard to the war in Syria, but on a range of other international incendiary issues, as noted above.

Accusing Russia of aggression, nuclear threats, sabotaging elections, targeting civilian infrastructure which could  “kill thousands and thousands” (British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson last month), or any number of other wild allegations, is symptomatic of sociopathic lying by Western governments.

The reckless falsehoods and lies espoused by the US and its European allies are made possible because of the reprehensible servility of Western media not holding to account the wild claims that they wilfully disseminate.

This relentless propagation of lies is an appalling incitement to tensions, conflict and war.

Engaging in war fever is not only irresponsible. It is in fact a war crime, according to Nuremberg legal standards.


26 Comments

  1. The empire is thrashing it octopus tentacles around in a panic searching for a war *** ANY *** war to keep wall street banks and the weapons industry in business …

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      That doesn’t explain the suicidal onslaught against Russia. I know that US elite organs and think-tanks have been bragging of being able to prevail in a nuclear ‘exchange’ with Russia for some years, provided, of course, that the US strikes first in a sneak attack, but surely they cannot be that deranged. But just look at the ENTIRE US political, fakestream media and Business elite-they are easily that insane. And, don’t forget, significant elements, from the malevolent Pence down, are religious fanatics who would WELCOME a thermo-nuclear Armageddon.

  2. MichaelK says

    The reaction to Mueller’s charges relating to Russia, as if every action by a Russian is somehow representative of and sanctioned by the Russian state itself… has been hysterical virtually across the entire media spectrum. I’ve lost count of the times they’ve called it ‘an act of war’ or compared the 13 Russians to ‘9/11’ or even ‘Pearl Harbor’! It’s completely out of any proportion and, frankly, unhinged. Yet this is what passes for rational debate in the United States these days, which, as has happened before, is going through one of its’ bursts of complete madness.

  3. Mikalina says

    The mainstream media are guilty of aiding and abetting to murder, rape, genocide, assassination, fraud, the list goes on…….

    According to the Justice Department, there are four major elements in the crimes of aiding and abetting:

    That the accused had specific intent to help in the commission of a crime by another;
    That the accused had the requisite intent of the underlying substantive offense;
    That the accused assisted or participated in the commission of the underlying substantive offense; and
    That someone committed the underlying offense.

    They are fully aware of the outcomes of their coverage – it is pro-active manipulation.

    How many people did they kill during the McCarthy era?
    How many ‘dictators’ did they create in order for them to be assassinated?
    How many governments did they demonise so they could be overthrown and thousands killed?

    For me, one of the worst is: how many good, true, honest, decent, hardworking, ‘believers of truth and justice (and journalism as the route to that end), investigative journalists did they allow/cause to die?

  4. Terry Washington says

    Pity Putin walked away from the International Criminal Court after it had the bad manners to suggest that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was an act of aggression. But of course Anglo- American imperialism to paraphrase George Orwell is bad, where its Russian counterpart is, if not good then not so bad!

      • Paul Carline says

        Russia did not “annex” Crimea. Russia certainly helped the Crimean to hold their legal referendums, in which, if I recall correctly, more than 96% of the voters voted to return Crimea to Russia – from which it had been separated as a money-saving scheme by Khrushchev in 1954 when he ‘gifted’ Crimea to the Ukraine. Russia, as the successor to the USSR, retained certain rights, including the stationing of several thousand troops and the long lease on its Black Sea naval port.
        Crimea’s legitimate secession from Ukraine has to be seen in the context of the illegal coup in Ukraine and its aftermath, when the overwhelmingly ethnic Russian population of Crimea saw what was coming if they did not secede.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Russia liberated Crimea, under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, applied honestly for a change, from the imminent threat of Ukronazi massacre and ethnic cleansing, as the people of the Donbass were forced to suffer.

    • Mikalina says

      Orwell used the slogan ‘two legs good, four legs bad’ to show the reductive nature of argument/discussion in a totalitarian state of which you provide a lovely example.

    • Terry Washington – yeah, I know, those sneaky Russians gets away with so much crafty stuff don’t they? Did you know they have over 800 military bases around the world? Oh, wait, no, that’s the United States. Still there is no excuse for the Russians attacking and bombing 7 different Muslim countries in the Middle East that had never attacked them. Oh, jeeze, yeah, that’s America again, right, sorry. But it goes without saying that the Russians had no business overthrowing democratic governments in Ukraine and Honduras not long ago! Oh, wait, silly me, that was the U.S. too, sheesh, my bad! But hey, there’s no denying that Russia illegally and immorally destroyed the African nation that had the highest standard of living on the entire continent when it destroyed Libya! Oh no, wait, that wasn’t Russia was it, that was the U.S. again. Still Russia selling arms and supporting Saudi Arabia in starving, blockading and destroying Yemen is nothing to sneeze at. Geeze, except yeah, that’s the U.S. too. By the way, who do those uppity Russians think they are anyway attacking and defeating all those head-chopping “moderate jihadists” we’ve been supporting in our attempts to illegally overthrow the Syrian government? They’ve got a lot of nerve I say.

      But hey, you are oh so right in pointing out that after the U.S. overthrew the democratic government of Ukraine, installing neo-Nazi nut jobs as part of the new ruling apparatus, the Russians did allow Crimea to vote for their own annexation. And I like totally get how you can equate that fact with the previously mentioned illegal and immoral warfare and mayhem committed daily non-stop by the U.S. Keep up the incisive commentary.

      • rtj1211 says

        Even if you have a starred first from Oxford, steer clear of the FCO entrance exams….if you cannot lie in your own home for your country, how on earth will you ever manage it abroad?!

      • George Cornell says

        Ah yes, number one in humbuggery, but number six in winter Olympic medals, dead last when corrected for population?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The so-called ICC is a FILTHY farce, totally controlled by the USA, where the ‘Chief Prosecutor’ the Aunty Tom Bensouda, is still pretending to be thinking about prosecuting Israel for its orgy of child murder in Gaza after many year, but leaps to orders to attack fellow Africans, Duterte and Russia, for liberating Crimea from the threat of Ukronazi massacre and ethnic cleansing, at the insistence of the Crimean people.

  5. MichaelK says

    Empires… rarely, if ever, choose to ‘go quietly’ and exit history peacefully. Instead they seem to cling to their ‘greatness’ way beyond what’s possible or rational, regardless of the terrible consequences that follow; like fighting numerous wars that only waste precious resources, but actually hasten the decline and fall. Rather than pulling back and salvaging what’s possible, empires tend to retreat from reality into a fantasy world where the problems of empire are ignored or blamed on someone else who’s perceived as a threat to the empire.

    One can think of the biggest recent example; the British Empire, which having spent centuries at war with the French and Spanish empires, finally destroys itself fighting Germany over the control of Europe during two massively costly and wasteful world wars that broke the back of the British Empire and bankrupted the state, at tremendous cost and led to what was left being quietly absorbed into the rising US Empire. It’s all terribly ironic. We didn’t end up speaking German, no, we ended up speaking American!

    The Americans are gonna fight to protect what they’ve won, make no mistake about that. Empires have momentum. They are either expanding or they are contracting. There is no point of equilibrium. It simply isn’t possible. The Americans are, in reality, already fighting the Russians, using proxy armies. First in Afghanistan, then in Ukraine and now in Syria and they are moving closer and closer to direct conflict in Syria. The Russians are working hard to avoid a direct conflict with the Americans in Syria, for obvious reasons. It could easily escalate into WW3. And this is before we even look at their plans to attack North Korea or order the Ukrainian to launch an new offensive against Donbas. It’s scary. Anyone of these conflicts could trigger WW3, yet the people in the West seem incredibly unaware of the dangers we face. We’re distracted by Russia-gate and our endless and tedious sex scandals which are receiving media coverage totally out of proportion to their real importance or significance. Which is another sign of the way we’re moving towards war.

    • Hugh O'Neill says

      As best as I can recall Edward Gibbon’s “Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire”, Gibbon remarked that the wonder of the Roman Empire having survived until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, considering that it was rotten to the very core for over a thousand years. My simplistic fantasy is that California declares UDI and allows Washington DC to sink back into the swamp…what cold possibly go wrong?

      • Jen says

        The Eastern Roman Empire aka the Byzantine Empire did pretty well to survive 1,000 years with centralised government, administration and tax collection, a legal code (Code of Justinian) and a culture that emphasised education and the learning of rhetoric.
        http://www.toptenz.net/10-reasons-the-byzantine-empire-was-among-the-most-successful-in-history.php

        The turning point in the Byzantine Empire’s fortunes came after 1025 with the death of Emperor Basil of the Bulgar Slayer: a series of greedy and weak rulers looted the imperial treasury with the result that the Byzantine army was inadequate to fight the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. After that battle, the Seljuks were able to take over the Byzantines’ Anatolian heartland and the empire was on the defensive (and shrinking) after that.

    • bevin says

      It is best to think of the US Empire as the successor embodying the British empire, the last in a succession of empires built on exploitation of the Americas and long distance maritime trade. And naval power. The US generally inherited its empire and the imperial ruling class in London made sure that its interests were not neglected in the new dispensation.
      I’m not sure that you can say that the Americans fought at all for it-from the time of the Louisiana purchase, through the Monroe doctrine down to the Cold war it simply picked up the remains of empires from countries which had exhausted themselves-not only Britain but Holland, France, the Iberians, Italy and Germany, slightly used over ripe fruit falling into their laps, sometimes directly, sometimes after a Japanese occupation.

      As to Krushchev and Ukraine I think it was all part of a formal scheme to bolster the claims of the SSRs to be independently seated in the UN, balancing the USA’s Latin American satellites.

  6. Harry Stotle says

    It just doesn’t work that way, Off-G – the only people to be punished are whistleblowers.

    Doesn’t matter how egregious the lie, nor how inhumane the action nobody from the west is ever brought to book.

    Kissinger was awarded the nobel peace prize despite sanctioning chemical weapons in Viet Nam, and the bombing of civilians in neighbouring states.

    Blair lied about WMD and was instrumental in the collapse of iraq – he was subsequently paid millions as a Middle East ‘peace envoy’.

    Obama supported Sunni fascists – yet when one of the poorest countries in the world was gripped by a cholera epidemic instead of condemning his allegiance he was awarded the nobel peace prize.

    Proxy wars are as inevitable as gun crime in America and the odd sane voice (like Off-G) is about as effective as the anti-gun lobby against the NRA.

    I hope I’m completely wrong but the best I think we can hope for is the right to say ‘I told you so’

  7. George Cornell says

    Should be more widely read than it will be. The beginning of the end for an addled empire? And they seem to actually believe their own liars.

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole