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Aftermath of the alleged gas attack on Douma, an evolving narrative: Part 2

a map of potential confrontation

Two days since we posted the first part of this and much has happened. Rumours abounding, threats flying. And a belated sense of fear and disquiet developing in some quarters of the media.

There is still no evidence any chemical attack occurred in Douma at all, and even less for who may have been responsible should it turn out to have occurred, but still the crazed narrative hurtles on with all the energy and disregard for reality of an hallucinating junkie. A new “coalition of the willing” (involving the US, France, UK, and some Arab states) seems to be forming, bent on “punishing” the Assad government for the potentially non-existent attacks. Those suggesting there should be a wait for evidence risk being called “Assad apologists” by people like Michael Gove.

Russia has warned it reserves the right to shoot down any missiles entering Syrian airspace, and is sending military police to Douma, presumably as an attempt to safeguard against any funny business on the ground while international inspectors are there.

The OPCW are apparently going to Douma to inspect the site for evidence.

It remains to be seen if they will have time to get there before the egregiously irresponsible Trump administration launches its now much-hyped cruise missile attack on “regime targets” that could – given the insanely schizophrenic and unhinged nature of Trump’s tweets – happen any time and be directed almost anywhere, from Damascus itself to some relatively unimportant military base, depending on what level of crazy he and his staff are currently operating at.

The UNSC resolutions from US and Russia were both defeated yesterday – to no one’s surprise.

Putin appeared in public to welcome some ambassadors to Moscow and express his hope for sanity to prevail in the world. He didn’t seem to have much conviction and looked a little drawn and worn, which is probably understandable.

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, is starting to show signs of disquiet about his country’s potential role in this new and dire enterprise of the damned, and was last seen basically using diplomatic code to beg Russia not to counter-attack should he join in with the “retribution” for a thing that may not even have happened. He offered reassurances that only Syria and not its allies would be targeted; reassurances which of course mean next to nothing in the chaotic reality of war.

If Macron thinks they will help ease the situation he is as much of an idiot as he has always appeared. Possibly even more idiotic than Merkel, who at least seems to have had the sense to keep mostly quiet over this.

In the UK a similar sense of vague unease is percolating down. While the usual asses continue to bray for the world’s rapid incineration by thermonuclear fusion,

many of the more intelligent amongst the elites and their media are beginning to be awakened to the one ethical consideration they still understand – their own personal safety.

Outlets such as the Guardian are running editorials calling for caution, and staff opinion pieces that deplore Trump’s reckless language because even though Assad is, of course (on the basis of no evidence at all) a “monster”, we only want to use that as an argument for killing Syrians – not ourselves.

Even the BBC’s Daniel Sandford, not the most astute or inquisitive of state-funded journos, seemed taken aback at the lunacy of Trump’s “get ready Russia!” tweet.

British MPs are expressing disquiet at British troops being committed to what could become war with Russia without parliamentary approval.

At the same time there is a conspicuous lot of airy nothing coming from PM Theresa May, who looks incredibly anxious and shifty while failing to clarify anything at all about her intentions.

Amongst the unchecked rumours are claims the Chinese fleet is steaming to liaise with Russia in the Med (unlikely at the moment), and that the Donald Cook is heading for the Syria coast, along with a large US task force.

On the bright side “analysts” say a direct cash between Russia and US is “unlikely”.

Oh and we can’t leave this without mentioning the fact the UK representative to the UN, Karen Pierce (the lady who thinks Karl Marx was Russian), turned up for the UNSC debate yesterday wearing a leopardskin tiara and a feather boa.

It’s not the greatest crime against humanity ever committed, but it has to be up there.

Time will tell if this turns into WW3 or a damp squib. We’ll be back with more as things develop.