In some particularly clear thinking on the failure of dissident opinion, Caitlin Johnstone has identified the keystone on which the Western powers have built their grand edifice of lies – their ability to control the narrative. Put in simple language – which is the only language that works – it is their ability to “spin a tale” that prevails over hard facts in this “cyber-war”. Call it “the Art of Storytelling” if you prefer.
The problem for us “dissidents” – which is to say for the most part “pro-Russian dissidents” – is that we focus on facts, and believe that incontrovertible facts and evidence will ultimately prevail over spin and lies. I personally am certainly guilty of this – boring people with facts – cherishing a rather Christian belief in truth and goodness, and a certain faith in the ability of ordinary people to see through sham and bullshit.
But we aren’t dealing with ordinary people, nor extraordinary people – some of whom are our greatest asset – but with people who appear to be terminally corrupt and ruthless in their ability to twist the narrative and twist the minds of their audience. To make this claim about the essential badness of Western powerbrokers risks losing some of those who are at least able to see that their leaders may not be as pure as they pretend. But it is important to state this unpalatable truth, and provide clear examples; too often excuses are made for conduct that is inexcusable, on the basis that the crimes committed were not intended, or that the ends justified the means.
We might consider for example how relatives of the thousands of civilians killed by US coalition bombs in Mosul or Raqqa would be unimpressed by such excuses, seeing that despite their deaths the alleged target of the strikes – IS – survives to kill another day. The direct support of Islamic State fighters by the US coalition has been proven repeatedly, yet the US is undeterred in continuing to use the “fight against IS” as its reason for remaining in Syria and Iraq, as well as for new interventions in Africa.
It is also important to recognise the true intent – the true mal-intent – of those leading the “Western coalition” in its war on the “Resistance” (simplistic generalisations that must suffice at this point). If we fail to do so, or get lulled into apathy by the sweet-talking of the cultured left and the progressive humanitarians, then the next wave of militarised disinformation may overwhelm us.
In fact it appears that such a wave is already on its way. Thanks to the recent diversionary focus on Venezuela, this latest humanitarian offensive against Syria has passed under the radar. Given the scale and mind-blowing deception of msm reporting of the US coup operation against Maduro, and incomprehensible stupidity shown by some European and Colonial leaders in supporting it, things in Syria may not go ahead quite as planned. But we need to know the plan.
A couple of weeks ago, a seminar was convened at a Cambridge college as the launch of “the Cambridge Initiative for Making and Sustaining Peace”, led by senior research fellow Adam Coutts:
The speaker series examines the major challenges and possible policy options for humanitarian intervention and conflict prevention. In this first event two leading practitioners – Sir Stephen O’Brien and Hamish de Bretton Gordon will explore the ongoing conflicts and protracted humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan among others and peace building efforts across the Globe.
The Sunday before this event, Hamish de Bretton Gordon had a highly misleading and emotive article published on a popular news website beating up an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the need to “intervene”, and promoting the Cambridge seminar the following Wednesday. Video or transcripts of the event are not yet available, but from personal contact it is clear that Bretton Gordon’s presentation was making the same false case as his article; malicious war-enabling propaganda in its essence.
His article “Syria’s children are its future but it’s they who have suffered most” bears the dis-informative and frankly preposterous subtitle:
Hamish de Bretton Gordon warns that the Putin/Assad pact could be the final nail in the coffin for Syria’s freedom. Alongside Professor David Nott and Richard Benyon MP, he warns that leaving Syria’s fate in the hands of Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad threatens millions.”
But continuing with the “narrative-enabling” injured children theme, the article leads with an attention grabbing photo of an injured girl sitting on a hospital bed, with the byline:
The West’s failure to intervene to directly support the humanitarian effort in Syria is shaming.”
The “shaming” Bretton Gordon refers to goes back to the UK parliament’s vote against a military strike on Syria in 2013, which also stymied the plans of Doctors under Fire; more of that later. Along with other false claims in the article, this strongly suggests that the intent of those behind the “Cambridge Initiative” is to generate support for the ongoing occupation of Idlib by Western-backed militias in the guise of “humanitarian intervention” and “conflict prevention”. Bretton Gordon makes the extraordinary and extraordinarily offensive claim in his article that:
Axiomatically, many of the civilians in Idlib actually hope that Assad will use chemical weapons, so at least the US and UK will strike the Syrian regime.”
Evidently he sees no distinction between “striking the Syrian regime” and “humanitarian intervention”, so nor should we; he simply verifies the duplicitous spin used by the Western coalition for the last seven years in creating a pretext for regime change. That spin includes the pretence that the West has “failed to intervene” – when it was their violent and illegal “intervention” dating back to 2011 that finally caused the need for military and humanitarian intervention by Russia.
The Emmanuel College seminar, initiated by Adam Coutts, featured former UN humanitarian affairs head and Magdalene college alumna Sir Stephen O’Brien, whose imprimatur misled observers and gave de Bretton Gordon a most credible platform for his tired chemical weapons propaganda. But just as Caitlin Johnstone observes on the Russiagate story – this completely false story is also a key narrative of the West’s cyber-war, and its credibility amongst ordinarily ignorant consumers of Western mainstream news has never been higher. For them the story-teller’s expert credentials only reinforce their beliefs.
Little more can be done to expose the lies over chemical weapons, both in Syria and in Salisbury; their use either by Syrian or Russian authorities has been completely disproven, while the West’s claims are now accepted as fraudulent by the leaders and citizens of the resistance countries and their allies. It’s now over five years since Seymour Hersh raised questions over the Ghouta Sarin attack, but his questions go unanswered and mostly unnoticed. With acute irony, this week I stumbled on Hersh’s “The Killing of Osama Bin Laden” going cheap in a remainders bookshop. The cover article – the one that did get discussed in the media – was however only a quarter of the book; there was scant mention on the cover that Hersh’s three articles on Syria and chemical weapons made up the remainder, and the reminder.
On the first page of “The Red line and the Rat line” we were reminded that in 2013, and following that UK Parliament’s rejection of a “punitive strike” on Damascus, Obama finally also baulked, though the reason was unclear. Hersh’s intelligence sources claimed that:
Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the August 21 attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s CW arsenal.”
By his own admission, de Bretton Gordon has been frequently and illegally in Syria since early in 2013 in several capacities, including assistance to “field hospitals” and “first responders” in “treating victims of chemical weapons attacks”. His close involvement with Porton Down over the Salisbury poisoning and relationship with the UK military also rather suggests another key “capacity”.
Whether Bretton Gordon was involved in that particular MI6 operation or not, neither he nor President Obama would reveal this startling truth on the origin of the Sarin, and persisted in their campaign to demonise the Syrian government, while facilitating the violent insurgency by the terrorist groups occupying Damascus’ suburbs – in the full knowledge that they were actively colluding in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The truth about the killing of children for the Ghouta videos remains as key evidence in Syria’s Nuremberg trials, should justice finally take its course.
Being unable to expose the lies over chemical weapons that are now fossilised in the Western media and public mind leaves us one other option – exposing the liars. This may not prove as difficult as it seems, as the simple act of telling a story may constitute an open admission of guilt.
Unlike Colonel Alison McCourt, whose story was completely private until recently, Hamish de Bretton Gordon wears his black heart on his sleeve, in articles and interviews and on twitter. As he explains in the article quoted above –
As the UN inspectors, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons cannot themselves get to the sites of these attacks, I have re-trained first responders on handling chemical casualties and collecting evidence of the attacks.”
The “first responders” to whom Bretton Gordon refers are of course the notorious White Helmets. Attempts to whitewash the dreadful crimes of these mercenaries, their trainers and sponsors in Whitehall and Washington may succeed with Guardian readers, but won’t ever wash in Moscow, Damascus or Aleppo. The latest revelations also show that staging chemical weapons attacks is one of their more innocuous activities, despite the barbaric “handling” of their victims in those video productions.
With his extensive knowledge and experience of real chemical weapons use, it could hardly be doubted that Hamish de Bretton Gordon’s training on handling victims of nerve agent exposure would reflect the danger of these agents to both victim and first responder. Splashing around with some fire hoses wearing an Avon gas mask and no gloves quite clearly does not.
This theatre of course also demonstrates the absence of toxic nerve agents in the places where it has taken place – in Khan Shaikoun in April 2017, and Douma a year later. While Chief Nurse McCourt’s assistance to the collapsed Skripals demonstrated a similar absence of toxic agent, we might wonder if it was “theatre” of a different kind, but the links between Syria and Salisbury remain as clear as ever, and as close as the intersecting career paths of these two distinguished servants of the British Army and Intelligence services.
Just two weeks before the White Helmets’ gas attack stunt in Douma hospital and two weeks after the Salisbury poisoning, Adam Coutts had organised a seminar at Magdalene college that included other members of “Doctors under Fire” – David Nott, Toby Cadman and Dr Saleyha Ahsan, as well as de Bretton Gordon and Sir O’Brien. The recording of this event, posted only last week on youtube, provides extensive testimony from the actors themselves on their close involvement with terrorist groups in Aleppo, working in hospitals they occupied, including the M10 hospital in East Aleppo. Following the liberation of East Aleppo in December 2016, the M10 was found to have been a headquarters for both Al Qaeda terrorist groups and the White Helmets; David Nott’s cooperation with these groups was unavoidable.
Similarly Saleyha Ahsan, a Sandhurst graduate who served in Bosnia before training as a doctor, was involved in the highly suspect filming of a staged “Napalm attack on a school” five days after the Ghouta attack. The BBC Panorama story about this event now looks even more suspect in the light of Panorama’s involvement in the Skripal poisoning hoax and the double role of BBC commentator Mark Urban.
So where does this leave us? Two thousand more words onto the pile? Or something that will pique the story-tellers into denials that only verify their guilt?
Either way the corroborating material collected here serves to confirm long-held suspicions about the UK’s chemical weapon PR liason officer Hamish de Bretton Gordon, and the service he continues to perform in Britain’s offensive against Russia, her allies and interests.