All posts tagged: OPCW

Douma “Chemical Attack”: Still Waiting for an Apology

As in so many of Australia’s military forays around the world, the legal basis for the Syria involvement is notably absent, although in this particular case their role was limited to being cheerleaders on the sidelines. Australia’s participation in the so-called coalition of forces fighting in Syria and allied to the United States, a serial offender against international law, has no legal foundation whatsoever. The Australian government has had legal advice on the matter, and has had such advice since 2014. If it was confident of its legal position, why then does it continue to refuse to release that advice?

Lying by Omission: Mainstream Media’s Distortion of the OPCW Report on Douma

Within hours of the release of the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons report from their fact-finding mission (FFM), when they investigated the Syrian Arab Army’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Douma stronghold, mainstream media already hopped on their sensationalist train of deception.

OPCW collaboration in Skripal misinformation?

We may first observe that we don’t actually know the details of the crimes committed, or even if they were committed. Yet on the basis of this alleged crime in Salisbury, and an unsubstantiated allegation of Russia’s “highly likely” responsibility for “the first use of a chemical weapon since WW2 in Europe” – NATO powers are now engaged in renewed and unrelenting aggression against Russia and her allies

WATCH: More Skripal-weird: even head of OPCW doesn’t seem to have a clue what Novichok is

Raising the serious possibility even the director-general of the OPCW doesn’t really know what Novichok is supposed to be, Ahmet Uzumcu, incumbent of that post, claimed May 4 that a “quarter cup to a half cup” of Novichok had been used to attack the Skripals in Salisbury. This, of course, would be enough to kill every man. woman and child in the city. This led into an even odder “clarification” from the OPCW within hours, which didn’t so much correct Uzumcu’s strange claim as pretend it had never happened and replaced it with the statement that the amount used in Salisbury was presently unknown but would be measured in “milligrams”.

Op-ed: The west closes its ears to Douma testimony

An alleged victim of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, April 7 2018. Jonathan Cook writes in his blog: The response from the US, UK and France to a briefing on Thursday at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague was perverse, to say the least. Russia had brought 17 witnesses from Douma who stated that there had been no chemical weapons attack there earlier this month – the pretext for an illegal air strike on Syria by the three western states. The witnesses, a mix of victims and the doctors who treated them, told accounts that confirmed a report provided last week from Douma by British reporter Robert Fisk – a report, it should be noted, that has been almost entirely blanked by the western media. According to the testimony provided at the OPCW, the victims shown in a video from the site of the alleged attack were actually suffering from the effects of inhaling dust after a bombing raid, not gas. The first strange thing to note is …

Western Press Descend into Insanity as Syria Narrative Collapses

Syria has disappeared from the front pages of the Western press recently, and for good reason. It’s not going well over there, as far as the “allies” are concerned. Yesterday the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed what many of us had already deduced – there were no chemical weapons present at the sites targeted by the US/UK/French missiles. That’s not been reported in the Western press, at all. Exemplified by the eternally on-message Guardian, who haven’t had a headline regarding Syria in over a week. The Royal Baby and ABBA’s new song and a stuffed anteater, all apparently too important to be bumped from the front page. Also yesterday, the Russian and Syrian authorities transported 17 witnesses of the alleged Douma “chemical attack” to the Netherlands. The witnesses, including the little boy who featured strongly in the White Helmets propaganda video, spoke at a press conference before taking questions (video is embedded above). All denied a chemical attack had taken place. This, along with Robert Fisk et al’s reporting on the …

ITV Journo accuses Russian OPCW Ambassador of threatening a child…

Please note, that as of the time of posting, NO evidence has been cited that these people have changed their story, and NO evidence has been cited that they have been threatened in any way. The British @itvnews reporter was so butt-hurt by the Russian #OPCW reps bringing the #Syria/n witnesses to the Hague from #Douma to expose the #WhiteHelmets chemical hoax, he accused the Russians of threatening them & young Hassan who was sprayed with water in the staged video pic.twitter.com/AE8rr6uVI1 — Walid (@walid970721) April 26, 2018 Rupert Evelyn from ITV news. A question first for our Syrian visitors: How threatened do you have to feel to change your story and deny a chemical weapons attack? And a question for you ambassador: How low do you have to go to bring a little child all the way here and threaten them? If you have an opinion you wish to express to Mr Evelyn re:journalistic standards of behaviour, feel free to contact him through his twitter. Please remember to be polite.

Douma: Part 1 — Deception in Plain Sight

by Media Lens, April 25, 2018 UK corporate media are under a curious kind of military occupation. Almost all print and broadcast media now employ a number of reporters and commentators who are relentless and determined warmongers. Despite the long, unarguable history of US-UK lying on war, and the catastrophic results, these journalists instantly confirm the veracity of atrocity claims made against Official Enemies, while having little or nothing to say about the proven crimes of the US, UK, Israel and their allies. They shriek with a level of moral outrage from which their own government is forever spared. They laud even the most obviously biased, tinpot sources blaming the ‘Enemy’, while dismissing out of hand the best scientific researchers, investigative journalists and academic sceptics who disagree. Anyone who challenges this strange bias is branded a ‘denier’, ‘pro-Saddam’, ‘pro-Gaddafi, ‘pro-Assad’. Above all, one robotically repeated word is generated again and again: ‘Apologist… Apologist… Apologist’. Claims of a chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria on April 7, offered yet another textbook example of this reflexive warmongering. …

What was the success-rate of the April 14th missiles against Syria?

by Eric Zuesse The U.S. and Russia provide diametrically opposite accounts of the percentages of U.S.-and-allied missiles that hit their targets in Syria on the night of April 13th-14th. On the 14th, Russia’s military said that 71 of the 103 U.S.-and-allied missiles were shot down by Syria. But on this very same day, the U.S. announced that 105 missiles had been launched and “none intercepted.” So: Was the U.S. side’s success-rate 100%, as America claimed; or, instead, 31%, as Russia claimed? This difference is, obviously, huge. During the subsequent days, U.S.-and-allied media celebrated their side’s alleged victory; for example, on April 22nd, USA Today bannered “105 to 0: Why Syria’s air defenses failed to intercept a single incoming missile”, and reported that: U.S., French and British forces launched 105 missiles from aircraft and ships at three chemical weapons facilities in Syria last weekend in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack launched by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russia claimed that Syrian defenses knocked down many incoming missiles, but the Pentagon said every …

UN Security Team Still Won’t Let Inspectors Visit Douma

by Jason Ditz, Anti-War.com, April 20, 2018 Inspectors on ‘Standby’ Waiting for Permission from UNDSS Two weeks after the alleged chemical attack in Douma, chemical inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are still in Damascus on “standby,” waiting for permission to enter Douma. Allegations continue to swirl around this delay. Britain blamed Russia, as usual. French officials on Friday also claimed Russia was “obstructing access” to the site. The OPCW, however, has made clear for days what is causing the delay. OPCW inspectors aren’t to be allowed into Douma until the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) security team clears them to visit. So far, UNDSS has refused to do so, saying they still have concerns after Wednesday’s visit. On a Wednesday visit, the UNDSS visited two Douma sites, but fled both times. They complained the first site was too crowded, and they were concerned about safety. There was a shooting incident at the second site, though the only casualty was a Syrian hired as extra security. Either way, …

Alexander Shulgin to the OPCW

The following is the unofficial translation of the statement made by Alexander Shulgin, the head of Russian delegation at the OPCW, at that body’s April 18 Executive Council meeting at the Hague.   The text is provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands. Mr. Chairperson, I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, “A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes”. This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth. The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of the “Skripal case” fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, …

How We Were Misled about Syria: George Monbiot of The Guardian

George Monbiot is an influential journalist, and his words on Syria over the past seven years will have carried weight in shaping public opinion. Some critical readers, however, have been concerned. For while Monbiot has declared himself morally opposed to military intervention, and is demonstrably aware of how the media can manipulate news reports, he has repeatedly published statements – in his weekly Guardian column and on Twitter – that lend significant support to key interventionist arguments

The Empire Strikes Backwards

by John Helmer, Moscow, April 5, 2018 Empires are just like everything else going down the toilet. Bits always stick on the porcelain which require more flushing.  Embarrassing bits. Now in its fifth week since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on March 4, the bits that cannot be flushed away are producing an odour whose obviousness is embarrassing for  Salisbury Hospital and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The hospital is treating the Skripals for their medical welfare and is required by hospital policy and  UK law to be accountable to their next of kin. Their rights of access to and from the hospital are also required by  European Human Rights Convention.  The evidence now accumulating is that the hospital is detaining and isolating the Skripals against their will, preventing contact with their family. Requested to explain this and identify her legal authority, the response of the hospital’s chief executive, Cara Charles-Barks, is to stonewall. The OPCW, comprising 192 states which have signed, ratified and enacted the Chemical …

Russia’s statement to the OPCW in response to allegation of complicity in alleged Skripal poisoning

Below is the text of the statement made today – March 13 – by Ambassador Alexander Shulgin to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at the Hague. Those who believe it’s safe and even fun to continue the path of empty provocation and inflammatory rhetoric over this business would do well to read Shulgin’s icily formal response, and ask themselves if they may be taking things too far this time Statement by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW, Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, at the 87th session of the OPCW Exwecutive Council on the chemical incident in Salisbury, The Hague, March 13, 2018 Mr Chairperson, In connection with the vicious attacks launched by British officials in London, as well as the statement by the head of the British delegation to the OPCW with regard to Russia concerning the suspicious story of two persons poisoned with a toxic agent in Salisbury, we would like to state the following. The British authorities’ unfounded accusations of Russia’s alleged involvement in using poisonous agents on their …

The Caesar Photos and Impunity in Syria

by Steven Chovanec Western media are reporting headline claims that “new evidence supports claims about Syrian state detention deaths”, saying that “a leading rights group has released new evidence that up to 7,000 Syrians who died in state detention centres were tortured, mistreated, or executed”, noting that this information is a moral wakeup call and demanding that officials being held to account should be “central to peace efforts.” However, as is usually so, not everything is quite as it seems.  So let’s take a look at the facts. First the timing. As has been commonplace the timing of the reports like these have almost always coincided with important diplomatic meetings or just after important UN resolutions are passed. For example, beginning in mid-March claims began to pour in that Assad had been using chlorine bombs against his opponents.  Media reports would cite the fact that only 2 months later the government had already been accused of using chlorine 35 times.  What they failed to mention however was that no claims were made for an entire …