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GENO123



Joined: 28 Jan 2010

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Saudi Arabia on Friday renounced a rotating UN security seat Reply with quote

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Angry-with-America-Saudi-Arabia-rejects-UN-security-council-seat/articleshow/24349312.cms


Saudi Arabia renounced a rotating UN security council seat, evidently miffed with its long-time patron US' overtures to Iran.

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia on Friday renounced a rotating UN security council seat that was there for the taking, evidently miffed with its long-time patron United States' overtures to Iran, among other peeves.

The unexpected Saudi rejection came just hours after the kingdom was elected unopposed on Thursday night as one of the council's 10 nonpermanent members. The two-year stint is prized by member countries because it gives them a temporary seat alongside the five permanent members, albeit without veto power.

The five rotating seats that opened up this year were uncontested, leaving Saudi Arabia, Chad, Nigeria, Lithuania and Chile to replace retiring members Pakistan Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, and Togo.

But in a sudden twist, Riyadh, apparently piqued with Washington over developments in the Middle East, lamented that the international community had failed in its duty towards Syria, where the Saudis have backed the largely Sunni rebels against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Saying the UN "allowed the Syrian regime to kill people" and use chemical weapons in front of "the entire world without facing any penalties," Riyadh said it was regretfully declining the UN seat.

"The kingdom sees that the method and work mechanism and the double standards in the security council prevent it from properly shouldering its responsibilities towards world peace," the country's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA, calling for unspecified reforms.

There were other Saudi gripes beyond the Syria "let-down," notably the US rapproachment with Iran, which reportedly led to the Saudi leadership ditching a scheduled speech at the UN general assembly last month. The largely Sunni Saudi Arabia is locked in a bitter feud with the mostly Shia Iran. It feels betrayed by Washington's recent advances with Teheran, whose nuclear program it views as a threat, although its own client state Pakistan is said to give the Saudis military and nuclear cover.

Given Saudi Arabia's preference for low-key, undemonstrative engagement, all this was masked in suitable diplomatese. "The failure of the security council to make the Middle East a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, whether because of its inability to subdue the nuclear programs of all countries in the region ... is a sign and proof of the inability of the security council to perform its duties and responsibilities," the Saudi foreign ministry said.

Saudi Arabia has quietly asserted primacy in the region in the years since Iran fell out with the US, mainly by buying military and nuclear cover from its rentier, client-Pakistan and diplomatic shield from its patron, the United States. Washington's recent rapprochment with Iran and its discarding of Pakistan has rattled Riyadh, particularly as it comes at a time the US is fast becoming energy independent on the strength of the vast gas reserves it has recently tapped domestically.

A recent Pew Research study on global attitudes showed Saudi Arabia's Image faltering among Middle East Neighbors, particularly in Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey. The country's most favorable rating came from Pakistan (95 per cent approval).
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obama was not honest.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/2013/12/08/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin
Quote:

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid the blame for the nerve gas attack on the rebel-held suburb of Eastern Ghouta firmly on Assad’s government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line’: ‘Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people,’ he said. ‘We know the Assad regime was responsible … And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.’ Obama was going to war to back up a public threat, but he was doing so without knowing for sure who did what in the early morning of 21 August.

x

But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”’


Obama, who is the president of Change, spat exactly the same lies as GWB.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contra Titus's post, here are some links to posts discounting Hersh's claims:

http://eaworldview.com/2013/12/syria-special-chemical-weapons-conspiracy-wasnt-seymour-hershs-exclusive-dissected/

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/09/sy_hershs_chemical_misfire#sthash.Tr2j2WTW.86Xb7V0h.dpbs
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Contra Titus's post, here are some links to posts discounting Hersh's claims:

http://eaworldview.com/2013/12/syria-special-chemical-weapons-conspiracy-wasnt-seymour-hershs-exclusive-dissected/

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/09/sy_hershs_chemical_misfire#sthash.Tr2j2WTW.86Xb7V0h.dpbs


These articles are persuasive in tilting the case towards the Syrian regime having launched the chemical weapons. They are less persuasive in rebutting Hersh's charges that the administration cherry-picked data, which it certainly did.
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ersatzredux



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Location: Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do nothing of the sort. Hersh's main point is that Obama "cherry picked" intelligence to make claims he had no actual evidence for in order to make a case for bombing Syria. To whit, by lying about the ability of the NSA to intercept Syrian communications, making a laughable claim that the Syrians starting mixing sarin 3 days before the attack (when sarin has a stable life of hours!), and I could pull unrebutted details from the article ad nasuem. They are hatchet jobs, nothing more.

Even with that nothing in either article contradicts the main claim Hersh is making- that Obama misrepresented intelligence in order to make a case for war . Not only that but both articles are extremely disingenous. They neglect to mention that the UN investigators had previously confirmed that the rebels had used chemical weapons and continued to use them- in fact gassing Syrian soldiers on August 24th and 25th, as well as months previous.

In fact the take of the first one is kind of laughable. What motive, they ask, would rebels have in using chemical weapons. Hello? Red line? Looking at the rest of the site though, I'm not surprised. Their two advertisers are the "Syrian Support Group"- a neocon outfit, and some obvious State Department front for training "democracy activists" in Iran. I wonder who really pays the bills for them.

I mean, come on, do you really think Seymour Hersh would have published this article without more than sufficient evidence to make the claims he does? Seymour Hersh?

But the Whitehouse denied it. That should be good enough for us peasants, right yataboy?If you shut your eyes and plug your ears hard enough and hum loudly you can prevent yourself from having the horrible doubt that it really was a false flag operation and what that says about your heroes. Keep on believing!

Edited to add, Damn you Kuros for making essentially the same point I did but in two lines!
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to a longish article published in The Atlantic. It claims that severe drought was the trigger of the civil war.

Except for a narrow belt along the Mediterranean, the whole country is subject to extreme temperatures that cause frequent dust storms and periodic droughts. Four years of devastating drought from 2006 to 2011 turned Syria into a land like the American “dust bowl” of the 1930s. That drought was said to have been the worst ever recorded, but it was one in a long sequence: Just in the period from 2001 to 2010, Syria had 60 “significant” dust storms. The most important physical aspect of these storms, as was the experience in America in the 1930s, was the removal of the topsoil. Politically, they triggered the civil war.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/understanding-syria-from-pre-civil-war-to-post-assad/281989/
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Popocatepetl



Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Location: Winter in Korea: One Perfect day after another

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Here's a link to a longish article published in The Atlantic. It claims that severe drought was the trigger of the civil war.

Except for a narrow belt along the Mediterranean, the whole country is subject to extreme temperatures that cause frequent dust storms and periodic droughts. Four years of devastating drought from 2006 to 2011 turned Syria into a land like the American “dust bowl” of the 1930s. That drought was said to have been the worst ever recorded, but it was one in a long sequence: Just in the period from 2001 to 2010, Syria had 60 “significant” dust storms. The most important physical aspect of these storms, as was the experience in America in the 1930s, was the removal of the topsoil. Politically, they triggered the civil war.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/understanding-syria-from-pre-civil-war-to-post-assad/281989/



Climate change will accentuate political conflicts and competition for ever scarcer resources.

Its also the unacknowledged factor behind the recession and shaky economy. A healthy economy is simply not possible in a degraded environment. Our planet has limits.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Politically, they triggered the civil war.


America triggered the civil war by air drooping hoards of cash and weapons to the islamist opposition.

The writer Polk went from journalist to harvard to state dept back to journalism.

Anyway, for what it is (establishment propaganda in the biggest piece of shit mag on earth) it's not a bad piece. A for effort.

The American deep state was simply doing what it always does. Manufacturing a case for a bogus war.
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GENO123



Joined: 28 Jan 2010

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
December 17, 2013
Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone
By MOHAMMED BIN NAWAF BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD
London — Saudi Arabia has been friends with our Western partners for decades; for some, like the United Kingdom where I serve as ambassador, for almost a century. These are strategic alliances that benefit us both. Recently, these relationships have been tested — principally because of differences over Iran and Syria.

We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East. This is a dangerous gamble, about which we cannot remain silent, and will not stand idly by.

The crisis in Syria continues unabated. There have been over 100,000 civilian deaths. Most shockingly of all, the Oxford Research Group reports that of the 11,000 victims under 17 and under, more than 70 percent were killed by air strikes and artillery shells deliberately targeting civilian areas.

While international efforts have been taken to remove the weapons of mass destruction used by the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad, surely the West must see that the regime itself remains the greatest weapon of mass destruction of all? Chemical weapons are but a small cog in Mr. Assad’s killing machine. While he may appear to be going along with every international initiative to end the conflict, his regime will continue to do everything in its power to frustrate any serious solution.

The Assad regime is bolstered by the presence of Iranian forces in Syria. These soldiers did not enter Syria to protect it from a hostile external occupation; they are there to support an evil regime that is hurting and harming the Syrian people. It is a familiar pattern for Iran, which has financed and trained militias in Iraq, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and militants in Yemen and Bahrain.

And yet rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them. The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization.

This year’s talks with Iran may dilute the West’s determination to deal with both governments. What price is “peace” though, when it is made with such regimes?

The foreign policy choices being made in some Western capitals risk the stability of the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world. This means the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs.

Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria.

We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners. Nothing is ruled out in our pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the Arab World as King Abdullah — then Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince — showed with his leadership of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We showed our preparedness to act independently with our decision to reject a seat on the United Nations Security Council. What point was there in serving in an international talking shop when so many lives are threatened, and so many opportunities for peace and security are being thwarted by the U.N.’s inability to act?

We continue to show our determination through our support for the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian opposition. It is too easy for some in the West to use the threat of Al Qaeda’s terrorist operations in Syria as an excuse for hesitation and inaction. Al Qaeda’s activities are a symptom of the international community’s failure to intervene. They should not become a justification for inaction. The way to prevent the rise of extremism in Syria — and elsewhere — is to support the champions of moderation: financially, materially and yes, militarily, if necessary. To do otherwise is to walk on by, while a humanitarian disaster and strategic failure continue to fester.

Saudi Arabia will continue on this new track for as long as proves necessary. We expected to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners who have previously talked so much about the importance of moral values in foreign policy. But this year, for all their talk of “red lines,” when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.

Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud is Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/opinion/saudi-arabia-will-go-it-alone.html?src=recg&pagewanted=print
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ersatzredux



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Location: Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The gift that just keeps on giving:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/11/syria-war-international-effort-southern-front-assad

That fresh army from Saudi Arabia must be ready to go.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ersatzredux wrote:
The gift that just keeps on giving:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/11/syria-war-international-effort-southern-front-assad

That fresh army from Saudi Arabia must be ready to go.


How can we hurt Putin?

I know, lets make the civil war in Syria worse?

https://www.google.com/search?q=syria+before+and+after
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ersatzredux wrote:

I mean, come on, do you really think Seymour Hersh would have published this article without more than sufficient evidence to make the claims he does? Seymour Hersh?



http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/richardspencer/100250185/ignore-the-conspiracy-theories-assad-was-behind-the-syrian-chemical-weapons-attack/

Apparently so. Richard Spencer points out why Hersh's claims are laughable. Even the news agency (the New Yorker) that Hersh has been a regular contributor over the years refused to publish his article.

Quote:
As I say, the New Yorker and The Washington Post both rejected the Hersh article, the latter by Hersh's own admission, saying its sourcing was inadequate.



Quote:
Unfortunately it reveals how casual he has been. He says, for example, that in contrast to the 1,429 figure, Medecins Sans Frontieres estimated the number of deaths to be 355. The briefest of looks at the MSF press release in question would have shown that the 355 figure was for deaths at the three clinics with which it had worked in the areas affected, out of many such clinics (to say nothing of those who were killed instantly and not taken to hospital). The MSF figures if anything lend weight to the US estimate. I cite that as an example. The more important charges Hersh raises, on the intelligence and ballistics, have already been debunked by much closer observers of the conflict than either Hersh or Peter.


Quote:
The administration never claimed to have real-time knowledge of the chemical weapons attack, so the revelation that it did not have that knowledge does not prove it was lying. After the attack, intelligence went through (and translated) intercepts and found conversations by Assad officials discussing the attacks in advance.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And while we are on the topic S.H has a LONG history of making unsubstantiated reports.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-deceits-of-seymour-hersh/

Here are a few of them

Quote:
The Times promptly hired Hersh to work in its Washington bureau, where the sloppiness that would come to define his journalism career soon became evident. In 1974, he claimed that the former U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Edward Korry, was involved in a coup d’état the previous year. It wasn’t until 1981 that Hersh would write a 3,000-word, front-page retraction exonerating Korry that Time referred to as “the longest correction ever published


Quote:
In 1991, Hersh published The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, which featured a variety of stupendous (and occasionally, contradictory) allegations. To take but a handful: Hersh alleged that, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel blackmailed the United States into launching a weapons airlift by threatening to deploy its nuclear arsenal against Arab adversaries—a claim that Richard Nixon later said had “no foundation whatsoever.” Hersh also wrote that Israel had targeted cities in the Soviet Union with its nuclear arsenal while simultaneously passing along American nuclear secrets to Moscow.

The source for this, and much else in the book, was Ari Ben-Menashe, an Israeli con man and “spinner of tangled yarns,” according to Time. Perhaps the most infamous of such yarns was the 1980 meeting Ben-Menashe claims to have witnessed in Paris where then Vice Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush persuaded Iranian leaders to hold American hostages until after the election. Hersh himself would later admit that Ben-Menashe “lies like people breathe.


Quote:
As he had with his book on Israel’s nuclear-weapons program, Hersh fell for a hoax—in this case, a series of forged documents indicating that John F. Kennedy had, among many other indignities, offered hush money to his alleged lover, Marilyn Monroe, and had conspired with mafia bosses to overthrow Fidel Castro. Ultimately, two forensic experts hired by ABC News—in the midst of producing a documentary based on a working draft of Hersh’s book—concluded that the documents were fakes. Hersh admitted he had been duped and removed all references about the documents from his manuscript before the book was published.


There are more instances but suffice it to say that Hersh does not often check his facts if the story fits his various agendas.

And this is not a "hatchet job" to use your words...these are documented occurrences with Hersh himself admitting Mea Culpa in several instances.

He's a sloppy journalist who had a lucky break with My Lai and has been riding on those laurels ever since.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-27/here-youtube-false-flag-attack-syria-clip-erdogan-wanted-banned

Quote:
Here Is The YouTube "Start A False Flag War With Syria" Leaked Recording That Erdogan Wanted Banned

As we noted here, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had blocked Twitter access to his nation ahead of what was rumored to be a "spectacular" leak before this weekend's elections. Then this morning, amid a mad scramble, he reportedly (despite the nation's court ruling the bans illegal) blocked YouTube access. However, by the magic of the interwebs, we have the 'leaked' clip and it is clear why he wanted it blocked/banned. As the rough translation explains, it purports to be a conversation between key Turkish military and political leaders discussing what appears to be a false flag attack to launch war with Syria.


Erdogan has accepted the authenticity of the call.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHVRE0QzwIA

BBC made up evidence. Digitally altering the word napalm to 'chemical weapons' in an interview.
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ersatzredux



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Location: Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUrbanMyth wrote:
ersatzredux wrote:

I mean, come on, do you really think Seymour Hersh would have published this article without more than sufficient evidence to make the claims he does? Seymour Hersh?



http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/richardspencer/100250185/ignore-the-conspiracy-theories-assad-was-behind-the-syrian-chemical-weapons-attack/

Apparently so. Richard Spencer points out why Hersh's claims are laughable. Even the news agency (the New Yorker) that Hersh has been a regular contributor over the years refused to publish his article.

Quote:
As I say, the New Yorker and The Washington Post both rejected the Hersh article, the latter by Hersh's own admission, saying its sourcing was inadequate.



Quote:
Unfortunately it reveals how casual he has been. He says, for example, that in contrast to the 1,429 figure, Medecins Sans Frontieres estimated the number of deaths to be 355. The briefest of looks at the MSF press release in question would have shown that the 355 figure was for deaths at the three clinics with which it had worked in the areas affected, out of many such clinics (to say nothing of those who were killed instantly and not taken to hospital). The MSF figures if anything lend weight to the US estimate. I cite that as an example. The more important charges Hersh raises, on the intelligence and ballistics, have already been debunked by much closer observers of the conflict than either Hersh or Peter.


Quote:
The administration never claimed to have real-time knowledge of the chemical weapons attack, so the revelation that it did not have that knowledge does not prove it was lying. After the attack, intelligence went through (and translated) intercepts and found conversations by Assad officials discussing the attacks in advance.


I read it, finally. It's just another stupid hatchet job. And the ad hominem on Hersh doesn't change that. What kind of debunking piece skirts around the main points of what it's trying to debunk? To whit: evidence that the "rebels" had access to chemical weapons and the Americans knew it and Obama "cherry picking" intelligence to make a case for bombing. Ten to one says this guy works for British or American intelligence on the side. Look at his beat.

I'm actually kind of surprised you brought this topic up again. Here, watch the UN inspection team pretty much shit all over the claims the Americans made:
http://webtv.un.org/watch/un-mission-to-investigate-allegations-of-the-use-of-chemical-weapons-in-the-syrian-arab-republic-press-conference/2932994876001/#full-text

You know, I was originally planning to compare what the UN inspection team said with the infamous "intelligence community" dossier some neocon cabal cobbled together . The problem is that it is so intentionally vague that is impossible to do. It doesn't even confirm that the government did it- just a "high confidence" assessment by people who remain unnamed. So for example, the bullshit theory "Brown Moses" and Human Rights Watch (?!) came up with that the rockets were fired from 8 km or so away has been totally debunked, including by the UN commission itself. But in the Whitehouse thing, it only says rockets were fired from "government areas"- it does not say what ones. Almost as if they were afraid of getting themselves pinned down in an obvious blatant fabrication. Unfortunately the real range of 2 km means they had to have been fired from rebel areas. Gee, makes you kind of wonder, doesn't it? If they were actually able to detect the missiles being fired, how come they could not know from where they came?

Unless they were knowingly lying of course. Which is probably why not a single member or organization of the supposed intelligence community is mentioned as supporting it. They couldn't even find a jackass like Powell or some other political general to do a dog and pony show with charts and diagrams and such.

And Titus is right, that digital overdub of of the BBC report really did happen. But why would the BBC go and do something like that?
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