Attacks Against Syria

Another Illegal War Based on Manipulation and False Pretenses?

The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are U.S. sources and some are those of other countries. Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.

— Colin L. Powell, George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, remarks to the United Nations Security Council (on February 5, 2003)

We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria… or it could’ve been an actual use by [the government of] Bashar al Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey.

— Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, “Israel may be behind Syrian chemical weapons use”, Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2013, (about reports of chemical weapons used in Syria)

Lying and war are always associated. Listen closely when you hear a war-maker try to defend his current war: If he moves his lips, he’s lying.

—  Philip Berrigan (1923-2002), American peace activist and former Roman Catholic priest

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has categorically denied that it launched a poison chemical attack on August 21, 2013, against its own civilian population. Rather, it has pointed to Syrian rebels who are alleged to have recently carried out three such chemical weapon attacks against Syrian soldiers in the same area of the country.

Simple logic would also seem to be on the side of the Syrian government. Indeed, it would have been most idiotic for the Assad regime to launch a chemical attack against its own civilian people, especially a few days after the arrival of a U.N. chemical weapons inspection team (led by Ake Sellstrom with a 14-day mandate), on August 18, and knowing full well that this would most likely bring forth a foreign military intervention.

On the other hand, if there ever was a perfect timing for such a crime, it was for the rebels. Indeed, over the last few months, the Syrian rebels have been pushed back by the Syrian army, and such a horrific and immoral act makes a lot of sense, since it could be enough to provoke the hesitant Obama administration to come to their rescue. It is well known that the first question in a crime investigation is ‘who benefits most from the crime’? In this case, the answer is unequivocal, and it is the rebels in Syria and the countries that back and arm them.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration is quickly jumping to believe a report of the Israeli Mossad, based upon some mysterious intercepted phone conversations between unknown Syrian officials that the August 21 chemical attack, presumably with a nerve gas agent, like sarin, was carried out by the Syrian army. That the U.S. government stands ready to launch an illegal military attack against a sovereign country without the United Nations Security Council’s authorization on the basis of a Mossad report and on simple deductions is very bizarre. To launch an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign country on the basis of a report from the Israeli Mossad would seem to be the summum of irresponsibility and of naivety.

For one, the Israeli Mossad is known for its expertise in false flag operations. Secondly, there are reports that the Israeli secret police has been very active in Syria and has carried out covert operations in that country. Keep in mind that the Mossad’s motto, taken from the Bible, is: “By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt do War.” Therefore, it does not hide its methods of operation. According to insiders, the Mossad is expert in pulling off ‘false flag operations, and it maintains an active spy network in many countries, especially in the USA, using fake passports.

And thirdly, the Mossad has done it before. A former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, described in two New York Times best seller books entitled By Way of Deception (St Martins Press, 1990) and The Other Side of Deception (Harpercollins, 1994) how the Israeli Mossad operates. Consider that, according to Ostrovsky, the Mossad succeeded in fooling American President Ronald Reagan and tricking him into bombing Lybia in 1986, when it used faked pre-recorded radio messages with the misinformation that Lybia was about to launch a massive terror attack on the West.

Now, the Mossad claims that it has intercepted phone calls between Syrian officials regarding a chemical attack, but does not give details and refuses to release the material evidence. There is, therefore, a good chance that these so-called ‘intercepted’ calls were staged to obtain the desired effect. That would be par for the course.

In a word, we may have here a machination that has all the signs of other staged coups, like the ‘Bay of Tonkin’ coup that President Lyndon B. Johnson used in 1964 to attack North Vietnam and like the ‘weapons of mass destruction in Iraq’ hoax that George W.Bush and Dick Cheney used to launch an attack against Iraq in 2003. —We all remember how U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that he had “seen the evidence.” We also remember that the Head of the CIA said that there was a ‘slam dunk’ case that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and that proved to have been most inaccurate and a false pretext for war.

Pro-Israel sycophants in Washington D.C. then were pushing for a U.S. attack of Iraq, as they are now pushing for a U.S. attack of Syria, using similar bogus intelligence “proofs.” Keep in mind that the same group of sycophants advised the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996 “to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program.” Anybody who has not read their report entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” cannot really unders tand what has happened in the Middle East since, and why the Israeli government has wished ever since to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus.

There are numerous other examples when similar disinformation and manipulation have been relied upon to persuade a reluctant public to accept war.

In October 1990, George W. Bush’s father, George H., used the subterfuge of babies who supposedly had been taken out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and let die by the Saddam Hussein Iraki regime so that Iraqi babies could have the incubators, a claim that turned out to be a total fabrication. —Each time a government is circulating photos of dead babies to justify a military aggression, one has to ask if this is not part of a campaign of artful disinformation to manipulate public opinion.

When it comes to the U.S. government to justify military aggression abroad, its credibility is very low indeed.

It is a sad fact that even in so-called democracies, it seems that all wars are based and sold with official lies and fraudulent fabrications in order to fool the people. Warmongers in government know that people do not like wars, especially illegal wars of aggression, against countries which have not attacked them, and that is why their first reflex is to attempt to drag the people along with lies and false pretexts for war, and by dehumanizing any potential enemy through propaganda.

That is why I say that this 2013 sudden haste to bomb the country of Syria has all the appearances of a classical false flag operation to circumvent international law and perpetrate more killing in the name of unaware, uninformed or credulous ordinary Americans.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama —it does not matter who is president, any U.S. “Commander-in-Chief” can be expected to lie and use subterfuges to launch military attacks against other countries. —All of them have done so. As Noam Chomsky (1928-) said, “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”

In Washington D.C., political faces change but not the imperial hubris. American Vice President Joe Biden, for one, is today mimicking Dick Cheney, when he declares solemnly that “there is no doubt” that the Syrian government forces of Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons of mass destruction. So is Secretary John Kerry who says the evidence is “clear”. —Are these two politicians the new Dick Cheneys and the new Colin Powells; i.e., professional liars?

The Obama-Biden administration also claims that it has satellite pictures showing that missiles carrying chemical poison originated from Syrian controlled areas. Did we not learn that satellite intelligence can be most inaccurate? There is a civil war going on in Syria and there are numerous exchanges of missile attacks. How does one determine with certainty that one missile or one rocket rather than another one carries chemical poison?

We all remember when the Bush-Cheney administration claimed that it had satellite intelligence on the Iraq government of Saddam Hussein regarding its weapons of mass destruction program. They showed “satellite images of a chemical weapons factory.” In fact, they were images of empty trailers in the desert!

We remember also the images of the famous aluminum “tubes” that Iraq was supposed to be using in centrifuges for uranium enrichment to build a nuclear weapon “within a year.” Following the American-led 2003 military invasion, no centrifuges, aluminum or otherwise, were found. It turned out that these were all lies to justify the planned aggression.

The fact is that you can have satellite pictures interpreting anything that your fiction mind wants it to be.

There is a more logical explanation, certainly more logical than the official hogwash we have been served so far, about why a few foreign countries (essentially the U.S. and …France!) want to intervene militarily in Syria, even if that means violating international law. (N.B.: So far, the British Parliament has succeeded in stopping David Cameron from doing so). There is indeed a logical reason why the Syrian rebels and some of the countries backing them could have resorted in desperation to a chemical attack against civilians.

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad was on its way to winning its 2 1/2-year-old war against the rebels, some of whom are cannibalist terrorists, many originating from outside Syria. The Syrian national army had these Islamist terrorists on the run in the Damascus countryside and in the Eastern Ghouta.

This development created panic in the chancelleries of the main countries supporting the Syrian terrorists, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel, plus the United States, the U.K. and France, among others. Something had to be done to force the hand of a wavering U.S. President Barack Obama, a man whom Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu despises profoundly.

In the U.S., before the barrage of propaganda began in the media, a Reuters/Ipsos poll indicated that only 9 percent of the American people supported a bombing campaign against Syria. However, there is no doubt that with enough lies and enough propaganda, the Obama-Biden team can raise the public support for a military intervention in Syria.

As for the U.S. Congress, it has been demonstrated time and again, over the last thirty years, that Congress is neocon territory and so riddled with corruption that it is beyond hope. It’s no surprise that the Obama-Biden administration, just like the Bush-Cheney administration, is asking these politicians for a blank check to bomb another foreign country. That’s par for the imperial hubris.

There is little doubt that the U.S. Congress, led by the McCainiacs and other neocon warmongers, will give the Obama-Biden administration all the backing it wants for a unilateral military attack against the country of Syria. This will be in violation of international law and against the wishes of the American people. But who cares about the rule of law?

As U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has repeated, “the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with a U.N. Security Council authorization”. If the Obama administration does not want to abide by the U.N. Charter, it should leave the United Nations and join the club of rogue states.

Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and author of the book The New American Empire. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Rodrigue, or visit Rodrigue's website.