A recent leaked email from an OPCW officer is even more damning evidence that its initial report from its own inspectors was doctored to point the finger at Assad. But who cares?
Was it Edmund Burke who said “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”? Sadly, this adage doesn’t apply to western leaders or the journalists in big titles which can’t admit to a ‘mea culpa’ on Douma chemical attacks.
What is harder to swallow? The fact that the chemical weapons arbiter, the OPCW, has habitually lied by doctoring its report on the 2018 Douma chemical weapons attack in Syria, or the fact that western media won’t report on it? Or worse, that it continues to stick to its policy of smearing those who point the finger at the organization and its tainted findings, while remaining loyal to its own echo chamber which promotes the false narrative that Assad was behind it – when the facts fail to support it?
In May of this year a group made up of UK academics faced a baptism of fire aimed at discrediting it as being Assad apologists, when it pointed out clear doctoring of the final drafted report on the Douma attack, which blamed the Syria leader – and corresponded with the policies of western governments like the US and UK to swiftly execute a bombing campaign in Syria.
And yet just recently, in mid-November, a bombshell landed on the desks of most journalists covering Syria, which more or less backed up the academics’ charge, that there was little if any evidence to support the narrative of Assad being behind the chemical attacks.
But this time it was from an OPCW official who was part of the team which initially headed out to the site in April 2018.
A Wikileaks revelation of that same inspector’s email, just shortly after carrying out an inspection of the bomb site and gathering evidence, has shown that the academics who originally blew the whistle, were bang on the money. His email raises a number of concerns about how the initial draft report written by him and his colleagues, succumbed to a stern re-write, which tipped the balance of doubt towards Assad, whereas before it struggled to go either way.
In the days which followed the attack, western media widely attributed it to the Syrian Army, based on reports by rebel forces that were present in Douma at the time, which, in turn, fed into a hasty conclusion by the United States, British and French governments that Assad was their man.
But the conclusion made, by among others, Boris Johnson was way too hasty. Some questioned how could the then foreign secretary of the UK be so certain so quickly, even before OPCW officers had carried out any tests on the ground?
Could it have been that, the rebels themselves, on the orders of US and British handlers had concocted the attack itself? At the time, despite reports a few weeks earlier that some ‘rebels’ were being trained by SAS soldiers to do just that, it seemed hard to believe.
But the academics study of the report being doctored – confirmed by the whistleblower who was part of the OPCW team of officers – seems now more to lean towards that theory being more likely and Assad culpability being less likely.
Barely a week passed before US, the US and France bombed Assad sites in Syria as mark of their farcical human rights stance.
At the time, some cynical analysts and commentators noted that the OPCW appeared to be very slow off the mark to send inspectors to the site. The worry was that the more time that passed, the greater the opportunity for forensic evidence to be compromised or destroyed. It also seemed quite suspicious that rebels in the same region kicked off a new wave of attacks on the ground, which made access for the inspectors impossible for almost two weeks.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, when the team (which included the whistleblower) arrived it found most of the physical evidence, including the bodies of the deceased, no longer available. It was alleged that 49 had died and up to 650 had been gravely wounded by a weaponized chemical gas released in rebel-held Douma.
The interviews carried out asserted that rebels claimed the gas came from cylinders dropped from aircraft, implicating Syrian government forces who had complete air superiority. Yet the report didn’t refer to a second OPCW document which concluded that the state of the gas containers didn’t support the idea that they were dropped from a great height.
The redacted report seemed to support these conclusions but the author of the released e-mail outlines some specific aspects of it which he considers: “particularly worrisome.”
Chief among the omissions or ‘corrections’ which troubled the author, was the whole subject of chlorine itself. Inspectors originally noted that although there were traces of the chemical, that there was not enough of it for it to be significant and that what they found could have been even household bleach. “likely one or more chemicals that contain a reactive chlorine atom. Such chemicals could include… the major ingredient of household chlorine-based bleach. Purposely singling out chlorine gas as one of the possibilities is disingenuous”, wrote the inspector in the email, leaked to Wikileaks.
And there is the BBC footage of a make shift hospital with horrifying scenes of victims, including children, appearing to be in great pain – images which were broadcast by the British broadcaster and used as evidence to support the Assad narrative. However, the original report – before it was redacted – makes a reference to this footage and points out that the symptoms shown by the victims was not consistent with the inspectors’ findings after interviewing witnesses of the bombing on the day. The whistleblower is disturbed that a section which makes reference to this in the original report was completely deleted at a later point.
And yet, despite this shocking leaked email, mainstream media are avoiding the leak as it contradicts its own narrative and challenges the echo chamber of fake news from Syria, largely cooked up in Washington, Paris and London and supported by servile media outlets less concerned with facts. A similar case in point is how British or American media omits to report on yellow vest protests in Paris, anything about Julian Assange (even a Pink Floyd concert to raise awareness of his incarceration) or only report favourably on such subjects as Harry and Meghan. When it comes to Syria, the truth seems to be anything but an objective that any western journalists are attempting to seek, as they indulge themselves in lies and half truths. Of course it doesn’t help that Assad’s own loyal devotees who kid themselves they are journalists – like Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek who recently attended an Assad conference in Damascus – continue to report on Syria with such a assiduously biased, pro Assad/Hezbollah agenda, that it makes them a laughing stock of many, both in the region and in the West.
The conference, which invited both these Assadanistas as bona fide journalists, drew the wrath of many, like New York artist Molly Crabapple who equated their journalism to Nazi propaganda.
“This is some Goebbels shit,” Crabapple declared. “Prancing around Syria on a government luxury tour, posting tourist photos near torture centers, and mocking Syrian refugees who can never return to their country without risking being tortured to death.”
The sloppy, inaccurate and bigoted reporting from western media on Syria, in particular the Douma attacks which have, via an OPCW report been dressed up as being by Assad’s forces, is a by product or a reaction of the twisted propaganda practiced by Blumenthal and Khalek, who are both incapable of being objective about the torture prisons in Damascus as just one example.
The lessons which we can learn about the OPCW leaked email is that there is hardly any decent journalism in or out of Syria on Syria. The truth is practically impossible to find from either camp. Objectivity barely exists and so the cover up of the real findings of the initial OPCW report can be easily airbrushed away, without hue and cry.
And Edmund Burke, in fact, didn’t say “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Like most reporting on Syria, the quotation is mythical. Enough people chose to believe that he said it, so it was attributed to him. We will, likewise, chose to believe, what we read on Syria. Or how we ‘report’ on it, whether than be on the ground in rebel held territory with mercenaries on the CIA payroll; or, indeed, standing in front of a group of families in a park in Damascus and delivering a monotone to camera on how Syria under Assad is some sort of misunderstood utopia.