The Vietnamese attack on US warships in the Tonkin Gulf? Never happened. The Serbian attack on the Sarajevo marketplace? Never happened. (Bosnian Muslim terrorists did it.) Iraqi soldiers throwing babies out of incubators? Never happened. Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction? Non-existent.
Now we are told that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the chemical weapons attack of 21 August. But even Cameron told MPs, “In the end there is no 100 per cent certainty about who is responsible.” US intelligence officials agreed, saying that the intelligence linking President Assad or his inner circle to the attack was no “slam dunk”.
Why should President Assad court US intervention by ordering the use of chemical weapons? We should always ask, Who gains?
Egyptian intelligence reported a meeting in Turkey between military intelligence officials from Turkey and Qatar with Syrian “rebels”. One of the participants stated, “there will be a game changing event on August 21st” that will “bring the US into a bombing campaign” against Syria.
A rebel-produced video shows rebels firing gas canisters into a residential area, with the word “sarin” clearly spoken. Jabhat al-Nusra rebels were recently caught near the Turkish-Syrian border with a 2-kilogram cylinder of sarin. A photograph shows chemical materials from a rebel weapons stockpile labelled as made in a factory in Saudi Arabia.
Of earlier allegations, Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said that testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated that rebels, not government forces, had used sarin. Del Ponte said the inquiry had yet to see any direct evidence that government forces had used chemical weapons, but said further investigation was required before this could be ruled out. “What appears to our investigation is that it was used by the opponents, by the rebels,” she said. “We have no indication at all that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons.”
Russia has compiled a 100-page report detailing evidence that Syrian rebels, not President Assad’s forces, were behind a sarin gas attack in an Aleppo suburb earlier this year. ■