Let's be clear. I did not write the following article. I came across this article (in French) that, in my opinion, is a must read. It is published at by Richard Labévière.

It is a good reminder of how much propaganda is being pushed in the west to portray the Syrians and Russians and Iranians as evil beasts while touting America as a band of angels. The author of the following piece reminds us that after World War II the United States knowingly and happily recruited and relied on Nazis who played a direct role in the murder of thousands of Jews. One of those was Klaus Barbie, the butcher of Lyon. Anyway, please enjoy the following.

Beirut, February 26, 2017.

At the request of several readers and listeners, we return to our "exclusive information" of last week (19 February 2018), published by (number 166): "Syrieleaks: a British diplomatic cable unveils Western strategy ".

It is the legendary Pierre Lazareff who said that "for a journalist, to release an exclusivity is always a test, if not a pain". And the boss of France-Soir did not yet know the digital networks (misnamed "social networks"), Fake News and future laws on Fake News …


First, there are those who summon you to exhibit the document on the spot. There are also those who tell you that "the serious media do not talk about it". There are still those who ask you very quietly to reveal your sources. Finally, others are surprised by "your discretion on the web", not understanding that we can live without immediately telling facts, gestures, emotions on digital networks!

The same can not imagine that we have no account face or tweet or other, or that we have passed the age of rushing on the TV sets of immediacy and emotion continuously, to sides of self-proclaimed experts of such or such specialty … In reality, what really happened?


Dated January 12, 2018, the British Diplomatic Telegram (TD) – signed by Benjamin Norman (who tracks Middle East issues at the British Embassy in Washington) – has circulated a lot behind the scenes of the Wehrkunde, the last Munich Security Conference (16-18 February). Why ? Because this document – quite exceptional – reveals the content of a meeting (of the "Small Group on Syria", bringing together high-ranking diplomats from the United States, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Jordan ), which should have been kept strictly confidential.

Why ? Because it reveals, by the menu, the "Western strategy" concerning the war in Syria: to feed and multiply the hostilities by any means to prevent a Pax Russiana; to continue an intense communication campaign on the Russian and Syrian bombings that kill civilians; frame the UN Special Representative for Syria – Staffan de Mistura – with a binding roadmap; sabotage the Sochi peace conference to return to Geneva in a tripartite format: Syrian opposition, Syrian government and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS – mainly made up of Kurdish deputies on the orders of the Pentagon).

In the background, the British TD described the two main political objectives: to sabotage the Sochi conference and to prepare the same massive propaganda campaign that accompanied the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016, intended to punctuate the reconquest, admittedly devastating, by the Syrian government army of Eastern Ghouta (suburb of Damascus) in the hands of different terrorist groups. Reading the document, we understand that this Western strategy opts for "an endless war" in Syria, while denouncing to the international public opinion a new "humanitarian catastrophe". In conclusion, TD welcomes the US leadership for effective implementation and media coverage – as broad as possible – of this strategy.

First wanting to protect its source, has chosen not to publish the entire TD to transmit its facsimile to his friends from L'Humanité-Dimanche, in order to publish extracts on Thursday, February 22nd. Still behind the scenes at the Munich meeting, another facsimile was sent to several Arab journalists. This is how the daily Al-Akhbar of Beirut, made the one of the same Thursday of February, reproducing large extracts of the document in a special file of several pages. With the exception of the French press, these two titles have been widely used by media around the world …

Significant accuracy: still in Munich, the document in question was the subject of scrupulous authentication by two experts of European intelligence services, as well as by the head of the security forces of one of the Arab countries participating in the Bavarian meeting! So much for the misguided, the imprecators of Fake News, global plots, conspiracies and new kitchens.


More seriously, this TD was a perfect harbinger of what happened next and what is currently happening operationally in Syria: adding new wars to the ongoing war. For several years, has described the Syrian conflict as a "civil-global war", stating that it makes four main dynamics interact: 1) United States against Russia; 2) Saudi Arabia against Iran; 3) Turkey against Kurds; 4) finally, global jihadists (Al-Qaeda) against local jihadists (Dae'ch, in particular).

On the operational side, the revelations of Benjamin Norman's TD proved to be perfectly relevant. In announcing the formation of a corps of 30,000 combatants (a few days before the Sochi summit), the Pentagon deliberately pressed the red button of a new Turkish military intervention. Not only did Washington implicitly give Ankara its green light, but as a bonus, the American strategists created an undeniable feud between Kurdish factions to consolidate their FDS allies, whose presence they intend to impose in Geneva …

Other worrying is the fifth and new dimension of this "civil-global war", namely the extension and formalization of massive Israeli interference. In Munich again, Benjamin Netanyahu brandished a piece of sheet metal in the official platform of the conference, claiming it was the debris of an Iranian drone shot down into Israeli airspace. This issue allowed him to threaten Iran, hammering again and again that his "forces of evil" were seeking to settle permanently on the borders of the Jewish state and that this eventuality now justified "preventive" military actions.

That said, Tel-Aviv was especially furious to have had one of its fighter planes shot down in Syria by a missile of the government army. It is still – it has been a long time and every day that God is doing – that we see Israeli fighters and warships "pre-emptively" violating the Lebanese air and maritime spaces, without this reality being a great emotion to the "international community". , starting with the United States and its European allies … On this recurring threat, we can only advise the reading or the reading of the masterful book of the French-Lebanese political scientist Frédéric Domont and his coauthor, Walid Charara: Hezbollah, a islamo-nationalist movement1.

Finally, to the four dynamics of the "civil-global war" of Syria, now adds a fifth – those of Israeli military interference – at the same time as Donald Trump announces the start of construction of "Mini-Nucs", theater nuclear weapons! This announcement is doubly worrying: because it breaks with the classic nuclear deterrence doctrine based on the existence of "non-employment weapons"; in a context that sees the rapprochement, not only of the United States and Israel, but also of Saudi Arabia, three of the actors of the "civil-global war" who want to do battle with Tehran!


Meanwhile, in the city and in our strange skylights, we are witnessing the same propagandist surge that prevailed during the liberation of Aleppo during the last half of 2016. In this regard, the last book of Maria Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva deconstructs very precisely the the logic of communication and propaganda put into action by the American and Western media. Today, for Ghouta, the same machinery is in action, identical.

On the other hand, not a word about the dozens of mortar shells (fired by the terrorists of Ghouta) who fall daily on the place of the Abbassids (north-east of Damascus), nor on the Christian districts (as by chance ) – Bab Touma and Bab Cherki – downtown. At the time we go to press, there are more than a hundred casualties and many wounded, but these deaths do not interest the Western press!

No one can deny the violence and horror of the ongoing operations in Eastern Ghouta and other suburbs of Damascus where jihadist groups use civilian populations as human shields under regime bombardments. The French daily Libération cites complacently a former ambassador of France in Damascus – Michel Duclos – who seems to discover that "the Russians and the regime of Bashar al-Assad seem determined to recover the whole Syrian territory, as they have often repeated." All proportion kept of course, the Syrians who live in their country would they be legitimate if they condemned the French authorities seeking to regain control of the ZAD of Notre Dame des Landes, or to put Corsican nationalists in step? The question that must always be asked in civil wars, the most atrocious wars: who are the true savages? We can only advise the reading of Montaigne in this respect!

During the battle of Aleppo, the Western press was crying loudly on a "martyred city" and "besieged" while at the same time she was talking about the "liberation" of Mosul … What is more logical to see the government army of a nation-state seeking to regain control of its entire territory in the exhaustiveness of its historical boundaries? And, of course, we should not try to smuggle the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and other armed groups – supported by the West, the Gulf countries and Israel – for "freedom fighters" !

Maria Khodynskaya explains it very precisely in her already quoted book: for several years Russian diplomats have been asking their American and European counterparts for the list of "armed" groups known as "moderate, secular and democratic". Unsurprisingly, this list has never been produced, while currently the US special forces are recycling Dae'ch terrorists into new units of the … SDS and other armed factions to continue the fight against "the regime" of Bashar al-Assad ".

No surprises! American services are customary because of this. In the aftermath of the Second World War, they recycled many former Gestapo thugs into their special units, the armed forces of the Cold War. They employed many Nazis in the service of Latin American dictatorships – as part of the Condor Plan, in Chile, Argentina, Brazil or Panama – and other professional killers, the "Contras" to annihilate the Sandinista revolution. from the late 1970s. More recent examples could be found in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine …

How dare Americans, even today, give lessons of "clean wars", as if such a phantasmagoria could exist … While waiting for an appointment in Sodeco, on the Green Line of Beirut civil war (1975 – 1989), I scan beautiful Ottoman houses whose walls, columns and vaults are still perforated with bullet holes and mortar fire. Rereading Jules Roy – Jules Roy must be reread on Indochina, the Algerian war and other woes of the world – I find this passage where the writer evokes a conversation with a Lebanese Forces lawyer: "if I confessed to him that at the time we did not even ask ourselves any questions, at least I am not insensible. Going to throw phosphorus bombs and explosive bombs on German cities to burn everything and shave everything seemed to be part of our mission. No choice: a question of life or death, the only way to back down the time when Germany would use the secret weapons it was not far from perfecting. Perhaps it would have been more effective to destroy the factories where warheads and rocket engines were assembled, but what safer way to crush the opponent's morale: to kill civilians, women and children? No, no, I never hesitated. On my flight book, we do not find Dresden, but Duisburg, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Koblenz, Cologne twice, not counting the factories of synthetic gasoline or ball bearings of the Ruhr, the usual routine, the god Moloch who devours the crews. I simply say that I did not have much scruples at that time. "

Could our memoryless era have forgotten the wars our democracies have waged, how have they led them, and with what consequences? Since the end of the Cold War, the nature of the war has fundamentally changed, especially with the "war on terror," declared by George W. Bush the day after the attacks of September 11, 2001, a "war" that does not has not yet said all his tricks. But after the disappearance of the Eastern bloc, it was imperative to rebuild a large-scale state enemy that could guarantee the reproduction of the military-industrial complex, guaranteeing millions of jobs and the juicy dividends.

In this perspective, an effective handshake between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would have been catastrophic, Western stock markets being literally paralyzed by such a perspective, hence the endless soap opera of Russian interference in US elections and media systems. European. As early as 2012, Alain Joxe explained to us that the objective of the new American wars – and by Western extension – was no longer aimed at the victory on the ground, the control of the territory and the populations, but the production, the export and the generalization of new weapons, new software for cyber warfare, shifting the balance of power to their total digitization.

Contemporary globalization has created the "war of all against all", and by all means possible to produce new tools for capital accumulation. In the straight line of this deadly logic, the necessary continuum between war, propaganda and profit has been imposed. Benjamin Norman's TD announces "an endless war" in Syria and more widely in the Near and Middle East, illustrating to perfection Cecil Rhodes' edifying observation: "money is the blood of others …"

Enjoy reading and see you next week.

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20 Responses to SYRIA LEAKS: SUITES, PROPAGANDA AND DIVIDENDS (presented by Publius Tacitus)

  1. jjc says:

    “to continue an intense communication campaign on the Russian and Syrian bombings that kill civilians…”
    Mission accomplished, at least with Ghouta. Here’s a quick rundown of just a few headlines this morning., via Google News aggregator:
    Syrian Activists Say 6 Killed During Russian-Ordered Pause -Associated Press
    As Assaults in Syria Rage On, UN Warns of War Crimes. – Haaretz
    Syria Attacks: No Justification For Bombing Civilians, Australia Tells Regime. – The Guardian
    Relentless Syrian Bombing Campaign Turns This Syrian Suburb Into ‘Hell On Earth’. – PBS
    More Civilians Killed In East Ghouta Despite UN Imposed Ceasefire. – TRT World
    Syrians Fight For Survival Despite Assad’s Poison Gas Warfare. – Huff Post
    US Pressure Needed To Prop Up Imperilled Syrian Ceasefire. – Axios
    UN Says Syrian Actions In East Ghouta May Represent Crimes Against Humanity. – Deutsche Welle
    Eastern Ghouta Death Toll Casts Doubt on Russia’s Truce Plan. – The Guardian
    Past Time To End Impunity For Atrocities in East Ghouta. – Human Rights Watch
    Inside A School Still Running On the Edge of Rebel-Led Syria. – CBS
    In Syria ‘Never Again’ Has become ‘Never Mind’. – Daily Beast
    Children In East Ghouta Use Social Media To Highlight Woes. -Anadolu Agency
    How to account for the one-sided unanimity, aligned with the expressed intentions of the diplomatic grouping listed in the leaked memo (US, UK, France, Saudia Arabia, Jordan)? There is no mention of representatives of the media at the strategy session. What is the process by which they “got the memo”? And when exactly did the vaunted free press become the equivalent of the old Pravda?

  2. Walker says:

    And when exactly did the vaunted free press become the equivalent of the old Pravda?
    In the US, 2002 if not earlier.

  3. Clueless Joe says:

    When did Western press become Pravda?
    Under Obama at the latest, for the bulk of European press – specially if one considers the following: I’ve known Labeviere’s journalist/analyst work when he was still working with mainstream media; he dropped out some years ago, obviously when he realised what was going on. I didn’t bother to track him then, so it’s nice for me to finally see what he’s been up to, and to see he’s still in fighting spirit.

  4. Christian Chuba says:

    Regarding ‘clean wars’, Mosul was a bloodbath. That was a 9 mo siege and there were no calls for truces for humanitarian aid convoys.
    Total civilian deaths, 10,000 consistent w/number of missing, ISIS executed about 3,000 while the Pentagon claims that 321 died from coalition bombing (if you don’t see them they don’t count). How the MSM doesn’t laugh at the Pentagon number is beyond me.
    Patrick Cockburn describes some of the dynamics in Mosul on why the civilian death toll was so high …
    – Destroy an entire building to take out a sniper, civilians inside get crushed.
    – Bomb anything covered with canvas which amounts to indiscriminate bombing.
    I’m not saying that I could have come up with a better plan, just pointing out that we were up to our elbows when confronted by urban warfare.

  5. blowback says:

    The Washington Borg and their poodles need to get a move on with their propaganda – the SAA is about 2.5km from slicing East Ghouta in half according to, a pro-rebel site. The SAG will be offering the green buses to the terrorists shortly.
    BTW, there have been claims that there are about 70,000 terrorist fighters and about 400,000 civilians in East Ghouta. Where are they? According to military doctrine, there should be three attackers for every defender, so the SAA should be using about 210,000 troops for this assault.

  6. Charles Michael says:

    Good question
    the period is circa 2000 and 9/11 did made it unanimous.
    But this unanimity started with the collapse of the Soviet Union: one victor, one system. This reverberated in the political rigth/lefts tug of war, when in fact all two-parties électoral systems representing two, more or less, opposed conceptions, merged in fact in two governmental feuding team playing the same game.The epitome of this being Tony Blair (war criminal)
    The concentration of multitude of medias in the hand of some billionnaires did help.
    Unipolar word, unisex society, parti unique, TINA, end of history, and so on.

  7. Karel Whitman says:

    Mais, après la disparition du bloc de l’Est, il fallait impérativement reconstruire un ennemi étatique d’envergure qui puisse garantir la reproduction du complexe militaro-industiel, en garantir les millions d’emplois et les juteux dividendes.
    Or as Condi Rice, the volcano, in an interview with Der Spiegel during her first German visit in 2005. Read as if she was quite elated, exited. Not verbatim, but close to it. I am sure:
    After 1989 everyone asked himself, who would be our new enemy now? Then 9/11 happened and everyone knew.
    If so, it may be more then an enemy “ennemi étatique”, a larger regional, geostrategic one. Maybe?

  8. PT and all,
    A German site called ‘Rubikon’ – not hitherto known to me, with an interesting choice of name – published a longer discussion of Benjamin Norman’s ‘protocol’, and then a German translation of the original Al Akhbar article. Putting the translation from Arabic into German into English with Google Translate produces something quite coherent, although obviously one cannot be certain that the double translation has not introduced errors.
    (See ; .)
    Some extracts from the discussion on ‘Rubikon’ are interesting, in some ways particularly so from a British point of view:
    ‘The meeting took place on January 11, 2018 in Washington. The participants were Hugh Cleary, head of the British Department of the Middle East, Jérôme Bonnafont, director of ANMO (Afrique du Nord et Moyen-Orient) and North Africa and the Middle East of the French Government, David Satterfield, Deputy Secretary of State the USA for the Middle East, as well as the Jordanian Nawaf Tell and the Saudi Jamal al-Aqeel…
    ‘According to the report, the Saudi participant warned of the risk of further splitting the opposition into different groups and called for help to ensure cohesion. Satterfield responded that opposition representatives “should be more concerned with finding a political solution rather than high salaries and long stays in pleasant hotels.” France supported this remark by emphasizing the necessary “communication”.
    ‘In this regard, according to the article [that in Al Akhbar – DH] , the Commentary is found in the British Protocol: “Unfortunately, the Fifth Republic does not intend to finance these efforts.” Britain recalled that “the opposition’s communication was financed primarily by Great Britain”.’
    That ‘the opposition’s communication was financed primarily by Great Britain’ tallies with what is emerging about the British involvement in ‘StratCom’ – material which different people have posted in different places is going to be appearing on the site of the ‘Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media’ to which I referred in earlier comments, together with much fresh research.
    (See .).
    My suspicion is that what may be lurking just beneath the surface of the document are French reservations about what the ‘Anglo-Saxons’, in collaboration with the Saudis, have been doing.
    I am not convinced that the suggestion that ‘the opposition’s communication was financed primarily by Great Britain’ was in Norman’s ‘protocol.’ It sounds to me quite likely that someone involved in leaking this document had information about what was, in essence, a sharp exchange between French and British representatives, and wanted to make this public.
    In passing, the figure credited with authorship of the ‘protocol’, Benjamin Norman. featured in the second of the ‘open letters’ I wrote to the members of the Commons’ Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees following the Khan Sheikhoun incident.
    (See .)
    Given the importance of the issues involved, it seems worth repeating what I wrote then, in response to claims made by our buffoon of a Foreign Secretary to the House of Commons on 18 April 2017:
    ‘What the Foreign Secretary told the House on Tuesday was that “we know from shell fragments in the crater that sarin had not only been used, but that it was sarin carrying the specific chemical signature of sarin used by the Assad regime.” Responding to the Khan Sheikhoun incident on 4 April, Mr Johnson asserted that “this bears all the hallmarks of an attack by the regime which has repeatedly used chemical weapons.”
    ‘So, what is the Foreign Secretary now suggesting? Is it that tests have shown that the “particular properties” of the sarin found in the samples purporting to come from Khan Sheikhun have been shown to match those of the materials whose destruction on the U.S. vessel MV “Cape Ray” was completed in August 2014? Or is it that they have been shown to match those identified by tests on samples from the incidents which have been adduced in support of the claim that the Syrian government ‘has repeatedly used chemical weapons’?
    ‘As I pointed out last week, precisely the contention of those who have argued that the 21 August 2013 atrocity at Ghouta was a “false flag” is that the test results on samples from that incident, and its predecessors, demonstrate that the sarin used there did not have the “particular properties” of that in the Syrian government arsenal.
    ‘Specifically, their case is that the results on tests from Ghouta incidents indicate that the sarin used there was, “not manufactured professionally” (“sasa wawa”, on the “Who Attacked Ghouta?” blog,), “homemade” (Sergei Lavrov, interviewed by the “Washington Post”), “kitchen sarin” (Seymour Hersh – in interviews on “Democracy Now!” and elsewhere).
    ‘The “chemical signature” of the sarin used at Ghouta, those who have argued that the incident was a “false flag” assert, was totally different from that of the high-quality toxin produced for the Syrian programme, intended to provide a “poor man’s deterrent” against Israel.
    ‘Before we can get involved in substantive arguments about the Foreign Secretary’s assertions, we really do need to clarify precisely what it is he and his officials are claiming. The only attempt I have seen at such clarification was made by Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer and Scotland Yard detective, on “Twitter”.
    ‘His attempt was provoked by a “tweet” from a British diplomat in Washington covering Syria and the Middle East, Benjamin Norman, repeating the Foreign Secretary’s claims. “Furthermore, ‘we know from shell fragments in the crater that sarin had not only been used’, but it was #Assad’s sarin”, Mr Norman “tweeted”. And he went on to add “Got cut off by Twitter character limits, but analysis of samples shows chemical markers of Assad’s sarin supply.”
    ‘The thread shows Shoebridge attempting to secure clarification, and in so doing putting the crucial question – which “chemical markers” were at issue. At 8.46 am on 19 April he “tweeted”: “Thanks for reply: To be clear, CW from 4.4.17 an exact match of @OPCW samples of old Syria govt sarin stocks?” At 12.48pm, Norman responded: “You’re welcome! Think it is a question of same markers, but will check.”
    ‘So, when the Foreign Secretary was making confident assertions to the House, a British diplomat in Washington specialising in Syria did not really have a clear idea what he was claiming. It is now 22 April, and Norman has provided no clarification. We still do now know precisely what HMG are suggesting the test results at Porton Down prove, and it is not clear whether the Foreign Secretary does either.’
    Unsurprisingly, none of the – gutless – MPs to whom I was writing took up the questions I was raising. Subsequent claims in reports from the UN/OPCW ‘Fact-Finding Mission’ and ‘Joint Investigative Mechanism’ are rather transparent attempts to obfuscate these crucial questions.
    So to find Benjamin Norman – another of those crooked British ‘retards’, (Andrei Lugovoi’s phrase) who so eagerly collaborate with equally crooked American ‘retards’, surfacing as the author of the ‘protocol’ referred to in PT’s post, is not surprising. The list of ‘usual suspects’ keeps growing: to Benjamin Norman we can add Christopher Steele, Robert Hannigan, Matthew Rycroft, Matt Tait, as well as successive heads of MI6, and as the Germans might say, usw.
    Another interesting aspect of the reports of the reports of Norman’s ‘protocol’ is that, if true, they suggest a continued delusional optimism about the prospects of getting Russia to climb down in Syria. This assumption that one could always – to use a term beloved of Victoria Nuland and Strobe Talbott – get the Russians to ‘eat their spinach’, dies very hard.
    The difficulties of bringing such delusional – and extremely unpleasant – people into contact with some kind of reality may be among the many factors relevant to Putin’s decision to focus in the most public possible way on what has clearly been a long-term Russian strategy to use asymetric means to nullify, at one and the same time, American attempts to use missile defence to establish an incontestable nuclear superiority, and American naval power.

  9. Christian Chuba says:

    BTW Tacitus, the link that you have displayed as has the link address….
    I was able to visit the website when I manually typed it in you may want to fix it.

  10. LeaNder says:

    A very, very interesting link. David, stored it when you linked a while ago. Looked at the circle/contributor. Definitively wish them and their highly interesting cross-fields-project the very, very best.

  11. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Even if Russia climbs down, Iran would not. In 1940, only Britain was fighting the war.

  12. Dmcna says:

    I think Benjamin Norman annoyed someone a lot. It is certainly not hard to imagine. I am pleased to have confirmed the view I had formed of his tweets, particularly pleased to have it confirmed by him.

  13. In response to LeaNder @11,
    I think that a lot of interesting stuff may be going to appear on the site. Making it possible for academics, journalists, and others interested in the propaganda aspect to ‘network’ may be very useful.
    In passing, do you have sense of what kind of site ‘Rubikon’ is?

  14. In response to Dmcna, comment 14.
    I had another look at Norman’s ‘twitter’ output. It seems that he is doing precisely what it was suggested was going to be done according to the ‘protocol’ which it is alleged he authored. Among items he ‘retweets’ is one from the U.S. Embassy in Syria, with a slide quoting the ‘White Helmets’ head Raed Saleh, announcing: ‘It’s Putin Who Is Actually Ruling Syria, not Bashar Al Asad.’
    In relation to the ‘White Helmets’, the ‘case for the prosecution’ was set out in detail in a presentation by the journalist Vanessa Beeley to the Swiss Press Club in Geneva back in November, with Richard Labévière also involved – available, together with links to a range of supporting material, at
    The first appearance of the ‘Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media’ was in a letter submitted to the ‘Comment is Free’ section of the ‘Guardian’, and not published by them, in response to an article by Olivia Solon which attacked Beeley among others.
    It claimed that critical discussion of the White Helmets in Syria has been ‘propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government’.
    The article rejected by the ‘CiF’ was reproduced, together with an account of the failure of the ‘Guardian’ either to publish it or to defend their decision not to, on Tim Hayward’s blog in January. It contains links to material which calls into question the role role of the ‘White Helmets.’
    (See .)
    There are interesting parallels between the history of that group, in which a key figure is the former British Army officer James Le Mesurier, and other operations with a strong ‘StratCom’ element in which former British military people have been involved, the ‘InCoStrat’ operation run by Paul Tilley, and the ‘Secure Bio’ one run by Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.
    Evidence about these is presented on the page entitled ‘Talk: British Involvement in Syria’ on the ‘A Closer Look On Syria’ site.
    (See .)
    So a great deal of other material ‘meshes’ with the suggestion implied by the comments attributed to Benjamin Norman, that the United Kingdom has a kind of speciality in ‘StratCom’ in relation to the attempts of Western powers to achieve ‘régime change’ in Syria. One advantage of this may be to keep such operations away from prying American eyes.
    Concluding his demolition of the ‘Joint Intelligence Mechanism’ report into Khan Sheikhoun, also published on Hayward’s blog, Paul McKeigue writes:
    ‘The weight of evidence favouring the hypothesis of a managed massacre over a chemical attack has obvious implications also for the role of the White Helmets in this incident.’
    (See .)
    This brings us back to a critical question about the ‘false flag’ chemical attacks in Syria, and in particular Khan Sheikhoun – that of whether the involvement of elements in Western élites is purely a matter of ‘ex post facto’ involvement in cover-ups, or whether ‘ex ante’ involvement in planning these operations may also be at issue.
    And, of course, in relation to Benjamin Norman and other FCO people, prominent among them Matthew Rycroft and Boris Johnson, a question really does arise as to: ‘What did they know and when did they know it?’
    It also seems to me quite possible that someone does not like Norman – and I would have every sympathy with them. Who it might be is an interesting question.
    A difficulty is, I think, that although I have no doubt that there is a great deal of fire beneath the smoke of the Al Akbar report, it shows every sign of having been carefully constructed so as to obscure the real source of the leak. It is also by no means impossible that some element of distortion of the contents of the ‘protocol’ was involved.
    It is said to have been prepared for the FCO, but ‘point 20’ suggests it was directed to David Satterfield, the Deputy Secretary of State for the Middle East. Meanwhile, what nobody has so far provided are cogent reasons why the document should not be released in full.
    But then, it is not uncommon for this kind of leak to involve a mixture of accurate and inaccurate information, creating a kind of ‘snooker.’ So Norman is not in a position to say: yes I did complain about the French not paying for ‘StratCom’, but it wasn’t in the ‘protocol.’ And that complaint does sound to me authentic.

  15. outthere says:

    David, have you seen this:
    Yes, Newsweek & RT, Syria’s Regime uses Chemical Weapons
    By contributors | Mar. 5, 2018 |
    By Brian Whitaker | ( |
    Mattis explained that there were “reports from the battlefield” from people who claimed sarin had been used. but added: “We do not have evidence of it. But we’re not refuting them; we’re looking for evidence of it.”
    He said the American suspicions of renewed sarin use arose partly out of the Assad regime’s previous behaviour: “they were caught using it” during the Obama administration (a reference to the Ghouta attacks in 2013) and “they used it again” after Trump became president (Khan Sheikhoun in 2017).
    . . .
    In 2014, however, a fact-finding mission from the OPCW concluded “with a high degree of confidence” that chlorine had been used:
    “Thirty-seven testimonies of primary witnesses, representing not only the treating medical professionals but a cross-section of society, as well as documentation including medical reports and other relevant information corroborating the circumstances, incidents, responses, and actions, provide a consistent and credible narrative.
    “This constitutes a compelling confirmation that a toxic chemical was used as a weapon, systematically and repeatedly, in the villages of Talmanes, Al Tamanah, and Kafr Zeta in northern Syria. The descriptions, physical properties, behaviour of the gas, and signs and symptoms resulting from exposure, as well as the response of the patients to the treatment, leads the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] to conclude, with a high degree of confidence, that chlorine, either pure or in mixture, is the toxic chemical in question.”

  16. Anna says:

    A convincing — and rather frightening — description of American “deciders:”
    “American power elites, the majority of whom have never served a day in uniform nor ever attended serious military academic institutions and whose expertise on serious military-technological and geopolitical issues is limited to couple of seminars on nuclear weapons and, in the best case scenario, the efforts of the Congressional Research Service are simply not qualified to grasp the complexity, the nature and application of military force.”

  17. nq says:

    I didn’t need a British protocol to understand that future Western policy in Syria is going to be “eternal war”. It’s the only response, faced with defeat. We’ve heard a lot of it in the media recently.
    The question is: does it mean anything? Evidently, no. The Syrians advance slowly, but surely. The BBC, yes them, is very negative about the future of Ghouta. The Syrians are close to cutting the pocket in two. Meyssan, living in Damascus, says the Spetsnaz have arrived. If true, that has to be to avert a US/Israeli coup on Damascus, quite possible. They are not needed for the Ghouta battle.

  18. nq says:

    Sorry, I didn’t notice. nq is Laguerre.

  19. LeaNder says:

    David, looking at it pretty superficially a German: multicultural, live-and-let-live crowd. … lots of “friends” there …
    Founded in April 2017. Thus strictly they could be anti-Trump? But seem to or may have become more active due to dissent on both Ukraine and Syria matters too.
    Again: Writers base contains lots of “mental friends”. Or people whose names are familiar/’friends’ or known from my interior favorite inquiry “bases” over here. Although I wasn’t familiar with it before.
    High up on Google: Apparently “Rubikon” caught the attention of de.Wikimannia too. (….?) Which seems to be a more restricted attempt at multi-language challenge to Wikipedia—the French Right opting out?–seemingly more nationally interested. National focus, no interest to translate across language barriers I can see. Meaning no efforts in this case to get the collected knowledge across to others. Like you.
    There is an Swiss article on the web more or less observing media matters, which I would like to send you via Google translate. Unfortunately it contains a couple of plays with words/Wortspiele which Google translate cannot handle.
    In a nutshell, it may be open beyond its multicultural basis to a basic left-right/Querfront/English:Third Position information flow as to information. But as I wrote above, may at least on first sight basically come from “the evil multi-cultural mindsight” or camp.
    Beyond struggling as others to gain public attention?
    No time to proofread

  20. The “rapprochement, not only of the United States and Israel”? When were the two estranged?

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