Archive | September 2013

Iran’s New President and Obama’s Bloody Hand


Three things:

1. I’m glad and pleased that Mr. Rouhani, the new Iranian President, acknowledged and condemned the Holocaust committed by Nazis against defenseless Jews. He was right to do that, not for political reasons, but because it’s true, because that horrible massacre committed against Jews is a terrible stain on human history, as is the genocide currently taking place by the so-called “Jewish State” against the defenseless Palestinian people.  He was right to point that out too.

2. Despite the wishes of some so-called Iranian “moderates” and “reformists”, as well as members of the Obama Administration and some American liberals who want to see relations between Iran and the bloody Empire normalized, I don’t.  I’m no fan of the Islamic Republic of Iran which continues to jail and execute political prisoners and has reactionary and medieval laws, especially in regards to women, but I agree with the Kayhan Newspaper of Iran that it would be horrible to see “the hand of our president would for moments be in the bloody clench” of Mr. Obama. Make no mistake: you cannot find a bigger war criminal than Obama among any of the some 200 leaders at the United Nations.

3. It’s not in the long term interests of the world and its inhabitants for any country to possess or acquire the nuclear bomb, including Iran, but even if Iran were to develop one which it says they are not planning to, where is the outcry about Israel’s some two hundred nuclear bombs.  And where is the outcry about its threats against Iran? Where is the outcry against assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists in the last few years? Why single out Iran? Oh wait. I know: it’s Iran that keeps attacking, invading and bombing its neighbors, right? Or is it Israel? So, which country is to be trusted less? Remember: one of these countries is a colonial settler state massacring the natives and attacking other countries; the other has not attacked any country for over 300 years and has a large Jewish population living in peace and prospering.


Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani’s Speech to UN General Assembly

“We must try to build coalitions for peace, not for wars”.

Whatever you think of the Islamic Republic – and I’m one who has serious problems with it and its treatment of dissidents and women and the whole idea of an autocratic religious republic – he did give a good speech to UN General Assembly. His criticism of the mentality of war and violence and economic and military coercion and pursuit of world domination and imposition of its agenda and interests through violence and aggression, directed at the US and its gangster allies in Europe, was right on the money; and so was his mention – rare in UN, due to US pressure – of the atrocities and crimes committed against the Palestinian people by the colonial-settler Zionist state. His speech was full of references to peace and negotiations and the need for mutual respect, fairness and evenhandedness, rather than how and when and who will be attacked next. He also was right to mention the fact that several Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated in the last few years by agents of the CIA and Mossad which were never dealt with or condemned or investigated by UN Security Council. His characterization of US imposed economic sanctions on Iran as criminal and belligerent that hurt the ordinary people and amount to an act of war and aggression was also accurate.

What’s interesting is that against the backdrop of so much aggression against and mistreatment of the Iranian nation by the US Government in the past 50 years, including the CIA coup of 1953 and its support of Saddam’s use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war, which Mr. Rouhani also mentioned, as well as the assassinations, shooting down of a passenger jetliner, sanctions and threats of war, it’s Obama who says he needs to see if Iranians are serious about respecting international laws and that they have to prove they’re sincere and trustworthy. The Empire continues to talk like an Empire.


Goodbye Wiener

I feel left out. Anthony Wiener is gone and I never wrote anything about him. I think I’m entitled to some fun, too. But, I must say, I feel strange because for once, I agreed with the voters’ choice for Mayor of New York, or at least agreed with their choice for whom to reject, most resoundingly. Speaking of rejects – or is the right word imbeciles? – Mr. Wiener got only 5% of the vote who were probably the women who answered his adds.

But, joking aside, there was a question that was raised in the media, as to when and if people forgive politicians who commit inappropriate sex acts and cheat on their wives. David Petraeus, a war criminal and torturer was considered a hero by corporate media until he had an extramarital sex. He can kill and torture, but in his private life, he must act appropriately. That’s where they draws their line.

But, setting aside the political sleaziness and crimes which too often go unpunished, people do forgive inappropriate sexual behavior. Bill Clinton is a prime example. The reason New Yorkers didn’t forgive Wiener isn’t because his sexual misbehavior was particularly egregious compared to others’, but, because they realized, as time went on during the campaign, that this Wiener guy was not only a sleazy cheat, but that he was a real asshole.

My problem with him was his extreme reactionary and racist positions against Palestinians. That was enough for me to hate the jerk, but, I, too, realized how intolerably revolting this guy was, the more I saw him on TV. And true to form, as he was leaving, he showed his middle finger to reporters filming him.

For once, I felt part of the majority who rejected an asshole. But, my feeling of belonging didn’t last long, as I soon remembered we have a President who helps Israel kill Palestinians, kills plenty of people, including children, himself, and helps Monsanto which has 93% of the seeds market and bioengineers poison, sue little farmers every week to drive them out of business because they can’t afford the lawyers’ fees. So, I remember again: I’m in minority, a small minority – 85% of African Americans are still supporting him.

We have a long way to go. Where are you Dr. King when we need you? Oh, that’s right, they killed you because we needed you and instead they gave us Obama whom they needed. Wow!


Syria: Plan B

The United States and Russia agreed today on an “outline” for the identification and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (CW) and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week.

Obama is now trying to, on the one hand, get credit for trying “diplomacy”, which was imposed on, rather than adopted by him, of his own volition, and continue to legitimate the use of force, on the other, which will come later. “In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military force,” he said in a statement issued by the White House, “we now have the opportunity to achieve our objectives through diplomacy.”

He makes it sound like the threat of military force was the means to achieve the elimination of Syrian CW, through diplomacy. That is just not true and his statement which has also been said by other Administration officials is a twisting of the facts. The military action was actually attempted, not as a threat for the sake of diplomacy or to eliminate the threat of CW, but to actually attack Syria with missiles and heavy bombardment. The reason they “paused” was not to give diplomacy a chance and to see if they could get rid of the cW, peacefully. The reason for the “pause” was the public opinion and lack of support for the attack, both internationally and at home. Diplomacy was not their first choice, but was rather imposed on them, which they’re now trying to get credit for.

What they’re also trying to do with this talking point is to legitimize military attack as the only effective way. The truth is however that, to their own admission, a military attack would not destroy the CW, though it wound destroy other types of weapons, mostly defensive, which Syria could use in the future, against a possible, or rather likely, US or Israeli attack, which is still the US plan. The diplomacy is their way of reaching the point when they can justify the attack on the grounds that the regime did not cooperate as promised, which is easy to claim, as was done in Iraq.

Even if the regime lets the inspectors go anywhere they want to go and see whatever they want to see, and destroys all the cW it possesses, it’s always easy to argue non-compliance.
Their objective is not to just eliminate the regime’s CW, but to help topple it. The military attack that was planned and is still planned, albeit with a delay, is to help bring about that end. The CW is the pretext, just as WMD’s were for the Iraq war.

“The United States is not taking its separate threat to use military force off the table”, Kerry said, after his agreement with his Russian counterpart in Geneva. Syrian rebel commander Gen. Salim Idriss also said that Kerry had informed him by telephone that the option of military strikes had not been ruled out.

Notwithstanding the question over the veracity of US claim that it was the Assad regime that committed that horrible massacre, we, as people, may want to intervene to prevent such massacres in the future, but not on the terms decided and dictated by the corporate government that cares not the least for people and their lives, but only for power and profits, and certainly not through bombing and killing more people, as the government keeps doing. Let’s not forget that this same government that wants a war because of a chemical attack in Syria, not only did not utter a word when Iraq was using it against Iran during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war in 1980’s, but was actually aiding Iraq in their use of chemical weapons. It’s also the government that dropped agent orange in Vietnam and gave white phosphorous to Israel to drop on Palestinians and used depleted uranium in Serbia, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. It’s also been a partner to many massacres through the world, especially in Central and South America and has aided and abetted in Israel’s genocide against Palestinians. It’s also the government that destroyed Iraq and killed a million people on false pretext and has killed thousands of innocent people, including hundreds of children in several Muslim countries using drones, and many others in numerous wars and bombings it has committed in the past 60 years, including in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam and Korea, not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What moral right does this government have to express outrage about killings in Syria? And what’s their solution? Bombing and killing more people. You cannot send in criminals to go help victims of a crime, or rapists to go help rape victims, not on their terms and conditions, anyway. The way to help is to push for ending the war, which is being waged mostly and predominantly by jihadis from several countries who are being financed, trained and armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, UAE and the CIA. The answer is not the escalation of the war, but to end it.

We must be vigilant in coming weeks and months as the inspections of the CW sites are conducted, to oppose war on Syria under any pretext. War is not the answer. No more war, anywhere, anytime! Hands off Syria and the entire Middle East!


Obama Put On The Defensive By Putin

President Putin’s op-ed piece in yesterday’s New York Times has been met with a variety of reactions among US politicians and media pundits. Some were offended and reacted bitterly by calling it things like “insulting” or “laughable”. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said: “I almost wanted to vomit”.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, a mostly liberal network, looking visibly offended, left her brief mention of the piece till the very end of her show and dismissed it merely by complaining that Mr. Putin “is lecturing us” – a reaction most commentators shared – on democracy and international law. In her liberal thinking, criticizing US policies is the same as criticizing “us”. After all, “we” (which in her mind includes both the American people and the government of the 1%), are champions of democracy, freedom and respect for international laws. We teach others on these things. How dare he lecture us! Well, I won’t go into why, not just Putin, but just about anyone, would be justified in lecturing the US government on these ideas. I would agree with one thing, though: the US surely talks about such ideas more than anyone else, but, as my father would say, those who preach to others the most of some virtue, are usually the ones lacking it.

But, what these commentators took the most issue with was Putin’s challenge of “American exceptionalism”. Now, you’re really insulting us Mr. Putin. How dare you tell us we’re not that special. Truth be told, President Putin was right about most of what he said in that piece, but what he was most right about was indeed that subject that offended so many of US leaders and policy makers and their advocates in media. Believing in being “exceptional” is indeed “dangerous”, as Putin said. All empires of the past that invaded, occupied, massacred, oppressed and looted the wealth of other nations believed or at least promoted the idea that they were exceptional and special. That includes even the Nazis. That’s because only an “exceptional” people is “chosen” and have the capability and hence the right and even the “moral duty” to spread divine virtues and “civilization” to the rest of the world who should be grateful to those exceptional people for their largesse, even if in doing so, they have to kill thousands of them. A US general once said about a Vietnamese village: “we had to destroy it to save it”. Decades later, US dropped its democracy again over people’s heads, this time leveling Fallujah, Iraq, in order to save it. Any other nation doing anything remotely similar would be viewed in the eyes of these commentators as the worst possible rogue state, and indeed “exceptional” – exceptionally evil, belligerent and arrogant.

The reaction of these commentators to Putin’s op-ed is like that of a school bully who steals other kids’ lunches and when asked why he’s being so mean, he says: “are you calling me fat?”

Others lament that “Putin has eclipsed Mr. Obama as the world leader driving the agenda in the Syria crisis” and “appears to have achieved several objectives, largely at Washington’s expense”.
(New York Times). And, what exactly has Putin done that’s “at Washington expense”? The Times answers: “He has stopped Mr. Obama from going around the United Nations Security Council” to bomb Syria! Amazing, isn’t it?

So, what did Putin say that was so enraging to Obamabots like Rachel Maddow, Martin Bashir and Others? He said: taking “military action without Security Council authorization will result in more innocent victims and escalation”; that “It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States”; that “Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force”; and “We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement”.

He also said: “No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect”.

He added: “Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government”.

“Experts agree”, reports Reuters. “the Nusra Front, an offshoot of the group al Qaeda in Iraq, is among the most effective forces in Syria”. Republican House Representative, Michael McCaul from Texas said last week at the Senate hearing:
“every time I get briefed on this [who the rebels are], it gets worse and worse, because the majority now of these rebel forces – and I say majority now – are radical Islamists pouring in from all over the world.” After Kerry disagreed with him, putting the percentage of Al Qaeda aligned fighters at 15-25%, a spokeswoman at the State Department later said Kerry’s remarks “reflect the department’s position”! Position? So, now, we take positions on facts? So, they don’t care what the facts are. That’s THEIR position. End of story.

“Most of the groups battling against Assad are composed of Islamist fighters” one U.S. official said to Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In a hard-fought civil war, especially one without a single well-organized opposition movement, success goes to the most ruthless and dedicated elements, which also tend to be the most extreme in their views. We are seeing such a process in Syria today,” said Paul Pillar, who retired in 2005 as the U.S. intelligence community’s top Middle East analyst.

A senior military official told NBC News today that actual percentage of terrorist groups fighting the Syrian army is “way higher” than Kerry told the Senate. “Defense officials estimate that al Qaeda and related extremists groups now constitute ‘more than 50 percent’ of the rebel force, which is made up of at least 70 different factions, ’and it’s growing by the day,’ according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity”, reported NBC News. In other words, Putin is right and Kerry lied. Which makes you wonder what else did they lie to us about?

And, even now, as they find themselves on the wrong side while blaming Putin for daring to take the side of peace and making Obama look bad, they still continue to conspire and try to find a pretext for war. What they’re planning now is to declare Syria uncooperative and non-compliant about declaring and getting rid of their chemical weapons so they can do what they wanted to do all along. Their hope is after this temporary “pause” and setback, they can garner enough support to wage their war. While they retort to Putin: “who are you to tell us about laws”, they continue to plan to break them and continue to put the focus on “brute force”.

Those whose national pride and patriotism has been offended by the President of another country asking their Constitutional law Professor President to respect the law should understand that if Putin “has taken center stage” and has put Obama and his followers in the defensive, it’s because Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize awardee, is advocating war, while Putin is pushing for peace, which is where most American people are, too. That’s not Putin’s doing; he didn’t choose that position for him. Obama himself put himself in that position. The reason the US political and media establishment feel defensive and offended is not because Putin is wrong, but because he’s right.

Maybe instead of getting angry at those who tell you you have no cloths on, you should go put on some cloths.


The New US Strategy For War On Syria

There are two things we must understand about the delay in US war on Syria. First of all, this was a tactical retreat on the part of the Administration, in the face of strong antiwar sentiment and resistance by people who turned out in protests, called and emailed their representatives and the White House and filled out petitions. This was true in the US, as well as in Europe and elsewhere, leaving the US virtually alone in the intended war. Even the French President who initially backed the war had to retract later. The Administration also realized that they didn’t have the congressional votes, especially in the House. Going to war alone, without the UN or congressional approval, would have been too risky, politically, and could put fuel on anti war flames. This was a face saving way to get out of the bind thy found themselves in, in the face of the opposition to war.

The second thing we must understand is that this is only a temporary and tactical retreat and the Administration still wants to wage war on Syria. That has not changed. Their approach and timing has. Their first approach was the one employed against Libya. To get UN authorization for that war, they told UN Security Council they just wanted to enforce a “no-fly zone” to prevent regime’s aerial bombing of the opposition. The “no-fly zone” on paper, soon changed, in practice, to fly and bomb, at will, for weeks, including heavily populated urban centers, by NATO war planes, killing thousands of people and leveling much of the capital.

When they failed to convince the Russians and Chinese to let them do the same in Syria, they tried to do it on their own, regardless. But, since they had to retreat from that, they will now try the strategy taken for Iraq in 2003, which is to demand that the regime cooperate fully with UN inspectors, giving them full access to every military facility and weapons depots and then prove that it has no chemical weapons – proving a negative which can’t be done. And if it fails, which there is plenty of opportunity to make sure it does – especially given the ongoing war – it gets attacked by NATO, with or without the UN approval, and as suggested already by Lindsey Graham, also without congressional approval. He said: “I can’t imagine Obama not using military force after all this if the regime does not cooperate, regardless of US Congress”. “Any agreement must verify that the regime keeps its commitments”, said Obama, last night, as he tried again to make a case for war by mentioning the victims of the chemical attack which still isn’t clear who committed. Again, he tried to justify a military attack as a “punishment” and “deterrent”, hoping the absurdity of it all will be lost on people. The hope is that after what is rightly being called “pause” and “delay”, they will have more support among people, as well as the cooperation of at least their European allies, if not Russians’ and Chinese’. Already, France and Britain tried to get Russians to agree to military attack should Syria fail to give up all its chemical weapons.

The strategy has changed from: “we need to go to war and kill people because Assad has killed people” (not a quote) to “we need to go to war because they are not keeping their end of the bargain”.

Some try to sell the war to a reluctant public by calling it a “surgical missile attack” to remove the regime’s capability to deliver chemical attacks in the future. That’s nonsense. First of all, there is nothing “surgical” about a military attack which will kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people and destroy the nation’s infrastructure, communication network, water treatment facilities, dams, roads, airports, hospitals and schools, as has been done in every other “surgical attack” of the past. Secondly, missile strikes are not going to, nor are they intended to, obliterate chemical weapons.

What is being ignored and pushed aside is diplomacy and peaceful negotiations to end the war which is being waged with the support of several Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Turkey and Jordan. Even their “diplomacy”, as they say they’re trying now, is to create the conditions and pretext for war. We must continue to forcefully object to all wars and make our objection heard, regardless of the excuse they come up with.


Should We Support US War on Syria: A Historical and Geopolitical View

According to Guardian newspaper, Islamist groups in Syria have become stronger and tend to be better armed and financed than others. One of the strongest is Jabhat al-Nusra which is linked to al-Qaida. “JAN insists on a future Syria becoming an Islamic state under sharia law, and has openly pledged its allegiance to the al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri”.

It continues: “It has previously been reported that members of the al-Nusra front were caught with sarin nerve gas in Turkey. Dale Gavlak, an independent journalist, has reported that nerve agents used in Ghouta were supplied by Saudi Arabia”.

Guardian’s Web site refers the reader to the following report:
“The head of the UN commission investigating the use of chemical weapons near Aleppo, Carla Del Ponte, stated in her report, that much to her surprise, the chemical weapons used in Aleppo were fired from an area that was being held by “rebel forces” at that time, and that evidence indicates that the chemical weapons may have arrived via, or even have been provided by Turkey.

“Del Ponte´s suggestion was supported by Turkish law-enforcement officers who arrested 12 members of the Jabhat al-Nusrah, in possession of metal cylinders with 2 kg of Sarin. The Turkish authorities have, however not been forthcoming with additional and detailed information.

“While the latest cases involving Sarin all seem to lead to Turkey, also Saudi-Arabia is under suspicion of having provided chemical weapons capabilities to al-Qaeda associated fighters in Syria. Suspicion of Saudi-Arabian involvement was raised after several videos surfaced, featuring opposition fighters showing small laboratories which they claimed to have received from Saudi-Arabia. Other videos featured “rebels” killing rabbits with chemical weapons, threatening that Alawites and all Syrians who did not join the opposition would suffer the same fate as the murdered animals.

“Saudi-Arabia has reportedly re-activated old smuggling routes which were used to support the al-Qaeda insurgency during the US occupation of Iraq to support the Syrian opposition, and lately, increasingly also to destabilize Iraq.

“Yet another trace of circumstantial, but strong and verifiable evidence is leading to al-Qaeda operatives in Malaysia. In February 2013 Malaysian police in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur arrested and charged the former Malaysian army captain Yazzid Sufaat and his female associate Halimah Hussein for recruiting Malaysian youth for mercenary service in Syria. Both were charged with aiding and abetting al-Qaeda associated terrorist organizations.

“The former army captain Yazzid Sufaat has previously been tied to an al-Qaeda chemical weapons program. In 2001 Yazzid Sufaat was arrested after returning from Afghanistan. During his 2001 arrest, Sufaat was under suspicion of working on a biological and chemical weapons program for al-Qaeda”.

Back in March, Syrian government complained to the UN that the opposition fighters had used the sarin gas in Syria and requested that the UN investigate to determine A. whether chemical weapons had been used and B. who used it. US, Britain and France agreed with A but opposed B. The US vetoed it. Why? Wouldn’t the US want to know who did it? Not if they knew it was done by the “rebels” whom the US supports.

Confused? You shouldn’t be. The US, its European allies and Israel want a weakened Syrian government, engaged in long, protracted and devastating war which takes its toll on the regime, as well as the Islamist fighters. In other words, in the short run, they want the two sides to keep killing each other because neither is “friendly” to the West. To them “friendly” is anyone who cooperates with the US and its allies, including Israel, towards imperialist plans and hegemony in the region. That’s why the US keeps opposing peaceful negations. It’s also why Obama has said he doesn’t want to overthrow the government, but to downgrade its military capabilities. In the longer term, their goal is regime change which the short term plan of weakening it would facilitate.

Helping maintain a balance and stalemate between two warring sides which results in continued killing and maiming of thousands of people is an extremely cold and inhuman strategy, but it’s not the first time the US employs it. It was done during the 8 year war between Iran and Iraq, after the latter, with US support, invaded the former and occupied parts of its southern oil rich territories. US strategy there was indeed: hope they kill each other. Besides, since that was an invasion and occupation the US supported, not only there was no speeches on national TV by members of the Administration calling it “unprovoked aggression” that “must not stand”, but they were actually aiding the Iraqi aggressors by supplying them with weapons, which included among others – any guesses? – the sarin nerve gas. That’s right: the Reagan Administration supplied the Saddam regime with chemical weapons to use against Iran in their unprovoked invasion of that country. Later in the war, as the Iranians began to get the upper hand, the US would give Iraqis Iran’s troop location coordinates who wound then fire chemical weapons at. Compare that with today’s passionate and strong indignation by US officials about Syria’s use of the nerve has which as I mentioned above, they haven’t even proven which of the warring sides did it.

Or compare that to much closer event to Iran-Iraq war, another similar event that took place only 3 years after the end of that war. As the 80’s were drawing to a close, it was decided in Washington that oil, which there was so much of in just the three adjacent nations of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, was too important for US and its allies to leave its fields unattended and uncontrolled by US marines. So, Saddam was tricked and given assurances of non-intervention – he didn’t realize this was not like Iran – into invading and occupying Kuwait which he knew he could easily do and did do in 1991.

Whereas during his invasion of Iran, US media barely even mentioned the aggression, this time, cries of outrage and indignation filled US papers and airwaves and Bush Sr. quickly got an “international coalition” together and pounded Iraq, crippling its military and killing Iraqi soldiers, who were defenseless against US military and especially air power, as if they were killing ants. The operation looked nothing like a war and everything like a cold-blooded massacre. When Saddam realized what was about to occur, he tried to offer some face saving withdrawal, which was repeatedly and promptly rejected.

Iraq was to be punished, but that wasn’t all. Always, look at the end result of such events to understand the original plan: ten thousand US troops got stationed on Saudi Arabian land. Outraged by seeing “infidel” soldiers on Saudi holy lands, a wealthy Saudi individual would start a campaign to kick Americans out. His name was Osama Bin Laden, who single handedly managed to change the world, as we knew it. Things become much less understandable when you cut parts of history out. Bin Laden himself used to be a US ally when he and other Saudi Islamists were fighting Soviet infidels in Afghanistan. He turned his attention to the Americans when they invaded his own country.

The point is: it’s never about an aggression here or a war there or a terrorist attack on World Trade Center or weapons of mass destruction or a regime gassing its people. There is always an infinite number of pretexts to choose from or manufacture. In 1964, it was the lie about Gulf of Tonkin incident; in 1991, the lie about Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies; n 2003, the lie about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and now, it’s about Assad gassing his people which is anything but clear.

The long term goal of overthrowing Assad is also shared by the Gulf states, especially, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and UAE, who see Shiite Iran and its ally Syria as a threat to their Sunni kingdoms which are allied with and protected militarily by US. Those states, as well as Turkey, are all actively supporting and aiding the opposition fighters in Syria. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main financiers with Turkey and Jordan providing near-border camps, facilities and weapons. CIA is also heavily involved at those borders, especially in Turkey, helping vet recipients of weapons and money.

Given the US position on the war, its plans to take out any government in the region that refuses to comply with its wishes and plans, and its history of lies and fabrications, it’s the least credible government or entity to ask us to believe it when it says: “we know” who did it, especially since it says the evidence is classified and cannot be revealed.

But, even if one were to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe them, how is it logical, legal or moral to violate “international laws and norms” to punish someone for violating “international laws and norms”? And how is it logical, legal or ethical to kill people as punishment for killing people?

In response to Assad’s denial that his government used chemical weapons, the White House said: “It’s not surprising that a regime that kills hundreds of children, would also lie about it”. I agree. The US has indeed killed hundreds of children – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and tens of thousands in Iraq, not to mention Vietnam and Korea. Indeed, how could anyone believe such a government?