Video Footage of ‘Chemical Weapons Attack’ Uploaded Before it Happened?

Russia: Provocation was “pre-planned”

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
August 23, 2013

Hundreds of videos showing apparent victims of a chemical weapons attack in Syria were uploaded to YouTube on August 20, a day before media reports say the attack actually happened, prompting Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman to assert the incident was a “pre-planned” provocation staged by rebels.

As PBS reports, “At around 3 a.m. (on August 21st) , patients started streaming in from neighborhoods in suburban Damascus like Zamalka and Ain Terma,” following the alleged chemical weapons attack.

However, a playlist of videos entitled ‘Alleged Chemical Attack in Eastern Ghouta August 21st 2013‘ contains 159 videos – every one of which was uploaded to YouTube on August 20th.

While no one is denying that some kind of attack did indeed take place, the fact that hundreds of videos showing victims of the attack were uploaded to YouTube a day before the incident is supposed to have actually happened remains unexplained.

The time stamp attributed to uploaded videos applies to the country in which they were uploaded, meaning that the videos were uploaded in Syria on August 20th, which is seemingly impossible given that the attack took place in the early hours of the 21st. The only way the videos could display as being uploaded on the 20th was if they were uploaded in America, which is on an earlier time zone.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich, this represents evidence of a “pre-planned” provocation. Lukashevich labeled the accusations “another anti-Syrian propaganda wave.”

“We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature,” he told RT. “In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”

The unanswered question as to how footage showing victims of an attack that occurred on August 21 was uploaded to YouTube on August 20 is in addition to doubts cast about the veracity of the videos by several chemical weapons experts.

Paula Vanninen of the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention questions the behavior of those seen handling the victims in the video footage. “At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are helping them are without any protective clothing and without any respirators….In a real case, they would also be contaminated and would also be having symptoms,” he stated.

Stephen Johnson, an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at Cranfield Forensic Institute, told Euro News that the video footage also looked suspect.

“There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say that they are fake but it does cause some concern. Some of the people with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see, which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower,” Johnson said.

His comments were echoed by chemical and biological weapons researcher Jean Pascal Zanders, who said that the footage appears to show victims of asphyxiation, which is not consistent with the use of mustard gas or the nerve agents VX or sarin. “I’m deliberately not using the term chemical weapons here,” he said, adding that the use of “industrial toxicants” was a more likely explanation.

 

Voice of Russia: News of chemical weapons attack in Syria published one day before massacre

voiceofrussia.com
June 23, 2013

The Islamic politics and cultural website Islamic Invitation Turkey claims that several videos were uploaded one day before the reports on chemical weapons use near Damascus in Syria. This evidence shows that the terrorists massacred people then recorded the scenes to deceive the world, but they gave themselves away. Terrorists in Syria uploaded the video of their crimes in East Ghouta, Damascus on August 20, 2013 and then blamed the Syrian government for the attack early on August 21, 2013, says the IIT website.

This evidence supposedly shows the massacre by terrorists in Syria and their struggle to convince the public that the Syrian regime is behind the massacre. You will see that the terrorists uploaded the videos before the massacre and their so-called allegation of the time when the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian Army occurred.

Сирия

Even if we regard the chemical attack as taking place at 03:30, it is impossible to take the film of the scene and uploading those tens of videos… this shows that terrorists prepared and organized all of the scenes beforehand then accused the Syrian regime of a massacre that terrorists carried out.

syria

They did not even have mercy for the children and used them to deceive the public. They gathered all civilians, women and children to certain areas and then killed them brutally, then blamed the Syrian regime in order to legalize their brutality.

GRAPHIC VIDEO 18+

The Lie video My Screen shot

Syria

 

Syrian Chemical Attack “A Provocation Planned in Advance”

Alleged attack occurred precisely one year after Obama’s “red line” remarks

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
August 22, 2013

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the rest of the establishment media, so eager to blame the al-Assad government for the disputed chemical attack near Damascus, have failed to put the alleged event into its proper context, as usual.

Corporate media begins propaganda campaign blaming alleged attack on al-Assad.

“The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown,” Asian News International reported in January.

ANI cited Infowars.com. On January 28, Paul Joseph Watson reported on hacked email from defense contractor Britam exposing a plan “approved by Washington” and funded by Qatar to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria and blame it on the al-Assad regime.

“We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington,” Britam Defense’s Business Development Director, David Goulding, wrote to the company’s founder, Philip Doughty.

“We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.”

See an image of the email here.

Following the publication of the email, Britam went into damage control mode.

“A British security company, Britam Defense, has been forced to deny claims that it is involved in a plot to destabilize Syria,” the Voice of Russia reported on January 30. “The allegations spring from a series of online posts by a blogger purporting to reveal that the company had been offered large amounts of money from a source in Qatar to recruit Russian-speaking mercenaries who could detonate a chemical weapon inside Syria. The posts also suggest that such a plot would have the approval of the USA.”

Cyber War News reported the emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to ANI.

It was later claimed the email was a hoax perpetuated by the Syrian Electronic Army, a shadowy group of pro-Assad hackers who supposedly hacked the Twitter account of a WAPO journalist last week.

Attack occurred on anniversary of Obama’s “red line” warning

Last August, Obama issued his “red line” statement on chemical weapons in Syria. “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation,” Obama said.

The alleged attack earlier this week occurred precisely one year after Obama’s “red line” remarks.

Russia: Alleged attack “a provocation planned in advance”

The Russian Foreign Ministry is highly skeptical of the attack and the rush in the United States to attribute it to al-Assad. A flood of reports issued by “biased regional media” about alleged chemical weapons use near Damascus might be “a provocation planned in advance,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said on Wednesday.

“It draws attention to the fact that biased regional media have immediately, as if on command, begun an aggressive information attack, laying all the responsibility on the government,” Lukashevich said in a statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said a homemade rocket carrying unidentified chemical substances had been launched from an area occupied by proxy mercenaries controlled by the CIA, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“A homemade rocket with a poisonous substance that has not been identified yet – one similar to the rocket used by terrorists on March 19 in Khan al-Assal — was fired early on August 21 [at Damascus suburbs] from a position occupied by the insurgents,” Lukashevich said.

Lukashevich said the reported attack appears to be “a provocation planned in advance” and a “criminal action” coinciding with a United Nations investigation of alleged previous chemical attacks in Syria.

 

Expert: Chemical Weapons Victim Footage Appears “Set-Up”

Behavior of victims not consistent with alleged injuries

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
August 22, 2013

Another chemical weapons expert has cast doubt on video footage which appears to show victims of a “gas attack” in Syria, noting that images of people foaming at the mouth appears “set-up” and is not consistent with the effects of a real chemical attack.

Stephen Johnson, an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at Cranfield Forensic Institute, told Euro News that the video footage looked suspect.

“There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say that they are fake but it does cause some concern. Some of the people with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see, which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower,” Johnson said.

Johnson adds that a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn from the videos, something which hasn’t stopped countries like France and Turkey threatening force before any kind of formal inquiry into the alleged attacks has even begun.

Johnson joins five other experts who have publicly questioned the authenticity of the narrative behind the alleged chemical weapons attack.

“Firstly, the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious,” writes BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner. “Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?”

His suspicions are shared by Swedish diplomat and former UN weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus, who told Reuters, “It would be very peculiar if it was the government to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country….at the least, it wouldn’t be very clever.”

Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, who is leading the current UN inspection in Syria, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the high number of those killed and wounded sounded “suspicious.”

Charles Lister, an analyst at IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, told the Jerusalem Post that the timing of such an attack is confusing. “Logically, it would make little sense for the Syrian government to employ chemical agents at such a time, particularly given the relatively close proximity of the targeted towns (to the UN team),” he said.

Meanwhile, chemical and biological weapons researcher Jean Pascal Zanders said that the footage appears to show victims of asphyxiation, which is not consistent with the use of mustard gas or the nerve agents VX or sarin. “I’m deliberately not using the term chemical weapons here,” he said, adding that the use of “industrial toxicants” was a more likely explanation.

 

US Has “Strong Indications” Assad Used Chemical Weapons; Russia Says Rebel False Flag

Zero Hedge
Aug 22, 2013

The US is back at it again.

Credit: Paul Keller via Flickr

Credit: Paul Keller via Flickr

For a while it seemed as if the Egyptian situation would promptly escalate to all out war, and necessitate the US “liberation” of this or that interest or ideology (and certainly putting the Suez canal under US-controlled lockdown) until following a series of epically bungled missteps, Obama and John Kerry managed to alienate the Saudis and the Israelis who are firmly behind the new military countercoup government in Egypt, while the US still has to admit a coup ever happened. Which means only Plan B for middle-east escalation remains: Syria.

Sure enough, this morning we woke up to the horrible news that hundreds of people had died following the use of nerve gas in an area close to Damascus in an attack that the “democratic” media, and the Qatari mercenaries, scrambled to pin on the Assad regime. Just like in June the US “found” Assad had used chemcial weapons, only for the UN and Russia to accuse the US of fabricating the data, and for the chemical weapon warehouse of the rebels to be uncovered shortly thereafter, which meant the Syria narrative would have to be put on hiatus for a few months: after all the lies were getting perilously close to those used by Bush in the Iraqi WMD fiasco.

Well, the administration appears certain enough time has passed by and has relaunched the old “blame Assad” plotline, with the WSJ reporting minutes ago that the US “sees strong indications” that Syria’s government used chemical weapons in the attacks. What those are it is unclear as the US does not actually have presence on the ground, and neither have any UN inspectors been able to investigate. But why not go for round two of the false flag fabrication: maybe this time it will fly?

From WSJ:

Syrian authorities denied using chemical weapons in their renewed offensive on Wednesday, accusing the opposition of fabricating claims or staging gas attacks themselves. “These claims are categorically false and completely baseless and are part of the filthy media war waged by some countries against Syria,” a spokesman for Syria’s armed forces said.

U.S. officials disagreed on Wednesday. “There are strong indications there was a chemical weapons attack—clearly by the government,” a senior administration official said. “But we do need to do our due diligence and get all the facts and determine what steps need to be taken.”

The United Nations Security Council, in an emergency meeting in New York, backed calls for a prompt investigation of the allegations, which came just days after a U.N. team arrived in Damascus to look into earlier claims of chemical-weapons use by both sides.

In other words, the US had its mind made up already not only before the investigation, but mere hours after the news broke.

The allegations, if verified, would represent the largest use of chemical weapons since the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein attacked Kurdish and Iranian citizens with them in the late 1980s.

Oh yes, remember all those Iraqi WMDs that were supposedly hiding in ever bar and alley that served as the basis for “humanitarian” intervention and the liberation of the enslaved Iraqi oil wells? We do.

And so does Rolf Ekeus, a retired Swedish diplomat who headed a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq in the 1990s:

The timing and location of the reported chemical weapons use – just three days after the team of U.N. chemical experts checked in to a Damascus hotel a few km (miles) to the east at the start of their mission – was surprising.

“It would be very peculiar if it was the government to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country,” said Rolf Ekeus, a retired Swedish diplomat who headed a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq in the 1990s.

“At the least, it wouldn’t be very clever.”

Ironically, one can use precisely that phrase to describe the entire history of US foreign policy, based almost exclusively on just this kind of false flag interventions.

And yet, no amount of rhetoric matters as long as Russia keeps saying Niet. Such as now.

Russia, a supporter of the Assad regime, suggested rebels had launched a chemical attack and blamed it on the regime in order to gain U.N. support and thwart a planned peace conference in Geneva. “All of this really looks like an attempt, at any cost, to create a reason to produce demands for the U.N. Security Council to side with the regime’s opponents and undermine the chances of convening the Geneva conference,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

Or, in other words, all of this looks like a false flag attempt.

Finally, who better to round off the cogitation than a man from the Bush administration – best known for making false flag attacks, both foreign and domestic, into an art form.

“This is an important turning point,” said Elliot Abrams, who served as deputy national security adviser under President George W. Bush. He has urged limited airstrikes against the Syrian air force. “If there is no Western reaction, then we will see demoralization of the rebels and more use of chemical weapons against them. Conversely, if the U.S. does react, then that is significant.”

So, the rebels, pardon al-Qaeda funded, Qatari mercenaries will use more gas on themselves and their sympathizers unless the US invades?

Sometimes, it gets very difficult to discern, in a world of “evil empires“, which is which.

 

The World’s People must see threw this Deceptive LIE  False Flag or we will be headed straight for A NUCLEAR WW3 such as the Human race has never seen before

Report: War Looms: Hundreds of American Troops and CIA Operatives Have Entered Syria

Mac Slavo
SHTFPlan.com
August 23, 2013

While the media panicked over the halting of NASDAQ stock trading due to a reported bug in the system (more on that shortly), one critical development went under-reported. In fact, it wasn’t reported at all.

If the following from France’s second largest newspaper Le Figaro is accurate, then we must assume that war is now a foregone conclusion.

According to our information, the regime’s opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.

According to information obtained by Le Figaro , the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.

Translation via Zero Hedge

What’s equally as intriguing as boots on the ground inside of the Syrian border is the fact that these troops and intelligence officers reportedly made their way into the country on August 17th, fully four days before reports and images surfaced showing hundreds of men, women and children killed by a chemical weapons attack allegedly at the hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The purported attack, which some experts argue was a set-up, left even the pacifist government of France calling for military intervention. Furthermore, should UN investigators, who conveniently happen to be in-country investigating possible chemical weapons stockpiles, confirm that the attack did take place, then we can expect armed military confrontation in the middle east once again.

Of interest is also the fact the NASDAQ stock market exchange was halted today due to what NASDAQ officials call a technical glitch. Within hours of the ‘glitch’ cyber security experts suggested that this was no accident, but rather, a hack attackoriginating from the “hacking collective” known as the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, an Iranian backed organization.

Earlier this week President Obama met with the heads of the Federal Reserve, the SEC, the FDIC and several other agencies responsible for monitoring and implementing U.S. financial, economic and monetary policy, indicating that there could be a serious crisis unfolding behind the scenes of our financial system. This comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve claiming that they would begin to “taper” the stimulus, a move that would likely send massive shock waves through domestic and global stock markets.

This is all speculation, of course, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the US financial system is potentially on the brink of a massive re-collapse, while the Obama administration is actively engaging Syria in what we can only conclude will lead to a broader conflict in the middle east.

Throughout history governments have deflected blame for economic disasters by turning their efforts to a far off enemy and going to war. It’s certainly no accident and it’s a forecast that contrarian observers have made repeatedly as the global economic crisis deepened.

Is this what we’re seeing play out right now?

If so, then the implications are far reaching, because anyone who thinks this is going to be another Iraq are kidding themselves. This time, the Russians and the Chinese have a stake in the game, and they too have been positioning pieces on the Grand Chessboard. Not only have the Russians already advised western nations that the Syrians will be armed with weapons never before seen in the middle east, but they have warned that any military confrontation in the region could potentially go nuclear.

The question then becomes: who were the Russians talking about?

Syria doesn’t have nuclear weapons. Neither does Iran (at least not for a few more months if Israeli intelligence reports are to be believed).

But the United States, Israel, Russia and China do have nukes.

Thus, one can only conclude that the Russians were talking about a nuclear engagement between them… and us.

It’s a realistic possibility also put forth by survival specialist Joel Skousen in his documentary Strategic Relocation and a warning reiterated by a DHS Insider who claimed in June of 2013 that a World War was about to break out and would lead to the deaths of millions.

This is getting real folks. All signs point to a serious confrontation in our near future.

 

US-Trained Rebels Moved Towards Damascus Days Before ‘Chemical Attack’

Lawmakers who opposed arming FSA militants “reconsider intervention”

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
August 23, 2013

300 handpicked rebel militants trained by the US, Israel and Jordan entered Syria and began advancing towards Damascus in the days before an alleged chemical weapons attack, the French newspaper Le Figaro is reporting.

Image: YouTube

“The rebels were trained for several months in a training camp on the Jordanian-Syrian border by CIA operatives, as well as Jordanian and Israeli commandos,” reports the Jerusalem Post.

Four days before the announcement that a chemical weapons attack had taken place near Damascus, a group of FSA fighters crossed into the Deraa region, followed by a second contingent on August 19th.

The CIA began conducting covert training of the rebels – despite their links to Al-Qaeda – late last year, advising them on how to use anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

In the absence of any independent evidence that Assad’s forces were behind this week’s alleged chemical weapons attack, several countries have seized upon the story to threaten military action, with numerous lawmakers in Congress who had initially opposed arming the rebels now “beginning to reconsider intervention,” according to Foreign Policy.

Whether the alleged chemical weapons attack was an attempt by the Assad regime to target the militants, or as Russia asserts it was a conveniently timed “planned provocation” carried out by the rebels themselves to coincide with the movement of CIA-trained FSA militants, remains to be seen.

Numerous impartial analysts have commented on how it makes little sense for Assad’s forces to have carried out such an attack days after UN chemical weapons inspectors entered the country.

In addition, other experts have cast doubt on the assertion that chemical weapons were used at all.

John Hart, the head of the Chemical and Biological Security Project at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, remarked that “he had not seen the telltale evidence in the eyes of the victims that would be compelling evidence of chemical weapons use.”

Paula Vanninen of the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention questions the behavior of those seen handling the victims in the video footage. “At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are helping them are without any protective clothing and without any respirators….In a real case, they would also be contaminated and would also be having symptoms,” he stated.

Although some experts are claiming that the nerve agent used was most likely sarin, compare photos of the protective gear worn by Japanese chemical weapons specialists who cleaned a metro station in Tokyo eight hours after a small bottle of sarin was thrown in 1995, to thecomplete lack of protective gear worn by those seen handling victims in the video footage released earlier this week.

Stephen Johnson, an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at Cranfield Forensic Institute, told Euro News that the video footage also looked suspect.

“There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say that they are fake but it does cause some concern. Some of the people with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see, which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower,” Johnson said.

His comments were echoed by chemical and biological weapons researcher Jean Pascal Zanders, who said that the footage appears to show victims of asphyxiation, which is not consistent with the use of mustard gas or the nerve agents VX or sarin. “I’m deliberately not using the term chemical weapons here,” he said, adding that the use of “industrial toxicants” was a more likely explanation.

Why Assad Will Win

The U.S. is giving up on the Arab Spring, and the Syrian dictator knows it.

By Michael Hirsh

August 21, 2013 | 4:41 p.m.

This undated photo posted on the official Instagram account of the Syrian Presidency purports to show Bashar Assad visiting with soldiers in Baba Armr, Homs province, Syria. (AP Photo/Syrian Presidency Via Instagram)

Bashar al-Assad is, finally, having a very good week.

The latest allegations of chemical-weapons use against the Syrian dictator don’t matter nearly as much as other dramatic developments—in particular, the United States’ willingness to stand aside while Assad’s autocratic brethren in the Egyptian junta cold-bloodedly killed some one thousand protesters, supported by the Saudis and Gulf states. 

And this week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, finally said plainly what Obama administration officials have been thinking privately since June, the last time Washington said its "red line" had been crossed and pledged military aid to the Syrian rebels—then did nothing. In a letter to Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Dempsey said flatly that U.S. aid to the rebels know would just end up arming radical, possibly al-Qaida-linked groups. And Obama wasn’t going to allow that to happen.

What it all means is that we may now be at a historic turning point in the Arab Spring—what is effectively the end of it, at least for now. Assad, says Syria expert Joshua Landis, is surely taking on board the lessons of the last few weeks: If the United States wasn’t going to intervene or even protest very loudly over the killing of mildly radical Muslim Brotherhood supporters, it’s certainly not going to take a firmer hand against Assad’s slaughter of even more radical anti-U.S. groups. "With a thousand people dead or close to it, and America still debating whether to cut off aid, and how and when, that’s got to give comfort to Assad," says Landis, a professor at the University of Oklahoma. "The Egyptians brushed off the United States and said…. Well, we don’t want to end up like Syria. And America blinked. And Israel and the Gulf states were in there telling them to hit the protesters hard."

What began, in the U.S. interpretation, as an inspiring drive for democracy and freedom from dictators and public corruption has now become, for Washington, a coldly realpolitik calculation. As the Obama administration sees it, the military in Egypt is doing the dirty work of confronting radical political Islam, if harshly. In Syria, the main antagonists are both declared enemies of the United States, with Bashar al-Assad and Iran-supported Hezbollah aligning against al-Qaida-linked Islamist militias. Why shouldn’t Washington’s policy be to allow them to engage each other, thinning the ranks of each? 

And by all accounts, the administration and the Pentagon simply don’t want to risk the "blowback" that could occur if the Assad regime collapses and serious weapons fall into the hands of al-Qaida. As one Washington-based military expert points out, Assad is just not enough of a threat to U.S. interests. "Look at how long it took us to decide to back the mujahedeen in the 1980s against the Soviet Union. Syria is not the Soviet Union," the expert says.

Dempsey, in his letter, said that deciding what to do about Syria "is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides." He added that "the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not."

On Wednesday, in a replay of what happened a year ago, the administration appeared to push for more time in ascertaining whether Assad had used chemical weapons. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the administration was "deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed in an attack by Syrian government forces, including by the use of chemical weapons," but was working "to gather additional information."

This is familiar ground. Back in June, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a statement that the administration would start supplying the Syrian rebels’ "Supreme Military Council" and "consulting with Congress on these matters in the coming weeks." But there is little evidence that any military aid has reached the rebels.

President Obama’s biggest problem in terms of his credibility is that he’s wedded to a "narrative" that won’t stand up to scrutiny any longer, says Landis. "We started this off saying it was about democracy and freedom. We’ve stuck to that interpretation. We didn’t say this is about economic mismanagement and poverty," which is what the protests were largely about.  But now "nobody believes they’re democrats anymore. That’s the problem. What we saw in Egypt signals that America has changed its mind and has backed away from the Muslim Brotherhood and all these Islamic groups. And the Syrian rebel groups are to the right of the Muslim Brotherhood."

Advantage, Assad.

*******************

US Refines "Military Options" Ahead Of Syrian Strikes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/23/2013 08:00 -0400

Now that the US has made up its mind once more and "knows" that Wednesday’s chemical attack in Syria was conducted by the government and targeting the "rebels", even as the "developed" west calls for a UN investigation to determine just that, and as the US (including the CIA), Israel and Jordan have already sent an advance military force into Syria to conduct more false flag provocations and blame it on the regime, the only next step is to soften and prepare popular opinion for what comes next. And what comes next is on the front page of the WSJ this morning: "The U.S. began refining its military options for possible strikes in Syria, officials saidOfficers at the Pentagon on Thursday were updating target lists for possible airstrikes on a range of Syrian government and military installations." Then again we have seen all this before. Surely, one of these times the administration will actually go ahead and push the button instead of just talking about it.

From the WSJ:

Officers at the Pentagon on Thursday were updating target lists for possible airstrikes on a range of Syrian government and military installations, officials said, as part of contingency planning should President Barack Obama decide to act after what experts said may be the worst chemical-weapons massacre in more than two decades.

As the Pentagon worked on its options, Secretary of State John Kerry talked by telephone with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the foreign-policy chiefs of Turkey, Jordan and the European Union, as well as with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, officials said.

The US’ strawman for an attack is simple: assume a false flag operation was conducted in Syria, then demand full compliance with the West’s demands that it be given full investigation privileges to confirm it wasn’t a false flag operation, and scream bloody murder if those privileges are not granted. A story as old as the last Iraq war in fact. But that doesn’t mean it will stop any time soon.

The Syrian government denied allegations it gassed its own people, backed by new statements from regime allies Iran and Russia accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s international foes of conspiring against him. U.S. officials said they have seen "strong indications" that chemical weapons were used but that more work was needed to evaluate and collect evidence.

The regime gave no indication, however, that it would agree to Mr. Ban’s plea to let U.N. inspectors investigate the chemical-weapons allegations, as Syrian forces pressed on with an offensive in the towns around the capital where the attacks were alleged to have occurred.

U.S. officials who described the military options being revised at the Pentagon stressed that their purpose wouldn’t be to topple the regime, but to punish Mr. Assad if there is conclusive evidence that the government was behind poison-gas attacks on Wednesday.

And there you have it: over the next week, we fully expect to wake up to news that a US and Israeli-led fly-by has crippled several key Syrian military installations in "punishment" for a chemical attack that with virtual certainty was conducted not by the regime which knows it every action is observed by spy satellites, but by the Qatari mercenaries whose only job is precisely to topple the Assad regime so the much-delayed LNG pipeline can finally pass underneath Syria. Because if it wasn’t for that, why on earth would Saudi Arabia grovel before Putin demanding just that?

Making its options known could constitute a U.S. warning to Mr. Assad and his backers. It was unclear if Mr. Obama would be prepared to use the options; he has resisted getting entangled militarily in the conflict since the start.

"Once we ascertain the facts, the president will make an informed decision about how to respond," said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan. Mr. Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons by Mr. Assad would cross a key U.S. "red line" and possibly trigger a U.S. response.

U.S. military options include potential strikes on "regime targets," including Syrian government functions crucial to its war effort. In addition, options include strikes on Syrian military "delivery capabilities and systems" that are either used directly in attacks with poison gas or to facilitate them, from command-and-control facilities to front-line artillery batteries, officials said.

The far narrower options under review include airstrikes using so-called standoff weapons such as cruise missiles, and wouldn’t require the U.S. to send fighters into Syrian airspace, officials said. Israel has carried out a series of airstrikes in Syria this year using similar types of standoff weaponry to avoid sending manned aircraft into Syrian territory.

Officials said these options are being fine-tuned by military officials so Mr. Obama can act in short order if a determination is made that Mr. Assad’s forces carried out chemical attacks and if Mr. Obama chooses to respond with force.

Expect such "determination" to be made promptly leading to just such a "short order" action. At which point the only question is how proportionate will Russia (and China’s) response be. Or, in other words, is Obama willing to risk world war just so Europe can get cheap Qatari natural gas.