Pre-War Propaganda and Stunts Are at the Red Alert Stage
April 9 (EIRNS)—We are in a red alert situation, given the pattern of provocations by the British geopolitical crowd, to escalate confrontation to the point of triggering all-out war. Monday’s three-hour United Nations Security Council session reflects the danger. It was a head-on clash between the U.K.-U.S.-France faction on one side, whose spokesmen spit out lies, insults and taunts, and Russia and Syria on the other. China spoke out on behalf of diplomatic and political resolution. Russia had requested the session, which was titled, “Threats to International Peace and Security,” and the “threats” were embodied in the wild accusations by Ambassadors Karen Pierce of the U.K., Nikki Haley of the United States, and François Delattre of France.
The immediate matter is the faked charge of use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Douma April 7. No evidence exists; claims of death range from 25 to 120, but no bodies exist; staged video, put out by the infamous British intelligence asset White Helmets, is running constantly on major media. In the UN Security Council meeting. Haley denounced Syria as a “monster” for perpetrating this (phantom) chemical weapons attack. She denounced Russia as a “regime that cannot be shamed.”
Targetted in all this, President Donald Trump spoke to his cabinet this morning, saying the Douma attack was “atrocious,” and, “If they (Syria, Russia) are innocent,” why are they not allowing people to go in and prove it?” In fact, both the Russian and Syrian ambassadors to the UN called at the Security Council for sending in investigator teams immediately. Right away. Come tomorrow.
But, as in the Sergei Skripal poisoning case, and in past, unfounded charges against the Syrian government of toxic warfare, truth is irrelevant to the accusers.
That’s the point. This current hoax is no event-in-itself, but is one in a pattern of provocations, in a crazed ongoing strategy of confrontation, endangering the planet. Is the thinking, that it were better to conduct a war now, rather than later on, because it would be less “costly”? There was a RAND Corporation study in recent years, which asserted just that lunacy. There are lunatics who are prone to think like this, especially after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s March 1 announcement of new advanced weaponry, which, instead of being seen as necessitating true international security negotiations, is perceived as an endgame maneuver.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia sternly addressed his counterparts at the UN Security Council: “I will ask the rhetorical question: Do you understand the dangerous threshold to which you are bringing the world?”
Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche summed it up on April 9: We are sitting on a powder keg. If Trump falls into the trap of going along with any of this, and, say, for example, a Russian soldier in Syria gets killed, the world is in instant danger of all-out war.
Early Monday morning, two Israeli fighter jets fired eight missiles at an airbase in Homs, Syria used until recently by Russian forces. Syrian air defenses knocked out five missiles, but three hit target, killing 14 people, including 3 Iranians. No Russians were hit. Israel did not give Russia advance warning but did inform the White House. What happens next?
President Trump, who was to meet on the evening of April 9 with military advisors, reiterated in the morning that he is 24 to 48 hours away from deciding what he will do about the Syrian chemical weapons charges. He and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone Sunday, April 8, and said they would coordinate their responses, in conjunction with what happens at the UN Security Council on April 9, and issue their action plans the next day, or soon thereafter.
As all this takes place, the FBI made another move against Trump on Monday, on behalf of the British “Trumpgate” operation, by an afternoon raid on the office of Michael Cohen, a personal attorney of President Trump.
In the U.S., some responses are now coming forth, including an open letter today to Defense Secretary James Mattis, from Army Col. Pat Lang (ret.), pressing for a competent investigation into what happened in Douma, Syria, so as not to fall into “a carefully-constructed propaganda fraud.” Among Congressmen, Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY) warned that only Congress has the right to take military action, such as in Syria. He slammed the idea of “perpetual war.”
Be on Red Alert. This is very serious. Contact everyone with the truth.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russia’s Nebenzia: ‘Do You Understand the Dangerous Threshold to Which You Are Bringing the World?’
April 9 (EIRNS)—Today’s three-hour session of the UN Security Council, was requested by Russia, under the topic, “Threats to International Peace and Security.” It was used as a stage for wild accusations against Russia and Syria by the British, U.S., French, and Dutch Ambassadors, before which, however, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia gave a scorching, detailed presentation against the lies. He made the fundamental point explicitly to the whole chamber, that we are at an extreme danger point. He said, “I will ask a rhetorical question: Do you understand the dangerous threshold to which you are bringing the world?”
Nebenzia drew attention to the repeated warnings from Russia and Syria to the United Nations and to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), that terrorists were plotting to stage a chemical warfare incident, to cast blame on Damascus. “You’ve heard these warnings.” But nothing was done.
The trio of U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, British Ambassador Karen Pierce, and French Ambassador Francois Delattre, joined by the Dutch Ambassador Karel van Oosterom, outdid each other with lies and crude insults against Russia and Syria. Ambassador Pierce praised her country, the United Kingdom, for how it is conducting an “independent” investigation of the Skripal poisoning.
Haley conspicuously walked out when Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari began speaking. He reported on the present situation in Syria, asking pointedly about this morning’s missile strike on his nation, “Why not say Israel did the aggression?” Besides a short, eloquent report on past inactions by the UN, Ja’afari gave specifics about what Syria supplied to the UN and OPCW regarding plots the Damascus government found of terrorists having toxic weapons. Damascus sent 144 letters, as of April 1 this year, on this danger. But they didn’t even read them, nor act on them.
Ja’afari said, “I announce that we want a fact-finding mission from the OPCW as soon as possible. We welcome this visit as soon as possible. I hope it does not have the same fate as the Ban Ki-moon March 2013 mission” which did not arrive for “four months and 11 days.”
Ambassadors of several other nations provided sanity and gravity to the session, with such comments, as that from Ambassador Kairat Umarov from Kazakhstan. He asked, who else, besides the White Helmets has any report of this imputed chemical weapons incident in Douma? Umarov confirmed that there were reports from Syria and Russia that terrorists were planning a chemical attack, but their warnings were not heeded by international agencies.
Ambassador Tekeda Alemu of Ethiopia, besides calling for a fact-finding mission, addressed the international situation. He said that “trust among the major powers is low” and has grave implications for peace. It has “implications for sustainable development goals in the development sphere.” He spoke movingly about the need for a “global security environment.”
At the end of the session, Nebenzia, asking to speak again, made three points: 1) The Council Presidency has to keep Haley in line and not referring to legitimate governments such as Russia, as “regimes”; 2) The British so-called investigation into the Skripal poisoning is not an investigation, and he demolished Pierce’s assertion; 3) “We are moving to a dangerous threshold…it is not understood by any of our Western colleagues.”
Lavrov: Before Striking Syria Militarily, Remember Russia Has Obligations to Syria
April 9 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated in a press briefing today what Russian military officials have warned previously, that Russia may not sit by if there is a military strike on Syria. Lavrov framed his statement specifically as a response to “warnings from the U.S. President’s officials”—Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor Thomas Bossert, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (later President Trump himself)—that Washington does not exclude a military strike on Syria. He was quoted by Sputnik, restating Russian policy:
“You know, our military has already reacted to this. We have our obligations to Syria. Obligations based on our agreement concluded with the legitimate, legal government of the Syrian Arab Republic at the request of this government, which is, incidentally, a UN member-state.”
The Foreign Minister reminded reporters that Russia had made many warnings, from on the ground in Syria, that a provocation was planned in order to blame Damascus for chemical weapons use. “We already had a chance to comment on the current situation before this current situation became reality,” he stressed. “Our servicemen staying in the Syrian Arab Republic, on soil, repeatedly warned … that a serious provocation is being prepared, aimed at blaming Damascus for the use of a chemical poisoning agent against civilians.”
Russia is “in total support of a fair and immediate investigation, when they ask for it. However, when the investigation is intended to come at a predetermined point—that is, it was done by Assad with Putin’s support—there are no grounds for a serious discussion,” Lavrov said, according to TASS.
Lavrov repeated that neither Russian military nor the Red Crescent has found evidence of an attack, referencing the history of untrustworthy pictures from previous alleged attacks being released by NGOs such as the White Helmets. “But, as you see, this all became the reason for the unfolding of the colossal anti-Syrian campaign, which is now being deployed against us under the pretext that Russia covers for the criminal regime, as they say,” Lavrov told the journalists.
China Calls for Credible, Fact-Based Investigation of What Happened in Douma
April 9 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stated twice at today’s press briefing, that “China maintains that a comprehensive, objective and impartial investigation shall be carried out to reach a fact-based conclusion that can stand the test of time, and perpetrators must be brought to justice,” when asked for China’s position on alleged chemical attacks in Syria and air attack on a Syrian military base early Monday morning.
China “oppose[s] the use of chemical weapons under whatever circumstances and for whatever purposes by any country, organization or individual,” Geng emphasized. But, it wishes to see the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “continue to act as the main channels for addressing the use of chemical weapons in Syria…. We keep stressing that the international community shall work together to peacefully resolve the Syrian conflict through political and diplomatic means. We hope that on the basis of ceasefire and cessation of violence, all relevant parties in Syria could endeavor to properly resolve the Syrian issue along the track of political settlement.”
Israel Conducted April 9 Missile Attack on Syria; Jihadis, Civilians Leave Douma Safely
April 9 (EIRNS)—Israel launched a missile attack on the Syrian T-4 Air Base in the early hours of Monday, April 9; as usual, Israel refused to confirm or deny its actions. The Russian Defense Ministry later charged that two Israeli F-15 warplanes had attacked a Syrian airbase in Homs province. First reports are that 14 people are dead, including 3 Iranian advisors. The Russians use the T-4 Air Base for their operations in Syria, although most of their activity there was reduced some months ago. This is the same airbase that Israel attacked in February, in which one of its planes was shot down.
Both the U.S. and France had earlier denied that they carried out the attack. Israel did not give any prior warning to Russia. According to NBC News and other media, a U.S. official who confirmed that the attack had been carried out by Israel, said that Israel had given prior notice of its intentions to the White House.
Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov today told reporters that Israel had not informed President Vladimir Putin ahead of the air strike, and declared that the fact that Russian military personnel were on the base was “a cause for concern for us.”
Five of eight missiles fired by the F-15s were intercepted by Syrian air defenses, the Defense Ministry said. “Three missiles reached the western part of the airfield. There are no Russian [military] advisors among those injured.” The Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries have requested that Israel provide explanations for its air strikes.
On Sunday evening, a major break in the situation in East Ghouta occurred—within hours after the claims of a chemical attack on Douma—when the Jaish al-Islam rebel group agreed to surrender the Douma and evacuate their fighters to rebel-held northern Syria. This is reported by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) and other media. Thousands of rebels and their families have been moved out. Jaish al-Islam also agreed to give up its civilian prisoners, a key government demand.
Russian Prosecutor Documents U.K. Serial Lying on Poisonings, Highlights May’s Role
April 9 (EIRNS)—Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Saak Karapetian called a press conference on Monday to announce the release of new documentation adding to the unanswered questions about the “official” British narratives on the deaths of two Russians, FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko and tycoon Boris Berezovsky, in the U.K. He charged that Russia was “forced” to release the documentation in the face of the U.K.’s handling of the March 4 Skripal poisoning, in order to show the U.K.’s track record of consistent refusal to cooperate with Russia on any investigations.
Karapetian singled out the role of then-Home Secretary Theresa May in 2010-2016: The greatest number of Russian requests for extradition of Russians living in the U.K. wanted for crimes back home, were denied when she was Home Secretary. He reported that among the documentation released, prosecutors included “correspondence with the U.K. Home Secretary, including directly with Mrs. May during her tenure as the Home Secretary of that country.”
Notable documentation reportedly released includes the November 2006 report prepared by the Hamburg, Germany city prosecutor’s office, which demonstrated that the polonium-210 allegedly used to poison Alexander Litvinenko was found in London before the two Russians falsely accused of carrying out the poisoning arrived in London on Nov. 1, 2016.
Also released was a statement made last week by Kazakh businessman Vladimir Terluk, implicating Scotland Yard in controlling his case. Terluk had helped justify the U.K. in granting asylum to Berezovsky with testimony that he, Terluk, had been hired to assassinate Berezovsky. According to a report by RT, which was reposted by the Russia Foreign Ministry Facebook page, Karapetian said that Terluk reported last week “that he was approached by a Scotland Yard officer in late January, whose name was redacted from the statement, with an offer to make a public statement against Russia in exchange for an extension of his residency permit in Britain…. The proposal reminded him of the experience he had in 2003, when Litvinenko coerced him into giving false testimony to help Berezovsky’s asylum case, he said.”
Chinese Scholar Tells Seoul Daily, North Korea Learned from Libya Downfall
April 9 (EIRNS)—Yang Xiyu, a senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, who served as Beijing’s deputy chief negotiator for the Six-Party Talks, told JoongAng Ilbo today that North Korea had learned a lesson from the case of Libya. “The Qaddafi regime of Libya terminated all of its nuclear programs in return for the U.S. lifting of sanctions against it, in addition to economic aid,” Yang said. “We all know what took place since then. North Korea has clearly taken a lesson from Qaddafi’s downfall.”
He went on to say: “The international community should create an environment in which the North could still feel safe after abandonment of its nuclear program. If the global community wants North Korea denuclearized, it must present the North with a firm guarantee of its security and survival, which are only rational to require.”
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
Colonel Lang Escalates Opposition to Mad Rush to War
April 9 (EIRNS)—Retired Army Col. Patrick Lang today published “An Appeal to James Mattis,” pressing the Secretary of Defense to carry out a competent investigation into what happened in Douma, Syria, so as to not fall into a “propaganda fraud” created by defeated jihadi rebels through military action. His appeal follows on his identification yesterday of the British role in creating the fraud.
Lang writes: “I beseech you, sir, to consider the possibility that the supposed chlorine gas attack at Douma, Syria may have been a carefully constructed propaganda fraud on the part of the rebels encircled in Douma. Such a fraud would have as its purpose the elicitation of exactly the kind of response that we are seeing in the Western media. The rebels have been defeated in East Ghouta. Their fighters and families are being evacuated to Turkish-occupied Jarabulus by air-conditioned bus. How would it benefit the Syrian government to make such an attack in this situation?
“I hope that you will determine the exact facts of what occurred at Douma before any action is taken.
“I recommend that you send someone competent to Syria to make an on-the-ground investigation.”
Lang, a highly-decorated retired senior officer of U.S. military intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces, speaks with the authority of having served as the Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism, and the first Director of the Defense Humint [Human Intelligence] Service in the Defense Intelligence Agency, among other posts. As General Mattis is well aware, Lang has continued to serve in retirement as a point of reference within military ranks through the dialogue maintained in his “Sic Semper Tyrannis” blog.
His appeal has already begun circulating in broader layers, reposted on antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute.
Another regular military contributor on Lang’s blog, who writes under the pseudonym “Publius Tacitus,” today identified the media drumbeat that the U.S. “must” take action based on allegations which “originate with established liars and rebel partisans”—i.e., the “White Helmets”—as a “Reichstag Fire” which can lead to world war.
“We are spiraling towards war with Russia and it is a war of our making and choosing. It is all predicated on a lie. A big lie that, incredibly, a large number of supposedly intelligent Republicans and Democrats passionately embrace and spread,” that Vladimir Putin is “in the process of trying to resurrect the U.S.S.R. for new global domination,” he concluded.
“Russians, including Putin, know all too well how a staged public event like the Reichstag fire of 1933 can be used to justify war…. If Trump goes down this road it will not only be the beginning of the end of his Presidency. It could be the end of the United States as a viable political entity,” he warned.
Lozansky Is Right, a U.S.-Russia Summit Is Urgent
April 9 (EIRNS)—Warning that “judging from the current overheated rhetoric in Washington, World War III is fast approaching,” Edward Lozansky, President of the American University in Moscow and a founding member of the Science and Engineering Committee for a Secure World which aimed to support President Reagan’s SDI program, published a call in today’s Washington Times for a Trump-Putin summit to be held as soon as possible.
The talk of an imminent U.S. retribution strike on Syria “pushes us directly over the red line declared by the Russian General Staff last month, when they threatened to shoot down any plane or ship launching such an attack and thereby endangering their servicemen on the ground there,” Lozansky reminds.
He situates the crisis over Syria within the broader reality of the “full-scale economic, diplomatic, informational, and ideological war with Moscow” created by the advocates of a unipolar world to which Russia “is not ready to submit…. In an atmosphere of such unprecedented level of hatred even the little spark could ignite an uncontrollable fire….
“[W]hat we need now is a well-prepared Trump-Putin summit to find a way out of this mega-crisis and make a mutually beneficial deal to avoid the looming catastrophe,” Lozansky wrote. Since “Trump’s enemies are doing everything possible to prevent or disrupt any summit,” Lozansky proposes that the summit be held, rather than in Washington, in “[n]eutral Vienna, where the young Premier Sebastian Kurz keeps showing his independence from the big boys,” in order to ensure a positive outcome.
He advises Trump that if “Congress with its miserable 15% approval rating tries to block” a Trump-Putin deal, “Trump should appeal directly to American people. Let them decide whether we will have war or peace.”
Lozansky concluded beautifully by pointing to the joint work of American, Russian, Japanese astronauts on the International Space Station, who “are sending the message for peace and cooperation from space,” contrary to the war-mongers on Earth.
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Relations between Zimbabwe and China Hit a New High with Mnangagwa’s Visit
April 9 (EIRNS)—An editorial in the Zimbabwe Herald, a daily that speaks for the government, hailed the “new high” in China-Zimbabwe relations following the official visit of Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa to China last week, where he met with President Xi Jinping as well as other Chinese officials. The China visit was the first foreign trip of Zimbabwe’s new President outside of Africa.
The same vision was expressed to CGTN, April 8, by Ms. He Wenping, Africa Studies Director at the China Academy of Social Sciences, who said it marks a new era for Zimbabwe and Africa. Last November, at a Schiller Institute international conference in Germany, Ms. He presented a slide show to elaborate Africa’s future in linking up to the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Herald stressed that two major milestones were reached by the visit of the Mnangagwa delegation, which included 10 cabinet members as well as 80 businessmen. The first is that bilateral relations were elevated to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Status, meaning that “China is demonstrating its willingness to boost trade with Zimbabwe and stimulate the country’s economic growth.” Zimbabwe will now profit by more Chinese investment, especially in infrastructure in which the Chinese have become experts.
The second milestone was the “incorporation of Zimbabwe into the Belt and Road Initiative. Not many people have cared to examine the benefits of this initiative, which is part of President Xi’s thought on the new economic trajectory China is taking. We reckon that Zimbabwe stands to reap huge benefits by being part of a select group of countries that China is dealing with under the Belt and Road Initiative.”
The editorial continues, describing the BRI as “the largest infrastructure development project, which will see more than a trillion dollars being invested across the globe…. Under this initiative, China will build massive infrastructure that will connect it to many countries around world, including Zimbabwe. This will help facilitate trade and the transfer of capital, technology and expertise.
“The project is meant to create an economic cooperation framework with the countries involved that will bring real benefits to the people, making it ‘a belt of new opportunities.’ ”