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The Sarin gas war: The West and Russia in Syria

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I have felt extremely sorry for Russia since the poisoning of the Russian double spy for their inability and inefficiency in news management. At every conceivable point, the West packaged and delivered propaganda dressed as “truths”; Russia was a blubbering, clumsy bear, playing catch up with a cunning powerful tiger. It was a contest between the old Lada and a superfine sleek Ferrari. As if that was not enough, in the propaganda following the chemical attack in Douma, Damascus (Syria), Russia was completely outplayed. Russia resorted to telling stories of staged propaganda scenes of the white helmets: how they; Russia, were in possession of the area allegedly bombed, there were no casualties from Chlorine or Sarin attacks, etc. The West, the masters of “fake news” knew exactly where to punch the Russian bear who floundered hopelessly.

Mr. Trump, may God bless his soul, if he has achieved nothing, has shown that lying is one of the most important tools of international diplomacy and politics. Third World people and formerly colonized people know only too well how the West can present nonfactual stories as “fact” and “truths”. All nationalist leaders – Gandhi, Nehru, Bhutto, Nkrumah, Mboya, Enahoro, Mandela, Sikusi, Martin Luther King Jnr, the suffragettes and abused women know how those in power can mould opinion, imprison, kill or lynch those fighting for human rights. I dare say that the Russian themselves have been guilty of this very crime when elements within their society demand to speak freely, whether they be female punk groups singing about freedom or even other politicians demanding the right to oppose Mr. Putin at an election.

The inherent superior morality of socialism had been bastardized by the USSR (later Russia). What that system was able to establish was a thorough, state-sponsored ideology that was not tolerant of any criticism, even if that criticism would have been of benefit to society. Mr. Trump, it is calculated, has told his people at least three lies every day. There is a Trump lie-0-metre set up in the various newspapers and TV stations. He has not paid his taxes; he kisses and grabs women anywhere, anyhow; he has no respect for the human rights of women and minorities – blacks, Mexicans etc. All these character fault lines were exposed during the campaign for the Presidency, but he won the election and thus, pulled off the biggest upset in the United States political history. (There are aspects of Trump’s character which are very politically Nigerian – not paying taxes, being economical with truth, pulling women by the curleys philandering etc.)

At the UN, the Russians were completely outplayed. They called for international inspection of the place where the chemical bombs had been launched. They were sucked into a belief that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would go there to take evidence, come back to the UN to report and then the UN would decide what to do.

The West again outplayed them – agreeing to inspection, while at the same time, preparing for war. The naivety of the Russian is mind bugling. If as the Russian argue, the horrible pictures shown on the TV were staged, and some of those people were to be given safe passage, what did Russia expect the people who had staged the original attack to do, when they get to Idlip, another big anti-Assad enclave in Syria? Yet Russia bosses them there, only for them to fill the airways with blood-curdling stories of atrocity after atrocity. I do not know whether their stories are true but they certainly ring truer than the Russian version.

Consider this: chemical weapons had been used in Douma. The next thing we hear is that the President of France said he has proof, but till now, he has not shared that proof. The 21 nations of NATO line up against Russia on the grounds that Assad bombed and killed his people with Sarin and chlorine, and even counted the number of times he had done so – 50. President Assad has killed over 500,000 of his own countrymen. Estimated population of Syria is 22 million, of which 13.5 million Syrians require humanitarian assistance. More than 6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and around 5 million are refugees outside of Syria. These refugees that are now in the West, are threatening the values of democracy and freedom in Europe, so to stop “this Islamic mob” invading Europe, Turkey is asked to produce temporary accommodation for the refugees in return for a promise that the European Union would consider its application to join the EU (the same promise given to the Kurds who are in Turkey seeking freedom from being under Turkish President Erdogan’s boot). Meanwhile, new Fascist-nationalism is ratcheted up in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, where in the Brexit referendum, Nigel Farage, merely showed a picture of a convoy of Arab refugees in trucks bound for the UK to clinch the Brexit vote.

The United States, France and the United Kingdom arrogantly declaring themselves as the “International community” launched 105 missiles into Syria. The Russians are left to look stupid when they claim that Assad knocked down 70 missiles (even if it is true – let the other side bemoan their loss. Knocking 70 missiles made no difference to the success of the campaign). Now the UN representatives and inspectors are in Douma, the Russian-held area of Damascus. The Russians will get another mauling whenever their report is published. So should the world not be spared this entire charade? Russia, Israel, the U.S., Britain, France, Turkey and Iran – all want a foothold in the Middle East or at least to strengthen what foothold they already have there. Iran openly campaigns for the destruction of Israel. Saudi Arabia also wants a plaint regime in Yemen and Qatar. The Russians have a naval base and several air bases in Syria: Turkey would very much like to keep its Kurds quiet in Northeast Syria, while Israel would not want Iran to be stronger in Syria and thus get stronger in Lebanon and Gaza where Iran supports Hezbollah. Iran openly campaigns for the destruction of Israel. This is unacceptable. Saudi Arabia has just woken up to its responsibilities judging by its actions in Yemen and Qatar, where the U.S. has yet another air base, in addition to those in Jordan. The British have a base in Cyprus but all three-France, UK, and the U.S. – are major arms dealers to every nation in the Middle East. Moreover, all these nations have interest in the production of oil which remains a major asset despite the strides made in the use of other forms of energy.

I started this by lamenting Russia’s puerile inability at news management. Trump’s era has shown that all news maybe fakes, but managing it demands some skill. The Russians must go back to school; otherwise they would get walloped in the Public Relations Department. It does matter, because any Russian or Middle Eastern set back has unforeseen and unknowable consequences. Middle East instability is certainty grist to the mill of political instability in the area; untold suffering for its people and continued radicalisation of Islam. All of the above are injurious to world peace. On the poisoned spies in Salisbury, since when did the poisoning of two spies carry such cataclysmic diplomatic international repercussions as we saw lately? Apart from Boris Johnson’s claim that he alone knows where Russia has been making and storing these nerve agents for the past 10 years, last week, the retired head of the MI6 told us that the poisoned spy had been under the watch of the Russian spy directorate of the FSB, for the past five years. If the FSB had been watching them for five years, could it possibly mean that the double agent was still active? If the British knew this, then why did they not act to prevent the Russians? Believe it or not, these spies know and talk to one another regularly!!

The world has seen what these nations did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Chechnya, Georgia, etc. The West believes that most non-Western countries are simply waiting for the West to support them, a resistance movement is formed and sooner or later the West will win as they did in Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Supposing destructive Islamic fundamentalism took hold in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE? What then?


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