Home > Middle East > The Chemical-Weapons Attack In Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism? | The Nation

The Chemical-Weapons Attack In Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism? | The Nation

by James Carden

In addition to highlighting the embarrassing degree to which the American media is seduced by displays of American military might, its rush to embrace President Trump’s decision to launch a military attack against Syria on April 6 has also crowded out dissenting voices from the administration’s claim that it was the government of Bashar al-Assad that was responsible for the chemical-weapons attack in Khan Sheikhun, which killed over 80 people and injured hundreds.

By firing 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base in Syria, and killing five Syrian soldiers and nine civilians in the process, President Trump was able to transform himself in the eyes of the media from an object of derision into, in the words of erstwhile Trump critic Elliot Abrams, “Leader of the Free World.”

Dissent from what amounts to a new party line has been noticeably absent. As the investigative journalist Robert Parry recently observed, “All the Important People who appeared on the TV shows or who were quoted in the mainstream media trusted the images provided by Al Qaeda–related propagandists and ignored documented prior cases in which the Syrian rebels staged chemical weapons incidents to implicate the Assad government.”

Source: The Chemical-Weapons Attack In Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism? | The Nation

One comment

  1. I assume that anyone folllowing this discussion has read the entire article in the Nation. You will know therefore that Carden’s argument rests on the authority of two commentators – former ambassador Peter Ford and US scientist Theodore Postol . Ford is a serial apologist for the Syrian regime (he was last seen denying the Amnesty international report on executions in the regime’s Sednanya prison) and he offers no eividence, just the assertion that Asad “is not mad”; whatever you think of that assertion, it is hardly probative. Postol does offer evidence – but most of it is either pure assertion : It comes down to Postol’s claim that he can determine from a photograph of a piece of metal debris that has been buried in the ground and dug out that its shape was not caused by impact on an aerial delivered bomb but by an explosion from a device laid on top of it. He does not offer any account of how that might have been managed (the Sarin release took place on a main road in daylight). And ignores ignores the eyewitness accounts of a bombing, and the Russian admission that a bombing did take place (but allegedly not to deliver sarin), If anyone wants to substantiate this then I would encourage you to read Postol’s document – but also to deploy due “skepticism” there as well.

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