Stephen Lendman May 8 2013
A previous article said the following:
On May 5, Reuters headlined “UN has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator.”
Geneva-based “UN human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.”
“The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weaponsâ€¦.”
On May 6, the UN News Centre headlined “Syria: UN human rights Inquiry has ‘no conclusive findings’ on use of chemical weapons.”
The International Commission of Inquiry on Syria (COI) issued a statement saying:
It “wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict.”
“As a result, the Commission is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time.”
“The Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, reminds all parties to the conflict that the use of chemical weapons is prohibited in all circumstances under customary international humanitarian law.”
“In line with its mandate, the Commission is currently investigating all allegations of violations of international law in the Syrian Arab Republic and will issue its findings to the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 3 June 2013, as mandated by resolution 22/24.”
In other words, clear evidence that Washington-backed insurgents used sarin and perhaps other chemical weapons no longer matters. HRC’s COI about-faced. Credible testimonies are now inconclusive.
Western pressure forced the retraction. COI’s had no credibility since inception. Neither does HRC. More on that below.
On August 22, 2011, HRC resolution S-17/1 established the COI. It’s mandated to investigate all alleged human rights violations in Syria since March 2011.
“The Commission was also tasked to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible with a view of ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable.”
On September 28, 2012, the Human Rights Council (HRC) “adopted six resolutions in which it extended” the COI.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is the organization’s chief human rights official. She works closely with the Human Rights Council. She long ago fell from grace.
She’s an imperial tool. She suppresses truth. She ignores Western and Israeli human rights abuses. She’s in lockstep with Washington’s war on Syria. So is Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. More on him below.
Pillay’s a former South African High Court judge. She also served on the International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICRT). From 1999 – 2003, she served as president.
ICRT lacked credibility. It served imperial interests. It pointed fingers the wrong way. Guilty parties were absolved. Victims were prosecuted. While president, Pillay bore full responsibility.
She serves Washington’s imperial agenda. She did so on the International Criminal Court. She served from 2003 – 2008.
ICC targets victims Washington and other Western powers want charged with crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. Responsible major powers are absolved. Victims are guilty by accusation.
Pillay went along. She advanced her career by doing so. She’s doing it again now. She’s waging war on Syria. She targets victims. Guilty parties are absolved.
She wrongfully blames Assad for “massive scale” killing. Doing so turns truth on its head. Earlier she asked “Where is the international community? Why aren’t (world leaders) acting to stop this slaughter.”
She favors intervention to do so. She’s complicit with Washington’s longstanding plan to ravage and destroy another country.
So is Pinheiro. In September 2011, he was appointed COI chairman. His reports lack credibility. They suppress truth. They show contempt for justice. They bear testimony to his pro-Western bias.
He repeatedly blames Assad for insurgent crimes. His mandate is facilitating Washington’s longstanding plan to oust him.
On May 6, the Washington Post headlined “US skeptical on reported use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels,” saying:
They “had seen no evidence to confirm the reports.”
“The Obama administration has said it believes the Syrian government likely used the nerve agent sarin in recent months and has supported a UN investigation into the use of chemical agents in Syria, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad has alleged the illicit weapons were used by the opposition.”
During his May 6 press briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney said:
“We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons.”
“We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position.”
“The fact of the matter is the terrible situation in Syria is the fault and responsibility of Bashar al-Assad.”
“He has murdered tens of thousands of his own people. He has acted with impunity like a tyrant to hold on to power.”
“And it is the rightful demand of the Syrian people that they be rid of this tyrant and that they have a say in their future.”
“And we have worked with international partners as well as the Syrian opposition to help bring about that opportunity for the Syrian people.”
Asked about Israel’s weekend bombings, he said:
“I’m not going to comment on any actions the Israelis may have taken. What I can tell you is that we are in close coordination as a matter of course with the Israelis, and continue to be.”
“But I’m not going to comment specifically on actions that the Israelis may or may not have taken. I would certainly refer those questions to the Israeli government.”
Asked what the administration plans to do next, he added:
“Well, you heard the President address this several times last week. It is essential that we continue to gather evidence, that we work with our partners as well as the opposition in the accumulation of evidence about the use of chemical weapons.”
“But we are not waiting for United Nations action alone.”
“We are working through other means to try to build on the evidence that we already have of chemical weapons use, to assert in a concrete and firm way the chain of custody, when chemical weapons were used, by whom, and the full consequences of that use.”
“It is by definition a game-changer (if) chemical weapons (were) used. (T)he president made clear (it’s) a red lineâ€¦.(If) crossed (he said) he would take appropriate action.”
On May 6, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) said:
“US suggestions that the Syrian government could have used chemical weapons have been treated as fact by some media outlets, and are helping to fuel the case for greater US military involvement.”
Those outlets include US broadcast and cable channels, as well as major publications. Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller warned:
“Whatever we decide, getting Syria right starts with getting over Iraq.” In other words, he claims, Syria won’t become a similar catastrophe. It’s well along toward one now.
Keller promoted war on Iraq. He supported it once begun. He’s urging Obama to wage war on Syria.
He and other Times editors back Washington’s imperial agenda. Rule of law principles and unconscionable carnage don’t matter.
FAIR commented on the mindset of many so-called pundits. “(O)nce again (they’re) rallying in support of US military action based on sketchy reports about weapons of mass destruction.”
On May 6, Wall Street Journal editors marched in lockstep. They headlined “The Non-Intervention War. The US failure to lead on Syria has resulted in a wider regional conflict.”
It “threatens to damage US interests from the Levant to the Persian Gulf and perhaps even reach the homeland.”
Journal editors urge forceful US intervention. They favor “imposing a no-fly zone and air strikes against Assad’s forces.”
They don’t “rule out the use of American and other ground troops to secure the chemical weapons.”
Invading Syria means replicating Washington’s war on Iraq. “(T)he most important strategic goal continues to be to defeat Iran,” Journal editors stress.
On the one hand, they blame Obama for creating a “wider regional conflict.” At the same time, they urge one.
On May 6, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “IDF on war alert. Iran-Syrian-Hizballah war of attrition threatened. US set to act on Syria.”
Israel’s weekend airstrikes “appear to be part of a tactical plan put together by the US, Israel, and two Sunni powers, Turkey and Qatar, to break up the Tehran-Damascus-Beirut radical bloc and eventually force Iran to give up its nuclear bomb aspirations.”
“Washington is meanwhile expected to follow up on the Israeli operation in Syria by the end of May, early June, with operations ranging from US arms supplies to the Syrian rebels to demolishing Syria’s air force facilities and missile sites by US air strikes from Turkey, Europe and Israel.”
“Barak Obama used this tactic to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi in Libya two years ago.”
“Since the Syrian rebels are being systematically ground down and falling apart under the crushing weight of the Syrian army backed by Iranian and Hizballah troops and Moscow, feeding the rebels more weapons may no longer avail.”
“So this would be the less probable of the two options.”
On Sunday, Israel initiated its “highest level of war alert.” Who’ll make the next move, asked DF.
Michel Chossudovsky discussed “The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga,” saying:
“(T)he Pentagon not only provided chemical weapons to Al Nusra, an affiliated Al Qaeda terrorist organization, but also provided training to the rebels in the use of these weapons.”
“And once these Al Qaeda rebels had been supplied and trained in the use of WMDs by military contractors hired by the Pentagon, the Syrian government would then be held responsible for using the WMDs against the Syrian people.”
“This in turn would provide a justification for a humanitarian R2P intervention to ‘protect’ and come to the rescue of the Syrian people.”
“Believe it or not: that is the justification for waging a ‘humanitarian war’ on Syria.”
What goes around, comes around. History repeats. Washington wants Assad ousted. Replacing him with subservient pro-Western puppet leadership is longstanding policy.
It bears repeating. Syria’s being systematically ravaged and destroyed. It appears just a matter of time before full-scale US-led intervention. Libya 2.0 looms.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.