Trump and Sarin

During the last few days the news about the incident with the chemical weapons in Idlib/Syria have been all over the media, same as the cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield which Trump ordered in reaction to it.

Having no TV and reading only Hbl, I cannot really say what the reaction of the Finnish media to Trump’s action is; in Hbl it was anyway stressed that up to now we know indeed little about the course of the events – but still one could discern a certain satisfaction that the Syrian forces had been made to suffer. The Russian and Syrian governments, though, were denying that they had attacked with chemical weapons, just pointing to the possibility that an attack with conventional bombs might have hit a store of the rebels’ chemical weapons (an interpretation of events which the Western media seem not to take so very seriously). And myself I am not either so sure how the whole thing has actually gone. But I see at least one thing which might be worth mentioning: on Ons 5.04. I found in my email a piece served by the US rightist source ”Blabber Buzz” in which it was claimed that it was the White Helmets (described as ”an al-Quaeda affiliated group funded by George Soros and the British government”) which had staged the attack in order to lay blame on the Syrian government. This was supplemented by the claim that at one time Seymour Hersh (who is an indeed prominent journalist) had referred to reports that the Syrian rebels had got chemical weapons from Libya via Turkey (according to Blabber Buzz ”with the approval of Hillary Clinton”).

This is of course a conspiracy theory if there ever was one, and as well-educated consumers of the media we are also aware that since exactly 2001 we are supposed not to believe in conspiracy theories (whereas before that year they were considered as acceptable). Still, might we be allowed to switch our own heads on? For example one could ask why a politically rightist source refrains from blaming Assad and/or the Russians (meanwhile I also came over the rightist formulation that Trump had let himself be ”duped into action” – which is at least not any support for Trump). And how probable COULD this conspiracy theory be? That the White Helmets have also some contact to al-Qaeda or the al-Nussra front is not improbable (the White Helmets may want to work unmolested, and those organisations may wish for some good reputation in the population), and it might also be easy for extremist rebels to slip agents into the ranks of the White Helmets. And in a situation where both Russians and Western powers are bombing extremist rebels such a chemical attack might be considered a good way to get those bombing powers to turn against each other (as the events are also showing). In the past at least ISIS has turned out to be pretty skilful in using the media for its purposes (while at the same time showing little concern for human lives). Altogether, I do see a POSSIBILITY that the attack was indeed staged by extremist rebels. This while not forgetting that also other versions (also the Russian/Syrian one) MIGHT be true. And unluckily I also see a possibility that our media will avoid mentioning these possibilities, rather preferring to spread a version which has been accepted and acted on by the USA (already in order, e.g., not to spoil Finland’s chances to be accepted into NATO …). But well, what can we do except waiting, looking/listening and thinking …

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