by Stephen Lendman
False flags are an American tradition. They're an Israeli tradition. They're used strategically. They reflect Big Lies.
Merriam-Webster calls them "deliberate gross distortion(s) of the truth used especially as a propaganda tactic."
Official stories are false. They're contrary to reality. They turn truth on its head. They point fingers the wrong way.
They're pretexts for militarism, wars, mass killing and destruction, occupations, domestic repression, and other extremist national security state measures.
Wednesday's Ghouta incident raises disturbing questions. It was a clear anti-Syrian provocation. No evidence suggests Assad's involvement. Clear analysis shows he'd have everything to lose and nothing to gain.
Syrian insurgents used chemical weapons numerous times before. Clear evidence proves it. Media scoundrels suppressed it. They substituted lies for truth. They do it every time. It's standard practice.
On August 23, Russia Today headlined "Materials implicating Syrian govt in chemical attack prepared before incident - Russia."
According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich:
We're getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature."
"In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action."
It reflects "another anti-Syrian propaganda wave." Calls for force "heard from EU capitals (are) unacceptable."
Assad demonstrated a "constructive approach." He did so by letting UN experts investigate sites of previous chemical weapon attacks.
Insurgents don't display a similar cooperative willingness, Lukashevich added.
"This directly impedes the objective investigation of allegations of possible cases of chemical weapons use in Syria, which is called for by a number of countries and which the Russian side supports."
On August 23, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined "Two phone calls affirm the use of chemical weapons in Homs by terrorists," saying:
"A phone call between a terrorist affiliated to the so-called 'Shuhada al-Bayada Battalion' in Homs and his boss who was called Adulbasit from Saudi Arabia uncovered that terrorists used the chemical weapons in Deir Ballba in Homs countryside."
"During a phone call broadcast on the Syrian TV Channel, the terrorist said that his group which comprises 200 terrorists escaped from al-Bayadah to al-Daar al-Kabera through a tunnel, adding that they needed to buy weapons to attack the City of Homs."
"The Saudi financier who was present in Cairo asked the Syrian terrorists about details on his group and the way they will receive the money, admitting his support to terrorists in Daraa and Damascus Countryside, in turn the Syria terrorist told him that one of the achievements of his 'Battalion' was the use of chemical weapons in Deir Ballba."
"In the same context, another phone call reveled the cooperation between tow terrorist groups to bring two bottles of Sarin Gas from Barzeh neighborhood in Damascus."
All indications suggest insurgents' responsibility for Wednesday's incident. Was America complicit? Was Israel? Were key NATO allies and/or rogue regional partners?
Was the Ghouta chemical attack pretext for direct US and/or NATO/Israeli intervention?
In June, Obama officials wrongfully accused Syria of chemical weapons use. They suggest Assad responsibility for Ghouta. They do it reprehensibly. They do it anyway.
On August 22, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said Syria crossed Obama's red line earlier.
He has a "range of options" going forward, she said. They're being "discuss(ed) with his national security team."
"Appropriate steps are being considered with key allies."
Asked if administration officials are urging direct action, she said "any step we would take would be one (that) helps advance our interests in Syria, and certainly, the crossing of a redline would be part of that calculus and part of that decision."
Obama and John Kerry "feel a great sense of urgency about getting to the bottom of the facts as quickly as possible."
Obama's redline "has always been the use of chemical weapons."
If reports on the Ghouta incident are true, she added, "it would be an outrageous and flagrant use of chemical weapons by the regime."
On August 21, the Wall Street Journal headlined "US Suspects Syria Used Gas," saying:
"The US sees 'strong indications' that Syria's government used chemical weapons in attacks early Wednesday that opposition groups claimed killed more than 1,100 people."
An unnamed senior administration said:
"There are strong indications there was a chemical weapons attack - clearly by the government."
"But we do need to do our due diligence and get all the facts and determine what steps need to be taken."
Options being considered include cruise missile strikes, an air campaign, and cross-border shelling, among others.
An unnamed senior Obama official said "(t)here's a split between those who feel we need to act now and those who feel that now is a very bad time to act." He stopped short of naming names.
Neither Washington or EU allies have "smoking gun" proof, he added. Intelligence agencies amassed circumstantial evidence of chemical weapons use in Ghouta.
Stars and Stripes is an official Defense Department publication. It said US officials are divided on how to respond to the Ghouta incident.
"Top military leaders have cautioned against even limited action in Syria. Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said in a letter this week to a congressman that the US military is clearly capable of taking out Assad's air force and shifting the balance of the war toward the armed opposition."
"But such an approach would plunge the US into the war without offering any (end game) strategy."
Jeffrey White's a former Defense Intelligence Agency Middle East analyst. He's now a pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) fellow.
"Assuming that there was a large-scale chemical attack, it indicates (Assad's) regime has not been deterred by the statements coming out of Washington," he said.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared "all red lines" crossed. He urged more direct action.
Israel pointed fingers the wrong way. It blamed Syria for Wednesday's incident. Netanyahu said if Assad's not punished, Iran will be encouraged to develop nuclear weapons.
"Syria has become Iran's testing ground, and Iran is closely watching whether and how the world responds to the atrocities committed by Iran's client state Syria," he said.
"These events prove yet again that we simply cannot allow the world's most dangerous regimes to acquire the world's most dangerous weapons."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "we need a reaction by the international community." He urged military force.
On August 22, Voice of Russia headlined "Chemical attack" 'rough work' of Syrian opposition," saying:
Russia accused opposition militants. Assad had nothing to do with Ghouta. Claims otherwise are spurious. They have no basis in fact.
Attacking Ghouta was a "prearranged provocation." It's not the first one. It won't be the last.
Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said:
"Early in the morning of August 21, a homemade missile with a so far unknown chemical poison gas was shot in the direction of this district from the positions of the militants."
"It was similar to the missile used by terrorists on March 19, this year, in Khan al-Asal (near Aleppo)."
All-Russia Center of Disaster Medicine Professor Gennady Prostakishin said:
"I don't know, whether there is sarin in Syria, or not. Remember, what happened to Saddam Hussein."
"Americans voiced complaints against him concerning sarin and other toxic agents, too. But there was nothing there. The same thing is likely to be happening here."
According to Institute of Strategic Assessments and Analysis expert Sergei Demdenko:
"The opposition has nothing to lose. It cannot win, and it does all it can to force the West to intervene in the conflict, to convince the West that the regime is 'bloody and inhuman.' "
Following chemical attack incidents, "TV channels financed by" opposition supporters automatically blame Assad.
"It has all happened before. As soon as America has declared that it would intervene in case chemical weapons were found in Syria, Qatari(-controlled) al-Jazeera channel announced that it had already found it."
"As soon as the group of UN experts arrived in Syria in order to examine the data about chemical weapons, (Saudi Arabia's) Al Arabiya channel immediately reported that it had been used by the government troops. This is a very rough work."
It's much the same in America. European media report Big Lies. Whether full-scale war follows remains to be seen.
Washington appears heading toward it. On August 22, London's Guardian headlined "Syria crisis: US holds talks as concern grows over chemical weapons claims," saying:
Washington "held a flurry of diplomatic talks on Thursday to discuss possible new action against the Syrian government amid mounting international concern over alleged chemical weapons attacks."
John Kerry "held seven calls with overseas counterparts on Thursday, and had taken part in a national security council meeting at the White House."
"The British Foreign Office confirmed Kerry had spoken to William Hague. A spokesman declined to comment on the contents of the call."
"(Britain's) Foreign Office spokeswoman said the UK would not rule out any option in its response to the latest massacre."
On August 22, Le Monde editors headlined: "Syrie: l'indignation ne suffit pas (Indignation is not enough)," saying:
"Terrible symbol: chemical crime hit a few kilometers from the place where the UN team arrived two days earlier."
"Beyond the horror of these scenes, it is a stinging humiliation of the United Nations which has just taken place in Syria."
"Bashar al-Assad is certainly a keen observer of the international scene. It has been observed in recent months, weak foreign reactions to 'spot' and repeated chemical attacks, carried out by (his) troops."
"The United States and European countries, including France" threatened decisive action earlier.
"Faced with what could be likened to a 'Syrian Halabja' words of indignation will not suffice."
Throughout nearly two-and a half years of conflict, Western-backed insurgents committed numerous atrocities. They were caught red-handed many times. Assad was wrongfully blamed.
It's happening again. It's happening despite no evidence suggesting Syrian responsibility for Ghouta. It doesn't matter. It remains to be seen whether greater US/NATO/Israeli intervention follows.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.