But that tide is now subsiding, by the day, as more facts emerge about what really happened in Syria with regard to the use of chemical weapons. If Russia was swimming against a tide, the position of the US and its allies is now sinking from lies and criminality.
As each day passes, it becomes clear that Western states tried to railroad a guilty verdict on the Syrian government and thereby trigger a desired military aggression.
The Western propaganda operation went into full speed on Monday following the release of the report by the United Nations chemical weapons team, led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom. No sooner had that report been published than the US, British and French governments were crowing that it provided “conclusive proof” of their allegations that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had committed the mass killings on 21 August near the capital, Damascus.
The UN team did not actually state who perpetrated the chemical gas attack, but its inferences allowed others to point the finger of accusation at the Syrian army. So too did the tone of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who called for sanctions against those who commit such crimes “against your own people”.
So, they all lined up in familiar choreography to denounce the Syrian government. The US, British and French said they were justified in calling for military strikes and that they intended incorporating such action in the recent chemical decommissioning deal worked out by Washington and Moscow. For a day or two, it seemed that the Western governments had gained the psychological upper hand.
But it is increasingly clear that the Western “certainty” over Syrian chemical weapons is an edifice built on sand. The initial Western claims were never supported by verifiable evidence, only “secret intelligence”. Now it turns out that the UN inspectors’ report upon which the Western governments have rested their case is fatally flawed.
By its own admission, the UN study was carried out hurriedly under duress and in circumstances tampered with by the Western-backed anti-government militants. In a word, its putative evidence is unreliable.
More damning is the new disclosure by the Syrian government purporting to show that the culpable party for the gas attack near Damascus is the insurgents. Syria shared this “factual evidence” with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who was in Damascus this week. Syria and Russia are to submit this information to the UN.
What is disturbing is that this latest evidence, which includes ballistic charts and chemical analysis data, was already presented to the UN team led by Sellstrom. Russia has also said that other evidence and information presented to the UN team during the investigation was ignored in its final report. That suggests that the UN team was compromised to accommodate Western political interests.
Another disclosure this week is that Moscow confirmed that it never supplied Syria with sarin gas, not even during the years of the former Soviet Union. The significance of this is that Western governments flagged up the finding in the Sellstrom report that the inspectors had recovered remains of unusual rockets with Cyrillic (Russian) lettering. The inference was that Russia supplied Syria with chemical weapons, which the Syrian army had used.
But the Kremlin denied that it has ever delivered such munitions to Syria. It said that Soviet-era rockets with Cyrillic markings of the type cited in the Sellstrom report were supplied in the past to Libya. Given that Libya is a major arms supply conduit to the Western-backed so-called rebels in Syria, this again lends credibility to the Russian and Syrian claims that the chemical gas attacks near Damascus were carried out by these groups in a provocation to elicit Western military intervention.
There are many other unanswered perturbing questions about the chemical weapons attack near Damascus last month. Who were those dead children in the videos that the West has based so much of its emotive claims on? Why were they dressed in day clothes if they were supposedly killed in the middle of the night when they should have been in their beds? Why were their corpses arranged in such an orderly way, suggesting the scene was organized for an anticipated video recording? Why are there so few adult female victims in the apparent gas attack? Where are the grieving mothers and fathers of the little ones whose bodies are stacked up in death shrouds?
More chilling is a study led by Syrian Christian figure, Mother Agnes Mariam, which cites relatives of the dead who claim that the children were abducted by militants during earlier attacks in the northwest Latakia area. In that case, the children may have been poisoned, not by rockets filled with Sarin, but by premeditated murder, with the purpose of fabricating a chemical gas attack.
What this demonstrates is that the exact circumstances of the atrocity near Damascus are far from known. But what is clear is that Western governments are shamelessly contriving partial and unsubstantiated data to fit political objectives.
The rush to railroad a guilty verdict on the Syrian government shows once again that the Western objective is regime change. That objective is criminal and the means to achieve it – fabricating lies and fomenting acts of war – gravely compound the criminality.