by Thierry Meyssan
While Presidents Putin and Trump continue to make progress on the question of Syria, the United States senior civil servants in service at the UNO have locked into a round of arm-wrestling with Russia. Refusing to investigate a crime that they have already tried a priori, they provoked not one, but four vetos at the Security Council. For Thierry Meyssan, the schizophrenic behaviour of the United States on the international stage is a demonstration of the divisions within the Trump administration and the decline of US imperialism.
Decidedly, very little has changed since 11 September 2001. The United States continue to manipulate international public opinion and the tools of the United Nations, no doubt for different reasons, but still with the same contempt for the truth.
In 2001, the representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom, John Negroponte and Stewart Eldon, assured that their two countries had just attacked Afghanistan in legitimate defence after the attacks committed in New York and Washington . The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, promised to hand the Security Council a complete dossier presenting proof of Afghan responsibility. 16 years later, this document has still not been seen.
In 2003, the same Colin Powell came to explain to the Security Council, during a speech which was relayed by the televisions of the whole world, that Iraq was also implicated in the attacks of 11 September, and that it was preparing new acts of aggression against the United States by means of weapons of mass destruction . However, once he had retired from his functions in the US government, General Powell admitted on a TV channel in his own country that the many accusations in his speech were all false . 14 years after this speech, we are still waiting for the United States to apologise to the Security Council.
Everyone has forgotten the US accusations concerning the responsibility of President Saddam Hussein in the attacks of 9/11 – since then, Washington has attributed these same attacks to Saudi Arabia, and again, today, to Iran, but without ever providing the proof for any of these four cases). However, we do remember the debate, which lasted for months, about weapons of mass destruction. At the time, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was unable to find the slightest trace of these weapons. A conflict developed between Hans Blix, the Swedish director of UNMOVIC and, first, the United States, then the UNO, and finally, the whole of the Western world. Washington claimed that Mr. Blix had not found the weapons because he was a negligent worker, while Blix himself assured that Iraq had never possessed the capacity to build such weapons. But whatever, the United States bombed Baghdad, invaded Iraq, overthrew President Saddam Hussein and hanged him, occupied his country and plundered it.
US methods after 2001 were totally different from any that had preceded them. In 1991, President Bush the Father had made certain that he had international law on his side before he attacked Iraq, having pushed President Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait and to dig in. He had thus obtained the support of almost all the nations in the world. On the contrary, in 2003, Bush the Son settled for lying and then lying some more. Many States distanced themselves from Washington, and we saw the greatest pacifist demonstrations in History, from Paris to Sydney, from Beijing to Mexico.
In 2012, the UN Department of Political Affairs drew up a project for the total and unconditional surrender of Syria . Its director, US citizen Jeffrey Feltman, ex-Under-Secretary of State for Hillary Clinton, used all the means at his disposal to create the greatest coalition in History and accuse Syria of all manner of crimes, none of which were ever proven.
If the States which possess the Feltman document have decided not to publish it, their intention is simply to preserve the United Nations. It is indeed inacceptable that the might and means of the UNO were used to promote war, when the institution was created in order to preserve peace. Since I am not held to the same obligations as a State, I have published a detailed study of this ignoble document in “Right Before Our Eyes” .
In 2017, the UNO-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism, created at the request of Syria in order to investigate the use of chemical weapons on its territory, became the object of the same struggle which had earlier opposed Hans Blix to Washington. Except that this time, the fronts were reversed. In 2003, the UNO was defending peace. This is no longer the case, since Jeffrey Feltman was reappointed and is still the number 2 of the UNO. This time it’s Russia which is opposing the pro-US international civil servants in the name of the Charter.
Although the work of the Joint Investigative Mechanism was debated in normal fashion during its first period – from September 2015 to May 2017 – the discussions risked dichotomy when Guatemalan Edmond Mulet nominated the Argentine Virginia Gamba as its director; a nomination which may be imputed to the new Secretary General of the UNO, Portuguese António Guterres.
The Joint Investigative Mechanism mobilises international civil servants from the UNO and the OPCW. This prestigious international organisation received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, in particular for its work of supervision on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons by the United States and Russia. However, its director, Turkish citizen Ahmet Üzümcü, has since moved on. In June 2015, he was invited to Telfs Buchen (Austria) for the meeting of the Bilderberg Group, the NATO club.
The question was all the more serious in that in 2003, the dispute opposed, on one hand Hans Blix, and on the other, the United States, who were threatening to intervene against Iraq if the UNO could prove the existence of weapons of mass destruction. In 2017, however, the dispute was between Russia and Edmond Mulet, who may be have been able, a posteriori, to validate US intervention against Syria. Indeed, Washington had already made their minds up, considering Syria as being responsible for a sarin gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, and had already bombed the old air base at Cheyrat .
In the event that the Joint Investigative Mechanism should depart in whatever way from Washington’s script, the United States would be obliged to apologise to and indemnify Syria. The pro-US international civil servants therefore considered that their mission was to arrive at the conclusion that Syria had bombed its own population with sarin gas which it had hidden illegally on the air base at Cheyrat.
As from the month of October, the rhetoric began to escalate between certain UNO and Russian civil servants. Contrary to what the Western Press alleged, the disagreement had nothing to do with the conclusions of the Joint Investigative Mechanism, but exclusively with its methods – Moscow refused in advance any conclusion obtained by methods which did not conform with the international principles established in the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW .
Sarin gas is a neurotoxic agent which is extremely lethal for humans. There are variations of this product, chlorosarin and cyclosarin, and an even more dangerous version, VX gas. All these products are absorbed by the skin and pass directly into the blood. They degrade within a few weeks or a few months in the environment, but not without consequences for the animals which may enter into contact with them. When they penetrate the soil, in the absence of oxygen and light, they may be conserved for a long time.
It is enough to look at the photographs of the attack on Khan Shaykhun, which show people taking samples a few hours later without wearing protective suits to cover their skin – to understand immediately that if gas had in fact been used, it could not have been sarin gas or one of its derivatives. For more details, we may consult the study by Professor Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in which he debunks, one by one, the arguments of the so-called “experts” from the CIA .
In fact, contrary to the principles of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Investigative Mechanism did not visit the site to take samples, to analyse them, and identify the gas used, if indeed any gas had been used.
Questioned on this subject in May and June 2017 by Russia, the OPCW declared that they had studied the security conditions necessary for such a journey before concluding that it was unnecessary since, according to them, « The use of sarin is not in doubt ».
The Investigative Mechanism did, however, visit the air base in Shayrat where, according to Washington, the sarin gas had been illegally stored and loaded onto the bombers. But then, despite the insistence of Russia, they refused to take samples.
The Investigative Mechanism also refused to study the revelations by Syria concerning the supply of gas to the jihadists by US and British companies Federal Laboratories, NonLethal Technologies, and Chemring Defence UK .
The United States and their allies themselves wrote into their project for resolution, presented on 16 November, the requirement for international Civil servants to carry out their investigations in a « manner appropriate to the realisation of their mandate » .
Russia rejected the report by the Investigative Mechanism in view of its amateurism, and refused on three occasions to accept reappointment for its mandate. It opposed its veto on 24 October , and on 16  and 17 November, as it had done on 12 April  when the United States and France  attempted to condemn Syria for this alleged sarin gas attack. These were the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th times that it used its veto on the Syrian question.
We do not know why Washington presented, or had presented by proxy, the same assertion to the Security Council on four different occasions from four different angles. These stammering attempts had already been seen at the start of the war against Syria, on 4 October 2011, 4 February and 19 July 2012, when France and the United States attempted to have Syria condemned by the Council for what they called the repression of the Syrian spring. At that time, Russia affirmed on the contrary that this was not a case of civil war, but of external aggression. Each time, the Westerners retorted that they would « convince » their Russian partner.
It is interesting to observe that the Western ‘doxa’ pretends that the war in Syria began with a democratic revolution which went wrong and was finally recuperated by jihadist forces. But, contrary to what was alleged, there is no proof of the slightest demonstration in favour of democracy in 2011-2012 in Syria. All the videos published at the time were either in favour of President el-Assad, or against the Syrian Arab Republic, never for democracy. Not one video shows pro-democracy slogans or posters. All the videos of the alleged « revolutionary demonstrations » from this period were shot on Friday evenings as the Sunni mosques emptied out, never on another day, and never at meeting places other than Sunni mosques.
It is true that in certain videos, we can hear phrases which contain the word « freedom ». If we listen carefully, we notice that the demonstrators are not calling for « Freedom » in the Western sense of the word, but for the « Freedom to apply charia law ». If you can find a traceable document of a demonstration of more than 50 people which contradicts my statement, please send it to me and I will not fail to print it.
We could interpret the stubborn US manipulation of facts as a sign that the Trump administration is aligning itself with the policies of the previous four mandates. But this hypothesis is countered by the signature of a secret Memorandum in Amman, on 8 November, between Jordan , Russia, and the United States, and by the Joint Declaration by Presidents Putin and Trump, on 11 November, in Đà Nẵng, on the sidelines of the APEC summit .
The first document has not been published, but we know via certain indiscretions that it does not take into account the Israëli demand for the creation of a neutral zone on Syrian territory, not beyond the Israëli frontier, but 60 kilometres beyond the 1967 cease-fire line. Never missing an occasion to add fuel to the flames, the British government reacted by publishing, by the BBC, satellite photographs of the Iranian military base of El-Kiswah (45 kilometres beyond the cease-fire line) . As expected, Israëli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately rejected the agreement between the major powers and announced that he reserved the right of Israël to engage in military intervention in Syria in order to preserve its security  – this comment constitutes a threat and as such, is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations. In fact, everyone is aware that for the last seven years, the pretext of weapons for Lebanon is still working. As an example, on 1 November, Tsahal illegally bombed an industrial zone in Hassiye, pretending that it was destroying weapons destined for Hezbollah. In reality, the target was a copper factory, indispensable for restoring the distribution of electricity in the country .
The Declaration of Đà Nẵng includes some notable advances. It establishes, for the first time, that all Syrians will be able to participate in the next Presidential election. In fact, until now, exiled Syrians have been forbidden to vote by the members of the international Coalition, in violation of the Vienna Convention. As for the « National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces », it has boycotted the elections because that instance was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to whom « The Coran is our Law », and there is no place for elections in an Islamist régime.
The contrast is startling between the progress of Russo-US negotiations concerning Syria on the one hand, and on the other, the bullheadedness of the same United States in denying the facts before the Security Council.
It is interesting to note the embarrassment of the European Press – faced with the work of Presidents Putin and Trump as well as the infantile mulishness of the US delegation at the Security Council. Almost no organ of the media mentions the Amman Memorandum, and they all commented the Joint Declaration before it was published, based on a simple note from the White House. As for Ambassador Nikki Haley’s tantrums at the Security Council, they unanimously noted that the two major powers had reached no agreement, and ignored the Russian arguments which had nonetheless been exhaustively explained by Moscow.
We are obliged to note that if President Trump is attempting to pay off the imperialist policies of his predecessors, the pro-US international civil servants from the UNO are incapable of adapting to the real world. After 16 years of systematic lies, they can no longer think in terms of fact, but only in thrall to their fantasies. They are no longer able to avoid taking their desires for realities. This behaviour is characteristic of Empires in decline.
 Reference : UN S/2001/946 and S/2001/947
 « Discours de M. Powell au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU », par Colin L. Powell, Réseau Voltaire, 11 février 2003.
 “Comments by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation concerning the Syrian chemical dossier”, Voltaire Network, 23 October 2017.
 “Several serious errors in the CIA Report on the Khan Shaykhun incident”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 15 April 2017.
 “Chemical weapons: From London and Washington to the jihadists”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 16 August 2017.
 “Draft Resolution on the Joint UN-OPCW Survey Mechanism (Russian Veto)”, Voltaire Network, 16 November 2017.
 “Draft Resolution on the Renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (Russian Veto)”, “Use of chemical weapons in Syria (Vetos)”, Voltaire Network, 24 October 2017.
 “Draft Resolution on the Joint UN-OPCW Survey Mechanism (Russian Veto)”, Voltaire Network, 16 November 2017.
 “Security Council meeting on Khan Cheïkhoun (Russian veto)”, Voltaire Network, 12 April 2017.
 « Évaluation française de l’attaque chimique de Khan Cheikhoun », Réseau Voltaire, 26 avril 2017.
 “Statement by the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States of America”, Voltaire Network, 11 November 2017.
 “Iran building permanent military base in Syria – claim”, Gordon Corera, BBC, November 10, 2017.