We are told in a Wikipedia article that the dominant anti-Assad force in Douma has been Jaysh al-Islam: “Its primary base of operations has been the Damascus area, particularly the city of Douma and region of Eastern Ghouta. Jaysh al-Islam is the largest rebel faction in the area.”
The same article tells us that Jaysh al-Islam has used chlorine gas in the past: “On 7 April 2016, the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood in Aleppo was shelled with mortars containing chemical agents. On 8 April, a spokesman for the rebel group admitted that ‘forbidden’ weapons had been used against Kurdish militia and civilians in Aleppo. He stated that ‘One of our commanders has unlawfully used a type of weapon that is not included in our list’. He did not specify what substances were used but, according to Red Crescent, the symptoms are consistent with the use of chlorine gas or other agents…”
These two facts together indicate a distinct possibility that anti-Assad forces are responsible for the alleged chlorine attack that the West alleges is Assad’s doing or even Russia’s responsibility.
On Nov. 21, 2016, the New York Times reported on an “assessment by the IHS Conflict Monitor, a London-based intelligence collection and analysis service.” It found that ISIS had used chemical weapons frequently: “The Islamic State has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis.”
Other anti-Assad forces in Syria have used chemical weapons, according to the U.S. Department of State:
“Tactics of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and other violent extremist groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons.”
Upon the existing record, one can raise more than a reasonable doubt that Assad’s forces have bombarded Douma with chlorine gas.
In these circumstances, exactly as in the case of the Skripal’s poisoning, we cannot reasonably accept our government’s characterization of events in Douma at face value. We need proof. By the same token, if Russia has interviewed hospital doctors in the area who say that they’ve seen no chlorine victims, we need for Russia to provide us with the recorded interviews and documentation.
All of these matters require full and extensive documentation, not emotional outbursts followed up by accusations, expelling of diplomats, bombings, missile attacks and worse.
Syria’s Assad is not our enemy. Iran’s Ali Khamenei is not our enemy. Russia’s Putin is not our enemy. Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah is not our enemy. Our worst enemies are within this country, lodged within pro-Empire addicts who do not understand America’s true strengths and what has made this country great. We have to listen constantly to warmongers who think that our greatness comes from Tomahawk missiles, drones, continual warfare, and aircraft carriers. They will amplify and/or manufacture any pretexts they can in order to engage us in their wars.
Let us have truth first, and then let us decide openly, carefully, justly and wisely on the basis of that truth. There is no reason to rush into battles and wars. For truth, we need documentation.8:02 pm on April 9, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff