Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

April 9, 2018

The chemical attack in Douma

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 5:53 pm

(Posted to Facebook by Alexander Reid Ross)

Of course the syncretic parts of the left are again joining with the right in saying (or implying) that the chemical attack in Douma was a “false flag” designed to draw Trump back into the Syrian conflict. Funny that many of the same people were saying only five days ago that Trump wasn’t actually going to leave Syria (per the Patrick Cockburn article below). The entire conspiracy-theory narrative of this being “convenient timing” is in contradiction with what was being said less than a week ago.

Some truly believe it is highly likely that rebels (or Israelis, or both?) flew a helicopter through Russia-controlled airspace over a heavily monitored and shelled suburb of Damascus in order to drop a barrel bomb with a chemical weapon approximate to the one used a year ago in what the UN’s independent inquiry concluded was an Assad-regime attack.

Since 2013, the Assad regime has carried out dozens of chemical weapons attacks, according to Human Rights Watch, many of which have been confirmed by the UN. These attacks have all been adamantly denied, against strong evidence and witnesses and international expert conclusions, by the informed twitter audiences of RT, Sputnik, and Infowars.

That the impulse to affirm conspiracy theories and place the burden of doubt on the victims that they did not, in fact, bomb themselves, indicates the heartlessness of a tendency to cast doubt even on their suffering. The Kremlin, for instance, is denying that a chemical weapons attack even took place (apparently the dead simply suffocated themselves with carbon monoxide or something).

The story that I’ve heard—that Russia was pushing a peace treaty that enabled rebels to stay as police, which Assad refused, leading him to gas the rebels into submission—seems far less far fetched than a “false flag” conspiracy theory. Indeed, why would the rebels gas their own population and then surrender immediately thereafter?

Lastly, we have seen cascading conspiracy theories regarding Syria dissipate into thin air over the years, so why should we continue to cut this tendency slack? First it was that Assad didn’t even have any chemical weapons; then he supposedly handed in or destroyed them all; then he never used any chemical weapons at all, it was the rebels against themselves; then the rebels poured gasoline in the Damascus water supply (it was really the regime’s bombing of the area); then the claims of the regime barrel bombing a UN humanitarian convoy were fabrications (nope, all true)… Most recently, the presence of Iranians on the recently struck airbase was denied before being confirmed by the Iranian government, itself.

The conspiracy theorists will conveniently find Israel at the center of everything, because they hate Israelis. And now everything will return to “Israel did it, because they are bad,” and we won’t really need evidence; we won’t really care about all the UN and HRW investigations that have found human rights violations by the Assad government. We found the deus ex machina, and its name is Israel.

Stop believing these reflexive denials from 9/11 Truthers and those who carry water for the Kremlin’s propaganda machine. Stop turning the plight of a civilian population facing rampant warcrimes into a playground for the reveries of conspiracy theorists. Enough giving the benefit of the doubt to authoritarian regimes over humanitarian observers and victims. Find your heart and follow it!


  1. I am wondering if this chemical attack was launched really for the purpose of provoking an attack by the USA on Syria. It find it really hard to beleive that Assad would actually want the US military to attack his forces. Yet also find it hard to believe that he does not know what the consequences will be and that such consequences will outweigh the benifits of a single chemical attack. Unless something of value will be gained, such as information about US capabilities that is not yet known to the Russian, Iranian, Syrian alliance. I find that prospect hard to believe as well.
    President Hillary Trump just had a new supposedly important official recently join his public relations team with the title of director of national security or some such thing. Maybe that has something or other to do with why the attack was launched now.

    Comment by Curt Kastens — April 9, 2018 @ 10:18 pm

  2. This ham-handed fiasco was anticipated weeks ago Louis. Do try and keep up buddy… https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201803191062707170-terrorists-ghouta-chemical-attack-plan/

    Comment by Bill J. — April 10, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

  3. Yo Bill,

    That’s a good one. I got one better: Back in 2011, the Iranian government issued a statement saying that terrorists in Syria, with the help of the CIA, the Saudi’s, Turkey and the UAE are pushing for a regime change. And what has happened since? There you go! Iranians are so right. They’re always very right. God bless their foresight.

    Comment by Reza — April 10, 2018 @ 3:06 pm

  4. Yeah, Bill J., them there Ayrabs love to gas their own children unlike us civilized white people.

    Comment by louisproyect — April 10, 2018 @ 3:46 pm

  5. Q: Is it more surprising that a self proclaimed Marxist is more trusting and defensive of US state propaganda than Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, or that he is lamenting ‘Jaysh al Islam’, whose founding ideology promises the extermination of all infidels in bilad al sham, not being contracted as a permanent police force within Syria.
    A: Actually, neither is very surprising.

    Comment by masoud — April 10, 2018 @ 3:55 pm

  6. It’s interesting that so many conspiracy buffs like to pretend that the likes of Assad need a really, really clever motive for mass murder, without which they couldn’t possibly have done it. The fact that it obviously was done carries no weight apparently with people who think that way.

    The fact–BTW, sure to come up sooner or later–that Donald Trump will try to profit from this politically at a further cost in human life should have no influence on our factual understanding of what happened.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — April 10, 2018 @ 4:01 pm

  7. ‘ Russia then sought to close the JIM down after its thorough, scientific investigation found that Syria was responsible for the horrific Khan Sheikhoun attack.’

    Not that little details like that stop the morons like Bill J from their sputnik news mindsets. ‘False flag, false flag’. ‘Secular tolerant Assad regime’. Still, the pro Putin/Assad/ IRGC Fascists must have some sense of the need to read intelligent commentary because they don’t seem to be able to stop themselves from writing here , their pathetic little dumbo conspiracist squibs against the realities set forth by Louis Proyect , Karadjis, Eliot Higgins etc.

    Comment by Matthew Jackson — April 10, 2018 @ 4:21 pm

  8. Please share my latest post with your readers. It’s about the lack of evidence against Syria.

    There’s actually never been ANY evidence published to prove the Syrian government used chemical weapons. Go back and read the articles Louis. They all say “alleged” “believe” “concluded.” There’s never been any actual evidence.

    Comment by LeilaPiazza — April 11, 2018 @ 9:07 pm

  9. Of course there has been evidence. You need to read this:

    Click to access s-1510-2017_e_.pdf

    Comment by louisproyect — April 11, 2018 @ 9:43 pm

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