Chemical Weapons Attack on Idlib: Why Questions Need to Be Asked

Source: Chemical Weapons Attack on Idlib: Why Questions Need to Be Asked

The war in Syria, a complex, controversial, and oft-tragic conflict involving the government of President Bashar Assad, ISIS, and Islamic militias – both rebels and government defenders, of a wide range of militancy levels – and plenty of atrocities on various sides, continues apace. The most recent major incident is a chemical-weapons attack, apparently utilizing nerve gas, in the embattled Idlib Province, which has been widely blamed on government forces by the mainstream media.

This essay gives us some reasons to hesitate before accepting this account uncritically:

The footage of men, women, and children in paroxysms of agony in the wake of a chemical weapons attack near the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province, should make even the most hardened among us to weep. Such human suffering obliges us to question the very premise upon which we like to consider our world as advanced or civilized.

And it is precisely because of this that when we are witness to such an ontological breakdown in humanity that we must resist the pressure to accept the officially prescribed narrative of responsibility at face value… for pro-government forces to carry out such an attack at this time would constitute an act of political and diplomatic self-harm of near-historic proportions. […]

The Syrian government did not deny that it carried [out] an airstrike in Idlib around the same time footage emerged of such unconscionable human suffering. Their explanation is that they bombed a weapons depot close to the town in which Salafi-jihadi groups were storing chemical weapons. Confirmation that such groups are in possession of chemical weapons came in 2013 from UN special investigator Carla del Ponte, based on a UN investigation carried out concerning previous allegations of their use.

It is true that this account appears on the pro-Russian “Sputnik News” site, and the Russian Federation is a close ally of Syrian President Assad. However, some degree of bias is a fact of life in news reporting, especially in our present age, and there is no more reason to automatically discount this article based on its source than there is to automatically and uncritically accept accounts by mainstream media which are generally (and sometimes reflexively) anti-Syrian and anti-Russian.

In the world in which we live, it is important to weigh the relative merits of various accounts, in the hope of arriving at a reasonable conclusion. That it would do little good, and indeed much harm, to the cause of the Syrian government to unleash a chemical attack at this time seems a logical conclusion. And that chemical agents were spread as the unintended outcome of an attack on a weapons depot (a logical military target) which may very well have contained such weapons seems, also, quite logical.

I’m not on the ground in Syria, and I have no special knowledge of the area. But in weighing the relative merits of a logical explanation versus a hysterical account by media sources known to be biased against both the Syrian government and their Russian backers, the weight of the probability seems to incline, to me, toward the Syrian account being the accurate one. Your mileage may vary…


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The Head of the House of Romanoff mourns the loss of life in the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg — The Russian Legitimist

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and her son and heir, H.I.H. the Grand Duke George of Russia, deeply mourn the loss of life in the terrorist attack on the St. Petersburg subway.

Source: The Head of the House of Romanoff mourns the loss of life in the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg — The Russian Legitimist

The latest terrorist attack in Europe was in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday (3 April 017): a man identified as a suicide bomber originally from the central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan detonated a bomb on a subway train, that killed 14. The Russian Imperial House of Romanoff responds:

“The Grand Duchess and Grand Duke pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost the lives, for the quick recovery of the injured, and for God’s comfort to the family and friends of those who have suffered from this senseless and inhuman atrocity.

“Those responsible for this enormous crime should be apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”


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The Queen presents a Guidon to The Royal Lancers at Windsor Castle

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of York, has presented a Guidon to The Royal Lancers during a ceremony in St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle.

Source: The Queen presents a Guidon to The Royal Lancers at Windsor Castle | The Royal Family

The Royal Lancers were formed on the 2nd May 2015 following an amalgamation of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) and The Queen’s Royal Lancers.

During the traditional ceremony at Windsor Castle Her Majesty touched the new Guidon, and presented it to the Regiment.

A Guidon is a heraldic banner carried by cavalry regiments. They were traditionally carried into battle as distinguishing symbols and rallying points for fighting units.

After the presentation Her Majesty gave a speech where the honorific suffix ‘Queen Elizabeths’ Own’ was granted to the Regiment.

To mark my 70th anniversary as your Colonel in Chief I should like to grant you a further distinction – that of an honorific suffix to The Royal Lancers – Queen Elizabeths’ Own – in recognition of your loyal service to me and to my mother, Queen Elizabeth.

The Royal Lancers are 12 Armoured Infantry Brigade’s Armoured Cavalry Regiment based in Catterick, North Yorkshire. They have extensive operational experience, having been the last regiment to operate the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance in Afghanistan.

The Lancers’ distinctive cap-badge represents their Regimental Motto, ‘Death or Glory’.


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This state school in England teaches kids how to shoot, and to gut and cook pigeons.

Source: Channel 4 News | Facebook

Amazing state school in the UK teaches children from “a varied demographic,” most of whose families are on various forms of social assistance, how to shoot, hunt, dress and cook the game they take, and otherwise function effectively in the outdoors.

The video shows them gutting squirrels, plucking pigeons, splitting wood for the fire with a mallet and fro, and cooking and eating the proceeds.

The most dangerous thing you can do to a child is to not expose them to an element of risk and danger.” – Mike Fairclough, Headteacher, West Rise Junior School, who adds that “If children are excited about coming to school, if they’re being inspired and enthused by being outside, then that has an impact back in the classroom.”

The school gets the best exam results in the area, and won the 2015 T.E.S. Best School of the Year award, according to the video. “Teaching the children to shoot is controversial,” the video notes. “But the school argues it teaches discipline and responsibility.”

“The cotton-wool culture of Britain has got a little bit out of control,” Fairclough comments, referring to the modern desire on the part of many – schools, parents, media, etc. – to wrap children up and insulate them from many of the realities of life. “It’s only really peoples own sort of limiting beliefs, and a few media myths that people have invested in, which have stopped children from having these sorts of activities.”

Kudos to Mike Fairclough and West Rise Junior! You’re doing it right.


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