28 April 2018
This is a reply to the Hull North MP's position as stated here.
Dear Diana Johnson MP,
This will have to be briefer than I would like.
I don't believe the events as you/Kevin Morton describe happened.
Where are you getting the information from that allows you to assert categorically the events as you describe them?
Where does the 75 dead figure come from?
We cannot afford to accept uncritically the media narrative. Take this sample phrase, from CNN, "CNN could not independently confirm the veracity of the video footage or the accounts from the White Helmets."
You seem to be relying on secondhand sources. The White Helmets, although presented as an heroic group, are entirely funded by western states, are only to be found in rebel held areas, and will do 'our' bidding. Fisk, below, describes the Douma video footage as real - but fraudulent.
There is no MSM on the ground in Damascus.
Hence I urge caution on a kneejerk response calling for war crimes prosecution of Assad, and for punishment bombing. People are more likely to respect your commitment against war crimes when you next attempt a citizen's arrest on your own former Prime Minister. If there had been a Parliamentary vote, you would have voted to bomb - without investigation, without adequate evidence, on hearsay. I say this because this is your most prowar stance since your vote to bomb Libya.
After Iraq, this is unconscionable. You will remember the lockstep of the media in 2002 / 2003, almost united in a pro-war narrative. You may not know of the studies of the BBC in advance of war which showed its presentation to be 97% and at 98% prowar.
You will surely know that the entirety of the media push for war and the entirety of the government casus belli, were unsound - deliberately so in the case of Blair, who'd promised Bush war the previous spring, and that "facts would be fixed around the policy".
One fraction of the media/government story was challenged, and it cost David Kelly his life, and Andrew Gilligan and Greg Dyke their jobs. One fraction! And they were perfectly correct. What makes you think, since that time, that under a vicious Tory government, the media are going to stray from the government line on official enemies?
Where you find yourself agreeing with monolithic western media prowar presentation, this should give you pause for thought.
Finally a word on demonisation. People raising these questions almost immediately get called Assad apologists. If you're searching for the truth of what really happened, then this is a meaningless label. Likewise, if someone only follows the lockstep media presentation backing a government line likely to increase hostilities, and in swift order without investigation, then they are an Establishment apologist - and soon in the ballpark of an Iraq war vote.
A reply from you failing to mention the longstanding US policy of regime change in Syria, will just be window dressing. May will back the US agenda at least as well as Blair. I say this because Iraq, Libya, and Syria are all on the same US Pentagon list for regime change. So is Iran, which I fully expect you to vote to bomb, when the time comes, on whichever pretext sweeps the MSM, on your present trajectory. I respect your promotion of the UN resolution - but it falls apart if the event didn't happen. Remember Blair, failing to get a second resolution on Iraq, simply used a previous one - at his convenience, despite UN experts saying he was wrong.
I'll accept Britain has Syria's peace at heart when Iraq is at peace.
You may have noticed that the bombing this time, despite potentially being very scary, was in highly confined areas.
Reports are probably true, that targets were agreed between US and Russian forces, and Russian red lines were not crossed. It was theatre. Like, I strongly suspect, the original event.
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