The US government has accused the Syrian government of planning a chemical weapon attack and warned it would pay a heavy price for such a move.
Russia has condemned that threat as unacceptable.
RT: The State Department was asked about evidence to back up this allegation against Syria. No evidence was offered. Why is that, do you think?
Philip Giraldi: Particularly, in this case, you would be compelled to provide evidence because the only basis you have for this is allegations about a plan, apparently, and you are basing those allegations on a claim which is quite speculative that the government in Damascus was responsible for earlier attacks using chemical weapons. There is considerable debate as to whether the government was involved; indeed, the so-called rebels had much more motivation and controlled the area where these attacks took place.
RT: Do you think this is simply a pretext for further US military action against Syria?
PG: I was shocked when I read this account from this latest demarche from the US government. It is just shocking to have this presented in a way that the US government, which is in Syria illegally, is threatening the legal Syrian government and legal Syrian government allies Iran and Russia. It is almost like a provocation to see how far they could push this in the hope that maybe the Iranians would react in some way and then maybe we will have a war against Iran, which this administration in Washington seems to be well set on.
RT: Russia has condemned the threat as unacceptable. And Sergey Lavrov urged Rex Tillerson to avoid provocations in Syria. Do you think the US will listen to those concerns?
PG: I think the problem is that the State Department is not really in the loop on a lot of this stuff. The reporting here in the US has certainly been that both the State and Defense Departments knew nothing about this latest commentary coming out of the White House, about how there would be a harsh response, and also tying in Iran and Russia with the Syrian government. They seem to have known little or nothing. And the claim that we are engaging in negotiations to basically use diplomacy to resolve these issues, I think is a kind of a lie, too. There is no evidence that diplomacy is being used in any effective way.
RT: If it were true that Assad was planning a chemical attack, what could he stand to gain from that?
PG: Yes, that is the question of motive. Obviously, the Syrian government has no motive to use chemical weapons. It is winning the war without chemical weapons. And it is the rebels that have a considerable motive to use chemical weapons. Now that we made a statement coming out of the White House, you can bet that the rebels are trying to figure out a way to use chemical weapons and to blame it on the Syrian government.
RT: Why there is no international discussion about this?
PG: This is the great mystery, isn’t it? I think what we are seeing here in both Europe and the US is that the media and government are working hand in hand. This is a story that they’ve embraced, just like they’ve embraced ‘Russiagate.’ The fact is that they are not going to let it go. It is a given for the media and a given for the Western governments that Assad has used chemical weapons, even though the evidence has never been presented.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Macron’s ‘complex thoughts’ led to Bastille Day presser cancelation, says source as Twitter fumes
Macron’s office announced the cancelation of the press conference on July 14, the French national day, on Wednesday. The presidential press conference is a tradition that dates back to Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, French leader from 1974-1981.
The office said the president will speak before the parliamentary meeting on July 3. Thus the press conference on July 14 has been canceled as there are “worries of not having two strong addresses to the French” for dates standing so close, according to sources in presidential office cited by Le Figaro.
Later Le Monde cited a source in the Elysee Palace as saying that Macron’s “complex thought process lends itself badly” to this tradition of journalistic questioning.
Despite the “complex thoughts” comment belonging to an anonymous source, it was Macron who was on the receiving end of public anger.
And it did not take journalists long to strike back online.
“So, according to the Elysee, Macron has thoughts ‘too complex’ to comply with the journalists’ questions… and face contradiction,” Apolline De Malherbe, a political editor with BFMTV, wrote.
The “complex thoughts” phrase has been described as “the best excuse of the year” by Vivien Vergnaud, editor-in-chief of Le Journal du Dimanche.
“Je peux pas répondre à vos questions, ma pensée est trop complexe” élu meilleure excuse de l’année http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2017/06/29/ce-que-macron-veut-faire-de-son-congres_5152770_823448.html …
Subtext: Journos too dumb to understand French psdt – ‘Complex thinker’ Macron ‘to skip press conference’ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40452785 …
France Bastille Day: ‘Complex thinker’ Macron ‘to skip press conference’ – BBC News
His apparent decision not to give a traditional Bastille Day news conference raises eyebrows.
French lawmakers called for a boycott of Macron’s July 3 speech.
“It is the sign of the pharaonic drift of this monarchical presidency,” Jean-Luc Mélenchon, his rival in the 2017 presidential elections said. “This meeting has no real objective other than have us listen to the president.”
“We are rebelling and we won’t be subdued. Our only way to show our anger is … not to go to Versailles,” Mélenchon added.
“As I understand it, we French are a little too lowly to understand the ‘complex thoughts of Emmanuel Macron,” Sébastien Huyghe, a member of French National Assembly for Nord department, tweeted.
The president’s official photo, which received controversial comments for the way it was done, has seen quite a number of sarcastic edits after the comment.