Sergey Lavrov: Syria, Douma, Khan Sheikhoun And Skripal.

By Jerry Alatalo

“Truth is a torch, but a terrific one; therefore we all try to grasp it with closed eyes, fearing to be blinded.”

– JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE (1749-1832) German philosopher

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ussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke in Moscow on Saturday April 14, the day after the U.S., U.K. and France launched over 100 missiles on Syria, discussing and sharing important facts regarding the attack, the Skripal event in the U.K., last year’s Khan Sheikhoun incident, and the alleged April 7 chemical incident in Douma.

Chances are likely zero that any of the relevant factual information Sergey Lavrov presented will become acknowledged, analyzed, responded to, nor otherwise mentioned by the administrations of President Donald Trump in America, Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France, or western corporate media. …Until it becomes impossible to ignore.

The most crucial aspect of Mr. Lavrov’s statement is the stark contrast presented between his version or narrative of what occurred in the ultimately consequential events, and the narratives of Trump, May and Macron presented to justify their previous decisions along with their most recent, coordinated, arguably illegal military action.

As demonstrated for years at United Nations Security Council meetings focused on warring in Syria where often-heated discussions have featured the same widely contrasting narratives, it seems the building intensity of the Syrian crisis has reached the point of profound revealing – the culmination in a certain, decisive and historic moment – and the inevitable, world-altering identification of those speaking truth and those speaking lies.

Some might refer to or recall the phrase “separating the wheat from the chaff” to describe what is now surely and unavoidably occurring on Earth. Due to the extraordinary nature of discussions held at the 8,233rd meeting of the United Nations Security Council on April 14, 2018, it will become recorded in history books as a world milestone event.

There is no doubt conditions on Earth have developed sufficient for predicting an imminent, immense, paradigm-shifting and truly historic collision of truth and lies. For the well-being of humanity, now and for the sake of future generations – may that profoundest of collisions be a peaceful one.

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(Thank you to RT at YouTube)

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Maria Zakharova: West Launching Anti-Russia Campaign.

By Jerry Alatalo

tilizing a chart of nations with their corresponding numbers of Russian diplomats scheduled for expulsion, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova spoke on national television about unfortunate developments following the increasingly controversial Skripal affair in the United Kingdom.

Here is a portion of Ms. Zakharova’s comments.

“If it weren’t for these numbers, we’d be guessing where all this crazy, scary performance by London had come from, and who the real beneficiary of this situation is. At this time, after these numbers have been published today, there’s no doubt that behind this provocation that took place in the U.K. are strong, powerful forces that are located in the U.S. and in the U.K.”.

“Here’s your motive to continue attacking our country in informational, propagandist, political and other ways. There are no other theories to conclude from this situation … I think everyone knows who’s behind all this, behind this Russophobic campaign”.

“… This whole situation with these numbers and the expulsion of the diplomats has its roots in the Skripals’ situation. I personally state that during the E.U. Summit the U.K. didn’t give the countries any facts about what had happened there. There were exclusively political statements and slogans, along with demands to side with this position. Thus, besides giving their political support, these E.U. countries have no idea whatsoever about what had happened in the U.K.”.

“… Demonization of Russia is the main goal. Obviously, what we see right now is the continuance of this elaborate, long-term program for this – I hate this word – rabid Russophobia in action. This is not just an issue for Russia as a country; it’s definitely an issue for all the Russian people, because statements made by the West always say, ‘ehtnic Russian’, ‘Russian citizen’, or ‘Russia’. This is all about the total Russophobia campaign that isn’t even concealed anymore”.

(Thank you to Vesti News at YouTube)

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Here is the May 6, 2004 article by Rob Evans referenced by Maria Zakharova, cross-posted from The Guardian archives.

The past Porton Down can’t hide

As an inquest reopens into the death of a young airman 51 years ago, Rob Evans reveals the secrets of Britain’s nerve gas tests

Tucked away in 7,000 acres of beautiful Wiltshire countryside lies one of Britain’s most infamous scientific establishments. Porton Down, founded in 1916, is the oldest chemical warfare research installation in the world. The tight secrecy which has surrounded the establishment for decades has fed the growth of all sorts of myths and rumours about its experiments. One Whitehall official once remarked that Porton had an image of “a sinister and nefarious establishment”.

The Porton experiments on humans have attracted a good deal of criticism. It is, for example, alleged that the human “guinea pigs’ – drawn from the armed forces and supposedly all volunteers – were duped into taking part in the tests. There are still concerns that the tests have damaged the long-term health of the human subjects.

This week, its work has been thrown into the spotlight once again: an inquest was reopened into the death, in May 1953, of a young airman, Ronald Maddison. He died after liquid nerve gas was dripped on to his arm by Porton scientists in an experiment. The original inquest decided that his death was accidental, but this new inquest will examine fresh evidence and decide if the verdict should stand.

But what were the scientists at Porton doing? Years after the experiments ended, did they achieve anything of scientific value? The Guardian has pieced together a comprehensive and surprising picture of the nerve gas experiments, drawn from reports of the tests uncovered at the Public Record Office and new documents obtained under the “open government” code.

From a purely scientific point of view, they produced a huge amount of data about the effects of nerve gas on the human body. This data in turn has enabled Porton to develop some of the most sophisticated defences in the world to protect Britain’s armed forces from chemical attack. Porton acknowledges that the human experiments have made a “vital contribution” to this protection. The data also helped Britain to develop its own arsenal of nerve gas before such plans were finally shelved in the late 1960s.

From 1945 to 1989, Porton exposed more than 3,400 human “guinea pigs” to nerve gas. It seems probable that Porton has tested more human subjects with nerve gas, for the longest period of time, than any other scientific establishment in the world. Two other nations have admitted testing nerve gas on humans: the American military exposed about 1,100 soldiers between 1945 and 1975, and Canada tested a small number before 1968. Other countries, including France, the old Soviet Union and Iraq, are also likely to have exposed humans to nerve gas, but very little is known about their tests.

The group of chemicals known as nerve gases were first developed as weapons by the Nazis before and during the second world war. German scientists discovered the potency of these organophosphorous compounds which, in tiny quantities, disrupt a key element of the nervous system.

Human muscles contract when a chemical, acetylcholine, is released from the nerve endings. Muscles do not exist in a permanent form of contraction because acetylecholine is destroyed in a split second by an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase), thus allowing the muscle to relax again. Nerve gases inactivate this important enzyme, and since it is prevented from working, the muscle goes into a state of spasm from which it cannot be relaxed. Victims die because the most important muscles in the body – those of the heart and the rib cage, which control the emptying and filling of the lungs – are paralysed. They suffocate swiftly in a horrifying death.

The nerve gases are more deadly than any other chemical weapon, but during the second world war, only the Germans had spotted their full potential and produced an arsenal of the munitions. As one Porton official has commented, the British and their allies were “caught with our pants down”.

As the Third Reich was collapsing in April 1945, the British discovered stocks of the gas in Germany. Within two weeks, Porton had tested the new gas on batches of human subjects, even though they did not know what the unknown compound was or how it harmed the body.

The discovery of the new weapons instantly transformed Porton, as all its previous work on other chemicals, such as mustard gas, was downgraded. Porton scientists quickly had to find out how nerve gases attacked the human body.

One of the early tests established just how little one of the nerve gases, sarin, was needed to trigger a reaction in humans. Fifty-six men were sent into gas chambers and exposed to “low concentrations” of gas. The scientists watching recorded that after 20 minutes, the men started to suffer miosis (constriction of the pupil), one of the first symptoms of nerve gas poisoning. Their vision was blurred and darkened, in some cases for up to five days.

Fourteen men were exposed to repeated doses of sarin, some when they were still experiencing the effects of the previous poisoning. Porton scientists observed: “Repeated exposures produced, after the third or fourth occasion, an aggravation of effects …”

By 1950, Porton had begun to test “considerable higher doses” of sarin on 133 men, and catalogued the severity of symptoms, such as runny noses, headaches, vomiting and eye pain.

Within two years, Porton had moved on to look at other aspects. In one study, in 1952, it wanted to see how sarin would impair the mental performance and intellectual ability of humans.

Twenty airmen were exposed to sarin and then measured to see how they performed in intelligence and aptitude tests. From this experiment, Porton inferred that after exposure, the men’s visual co-ordination was worse, but their reasoning and intellectual capability had not deteriorated. Another 12 men were exposed to stronger doses of sarin – Porton found that the men appeared “behaviourally much less disturbed than the increased concentration (of sarin) would lead one to expect”.

Maddison died during what is probably Porton’s most controversial experiment. It will be at the heart of the inquest over the coming weeks. He was one of 396 men who took part in a large experiment whose aim was to “determine the dosage of [three nerve gases] which when applied to the clothed or bare skin of men would cause incapacitation or death”.

The scientists were aiming to expose the men to sub-lethal quantities of the nerve gases and then measure how much each of the quantities was reducing the amount of cholinesterase enzymes in the body. They were trying to establish a ratio between the two figures and then extrapolate them to arrive at the lethal dose for humans. But they discovered that this theory was flawed, as there is no direct correlation.

After Maddison’s death, Porton was limited in the amount of nerve gas it could test on humans, but the trials continued.

About 300 soldiers in the mid-1950s were used to see how well they could conduct military operations after they had been attacked with nerve gas. They were gassed with relatively low levels and then sent on a mock exercise. The men performed well in daylight, but less so at night. The biggest hindrance was that they could not see very well, but the scientists believed that a “determined infantryman” could still fight on after being exposed to low amounts of nerve gas.

They speculated that during the day, “a unit of intact morale” could cope, but at night, the men would have been vulnerable because they would have been prone to panic, especially since their sight was being hampered.

The psychological effects of nerve gas were a continuing focus of experiments in the 1950s. In one set of trials, the men underwent a series of intelligence and aptitude tests after being gassed. Porton found that the men were distinctly unhappy and depressed afterwards, emotions that were combined with a “feeling of reduced mental alertness and a tendency to social withdrawal”.

In the late 1950s, Porton studied the effect of nerve gas on particular parts of the body. One study concluded that nerve gas did not impair hearing; this might have been a problem if troops could not, for instance, hear instructions or orders in the heat of the battle after a gas attack. Another looked at whether nerve gas hindered the circulation of blood through the veins in the leg; it didn’t. Another examined the impact of nerve gas on the heart, as the scientists wanted to see if particular muscles between the ribs were responsible for one of the usual nerve gas symptoms – a “tightness in the chest”.

In the later years of the programme, Porton seems to have focused on assessing the effects of nerve gas on the eyes, a crucial question because, for instance, pilots faced with reading complicated rows of instruments could be put out of action with a slightest amount of exposure to the gas.

The nerve gas programme was substantial at Porton because human testing has been an integral part of the establishment since it was founded. During the past 80 years, some 25,000 humans have been subjected to Porton’s experiments, many in trials with other chemical weapons such as mustard gas and tear gas. Others were used simply to test defensive equipment without being exposed to chemicals.

Today, Porton is devoted totally to devising defensive measures against gas attacks. But the conduct and ethical standards of tests in the past will be under unprecedented scrutiny in the inquest over the coming weeks.

Books
Chemical and Biological Defence at Porton Down 1916-2000, G B Carter, Stationery Office, £16.99

Rob Evans is the author of Gassed: British chemical warfare experiments on humans at Porton Down (House of Stratus, 2000, £20)

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Syria, Novichoks And The Missing Skripals.

By Jerry Alatalo

“No one has deceived the whole world, nor has the whole world ever deceived any man.”

– PLINY THE YOUNGER (c. 62-c.113 A.D.) Roman writer, governor

he March 4 chemical weapon incident in Salisbury, U.K. has become a highly controversial subject of international affairs, particularly affecting relations between the United Kingdom and Russia, and, as some are suggesting, is possibly related to the situation in Syria. The U.K. incident is where ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal (a U.K. citizen) and his daughter Yulia (a citizen of Russia) were allegedly the victims of an attempted double murder. British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson have singled out Russia as the perpetrators who carried out the crime, leading to tremendous controversy after Russian officials demanded evidence and British authorities to date have not provided any.

Many have wondered why there has been little to nothing by way of reports on the Skripals’ health conditions in the (18) days since the incident, namely photos and/or statements by attending physicians.

Well-known British investigative journalist Tony Gosling, whose YouTube channel goes under “Public Enquiry”, posted a short 40-second clip from the dramatic U.K. TV show “Strike Back” aired in November 2017, where actors deliver lines containing the word “novichok”.

A popular woman video creator who goes by “Inessa S” on YouTube was born in Russia, now residing in Croatia?, and speaks excellent English. Her video work has been valuable for improved understanding of Russian positions concerning major news events and situations, as her translations from Russian-to-English accurately convey speeches, talks, statements etc. delivered by Russian officials. She recently produced and posted an impressive, revealing, and arguably decisive report on the Skripal incident using contrasting clips of statements made by both British and Russian (translated) officials.

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YouTube user Blaster53 was one of many who commented on Inessa S’ video (25,000 views), apparently English being the person’s 2nd language:

“As a lawyer with 40 years of experience I have learned that when the crime has been committed the absolutely first thing to establish is a motive for committing crime to see who will benefit and what.

“In this case Russia did not have any motive or interest as double agent already spent years in prison and was later exchanged for other captured spies in UK. His value was zero as otherwise Russia would not exchange him. This person had value for UK and NATO as sacrificial individual (collateral damage) for higher political interests.

“Interesting is how quickly they were discovered unconscious on a bench in a park. We know that in London no one bothers with sleeping homeless on the benches. If that would not be staged they would die right there either by cold or by poison so it is obvious that someone was watching making sure that they collapsed and then called emergency service

“That clearly indicates that CIA and MI6 have fingers in this pie. It is all their staged job to attack Russia.

“The question which begs answer is how on Earth hospital within two hours after admission of patients already knew the type of chemical weapon when some experts over here in Germany said that it would take days to figure out. Only if you already know the formula and source you would be able to issue so quick statement. Can UK government enlighten us with the truth?

“Next point that begs explanation is how it is possible that chemical weapon which is designed to instantly kill even in smallest quantities did not actually affect neither police, nor hospital staff because patients were admitted under assumption of anything else but military grade chemical weapon. They were freely handled by medical staff without dropping dead on the spot.

“How on Earth they knew the name of poison right away even though it was never produced in Russia under such name as it has very stupid meaning for a weapon it means “new man” but it was never registered such name in Russian chemical weapon registry. All other chemical weapons had their registered names and 1960 when it was invented they gave other name and when 1990 chemical weapons were completely destroyed under the USA and UK supervision they took the samples of all Soviet chemical weapons together with formulas. Now a ghost weapon surfaced with non existing name and in a minute it was clear what it was and who did it.

“Why UK does not allow Russian Consular assisted ce (sic) due the fact that they are a Russian citizens and it is in accordance with international law that Russian Consular representatives would have free access to Russian citizens in need. What UK government is hiding? Do they intend to kill them in order to cover up their crime as there did with Russian businessman or earlier with Litvinenko as his father admitted when he begged Putin to allow him return to a Russia, as his life was in danger.

“All that USA/UK scum is reeking all the way up to the sky. It is very clear that Nazis NATO is seeking ultimate provocation to convince domestic public how dangerous Russia is and the only way is a war against her. There are already plans of action in our governments how to prepare public to gain public support for a WW3.

“Just recall all that demonization of Russia starting with Ukraine, Crimea, MH17, Syria and so on. All accusations based on no evidence what so ever. NATO was inventing tens (of) serious accusations per day with intent to flood Russia with demands for explanations, and that was impossible because they were fake and blatant lies.

“Our Western MSM is playing major part in this monstrous scam to achieve conditions for WW3 as demanded by Western Neocons and Neoliberals alike.

“I wonder if people are enough intelligent to see where our governments are driving us? It is our children who will die in possible war. It is us ordinary people who will be fried by nuclear blasts and radiation. Our political elite and all tycoons, oligarchs, moguls or whatever we call multi billionaires will hide deep underground waiting opportune moment to surface and claim the world.”

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Observers and analysts have theorized that the Skripal incident is possibly a false flag event designed to manipulate public opinion for Western nations’ war escalation in Syria, where Russian military assistance has since 2015 helped the Syrian government turn the tide against terrorist mercenary forces who have savaged the nation and its populace since early 2011. Hundreds of thousands have perished and millions have been displaced in the now over 7-years long warring.

Russian military officials have recently warned of false flag chemical attacks carried out by the terrorists to be blamed on the Syrian government – providing a pretext for Western/NATO intervention, including direct strikes on the capital city of Damascus.

May the world’s wisest elders come forward and provide their necessary guidance at this profoundly dangerous point in human history.

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(Thank you to Inessa S at YouTube)

Nobel Peace Prize Address: Nuclear States Issued Historic Challenge.

(Transcript cross-posted from NobelPrize.org)

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – Nobel Lecture

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Lecture given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2017, ICAN, delivered by Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow, Oslo, 10 December 2017.

[Beatrice Fihn:]

Your Majesties,
Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
Esteemed guests,

Today, it is a great honor to accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of thousands of inspirational people who make up the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Together we have brought democracy to disarmament and are reshaping international law.
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We most humbly thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognizing our work and giving momentum to our crucial cause.

We want to recognize those who have so generously donated their time and energy to this campaign.

We thank the courageous foreign ministers, diplomats, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, UN officials, academics and experts with whom we have worked in partnership to advance our common goal.

And we thank all who are committed to ridding the world of this terrible threat.
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At dozens of locations around the world – in missile silos buried in our earth, on submarines navigating through our oceans, and aboard planes flying high in our sky – lie 15,000 objects of humankind’s destruction.

Perhaps it is the enormity of this fact, perhaps it is the unimaginable scale of the consequences, that leads many to simply accept this grim reality. To go about our daily lives with no thought to the instruments of insanity all around us.

For it is insanity to allow ourselves to be ruled by these weapons. Many critics of this movement suggest that we are the irrational ones, the idealists with no grounding in reality. That nuclear-armed states will never give up their weapons.

But we represent the only rational choice. We represent those who refuse to accept nuclear weapons as a fixture in our world, those who refuse to have their fates bound up in a few lines of launch code.

Ours is the only reality that is possible. The alternative is unthinkable.

The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us what that ending will be.

Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?

One of these things will happen.

The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.
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Today I want to talk of three things: fear, freedom, and the future.

Continue reading “Nobel Peace Prize Address: Nuclear States Issued Historic Challenge.”