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WaPo Interviews Lavrov

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 at 5:18 PM


WaPo Interviews Lavrov

by Stephen Lendman

On September 25, Washington Post senior associate editor Lally Weymouth interviewed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

He did so on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. In response to a question regarding Obama's Tuesday speech, Lavrov was diplomatically discreet, saying:

He "addressed important issues, and he stated willingness to cooperate on resolving problems in the Middle East and to help us find common approaches, which is the key for the international community."

This writer called his address imperial mumbo jumbo. It featured beginning-to-end bald-faced lies.

They followed in rapid fire succession. They didn't pass the smell test. They didn't rise to the level of bad fiction.

America's waging war on humanity. One country after another is ravaged. Millions of lives are lost.

Obama's been involved throughout his tenure. He threatens global war. Lavrov knows. He diplomatically stopped short of explaining.

He addressed Assad agreeing to destroy his chemical weapons, saying:

"The chemical weapons problem in Syria is first of all an issue for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)."

"The president of Syria addressed the secretary general of the United Nations and the director general of the OPCW with a formal request to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)."

He's "under legal obligation derived from" CWC to abide by its provisions. He said he'll fully comply. He's got every incentive to do so.

No reason exists to believe otherwise. Everything he's done so far shows full cooperation.

"We also agreed in Geneva with John Kerry that we will initiate a Security Council resolution which will support and reinforce the decision of the Chemical Weapons Convention," said Lavrov.

"We will be very serious about any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, and those issues will be brought to the Security Council under Chapter 7" short of authorizing force.

A second resolution will be required to do so. Lavrov stressed what he and Kerry agreed to in Geneva.

They announced a six-point plan. The Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CPCW) must approve it. Provisions include:

(1) Syria will place its chemical weapons under international control.

(2) In one week, it will provide a "comprehensive" CW list.

(3) Extraordinary Chemical Weapons Convention procedures will be implemented to destroy them.

(4) Syria will give international inspectors full, "unfettered access" to all chemical weapons sites.

(5) All CWs must be destroyed by mid-2014. No precise date was stipulated.

(6) The UN will provide logistical support and compliance assurance with what's agreed on.

Lavrov said Russia is "committed to implement (these provisions) fully." The threat of chemical weapons use is real, he stressed.

Putin and Obama agreed earlier to investigate reports of their use and deliver results to the Security Council.

"By the time they met on the margins of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg on the 5th of September, they had a talk about some practical steps which could be taken to resolve the problem of chemical weapons in Syria once and for all," said Lavrov.

"We initiated through John Kerry’s statement and my support of that statement the process which is now underway."

"And we are gratified that the Syrian government responded very efficiently and promptly."

Lavrov stressed insurgents' responsibility for chemical weapons attacks. "(W)e believe there is very good evidence to substantiate this," he said.

He "presented a compilation of evidence to John Kerry when (they) met a couple of hours ago."

"This evidence is not something revolutionary. It's available on the Internet."

"There are reports by journalists who visited the sites and talked to the combatants, who said they were given some unusual rockets and ammunition by some foreign country and they didn't know how to use them."

"There is also evidence from the nuns living in the monastery nearby who visited the site."

"You can read the assessments by the chemical weapons experts who say that the images shown do not correspond to a real situation if chemical weapons were used."

"And we also know about the open letter sent to President Obama by former operatives of the CIA saying the assertion that the (Syrian) government used chemical weapons was fake."

"So you don't need to have any spy reports to make your own conclusions, you only need to carefully watch what is available in public."

Lavrov said he has no additional intelligence reports. Days earlier he said:

"We have plenty of reports on chemical weapons use, which indicate that the opposition regularly resorts to provocations in order to trigger strikes and intervention against Syria."

"There's a lot of data. (O)ur experts put (it) together in association with the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in March this year."

A previous article discussed McClatchy publications headlining "Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack," saying:

"(T)he report included detailed scientific analysis of samples that Russian technicians collected at the site of the alleged attack, Khan al Asal in northern Syria. The attack killed 26 people." Another 86 were harmed.

At the time, UN spokesman Farhan Haq acknowledged receiving the report. It wasn't released. It was ignored. It was suppressed.

Doing so reflects coverup and denial. It shows UN support for Obama's imperial agenda. Russia's report contained verifiable "scientific detail."

It contrasts markedly with fake US/UK/French/Israeli  intelligence. Russia's report contained credible technical documentation. It's based on OPCW-designated lab analysis.

It showed sarin used was homemade. The same type was used in Ghouta in "higher concentration," said Lavrov.

Analyst Sharmine Narwani reported contradictory UN Ghouta inspectors' findings.

On the one hand, they said environmental "samples were taken from impact sites and surrounding areas."

(A)ccording to the reports received received from the OPCW-designated laboratories, the presence of Sarin, its degradation and/or production by-products were observed in a majority of the samples," they added.

On the other, they said charts don't indicate where samples were collected. According to Narwani, findings just included "dates, codes assigned to the samples, description of the samples and then the CW testing results from two separate laboratories."

Close examination "shows a massive discrepancy in lab results from east and west Ghouta. There is not a single sample in Moadamiyah that tested positive for Sarin."

Failure to do so is crucially important, said Narwani. Moadamiyah victims "tested highest for Sarin expose," she explained.

"It is scientifically improbable that survivors would test that highly for exposure to Sarin without a single trace of environmental evidence testing positive for the chemical agent," she added.

Most likely it's scientifically impossible. It's more than unusual to find polar opposite environmental and human samples. Something doesn't add up.

UN inspectors said nothing about sarin quality. Lavrov said it was homemade. Warheads filled with sarin weren't found. Munitions fragments only were located.

Evidence indicates rockets were fired from insurgent held territory. Pro-Assad civilians were targeted.

Other evidence indicates extremist anti-Assad fighters used chemical weapons multiple times. Material evidence of sarin use may have been transported from one location to another.

It may have been done to deceive inspectors. Their report excluded numbers of victims killed.

At most it was scores or perhaps two or three hundred. John Kerry claimed 1,429. Doing so conflicts with Britain and France estimating several hundred.

UN inspectors found no evidence of huge numbers. Many questions remain unanswered.

Western/Israeli conclusions point fingers the wrong way. It doesn't surprise. Washington and Israel want Assad toppled.

They want pro-Western governance replacing him. They want Iran isolated. They want Shah era harshness restored.

War is Obama's option of choice. Russia is going all out to prevent it. Ghouta was a classic false flag. Lavrov called it an anti-Assad "provocation."

It wasn't the first one. It won't be the last. An uneasy calm exists before the next storm. Another false flag is likely. Assad will again be wrongfully blamed.

Russia wants Syria's conflict resolved diplomatically. It wants Syrians deciding who'll lead them. It want Syria kept undivided.

According to Lavrov, it wants it "territorially integral, sovereign, independent and secular, where the rights of all groups, ethnic and others, are fully respected."

Separately, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said military forces seized Israeli missiles. Daraa-based insurgents had them.

"A military source told SANA reporter that an army unit seized a car for terrorists loaded with large quantities of weapons and ammunition in Mahjjeh town, including four Lao Israeli-made missiles, 36 mortar rounds of 60 mm and a variety of ammunition."

"The source added that terrorists' gatherings and weapons were destroyed in the villages and towns and Nawa, Inkhel, al-Naemeh, Atman, Edwan, al-Za'roura, Ein al-Basha, al-Hairan, Ghadeer al-Bustan."

Itar Tass headlined "Ryabkov: NATO seeks to repeat Libyan scenario in Syria."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said "NATO member-countries violate the rules, which the UN Security Council had set."

"Thus, they seek to repeat the Libyan scenario in Syria." Russia is strongly opposed. It's doing all it can to prevent another disaster.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen supports Washington's threat of force.

Nonsensically he said "(t)he military option should stay on the table because it will facilitate continued (political) momentum."

He holds Syria responsible for insurgents' crimes. He blames Assad for their chemical weapons attacks. He urges a strong response.

He wants Chapter VII authorization for force. He wants war. He may get what he wants. Another false flag chemical weapons attack could come any time. It might be when least expected.

Assad know the threat. So does Russia. Stopping Obama's rage for war won't be easy. Deterring him remains top priority.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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