Peter Hitchens on Douma

28 Nov

Writing two days ago in the Spectator USA, Peter Hitchens begins:

I suspect the Third World War will begin with a claimed atrocity — probably the use of poison gas by a ‘regime’ against ‘its own people’. Such things are now the favorite way to make wars where there was peace … democracy needs a popular pretext for war, and righteous mass outrage about the inhumanity of the enemy is almost invariably effective.

This is why it is rather important that the people we trust to verify such claims are honest and trustworthy. For who will verify the verifiers? Ignore this little matter and we could obliterate the world by mistake, sooner than you think …

[On] April 7, 2018 … social media, quickly followed by professional news organizations, began to spread harrowing reports of mass murder by gas in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Many deaths were reported. Urgent amateur films then appeared showing the dead, horrible to behold, some of them children, many foaming at the mouth. President Trump reacted swiftly, Tweeting ‘Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia, and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!’

In fact he did not wait for verification. Within a week, the USA had showered Syria with missiles crammed with high explosives. France and Britain swallowed any doubts they may have had and added their small salvoes, in the usual coalition of the sycophantic.

But then the problems began. It is actually illegal to bomb sovereign countries unless you have a clear justification. And nobody really knew what had happened in Douma. There were no independent Western sources there at the time of the alleged atrocity. They would have been killed or kidnapped if they had been, by the notoriously feral jihadi militia, Jaysh al Islam, which then held the area. The journalists who wrote so confidently about it were in no cases nearer than Beirut, 85 miles away. More of them were even more distant, in Istanbul, London and New York. The sources they quoted from the scene were unnamed and uncheckable …

Read the full article here.

2 Replies to “Peter Hitchens on Douma

  1. Hitchins’s observation on the role of the media is reminiscent of the old Politburo system in a privatised form.

    When Russia is doing Capitalism better then we are whilst we have resorted to aping the old Soviet Union in so many ways it’s obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse we (Western Liberalism) are in deep shit.

    No wonder the sensible section of Scottish society are going in a different direction:

    https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/the-lying-liar-who-refuses-to-be-held-to-account/#comments

    And yet too many people who should know better are prepared to die in a ditch to believe this obvious science free nonsense.

    • Apologies for late reply Dave. It’s a measure of how bad things are that we look to the likes of Hitchens, Tucker Carlson and outlets like American Conservative for the critical perspective we once expected, albeit with punches thrown selectively and even then pulled, of BBC and Guardian.

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