Press TV has interviewed Stephen Lendman, author and radio host in Washington, about Israel and France pushing for a US-led offensive against Syria over an unproven claim by militants that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons.
The following is a transcription of the interview.
Press TV: It’s quite interesting when we look at some of the reactions coming out of some of these Western capitals. How can for example French officials and some of the American officials say that they are certain that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons when the UN investigative team will juts start investigating tomorrow?
Lendman What they’re doing is what I call and I repeat it all the time, I call it the big lie with a capital B and a capital L. There is no evidence whatsoever that Syria is involved in any of these chemical attacks.
The Guta one last Wednesday and previous ones – there is plenty of evidence that these so-called rebels, the insurgents, these Western-enlisted death squads bear full responsibility.
I must say this about the so-called inspections of the Guta site – two important points: The UN and Syria agreed that certain sites would be inspected. This was all agreed on in advance; and the other big issue is, these sites are in insurgent-controlled territory. Syria guaranteed the safety of the UN inspectors, but it cannot do that in insurgent-controlled territory.
So, agreeing to let them come in takes a big chance because if something happens to them, you know who will get the blame for it.
Press TV: Well, in your perspective, why then would Damascus take this risk? Is it because they want to prove do you think that they had nothing to do with it – Exactly why would they take such a risk and how likely is this risk to pay off or not?
Even if it is proven that the Syrian government had nothing to do with these attacks, will the rest of the world or I should say Washington, London and Paris and others listen to that?
Lendman It’s a no-win choice – You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. If you don’t let them in they call this a cover up; and if you let them in and something happens to them – if there is an attack – and I’d be very, very watchful for an attack on these inspectors. it would be blamed on Syria – blamed on them to say well look they’re letting them in, but they’re shooting at them or killing them to cover it up. So, they’ll get the blame if something bad happens.
It’s a lousy situation. But I’m sure the UN officials and Syrian officials discussed this in advance. They know the risks; they know what’s going on, so, UN officials absolutely are very well aware of this – Let’s see what they say.
At the same time, UN officials have said we want to find out if there’s evidence of chemical weapons use, but we will not be able to determine who may have been responsible for the chemical weapons use. So, my question is why are they going in, in the first place?
I said this yesterday – If they can’t pin the tail on the donkey then what on earth are they going to prove by saying there is evidence of chemical weapons use because again the blame will go right on the Syrian government.
Press TV: So in your perspective, why are they going in then?
Lendman Well, they are going in… well they have gone in – there’s been a team before that’s gone in. The initial report led by Carla Del Ponte put the blame on the insurgents. And then within 24 hours she changed her mind and said something to the effect that we really haven’t quite determined yet who is responsible when the pressure on her and her committee was absolutely extreme.
So now they’re beginning this process all over again. I don’t think you’re going to see the UN repeat what it did before; I think you’ll see something else. But again, the long knives are out to go to war. The Pentagon is absolutely stoked up.
Russia is on a war alert – Russia declared a war alert. They put their Mediterranean and Black Sea fleets on alert; they did the same thing with their so-called Rapid Reaction Force. So, I don’t know what that means. Does this mean Russia is drawing a red line and they’ll do something?
I certainly hope so because Russia is one country that can stand up to America and get away with it. It’s (not) very easy for a small country like Syria to do that.
By Press TV
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