On The Ground In Syria - With Special Guest Vanessa Beeley
Liberty Report, by Ron Paul & Daniel McAdams
Monday, Apr 16, 2018
RP:Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today as co-host is Daniel McAdams. Daniel, good to see you.
DM:How are you this morning, Dr.Paul?
RP:Very well. It's been a hectic weekend keeping up with the news but it looks like Syria is still in the news. So we're going to be talking about Syria. But we have a very special guest today, somebody that knows a lot about this. As a matter of fact she happens to be calling in from Damascus and that is our friend Vanessa Beeley and she's been on our program several times before and she right now is in Damascus and was there when the bombs fell. Vanessa, welcome to our program today.
VB:Thank you so much for having me back on.
RP:Very good. Why don't you give us a quick update about your experiences since you're there? And were you actually close enough and I guess it didn't have to be real close to hear some bombs going off. Tell us what you just went through over this weekend and what was the most interesting the most significant and maybe even frightening.
VB:All right. Well I think the most extraordinary thing is the reaction of the Syrians I mean the on the night (of) the bombing or the early hours of the morning that the bombing happened we'd actually lost internet even in the hotel for about two or three hours which is very very unusual. And I think a few people had an inkling that maybe something was coming later that evening and about I think it was around 3:55 the noise started. I wouldn't say that the the bombing because nothing actually seemed to hit the ground but we could hear explosions in the air. But I think what was extraordinary and maybe what people don't realize is that the reaction of the Syrian people was actually rather than dive for the basement was to go out onto the roof to see what was happening. And the very simple reason for that was that Syria had prepared for this attack for some time and in fact their air defense systems, although antiquated compared to you know American for example, were very effective. Their missile jamming systems signal jamming systems worked extremely well. They intercepted something like 70 missiles and actually the infrastructure damage was minimal to be honest and there were as far as I know no casualties either. We haven't had an update on that so I stand to be corrected if there have been casualties announced today. But as far as I'm aware there were no casualties from their attacks.
DM:It seemed like you know that people did go out the next day and there was a lot of relief. But if you could what did it feel like do you think for the average Syrian? I mean to me it seems like sitting and waiting for a bunch of missiles to come. You don't know where they're gonna hit. Are they gonna hit your house, your neighborhood? I mean did it feel did they did it feel sort of terrorizing to be there?
VB:To be honest, Daniel, I think the psychological warfare came beforehand with the threatening. And I was actually with a Syrian family that afternoon and they said to me, look, in our view we'd rather they just get on with it because then we can deal with it while we're sitting here waiting for this to happen it's the worst feeling in the world, because you just don't know how bad it's going to be: what they're going to target, whether they're going to hit civilian areas, whether they're only going to hit military bases etc. It's the not knowing which is actually psychologically the most stressful for these people who've already gone through seven years of a terrorist war here. And having... you know particularly for the people in Eastern Ghouta who literally just been liberated days previously from six years of the terrorist occupation. So I think really for many people it was almost a sense of relief. I know that sounds crazy but it was a sense of relief in the sense that it was really happening. Syrian Arab Army was dealing with it. And at around 6 a.m. civilians were out in Umayyad Square, which is very close to where I am, dancing literally in the streets and celebrating what they considered to be a victory and to a huge extent it is a victory for Syria, because Russia did not intervene at all in this defense. It was purely Syrian. And so I think what it did was it demonstrated that they are able to defend themselves against what was a concerted attack for a number of hours. And so I think from the Syrian perspective now there there is a sense of stronger defiance and a belief in their ability to deal with that level of attack if it comes on again.
RP:If this was a lot of PR and psychological, you're indicating that if there is going to be a winner in these last two day’s events you would say the Syrians are better off than they were? Is that the way you would put it?
VB: Yeah absolutely. I think I would put it that the Syrians have won a battle that actually prevented us going to war. Because had Russia actually intervened, say Russia had retaliated during that attack and had exchanged weaponry for example or exchanged shots with the tripartite unlawful criminal lines, we have to say because there was nothing justified legally about this attack, then potentially we could have been tipped into a larger conflict. But the very fact that Syria took care of this defense and dealt with it very effectively, I truly believe that prevented it heading into catastrophe.
DM:Very good, Vanessa. As as we know these types of strikes at least according to the US News were retaliatory strikes for the alleged Assad attack in Douma. You've been on the ground. You haven't exactly been to Douma yet. You're hoping to get there I think. But just talking to Syrians on the ground, what is the this sense of approximate(?) spectrum about what might have happened there? Is the US right or wrong or something in the middle?
VB:No I mean I mean this is no, and I think the fact that Moscow is being quite so belligerent about the evidence that they have, I mean they just put out another statement saying that irrefutably this was a UK intelligence exercise, it was a false flag, (and) they might have been aided by the United States. That's a statement that's just gone out literally just now. Robert Fisk of the Independent actually went in to Douma at one o'clock today. Somebody's just messaged me to let me know that and he confirms the following: The footage is authentic. He could recognize the location. He spoke to doctors there who said that children were admitted coughing and spluttering, but they were admitted as a result of nearby shelling and dust fumes and smoke. Somebody created panic by shouting gas attack, chemical attack and then they began the theatrics of hosing people down and filming. Now this is in line… so this is going from Robert Fisk of the Independent and this is in line with the interviews with two of the actual doctors and volunteers who were in the hospital at the time who also basically gave the same narrative a couple of days ago in interviews with Arabic channels here. So basically Robert Fisk has gone in and through talking to civilians there he's confirming the same narratives that this was definitely a staged event. The US and the UK and France are claiming that they have this sort of secret evidence but they don't appear to be able to get much beyond the social media chatter which the pentagon was also basing its entire findings part...
DM:...as France as well says social media... (VB: Yeah) But… but Vanessa what do you make of the these gruesome pictures of bodies, particularly children's bodies? You know we have seen them. People would say well how can you dispute this? Look at these bodies.
VB:Look, again this is very hard to say without having been in there and without actually talking to people. But one thing has to be made very clear. Jaish Al Islam, which is the Saudi-financed group that was occupying Douma, had held thousands of prisoners, many of them kidnapped in Adra, an area to the north in 2013, women and children. It's very difficult to speculate because as I said I haven't spoken to civilians there to see whether the scenes that you're seeing were filmed you know of the bodies themselves. Certainly there are a lot of anomalies about those images. I mean I think even one BBC researcher Riam Dalati on Twitter pointed out the fact that the bodies had been rearranged after the initial event. They'd been moved and placed in a position for the you know the greatest photographic impact. Now when I was in another area in Eastern Ghouta in Zamalka which was one of the areas affected in 2013 by the then alleged chemical weapon attack, I did speak to civilians who told me of the staging of events, and of the kidnapping of children to be used in those events, the dragging of those children, and the fact that many parents who lost their children in these alleged attacks did not see their children before they were buried. So you know what I'm in the process of doing right now is just piecing together the testimonies that I'm getting from these various areas in Eastern Ghouta, so it's very hard to draw firm conclusions right now. But certainly it's looking as if many of these events were staged, many of them were you know psyops basically to facilitate further military intervention on a humanitarian basis.
RP:Vanessa, let’s assume OPCW does get to go in there and do a thorough examination how much reliability do you place them? Would you be able to pretty well accept what they say or do you still have some questions? What kind of reputation do they have in your estimation?
VB:Well you know I mean I think we've seen I mean OPCW were actually invited to Damascus by the Syrian government, that used to be made very clear, and OPCW have an agreement with the Syrian government since 2013 that they can come at the behest of the Syrian government and work inside Syria with the security of the Syrian government and their Russian allies. now there is a rumor going around at the moment that the Syrians and Russians are preventing OPCW getting to Douma and that's not true. What I've actually heard here is that OPCW, although they don't need it, are insisting upon a UN Security Council permission or mandate to be able to go into Douma and of course that is currently being blocked by the US and I believe London also. I just had a message in now. So I think you know we're seeing it's very hard to disentangle the truth from the various conflicting reports that you're getting at the moment. But certainly as far as the Syrian government is concerned, there is no issue with the OPCW going into Douma. What they will then report upon I mean we've had Robert Fisk go in today basically confirming the Russian narrative, so it will be very interesting to see to what extent pressure will be brought to bear upon the OPCW. I mean my feeling is of course there will be pressure and the unfortunately I think OPCW CAN be pressured, let's put it that way.
DM:But getting back to the bombing, Vanessa, I don't know there's… there are so many contradictions, there are so many very bizarre things about this but now you suggest that the Russians and Syrians suggested that they shot down some I think 70 or so out of the 103 missiles that were fired. The US claims of course that none were shot down. So let's take the US narrative. Let's take the US claim at face value. This site at Barzah, US claims it's a chemical weapons facility, (and) the Syrians claim I believe that it's some sort of a pharmaceutical facility. But according to the US narrative, 71 missiles hit those three relatively small buildings. They are not bunkers. They are not reinforced buildings. They look like just regular buildings. Does this make any sense to hit these three buildings with 71 missiles?
VB:No. I honestly don't believe that narrative one second. I mean there has been footage going out the Barzah center... there were two centers, Jambaya(?) and Barzah. Barzeh is to the north of Damascus. So I can honestly tell you hand on heart had 70 missiles hit that area we would have known about it here where I am and we're probably only about I'd say 10 or 15 kilometers from there, so it's no distance at all, we would have certainly felt that impact even 35 missiles had hit that area. And also it's surrounded by a residential area, so had that number of missiles hit we would have seen a lot more casualties. But just coming back to the US claims that they've degraded Syria's chemical weapon capability, in both of these alleged chemical weapon manufacturing centers, so in jambaya and in Barzah, the OPCW had gone into those centers in November 2017 and it declared them as not making...at a hearing to the non-proliferation treaty, and not manufacturing chemical weapons and perfectly within norms, both of them. There have been interviews with technologists and scientists who were working in both centers and they have told us quite categorically that they were manufacturing a number of pharmaceutical items including anti-venom medicines and particularly cancer medicines. Now you know Syria is already under crippling economic sanctions, I would actually call it economic terrorism, which has already decimated the humanitarian medical sector here in Syria, making it impossible to take care of its own people and cancer is one of the sectors that has been worst hit. So effectively what the United States Coalition has done here is to further decimate the Syrian state's ability to take care of their own people on a medical basis. And I'm on one other point. Had this been a chemical weapon manufacturing since as I said it's in a densely populated civilian area, had there been chemical weapons on there, surely we would have seen further deaths from you know from the dispersal of those chemical elements from the bombing.
RP:It's funny that...not funny it seems obvious why haven't more people challenged that if they were manufacturing chemical weapons there and our plan is to bomb the living daylights out of them there...they must have been assured there be no chemicals there but so few...you know that understanding is not made in our media at all. We don't hear anything about it all. We ever hear is we have to go in because we have this monster who has gassed his own people and they say it over and over again. So that is I think what you do when you're reporting is trying to refute that because it just isn't true and yet that's what I think most Americans go along with. Every politician in Washington practically are saying well he gasses his own people, I know we shouldn't do this but we have to do it. Well monster is gassing his own people and where's the evidence and where are the people who will you know at least come close to what you're doing trying to report the truth.
VB:I think what's also extraordinary Dr. Paul, if you look at the...let's follow you know the corporate media line here and say that President Assad, because it's always just him, is attempting to gas his own people in Eastern Ghouta, we have the same situation that we had in the Eastern Aleppo, if that were the case, why then are those same people leaving those terrorists those areas liberated from the terrorist factions and coming into the government held areas? Surely at that point it would be the easiest thing in the world to gas those people that he's allegedly been trying to gas previously. I mean you know if people follow this narrative through they must surely reach a brick wall at a certain point where they say that there's no logic to this. None. And plus I mean I entered areas of Eastern Ghouta in the last sort of 10 days and I've seen at least two and there's one a third one that has been found chemical weapon manufacturing sites within the terrorists held areas. And I've seen basically instruction notebooks showing them how to mix white phosphorus with napalm in hand grenades and so many issues(?) that are then fired into the civilian areas of Damascus city centre, but also into the areas of eastern Ghouta to collectively punish the civilians there, which is again a sort of repeat performance of what they were doing in East Aleppo towards the ends of the military campaigns to liberate those areas.
DM: Yes. As Ambassador Peter Ford who was a former UK ambassador to Syria said, a child could see through this. As a matter of fact we're having him on our show on Thursday, so we're really looking forward to talking to him. But I have one other question, Vanessa. Now it all goes back to the claims about this attack, whereas of course the according to international law even if he did carry out this attack it still would not be legally justified without a UN resolution. But that aside the claims as far as we can see and even the French have admitted in social media, but these claims have come from two sources as I can understand: the White Helmets and the Syrian American Medical Association, the only two sources that are providing this. You've done a lot of work on these. If you can just give us another quick synopsis and remind people what are these organizations?
VB: Well, I mean the White Helmets is a multi-million dollar financed propaganda construct, I mean actually Roger Waters of Pink Floyd at a concert in Spain has just basically publicly described them as a propaganda construct working with the terrorist factions inside Syria. So basically they are part of the intelligence operation primarily being financed by the UK but also by the US for US aid and a number of intermediaries to produce the propaganda against the Syrian government the Syrian army, to act as human shields for the terrorist factions, and to basically produce these staged events. And then we have the Syrian American Medical Society, which is a largely Muslim brotherhood organization based in the US. But again in East Aleppo we saw that they have been working closely with particularly Al Nusra Front and Al Nusra Front controlled hospitals in eastern Aleppo. And it appears that they've been running a very similar operation in eastern Ghouta. The one other organization that has produced information on this alleged event is the...sorry...the Violations Documentation Center (DM: Yeah.), the VDC. Now this organization is also funded by Asfari and George Soros. But Ayman Asfari of course financed and set up Syria Campaign and Syria Campaign is running the Public Relations for White Helmets, so if there are any of these attacks, Syria Campaign are producing the hashtags they're producing the memes, the images and so on, and they are basically promoting the White Helmets into Western public, so this entire sort of cabal that has produced the evidence that the US the UK and France in particular have based this attack upon are seriously compromised organizations, and the very fact that we've gone to war based on their evidence is a terrifying prospect.
DM: Now I can't resist one tiny more question. I know Dr. Paul we need to close up soon but one tiny last one and this is about Nikki Haley, our illustrious US ambassador to UN. Over the weekend, she said we are locked and loaded and ready to strike again if he gasses his people again. Doesn't this seem like an invitation if this was staged by terrorists? Isn't this like a green light in places like Idleb and elsewhere where the terrorists still have control: send out some gas, we're coming in?
VB: Yeah. I mean basically yes. I mean that was one of the kind of negative fallouts if you like from this attack was that it could potentially embolden the terrorist factions and in fact the day after ISIS or Daesh attacked Syrian Arab Army positions in Yarmouk which is the Palestinian suburb to the south of Damascus. And we've seen a few mortars actually coming into civilian areas from that that area of Damascus. So the fear is and you know I know I sort of predicted this chemical attack previously on your show. If I have one fear it is that the terrorists or the White Helmets are going to produce another chemical weapon attack because they perceive that it elicits the response that they're looking for. And you know today I think it was Arwa Damon of CNN was actually I can't actually believe I'm saying that she was sniffing people's bags in Italy to prove that they had effectively been involved in the chemical weapon attack in Douma. So this is the bottom of the barrel that we've actually reached as far as mainstream media propaganda is concerned.
RP: Well Vanessa, I want to thank you for being with us today. We're going to go ahead and close out. But before we do, I want to thank you very much for your participation in trying to get real news out and counteracting all the fake news, and to do that we need more people reading and studying exactly what you're doing on a daily basis, and I would like you to tell our viewers what they can do to keep up to date the best way possible on what you're doing and what you're writing.
VB: Okay. Brilliant. Thank you.
DM: Can you give us your websites where you're publishing and where they can go to find your your work?
VB: Oh sorry. It's up on 21stcenturywire which is actually been under attack for three or four days but it's up and running again now.
RP: Oh wonderful. And thank you very much again for being with us and I hope we can get you back soon. I want to thank our viewing audience today for tuning in to this very important program and come back soon to the Liberty Report.