Focus: Update on the Latemenah and Khan Sheikhoun Sarin Attacks – Nov 13, 2017

Below is a discussion about the identification of the specific munition used in the Latemenah and Khan Sheikhoun sarin attacks. Bellingcat matches the munition parts found after the blasts to the M4000 bomb declared by the Syrian government to the OPCW as being part of its chemical stockpile. In an heated exchange of tweets, experts confute or approve the Bellingcat statements. Read also the comments at the end of the Bellingcat article.

Did Russia accidentally provide the best evidence of the Syrian government’s involvement in sarin attacks? – bellingcat

This report is based on “cherry picking” – i.e. reporting only matches. This bias causes the human brain to believe “it’s impossible for so many coincidences to happen”. When considering also the mismatches, it looks much less clear-cut: 1. Cap is ~20% smaller in diagram 1/3” – Rootclaim on Twitter

2. Inner metal ring in tail is ~20% larger and 15% wider. 3. Fins seem longer, but hard to measure. 4. Fuze is 30% larger. 5. “Lug” is 100% farther from the cap. 6. The mixer has 3 “steps” instead of 2, rod is 40% wider, and extends through other side 2/3 – Rootclaim on Twitter

7. A metal cone spreading like putty to a half circle seems weird, but expert opinion is needed. So other than a lug next to a cap (which also happens in the cannons), none of the items match. We might publish a probabilistic analysis of this once more info is available. 3/3 – Rootclaim on Twitter

Plausible? read more

Troopaganda Eats Its Own Tail

First they tell you what to think the wars are for. They’re for protection from evil enemies, for spreading democracy and human rights.

Then you discover that wasn’t so. The evil enemies were actually human beings and no threat. The wars on terrorism have created many more enemies and spread terrorism far and wide. They’ve endangered rather than protected. They’ve damaged democracy at home and abroad. They’ve violated human rights and normalized their violation.

Then they tell you to keep read more

WAR STORIES

By David Swanson, World Beyond War

HUNTER OF STORIES

The late Eduardo Galeano’s forthcoming book, Hunter of Stories, has five or ten sentences on each page — each page a tiny story, their combination engaging and powerful. Galeano includes the story of a war resister who chose to die rather than kill, and that of an Iraqi who foretold and pre-grieved the 2003 looting of the National Museum, also the story of former drone pilot Brandon Bryant who quit after killing a child read more

Tomgram: Subhankar Banerjee, The Destruction of a Vast Transnational Nursery?

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Back in May 2013, a word came to mind that I wanted to see in all our vocabularies.  It wasn’t the ever-present “terrorist” but “terrarist” and I meant it to describe people intent on destroying the planetary environment that had welcomed and nurtured so many species, including our own, for so long; in other words, human beings willing to commit “terracide.”  read more

Doping troops to keep them in combat: The Military’s Drugging Problem

Most Americans probably assume that any soldier hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG)—peppered with metal fragments, brain bruised by the shockwave from the explosion, and suffering multiple ruptured discs in the neck and spine—would be whisked from the battlefield to a hospital somewhere in Europe or the U.S., treated, and cashiered out of the military with a Purple Heart.

Staff Sgt. Chas Jacquier learned what really happens, though. When an RPG landed next to him in Afghanistan in 2005, read more

A New Armistice Day

Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 99 years ago, people across Europe suddenly stopped shooting guns at each other. Up until that moment, they were killing and taking bullets, falling and screaming, moaning and dying. Then they stopped, on schedule. It wasn’t that they’d gotten tired or come to their senses. Both before and after 11 o’clock they were simply following orders. The Armistice agreement that ended World War I had set 11 o’clock as quitting time.

And read more

Tomgram: Nomi Prins, You, Sir, Are No Alexander Hamilton

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Who can keep up with the madness of our never-ending Trumpian media moment? Each day is a lesson in the bizarre, in ever-wilder comments, accusations, charges, and claims of every sort from or against The Donald and crew. Each day spotlights subjects you hardly knew were subjects until they burst onto cable news and individual screens nationwide. Did an American president read more