As representatives of almost every state in the world gather this week in The Hague, all eyes should be on them. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – whose conference they are attending – was mandated by the people of the world to play a vital part in reducing the evils of war.
Instead, it seems, the OPCW has been manipulated to serve the ends of warmongers.
Critics and non-Western nations arrived at this understanding some time ago. Key investigators at the OPCW have known it for a fact. Their knowledge was brought to light first by the leak of a suppressed report, then by firsthand testimony heard by an international panel, and now by Wikileaks’ release of an email in which an OPCW inspector expresses the gravest concern about intentional bias introduced to a redacted version of the report he co-authored. Crucial facts about the 2018 Douma chemical claims, he writes, “have morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted.”
The Western media has concealed the problem because – bluntly – it is part of the problem. Journalists in established news outlets do not have the investigative autonomy that they would need to fulfil their calling.
But the news is out. In the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens writes that what’s been uncovered “appears to be the worst instance of ‘sexing-up’ in support of war since the invasion of Iraq and Tony Blair’s doctored dossiers.” In Italy’s leading broadsheet La Repubblica, Stefania Maurizi puts the critical question: “Will the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winning organization shed light on the whistleblower’s serious charges after this email?”
Hopefully, the questions will now be firmly pressed, and this post will carry updates as and when they are covered in the media.
Further coverage and updates [most recent first]
Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson (24 November 2019) OPCW management accused of doctoring
Syrian chemical weapons report, Stundin (Iceland)
Earlier media coverage of whistleblower testimony…
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Your work and that of the other members of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media has been vindicated. The Times should apologise, but I won’t hold my breath. Keep up the good work. I know it must take courage in this climate. Many of us out here are quietly grateful for the work and the voices of groups like WGSPM who have the courage to keep asking questions when official narratives distort facts and don’t make sense. I was moved by your September post about the Syrian student in Scotland who feels “overwhelmed by the expectation of conforming to a view that was so at odds with the student’s own beliefs and experience”. I’m not Syrian, but it is hard enough as a western person living in an information climate where even questioning the prescribed view risks drawing accusations of dictatorship apologism.
Thank you for these words.
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