Weak News for News Week? Why Haddad’s Resignation was Expected

Newsweek reporter Tareq Haddad resigned following his editor’s refusal to publish his story that casts doubts over the Western-backed findings of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding the use of chemical gas in Syria.

“Yesterday, I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” Haddad tweeted on Saturday (December 8).

Haddad admitted he received an internal OPCW email exposing the Organization’s distorted facts on the chemical gas attack in Syria’s Douma in April 2018 that justified the illegal bombing by the US, France, and Britain and accused Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad of killing his people.

The journalist’s resignation came after Wikileaks posted an email from the OPCW whistleblower (who also participated in the fact-finding team to investigate the fabricated Douma incident), raising a grave concern over the redacted report. Also, Haddad’s decision tells us more about the Western media bias over Syria and how the OPCW has served as a tool of Western imperialism.

It is not clear what Haddad revealed. However, he planned to take legal actions and provide evidence that his former employer had suppressed the story.

The Douma Gas Attack: What happened there?

The OPCW claimed that poisonous chemical gas had been used in a deadly attack in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018. The incident allegedly killed innocent civilians and prompted airstrikes by the US, France, and Britain, with accusations that the Assad regime had used deadly gas to destroy his people.

A few weeks later, investigators from the OPCW visited two separate locations in Douma. They interviewed witnesses, took samples that had been analyzed by the watchdog-affiliated laboratory.

Based on the information the OPCW team gathered, Syria had used chemical weapons and the banned chlorine gas in the rebel-controlled town. The Convention on Chemical Weapons prohibits the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon.

However, Syria denied the West’s accusation that Damascus had utilized chemical weapons to target innocent Syrians, claiming that the US and its Western allies used mainstream media outlets to create a hypocritical pretext to support terrorist Organization.

“The Western countries, particularly the United States, France, and the UK resort once again to launching campaigns of threats, misinformation, and hypocrisy in the framework of supporting the terrorist groups, including the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.”

“The new campaign of aggressive threats… comes after the victories of the Syrian army and its allies across Syria, which unequivocally proved the defeat of the allies of the West (rebels),” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said as Xinhua quoted.

The bloodshed in Syria erupted in 2011 following the Arab Spring in some of the Middle East countries that called for reform in economy and social welfare. The peaceful demonstrations turned into a full-scale civil war when some of the protesters were jailed and killed.

Foreign interests in Syria

Conflicts in Syria have become more than just pro versus anti-Assad due to the involvement of several countries with their agenda and interest. Russia and Iran throw support for Assad, while the US and its Western allies backed “moderate” rebel groups.

Also, foreign powers are interested in controlling Syria’s oil despite the country’s relatively small amount of oil reserves compared to that of other countries in the Middle East. The oil production has dropped since the war broke out in 2011. From 2011 to 2018, the production fell more than 90 per cent (from 353,000 barrel per day (BPD) to 24,000 BPD), the British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy for 2019 data said as BBC quoted.

Haddad’s resignation surprises no one

Before the leaked email from the OPCW whistleblower and Haddad’s departure, several pieces of evidence revealed that the Douma chemical attack had been staged by rescue service the White Helmets, operating in rebel-controlled areas.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed it had evidence of the UK involvement in staging chemical attacks in Douma. London blasted Moscow’s claim, calling it “a blatant lie”

“We have… evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation,” Moscow’s defence ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement as The Sun quoted.

The general’s statement came following medics’ claim alleging a group of people who were holding a camera and entering a medical facility in Douma.

Award-winning scientist Theodore Postol echoed Russia’s statement following a leaked OPCW assessment saying that cylinders in Douma were put manually.

“And the reason the evidence is overwhelming is they did, first of all, very careful mathematical calculations to determine what the scene should look like if it occurred as it appeared. So, for example, they – using a computer – assumed that a cylinder filled with chlorine was dropped from 500 meters onto this roof, one of the roofs. And what they found is that the cylinder always went through the roof – so that’s a very interesting result. What they did is, because these are computer experiments – that is to say, mathematical calculations that are done where they can change the parameters – they dropped, mathematically, cylinders that had nothing in them. Because they could not get a situation where a cylinder hit the surface of this reinforced concrete roof and did not just go right through it,” the MIT professor told The Grayzone.

Before the Douma attack, former US Defense Secretary James Mattis admitted Washington had no evidence that Syria was using chemical weapons. However, his statement did not get much attention from mainstream media outlets.

The US uses the OPCW

During the US preparation to invade Iraq in 2002, Washington tried to remove the chemical weapons’ watchdog’s first Director-General, Jose Bustani (and it finally managed to do so). Mother Jones reported that Washington was not happy with the way the Brazilian diplomat persuaded Iraq to sign the chemical weapons pact.

“Bustani suggests US officials were particularly displeased with his attempts to persuade Iraq to sign the chemical weapons treaty, which would have provided for routine and unannounced inspections of Iraqi weapons plants. Of course, the Bush White House has recently cited Iraq’s refusal to allow such inspections as one justification for a new attack on Saddam Hussein’s regime,” wrote Hannah Wallace in the article titled “A Coup In The Hague“.

As supports for Haddad grows, it is no surprise when we questioned the neutrality of mainstream media outlets when it comes to the West’ interest.