Etiket arşivi: syria

28.000 people disappeared in Syria


Fighting between government forces and rebels is continuing in the city of Aleppo

Human rights groups working in Syria say at least 28,000 people have disappeared after being abducted by soldiers or militia.

They say they have the names of 18,000 people missing since anti-government protests began 18 months ago and know of another 10,000 cases.

Online activist group Avaaz says “nobody is safe” from a deliberate government campaign of terror.

It intends to give the UN Human Rights Council a dossier for investigation.

The Syrian government has so far not commented on the claims but has in the past strenuously denied reports of human rights abuses.

Avaaz said it had gathered testimony from Syrians who say husbands, sons and daughters were forcibly abducted by pro-government forces.

They include Fayzeh al-Masri, from a suburb of Homs, whose 26-year-old son Ahmad Ghassan Ibrahim disappeared in February – the last number he called them from was traced to a military security branch.

The family were told by someone who answered his phone that he had died, but they have been unable to confirm this.

Counting the disappeared in the real time of a conflict is extremely difficult. It’s almost impossible for outsiders to double-check claims independently.

Recent history shows that accurate counts of those kidnapped and abducted can only begin once a conflict has finished.

Activists in Iraq are still trying work out how many people were killed or went missing during the country’s peak years of violence after 2003. In Latin America, it took Chile almost 20 years to count the exact number of its disappeared during the military coup of 1973.

But the numbers currently suggested by Syrian opposition activists do give a sense of both the scale of the country’s conflict and the uncertainty surrounding the fate of many of its citizens.

“We are certain that he would not have left us or his wife – who is expecting twins. We only want to know his fate,” Mrs Masri told Avaaz.

The brother of Hussein Eisso, a 62-year-old Syrian-Kurdish activist, said he was taken from outside his home in Hasaka after attempting to stage a sit-in over the arrest of other activists.

He said his brother had since been moved between security branches, and had had serious health problems, including a stroke.

The BBC’s James Reynolds, close to the Syrian border in Turkey, says it is often hard to establish real disappearance figures until a conflict is over, but the scale of the figures is an indication of the severity of the conflict in Syria.

‘Breeding fear’

Alice Jay, campaign director at Avaaz, said Syrians were being “plucked off the street by security forces and paramilitaries and being ‘disappeared’ into torture cells”.

“Whether it is women buying groceries or farmers going for fuel, nobody is safe.”

She said it was a deliberate strategy to “terrorise families and communities”, and that each case must be investigated.

“The panic of not knowing whether your husband or child is alive breeds such fear that it silences dissent,” she said.

Other Syrian rights groups backed the allegations. Fadel Abdulghani, of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, estimated that 28,000 people had disappeared since unrest against the government of President Bashar al-Assad began last year.

Muhannad al-Hasani, of human rights organisation Sawasya, said the figure could be as high as 80,000.

“People are being snatched at night, on the street and when no-one is looking,” he said.

Muhammad Khalil, a human rights lawyer from the Syrian city of Hassaka, said the Syrian government had two reasons for carrying out the abductions: “To directly get rid of the rebels and activists, and to intimidate the society so that it won’t oppose the regime.”

Avaaz collected its statistics through a network of independent human rights lawyers and local activist groups in Syria.

The scale of the work and the current instability meant the organisation could not independently verify each disappearance, but it confirmed to the BBC that none of the detentions listed had been official arrests.

Most of the people Avaaz spoke to had personally witnessed a friend or relative being taken from home or the street

The UN says more than 18,000 people have been killed in the conflict with 170,000 fleeing abroad and 2.5 million in need of aid within the country. Opposition and human rights activists put the death toll at more than 30,000.

As violence continues, UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is due to arrive in Syria on Saturday for talks with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Damascus told AFP news agency.

Mr Brahimi has proposed a truce over the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, which starts on 25 October, to “allow a political process to develop”.

The Syrian government has recently indicated that it is interested in exploring a temporary ceasefire – and opposition groups have said they would match this.

Calls for the truce come as the conflict threatens to spill over Syria’s borders.

Turkey’s armed forces have several times returned fire across the border into Syria after Syrian mortar shells landed inside its territory.

Turkish TV reported further cross-border exchanges on Thursday morning. Our correspondent says smoke could be seen rising from the Syrian border village of Haram, while explosions and small arms fire could be heard.

Rick Rozoff discussing Syria and US military strategy


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kHNciMSxJZI

Al-Qaeda now a U.S. ally in Syria


While we reflect on the 11th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks on American soil, there is a blinding light that may obscure our view: this sworn enemy now fights hand in hand with the US against the Syrian regime.

The historic State of the Union address by US president George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 is loaded with morals and principles about good and evil.

The president’s ultimatum was clear: either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

In Syria, there is mounting evidence that Al Qaeda and its allies are actively deploying terror tactics and suicide bombers to overthrow the Assad regime.

Syrian citizens who prefer the secular and stable state to the prospect of an Iraqi-style sectarian state may well be turning this same question around to the US government: are you with us, or with the terrorists?

This week, head of the Salafi jihad and close ally of al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, pledged ”deadly attacks” against Syria as ”our fighters are coming to get you” because ”crimes” by the regime ”prompts us to jihad”.

Bush referred to al Qaeda as the enemies of freedom: ”the terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews”. But Sheikh Muhammad al Zughbey proclaimed that ”your jihad against this infidel criminal and his people is a religious duty … Alawites are more infidel than the Jews and Christians”. Because the new jihad targets Alawites rather than Jews and Christians, does this render them better bed fellows?

By his own admission, Bush stated that al Qaeda was ”linked to many other organisations in different countries … They are recruited from their own nations … where they are trained in the tactics of terror … They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction”.

Yet this is precisely how the foreign jihadists in Syria have been described by reporters. They are funded and armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And they collaborate with the Free Syrian Army which is aided and abetted by the US.

Bush condemned the Taliban regime because they were ”sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder”. Eleven years later, the parallels produce an uncomfortable truth.

If only the Syrian uprising was as simple as the Arab Spring narrative where citizens seek democracy and freedom. But those unarmed protests have long since been hijacked by a cocktail of agendas which have little to do with Syrian democracy, and more to do with a proxy war to create a sectarian Sunni state that weakens Shi’te Iran’s main partner in the region.

Bush was correct in claiming that al Qaeda ”want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan” – who were all US-Israel allies at that time.

But his list stopped short of mentioning Syria or Iraq, the real targets of al Qaeda. Why does overthrowing Syria, using the same terror tactics, fail to attract the same degree of outrage?

Bush continues: ”We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.”

This pledge appears to have fallen on its own sword, given the funding of the jihadists in Syria. The terrorists have bred and spread across borders, which is the opposite of Bush’s prophecy.

The US administration must come clean about its financial aid. It cannot use one hand to sign a blank cheque to the rebels, and the other hand to cover its eyes to their immoral and illegal tactics. It cannot hide behind ”the end justifies the means” as there are too many innocent lives at stake.

Bush rode off on his high horse: ”We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them … may God grant us wisdom”.

If the principles and morality are to be taken seriously, then they need to be applied consistently.

The US regime should be actively and publicly distancing itself from the foreign terrorists and Salafist jihadists that are proliferating within sovereign Syria.

It should be condemning al Qaeda for its militant intervention. It should be condemning the Saudi sheikhs who issue fatwas for an Alawite holocaust.

The wisdom that we see is grief over the al Qaeda crime 11 years ago, yet covert collaboration with this sworn enemy today.

Perhaps the US is applying another principle that they may have learned from their pragmatic Arab allies – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Joseph Wakim is the founder of Australian Arabic Council.

Al-Qaeda Now a US Ally in Syria


While we reflect on the 11th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks on American soil, there is a blinding light that may obscure our view: this sworn enemy now fights hand in hand with the US against the Syrian regime.

The historic State of the Union address by US president George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 is loaded with morals and principles about good and evil.

The president’s ultimatum was clear: either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

In Syria, there is mounting evidence that Al Qaeda and its allies are actively deploying terror tactics and suicide bombers to overthrow the Assad regime.

Syrian citizens who prefer the secular and stable state to the prospect of an Iraqi-style sectarian state may well be turning this same question around to the US government: are you with us, or with the terrorists?

This week, head of the Salafi jihad and close ally of al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, pledged ”deadly attacks” against Syria as ”our fighters are coming to get you” because ”crimes” by the regime ”prompts us to jihad”.

Bush referred to al Qaeda as the enemies of freedom: ”the terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews”. But Sheikh Muhammad al Zughbey proclaimed that ”your jihad against this infidel criminal and his people is a religious duty … Alawites are more infidel than the Jews and Christians”. Because the new jihad targets Alawites rather than Jews and Christians, does this render them better bed fellows?

By his own admission, Bush stated that al Qaeda was ”linked to many other organisations in different countries … They are recruited from their own nations … where they are trained in the tactics of terror … They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction”.

Yet this is precisely how the foreign jihadists in Syria have been described by reporters. They are funded and armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And they collaborate with the Free Syrian Army which is aided and abetted by the US.

Bush condemned the Taliban regime because they were ”sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder”. Eleven years later, the parallels produce an uncomfortable truth.

If only the Syrian uprising was as simple as the Arab Spring narrative where citizens seek democracy and freedom. But those unarmed protests have long since been hijacked by a cocktail of agendas which have little to do with Syrian democracy, and more to do with a proxy war to create a sectarian Sunni state that weakens Shi’te Iran’s main partner in the region.

Bush was correct in claiming that al Qaeda ”want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan” – who were all US-Israel allies at that time.

But his list stopped short of mentioning Syria or Iraq, the real targets of al Qaeda. Why does overthrowing Syria, using the same terror tactics, fail to attract the same degree of outrage?

Bush continues: ”We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.”

This pledge appears to have fallen on its own sword, given the funding of the jihadists in Syria. The terrorists have bred and spread across borders, which is the opposite of Bush’s prophecy.

The US administration must come clean about its financial aid. It cannot use one hand to sign a blank cheque to the rebels, and the other hand to cover its eyes to their immoral and illegal tactics. It cannot hide behind ”the end justifies the means” as there are too many innocent lives at stake.

Bush rode off on his high horse: ”We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them … may God grant us wisdom”.

If the principles and morality are to be taken seriously, then they need to be applied consistently.

The US regime should be actively and publicly distancing itself from the foreign terrorists and Salafist jihadists that are proliferating within sovereign Syria.

It should be condemning al Qaeda for its militant intervention. It should be condemning the Saudi sheikhs who issue fatwas for an Alawite holocaust.

The wisdom that we see is grief over the al Qaeda crime 11 years ago, yet covert collaboration with this sworn enemy today.

Perhaps the US is applying another principle that they may have learned from their pragmatic Arab allies – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Joseph Wakim is the founder of Australian Arabic Council.

Thanks to http://www.InformationClearHouse.info

Violence in Syria Stems from Foreign Aggression


Interview with Finian Cunningham
By: Kourosh Ziabari

Through his writings, Finian Cunningham has exposed the imposture and hypocrisy of the Western governments in funding and assisting terrorists in Syria.

An anti-war author and journalist, he is opposed to the U.S.-engineered sanctions against Iran and believes that these sanctions constitute crimes against humanity. “These sanctions are illegal. They are without any legal or political foundation. These sanctions reveal clearly the barbarous nature of the Western governments,” he writes.

What follows is the text of Iran Review’s interview with Finian Cunningham in which the ongoing unrest and violence in Syria, West’s plots for starting a new war in the Middle East, the suspension of Syria’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League and the anti-Iranian sanctions have been discussed.

Q: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has just suspended the membership of Syria while only a handful of countries, including Iran and Algeria, contested the decision. What’s your take on that? I read your article in which you stated the Saudi Arabian government brought shame to the Islamic world by bowing down to the demands of the United States and its allies in taking Syria off the OIC. Would you please elaborate on that?

A: It is clear that Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Qatar in particular, politicized the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation. This recent extraordinary meeting of the OIC in Saudi Arabia was convened by the House of Saud not to genuinely discuss the conflict in Syria – as it was supposed to do – but rather the meeting was called with the real purpose of isolating and denigrating the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. In that way, the OIC decision to sanction Syria was reminiscent of the earlier move in November 2011 by the Saudi-dominated Arab League to suspend Syria. These are political maneuvers orchestrated by the Saudis, Qataris and other Persian Gulf dictatorships to undermine and discredit the Syrian government.

The premise of the decisions by OIC and the Al is that the conflict in Syria is attributable to repression by the Syrian authorities against its people, involving human rights violations and a refusal to enact democratic reforms. This is a completely false premise and distortion of the violence in Syria. This is also the portrayal of Syria that is presented over and over again by Western governments, primarily the U.S. and the former Middle East colonial powers Britain and France. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have over the past year emerged more than ever as proxies of the Western governments. The OIC conference was therefore fulfilling the propaganda function of blackening, besmirching and isolating the Syrian government, trying to reinforce the image that it is a pariah state that deserves to be shackled politically, economically, diplomatically and morally. The hidden agenda here was the Western powers’ desire for regime change. The Assad government has for years been a geopolitical thorn in the side of the Western powers and their Zionist and Arab dictator allies.

T

The cruel irony in all this is that the violence and suffering in Syria over the past 17 months has largely stemmed from covert aggression and sabotage in that country which is being fuelled by the U.S., Britain, France, Turkey, Israel and the Persian Gulf dictatorships. It is an open secret that the mercenaries assailing Syria and committing heinous crimes against humanity are actually armed and assisted by Western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as Jordan. Given these facts, it is reprehensible that the OIC conference should be called by Saudi Arabia in the first place, and secondly that the conference is coerced by the Saudi dictators to sanction Syria. It is doubly reprehensible that Saudi Arabia, which claims to be the custodian of the two holy sites of Islam, Mecca and Medina, is using a mantle of religious authority to perpetrate a treacherous political agenda, and to use the sanctity of Islam to blatantly cover up the crimes, violence and human suffering in Syria that it is so heavily responsible for.

Q: The opponents of the Syrian government, consisted mainly of the United States and its allies in the region, claim that the country’s armed forces have so far killed hundreds of peaceful protesters who demand that President Assad step down. On the other hand, the proponents say that the U.S., Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have armed the terrorists and insurgents in the country and have caused the escalation of the violence and bloodshed. Would you please present us an overview of what’s going on in Syria? Who is really telling the truth?

A: I think that initially the Syrian people were inspired by the genuine fervor of the Arab Spring in early 2011 when other people across the region turned out en masse on the streets to challenge the dictatorial rule in their countries that have prevailed for decades. These authoritarian rulers have only been sustained by massive support from Western powers – militarily, politically and economically. The despotic rulers of the Arab world were put in place by the West to exploit the immense resources of the region and these rulers held power with excruciating repression. The Syrian regime was not in the Western camp, but its people were inspired by the events across the region to similarly demand democratic reforms. The Syrian government of Assad, whose family has ruled over that country for four decades, is not guilty of the same depth of despotism and repression as was seen Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain. Nevertheless the people of Syria, I think, were inspired to demand more freedoms from their government as their neighboring nations were. Reports indicate that the Syrian state responded with a violent heavy hand. Recently the President Bashar Assad has said in media interviews that he regretted that response.

However, that said, it is accurately documented that in Syria’s Daraa city on the southern border the initial protests were hijacked by armed mercenaries who had infiltrated that country. Many of the early casualties of the violence were Syrian security forces. This indicates that protests were infiltrated by armed groups. The actions were not those of peaceful, civilian demonstrators, but rather were the actions of armed insurgents. In that way, the events in Syria were markedly different from those of other Arab countries, such as Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan and Bahrain where the protests were largely civilian and peaceful. Subsequent details in Syria and to this day validate the analysis that the so-called uprising is a foreign-backed infiltration of armed groups to destabilize and topple the Assad government. It is well documented that the U.S. and Britain have had plans for regime change in Syria going back to as far as 1957. The Western powers, along with their regional allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, manipulated the protests in Syria to enact an armed insurrection using mercenaries from the region in order to violently challenge the Syrian regime. This covert operation is ongoing to this day, and indeed has been greatly amplified to now pose a real, mortal threat to the Syrian authorities. In this way, the events in Syria mirror what happened in Libya. Under the guise of supporting a popular protest movement, the West and its allies have infiltrated an armed insurrection with the objective of overthrowing a government that the West is opposed to. It is a cynical, deceptive game plan of regime change. The West and its regional allies want rid of the Assad government for several geopolitical reasons. One of those reasons is to undermine and isolate the government in Iran. It is quite clear that this is the real, urgent agenda of the West. It has got absolutely got nothing to do with support democratic reforms in Syria or the protection of human rights. The Western powers are the violators of human rights in Syria. Their alliance with the criminal Zionist regime and the despotic dictatorships in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf is proof of their cynical, disingenuous call for democratic reforms in Syria. If the West was really serious about democratic reforms and human rights in the Arab world, they would be primarily focused on Saudi Arabia and relieving the suffering of the Palestinian people. Clearly, they are not.

It has to be noted that the so-called rebels in Syria have emerged to be identified as Jihadist-type mercenaries from various countries: Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia and Pakistan. These groups have long been used as proxies by the West. They are cultivated and funded by Saudi Arabia with its extremist deformed version of Islam, Wahhabism. It is proof of the foreign-backed nature of the violence in Syria that these groups are committing horrendous acts of violence against Syrian civilians of all religious dominations. It is proof too that the vast majority of ordinary Syrians do not support the mercenary groups. In fact, the ordinary people of Syria are living under a reign of terror by these groups.

Q: Should we accept the premise that the United States and its European and Middle East allies are bolstering unrest and violence in Syria through arming the Free Syrian Army, can we come to the conclusion that the final objective of toppling the Syrian government is to dominate the Middle East in such a way that might lead to a regime change in Iran, an end which the U.S. and other imperial powers have been seeking for so long?

A: Yes, the violence in Syria as in Libya is being fomented and fuelled by the Western powers in their objective of enacting regime change across the region. Iran is the prime target. Recall that the NATO commander Wesley Clark revealed back in 2007 that the Pentagon had a plan from as far back as 2001 to roll out a campaign of regime change in at least seven countries. They were Iraq, then Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and “finishing off with Iran.” Now the order has not transpired exactly. But the thrust is that the U.S. has a long-term game plan for regime change across the oil-rich Middle East and Iran is the top prize. What is going in Syria today is the implementation of that plan as seen in Iraq and Libya.

Q: The Turkish government had assumed a fair and balanced position on the Middle East affairs in the recent years. It supported Iran’s nuclear program in a difficult time when almost all the Western nations had been opposing Iran’s nuclear activities and were pushing for UNSC resolutions and sanctions against Iran. Turkey also played a leading role in countering Israel during the 2008-2009 Gaza massacre and two years later when the IDF soldiers raided on the Freedom Flotilla. So, why has Turkey’s stance on the Middle East issues changed so drastically that it’s now allying with the United States, hell bound on overthrowing Bashar Assad in Syria?

A: Ankara, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is playing a particularly treacherous role. I recall a visit by Erdogan to Damascus in 2010 where he lavished Bashar Al Assad with “brotherly” greetings. Erdogan has now revealed himself as a disgraceful back stabber. The reasons for this Turkish treachery are not clear. It could be do with ingratiating Turkey with Western governments in order to facilitate long-held Turkish aspirations to join the European Union. It could also be to do with vain, personal reasons of power aggrandizement in the region by joining with what Erdogan perceives as the winning side of NATO. But I think Turkey is playing a very dangerous game in doing this. And I think Ankara knows that. Their hesitation towards pursuing the covert war against Syria betrays deep distrust by the Turkish government about the West. They are afraid of being drawn into a quagmire and left in the sinking dirt by their supposed Western allies. After all a treacherous cheat is always a bit paranoid towards others, mindful that his past treachery could rebound. Also, another danger for Turkey is the instability that it is unleashing inadvertently among its Kurdish population in the Southeast of the country. Turkey is playing with fire by trying to stoke religious and ethnic conflict in Syria.

It should be noted too that there is a substantial dissent among the ordinary Turkish population towards what their government is engaging in Syria. Many Turks find Erdogan’s policies and actions reprehensible. Again, this is a danger for the Turk rulers that they are sowing their own downfall within their country by playing this treacherous role in the Western chess game for regime change.

Q: After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel bombed Syria two times; one being the Ain es Saheb airstrike on October 5, 2003 and the other being the Operation Orchard in which the Syrian nuclear site near the Deir ez-Zor region was destroyed. The international community responded to the attacks passively and turned a blind eye to these violations of international law by Israel. Should Israel have been held accountable? What do you think?

A: Of course, Israel should be held to account for these incidents and many, many others. The state of Israel is a lawless, terrorist regime that stands out as a pariah. The crimes against humanity, the war crimes, the ongoing violation of international law and UN obligations, such as the occupation of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the continuation of annexing Palestinian land are all outrageous crimes and affronts to human dignity. The Zionist regime gets away with these atrocities and violations because it has carte blanche from the U.S. and the European powers. Israel is a garrison state whose function is to project Western military power over the Middle East. It is really nonsense to expect the Western powers to hold Israel to account. Israel is functioning exactly as the West wants it to in order for these powers to exert hegemony over the Middle East. Israel is a pillar in the Western architecture of exploitation and domination over the Middle East. In an ideal world, the Israeli leaders and their Western political masters should be prosecuted in an international court for war crimes and crimes against humanity going back to at least 1948 when the illegal state of Israel was first set up by the Western powers.

Q: What do you think about the prospect of conflict and unrest in Syria? Will the government of President Assad succeed in withstanding the internal and external pressures? Hillary Clinton has explicitly stated that the United States seeks a regime change in Syria and nothing else. Will this regime change finally take place?

A: It is a very grim situation. The Syrian authorities, armed forces and the ordinary people are showing tremendous tenacity and courage in confronting these foreign-backed masqueraders. Yet, the Western governments have a long-held plan to get rid of the Syrian government and to install a puppet regime that will be pliable to Western regional objectives of political, economic, military hegemony. The Western powers have stepped up their campaign of sabotage and are itching to find a pretext for more overt intervention. Just recently the U.S. President Barack Obama repeated cynical concerns about the Syrian authorities using chemical weapons of mass destruction, or for these weapons falling into the hands of armed groups like Al Qaeda. The cynicism here is beneath contempt. Here we have a Western leader who has, along with his Western allies, helped to infiltrate Syria with these so-called Al Qaeda mercenaries, and now he is appearing to be voicing concern that such groups may acquire chemical weapons. In this way, Obama is trying to create a false flag of concern that will justify an overt Western military intervention. His secretary of state Hillary Clinton disclosed during a visit to Turkey last week that there were plans to set up no-fly zones by NATO in Syria. This would be a re-run of the scenario that the NATO powers instigated in Libya last year. The so-called no-fly zones suddenly morphed into an all-out seven-month aerial bombardment by NATO on Libya which led to the overthrow of Gaddafi, just as the Western powers wanted.

It is hard to see how the Western powers can pursue their plans in Syria. Russia and China are not going to be deceived again as they were over Libya. Also the violence and instability across the region from increasing Western intervention can rebound very badly on the West. They must know that, or else they are incredibly stupid.

Having said that, there is a very real danger that the West in its nefarious imperialist gaming could end up sparking a world war. I don’t think Russia, China and Iran are going to sit back and let the West tear apart an ally and all the strategic interests that these powers have in Syria.

It could turn out that the West backs off. However, that would still be a geopolitical gain for the West. Syria has been wrecked and badly weakened in this despicable Western episode of covert sabotage. The people have been traumatized and the economic base of the Syrian government must be decimated. That in itself has been a Western victory of sorts. Of course, that is appalling and heinous. It really is outrageous that the Western powers and their regional allies have gotten away with what they have in Syria. But just from a cold callous point of view, the wreckage of Syrian society can give the Western powers a certain smug satisfaction – even if these powers pack in their nefarious destructive covert war tomorrow and tell their mercenary proxies to go home. Syria, an official enemy of the West, has been devastated.

Q: What’s your assessment of the international pressures on Iran over its nuclear program? Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and thus entitled to the right of enriching uranium for peaceful purposes. However, the Western powers want to deny Iran this right. Should Iran retreat from its position in order to be relived from the pressures?

A: Iran has every right to pursue its nuclear development plans. I believe these plans are for entirely peaceful, civilian purposes and in that way, Iran is perfectly entitled to continue with its plans. I certainly hope that Iran continues because to not do so is submitting to the criminal imperialist powers. A bully must be faced down. That is the only solution. If for talks’ sake Iran was to abandon its nuclear program, the Western imperialist powers will concoct some other agenda or purpose with which to try to subjugate Iran. The issue is not about nuclear power. The West knows that Iran is not trying to weaponize its nuclear capabilities. The nuclear “concerns” that the West continues to cite is a cynical pretext and cover for the West to try to cripple Iran, so as to engineer regime change. The Western imperialists cannot stand the fact that their puppet, the Shah, was kicked out of the country in 1979, and for the last three decades has embarked on a development plan that is independent from Western capitalist control. That is what is at issue. It must be extremely difficult for the people of Iran to be subjected to this foreign aggression, but I would say that they have to stand up to the Western bully, in the way that they have done so far and so admirably. Anyway, the world is changing dramatically and the power of these Western bullies is not what it once was. Their own societies and economies are falling apart. Also, as the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran is demonstrating, there is a groundswell of international support for Iran. Countries in Asia and Latin America are no longer meekly submitting to the dictates of Western elite rule.

Q: The sanctions which have been imposed upon Iran are extremely affecting the daily life of ordinary Iranian citizens, making it unbearably difficult for them to access to foodstuff, medicine and other goods which are usually imported from other countries. Aren’t these sanctions some kind of violation of human rights by those who purportedly advocate these rights?

A: These sanctions are illegal. They are without any legal or political foundation. I defer to the opinion of many international legal experts such as Francis Boyle, who say that these Western engineered sanctions actually constitute a war crime. These sanctions reveal clearly the barbarous nature of the Western governments. They have no respect for international law or human morality. It is entirely appropriate for other countries to ignore these sanctions and treat them with contempt. Iran should file a prosecution against the U.S., Britain, France and others for war crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity. The symbolism of such a procedure would have significant practical repercussions and hopefully relief for the people of Iran.

Syria “Regime Change”: The US-NATO-UN Sponsored Brahimi Plan


The Western press is saluting the audacity of Lakhdar Brahimi for having picked up the gauntlet by accepting to replace Kofi Annan as Special Representative of the Secretary Generals of both the United Nations and the Arab League in Syria. However, according to Thierry Meyssan, the truth of the matter is starkly different. Given the current failure of outright regime change in Damascus, this NATO confidence man has been entrusted with the task of unleashing all-out civil war in Syria.

In the aftermath of the second Russian-Chinese veto which formally prohibited foreign intervention in Syria on February 4, the West feigned seeking peace while actively organizing a vast secret war. On the diplomatic front, they appeared to accept the Lavrov-Annan Plan, even as these same countries were facilitating the movement into Syria of tens of thousands of mercenaries and while UN Observers were escorting the leaders of the Free Syrian Army to get them through the roadblocks.

The July 18th attack that decapitated the Syrian military command was intended to open the gates of Damascus for these Contras as part of the West’s pursuit of “regime change.” This did not happen. Given the failure of these forces on the ground, and in open contempt of the third Russian-Chinese veto, the Western allies took things to the next level. Not being able to accomplish “regime change“, the strategic choice is to sew chaos. They therefore sabotaged the Lavrov-Annan Plan and proclaimed their intention to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad. The speeches of Obama and Hollande, both of which delivered sharp ultimatums on Assad’s hypothetical first-use of chemical weapons (in ways flagrantly reminiscent of the Bush Administration’s lies about Iraq) confirm that all forms of war are in play.

The latest operation commenced with organized leaks by the press. Reuters [1], NBC [2], Le Parisien [3], Le Canard Enchaîné [4], The Sunday Times [5], and Bild am Sonntag [6] revealed that Barack Obama had authorized covert military intervention months before and that the U.S., Turkey, France, Britain and Germany were acting in concert. The press announced that the secret war had been coordinated from headquarters established at the NATO base in Incirlik, Turkey.

Then the U.S. presidential order was revealed, Kofi Annan resigned from his mission. By his account, it would be futile to demand a ceasefire at the Security Council when the leading Council members were openly identifying themselves as belligerants. The Special Envoy of the U.N. and the Arab League clearly stated that it would be impossible for anyone henceforth to proceed with a peace mission given that the mission itself was illusory because of what he euphemistically termed the “disunity” within the Security Council. [7]

Despite his statement, the Western nations turned again to the Secretary Generals of both the U.N. and the Arab League to provide a veneer of pacific intentions and legality to their imperial ambitions. They designated a new Special Joint Envoy in the person of Lakhdar Brahimi. In the communiqué announcing the nomination, Ban Ki-Moon did not define the new mission as intended to fulfill the Lavrov-Annan plan previously approved by the Security Council. Instead, he signalled that the nominee would employ “his talent and extraordinary experience” to lead Syria toward a “political transition in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.” [8]

To comprehend what is currently underway requires a closer look at the “the talents and experience” of Mr. Brahimi. Son of a collaborator during the WWII occupation of France and not of a hero of the Algerian Independence with the same name as he would have people believe, Lahkdar Brahimi is one of the leading sycophant acolytes of the doctrine “humanitarian intervention“, the new scarcely-veiled substitute for neocolonialism. His name is still attached to the report of the Commission for U.N. Peacekeeping Operations, which he had chaired. He never questioned the legal aberration that allowed the U.N. to create so-called peacekeeping forces in order to impose political solutions against the will of the warring parties rather than overseeing the implementation of peace accords concluded equitably by them. Instead, he has been an active advocate for further consolidating the world governance role of the United Nations on the basis of a doctrine of intervention and the creation of a supranational intelligence service. [9] This was the origin of the “decision support service.” Not long after, and without informing the Security Council, Ban Ki-moon signed on September 23, 2008 a protocol with his NATO counterpart linking this newly-created service to the Atlantic Alliance. [10] So much for Brahimi’s “talents“.

As for Mr. Brahimi’s “experience“, in the late 1980’s he masterminded the Lebanese Confessional System (the Taif Accord ) and, following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Bonn Agreement with put in place the present-day Afghan narco-regime. He also participated in the machinations to “remodel” after the Western invasion of 2003 which sought to partition the country into three districts, one of which a Sunni section where the Hashemite monarchy would be restored. Mixing business with pleasure, he married off his daughter Rym, a CNN journalist, to Prince Ali. Had Ali become king, she would have become the nominal queen of Iraq.

And this is not all. His official biographies neglect to mention that Lakhdar Brahimi, as a “paragon of democracy“, was one of the ten members of the High Security Council who perpetrated the coup d’etat in Algiers in January 11, 1992, nullifying the legislative election results, forcing President Chadli Bendjedid to resign and installing the putchist generals [11] in power. [12] What followed was a civil war—precisely along the model that Washington now hopes to engender in Syria—where both sides are simultaneously manipulated by the U.S. In Algeria, the Islamist leader, Abbassi Madani, now a refugee in Qatar, took as his political advisor the pseudo-secularist Burhan Ghalioun, none other than the future president of the Syrian National Council. The armed Islamist faction, the GSPC [13], renamed in 2007 Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahghreb (AQIM), was engaged in arms training with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, rebranded in 1997 as Al Qaeda in Libya. The majority of the combatants in the two groups have now integrated into the Free Syrian Army.

In these circumstances French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius travelled to inspect the rear-area support bases proliferating in the states bordering Syria. Passing through Jordan, he asserted, “I am conscious of the weight of what I am about to say; Bashar Al-Assad does not deserve to be on Earth.” [14] Without having to give a thumbs down, Emperor Fabius has clearly moved from “Bashar must go” to “Bashar must die!”

The Western nation-states have just one message for Moscow and Bejing. They will not fall back; rather they are determined to press on by any and all means.

Translation
Michele Stoddard

Serious Situation: The Big Lie & Dirty War on Syria: How the FSA Massacred Citizens of Daraya


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NkrTQRg571w

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